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A local library hosts a free, inclusive reading session for children. It’s completely optional to attend, co-organised by two charities, and hosted by an experienced, DBS-checked entertainer, who just so happens to be a drag queen. Amid accusations of ‘creepiness’ and, at worst, ‘indoctrination’, I ask: how did it get to this?

At the end of this week, the public library from my home island of Guernsey, the Guille-Allez Library, will be hosting its first-ever “Drag Queen Story Time”. It’s a series of two reading sessions, co-organised by the library itself, Drag Queen Story Time, a UK-based nonprofit, and Liberate, Guernsey’s only LGBT+ support charity. Free to attend, tickets for the two reading sessions sold out within just 24 hours of launch.

The performer, Aida H Dee, is on the autistic spectrum themselves, and co-founded the charity with the intention of providing safe, inclusive spaces for children to be themselves, get creative, learn more, and develop more understanding about the community around them… and yes, with the LGBT+ community particularly in mind. …

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The Wild West of Useless Apps (an extremely crude artist’s impression)

Technically-minded folk know that Weather apps shouldn’t be selling our device info or even asking for it in the first place… but isn’t it time that the distributors took some responsibility too?

Say it with me: there are too many apps. At a time when there’s more concern than ever about our privacy, our phones spying on us, and Weather apps selling our location data, I find it mind-boggling that there are still so many apps out there focused entirely on menial, singular tasks. Tasks that a web browser or quick search could (and should) handle instead.

For example, iPad OS still doesn’t have its own Calculator app, so most people feel the need to download third-party calculator apps like “The Calculator” and “Calculator Pro” from the App Store— both of which have adverts as standard and in-app purchases for a ‘full’ version. And it doesn’t need repeating that these ‘simple’ apps typically also ask for way more permissions than they need — an issue that’s particularly bad on Android. “Auto Chess”, for example, a simple chess game, asks users for permission to make and manage… phone calls. It’s not explained why this is the case. …

Putting Ant & Dec on your checkout doesn’t make it more fun and makes a bad UX even worse.

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A few weeks ago, after a long and exhausting day of work, I made a whistlestop dash around M&S to grab a ready meal for a lazy dinner. At the self-checkout (of which there are throngs of them in a huge line, all shouting over each other,) I noticed something different about the system this time. They were louder than usual, and the voice had changed but it was still familiar somehow.

“Hi, Amanda here!” said the checkout’s chipper new disembodied voice.

“It’s Ant & Dec, please scan your first item!” another checkout behind me yelled.

It took me a few seconds of sheer WTFuckery before I realised quite what had happened: overnight, the judges of Britain’s Got Talent had gotten inside my M&S checkout as part of a new sponsorship deal. Gone was the pleasingly generic Voice of Checkouts Past, suddenly replaced with the professional voice acting skills of, er, Ant & Dec, Alesha Dixon, and Amanda Holden. …

9 months in, I break down what’s going to plan, the feelings and anxieties, and finding my place in the world of freelancing.

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For someone who gets anxious pretty easily, going freelance and starting a company certainly hasn’t been the easiest (or necessarily the smartest) challenge of my career. Despite what I’m about to share, please know that working for yourself absolutely is exciting and worth all the risks you hear about: I love the way I work now and the focus it’s given me on the actual work and deliverables — rather than the sometimes toxic feelings of hour-filling or ‘work hard play hard’ like I’ve experienced grafting in big ad agencies. I feel like my knowledge and experience is appreciated more. I adore the brand I’m building and the work I’ve done under it. …

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After a very warm reception earlier this year at Pitch@Palace On Tour, we’re thrilled to have been selected to compete in the main event: The Duke of York’s flagship Pitch@Palace 11.0 pitch evening on the 12th June, held at the historic St James’s Palace in London. The event brings together a ton of entrepreneurs from the UK spanning all industries — from fintech to agriculture to software startups like yours truly.

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Will (fourth from left) earlier this year at Pitch@Palace On Tour

Designed to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs & their businesses, Pitch@Palace (and the preparatory ‘Boot Camp’ event on the 8 May!) is supported by The Duke of York’s Office and brings together attendees and mentors including senior business leaders, investors, and influencers from across the technology, investment and business communities. …

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Our Co-Founder, William Bainborough, had the pleasure of bringing Doordeck to Hertfordshire as part of The Duke of York’s flagship business event — Pitch@Palace.

We were delighted to be presenting alongside a bunch of impressive startups like Suzero (healthy snacks), Fluid Pharma, and the ofo-bikes-of-phone-charging, ChargedUp.

READ MORE: https://pitchatpalace.com/pitchpalace-11-0-on-tour-hertfordshire-meet-the-entrepreneurs/

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We’re delighted to announce that we’ve signed a new distribution arrangement with Oprema, one of the largest and fastest-growing distributors of access control products in the UK. They’ll have exclusive distribution rights for our integrated smartphone access platform, Doordeck for Paxton Net2.

Doordeck, which lets building users unlock doors from their phone (instead of a keycard or keyfob), is unique in being the only ‘keyless’ product on the market designed to integrate directly with a building’s existing access control system — like the industry-leading Paxton Net2. …

“We’ve shipped a product for a phone that isn’t even available yet.”

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image: Apple

This year, as we always do, we avidly tuned into the Apple live stream to watch the September Keynote. Whilst the new iPhones — the XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR — look like incredible pieces of hardware, the software geeks in us were even more excited to learn about a new feature that’ll be shipping with the phones later this month:

Background NFC Scanning

At Doordeck, we use NFC as our primary way to unlock a door using your phone: it’s the most reliable, the easiest to install, and the fastest way to identify a lock (and then unlock it!). …

We’re going to our first major trade show next week and we’d love you to come along — free.

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This year we’ll be exhibiting at IFSEC for the first time — held over the 19–21 June at ExCeL London. There, we’ll be showing off how Doordeck’s compatible with major existing systems, showing off the features we’ve been busy building, and it’ll be the debut of STANLEY OneDoor — our first major partnership we were delighted to announce earlier this week with STANLEY Security.

You can register for a FREE ticket here or from the link below and we’d love to meet you there! You can also tweet us @Doordeck and tell us if you’re coming.

Hopefully see you soon!
- Team Doordeck

REGISTER HERE (FREE)

Customers will be able to deploy smartphone-based access to an entire building in under an hour, without the need for new hardware.

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  • The OneDoor app merges Doordeck’s keyless access platform with STANLEY Security’s hardware lineup.
  • OneDoor is designed to work directly with existing STANLEY infrastructure, already installed on thousands of doors across the UK.
  • It means customers will be able to roll out smartphone-based access to an entire building in under an hour, without needing any additional hardware.
  • The product is launching at IFSEC on 19th June 2018.

Doordeck and STANLEY Security today announced their new partnership, bringing the technology behind Doordeck’s smart keyless access platform to STANLEY Security’s world-leading hardware lineup.

The two companies have collaborated to launch STANLEY OneDoor, a cloud-based security platform that allows users to access their office using their smartphone instead of a keycard. Unlike other ‘smart locks’ on the market, STANLEY OneDoor is the only product of its kind designed to be backwards-compatible with existing STANLEY infrastructure — meaning users can install OneDoor without the need for any new wires or hardware. The platform can be rolled out to an entire building in under an hour, and is priced simply per door, per month, with unlimited users. …

About

Olly Browning

A Guernsey boy turned London-dwelling freelance art director and writer. Tweet me @yourolly.

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