05 Sep 2017

OK Google, let’s talk unions


One of the latest frontiers in technology is voice controlled smart assistants. Systems like Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana have been bringing voice controlled commands to mobiles, tablets and desktops over the last few years. However, Amazon raised the stakes by launching the Amazon Echo, a standalone hub designed to allow you to manage your digital life through voice alone. Google have since launched their own voice controlled smart assistant, ‘Google Home’, and Apple have announced that their own offering, the Apple HomePod, will be launched later this year. These voice
14 Jun 2017

The rise of the semantic web


If ten years ago you were asked what the next major trend in website design would be, not many people would have mentioned ‘responsive design’. With the iPhone yet to be launched and the iPad another three years away, people were still happily building websites that worked on a fixed size. It took quite a few years for website development companies to start adopting the practice of making websites that automatically adjusted to the screen size, a now well-established technique called responsive design. Throughout that time, I saw some organisations spend large sums on websites that missed this
14 Jan 2015

451 unavailable: Campaign for a new error message


Anyone who uses the World Wide Web will be familiar with the ‘404 Page Not Found’ message which appears when you visit a webpage that doesn’t exist. Many of us will also have seen the ‘403 Forbidden’ error message for denying access. One campaign group in the UK is lobbying for a new message to be used on the web. They want a ‘451 Unavailable’ message to be displayed every time a webpage is blocked by a government. Leading the campaign is the UK-based Open Rights Group, a free speech and digital consumer rights group. ‘451’ is a reference to the novel Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by Ray
10 Mar 2010

A look at data.gov.uk


In January, the government launched a new website aimed at making government information more accessible across the web. Inspired by a similar US website launched by the Obama administration, data.gov.uk provides free and easy access to large amounts of official data. The idea is that companies and organisations can use this information in new and innovative ways not provided for by the authorities. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the World Wide Web, led on the project. In the 1990s, Berners-Lee devised a way to use the internet that would help make it easier to share information