TMS newsletter - Feb 2018

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The TMS Newsletter for February 2018
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Stay out of the cold!

The days are getting longer but it's still chilly out there, which gives me all the excuse I need to stay in the warm with some tech based entertainment. And it seems my customers need no excuses either, as I've been busy helping with all sorts of interesting projects that keep people out of the cold, Printing photo books, wiring up Smart TV's, sorting out e-books and audio books... I've done it all and then some!

Hopefully we'll start seeing temperatures rising soon and I can start helping you all to get your music playing outside when you get out for picnics!

Chris Smith
Lead Trainer, Technology Made Simple

Notifications

I will be mainly out of action for the next week (until Wed 28th Feb) due to school holidays but I will continue to answer emails in that time. Voicemails may take me slightly longer to get to however.

I am finding myself booked up quite well in advance at the moment but should shortly be able to work more days per week than I currently do, so I'm hoping this will be temporary. In the meantime if you do have a problem which needs attention fast just let me know and we can look into remote support options during evenings or weekends.

Announcements

I will be running in the Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon on the 7th of July to raise money for WaterAid 

Being a generally sedentary chap this is quite a challenge for me and has me out in the cold weather regularly to get the necessary training in!

You can help me raise money by donating directly to my fundraising page on JustGiving, who send your donation straight to WaterAid and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

If you wanted to make a donation click the button below:
Donate

Solar Power

With sunnier weather on the way and energy bills on the rise constantly, I decided to take the plunge and get some solar panels for my roof. If anybody is interested in how they can save money on their energy bills and what my experience has been like with solar power just ask!

Free computer cupboard/desk

I have a customer in Solihull who has a computer desk she no longer needs. I offered to let everyone know about it! It's a perfect fit for a 21.5" iMac. No payment required, just collection. Let me know if you are interested and I will pass your details on.

Jargon Busting

There are some pieces of jargon which really need explaining if you are to make sense of the technology world. In this issue we look at some more that you might come across...

Meltdown & Spectre


Over the last month these two have been making headlines in the technology world and it's not good news. It turns out that virtually all computers made since 1995 have a vulnerability which mean that information previously thought to be protected could be stolen by hackers. Meltdown and Spectre are the names given to two different methods of exploiting this vulnerability. For this newsletter there is little point in going into technical detail but if you are interested you could head to https://meltdownattack.com and read a little more into it. 
The good news is that these exploits are best suited to targeted attacks rather than a widespread attack so most individual computer users are currently unlikely to be affected (hopefully). The best advice for keeping yourself safe is to update your computers software to the latest version available and keep your fingers crossed.
 

Bitcoin


Bitcoin is the first example of what is known as 'cryptocurrency'. It is a relatively new currency which can exist outside of the borders of countries and doesn't require banks. It is built on a technology known as 'blockchain' which allows every transaction made with Bitcoin to be recorded in a public ledger, making transactions secure without needing middlemen checking over them. Because of this lack of intermediaries the fees for processing Bitcoin transactions are much lower than for standard currencies. For (much) more information go to this wikipedia page or watch the short video below.
Video from bitcoin.org which does a nice job of explaining what Bitcoin is.

See you next time!

The last thing we would ever want to do is spam your email address, so this newsletter is supposed to be a monthly (been much less frequent than that recently!) event filled with content designed to inspire and educate our friends and customers, and keep you up to date with what we're working on. Of course if you would rather not receive our monthly freebie, there is a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email! If you have friends or family who you believe would be interested in getting this newsletter, you can sign them up on our contact page - Click here to go to the TMS contact page

Finally, if there is anything you would like to see in our newsletter then just let us know!

With best wishes to you all,

Chris Smith
Lead Trainer
Technology Made Simple
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