Connect with us


Digital detox: Going cold turkey with no wifi in the Lake District | Lake District holidays

“The question comes almost as soon as we step inside the remote cottage in the western Lake District: “Where’s the telly?” The door of the holiday cottage in Eskdale opens straight into the tiny lounge, and in the space where the TV should be there’s only a simple fireplace, a wooden bookcase stuffed with maps and nature books, and a couple of high-backed armchairs.

“Well, can we go on the iPad then?” is the next request. Then, when they’re informed that no, we didn’t bring it, comes, “Can I go on your phone?” There is a look of confused disbelief on my children’s faces when I explain that there’s no internet, no computer, not even a phone signal, and that, in fact, we’re not going to be looking at screens of any sort for our entire week-long stay.

They are young enough to not immediately kick off and storm out, but I imagine the scene would be rather different if they were teenagers.

Gemma Bowes family holiday in the Eskdale valley,Lake District. Daughter Heidi and son Hamish
Gemma Bowes’ children swap online streaming for the streams of the Eskdale valley. Photograph: Gemma Bowes

Doing a digital detox wasn’t my main motivation for escaping to this remote hideaway – the thrilling scenery and sense of isolation are the big draws – but the lack of wifi is a huge bonus. Though my children are only six and eight, their predilection for screen-based entertainment is increasingly tiresome. They may not yet have their own mobiles or tablets, but the shows they like are streamed online, they long for free rein on YouTube, are desperate to join in the school craze for FitBits, and adore “doing funny faces” – creating long strings of emojis on my phone to text to their friends (or rather their friends’ parents, who are bombarded with messages of 200 watermelons). Most of their homework is done online. The digital world encroaches. Putting a complete, non-debatable stop to it for a while feels essential.

I’m not alone in craving this. January’s flood of wellbeing-related travel publicity contains more mentions of digital detoxes than ever, with tour operators such as G Adventures predicting it as a huge trend, exacerbated by lockdowns. All that Zooming, digital home-schooling and Netflix-bingeing made it seem like every aspect of our existence was lived online. Many of us feel screen-sick, desperate to disconnect.

The Eskdale valley in late summer looking west.
The Eskdale valley in late summer looking west. Photograph: John Davidson/Alamy

My family’s antidote in recent years has been to escape to various off-grid Cumbrian cottages: this is our second stay at National Trust-owned Bird How, which is on a quiet lane that ends at the next farm. It is basic. The mattresses are hellish – a detail much lamented in the visitors’ books – and there’s no bathroom, only a sani loo in a cobwebby space beneath the cottage, accessed from the outside (no fun at 3am in torrential rain), and a shower bag that you fill from the kitchen tap (there is hot water and electricity) and hook up outside, in view of the occasional rambler.

All of this creates a sense of adventure, of course, and with no other building in sight, it feels like you have this phenomenal valley to yourself.

After their initial shock, the kids get by without watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with surprising ease. We hang out in the wild garden, through which a small stream trickles, with novels and colouring books, and eat on a picnic bench under the tree. We go hiking, and my daughter embraces wild swimming, throwing herself into freezing Eskdale pools, secret canyons in neighbouring Duddon valley and any filthy-looking moorland pond.

At night we watch for bats and the bright headlamps of drivers tackling the terrifying Hardknott Pass above: they sometimes bob slowly down in reverse when they lose their nerve.

As the week goes on, complaints about the lack of screens are more easily quashed by the suggestion of a game of Uno or a walk to the Brook House Inn for ice-cream.

Bedroom at Bird How.
Bedroom at Bird How. Photograph: Chris Lacey/National Trust Images

The surrounding fields come into their own for imaginary play, even if it is TV-inspired – I spend a huge amount of time pretending to be wildlife presenter Steve Backshall chasing rare animals – but at least we’re tearing down grassy slopes and scrambling along streams in the process.

My partner and I take turns to go out running, and on one of mine, up a bracken-choked path on the valley’s opposite flank, I call across to the others, barely visible at the cottage. I’m overjoyed to catch their hoots of response on the wind, so take off my jumper and wave it madly like a flag, rewarded by the blur of red cloth their ant-sized forms wave back. This rudimentary communication, not unlike that used by Roman soldiers stationed nearby at Hardknott Fort 2,000 years ago, gives me a burst of happiness no number of Instagram likes could match.

It may be tougher to convince older children and teenagers that a spell with no wifi is a good thing, but growing awareness of the mental-health benefits of switching off, studies of the detrimental effects on adolescent brains of social media and overuse of technology, and the way wellbeing is in vogue may make them less resistant than you might expect. Many have embraced mindfulness, yoga and veganism – why not this?

When our tech habits are so deeply ingrained, we can’t rely on flaccid promises to use our phones a bit less. Going somewhere like Bird How means there’s no choice. Perhaps like dry January, we must force these experiences on ourselves. A cold turkey digital detox can’t be argued with, especially when it comes with such appealing trimmings.

Bird How sleeps four, from £499 a week,

Source link


How Automated Moveable Medians Redefining Traffic Flow And Revolutionizing Road Safety

AI Revolutionizing Road Safety

The Voice Of EU | In today’s fast-paced world, where traffic congestion and road safety concerns continue to plague urban landscapes, the integration of advanced technology is becoming a beacon of hope for a safer, and more efficient transportation system. One such groundbreaking innovation that’s redefining traffic flow and ensuring safety on the roads is the implementation of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs).

The Genesis of Automated Moveable Medians

The traditional median strip, often a static feature on roadways, primarily serves as a visual barrier between opposing lanes, minimizing head-on collisions and contributing to general road safety. However, these static medians often fall short in adapting to dynamic traffic patterns and fail to respond to changing conditions, leading to potential hazards during peak traffic hours or emergencies.

The concept of Automated Moveable Medians (AMMs) marks a paradigm shift in road safety and traffic management. These medians are equipped with cutting-edge AI, Machine Learning, and Robotics technologies, enabling them to autonomously adjust their positions based on real-time traffic conditions, thereby optimizing traffic flow and enhancing safety.

How Automated Moveable Medians Function

Utilizing a network of sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms, AMMs continuously monitor traffic density, speed, and patterns. When traffic begins to congest in one direction, the AMMs autonomously shift their positions, reallocating lanes to accommodate the higher traffic volume. By dynamically altering the median’s position, these systems effectively create additional lanes or expand existing ones, mitigating congestion and reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Statistical Insights Driving Adoption

According to recent studies conducted by transportation authorities in major urban centers:

– AMMs have shown a remarkable reduction of up to 30% in the number of accidents caused by lane misallocation or static medians’ inability to adapt to dynamic traffic.

– Improved traffic flow has led to a significant decrease in commute times by an average of 15%-25% during peak hours.

– Real-time adjustments by AMMs have demonstrated a 25% decrease in overall congestion levels on highly trafficked roads.

– Reduced congestion and smoother traffic flow have translated into a notable decline of up to 30% in carbon emissions in these areas.

The Future Prospects and Challenges

While the advent of AMMs presents a promising solution to traffic-related issues, there are challenges to address. Ensuring the seamless integration of these systems into existing infrastructures, addressing potential cybersecurity threats, and navigating regulatory frameworks are essential considerations for wider implementation.

Moreover, while AMMs offer a viable solution for major roads and highways, their application in densely populated urban areas and narrower streets requires meticulous planning to avoid hindering pedestrian movement and emergency services’ access.

Collaborative Efforts for Implementation

The successful implementation and scalability of AMMs hinge upon collaborative efforts among transportation authorities, urban planners, AI developers, and governmental bodies. The synergy of expertise from these diverse sectors can facilitate the deployment of AMMs in high-priority areas, improving road safety and traffic management.

The emergence of Automated Moveable Medians heralds a new era in transportation innovation. By leveraging advanced technologies, these dynamic systems are not only enhancing traffic flow but also contributing significantly to road safety, making our streets safer and more efficient for all commuters.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

By John Elf, Contributor “The Voice Of EU

— For more information:

— Anonymous news submissions:

Continue Reading

Global Affairs

Open Source Software (OSS) Supply Chain, Security Risks And Countermeasures

OSS Security Risks And Countermeasures

The software development landscape increasingly hinges on open source components, significantly aiding continuous integration, DevOps practices, and daily updates. Last year, Synopsys discovered that 97% of codebases in 2022 incorporated open source, with specific sectors like computer hardware, cybersecurity, energy, and the Internet of Things (IoT) reaching 100% OSS integration.

While leveraging open source enhances efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and developer productivity, it inadvertently paves a path for threat actors seeking to exploit the software supply chain. Enterprises often lack visibility into their software contents due to complex involvement from multiple sources, raising concerns highlighted in VMware’s report last year. Issues include reliance on communities to patch vulnerabilities and associated security risks.

Raza Qadri, founder of Vibertron Technologies, emphasizes OSS’s pivotal role in critical infrastructure but underscores the shock experienced by developers and executives regarding their applications’ OSS contribution. Notably, Qadri cites that 95% of vulnerabilities surface in “transitive main dependencies,” indirectly added open source packages.

Qadri also acknowledges developers’ long-standing use of open source. However, recent years have witnessed heightened awareness, not just among developers but also among attackers. Malware attacks targeting the software supply chain have surged, as demonstrated in significant breaches like SolarWinds, Kaseya, and the Log4j exploit.

Log4j’s widespread use exemplifies the consolidation of risk linked to extensively employed components. This popular Java-based logging tool’s vulnerabilities showcase the systemic dependency on widely used software components, posing significant threats if exploited by attackers.

Moreover, injection of malware into repositories like GitHub, PyPI, and NPM has emerged as a growing threat. Cybercriminals generate malicious versions of popular code to deceive developers, exploiting vulnerabilities when components are downloaded, often without the developers’ knowledge.

Despite OSS’s security risks, its transparency and visibility compared to commercial software offer certain advantages. Qadri points out the swift response to Log4j vulnerabilities as an example, highlighting OSS’s collaborative nature.

Efforts to fortify software supply chain security are underway, buoyed by multi-vendor frameworks, vulnerability tracking tools, and cybersecurity products. However, additional steps, such as enforcing recalls for defective OSS components and implementing component-level firewalls akin to packet-level firewalls, are necessary to fortify defenses and mitigate malicious attacks.

Qadri underscores the need for a holistic approach involving software bills of materials (SBOMs) coupled with firewall-like capabilities to ensure a comprehensive understanding of software contents and preemptive measures against malicious threats.

As the software supply chain faces ongoing vulnerabilities and attacks, concerted efforts are imperative to bolster security measures, safeguard against threats, and fortify the foundational aspects of open source components.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

By John Elf | Science, Technology & Business contributor Digital

— For more information:

— Anonymous news submissions:

Continue Reading


Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
— For More Info. & News Submissions:
— For Anonymous News Submissions:

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!