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A topic-based content approach has enabled a new series of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency eBooks to help drivers to refresh their skills.

We at TSO were delighted to see a familiar name in this year’s New Year Honours. Jeni Tennison, Technical Director at the Open Data Institute, was awarded an OBE for her services to Technology and Open Data.

We have launched the beta of the new website for The Gazette, a project which many of our experts have been working on for several months. The Gazette has been completely digitally transformed, including significant new functionality and tools and the use of groundbreaking technology.

On 2nd September the Policy Exchange published their report “Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger: Remaking government for the digital age”opens in new window. The report considers the big changes that will be needed for Government to make the most of the opportunities presented by technology, data and the internet. Together, they estimate that these recommendations could save £70bn over five years.

For any business, understanding your customer is vital. Some appreciation of the customer can come from analysing data such as sales figures and buying patterns. The challenge is to avoid interpreting this through your own frame of reference, which could be very different to that of your customer. The only way to really begin to understand your customer is to speak to them! It sounds obvious, but is too often ignored.

The Organograms was a complex project. It was the first occasion on which every government department published RDF. The long term success of the project depended upon engaging users with low levels of technical knowledge in order to produce the outputs…

It’s no secret that smartphone ownership is on the up, and with the recent announcements about the new iPhone 5, focus will once again be on their growing adoption. The statistics change by the day, but it’s safe to assume that over 50% of the UK mobile phone users now have a smartphone. Some analysts predict that within two years, 90% of mobile users will have no choice but to own a smartphone – even if they just want to call and text.

There was an element of celebrity at this year’s Semtechbiz with Nick Holzherr of BBC’s Apprentice fame giving the opening keynote about Whisk, his new online company, which uses semantic technology to drive the website. Other interesting talks included those from the BBC covering the Olympics, and from Garlik makers of the RDF store that powers TSO’s own OpenUp® services.

When asked what I did job-wise it used to be enough to say that I worked in publishing. The concept of commissioning, editing and publishing text in a book is easy to grasp. Once the business plan was agreed and the author contracted, the major decisions boiled down to choosing the format, title and cover design.

Publishers and content owners have many options when it comes to choosing a method of publication. The status quo for most consumers is still print books – but that is changing rapidly, and Amazon’s eBook sales often outstrip their print equivalents.