We are living in a digital age and we could question why banks still have branches in our High Street.
Some cities like Bristol and Exeter decide to get their own and unique currency.
Recently, the green light has been given to Exeter to have Exeter Pound! There is even a design competition for the various notes.
To follow the social media channel go to @ExeterPound.
This could change the way people buy and visit shops. Of course, mainly and only independent and local retailers will/can sign for it.
It is surprising that in the 21st century people are still interested in paper money when everything is actually digital.
Also, the bank of the internet is getting more and more popular. It provides quick and easy access with no delay/queue - 24/7 services.
https://www.chartersavingsbank.co.uk/ will be a dedicated online banking service for savings accounts only!
It is important to think of future businesses as being visible and accessible online. Potential customers/clients don't want hassle - they usually want a service straight away with as little questions as possible.
Browsing the internet is nowadays something "natural" for most of us whether you are just looking for something particular/specific or jut bored of what is in the newspapers and on television.
Online updates are live, fast and streamed from around the world: this is what people like about social media, for instance. There are no actual limit as you can even look for interesting vacant property listings from your tablet or smartphone at anytime.
Some are consequently questioning if the Exeter Pound is a viable project or just... a waste of efforts and papers.
...Exeter Pound will be a local currency to support local traders by diverting more of the money currently spent in chains, and then encouraging those traders to spend locally as well... Source
Of course, there always are sceptical individuals when a new idea is submitted, but it might well be worth the investment to put Exeter on a city map with that little thing which can change its profile within the existing community.
Are our lives cluttered with irrelevant items and gadgets?
When seeing people doing their Christmas shopping, it was all about flat screen televisions, tablets and other smartphones.
Thankfully, not everyone has this vision!
Recently a celebrity - if we can call him so - Christopher Nolan (film director), has declared that he has no mobile phone or email address. Yes... this is still possible. A lifestyle choice maybe?!
You thought that such people would like to be connected 24/7 because of the importance of their profile/status and mainly to ease their workflow and time management which are vital when appointments and other interviews can be time consuming.
But, He has a fair point when saying:
"...You know, when you have a smartphone and you have 10 minutes to spare, you go on it and you start looking at stuff..." - Source
Smartphones are draining and essentially destroying real communication because so many individuals are living a virtual life with "friends" they have never met in flesh.
Can online "friends" be as reliable as real ones?
There is no real answer to this question because it all depends on who you choose to follow...etc
Maybe Nolan is taking it a step too far - after all he has an assistant who deals with incoming emails.
Meanwhile, his life is maybe better and his mind clearer than most of us because he has chosen simplicity by unticking some boxes. This means he has more time to deal with what is relevant to him and for his well being.
It seems that our World is changing faster than expected and technology is taking over like never before.
Of course, we have seen the birth of social media and the network is expanding rapidly: who isn't on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
The communication is all through touchscreen devices from tablets to smartphones and eventually (possibly) the upcoming smartwatches.
Passwords will also disappear to give us a more secure way of accessing our various online circle of friends.
When creating an account for whatever you wish to register for, there is the "scary field" titled "password". Never easy to create something strong and easy to remember at the same time. To facilitate this is the science of biometrics.
According to BBC News Technology:
...The simplest way to log on might be through facial recognition - or "authentication by selfie," as Dr Allan calls it...
A straight forward action: looking at the screen of the computer/mobile phone using the integrated webcam.
In parallel, a new library has recently been opened at a university in the US...and there are no physicak books. Florida Polytechnic University's facility is effectively bookless! To be more precise there are 135,000 e-books available. In this case again, it is very minimal and almost clinical.
The Guardian reported:
...A budget of $60,000 (£36,000) has also been set aside for students to read ebooks that the library doesn't already own. Once a book has been viewed twice on this system, it will be automatically purchased...
It is about getting what is needed rather than having it to have it. The need versus the want. It will generate substancial savings and as it is just a file which is needed & a lot of free space too. Such libray can expand without worries of storage and extra shelves.
Also, delivery drivers could be a thing from the past according to more tech news: Google X and Project Wing is testing the drone options as a way to deliver goods directly to us. Amazon having already been on the case: the service is called Amazon Prime Air!
Are we going to reach a world and society similar to the one portrayed in Gattaca?
Clones aren't a thing belonging to science fiction. Will everything be digital and will we lose the actual feel of reality such as face-to-face communincation and having friends like in the 20th century when all online social media outlets were not that popular?
Will we have to wait for the computer's answer before stepping into our homes, cars, factories or even local shops?
We all like to check rapidly "what's on" whether at the local cinema, theatre or just check general timetables and also receive great offers using QR Codes and other e-vouchers.
Some new network providers contracts are rather impressive: cheaper, longer but...unlimited texts, calls and data allowance too.
People are depending on the internet 24/7/365 it seems.
A few years back, being slow was acceptable. Then it went faster, thanks to BroadBand.
But then it started to be too slow, simply because some website design studios started to craft better looking and more professional sites. Also, the popular device more business related (BlackBerry) wasn't quite the right thing for internet browsing - not user friendly for that specific task, but excellent sound quality and perfect for e-mails and managing documents.
Then came the Apple iPhone...bigger screen (touchscreen) and hundreds of Apps available. Changing the way the internet was used. Very intutive too, no need to look into the end-users guide to find your way. Even avid BlackBerry users decided to go with the almost revolutionary device, being faster too with the implementation of 2G, 3G and more recently 4G mobile telecommunication technology. The data highway is just getting better and better and the amount of information exchanged is on the increase too.
Social media is a new way to share ideas, images and to interact.
A few weeks back (January 2014) Jelly appeared. A new outlet compatible with your exisiting followers and able to ask and learn about a particular place or other random queries.
The amount of innovation and high-tech involved to get all these news on (y)our screens is incredible and too often ignored. Nowadays, internet users want to connect everywhere and anywhere and WiFi is almost de rigueur from the coffee shop to the bus shelter.
All this is possible thanks to all submarine cables delivering what we are after, to and from the other side of the globe. Once you are aware of this spider web, it is not a surprise that it can take (sometimes) longer than expected to get a page uploaded.
"...The information age is powered by thin fiber-optic cables buried in the sea bed, spreading between continents to connect the most remote corners of the planet. These great arteries account for practically all of our international web traffic..." Source
Patience is a word which is almost forgotten and fast(er) is what people want, without actually thinking twice.
Despite of getting all information pretty rapidly, people are running out of time to do their daily tasks. How is such thing possible? The only answer would be related to the fact that Facebook, Twitter and other cyber-activities are taking over our lives and time. It is common to see a family sitting together in a coffee shop/restaurant/pub but the interaction is online and all the members are totally isolated and are (almost) ignoring their surroundings.
What can we expect from the internet for the next decade? Probably a lot of changes/innovations such as the "so wanted" Google Glass by a lot of people. Could this be just the start of something futuristic which will become our present?
Cycling is becoming the thing to do as soon as you have spare time. Some people have changed their lifestyle in order to be greener. The car is staying parked during evenings and weekends. Going from A to B on a bicycle is definitely mixing leisure with pleasure to reach a specific destination without carbon emission and protecting our planet at the same time.
Of course, there are different types of cycles and riders too - it is all a bit similar to fashion with several styles.
Accessories are something to think of when buying your bike.
Safety first with a solid helmet, high visibility jacket and front/back lights for late night rides.
Then when/if you have spare cash you can look around to give finishing touches to your look with for instance iL Soigneur musettes or Camelbak hydration pack - mainly if you are going for long distance cycling routes.
People want to be fashionable even when riding their 2 wheelers.
Many years ago, individuals didn't really care if the "vélo" was nice looking or not. It was just a means of transport. But, it has become so cool to ride that even suited and booted people are jumping on the saddle to commute to their offices.
In parallel, there are the passionate cyclists who are trying to go from one point to the other as fast as possible and there are recording location, speed, cadence, mileage and other parameters by using an App called Strava. Some are saying that it is more an ego trip than anything else.
Usually, when there is a ride...there is a coffee shop break to rest, relax, talk and get some extra strength with a little espresso (other beverages are available too). Even bicycle and cycling apparel manufacturers have started to have their own little shops where beans are roasted just for them - something exclusive is always welcome.
City bike couriers are bringing the arenaline to something very simple. Fixed gear bicycles are just the most mechanically simple objects you can get: no gears and generally no brakes because the back wheel is directly linked to the rider's feet... the way to control the "machine" is very tight.
There are more and more fixies and single speed bicycles on our roads, despite of the number of hills in the United Kingdom, but this is what brings a change in your lifestyle especially if you owned a road bike with 10, 14 or 27 gears.
Fixed gear cycles always impress but it is so lighter (no derailleur or other heavy parts) that going uphill can be easier and more fun. However, going downhill can be a mission for your legs... there is always something to talk about after a day out on the bike - whatever the type of bicycle, there are stories opening numerous options to discover new hidden places only accessible on two wheels or by foot.
Enjoying the nature and going to the beach for a swim or a few hours on a surfboard is something that most of us like to do during our Summer holidays. But for some, surfing is taking place throughout the year, because it is a real lifestyle too.
In France, the destination to catch the waves is Biarritz. In the United Kingdom it is towards South Devon and the West Coast of Cornwall. Newquay offers a lot. The town is almost build for surfers.
Both of these beaches have changed throughout the years. Initially, it was all about sea and sand.
Buildings have appeared...on the beach.
Of course, tourism is important and having a better infrastructure is essential as well.
Cafés and restaurants have emerged from the grounds. It is all good and well done thanks to property management consultants. But what is rather worrying is the sea pollution throughout the globe.
Holidaymakers have to be safe whether there are inside or outside the water.
...The free service sends alerts or text messages about discharges of sewage and storm water at almost 250 beaches in England and Wales... Source
You can download it from HERE.
The other positive point mentioned by the BBC: it is interactive,
...the app also allows bathers to send a "must try harder" message to water companies and report pollution incidents to the Environment Agency's hotline...
Being able to give a feedback is certainly the best way to improve the water quality and the overall service.
Even The Telegraph guided its readers to go to the Southwest to catch the good and hot weather.
...Devon and Cornwall, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Wales and parts of Cumbria will enjoy warm sunshine, with highs of up to 24C...
Visiting other areas of Britain is good as long as you keep away from dangerous sectors and hopefully this Sewage Alert Service will make long weekends even safer for all the family.