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Displaying articles 361 - 370 of 386 in total

Fibre providers

Great fibre providerApparently the UK is lagging behind our European counterparts in areas other than fine wine and healthy lifestyles.  Plans to give new-build homes super fast cable connections are only in the initial stages, while many existing homes can't expect to enjoy speeds similar to the continent until 2020.

Opinions are divided over the 'best' way to speed up connections and by 'best' I mean 'cheapest'.  H20 is pushing for fibre optic cables, laid through sewer networks, to produce speeds of 100Mbps at a cost of £15bn. BT are reluctant to move entirely away from DSL copper cables, as a mixture of these and fibre optics will only set them back a mere £5bn. 

Questions over who will want to use these higher speeds seem to have forgotten the impact YouTube has had in the past few years, ignored the increase of online TV consumption and played down the increasing numbers of online gamers demanding higher definition gaming services.  Every time a provider has offered larger bandwidth and faster connections we lap it up and I can't see this trend abating...

Created on Wednesday January 23 2008 11:28 AM

Tags: technology web-development

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Online sales soar

Christmas was a time of joy for online retailers the BBC have revealed.  The message seems clear - consumers are switching from spending on the high street to buying online.

Certain industries lead the virtual way - electronics and clothing companies currently ruling the roost - yet all sectors seem to be waking up to the concept of online shopping.

From stationers to nonprofits, from corporate hospitality to cheese, organisations are starting to fight for their share of the online market.

None of this is really news, it merely comes as confirmation to many. Internet shopping is infinitely more convenient than trudging down slippery winter high streets. Why spend hours fighting against the crowd when you can click a few buttons and getting a package through the post a few days later?!  

Created on Monday January 21 2008 04:59 PM

Tags: e-commerce shopping

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Blogging barristers

One of our most progressive clients have developed their web presence even further this week by launching a personalised blog. 

New Walk Chambers wanted this to be fully integrated with their website, contain a Google search tool to help find specific posts quickly and features a number of bookmarking icons enabling readers to link interesting entries with their favoured social networking sites.  Comments will be welcomed on all posts, with a CAPTCHA challenge and internal moderation included to ensure the blog is not compromised by spam.

The Practice Manager for New Walk hopes that the blog will open up an informal line of communication between Chambers and the public, giving visitors to the web site a chance to air their opinions in response to subjects broached by practising barristers.   He is also aware of the blog’s potential to improve their search engine rankings.  Fresh content added to any web site will attract the attention of ‘search spiders’, especially when linked with large social networks like Facebook.

With over 30 barristers eager to start posting their comments  - both on cases they’re personally involved in and wider issues relating to the legal profession -  this blog will definitely be one to watch.

Simon Newing

Created on Monday January 21 2008 12:00 AM


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Want to lose weight? Buy Apples

So the big announcement at MacWorld yesterday was the MacBook Air - the new laptop from apple that's no wider than 0.76 inches and weighs in at 1.3 kgs. Truly designed for the wireless world, there's no CD or DVD drive and it also features a custom, smaller chip from Intel. It'll set you back £1200.

MacBook Air is the latest in a series of gadgets and fun stuff released by Apple annually, and the BBC have a good article on stuff from previous years. 

After ten years or so working on Windows, I made the switch to a Mac Mini last year, and I probably wouldn't go back now. Despite the various rib-tickling comments from PC-using friends and colleagues, the Mac OS feels more intuitive and secure, and if I'm honest it just looks a lot nicer. Mac minis are popping up all over the office now, there's one in the meeting room and they're even creeping into the technical team. 


Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday January 16 2008 05:07 PM

Tags: technology

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The next generation of democracy

Lisa and Jim have been working closely with youngsters at DAFBY, ensuring that all views were taken into consideration during this web site build. 

DAFBY (Democratic Action For Bath & North Somerset Youth) is supported by Bath and North East Somerset Council and open to young people in the area aged 13 to 19. DAFBY aims to enable young people to develop skills, confidence, knowledge and awareness so that they can challenge injustice and take part in decision making.

DAFBY members are young people from across the region and have real responsibilities within B& NES council, the Connexions service and the UK youth parliament. The young people decide which issues they want to focus on, including everything from education, transport and reducing youth crime, to equality and democracy.

Visit DAFBY web site here.

Simon Newing

Created on Monday January 14 2008 12:00 AM


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Farewell Pandora


It was sad news indeed for many at Focus Towers this Tuesday as our favourite music genome project announced its closure to the UK market.  For anyone unfamiliar with Pandora's format, you get to create your own radio stations, streaming music in the style of any artist of your choosing.  Which means you can hear Janis Joplin played next to Spandau Ballet, MIA, David Thomas Broughton, MCR or Beirut, depending on whether the track gets the Roman thumbs up or down.  I know there are alternatives out there but life shall feel rather limp here at Focus Towers next week.  Lisa hasn't been quite the same since my emo/folk/funk/world fusion afternoon...  We shall miss you Pandora. X

On a happier note, we Britons will soon see the price of downloads decrease by 10% as Apple is forced to bring UK charges into line with the rest of Europe.  It's good to know there are some people fighting our corner in Berlaymont at least.

Created on Friday January 11 2008 10:08 AM

Tags: music open-source web-radio

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Wikia Search: the open source answer to Google?

Wikia SearchApparently not yet.  Even its creator, Jimmy Wales, describes its current state as “terrible”, and expects it to take another two years before his new search engine can produce results to rival Google.

Tech pundits have reacted with a rash of negative comments, emerging primarily as a backlash to the hype that surrounded Wikia Search’s launch.  Yet the project has a number of good points.  It’s open source, provides an alternative search tool independent from large corporations and could help fight web site spam.

I'm personally in favour, especially of the incorporation of a social networking element.  You can go see what all the fuss is about here.


Created on Tuesday January 08 2008 05:27 PM


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Happy New Year


After a lovely Christmas and New Year break, the Focus team are back and raring to go. There are still a few sniffles to be heard, but overall we're in fine health and good spirits.

So what's new for 2008 at Focus towers?

Well, we have the small, but perfectly formed development team working on some wonderful new products which will be ready in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2008. As well as creating a new internal framework - to increase productivity.

Amy and I shall be getting out and about at various networking events across the region. The next one we shall be attending is on the 9th Jan with the Bath Business Women's Association. It's at Browns Restaurant in Orange Grove Bath, if anyone fancies coming along. Only ladies of course!!

And towards the latter end of 2008 we shall hopefully have a brand spanking new Focus office!

So it's all go here! See you soon.

Created on Friday January 04 2008 10:59 AM

Tags: new-year

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Business cards on the web

We're delighted to announce the launch of the new web site for Bristol based Greyhound Graphics, which includes a new online service allowing users to design and order a full range of personalised office supplies and stationery, including business cards, letterheads, invitations, flyers and leaflets.

As well as supplying a series of templates that can then be populated with personal information, the web site also allows users to upload their own artwork to act as the base for stationery items.

"Behind the scenes there's some pretty complicated PDF generation and manipulation going on", explains Chris Lugg, part of the technical team at Focus New Media. "We've also been able to use AJAX for some nice features for front end users".

See the new site at 

Simon Newing

Created on Thursday January 03 2008 12:00 AM


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Xmas 2007 Support

As it's Christmas and time to be with friends and family, we're officially closed through till 9am of Wednesday 2nd January.

In the meantime, if you have a mega-emergency then please ring the normal office number - 01179498008 - which will direct you through to our support mobile. If you could leave your name, number and a nice message, we'll do our best to help.

And have a great Xmas...

Simon Newing

Created on Monday December 24 2007 12:00 AM


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