Discus Systems PLC - IT Support Company in Birmingham West midlands
0800 880 3360

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 6th Mar 2018

Image result for How bands are escaping the music industry snake pit

Music streaming - playing songs over the internet "on demand" - is widely regarded as having saved the music industry, following an era of music piracy marked by falling CD and vinyl sales.

Yet songwriters and musicians have long complained that they're not getting their fair share of the spoils, but now a number of tech start-ups are trying to help them receive what they're owed and give them more control.

Dan Haggis, drummer with Liverpool band The Wombats, is a happy man. The band's fourth album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, recently entered the UK chart at number three - a career best.

And this time around, they stand to make more money from their success.

This is because they've signed to Kobalt, a technology-driven music services company that gives songwriters and bands complete ownership of their work and a greater share of income than has traditionally been the case in the industry.

"We never used to make any money because we were always paying off our advances," recalls Haggis, whose band formed in 2003. "We'd get about a 20% share of revenues and the label would keep the rest.

"Now we get to keep about 90% of what we earn ...it's such a difference, it just made sense."

Other tech start-ups such as Mycelia and Choon are also trying to use new technology, such as blockchain, to give more financial power back to music creators and help them track down what they're owed.

Mycelia, a "think and do tank" of music professionals set up by London-based artist Imogen Heap, argues that having a verified global registry of artists and their works would help make the payment process more transparent.

And Choon, a new streaming service and payments platform, is based on the Ethereum blockchain and promises to get more cash to artists by paying 80% of the revenues generated by their streams to them directly.

It was the byzantine nature of the music industry's payments system that inspired Kobalt's Swedish founder, Willard Ahdritz, to set up his music publishing and technology platform, with the aim of collecting and tracking artists' song royalties much more quickly and accurately.

Clients can see on an app how much revenue their works are generating globally in real time.

"Transparency is probably the key word," says Haggis.

One of the problems to date has been the lack of metadata accompanying song information, argues music writer Stuart Dredge. If a recording lacks the necessary credits for the writers, performers and producers, they may not get their cut.

"Streaming isn't the villain," he says, "but it's shining a light on some of the music industry's historic problems around data and attribution and making sure the right people get paid."

But music analyst Mark Mulligan is highly sceptical of blockchain's potential to become a force in the music business.

"No label or rights association is going to allow blockchain to gain any momentum because they rely on a lack of transparency - there's a huge amount of revenue that's never attributed properly because of messy data and that just goes straight to the bottom line of record labels and publishers," he says.

While so-called collection agencies will try to track down royalty payments for artists and protect their copyright, they acknowledge that this isn't always easy given the complex nature of a global industry that now has so many distribution platforms.

PRS for Music, one of the UK's biggest music licensing societies, is involved in a multinational project with Berlin-based ICE Operations, which is attempting to automate copyright processing using cloud computing and machine learning.

"There's an awful lot more to creating a successful song than most people realise," explains PRS chief executive Robert Ashcroft, "it doesn't just happen. From the idea to the crafting, from the engineering to the sound production and promotion - it's the result of a lot of professional effort."

Better technology enabling royalty tracking and payments means that artists and writers are starting to get paid for the first time in markets such as China, where piracy has previously dominated.

Streaming is now raking in more than $5bn (£3.6bn) globally for the three major music groups - Universal, Sony Music and Warner, considerably more than the $3bn from sales of CDs and vinyl records. Services such as as Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon Music have become the de facto way many of us now source our favourite tunes.

Spotify dominates, accounting for around two-thirds of all song streams. But it pays many music labels less than a cent per stream. How much of that the songwriter or band gets depends on the deal it has with the label, but the ratio of label income to artist income is roughly 4:1.

Meanwhile Kobalt continues to grow in popularity. The firm now manages about one million songs and accounts for roughly 40% of the songs on the UK and US top 100 charts.

Its roster of artists includes Max Martin, who co-wrote hits such as Shake It Off for Taylor Swift and Roar for Katy Perry, as well as household names such as Lorde, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Sir Paul McCartney, Pet Shop Boys and Enrique Iglesias. And it is now moving into music recording as well.

The Wombats' Dan Haggis hopes that better technology will help secure the band's future.

"With any luck we will start having some money from each of the streaming services each month to keep the band going so that we don't have to rely on playing live and selling merchandise," he says.

"It's kind of an exciting time really, putting that power back in bands' hands, giving you control of your career and where you're going with it."

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 5th Mar 2018

Smartphones use relatively little electricity in operation, but producing them is highly energy intensive


Smartphone production is emissions intensive


Image result for Smartphones are among the most environmentally damaging devices,

Data centres and smartphones will be the among the most environmentally damaging technologies by 2040, according to new research.

According to research conducted by two professors at McMaster University, Canada, the impact of ICT on greenhouse gas emissions is greater than previously thought.

According to lead author of the report Lotfi Belkhir, an associate professor at W. Booth School of Engineering at the university, projections suggest that by 2020 smartphones will be the most damaging consumer devices for the environment, exceeding emissions from the use of laptops and PCs.

Smartphones consume relatively little energy when operating, but 85 per cent of their emissions impact come from their production.

Further, smartphones have a short battery life which encourages the production of newer and more sophistacated models. In addition, a smartphones's chip and motherboard include a number of precious metals, the extraction and processing of which requires the most energy and investment of all the parts of a smartphone.

There are external impacts too. Every text or call sent or website browsed also uses energy in the form of the data centres that are required to process the communications.

"Telecommunications networks and data centres consume a lot of energy to serve you and most data centres continue to be powered by electricity generated by fossil fuels. It's the energy consumption we don't see," said Belkhir.

Led by internet giants Google and Facebook, many data centres  are moving towards renewable sources of energy. Smartphone production needs to follow suit in cleaning up its act, the report suggests.

"The good news is Google and Facebook data centres are going to run on renewable energy," Belkhir said.

"But there needs to be a policy in place so that all data centres follow suit. Also, it's not sustainable to have a two-year subsidised plan for smartphones."

Overll ICT represents one of the fastest growing sources of emissions.

"Today it sits at about 1.5 per cent. If trends continue, ICT will account for as much as 14 per cent of the total global footprint by 2040, or about half of the entire transportation sector worldwide," said Belkhir.

Source: v3.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 5th Mar 2018

Image result for facial recognition gadget to notify him when his cat

  • An engineer built a DIY device that recognises when his cat is outside and notifies him so he can let him in.
  • To build the gadget, Arkaitz Garro used a Raspberry Pi mini-computer, mounted with a camera, running image-recognition and motion-detection software. 
  • It will only recognize his cat, thanks to facial detection tools. 
  • It took him a few hours to make, and the software is available online, so anyone can make their own.


Cat-flaps are so passé.

If you've ever lived with a cat, you're probably used to finding it sitting outside a window or door, watching you reproachfully, waiting to be let in. It's a situation that Arkaitz Garro, a WeTransfer software engineer living in Holland, has regularly found himself in.

But rather than installing a pet-door, or letting his feline friend wait in the cold, Garro had a better idea: Building a gadget that would effectively let the cat, called Bobis, text him when he was outside the window and wanted to be let in.

"My wife and I saw this cat through our back balcony a few years ago and we didn’t know if he had a home or if he was a stray cat. So, firstly, we became friends with the cat and posted pictures all around our neighbourhood," he wrote in an email to Business Insider.

"We found out that the cat had an owner, who lived a few houses away and who was very happy to 'share' the cat with us, who now happily has two families who loves him. So, he has developed a schedule where he comes to our house at around specific times."

Chastened by the cat's baleful glare, Garro began work. His solution: A gadget with a camera attached that would use motion-detection and image-recognition AI software to automatically recognise his cat when it was waiting outside, then send him a message so he could let it in.

"We wanted to be notified when he was around so we could open the back door for him, as we don’t have a cat-door," the engineer explained.

The device in question, attached to the window. Arkaitz Garro

"When it detects movement, it sends the picture to a recognition software, that checks against the identity of the cat based on previous imagery of the cat," he said.

If the software is satisfied that it is indeed the correct cat (as opposed to a strangers' cat, or a squirrel, or a piece of litter), Garro receives a push notification message on his phone.

This is what the cat-cam 'sees.' Arkaitz Garro

For people interested in making their own, Garro used a Raspberry Pi mini-computer mounted with a camera module, along with motioneyeos for motion-detection software, all rigged up to Amazon Web Services' Rekognition AI software in the cloud for the image recognition. He receives the notifications via the Slack messaging app.

cat slack facial recognitionThe Slack notifications Arkaitz Garro receives on his phone. Arkaitz Garro

"It took me a few hours to put all the pieces together and the software up and running, but also some more time after to fine tune the software to be able to recognize the cat," he said.

In short: The future is here, and cats are using it to get even more attention from their humans. Naturally.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 27th Feb 2018

Image result for Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky

  • Airbnb is adding hotels to its platform as it attempts to broaden its appeal.
  • The 10-year-old company wants to have one billion bookings a year by 2028.
  • It's also launching a rewards scheme, "Superguest."

Airbnb is trying to move into the mainstream.

The $31 billion holiday rental business is adding hotels to its platform as part of a major overhaul that it hopes will get it to one billion bookings a year by 2028.

On Tuesday, the 10-year-old company announced that it is broadening its selection of options available to customers to include vacation homes, "unique" properties, bed and breakfasts, and "boutique" hotels.

While some hotels and B&B's have previously listed on the platform, the update will directly list them under a dedicated category for the first time. These will be "professional hospitality businesses that usually have a unique style or theme," CEO Brian Chesky said at an event formally announcing the news in San Francisco, California.

Airbnb is also introducing higher-end options: "Airbnb Plus," properties that have been individually vetted by the company; and "Beyond by Airbnb," a luxury tier of properties.

And starting with a trial of 10,000 customers, it is introducing a rewards scheme called "Superguest" that will offer benefits to frequent customers.

Collectively, the changes represent an attempted broadening of the company's appeal. Historically, Airbnb has had a combative stance towards the traditional hotel industry — but with the update, it aims to directly target its customers.

"We think we finally do have a home for everyone," Chesky said.

Source: uk.businessinsider.com
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 27th Feb 2018

Vero is the Instagram rival that's topping the App Store.

The ad-free app lets users share photos, add links, and recommend books, movies and TV shows to friends.

It has jumped from 99 to number one in Apple's UK store in the past week, suggesting social media users may be looking for alternatives to established social media platforms.

But with some users reporting problems, people are questioning if claims about the app are too good to be true.

Vero bills itself as a social network "that lets you be yourself".

It was launched back in 2015 by Ayman Hariri, a billionaire businessman and son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In an interview with CNBC, Mr Hariri said he started the app because he was frustrated with how many adverts appear on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

But with the app's growing popularity, some users are confused about how it works.

Skip Twitter post by @blogbynoelle

By Noelle@blogbynoelle

Vero is literally like cryptocurrency. I've got it but I have no idea how to use it

10:15 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @blogbynoelle

Skip Twitter post by @Edwin_Honoret

Edwin Honoret 🍍✔@Edwin_Honoret

Wait so can someone explain what “Vero” is 😂

4:49 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @Edwin_Honoret

Skip Twitter post by @laurDIY

lauren ✄✔@laurDIY

ok I got Vero, now what

12:41 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @laurDIY

Some people have complained about adverts on Instagram, which have been introduced to the platform gradually since 2013.

Users have also been annoyed by changes to the app's algorithm, which now highlights posts that have more likes, comments and shares, instead of showing them in chronological order.

Vero sorts posts in reverse chronological order.

The app is free at the moment but eventually users will have to pay a subscription fee, which the makers say will keep it free of advertising.

But the company has been forced to apologise after users reported problems with it.

Skip Twitter post by @verotruesocial


We apologize for the late update.
We are scaling our servers to meet the increasing demand.
We appreciate your continued patience while we work to restore service.

9:46 PM - Feb 26, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @verotruesocial

Presentational white space

Skip Twitter post by @mpiccaro

Michele Piccaro@mpiccaro

I like the concept of @verotruesocial but it is so slow for me. Anyone else?

10:17 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @mpiccaro

Skip Twitter post by @dumblydore


I felt as a digital marketer I needed to check out what the fuss with Vero is about. It is definitely in beta stage, let's just say ...

10:17 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @dumblydore

Presentational white space

Skip Twitter post by @ScoobyDoofus

Brad Hombre@ScoobyDoofus

So I’m interested in because I miss Instagram, but after creating an account I’m unable to actually post anything. 🙄

10:16 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @ScoobyDoofus

Presentational white space

Skip Twitter post by @KryticZeuz


So I tried using that new Vero app... I can officially say it’s broken. Can’t even update my bio

6:55 AM - Feb 27, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy


End of Twitter post by @KryticZeuz

Presentational white space

The challenge for Vero now is to maintain its current surge in popularity.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 27th Feb 2018

Image result for Morse code shoes

A pair of smart shoes has been created to let industrial workers keep in touch via toe-typed coded messages.

The footwear was inspired by Morse code, but made possible by the latest communication technologies.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones meets the firm responsible at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 26th Feb 2018

Image result for children looking at social media

Concerns about the harm caused by "too much" screen time - particularly when it is spent on social media - are widespread. But working out what a "healthy" amount might be is far from easy.

Headlines rarely soothe nerves.

Apple's Tim Cook recently said he would not want his nephew on a social network, while child health experts wrote to Facebook warning excessive use of digital devices and social media "is harmful to children and teens".

There are many other such examples.

Some negative experiences on social media - like bullying, or becoming worried about how your appearance compares to others - can and do affect some children and young people.

However, this does not mean that technology use in general is harmful and it is difficult to make claims about how it will affect different people.

Indeed, some studies suggest that using social media can bring benefits, or have no effect on wellbeing at all.

An inquiry into the impact of social media and screen use on young people's health was announced this week by UK MPs, who hope to separate "understandable concerns from the hard evidence".

For now, anyone thinking about how much time using screens and social media is "OK" will ultimately have to make a personal judgement.

Consider the picture painted by a Unicef review of existing research into the effects of digital technology on children's psychological wellbeing, including happiness, mental health and social life.

Rather than stating that social media was harmful, it suggested a more complex effect.

The Unicef report highlighted a 2017 study by my colleagues at the University of Oxford that examined 120,000 UK 15-year-olds.

Among those teenagers who were the lightest users, it was found that increasing the time spent using technology was linked to improved wellbeing - possibly because it was important for keeping up friendships.

In contrast, among the heaviest users of technology, any increase in time was linked to lower levels of wellbeing.

The researchers suggested that for those teens, technology use might get in the way of taking part in other important activities.

The point at which the use of technology flips from having a positive effect to a negative effect was different for each category at which the researchers looked.

For example, more than two hours of smartphone use on a weekday, and more than four hours on a weekend day, was linked to lower wellbeing.

This effect, however, was small and only predicted 1% of a teenager's wellbeing.

The researchers suggested that the positive effect of regularly eating breakfast, or getting a proper night's sleep, was three times stronger.

Overall, the Unicef study suggested that some screen time could be good for children's mental wellbeing.

"Digital technology seems to be beneficial for children's social relationships," it said. The impact on physical activity levels, however, was "inconclusive".

Similar trends for technology's effects on wellbeing were found in a subsequent study among large numbers of teenagers in the US.

However, the researchers warned that social media and technology use negatively affects teenage wellbeing.

The findings made headlines.

One of the authors, professor of psychology Jean Twenge, suggested "excessive" use of devices was the problem.

But again, the effects were small, with the positive effects of exercise being more significant.

In contrast to the authors of the Oxford study, Dr Twenge recommends less screen time for children.

"Half an hour, an hour a day, that seemed to be the sweet spot for teen mental health in terms of electronic devices," she said.

A broader look at evidence provided by some other high quality studies again suggests the story is not clear-cut.

An early study in 2013 looked at how the television and video game habits of 11,000 UK five-year-olds affected them two years later.

It is one of few studies actually tracing the effects of technology over time.

It suggested that, compared with children who watched one hour of television or less on a weekday, a small increase in conduct problems was seen among those who watched more than three hours each day.

Playing electronic games, however, was not seen as leading to a greater risk of hyperactivity, or friendship or emotional problems.

Image captionParents will need to use their own judgement on how much screen time is "OK"

So how much time should we, or our children, spend looking at screens?

It is difficult to be precise as different people spend time online in such different ways.

For example, someone enjoying their time chatting with friends is using social media very differently to someone worrying about their own life as they flick through contacts' photos.

It appears to be the case that much of the debate about social media oversimplifies the reality.

A useful comparison might be with sugar.

Broadly speaking, people agree that excessive amounts of sugar can be bad for your health.

But the effect it might have can depend on many factors, from the type of sugar - fruit, or refined; to the person - athlete, or diabetic; and the amount - one gram, or many.

We would not readily trust anyone who claims to predict how someone is affected by consuming one gram of sugar.

The same could be said for social media usage: the outcomes depend on so many factors that only very crude predictions are possible.

Research about social media can sometimes help us navigate the debate, but concrete evidence does not yet exist.

This situation could improve significantly as more research is conducted in the coming years.

But for now, we will need to rely on our own judgements to decide about just how much time we - and our children - spend on social media.

Presentational grey line

About this piece

This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from an expert working for an outside organisation.

Amy Orben is researching the effects of social media on human relationships at the University of Oxford. Follow her @OrbenAmy

Presentational grey line

Edited by Duncan Walker

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 26th Feb 2018

Image result for documents in the cloud


A website created by anonymous hackers has been launched that allows anyone to search for unsecured sensitive data stored in the cloud.

Buckhacker is a tool that trawls servers at Amazon Web Services (AWS), a popular cloud computing platform.

AWS provides data storage to private firms, governments and universities, among others.

Exposed data has been found on it before, but Buckhacker makes searching for it much easier.

The name comes from the fact that AWS Simple Storage Servers (S3) are known as "buckets" - this is the part of AWS that Buckhacker accesses.

The BBC alerted Amazon to Buckhacker shortly after it went live, but the firm has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

Offline 'for maintenance'

On Wednesday afternoon, Buckhacker went offline "for maintenance", though it had previously been working allowing a number of cyber-security experts to explore it.

"We went online with the alpha version [too] early," said a Twitter account associated with the Buckhacker site.

Security expert Kevin Beaumont told the BBC: "It's a goldmine of stuff which shouldn't be public."

He pointed to one example that appeared to be of encryption keys for a cloud customer at a different cloud computing service.

"S3 buckets have been a problem for years," added Mr Beaumont.

"The search engine is the first easy to access ways of looking inside them... companies are losing control of their data in the cloud."

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 14th Feb 2018

By Padraig BeltonTechnology of Business reporter

  • 13 February 2018

  • Image result for valentine day couples

How many couples will have met online this Valentine's Day? More than ever before is the safe answer, as online dating continues to sweep the world.

But is data crunching the best way to find a partner?

In the future, a computer program could dictate who you date, and for how long. This was the premise of a December 2017 episode of Black Mirror, the dystopian sci-fi TV series.

But technology already has radically changed romance, with online dating growing massively in popularity ever since Match.com blazed a trail in the mid-90s.

Now apps, such as Tinder, with their speedy account set-ups and "swipe to like" approach, have taken dating to another level.

Tinder launched in 2012 on the back of the explosion in smartphone use. Just two years later it was registering more than a billion "swipes" a day.

In America's last presidential election, the Democratic campaign logo encouraged voters to "swipe right for Hillary".

Jordan Brown, a 24-year-old blogger, says she "had a bit of a swipe" in October 2016, and met her current boyfriend, who lived an hour-and-a-half away. She would not have met him otherwise, she says, adding that the two bonded over a shared love of Disney.

When 30-year-old Sara Scarlett moved to Dubai in 2015, she joined Tinder to meet new people. She met her last boyfriend after a month. But converting swipes to dates can be difficult, she says.

"You spend ages chatting to these guys and then they don't even want to go for a coffee," she says.

Swapping swiping for supper dates also proved a problem for Jordan.

"There are hundreds of timewasters, losers, and just general muppets on there who have nothing better to do than mess you around," she observes.

Despite such frustrations, dating apps have grown relentlessly. Worldwide spend was £234m in 2016, but nearly double that - £448m - in 2017, says app research firm App Annie.

Pew Research found that 59% of adults now think online dating is a good way to meet people. Even in 2005, 20% of same-sex couples were meeting online. That rocketed to 70% by 2010, say sociologists Michael Rosenfeld and Reuben Thomas.

Online dating has been particularly useful for gay men, as homosexuality is still punishable by death in five countries and parts of two others, says Grindr's Jack Harrison-Quintana.

"The fundamental reason dating apps were created in the gay community was to protect users and create a safe environment, no matter where they are located," he says.

Dating apps made up three of the top 10 apps by consumer spend last year in the UK, says Paul Barnes, a director at App Annie. In France, home of romance, they accounted for six of the top 10.

"There's a lot of money here and it's a lot more competitive now," says Mr Barnes, "so app makers really have to understand their users very well, and find ways to keep them engaged."

Traditionally, dating services required members fill in exhaustive questionnaires. Now machine learning is also being marshalled in the quest for better matches.

A small amount of text - 300 to 400 words from Twitter posts - is enough for their software to decide how much two people will have in common, claims Daigo Smith, co-founder of LoveFlutter.

LoveFlutter has paired up with Toronto-based natural language processing firm Receptiviti to create new approaches to matching people that they will start using this year.

These draw on research by James Pennebaker, a social psychology professor at the University of Austin, Texas. Prof Pennebaker studied 86 couples and found partners using similar frequencies of function words - articles, conjunctions, and pronouns - were most likely still to be together after three months.

Another data-based approach is to use your smartphone's location to find potential dates.

Paris-based app happn analyses where you have been during the day, then shows you people who passed within 250 metres of you. These people will be easiest to meet in real life, says Claire Certain, happn's head of trends.

"It's really just about meeting and giving it a try. If it's going to be a good match or not is very mysterious, chemistry is very surprising."

But if proximity solves the problem of endless swiping but no suppers, it can also mean we stay within our social silos, warns sociologist Josue Ortega. Whereas online dating has increased the incidence of interracial dating, he says.

Rachel Katz, an American who studied Tinder for her master's degree at Cambridge University and is now studying Grindr for her doctorate, agrees.

"Once, most people married people who lived within four miles of them. Then we had the internet, and all these infinite possibilities for soulmates across the world; it didn't matter where they were."

But in 2018, physical location is of primary importance again, says Ms Katz, "so you're going to meet someone who's conveniently close - but this also replicates boundaries of class."

The next tech wave in online dating will feature augmented and virtual reality, the experts believe.

Imagine scanning people with your phone in a nightclub and seeing how many have made their dating profiles available, says happn's Claire Certain.

And LoveFlutter's Daigo Smith says: "Rather than going to a bar, you'll spend your evening going into virtual bars buying other avatars virtual drinks with your cryptocurrency."

But one enduring complaint against dating apps is that they're not very female friendly.

The percentage of women on dating apps "never goes above 35%", says Jean Meyer, founder and chief executive of Once Dating. Men, it seems, often don't behave like gentlemen.

On Mr Meyer's app, women leave feedback about the men they've dated. And maybe men will learn from this feedback, he says.

Austin-based Whitney Wolfe Herd, a former Tinder vice-president, launched an app called Bumble which relies on women to make the first contact with men. The firm - where 85% of staff are women - is now valued at over $1bn, according to Forbes magazine.

So online dating is here to stay - and will embrace new technologies as they emerge - but when it comes to love, there are no guarantees.

Source: bbc.co.uk
corner spacer corner

Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 13th Feb 2018

All year round, here at Discus, we collect our postage stamps, especially on the run up to Christmas. We then send them to RSPB who  convert them to cash, and together we can save albatrosses.

Image result for albatross

How it works

It’s really easy to do and here’s how:

  • Send RSPB your used stamps
  • They use stamp dealers and auction houses to get the best price
  • The money helps save albatrosses out at sea.

Each year, your stamps help raise thousands of pounds for albatross conservation. Not bad for some little bits of paper that would end up in the bin! 

Save the stamps from your Christmas cards and help save albatrosses.

Help us stamp out albatross deaths

15 out of 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction. The main threat to albatrosses is death on a hook at the end of a fishing long-line. 

The Albatross Task Force is helping to save albatrosses from extinction both at sea and on land. They show fishing crews how to stop albatrosses from being killed and share the best techniques and tools.

With BirdLife International partners and other organisations, we're working to stop the needless slaughter of these amazing birds and bring them back from the brink of extinction. 

Working with stamp dealers and specialist auction houses, we can raise money for this vital work. Each stamp has a very small value, but in large quantities they're still valuable. When you send in your stamps, you're helping give albatrosses a brighter future.

How to send your stamps

RSPB accept any used stamps – whether common, rare, from the UK or abroad. Please cut the stamp from the envelope, leaving about a quarter of an inch (6mm) border of paper.

  • Send your loose stamps to: RSPB Stamps, PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 9XT. 

(This is the address of our stamp warehouse, not an RSPB office, so please do not send any non-stamp-related correspondence or donations to this address.)

  • If you have first day covers, stamp albums or rare stamps, please send them to: Save the Albatross Stamp Appeal (Special Stamps and Albums), RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds, SG19 2DL. Please do not send loose stamps here.
  • If you have a large number of stamps, you can drop them off at one of our nature reserves and stay for a visit. Most of our reserves will accept your stamps but please contact them in advance to confirm (find your nearest reserve). You are also welcome to drop them off at one of our offices.

We’re sorry, but we are unable to collect stamps from you.

Be a stamp saving super hero

If you would like to collect used stamps at your workplace, school or organisation, we can supply you with a collection box and stickers to create your own collection point. 

Please send your address and contact details to CommunityMarketing@rspb.org.uk, and ask for a used stamp collection kit.

Read more at https://www.rspb.org.uk/join-and-donate/other-ways-to-help/save-your-stamps#Hf6pJCR5PCIWBgl8.99

Source: rspb.org.uk
corner spacer corner

Veeam Specialist Microsoft Small Business Specialists Birmingham Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Birmingham Siemens Solution 1 Reseller Birmingham Sonicwall Specialists Birmingham Business Link Approved Birmingham Fujitsu Primergy Certified Partner Birmingham Facebook Follow us on Twitter ESET NOD32 VMWare
IT Support
IT Services
IT Solutions
Get Support Now
© 2018 Discus Systems plc. All rights reserved. Content Management by Verve Digital