This is Jonathan’s story. What’s yours?

Jonathan's family

Jonathan’s family

Life today is hard enough as it is without anyone in your family being seriously ill. Did you know that every time you sneeze your heart misses a bit?

Yes, that’s a fact If you think about it, every time you leave the house there are a million things that could go wrong, yet most of us prefer not to duel on that and live happily ever after in denial and things will probably never go terribly wrong.

Jonathan is a normal teenager; he goes to school like you and me did. He love sports, and in fact he is pretty good at Karate, one of his favorite activities. He is also quite genuinely interested in exotic animals. Nevertheless, his life now is quite different from that of an average teenager with no issues or limitations. Jonathan was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 16.

According to cancer research more than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer through out their lifetime. I don’t want to overwhelm you with the odds, but its good to know that if anything happens to you or a member of your family help is available somewhere.

For Jonathan’s mum, Karen and her four children, Rainbow Trust was their knight in shinning armour.

“Without Rainbow Trust’s support, our story would have been very different, when I reached out for help I was told that both Pippa and Jonathan would have to leave college and that if I was struggling with the younger two, foster care was an option for them.”

Their family had to face the fact that they might not be able to stay together. However, Rainbow trust was able to deliver a personalised program that assists the whole family.

The Sibling support program provides support workers to help the remaining siblings as well as offer counselling and whatever is needed to the rest of the family.

“It as a bolt out of the blue when we found out he had cancer and I wasn’t sure how I would cope as a single mum. I’ve got Jonathan’s older sister, Pippa, 18, who is a massive help but has her own life as well as the two younger ones, Holly, 14 and Marcus, 11,” She says.

Without Rainbow Trust there lives could have been torn apart. What about you? What can you do to help change lives?

Donate at Rainbowtrust.org.uk and help change other families lives today.

Africa: Over five Decades of Aid

By Nayara F Chaves

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

In an office teeming with books and covered in a thin layer of dust at the Society of African Studies, Dr Zoe Marriage starts to describe the wondrous route of Africa’s troubled past. Dr Marriage has travelled extensively throughout Africa; she has carefully examined the consequences of civil wars and internal conflicts that plague the continent.

“Amongst the evils that Africa suffered throughout the years there is three that tell the history of the continent: first, powerful nations decided to take the people from the continent and take them somewhere else, and that was slavery. But then they thought: oh, that’s not fair, let the people stay here but we will take the continent, and that was colonialism. Fair enough, we cannot do that either so we must find a way to exert some other form of power: and then development was born,” she says.

By the end of the nineteenth century Europeans had discovered the magnificence of the African continent, hazarding claims throughout its territories. In cities all around Europe the powerful and privileged argued hotly over divisions and all that could be gained from the vast, newly found terra incognita. Yet Europeans had a very poor knowledge of the vastness of the continent and the different people that inhabited it.

Some might say that the problems colonialism triggered can still be seen in the myriad of futile wars that still plague some countries to this day.

“When countries are doing dealings with each other they do not just go and do as they please in another country. That’s about sovereign territory and the right of the sovereign over their population. From the start there has been a substantial violation of that and that’s a key reason why countries in Africa today are not able to operate on an equal footing, everything was destabilized by foreign intervention,” says Dr Marriage.

Even though Africa has many different aspects and great diversity, African countries have a lot more in common than just their colonial history. Their states suffered most of the same problems and difficulties – it is striking to see that most African countries faced more or less the same hardships across the continent.

According to Dr Marriage, if you look at the whole world you can see where development has worked, and the only place is Europe: that’s the only place where aid has been successfully used, through the Marshall Plan. However, she says this was politically motivated to maintain European opposition to Communism during the cold war.

“Development has its own agenda; if you look at other countries like Korea, China, India, those countries developed. The ones that have grown weren’t dependent on aid and the ones that didn’t grow received large sums, and that’s the case of Africa,” she says.

Hope for schools

Hope for schools

Why is Africa still struggling after 50 years of aid?

 In August 1999, two stowaway boys from West Africa were found dead in an Airbus in Brussels. According to reports, the boys sneaked into the undercarriage of the aircraft in Conakry, Guinea. The sight was a sad one, and it became even gloomier when a note was discovered in one of the dead boy’s cold little hands. The note was a plea for help; it complained of the inequities of public schools in Africa. It was addressed:

 Your Excellencies, the citizens and officials of Europe…

It is only in the private schools that people can enjoy good teaching and learning, but it requires quite a lot of money and our parents are poor… therefore, we African children and youth are asking you to set up an efficient organization to help with the development of Africa… if we are sacrificing ourselves and putting our lives in jeopardy it is because we need your help.”

What followed made the story worse than it already was – in the scramble to rid themselves of guilt, an EU ambassador said on TV that their fate was a sad one, but it only meant the African people wanted more aid and were eternal beggars. The mayor of Conakry, their hometown, ignored the message altogether and said that the airline’s security team was to blame for the incident, refusing to acknowledge the youths’ plea for a better educational system.

This single incident is only one amongst many in African history; these boys only wanted a better education – a simple human right – and the worst of it is that it could have been prevented. How many children die of preventable diseases in Africa? How many have to go without food, whilst in Europe we throw food away?

After fifty years of aid, money is still not being used in the right way or to its full extent. Worst of all, no one can say what the right way is.

As someone who has travelled extensively in the birthplace of humanity, Dr Marriage confesses that there are solutions, but the challenge is how to change perceptions in order to implement new practices.

“That’s how aid today works: there is a race at the bottom, who will have the most horrible visible disaster, how many children will die in the worst possible way to attract attention. People like emergency aid. Everyday problems become just that – everyday problems in a far away place with very few people interested in it,” says Dr Marriage.

Views vary from economist to economist, but those in power still hold tight to the old-fashioned ways. It has been more than four decades, and most African countries have failed to escape the poverty trap. Yet the blame still falls on the same outdated areas: slavery, colonialism, foreign intervention and manipulation during the cold war. Yes, these events have taken their toll, but how long will Africans hide behind the aftermath of things that happened long ago? According to Robert Calderisi, writer of The Trouble with Africa, Africans are partially to blame for their own misfortune.

In the chapter “Looking for Excuses” he discusses how some still blame the world economy for the problems encountered in Africa. It is clear that smaller farmers cannot compete or trade on equal terms with developed economies, yet Africa has not lost out to superpowers like the EU or the USA; in fact, according to Calderisi, African economies have offered their markets on a plate to other Third World countries in Asia and Latin America.

“Most African countries have let agriculture – their greatest wealth – decline steadily through over-taxation and other wrongheaded policies. African economies were certainly late starters, but instead of pumping them up with steroids, government has put shackles on their producers,” he says.

There are certainly differences between one place and the other, and Africa seems to have had more than its fair share of adversities, but if you compare it with other economies such as South Korea, India or Brazil, some of which started from a worse position than African countries, they still managed to grow and develop their economy instead of remaining shackled to their defective past.

The future of development

 Most charities agree that education, health and basic infrastructure are the key to progress in Africa. Identifying what needs to be done is the easiest part; the most difficult is to transform these facts into a reality. If young Africans choose to remain in poverty because they cannot be bothered to work, or because there is too much corruption, how can I help them up?

According to Jeffrey Sachs in his book The End of Poverty, providential ineptitude is only a minor portion of the hard truth.

“I have noted repeatedly that in all corners of the world, the poor face structural challenges that keep them from getting even their first foot on the ladder of development… The world’s remaining challenge is not mainly to overcome laziness and corruption, but rather to take on geographic isolation, disease, vulnerability to climate shocks, and so on, with new systems of political responsibility that can get the job done,” he says.

In order for aid to work the way it should be working, both poor and rich countries have to make compromises. Africa must start dedicating its resources to helping the poor instead of funding internal conflicts and corruption. The developed world has to take its promise to help developing countries more seriously. For aid to start working, rich countries need to stop making development a business that requires payment in return.

According to Sachs, poor countries today only pretend aid is helping, and the nations of the developed world pretend they believe it and pretend to continue helping. NGOs do what they can, but even their projects can only help a small number of people, enough to give them publicity. Maybe it’s time to start being more ambitious if their goal is to end poverty.

For how much longer will relief be treated with exaggerated sensationalism? People should know better than that, or is it just easier to believe that things are working?

How to help?

Georgie Fienberg, the founder of AfriKids, thinks it’s time for people to start thinking differently. Pity donations belong to the eighties; in this day and age poor countries need more than short-term solutions.

“Guilt, shock and pity are the motivating impulses. But you have been donating to images like this since the 1980s. So why has nothing changed? And where did all the money go? These big questions demand answers. If good money follows bad, nothing will change. This type of fundraising is antiquated, delivers the wrong message and is actually a net negative for society at large – both for Western societies and those in developing countries,” Fienberg told the BBC.

Sally Vivyan, the director of Afrikids, agreed to talk to us and explain why their method of thinking should be the new way to donate.

“When someone thinks about donations all they see is horrible images of starving kids in appalling situations. Afrikids provide a different sort of approach, we want to provide businesses that help their economy and create independency.

“I know the concept of empowering the people we help is not a new one, but some charities claim they do the same when in truth they only stick to the short-term help, a much easier and ineffective sort of approach,” she says.

As mentioned before, Dambisa Moyo is not the biggest supporter of aid, but Afrikids have managed to put the two approaches together – aid directed at business enterprises to help economic growth and development.

The Blue Sky Lodge in Ghana is the latest ‘sustainability project’ started by Afrikids. The hotel, when completed, will provide not only jobs but also real economic growth. According to Vyvian, the Blue Sky Lodge will encourage tourism by providing affordable accommodation for people coming from other places, both within Ghana and internationally. It also has a community centre where people can develop skills in hostelry and tourism.

Projects like this are exactly what countries in Africa need – this way the money is accounted for, and the project respects and invests in local people, taking their experiences and local knowledge into account in order to develop their local economy. And we donors know that the money we provide is actually helping to change people lives forever.

However, according to Vyvian, perception and lack of knowledge of their programmes is still a problem.

“The challenge of fundraising for this business is that they are not traditional forms of aid, so it is a bit more difficult to get the money together. At the moment we are one third of the way there, and if funds continue to come in we will be able to start building in the next couple of months. The plans, the location, everything is already well ahead but we do need the money to continue,” she says.

Aid has changed over the years, as have other things around the world. Now is the time to start thinking differently and start spending wisely on projects like the Blue Sky Lodge that will make sure people in Africa will be independent of the bonds imposed by the wrong type of aid, and will be able to thrive for themselves.

Summer in Miami: When to go and How to save

South Beach. By Nayara Chaves

South Beach. By Nayara Chaves

London is a delight…

Shops, bars, and things to do around the clock, but there is one thing Londoners don’t get to see a lot: Sunshine.

If you are one of many that think you deserve a break from London windy streets and humid weather. Join the crowd pack your bags and let’s got to Miami this summer.

Busy and sunny all year around it is up to you to chose which season best suits the type of vacation you want. If you able to afford you can always go for the vibrant energy of high season with masses of partygoers and sort of cool winter weather.

But the better option is to go during the deliciously hot months between June and September. Low season is much cheaper than the rest of the year. From touristic attractions to hotels and fares, and to tell the truth Miami is never empty so you’ll probably see plenty of tourists all around.

When to go

South Beach. By Nayara Chaves

South Beach. By Nayara Chaves

The reason why Miami gets loads of tourists between January and April is that when the rest of the country tends to get much colder, Miami always have incredible weather.

If you decide to go for these months, be prepared to book well in advance and have plenty of cash to spare. This is a season to party, expect the beaches to be packed full during the day even though the weather is not that warm.

  • Peak season: January to April
  • Low season: June to September
  • Middle season: May, October to December

Weather Warning

Miami can be quite windy at times, but don’t let that distract you as to how hot the sun can be. With warm weather through out the year you can easily expect highs between 20 and 30 degrees. So don’t forget to use plenty of sun block even under gray skies, to get sunburned will most definitely ruin your beach time. During the low season, June is not one of the best months as you can get more summer showers during this period.

Miami is located in Florida, which is one of the states within the hurricane belt, between June 1 and November 30 the likelihood of going through hurricanes and tropical storms is bigger, so is better to be prepared. Remember to obtain travel insurance, and have a look at the weather before you book and prior to leaving the UK.

“Hurricane Sandy didn’t hit Miami  in full last year, so I remember a lot of people still went out to watch the waves by the beach,” says Paulo Costa, 37, local taxi driver.

“It was beautiful but a bit scary the wind was quite strong.”

How do you book your holidays? find out what people in the streets do to find the best deals.

How to save and Where to go

By Nayara Chaves

By Nayara Chaves

You can definitely expect lower prices during the summer, food and attractions prices are less likely to change with the seasons, but you might be able to scoop some summer discounts.

South Beach is normally more expensive than other areas, so you will probably get better dinner options going to Miami Beach which is just around the corner, and even paying a taxi it still works much cheaper. If you stay in South Beach, Collins Avenue marked bellow in the map is full of hotel’s to choose from, prices will vary from place to place.

“Here if you book in advance you can get prices varying between 100 and 150 for a double per night. ”

“July is not as busy as other months so that’s the time to get cheaper prices,” says Bryan Ward, 25, receptionist at The Best Western Hotel.

The nightlife starts quite late, and will only heat up after Midnight, so no point in arriving too early, unless you want to be the only one in the club for a few hours.

Miami Beach party…

The best way to get a good price for a hotel room is to book as soon as you can, the sooner you book the cheaper you get. Room prices tend to go up as hotels get busier.

If you don’t feel like going to be beach, there are plenty of other options. Have a look below and see some of the things you can do.

City tour of Miami: Includes a boat tour of the bayside and Biscayne Bay.

Biscayne Bay, by Alex de Carvalho

Biscayne Bay, by Alex de Carvalho

On this tour, you will see the most beautiful side of Miami: Mansions, yachts, Port of Miami, Little Havana and Calle Ocho, Art Deco district of South Beach, Coconut Grove, Brickell Avenue, and Coral Gables are some of the highlights.

 Miami Sea Aquarium:

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Visit the world-class Miami Seaquarium, the home of killer whales, sea lions and dolphins. This is a fun, educational and recreational activities for the whole family.

Also in the aquarium you are able to swim with the dolphins get up close and personal with a playful dolphin. During the Dolphin Encounter, learn about these intelligent and fun-loving marine mammals before enjoying a 30-minute dolphin interaction. (Book in advance as it is a very busy attraction)

” It was really fun to get in the water with a dolphin. That was definitely the highlight of my trip, a new experience to take back to London,” says Aaron Dijon 28, London stockbroker.

by Miami Sea Aquarium

by Miami Sea Aquarium

If you are not keen in any of the above there is plenty of other options like scuba diving and jet skiing.

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 21.32.35

Sneak a peak at the best moments of the show, in our video shot straight from the crowd…

Your opinion is important, let me know what you think of this post.

Hidden Secrets: The Heart of the Amazon Rain Forest

By Nayara Chaves

Indigenous children, Photo by Ana Cota

Indigenous children,
Photo by Ana Cota

Gisele Esteban, Brazilian environmental lawyer, talks about slavery and deforestation at the heart of the planet: the Amazon rain forest.

Under the black surfaces and muddy rivers of the Amazon, 3,000 species of fish glide through the largest water basin in the world. In Brazilian territory only, at the margins of this incredible bio-diverse world, more than 20 million people make their living from the river. But the Brazilian rain forest is no safe haven.

Esteban worked throughout Latin America, she spent ten years of her life helping different companies protect the Amazon. But her job was not only about helping the countries’ natural resources, but also about protecting its people.

The forest ensures the survival of its inhabitants by providing food, shelter and natural medicines. But these people also need to be protected as well as abide to governmental laws, which according to Esteban, is not the case in vast areas of the rain forest.

Indigenous people living in the Amazon. Photo by Daniel Zanini

Indigenous people living in the Amazon.
Photo by Daniel Zanini

 Why should we protect the Amazon?

Esteban, who currently lives in the UK with her husband and stepdaughter, works freelance for a diversity of companies interested in the Amazon. Recently married to an Italian Chef, she says all she needs for now is to spend more time with her family.

The rain forest importance goes beyond its borders; the forest is instrumental in the global climate balance and directly influences the rainfall in Brazil and Latin America. Esteban has witnessed many cases that most people will never know about. She confirms that  human slavery and illegal deforestation, are all commonplace in the Brazilian rain forest.

“Brazil has more than half of the Amazon rain forest on its territory, that is 4.2 million square kilometers in total. An equivalent of 49% of the country, and do you know what that means?” she asks. “That means it is pretty hard to keep an eye on a forest of that size.”

Follow the Link to see an interactive map of the Amazon:

The meaning 

According to a new census conducted this year, the number of enslaved workers used in illegal deforestation more than doubled since last year. Not coincidentally, the estate of Amazon is a region that has the highest rates of enslaved workers in the whole country, accounting for about 62% of reported cases.

Amongst the list of activities that make use of slave labor, are charcoal production and livestock – two sectors that insist on pegging its production to the devastation of  forests.

The government has tried to address the problem, but for most of the Amazon the boundaries of the properties and their owners are still unknown, as most of them were merely occupied. Making it impossible to enforce the law.

 “Land regularization is the definition by the state of who has the right to the land’s ownership. The first step is the mapping of private property to allow new deforestation monitoring and accountability of the entire production chain for environmental crimes occurred,” says Esteban.

Army by Rio Tocantins, deforestation. Photo by Reporter do Futuro

Army by Rio Tocantins, deforestation.
Photo by Reporter do Futuro

Find out more about the Amazon. 

In this short video containing satellite images provided by NASA you can see how deforestation has affected the Amazon in the past decade.

Did you know that the Amazon rain forest acts as a giant cleaner cleaning the air we need to survive? If the world could better preserve forests, the effects of global warming would not be so aggressive.

How familiar are you with global warming? Find out what people in the streets say about the subject.

Your opinion is important, let me know how you feel about this post.

Press Says No to Royal Charter But the People Say Yes, A New Survey Reveals

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.04.32Since 2011 newspapers have been under severe scrutiny after several accounts of phone hacking by News International were uncovered. All through last year, public hearings were conducted by Lord Justice Leveson to review the culture and ethics of the British press.

In a report published last November, Lord Justice Leveson declared the then- current regulator PCC, unsatisfactory recommending a new independent body with more power to apply fines as well as rule to what extent apologies and corrections should be carried out.

The reaction to the report was quite controversial. David Cameron was one of the first to show his disapproval in implementing a new form of legislation and most newspapers followed suit backing up the Prime Ministers opinion. However, a new survey conducted in London suggests that public opinion lies in favor of a new independent regulation backed up by the Law.

The Survey:

Over half of those that answered the questionnaire said they would feel at large risk if the press were to continue being regulated by them-selves.

The poll involving just over 100 people shows that 82% of the participants wants more transparency between politicians and the media.

Just over half of those interviewed believed Lord Leveson’s recommendations should be implemented in full.

The lack of confidence in the press was widespread with only 5% saying Lord Justice Leveson recommendations should not be implemented.

Follow the link  and have a look at our Interactive Chart.

After several months of discussion and impasses between PM David Cameron and the other parties the three main political parties in the UK were able to reach a deal on the 18th of March. The plan was to introduce a new independent regulator backed by a royal charter.

Copy and paste the following link to view the questionnaire if the hyperlink fails to work:

file:///Users/Chaves/Documents/survey.htm

The Press  response and Hacked Off:

However, the press had other plans, they announced they would set up a regulator under a royal charter of their own. According to protesters and victims group, Hacked Off, this option should be fiercely opposed.

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

“I’ve been a journalist for thirty years the things that were uncovered during the Levenson inquiry is not journalism it’s vandalism,” says Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off.

“I think too much power in one place is not a good thing, and we all saw the results of that, a huge scandal involving bribery and corruption through out the news papers industry. I think it is time for them to be regulated by law,” says freelance writer and journalist Anne Winston, 27.

Hacked off, replied with a post declaring newspapers have learnt nothing from past events and said that by rejecting the charter they also rejected the only regulation that would be fully able to protect the general public from abuses like the phone hacking scandal ever happening again.

“We don’t need another useless body like the PCC, people needs to be protected from all this,” says protester, Paul Griffiths, 33.

So, whats next?

MPS will now vote this Tuesday in order to decide if they are or not backing up the press.

Listen to the clip below for our exclusive  Q&A conference with Brian Cathcart director of Hacked Off, and find out more about the Leveson inquiry and Hacked Off campaign in favour of victims of the press.

A review of Leveson’s Key recommendations:

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.36.41

How does people feel about all this? Watch the video below and find out.

Let us know what you think.

Welcome to Summer: Feel-Good Tips to Boost your Morale

By Nayara Chaves

Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

Spring has just begun, but has the year already exhausted your energies?

From this moment on, your main resolution is to remove things that make you too tired and unhappy.

Together with Health and Well Being Expert Palmira Marcon from Brazil, and London-based Fitness Instructor Paul Mayze, we have put together a few must-follow tips.

Hopefully, they will help you  leave that feeling of exhaustion behind, bringing you energy and vitality for the upcoming months.

First you will have to chill:

Many people are driven by the need to constantly have extraordinary experiences, just to tell their friends on Twitter or Facebook that everything in their life is fantastic. Settle down, will you?

“In this relentless pressure that people put themselves in, no one can be amazing at all times, new challenges are good but be moderate about it. This feeling leads to deep physical and mental exhaustion,” says Marcon.

When faced with a new challenge, ask yourself if you can do it and more importantly, if you want to. If the answer is no to both questions, allow yourself to chill. Your Facebook/Twitter friends will survive.

Give your brain a break: 

Are you the kind of person who reads your emails while browsing multiple windows on the Internet and constantly checking your phone? It’s time to control your multitasking profile since you are stimulating more and more the system of the brain responsible for releasing dopamine.

“By including some form of exercise in your daily routine: even if that means just taking the stairs everyday, your body will be releasing endorphins and neurotransmitters, which are feel-good chemicals that help ease anxiety and depression,” says Mayze.

When these substances levels are low, this can lead to a sense of apathy and depression. So in order to keep yourself happy, do light activities that stimulate substances responsible for the welfare of the body.

“If you don’t want to hit the gym, the best thing to do is enjoy an afternoon in the park, go cycling or meditate if you don’t have a bike. These activities will help you recover the energy you missed,” says Marcon.

Do you exercise? As you can see on the video below, some of the people interviewed take it all very seriously.

 

If motivation is the problem, listen to this work out tracks and keep moving.

Low tech at bedtime

Technology. Yes, it’s a delight to navigate through social networks, but doing it overnight can cause undesirable insomnia. According to experts, the images of laptops and phones used close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep because they keep your mind in a state of constant alertness. So turn everything off and get some much-needed sleep.

If you are worried about insomnia listen to the following clip and get some expert advice on sleep. 

Performance freak

You always thought that everything was going to improve once you got that promotion at work or finished your exams. But then you did and nothing happened, and you’re already longing for a new conquest, right?

This might signify that you are addicted to performance.

According to experts, there are two types: those who do things for the sake of doing them, and those who work hard for fame, recognition and approval of other people.

“This leads to deep exhaustion, because in most cases these people are perfectionists and release stress hormones that drain energy,” says Marcon.

Eating habits can also help you deal better with agitation. Fruits such as bananas and other sources of tryptophan, such as avocado, will help boost your morale,” says Mayze.

The solution:

Be your best friend and stop pushing yourself; by wishing less you might come to have more. At the end of the day you want to be fit and happy, not the other way around.

5 tips to make you feel better

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Your opinion is important to us, let me know how you feel about this post.

Tech-News: What to expect this summer

By Nayara Chaves

googleglass-145274

Google Glasses

This summer promises increasing advances in the world of technology. Some innovations are already on store shelves, while others are still dreams –  that each day become more of a reality…

Sounds like science-fiction

The first item on the list is an innovation brought by the multinational corporation Google. If augmented reality has become part of everyday life through dozens of applications for smartphones and tablets, Google Glasses promises even more. With them, you can view real-time information on everything that is in your field of vision.

How does it work?

The new gadget is said to take normal experiences to a new level of extraordinary, just point the camera in someone’s direction and you will know all about their virtual presence. Using face recognition software the glasses can supply everything about you, like your name, occupation and much more. So much for privacy, right?

The Glasses became available this month for selected developers, and will eventually hit the market by the end of 2013. Microsoft and Apple also patented similar technology and will be releasing similar versions of the product

Incredibly late 4G 

Orange T-Mobile EE 4G Mobile Store, London, Britain - 24 Oct 2012

Everything Everywhere Limited, EE mobile network operator

Second on the coveted list is the 4G technology already widespread in the United States, but just recently arrived in the UK with EE. With the fourth generation on mobile ultra broadband you can perform large data transfers to mobile devices, increasing the connection between users. Forget the headaches to play games or watch videos with your 3G modem.

The much expected technology arrived late in the UK due to technicalities. Forty other countries including Angola and Germany are already adapted to 4G networks. As EE had a full six months exclusivity, only this summer other networks will be able provide 4G to its customers.

“That’s a great improvement, it is so much faster, it really improves my IPhone experience. I couldn’t watch Netflix or the BBC Iplayer on my iPhone before, now I just have to press play,” says Brunel University, art student Claudia Suarez, 28.

Google as always, is determined to overcome. 

Google automated car model

Google automated car model

Just five years ago, a driver-less car was totally experimental, and could not be tested in any public areas. However, since the Internet giant Google presented its driver-less automated vehicle, public opinion has changed. In late 2012, three U.S. states have already legalized the use of these cars in their streets and highways, and the forecast is that these numbers are set to increase.

“If technology is this far advanced towards cars I wonder when will they reach air travel. Most people are wary of news things. I never seen one of this cars before but heard of them in other Estates,” says Eric Dir 43, a pilot from Georgia, USA.

These clever machines are set to drive much better than any of us and here is why:

The main part of the car is a laser rangefinder built-in the roof: the Velodyne 64-beam laser, creates an elaborate 3D version of its surroundings creating a perfect view of the street. But that’s not all; the built-in computers then compare the 3D data received with maps of the place. The data exchange enables the car to avoid obstacles and respect the law simultaneously.

The car adapted with: four radars, located in the front and rear, allow the car to “see” far ahead and predict different traffic conditions, promoting incredible awareness of other vehicles and pedestrians.

“Looking into the future I think the difference between manual and automated driving will be so great that people won’t be allowed to drive by themselves anymore,” says Rashid Patel, a London driver instructor.

Technology today is a part of almost everyones life. How important is technology for you?

Take the survey below and let us know your opinion…

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