In two months’ time, on April 8th, Microsoft will pull support for Windows XP and Office 2003. From that date Microsoft announced that it will no longer issue ‘security updates’ ‘non-security hotfixes’ ‘assisted support options’ or ‘technical content updates’. Any businesses still running this ageing operating system (and it is said that Windows XP still commands around 30% of the operating system market) will run the risk of being targeted by hackers. Microsoft are so concerned about this that in January they announced that they will continue updating ‘signatures on the antimalware engine it uses to protect Windows XP’ for another year.
The already redundant Windows XP is only 12 years old, yet in that short space of time our lives have been radically reorganised and altered by e-tech. We communicate via email, text, Facebook and Twitter. We bank on-line, book holidays on-line, shop on-line, run our businesses on-line, pay our bills on-line, watch TV on-line, play games on-line, read the news on-line and educate ourselves on-line. In the sprint towards paperless communication most modern day committees comprise a sea of heads’ reading reports and minutes on tablets and netbooks.
2014 is the Year of the Code and for those like me, who are being led kicking and screaming into the e-tech age, coding is the language that’s used to instruct computers in order for us to make new websites and apps. The ability to code is considered so important in the modern day job market that from September of this year coding will be introduced to the school timetable for every child aged 5-16. Britain will be the first G20 economy in the world to implement this on a national level.
The technology has now shrunk in size and weight to accommodate ‘palm browsing’ at any time of the day or night. It has brought us many benefits but it has also brought troubling changes to how we inter-relate with each other. In 2012 the Californian psychologist, Larry Rosen, wrote a book about our obsession with technology, particularly those of us addicted to smartphones. He called this addiction ‘iDisorder’. In his world www now stands for ‘whatever, wherever, whenever’ and to stop the brain obsessing about every little e-communication Rosen’s ‘icure’ involves ‘tech breaks’. The solution to this brain buzzing overload is quite simple: “Take a walk, dig up the veg patch, have a conversation with someone about something funny and positive.” Everything in moderation; so before browsing the following websites go have that coffee break!