North East Blog Directory

February 09, 2015


Biohackers, Biopunks and others

“Biohacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic. Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from “Grinders” who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to do-it-yourself biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing.”

Broadly, I can see three main types

grinder: body flesh hacker magnets in fingers
quantified self people: tracking their life, non-invasive
diybio: hacking life in a petri dish

by Brian at February 09, 2015 03:26 PM

February 04, 2015

Community IT Academy

Safer Internet Day 2015

Safer Internet Day 2015

Global campaign calls for a safer internet for children and young people.

Safer Internet Day 2015 will be celebrated globally on Tuesday 10 February with the slogan ‘Let’s create a better internet together’.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.  Last year over 650 organisations got involved, reaching 25% of children and 18% of teenagers.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three charities: Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation.  It provides resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved.

Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries with the support of the European Commission and 31 national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.

The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.  It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policy-makers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.

Visit the website for more information, advice and resources:  UK Safer Internet Centre

by (William Mortada) at February 04, 2015 10:45 AM

February 02, 2015

Community IT Academy

Interactive map of IT support in Newcastle launched

Interactive map of IT support in Newcastle launched

Go Digital Newcastle has launched an interactive map of computers and IT support venues in Newcastle.

The map allows you to search for places where you can get free or low cost access to computers, training and support.  You can search for venues by postcode or filter the results for specific client groups.

View the map at: Get Online Newcastle

by (William Mortada) at February 02, 2015 11:51 AM

January 29, 2015

Community IT Academy

Workshops stress the importance of data security

Workshops stress the importance of data security

We ran a series of workshops on data security in November at locations across the North East.  The workshops looked at steps that voluntary and community organisations should take to keep their data secure.

The key points included:

  • ensuring data is backed up
  • keeping software updated with the latest security patches
  • staff awareness of security - particularly around phishing emails and spam
  • scanning for viruses and malware
  • security policies - particularly around passwords
  • review and monitoring

Participants found the workshops very helpful and feedback included:

“Good and informative session. Useful information for applying immediately in the workplace.”

“Nice delivery of dry subject.”

“Excellent presentation for someone pretty unused to computers. Great use of analogies – clear.”

We are considering running the workshops again in future.  Please get in touch with Lewis Atkinson on if you are interested.

The workshops were built around the topics in our guide: How safe is my data? (PDF 243kB)

If you would like to discuss data security or any other aspect of your organisation’s IT please call Lewis Atkinson on 07958 482 509.

by (William Mortada) at January 29, 2015 03:27 PM

January 28, 2015

Community IT Academy

Windows 10 to be released as a free upgrade

Windows 10 to be released as a free upgrade

Microsoft is planning to release a new version of the Windows operating system later this year and has said that it will be offered free to users of Windows 7 and 8.1.

Microsoft has decided to skip Windows 9 altogether and jump from 8 to 10.  Perhaps due to the criticism of the user interface in Windows 8, the new operating system actually looks closer to Windows 7.    The start menu is back and there won't be the split between modern apps and desktop versions of software.

Microsoft is offering the new operating system for free to customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 if they upgrade within the first year of launch.  However, customers running Vista and XP may have to pay for the upgrade.

Microsoft is also working on new versions of it's Office software.  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook will be rebuilt to work with touch screens and provide a unified experience across a range of devices - phone, tablet and desktop PC.

Read more on Microsoft's website here:  The next generation of Windows: Windows 10

and read the view from Technology Trust here: Windows 10 and the charity sector

If you need support reviewing your IT systems please give us a call on 07958 482 509.

by (William Mortada) at January 28, 2015 03:28 PM

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