Few figures in the modern age have caused such controversy as Edward Snowden. Since the former CIA employee revealed America's widespread surveillance activities he's been branded a traitor, a whistleblower and a hero.

And whilst he has become increasingly reclusive from within his temporary asylum in Russia, he's become evermore the focus for dissident political groups, social activists and even sports betting sites. So here's a reminder of how Snowden became such an important figure in 21st century life.

From his background that was deeply rooted within the federal government, Snowden was always marked out for a career serving his nation. His excellence in school saw him quickly find success in the world of computer programming, and once enlisted as a special forces candidate in the US Army reserve, he quickly came to the attention of the CIA.

Snowden's activities with the CIA were relatively short-lived. And after a two years operating on computer security systems in Switzerland, he found a new position as a contractor for Dell advising National Security Agency officials on how to protect their devices from hacking.

It was during this time that Snowden became involved in the agency's cyber counter-intelligence affairs and made the startling discovery regarding the government's electronic spying programmes. Having downloaded thousands of confidential documents, Snowden alerted journalists working for several of the world's largest media institutions who revealed the alleged government misconduct.

The stories immediately became a global sensation that reached far beyond the newspaper headlines. Already there is an Oliver Stone movie in the pipeline that is due for release this winter, and Betway even have an open betting market for Edward Snowden that posits a number of scenarios for this controversial figure alongside other topical odds relating to the American presidential election and even the upcoming EU referendum.

Key amongst Snowden's revelations were the fact that the National Security Agency had been snooping on the phone records of its citizens with the assistance of the nation's leading telecommunications networks. Similarly, it was understood that the agency used a secretive program called PRISM to access the servers of the world's largest technological companies such as Google and Facebook.

The international scope of the surveillance programme also proved alarming with the NSA working with British agencies to tap fibre-optic cables in order to intercept data from around the world. And many international relations were also soured with the revelations that America had spied on many world leaders who were supposedly allies of the nation.

Since then, Snowden has found temporary refuge in Russia, but with his current visa due to expire soon, it will be a tough bet to figure out where he'll emerge next.

The Web Orchard, one of the region’s leading website developers who are based in Shrewsbury, have recently been delivering support to their growing number of international clients. 

A project funded by the World Bank targeting Women in Iraq, is amongst the latest organisations to benefit from The Web Orchards managed hosting, aiming to solve any technical issues and user support requests. 

Speaking in regards to the Nina-Iraq website, Pete White says “Nina-Iraq represents the heart of enterprise and the spirit of Iraq. It is great for us to be able to share our technical abilities and expand our services, into other countries from our operating base in the heart of Shrewsbury.”

Website hosting and ongoing technical support are just two areas where The Web Orchard excel in supporting numerous renowned companies.

For more information on The Web Orchard and their web services, visit www.theweborchard.com, to see the Nina-Iraq website, take a look at www.nina-iraq.com 

New gadgets to look out for

By Pete | @kingpetey | 18 Sep 2015

When it comes to technology, it is moving in the forward direct swiftly. We witness upgrades in a number of gadgets and new announcements are made months before the release.

So, now let's look at some of the gadgets and technology trends.

Virtual reality

After expanded reality, the next big thing that will be seen in the coming years is virtual reality. You will be able to experience sound and sight through gadgets. Here you will find a computer triggered environment which simulates physical interaction in the imaginary as well as real world. Oculus Rift is the best example for this. Work is in progress on creating virtual reality treadmill by Virtuix Omni. This technology which was widely used in gaming field, will now be used in the health field too.

8k display

4K TVs were first introduced in 2014 and from there, they became popular among people. In the beginning they were expensive, but are available now at affordable rate. so now comes the time of 8K TVs. During a press event in Europe, Philips declared that now it is time for the 8K TVs and they will be seen in the market with the same by 2016.

Quantum dot picture quality

Now this is something that you have been hearing a lot lately. Here in this technology, you will see many colors on the display panel. This is done by adding a layer of nanoparticles between backlight and colour filters. LG is the company to come forward first and announce quantum dot 4K TVs. The same have been expected from Sony and Samsung.

Android TVs

Android operating system was first started in phones and from there it jumped to tablets, laptops and now finally to TVs. Now Google has come up with smart TV with Andoid 5.0 OS. Many more companies are also expected to come up with smart TVs. The best part about smart TV is that now you will be able to access apps and games direct from the Google Play Store. As the developer kit for Android TVs are available in the market, more number companies are expected to come up with smart TVs in the coming time.

TVS with built-in games

When it comes TVs and games they are like bread and butter. Now new set of TVs are available in the market that have built-in functionality for gaming and are compatible with consoles. Brands like Samsung, Philips and Toshiba are coming with products that will help people to play games on their TV itself.

Wearables

Many people tried their hand in the field of wearables last year, leading to the formation of many smartwatches and fitness bands. It is expected that things may go the same way in the nearest future too. Sony came up with its epaper smartwatch which is called as FES watch. LG came up with its G Watch R2, which is expected to have 4G connectivity in this year itself.

Dual working laptops

The season of laptop is never going to end. Now you will soon find laptops which can be converted into tablets too. You can find a good collection of laptops at Currys. They can be bought at the possible cheapest rate. For this, you need to use the latest offers by using currys voucher code at Deals Lands. Deals Lands is a place, where you will find a number of discount vouchers which you use while shopping at the stores. 

Apple Watch

This has been the most awaited gadget that people have been looking out for since 2014. This has been released by Apple for its customers.

Samsung Galaxy S6

When it comes to Samsung Galaxy S5, it was outstanding but it failed to capture the market on a large scale. Samsung Galaxy S6 has been released in this year April. It comes with lollipop OS and super AMOLED touchscreen. They have been able to attract people on a large scale.

The number of gadgets keeps on increasing everyday. Some of the gadgets wins the race while others fail to impress the crowd. Hope there may be more in the coming years to attract customers.

A Shrewsbury based web-development and IT company is celebrating this week - along with their client, who successfully received funding on Dragons Den.

It’s been a winning combination and partnership for The Raw Chocolate Company who enlisted the help and assistance of The Web Orchard when it came to designing and building their web presence.

The new website received over 60,000 hits within the first 30 minutes after the pitch by The Raw Chocolate Company on this week’s episode - and the site stayed online and live during this surge, thanks to the planning and implementation of The Web Orchard team.

The Web Orchard built a Drupal 7 website allowing The Raw Chocolate Company to fully promote their product range, fully manage products and content ‘behind the scenes’.

Kris McGowan Customer Insight Manager said "It was great working with Pete and his team. We were really up against it and they put all their resources into getting the website ready and functional on time. The Dragons Den team said we would not be able to keep the website running due to shear volume of hits, but the WebOrchard team did it brilliantly. We couldn't be happier."

The Raw Chocolate Company received £72,000 in funding from entrepreneur Deborah Meadon.

Pete White of The Web Orchard said “This has been a fantastic week all round. It’s been great for our client who have received the financial backing of Deborah Meadon and TV exposure - but also superb for The Web Orchard, demonstrating our professional ability to create truly winning website designs with top quality technical assistance and planning.”

For more information on The Raw Chocolate Company and to visit their new website: www.therawchocolatecompany.com For The Web Orchard and an overview of their portfolio and services: www.theweborchard.com

A Shrewsbury based IT company is celebrating the launch of their new website this week. The stylish, sleek and modern new look for Information Solutions is now live and proving an immediate success.

With over a decade of providing high quality IT services and support across the region, it was time to revamp the existing site. The exciting new online presence, offers visitors with a detailed yet easy to navigate overview of the support and services which Information Solutions provides.

Businesses can discover what the many benefits of out-sourcing IT are; and browse information on cloud storage, security, hardware, antivirus, servers and much more, also including the popular cloud offering, Microsoft Office 365.

Speaking about the unveiling of the new website, Pete White says “We are really pleased to promote the new website for Information Solutions. The stylish site now further establishes us as one of the companies at the forefront of improving Shropshire’s business IT infrastructure. I do encourage business owners to take a look and see how we can help in such a variety of ways.”

For more information on the IT support and services available, call 01743 343411. To visit the new website, log on to www.info-sol.co.uk.

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