The Federal Communications Commission announced a plan to repeal the net neutrality rules led by Ajit Pai, the Trump-nominated chairman. He believed that the rules had long halted innovation and was an instance of “the federal government micromanaging the internet”. His decision to endorse the repealing of the rules has been meet with backlash from activists and internet companies, but many conservatives and wireless companies (such as Verizon) have given their support to Pai.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality essentials protect data from internet providers and presents them as equal data. Internet providers cannot see what we do online, and this prohibits them from throttling data download speeds or paid prioritization on websites. The ethical consequences of this could lead to websites being blocked unless a price is paid to access them. This situation can be visualized as represented in a Black Mirror episode “15 million merits”. This is the principle that was put into action by Obama’s administration in 2015.
Now the cable companies are lobbying FCC and congress to end net neutrality which would allow them to effectively tax the internet, a tax that would be placed on every sector of the economy in America.
The danger of this is other countries following suit, net neutrality is already in place under in Portugal. The telecommunications company MEO required users to pay a base fee and had 5 other additional options of around £5 a month which would allow more data in order to access applications ranging from the tiers messaging, video, email, social and music. The abuses that are possible once net neutrality has been removed are endless. The former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was disappointed by the move, and reminded that the job of the FCC was to represent the consumer; the decision by Pai will only benefit the internet providers.
However the movement to block the repeal of net neutrality is in full swing with a nationwide protest planned the week before the FCC meeting to approve the repeal. There are multiple calls for Congress to intervene due to the potential complications of the repeal and the campaign against Pai has been gaining more and more support. This move to “restore internet freedom” will not be left unchallenged.
2007. Steve Jobs on stage launched the iPhone, the start of what would make Apple one of the most valued companies on earth and would go on to sell over 1 billion models through the years. However has the iPhone actually benefited society ethically or has it left society worse off.
Deloitte carried out a survey on mobile consumers and their day to day usage; the key findings showed that almost half of the 18-24 years old checked their phones in the middle of the night. Even 34% of smartphone users made no traditional voice calls in a given week, up from 4% in 2012, showing that phone usage has become increasingly more about the internet and applications rather than SMS and cellular calls. Time reported that 18-24 year olds checked their phones on an average of 74 times a day. The results shown are concerning as they indicate the high possibility of the rates of phone addiction increasing as access to mobiles becomes easier. Phones themselves are becoming more integrated and they are becoming more capable to do more things at the same time. Some experts have even gone as far as to claim that the smartphone has become the “crack cocaine of technology”, as it has ushered in a widespread addiction. This leads to multiple arguments into the use of mobile phones and whether they have gone too far into interfering with our day to day lives.
Common instances as catching the bus and analysing your surroundings, you will almost certainly notice the majority of people on their mobile phones, the reduction in human contact and physical interactions is causing isolation in society. This ties in with the fact that people who use their phones heavily and on a regular basis tend to suffer from high levels of anxiety and many suffering from depression. The modern day society of 2017 compared to 2007 are very different, and in the time frame, iPhones and smartphones in general have increased in terms of their functionality, they have become more adopted on a larger scale.
After 10 years of the iPhone’s initial release we are left with one question. Have they changed us for the better or for the good?
On Friday an international cyber-attack place, affecting more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries. The worst part. It is set to get worse on Monday according to Europol chief Rob Wainwright. The “ransomware” called Wanna Decryptor, that has most notably hit the NHS is said to have been a software that is easily brought off the internet. The software is effectively a virus that will overrides the control of a user’s files and locks the user out and demands a payment. The payment is requested in Bitcoin, a popular crypto currency that uses multiple complex security features and is effectively untraceable, the ransom asked for a payment of £230.
In England, 48 of the National Health Service (NHS) trusts were victims of the attack, and multiple problems in hospitals and surgeries were reported, this issue rubs salt in the wounds to the NHS, who under Jeremy Hunt’s abysmal leadership have seen multiple complications in terms of the state of the NHS. Globally Russia and the UK were the worst hit as a result of these attacks, with the interior ministry of Russia being targeted. Among them US courier giants FedEx, Spain’s communication operator Telefonica and Germany’s rail network Deutsche Bahn were targeted. Many experts have advised for companies to update their computer software in anticipation of further attacks on Monday. In response Microsoft have released a patch on Friday to defend against these attacks. An anonymous security researcher based in the UK, called “MalwareTech” helped limit the attack by registering a domain name that each infected computer was being rerouted to, by registering the domain the attack was halted. MalwareTech has predicted another attack to come very soon and urged that security be updated.
The danger of this attack and the unprecedented level that it has reached is a major concern. Furthermore the lack of funding into the NHS cyber system has been labelled as a cause for concern and the use of Windows XP, an effectively outdated software that is susceptible to hacking. The alleged £1bn cut to the NHS is the cause of the outdated NHS infrastructure and as of now there has been no response by Jeremy Hunt with regards to the situation. The cost of the attack on the UK is unknown and now Europol is working in conjunction with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to find out who is behind this attack.
The familiar round £1 coin that has been in the pockets of people since 1983, making it one of the oldest British coins in circulation. It became an icon of one of the strongest currencies, but now it has been decommissioned to make way for the new high-tech £1 coin. One of the main reasons as to why the coin has been replaced was due to the amount of counterfeiting it has undergone. The Royal Mint estimated that one in 30 coins, was a fake, resulting in a total 30 million fake coins.
The new coin features a 12 sided shape, which makes it increasingly harder to fake compared to the plain round shape of the older coin. The design also pays a homage to £2 pound coin by featuring a bimetallic. The £2 coin has a reputation for being an extremely hard coin to fake, due to the use of two metals, and now this trait has been passed to the new £1. The £1 coin has an outer ring that is coloured gold and made of nickel-brass, the inner ring is a silver coloured nickel-plated alloy. In terms of dimensions, the coin is also thinner and lighter than the older coin. The weighting is precise in order to make it harder to fake. The edges are also milled which give it a unique feel and adds another edge to the structural integrity of the design. Furthermore, the coin sees a use of a latent image, which displays an image similar to a hologram. When viewed at different angles either a “£” or a “1” is visible, this increases the security of the coin. The Royal Mint have also included a secret security feature built into the new pound in order to avoid it being counterfeited, and have used micro lettering inside the rim on both sides of the coins, ultimately the attention to detail is what ensures that these coins cannot be faked.
At the moment the Royal Mint have said that the old coins can be legal tender until October 15, until then, consumers are advised to return the old coins to banks. There is little doubt in whether the coin is the pinnacle of Royal Mint craftsmanship, and its security will ensure that it remains the most secure coin in the world.
Mars. Once a dream, a mere figment in our imagination. Our ancestors stared at space, aware of its vast potential, but inside they knew that they could never reach it. The years have gone by fast, in the 21st century, a mission to Mars is now viable. NASA and Obama had affirmed a pledge to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. Elon Musk,a prominent figure that has redefined the industry standards, has put a mammoth effort into the revival of such a large space programme. SpaceX launched the Falcon 9, a transport system ahead of its time, utilising unique reusable booster to ensure that the 225 million kilometre journey is no longer impossible.
Interest in space exploration has increased significantly, with many movies centering around the theme of space travel. Most interestingly being The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir. The movie itself demonstrates a realistic scenario as to how humans can get to Mars, and displays technological advances accordingly to this. Whilst the technology that they have envisioned is ahead of us, the rate at which our technology is advancing at, could supersede it quickly. Donald Trump has signed a bill that updates NASA’s mission to add exploration of Mars, and has authorized a budget just $500,000 shy of $20 billion. This the first authorization bill in 7 years, sparking a new fresh interest in a mission to Mars. However Elon Musk has been quick to rain on the bill’s parade, and has stated it makes no impact to NASA interests, and there is no added funding for the Mars mission.
Boeing is another contender in the space race, and confidently stated that they believe the first person to step foot on Mars will do so on a Boeing rocket. The company has a contract with NASA to build the Space Launch System (SLS), capable of sending up to 20 metric tons to Mars. Boeing has a close relationship with NASA, and has helped engineer the International Space Station. The SLS will play a large role in the blueprint of a mission to mars, it will be the most powerful rocket ever made. SpaceX has plans to launch the Falcon Heavy in the Summer of 2017, a rocket capable of lifting 13 metric tons to Mars. It is certain that the process will be long and complex, Musk himself has stated that there will be a high risk of death, however the leap that human civilisation will make, will be huge and of a large magnitude.
It was in the 20th century when two superpowers competed for the title of supremacy in the art of spaceflight. The Soviet Union and the United States embroiled into a cold war, one that lurked dangerously close to a major catastrophe. The aim of the space race was to launch artificial satellites, and it began on August 2nd 1955. On this day the Soviet Union announced their plans to launch a satellite, in response to the statement made by the US of the same intentions, just four days previously. However it was not until October the 4th 1957, when the USSR launched the Sputnik 1,effectively beating the US in the race. The sputnik 1 was a huge development technologically, and it proved extremely useful in space research. The USSR went one step further and sent the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin, on April the 12th 1961. The space race itself did not peak until the US on the 20th of July 1969, sent humans to the moon with the Apollo 11. After this mammoth achievement, the space race eventually declined.
However in the 21st century, Musk’s SpaceX programme seems to be igniting a space race Elon Musk has toyed with the idea of “internet satellite”, using 4,425 satellites in a non-geostationary orbit. The satellite network would deliver data directly to individual devices or smaller base stations. The idea itself is not new, with Motorola having attempted a similar programme, but it ended in misery due to lack of investment. Despite this, there is now more interest in the technology, and there is a lot more potential - an era of 5G technologies could most likely bolstered by a global satellite network. Companies such as OneWeb and Boeing have suggested a plan with a “constellation” of satellites.
The risks of such a project have the same magnitude as the benefits of it. The cost has been estimated a staggering 6 billion dollars at the very least, should the network have a larger scale the cost will inflate further. At the moment funding and regulations are the largest obstacles, the project could very well bankrupt the companies, and FCC regulations could stop it before it can even start. Elon Musk himself has been accused of “cuddling” up to Trump’s administration, but is it such a wrong act to have assistance from the White House in such a large matter? Whilst the space race for satellite internets is near, another larger mission looms. A manned mission to Mars, a subject that was the dreams of our ancestors. One thing is for sure that this space race will change the technologies that we use.
Ahead of the annual Geneva Motor show, Land Rover debuted a mid-sized SUV named the Velar. The audience left stunned as the veil was removed. This move by the Indian owned British manufacturer, intends to place the Velar between the coupe-esque Evoque and the highly praised Range Rover Sport. With the Velar, Land Rover debuted a refreshed design, targeting aerodynamic efficiency in a relatively small form factor: however aside the design, the spotlight has been focusing on the technological capabilities of the vehicle. Deployable door handles, Matrix Laser-LED headlights and smart functions are the new additions, but arguably the biggest change was the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system. Inside the vehicle, is a virtual cockpit, spanning 12 inches, as well as two 10 inch touchscreens.
The lower touchscreen is reconfigurable and was shown to be able to allow the user to change the temperature of the AC, or put the vehicle into sport mode. Fresh controversy has arisen over the use of phones in cars, especially with new laws having been put into action on March the 1st. Now using a phone whilst driving will result in a £200 fine and 6 points on your licence. This will result in new drivers losing their licence if they are caught. Drivers in the UK are not allowed to use their phones even for a moment, with the alternative being a hands-free phone. The most common habit that drivers have is texting on their phones, now with the introduction of touch screens in cars, is there any difference between texting and fiddling with touch screens for basic commands. There is a fear that distraction can lead to a fatal accident, one that could be prevented should their not be a touch screen for basic commands, such as changing the AC settings.
Elon Musk’s Tesla is responsible for creating some of the most technologically advanced and future proof cars, in this day and age, the vision of the company is much focused on the electric future. Inside the Model X and the Model S, a 17 inch infotainment has been praised for revolutionising how smart cars have become. The system can also allow browsing on the internet whilst on the go, something has come to the attention of many as to how safe it is. Whilst the screens are debatable issues, there is no doubt that touchscreens are the way forward, it is only a matter of how safe they are, and whether they will increase the amount of accidents. Toyota has placed a touch screen lock whilst the car is on the move, which in no doubt is to ensure the safety of the user whilst they are driving.
CRISPR-CAS9, contains two crucial molecules that allow it to change DNA. The first is an enzyme called CAS9, and it acts as a pair of molecular scissors, which can cut two strands of DNA at a specific location in the genome, and from that point onwards bits of DNA can be added and removed. The second part is a section of RNA, (gRNA-guide RNA), and it acts as a guide for the CAS9 to cut into the right parts of the genome. The gRNA, is designed to attach to a specific sequence, and forms complementary base pairs, to the target DNA. The gRNA will only bind to the target sequence. This tells the CAS9 where it needs to cut. The process forces an induced mutation which is the target. CRISPR-CAS9 was derived from a bacteria that is found in yoghurt, and has a editing system similar to it. CRISPR-CAS9 is currently the most reliable system for editing genes, and shows a lot of promise, due to its potential it has,credited with the likelihood of treating genetic based diseases, such as cancer or alzheimer's.
However a debate is raging on whether they should part from somatic gene editing (non reproductive cells) and move towards germline (reproductive cells) editing. Germline editing is highly controversial as the effects on the offspring are unknown, but germline editing means whatever change is made in germline cells, will be passed on from generation to generation. This form of gene editing is banned in every country, until recently when UK scientists, were allowed to edit genes, but not allowed for the embryo to become living. US scientists recently backed geen editing but have sent out a stern warning against designer babies, due to the ethical dilemma they present and what impact they can have on society. Top US scientists in this field have said that the technology is not in its prime and is not safe enough to be tested on germline.
In America the US patent office has ruled in a dispute over the invention of CRISPR-CAS9, and kept the controversial patents issued to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT(STAT). Despite this, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle of the University of California, published the first paper on CRISPR-CAS9. The scientific community has acclaimed them as the pioneers of the technology. The has allowed both patents to stand, due to STAT claiming they wrote a paper on how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used in eukaryotic cells. The verdict of the patent office, will have an impact on both licensing of the technique for medical use and the recognition of the pioneers of the technology.
Nanotechnology is the ability of manipulating and producing products at a nanoscale that takes place at lower dimensions and sizes. Nanotechnology has been an increasing solution used by doctors to treat medical issues. There are many uses for Nanotechnology: Drug delivery systems, fuel cells, batteries, disinfectants and many more. Nanomedicine not only can it be used for medical purposes but it can also help open up a new understanding of the human anatomy.
Drug Delivery systems
However these nanomaterials and nanotechnology show a diverse broad range of properties and many useful benefits. One main reason for the use of nanotechnology in medicine for drug delivery systems. Buckyballs or buckminster fullerenes are used to deliver drugs to cancer cells. These nanoparticles work as they are attracted towards the cancer cells.
There are still further tests being conducted to test for the safety of these nanoparticles. Nanoparticles delivering chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells are still being tested and improved to ensure it is safe for everyone to use. Other medical uses including the idea came up with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute of putting in antibodies into carbon nanotubes and using them to detect cancer cells. Furthermore scientists were also able to insert sensors into carbon nanotubes which is inserted into gel that can monitor the nitric oxide levels in the blood.
Malaysian scientist along with Harvard university students and experts are finding a way of using nanotechnology and nanomaterials to find a solution of curing lung disease and COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease which is also a lung disease. This treatment involves using chemotherapeutics combined into fine sprays and then it is inhaled. The nanoparticles in that spray will attach to the lungs and deliver the necessary drugs.
Further uses of nanotechnology involves in potential research of tracking and monitoring cancerous or diseased cells. Then it can be used to transport antibodies and drugs to the target cell. Doctors can use biomarkers and nanomaterials to see molecules and cells the their activity that they undergo.
Currently there is a problem of an ageing population, especially in the United States and Japan. In the United States, the percentage of people above the age of 65, are at 13%, and that is set to nearly double by the year 2050 (Pew Research Centre). Life expectancy rates are also increasing, which means that people are more likely to live to an older age, and that age is also rising. However USA is trumped by Japan in terms of the country with the oldest population, with 20% of the population over 65 years of age. Japan currently faces a problem, as the amount of carers has stagnated, and the population is still climbing. Merrill Lynch published a report that projected a 1 million shortfall of carers by the year 2025.
In order to combat this issue, Japanese technology firms are attempting to develop robots in order to take care of the ageing population. These robots are specifically designed to assist elderly people, and Japan is investing 1/3 of its budget to developing these “carebots”, but the investment is worthwhile as Merrill Lynch report stated that the global personal robot market could reach $17.4 billion by 2020. Panasonic Resyone was the first robot that met standard services; also known as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO 13482, which allows for “close human-robot interactions so that there will be protection against litigation in the event of an accident occurring”. This was done to combat the ethical issues that are faced by robots helping old people. Are robots advanced enough to support an elderly person emotionally, will there subconscious allow them to make decisions that are not calculated by algorithms? Robobear is a humanoid robot that could eliminate the need for multiple carers, by helping transfer elders from the bed to a wheelchair. Other robot prototypes such as the nursing robot from RIKEN, is capable of lifting people. Hondo have created the ASIMO, which is a humanoid robot that can help the elderly by getting them food or turning off lights.
Robots will certainly help solve the need for carers, but the time frame it will take to bridge the gap is the biggest concern, Merrill Lynch estimate the sales of robots to increase substantially over the next 20 years. In the UK, the NHS is under strain with the ageing population, and the need of robots is rising, without an alternative, the NHS will further strain and problems will pile up.
Stem cells are one of the most promising medical discoveries, and they no doubt have the potential to cure many diseases. Many researchers study this area intensively and recently one team of researchers have made a breakthrough. King’s College London is a leading research university that was behind this discovery. They have discovered a way to “energize” the stem cells to fill in cavities, cracks or chips that may affect the teeth. The promise of this breakthrough will make dental cement obsolete, if it gets as far as it can. Dental cement is notoriously inconsistent and has come under fire for how it can fail at times; along with the fact it prevents the tooth from returning to its normal self. Currently the work has been conducted in mice so far, but researchers have found some methods to conduct this on humans. This will be done through a drug.
By showing the potential of how stem cells in the tooth can be stimulated in such a way, chances are that stem cells in other parts of the body can be stimulated as well. To be able to stimulate where the stem cell actually is rather than taking it out, shows just how far stem cell research could take us. Stem cells are found deep inside, and they could produce new dentin, which is the tissue beneath the enamel. At the moment the tooth can only reiterate minor amounts of dentin, and with major incidents, it cannot make up the entire tooth. The research team at KCL discovered molecules, that boosted the stem cells’ ability to stimulate production of dentin, much more than it can do on a normal basis.
The actual research involved tiny holes drilled into mice’s molars to expose the teeth’s pulp. This is where the stem cells are found, and by using a sponge drenched with the boosting molecule inhibitor (GSK-3), cover the tooth. The process took 6 weeks, and showed significant growth with the dentin. Methods of natural repair have been shown. However more studies on rats will take place to ensure that enough dentin can be manufactured to fill larger holes, before studies on humans will take place. There is major promise into how stem cells can change the world of health and medicine.
It is very common for young children to have exposure to mobile devices and tablets, in fact too common. Recent research has indicated that many UK parents find it easier to get their children to do school work, than turn off their mobile devices. It has now become a norm for many small children to regularly use devices at a young age, and to prefer watching television rather than interact with someone else physically. Gone are the days when board games were ones to lose sleep over, and to ask parents for "one more game", now the case is "one more video", and this has shown to be harmful on children. Cambridge University published a study that suggested an extra hour a day of onscreen time unrelated to studies, showed a correlation of poorer GCSE grades. Ofcom also published a distressing report, that suggested young children ranging from three to four spent an average eight hours and 18 minutes online, each week. The effect of negative screen time on a 15 year old was as harmful as not getting regular sleep or missing breakfast.
It should now be urged that children are taught to cut down on screen time, and attempt more physical exercise, as reports have also linked excessive screen time to lead to a gain in weight, which can lead to obesity. Not only does this add to the NHS woes, but with the crisis it is facing, they simply cannot accommodate, such a growth in a negative area. Their mental well-being has also shown to be tapped into, as anxiety is seen as a common trait with those who hide behind screens for most of their day. Eyesight has also weakened with "blue light" from screens, damaging eyesight to an extent.
Studies do not indicate a complete cut off, but to an extent, in which skills are still built through screen time, but not in a way that it leads to negative effects. Screen time can build confidence in young children but also entertain them, whilst they may not like board games, a mobile game every once in a while will not damage their well-being.
Africa has been a continent that has been overshadowed by many other continents, and for time has been at the back end of the line, sadly the continent has been home to many outbreaks of disease, facilitated by the poor medical standards, which is fuelled by the poor economy of many countries. Electricity is not widely available to many people in the world let alone the continent of Africa, with Yale Environment 360 estimating that a total of 1.3 billion people worldwide do not have electricity. With that in account, the world population is tolled at 7.4 billion, this tells us that roughly 17% of the people on Earth are without habitual access to electricity. As the earth as a whole powers through, it is essential that efforts to improve life in Africa and in life in poorly attended areas, improve as a whole.
Steamaco created a micro-grid that had the ability to automate the regulation of electricity. Due to it being difficult to provide solar energy after the sun has gone down, the system would send a message to customers telling them that their energy would be cut off during times when their supply would have been low, in order for hospitals to keep running. It is incredibly important that energy is provided to hospitals, as they are the backbone of the elderly community and the legs of the infancy, lack of a hospital can make life very difficult and the community very sick in the event of an outbreak. These small steps lead to a bigger picture and accelerate the goal of helping electricity reach many people, and allow for more facilities to be built as an extension onto that.
The Africa Prize is given to an individual or group that attempts to solve a problem faced by many, whether it be medical or energy. A shortlist for the prize was the invention of the pneumonia jacket. A jacket that detected pneumonia. Statistically in Uganda, pneumonia kills 27,000 Ugandan children under the age of five, and sadly many of these cases are misdiagnosis of pneumonia as malaria. The engineer of the jacket; Brian Turgabagye designed this biomedical jacket too quickly and efficiently measure the temperature, and breathing rate of a sick child. The jacket is particularly innovative and lifesaving, as it reduces human error of misdiagnosis and it can diagnose pneumonia three to four times faster than a doctor. The jacket works through a stethoscope inside of it. Which is then linked to a mobile phone app that records the audio of the patient’s chest. By detecting lung crackles, a diagnoses can be reached. The ingenuity of this, is the use of a mobile phone app, showing how something so widely available on an international scale, can be used to help save a life.
The importance of these movements to provide Africa with a brighter future and the rest of the world, cannot be stressed enough. International recognition should be paid attention to the African Prize, in hopes that investors such as Mark Zuckerberg who have made it their goal to eradicate disease, to invest in these lifesaving inventions, which will lead to a cleaner future for the world.
One month and I still have not charged the keyboard since its initial charge when I first purchased it
Lightweight, compact and comfortable. Despite the plastic finish, the keyboard is well built and is equipped with rubber pads on the bottom of the keyboard, which allow for it to have a slightly raised profile when on a table. Upon typing the keys are designed to withstand some pressure, but upon too much, the plastic dips/flexes, but on a regular day to day basis it is hardly noticeable. The keys present pleasant travel and are not too mushy when pressed, providing an audible and satisfying click. My only wish is that if it were backlit, as it would increase the usability of the keyboard.
Bluetooth works like a dream on PC but upon pairing with an iPad I ran into a few nibbles here and there. There is a slight lag when using google docs and the keyboard, where you find yourself waiting one second to see if your press has been registered, whilst it is not frustrating it can be a bit of a pain. This issue only occurred a few times after the keyboard went to sleep due to inactivity and perhaps the lag is the keyboard “waking up”. Whilst the Bluetooth method drains the battery, it is not done at a considerable rate, rather at an understandable rate.
The battery life
Great. Used it on a daily basis pretty much, and have not had to charge it. The sleep feature is also handy if you are not using it for a short period of time as it conserves battery life.
At the current price it is a bargain for a compact keyboard. The battery life alone makes it a great keyboard for on the go. Bluetooth is the only concern for those who will want to conserve battery life, and if you are using an iPad, a smart connector is the other option, but also at a price increase. Overall I am pleased with the keyboard and for the price of £17, it is certainly one of the best. The only major let-down is the lack of backlit keys, but for the price point it is reasonable.
Apple has done it again, they have created the benchmark and have left their competition light years behind
Beatuiful, elegant and light. The industry elading aluminium design is timeless, capturing a persona that Apple has developed over the years. Thin it is aswell, coming in at 6.1mm, paired with the iconic chamfer edges we saw debut with the iPhone 5. The iPad feels great to hold in the hand and to use, it is no doubt one of the best built devices ever. But not all is smooth, there is a concerning amount of flex when pressure is applied to the screen, and this is purely due to the thickness of the device, whilst the design is stunning it is also risky. Borders of the screen are slightly large but with the space gray model it is not as noticeable, as it is with the sliver,gold and rose gold variants. Overall, the design and structure is very pleasing aesthetically, bar the camera bump and the screen flex.
Vivid, retina and gorgeous. Words defy the true-tone display, it is a feature that every device should have, after switching to another device, I immdeaitely missed the handiness of the true tone display. Paired with 1440p resolution, this display is one to die for. The only downside to the screen is that it is not OLED, so the blacks arent the blackest, despite this the screen is still one of the best non-OLED I have ever used.
Flagship chip Apple A9X is far ahead of any snapdragon competitor, with only the Tegra chip coming even close to the performance of the A9X. The SoC is on par with the 2013 Intel i5 chip, which comes to show how far the product has come. The Geekbench 3 single core score is at 3,000 ahead of almost every other android tablet, and only behind it's elder brother the iPad Pro 12.9 which comes with 4GB of RAM. Talking about RAM the iPad Pro 9.7 comes with only 2GB of RAM which limits it's future proofing, but after seeing the perfomance of the SoC I do not doubt it's performance with age.
Identical to the camera on the iPhone 6S, and this makes it one to buy. 4K video recording and great pictures mean that it is one of the best you can get on a tablet. No complaints in this sector, but who will use the camera on a regular basis?
The Battery Life
Great. In the past few months that I have used the product, I have managed to get 200+ hours on standby. This is amazing. Along with this, I have managed to get consistent 10 hours of screen on time, and the battery life when web browsing is special, it really saves battery life in a manner that you will thank it for. Charging time from 0 to 100 takes a little over 2 hours but it is worth it, I manage to get a week of usage on a single charge,a dn with very heavy usage it can last over two days. Streaming a full HD 90 minute video at full brightness takes just over 15% of the battery life, even though this will go up over time, the iPad will be a tank in terms of battery life.
If you are looking for a big screen tablet, then this is the one to buy. The peformance and design is incredible, the battery life is leading in terms of competition. There are only very few limitations, such as the incremental price, but it is worth the investment. We have no doubt that the iPad will lead for sometime to come, the only chance of it being dethroned is if Google launch a Pixel tablet. The very few limitations are overshadowed by the strengths it offers, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Since its inaugration in April 2010, and 250 million total sales later, Apple came up with the iPad Pro 9.7". From a thickness of 13.4mm to 6.1mm in the space of four years. Everyday education apps are being created, Khan Academy began a digital stage of educating the younger generation, and in America, iPads are being used to educate people. But here in the UK, traditional PCs and laptops are being used, and over time they will too become obsolete, and lacking, in this area; Apple is top dog. The IOS software works flawlessly alongside educational apps, and its simple interface allows for it to be child friendly. However many health experts are questioning the effect of technology on younger children, and I too find myself agreeing on what they believe. That technology can affect their life and health massively. Obesity among young children is on the rise, junk food and indoor media consumption is seriously affecting their social lives, as they want to play games on their computers or mobile devices, rather than have a kick about at the park.
In terms of infrastructure, the iPad has come far enough to be used for a long time without being needed to be replaced. The friendly touch screen will make it easier for children who unfortunately suffer from conditions such as autism and ADHD. Subjects such as media or art would be more interesting with allowing children to experiment with an iPad. Efficiency can be improved, as many families would have access to a mobile device of sorts, and a child could complete their work on the device and have it sent through an app. Some children struggle due to dyslexia, and it is complicated for them to write, an iPad could offer a more interactive experience.
For secondary schools, an iPad would allow for more mature students, to utilise the iPad when learning in lessons, with note taking functions, the internet would allow for a more immediate access to information. Students from less priveleged backgrounds, may not have the latest of technology, and for the school to provide an iPad for their education, would allow for them to stay up to touch in classes. Foreign students who may have trouble with the English Language, applications would allow for information they do not understant to be translated. Their English skills can be improved, and their potential can also be extended.
The cost would however be an issue depending on which model would be purchased. The budget could be extended to cover the costs, and there are cheaper variants of the iPad that are available. Insurance options can be offered by various companies, and these would cover the costs of any damages that may occur to any iPads. Rugged and shockproof cases can defend iPads from falls from a height, and would be immune to any damage a child could throw at it. Overall I believe that iPads could change the education system as we know it, and for the better, as long as the screen exposure to children is limited to an extent.
Since its birth in 2014, Apple Pay has been making major movements in the payment industry. Many have followed suit but none to the extent that Apple has. The security that is incorporated into Apple Pay shows how far technology has advanced, to the point where the pay limit has been barred. The usual £30 contactless limit does not apply to Apple due to the complexity of the Apple Pay system. In fact during October this year (coincidentally the 2nd anniversary of Apple Pay) an anonymous buyer used Apple Pay to buy a vintage Aston Martin. The price? A mere £825,000, done simply through the app on which the car was being sold. This is how far modern civilisation has gone to, only 10 years ago we would have to use cash to pay for a car of such price. Soon enough we could use Apple Pay to put a deposit down for a house, gone is the gimmicky appeal of Apple Pay, seriousness of the threat it poses to cash has arrived.
The adoption numbers are also positive. The magnitude at which they are pacing is just water in a pond, they show amazing growth since the release of Apple Pay. The number of retailers that have adopted Apple Pay has risen seven fold since the release. When Apple Pay released in China, within three days, 1 million people had registered to the system. Sheep? You might say so, but the system brings undeniable ease of use to the lazy nature of many humans, and a sense of satisfaction in paying with your phone, the cool factor is very high. For an old person, it will eliminate any trouble they have making payments of cash, which can be time consuming for them. The motives have been questioned by conspiracists, but in my opinion it is just another advance of technology, first cash then cards then contactless and now payments with phones. A lot of people have phones, it was just convienent to be able to pay with your phone since you have it at with you at most times. However statistics show that the age range of people using Apple Pay hovers at 25-34 but in the future I expect the dominant age range to lower, with teenagers becoming besotted by technology.
Conclusively I believe Apple Pay its the way forward, but I do hope that cash payment stays since every has cash on them, and to go paper less does not seem to be the ideal way forward. It is a step back, even though money has been symbolised through cash and has existed for since civilization can go back. Apple Pay is the best payment system at the moment, well ahead of Android Pay in terms of reputation and adoptability.
As the year 2016 comes to an end, it goes with many memories, not all positive but in the smartphone industry there has been important developments. This year we saw the debut of the S7 Edge, arguably the best phone this year along with iPhone 7. OnePlus released two mammoth phones which packed a punch for the price, and Xiaomi recently made headlines with its movement towards a global product launch (fingers crossed CES 2017). However this year has also been controversial with the Galaxy Note 7 suffering from a dangerous battery in a few phones which had the tendency to explode, whilst it was not on a huge scale, it was blown out of proportion by the media. Samsung are now working hard to fix their prestigious image and hope to wow the industry again with the S8.
At the start of the new year I expect to see Snapdragon continue on with the battle against Apple and Mediatek over the crown for the fastest smartphone processor, whilst Apple dominated with the A9 & A10 these years, Snapdragon is recovering from the 810 chip which was very controversial. The new 821 has put Snapdragon back in the race for the fastest SoC. Apple's 7 Plus saw 3GB RAM come to it, however OnePlus packed twice the power in the 3 and 3T for a lot less than the astronomically high priced flagship Cupertino produced. Displays have become top notch with the S7 Edge having the best display on any smartphone with the 5.5 Super AMOLED monstrosity. Beautiful blacks, vivid colours and resolution of 1440 x 2560 allowed it to pack 534 pixels per inch. In the Xiaomi department the Mi Mix stole headlines with a gorgeous display with a 91.3% screen to body ratio, creating the best looking phone ever made. Despite all of the battling the best smartphone of the year has to go to the S7 Edge, closely followed by the innovative 7 Plus. The S7 Edge ticked all the boxes except for the price, but considering what you get, no one can complain.
2017 will no doubt make 6GB of RAM the norm and 1440p displays may get a hike to 4K (even though there is no point in having that many pixels). Snapdragon will almost certainly unleash the 830/835 SD SoC and Apple will rival that in September with the A11. Smartphone manufacturers HTC and LG have been very under rated and have failed to sell many units of their flagship phones, I do hope that neither of them quit the business as the HTC 10 was one of the best phones this year. LG also attempted to bring modular fashion and offered a removable battery and a SD card slot, something we rarely see these days. Sony also released two flagships this year and the XZ seems very promising but we must say goodbye to the Z line that has finally been discontinued with the Z5 Premium leaving with a bang. Xiaomi have also wowed India with the Redmi Note 3 and Mi Max, phones with a low price tag and amazing performance due to the 650 SoC from Snapdragon, whilst the limited release disappointed Western Europe fans, Xiaomi is contemplating a global launch of their next flagship the Mi6.
Battery life needs to improve in every single phone especially with Apple, even with all the advances in tech, phones are struggling to last a single day or two on a single charge, this is not expected. Moto Z packs a pathetic 2600 mAh in a 5.2mm package, plenty of us would not mind a thicker phone if it means battery life will be better. Overall the year has been pleasing and the hype for 2017 has arrived, hopefully Samsung do not kill of the Note line as the Note 7 was looking to be the most promising phone this year but the battery issues have damaged the brand. Maybe 2017 marks a new chapter for Samsung, with a lot of promise.
Aesthetically the teeth are very important, structurally they allow us to consume foods that we would otherwise never be able to chew in order for it to become a bolus that can be digested by the stomach. I am often asked why I would like to become a dentist; many people find the profession to be monotonous and stressful. In fact a person told me that they had never actually met someone who wanted to become a dentist, and I was taken aback by this. Dentistry is a profession that you decide early on that you are interested in, not one that you randomly choose due to its pay. For my entire life I have always been interested in my own teeth,often when people go to the dentist, they leave without a second thought, merely forgetting their brief encounter. I was not like that. I was interested as to how the teeth worked and the unique material or substance they were made off. Now I know that the outer layer of the tooth is made out of enamel which gives it a white appearance. Beneath that layer is dentin which secretes mineral substances, this element is very important for the teeth. In Scandinavian countries there is a demand for dentists, and this profession is one that is vital for humans. People who suffer from oral or mouth cancer, could potentially be saved in the early stages of their cancer, as dentists are trained to detect signs of cancer through the status of the patient's mouth. There is a gap between technology and dentistry, I hope to bridge that gap to allow treatment of the teeth to improve in poor countries which are need of help. Diseases such as gum disease can be prevented if the teeth are kept in good conditions and regularly checked by the dentists. Looking after the teeth means that the mouth is looked after as well, bacteria from the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream which could cause clogs in the arteries, leading to a reduced blood flow which could lead to a heart attack. As you can see dentistry is an important profession that is definitely as in need as doctors are, both this occupations can save lives and allow for you to have a reputable reputation and a position of self respect.
Orthodontics is a branch to dentistry and deals with more severe cases. Orthodontics helps those people who have a problem with their teeth, either structurally or even aesthetically. Many people wear braces to allow their teeth to have the correct structure they need to consume food in their day to day lives. Sadly due to the amount of young people consuming drinks such as coca cola, their teeth have been damaged. Luckily there are methods for people's teeth to be returned to a state where they are pleasing aesthetically and for them work properly.
Dentistry is a profession that should not be taken lightly and there is certainly a demand for them. Unfortunately many people find it to be a boring profession especially due to the lack fo interest in the younger generations. Hopefully dentistry will revive to a more respected position in the view of people.
Since its creation, OnePlus has a soft spot within me.
April 2014 newly formed OnePlus released their first ever phone. The OnePlus One; packing 3GB RAM with a Snapdragon 801. A crisp and accurate 1080p IPS display that was enjoyed by all of those who used it. However the best thing about the phone was the price point, astonishingly OnePlus sold the phone at no profit and this was a huge risk, but it payed off. The cost? A mere £219 for arguably the best specs available at that point. Boldly it took on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, despite being not so well known. Despite a controversial invite system, the phone received glowing reviews and quickly built a fan base for the relatively new OnePlus company. By the end of the year over 1 million OnePlus One units had been sold. Obliterating the initial 50,000 target. However not all was smooth for OnePlus as they were blasted for poor customer support and some technical issues with the handset. The next year, OnePlus needed to develop the foundation they had laid, thus came the OnePlus 2. Snapdragon 810 paired with 4GB RAM and a rapid fingerprint scanner. Within 64 seconds of going on sale, OnePlus sold 30,000 units in China. Within 72 hours of being launched over 1 million reservations had been recorded, rising to 2 million a week later. There was a slight increase in the price by it rising to £279 but NFC was emitted from the handset. Getting your hands on one was hard due to the invite system still in place, but it was better than before. OnePlus had done it again, they had released a mid range smartphone for androidphiles. A wonderful Oxygen OS gave a clean user experience and unbound customisation. The same year OnePlus released the OnePlus X which was a OnePlus One in a metal body and a smaller form factor. Not only was it cheap at under £200 but it was beautiful and fast, offering incredible bang for your buck. The OnePlus X was the quickest phone to get rid of the invite system that had been despised for so long.
In my opinion it was the greatest phone OnePlus released due to its price, performance, and amazing design. 2016 saw the release of the OnePlus 3, a powerhouse of a phone offering twice the RAM that the original OnePlus had A radical redesign saw the sandstone finish, get replaced with an all metal finish, allowing it to compete with Samsung and Apple in their beauty pageant. An AMOLED panel was also used, offering better colour accuracy. Upon release there was no initial invite system, which made a lot of people content. In terms of critical acclaim, OnePlus 3 was the best, the perfect Android smartphone. But, once again the price rose to £309 but in the UK it soon soared to £329, £110 since the original OnePlus. It is sad to see OnePlus move toward the mid-high end of the pricing spectrum and the newly released OnePlus 3T confirms this. Priced at £399 and offering practically marginal gains over the 3 with a slightly faster SoC, a beefier battery and an improved camera. OnePlus should look to reboot the X line, as they have lost a lot of territory in the low end price point they had dominated in the past few years. Notable competitors such as Xiaomi have dominated Asian markets to the point where many of their phones are being imported due to the value of money they offer. If they were to do so, a 5” smartphone with the internals of even the OnePlus 2 would no doubt satisfy many. Despite the potential, I do see OnePlus moving away from the budget territory and more towards the higher end and it is a shame to see them do that
For a long time Google has been known for the Nexus handsets it has produced over the years. I still remember the Google Nexus 4, announced in 2012, it was the thing of dreams. The price point was what people fell heads over heels for. If I can recall, it was priced at around £239, which at the time meant it obliterated anything within that price point. The Nexus 4 changed the smartphone industry and created a new movement towards powerful budget phones. Google then went on to produce the Moto G through Motorola who they owned at that time. The Moto G was also seen as a revolutionary phone due to the fact it was available for less than £150. Now the Nexus 4 won many awards due to the power it offered for the money and that simply it was a great phone.
The next year Google released the Nexus 5. Now Google did increase the price £299 which moved it into mid budget territory. However the phone was critically claimed especially due to its wonderful display and a snappy snapdragon processor. The Nexus 5 simply worked due to its wonderful OS and the power it had. The build quality had been questionable but for android fans it was their dream phone. The Nexus approach had been seen by fans as phones they would buy due to it being cheap and what they wanted. The year following the Nexus 5, Google released the controversial Nexus 6. Google faced immediate backlash on the astronomical price rise to £499. The traditional mid to low budget Nexus approach had been abandoned and the Nexus 6 only offered the Vanilla stock OS many had loved. Despite the Nexus 6 being a decent phone, the price raised a lot of questions and the un-google like approach had surprised many people. The Nexus 6 also had a 5.96" display which put off some of the Nexus fans due to it being too large, this put Google between a rock and a hard place. They could either make a smaller phone at a mid range price, or a more expensive, larger phone. So the following year Google released two phones. The Nexus 5x and the Nexus 6p.
The 5x was mid range at £339 but during summer you could pick up the 16gb for £169 at carphone warehouse. The 6P was more expensive but was also in terms of specification more powerful, with a larger display. Google was in a great position with both these phones but this year they opted to remove the Nexus line and introduce the Pixel line. Genuinely I am glad that Google retired the Nexus line rather than tarnish it by abandoning what it really set out to achieve. Upon seeing the release of the Pixel I was sceptical immediately due to its sky high price point, I believe that Apple and Samsung are the only companies that can get away with £549+ price points due to their reputation and following. I have not yet got my hands on either the Pixel or Pixel XL but based on the design that they have, I am wary of Google being accused of copying Apple. The new approach will no doubt be questioned more and more, but I have very little doubt that the Pixel will be criticised over its performance as a phone rather the mindset of Google will be questioned. Rather I am hoping that Google will reintroduce a Nexus line alongside in order to battle against the OnePlus and ZTE phones. The Nexus line will also fulfil the hearts of true android fans who have wanted a vanilla nexus at a medium price point with great specifications.