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Don’t want to miss a deal? More than 20 million residential and business customers could be losing out when it comes to their broadband bundles, states Ofcom during latest regulations crackdown.

Suppliers have until 15th February 2020 to enforce a new notification system to help protect consumers.

With a number of consumers having passed their initial contract period for broadband, tv, mobile and home phone services. Many people could be paying more for these services than they need to.

The regulations authority Ofcom found those who bundle their landline and broadband services pay, on average, 20% more when ‘out of contract’. And those who include their TV subscriptions in their package paying in the region of 26% more.

Yet one in seven (14%) customers are unaware that they’re still tied to their original deal, with one in eight (12%) believing they are ‘in contract’ despite not knowing when this period is supposed to end.

To help combat this, and ensure everyone gets the best deal for them, Ofcom has expanded their Fairness for Customers programme protections. Service providers will now be required to warn customers between 10 and 40 days before their contract comes to an end.

These alerts will be sent via text, email or letter, with business customers also receiving an ‘end-of-contract’ including the best tariffs available in a form that suits them, and will include:

– Contract end date

– Price payable before and after this date

– Changes to the service and price paid at the end of this period

– Information about ay notice period required to terminate the contract

– The best deals offered by the provider, including telling loyal customers what prices are available to new customers.

Don’t wan to miss a deal?

Those who choose to stay with their provider without signing up to a new contract will also be sent annual reminders about the company’s best deals.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “We’re making sure customers are treated fairly, by making companies give them the information they need, when they need it.

“This will put power in the hands of millions of people who’re paying more than necessary when they’re no longer tied to a contract.”

Read about Ofcom’s latest Fairness for Customers campaign offerings here:

– Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong

– Clear, honest information for broadband shoppers

– before they commit to a contract

– about what speeds they’re able to get

– Boost Your Broadband, a major information campaign to help people get faster broadband and save money

For all the best deals QNet has to offer you check out our products and prices for your business size.

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DNA Storage

DNA DATA STORAGE

As our everyday wants and needs see us increasingly reaching for tech, the days of DNA data storage may not be as far in the future as we think.

With the number of internet users growing by around one million per day by 2025 data centres (mega-store sized hubs which hold everything from ecommerce platforms to cat videos) are set to consume 1/5th of global energy produced.

This is due to the prediction that by 2020 1.7MB of data will be created per person, per second globally – adding up to a whopping 418 zettabytes (418 billion 1TB hard drives worth) in a single year – a tenfold increase compared to 2013 (equating to enough data to fill six stacks of tablets stretching to the moon).

While not all of this information needs to be saved, our current magnetic and optical binary storage systems have a finite lifespan of around a century (which we’re fast approaching) and the energy they take to maintain is huge.

The fact of the matter is that the world is producing data far faster than the capacity to store it. We’re currently facing a serious global data-storage problem which is only set to worsen, meaning we might have to get a bit pickier with what selfies we keep in future.

But not if DNA data storage takes off the way researchers believe it will.DNA ordinarily acts as the genetic instructions for the development and functionality of all living things.

Holding a magnitude of information in long strings of nucleotide, of which there are four types (A, T, C & G). It may sound like something from a far-fetched sci-fi film, but DNA is already routinely sequenced (read), synthesised (written to) and accurately copied with ease.

In fact, a number of companies including Microsoft and Twist Bioscience are already working to advance DNA-storage technologies. In 2017 a group of researchers at Harvard University adopted CRISPR gene splicing technology.

This enabled them to record images of a human hand into the genome of E.coli which was read back with in excess of 90% accuracy.While researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research team have developed a fully automated system for writing, storing and reading data encoded in DNA that requires much less energy than our current system.

As well as being able to store far more information in a much smaller space than the likes of memory sticks and SD cards (a data centre the size of a mega-store supermarket could be shrunk down to the size of a sugar cube), the rate of degradation of data is far slower in DNA.

Being able to reliable preserve information for centuries, rather than the mere years – or decades, at a push – that we’re used to.

And, with University of Washington and Microsoft Researchers applying our understanding of computer memory to these DNA sequences, they’ve begun to demonstrate the ability to perform “random access”.

Meaning extracting specific data once it has been input to the DNA will become a reasonably simple task.Of course, as with all new technologies, the cost and speed of reading and writing DNA needs to drop significantly if the process is to compete with electronic storage.

But even if it does not become a ubiquitous storage method, it will almost certainly be used in the generation of information at levels never seen before, as well as aiding the long-term preservation of certain types of data.

For more information on the data backup solutions QNet can offer you visit our products page or email our customer services at info@qnet-uk.com

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Brunel House, Brunel Road

Middlesbrough, TS6 6JA

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Facial Recognation

FACIAL RECOGNITION FOR ANIMALS

Most university graduates take a while to find their feet within their field. But three Tsinghua University graduates bucked this trend and have created facial recognition software for animals to help lost pups find their owners with.

Megvii, the Chinese AI brand behind Face++, has become one of the major AI surveillance companies in China.They’ve created software that can identify dogs by their noses, developed on the basis that dogs have unique nose prints. With Dr Davis Dorman, a professor of toxicology at North Carolina State University, previously stating that:

“Like human fingerprints, each dog has a unique nose print. Some kennel clubs have used dog nose prints for identification.”

Registering your dog’s nose for facial recognition software for animals is simple. All that’s needed is a smartphone! Simply use the camera to take a series of images of their snout from various angles. The images are then analysed and the software determines the critical identification markers.

This method currently allows for a 95% accuracy in identifying dogs that have their nose print on file. With the app having reunited 15,000 pets with their owners.

And Megvii claims this rate is only set to go up. As checking records against a “larger database” will result in more precise identification.Not the only use of facial recognition for animalsBut a Lassie-style reunion isn’t the only way this information is set to be used. Chinese pet ownership has sky-rocketed in recent years, with 91 million cats and dogs taking up residence in their cities.

This has seen a corresponding increase in complaints against pet owners, prompting the government to enforce stricter regulations.Nasal recognition technology will be used to monitor dog behaviour. Behaviours such as allowing their dogs to walk off of their lead or not cleaning up after them can result in a fine.

To reduce the number of dog owners allowing their pets to roam unsupervised owners of these unrestrained dogs can be traced using dog facial recognition software, alongside existing data.

See what products Q can offer you and get your business the tech of tomorrow, today.

Qnet

Brunel House, Brunel Road

Middlesbrough, TS6 6JA

Contact

01642 610720

info@qnet-uk.com