The Pandemic and Technology

The Impact Of The Pandemic On the Global Technology Market

The Pandemic and Technology

The global COVID-19 pandemic has created huge problems for the world, beyond the immediate and obvious health effects. It’s also had a deep impact on technology and the way we work

The Pandemic and Online Technology

Those into history will be acutely aware that while the COVID-19 global pandemic has affected the health and economy of the entire world in negative ways, technological possibilities have made this much easier to bear than in the past. Even a few decades ago, online working would have been impossible, and medicines could not have been created to allow vaccination programmes so rapidly. However, the technology sector itself has also been dramatically affected by the pandemic in a multitude of ways.

The use of modern technology has significantly reduced the still large and negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy, as many workers have been able to move to online activity. However, this has not only been a contributing factor in chip shortages but it’s also created a potential security risk. Fortunately, workers have various means to keep safe online. Nevertheless, there have been far more hacking and scamming incidents due to the sudden rise in people working online who normally have real-world jobs.

iGaming and eGaming

Video games are now a huge part of the entertainment sector, with a total value exceeding that of Hollywood. Running the gamut from bright and cheery games for kids through to grim and gritty stories with all the acting, plot, and musical accomplishments of blockbuster movies, video games have had a very mixed time during the pandemic. On the one hand, they’ve proven to be something of a huge boon as a distraction, particularly during initial lockdowns which saw a combination of disrupted sporting schedules and a large proportion of the workforce stuck at home. However, the healthcare crisis has also coincided with the launch of a new console generation for both Playstation and Xbox, which has been less than ideal and made game development far trickier. Limited supplies of both new consoles coupled with widespread scalping have created significant shortages both at launch and months down the line, driving up second-hand prices and denying many gamers the chance to get their hands on the latest tech.

Businesses that are strictly land-based and offline including casinos have been dramatically affected, particularly when online casino alternatives exist. In much the same way, while traditional sports had their schedules hugely disturbed, eSports (competitive video games) have seen a surge in interest.

Rising Robotics and Chip Shortages

This double-edged sword has been reflected more broadly in the way technology has been utilized to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the general economy, according to Professor Phillip Brown of Cardiff University. Increasing demand for robotics has been seen with companies that produce so-called cobots (collaborative robots), such as Cardiff’s X-STK. Robots need not worry about social distancing or self-isolating, but there is a chance that this boom in robotics might strip away jobs from people on a permanent basis, as has happened in the past.

Working from home through the internet, whether that’s simply sending work in via e-mail or conducting meetings via Zoom, has enabled many to work who would otherwise have been confined at home and unable to earn. However, there have been some knock-on effects, beyond the psychological stress that many have felt. The surge in working from home has put pressure on the supply of laptops, driving up prices. At the same time, there’s been a shortage of computer chips, making it difficult for people to upgrade or replace their existing hardware. Three-quarters of semi-conductors come from sources in East Asia, with many made in Taiwan. Given an increasingly bellicose Chinese approach to the island, this has increased fears the supply could end up being subject to disruption in the future, whether due to blockade or outright war. Although firms are doing their best to ramp up supplies, this shortage is expected to continue throughout most of 2021 and perhaps into 2022 as well.

A Mixed Picture for the Future

The world of work has been significantly shaken up by the effects of both the pandemic and countermeasures (particularly lockdowns). This has led to an unusual divergence in economic activity, with some sectors practically on ice for prolonged periods (hospitality especially) and others entering a boom period (manufacturers of PPE). Those able to work from home have done so, with commuting off the table, and this may have long-term implications for the world of work that lasts beyond the pandemic. In cases where work cannot simply be shifted from offline to online, many workers have been forced to explore new employment options

Experts in technology, social change, and communications were canvassed by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center with a view to understanding what the prolonged impact of the pandemic might be on society and the way we work. One serious negative aspect that was predicted by many respondents was increasing divergence between a smaller number of well-connected and technologically astute individuals who will do better, and a larger number of people who have less technological proficiency and may find it difficult to compete for jobs as increasing numbers of employment opportunities are lost to robots, AI, or otherwise eliminated by progress in technology. Alarmingly, the spread of misinformation was another commonly held and negative prediction, which is not helped by the rising power of large firms due to the increasing potential of AI.

However, it’s not all bad news. Increased flexibility through more remote working can improve the balance between work and life for many. Of those queried, 47% of experts said life would be worse for most people in 2025 compared to pre-pandemic, but 39% said it would be better for most people.

Technology has allowed us to collectively weather the pandemic storm far better than we would have in the past but at the cost of reducing chip availability and seeing some jobs be lost to advancing AI and robotics. Looking to the future, with or without a pandemic technology will continue to dramatically alter the shape of the economy, to the benefit of some and the detriment of others.

Smartwatch

Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Smartwatch

A smartwatch is a large purchase for many people. Most smartwatches will cost several hundred dollars, which is a significant amount of money for people that may not always wear a watch, or use less expensive watches. For this cost, you have to factor in the different features that a watch comes with and how they are made. It is always best to do your research to know what you are buying and if it is worth your money. Here are some important factors to consider when buying a smartwatch.

Battery Life

When choosing a smartwatch, one of the things that you want to consider is battery life. You want to know how long a charge will last and how often you have to recharge it. Of course, this will be impacted by certain features and settings you have that could drain more battery life out of your smartwatch, varying the daily lifespan, however, it shouldn’t change it too much. 

Brand Name and Quality

One factor that you want to think about when purchasing a smartwatch is the brand of the device. Brand names are often associated with higher costs, and the reason for this is often because they are associated with higher standards of quality. There are plenty of smartwatches available on the market, available at a wide range of prices. These prices often are associated with how they are built and the parts they are made from. Purchasing from well-known smartwatch brands and manufacturers can provide you a peace of mind to feel confident in the product you use.

Exercise Modes and Fitness Tracking

The popularity of active living and overall concern for health and wellbeing has translated to plenty of accessories, and ultimately to fitness watches. If you are someone that works out frequently, or exercises with long runs or walks, having a smartwatch with similar fitness tracking capabilities is an important factor that you must consider as well. Fitness watches have modes that track specific exercises to ensure that you have the statistics of your workouts. 

Additionally, you can track steps as well as other important variables like heart rate or calories burned. For runners and cyclists that prefer to exercise outdoors and not on a stationary device, GPS tracking provides a way to map your routes, encouraging you to maintain and eventually increase your fitness goals. This is something that you should look for when selecting a smartwatch.

Sleep Tracking

Along with tracking different exercises and the statistics associated with them, another popular feature that is important for many trackers is the ability to record and relay information that is associated with your sleep. Sleep plays such a key role in your overall health and wellbeing, and more and more people are starting to take an active role in trying to improve and maintain their sleep for a healthy lifestyle. Smartwatches, like other fitness trackers, utilize your heart rate to determine your sleep state. You can then use this information to understand if you are getting enough rest or if you need to make adjustments to your sleep habits.

Text Messaging and Notifications

Smartwatches come with so many different features. One of the aspects and factors you want to consider is the ability to work with text and call notifications and features. Some watches allow you to utilize the watch itself to text, while others simply let you read your messages. Most smartwatches will enable you to answer calls as well. It is important to consider your needs and preferences using this guide in order to identify your requirements in a smart device. Then you will be able to determine which smartwatch is right for you.

Payment Capabilities

Another feature that is extremely helpful to have is the ability to pay using your watch. This is an innovative technology that is perfect for active people who want to reduce the number of items they carry with them to the gym, while also wanting to have the freedom to stop by a grocery market or store and pick something up, such as a meal, or simply doing a quick errand. This is also a way to go contactless, not only reducing the belongings you carry with you, but a cool feature that makes everything more accessible and futuristic. 

A smartwatch may feel expensive, especially in comparison to more traditional wristwatches. However, the cost incorporates many features and technologies that are unique to these devices. Each person has different needs when it comes to the features they are looking for in their watches, as well as different aesthetic preferences to consider as well. Ultimately, you want to factor in all the important elements to determine what best suits your needs.

Essential-Tools-For-Electricians

What Are The Essential Tools For Electricians?

Electrical work can be hard to accomplish if you don’t have the right tools and equipment. Many skilled workers, including electricians, rely on tools to improve their jobs’ accuracy, comfort, and safety. While there are numerous electrical devices out there in the market, electrical contractors can’t do without the basic electrical tools. Today’s electrical contractors need to be more versatile than ever before to carry out a variety of installations professionally. Here are the top must-have tools for electricians. 

Pliers and screwdrivers

Pliers find use in several electrical applications, and they are critical devices to any electrician. Cutting pliers are normally used for cutting wires, griping, as well as twisting and straightening cables. A fully prepared electrician never walks out without packing pliers in their tools box. Needle-nose pliers and side-cutting pliers are also commonly used for tightening locknuts and fittings. Screwdrivers often work hand-in-hand with pliers. Electrical contractors use various screwdrivers to carry out tasks like fastening and loosening pieces of hardware. Professional electricians invest in adaptable and versatile screwdrivers with interchangeable bits. These ensure that the electrician doesn’t get stuck somewhere from no proper maintenance for tools.

Electrical contractor software

Thanks to advancements in software development, electricians can say goodbye to the olden days when they would haul clipboards around and burden homeowners with scribbled-on estimates. By using cloud-based electrical contractor software solutions, electricians can equip themselves with efficient tools to manage their customer service, sales, and invoicing, among other things. Investing in comprehensive residential and commercial electrical software can increase the ROI of your electrical company.

Voltage tester and terminal block

To be able to perform electrical testing and troubleshooting, electricians usually have to cut off the power supply to certain parts of a property (through the circuit breakers). A hand-held voltage tester is one handy electrical device that electricians use to test electrical outlets for power. Furthermore, a 12v rocker switch is another essential electrical component that allows power to be turned on or off in homes.  Besides ensuring that it’s safe to work on circuits, voltage testers allow electricians to confirm whether the power has been restored to a component. Electrical workers also use terminal blocks to connect wiring to the ground. These modular devices are helpful for grouping multiple wires together. 

Measuring devices and power drills

In recent years, laser measuring tools are gaining popularity in the electrical industry. Few electricians would feel comfortable stepping out without a basic tape measure. Measuring tapes with rare earth magnetic strips allow for fast one-person measurements. Power drills are equally vital to the average electrical technician. The type of power drill you use may depend on the nature of the material you want to drill. For fastening purposes, low-voltage cordless drills may be used for drilling holes in concrete. Cordless drills that come with long-lasting batteries and maximum torque from high-end motors make things easier for many electricians. Having multipurpose electrical tools can reduce the number of devices an electrician may have to carry for a job.

Relationship-With-Your-Electronics

Tips For Having A Healthy Relationship With Your Electronics

Electronics are all around us and although they provide a multitude of uses for us as humans, they can be something that we can often be too reliant on. It’s important to try and balance your relationship with these electronics so that you can function without them where possible. With that being said, here are some tips for having a healthy relationship with your electronics. In an age where technology is everywhere, it’s important to have some control over it.

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Monitor Your Usage

Firstly, it’s important to be aware of your usage. Most of your electronics like your computer or your phone will be monitoring how much time you spend on these devices. This is information that is definitely worth you knowing too. It can be helpful to see just how much or little you are using of your electronics as it might inspire you to make conscious changes to how you use your tech. For some, it might not be that surprising, but nowadays with so many of us active online, it’s likely to be a higher amount of time spent than you’d expected. 

If you’re looking to see your usage, then check on the settings part of your app and that should have a section to tell you about your usage of the phone. It can also be broken down into areas like the internet, social media, emails, etc. That way, you can find out which area is doing the most damage in terms of trying to gain your attention.

Take Breaks

Breaks are definitely important when you’re trying to have a healthy relationship with your electronics. Whether you’re working at the desk in your office or endlessly scrolling through your social media channels whilst commuting, it’s important to give yourself a break. Too much time spent on these electronics are likely going to give you a headache and can also do some harm to your eyes too.

A lot of these electronic devices have blue light and this can cause some strain on your eyes, leaving them dry and sore. It’s not something that’s pleasant to deal with and the more you strain your eyes, the worst it will get. It’s worth looking at a site like https://www.eyeglasses.com when it comes to shopping for the right eyewear. Having glasses that block out the effects of blue light can be very beneficial. It’s especially so if you’re someone who has a lot of time spent in front of a computer for work.

Challenge Yourself To Leave Electronics Alone

Have you ever challenged to leave your electronics alone? It might not be for a week but perhaps a day or even just a few hours? However long you’ve gone without it, it’s something that you can always work on bettering. It’s especially the case if you have a habit of picking up your phone every five minutes. Even though many would consider something like a phone to be an extra part of your body, it’s good to try and leave it alone to give yourself a rest. 

If you’ve not challenged yourself before, see how long you can go, to begin with. Perhaps it’s a good idea to start off with short intervals and then make them longer. That way, you’re not going cold turkey if you’re someone that is particularly reliant on their phone or computer.

Manage Notifications

Managing your notifications is something that you certainly want to try and do in order to take control of the electronics. Notifications are made by apps and your phone or device in order to capture your attention. They are a distraction, and likely you’ve found yourself distracted when it comes to your phone or device when you hear that familiar ping sound. With that being said, it’s a good idea to try and manage your notifications by either limiting what pops up or perhaps removing the notification option altogether.

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Although that’s likely to be a frustration for the apps and devices that rely on the notifications, it’s still something that can be healthy to do in order to stop yourself from looking at your electronics.

Have A Digital Detox

A digital detox is something you want to try and do every so often because the results of it can feel so good! A digital detox is where you ditch all of your techs for a period of time. Whether you focus on just your phone or all devices, it’s healthy to hit the reset button and to focus on making yourself feel better. Things like social media can be all-consuming, and it’s important to hit pause when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or perhaps emotionally affected by your phone and the online world.

At the end of the day, you’re the one in control and so if you need to stop for a while and have a detox from the digital side of life, then you can. It might be something you do for 24 hours or perhaps maybe for a week or two. It’s certainly going to help you bounce back refreshed and ready to go again.

Create Positivity Across Your Feeds

Your social feeds influence others, whether you have a big following or not. And as a result, we all have a responsibility to post authentic content where we can to show that real life isn’t all photoshopped and perfect. Not only that but spreading positivity is infectious, and it’s much better than trolling or putting someone else down. There’s enough negativity in the world, and more is not needed. So with that being said, try to create more positivity across your feeds when you can. It’s important and necessary to ensure everyone else is happy too.

Having a healthy relationship with electronics can be a tumultuous one, but it’s something you can learn to manage better. Find ways to help cope with putting the phone down every so often and if you work at a computer every day, try to take regular breaks.

Facebook 'Watch' section launches as a platform for TV shows

Facebook Soon Launching a ‘Watch’ Tab For TV Shows

Facebook is soon launching a new tab on the web, mobile, and TV apps. Facebook announced it’s replacing the video button with “WATCH” tab. Watch is the new platform for videos on Facebook. Mark is planning to take youtube by its new idea. At first, Watch will be available to limited users of US, before rolling out to more people here over the next few weeks.

Facebook Wants To Takedown Youtube by Launching its New Feature Watch

Layout and the feature available in Watch tab, it is intended as an alternativ4e to youtube for video creators of various sizes. it gives creators a way to lay out their videos, series of episodes in more logical and well-defined manner, than the usual profile feed. and the user can also monetize them to make money online from their videos. Facebook has billion plus active users, naturally, there are social discovery features that group video your friends are watching, as well as sections based on videos that drive tons of comments, or particular forms of reactions.

Facebook 'Watch' section launches as a platform for TV shows

Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) has one of the first original shows on the platform with Returning the Favor, and while there’s no mention of Lavar Ball, other items of interest include MLB’s live-streaming game of the week, and Nas Daily, a show where the (update: not the rapper) will make videos with his fans.