Category Archives: Technology

7 Steps to Implement new Technology

Every business is different and their requirements vary greatly depending on the type of the business, irrespective of that, information technology is one impressive selection for each type of venture. For your business, you may opt to start with a technology and you may be successful in only two cases, either you are well-informed about the technology or you got fortunate with it. It is thereby advised to consult with adept information technology service providers; they would not only assist in selecting and installing the right technology, but also if there is not an existing solution for your business they may as well design felicitous software for your business needs. Below listed are the steps explaining how to start and proceed while going for with a new technology or custom developed software solutions?
1. Know the needs of your business.
You are the best person who knows about your business needs. Document all the requirements in detail, give a clear explanation of existing system, expected solutions, alternative approach to solve problems (if you are aware of any), weight and impact of the problems on your business. If you have this information handy, there would be a checklist that you may be able to compare with while choosing and moving forward with a solution. It is important to get end user involved in the process before the technological solution is identified and implemented.
2. Evaluate all available resources.
For launching any kind of information technology, you need a computer at the least, obviously. And if you have employees working for you, it would be a good idea to be familiar with how far they can go with the new technology. It is utmost important to identify your finances, assets and technical skills of your employees; this information would enable you to choose a solution that fits your business.
3. Budgeting for the new technology.
Now you know your finances, it is time to allocate the available funds. While accounting for a software solution consider following costs; software company consultation, buying required hardware, purchasing the solution from IT vendor, installing the solution, training self as well as employees, maintenance and support costs etc.
4. Talk to information technology expert; explain your business and requirements.
Even if you know there is existing application software to mitigate, it is always better to contact software organizations to know about all available options, you may be able to find a better way. If you have no idea about any technology that will benefit your business, explain them what you would like to do, if possible present the document that you prepared in step 1. If you like to discuss your budget your provider may be able to come up with a solution that’s under your budget. Sometimes custom developed software packages provide better advantages than canned software in the market.
5. Get the solution from your preferred provider.
There may be software applications available that may fit your requirements, you may obtain your piece of software and proceed to installation with the help of your software provider. If there is not existing software solving your business needs, get custom software developed by a reputed custom programming service provider in market.
6. Test software acceptability, provide training to end user.
Once delivered and installed successfully, your software solution (either custom developed software or canned software) is ready for user acceptance testing, involve your staff and enter distinct sets of data, test the software for its functioning and report any modifications required. Organize training sessions for your employees to help them acquaint with the newly installed solution.
7. Always be in touch with your vendor, update your system as and when required.
As your business advances, you might feel the necessity of modifying your information system in order to accommodate new requirements. Also newer technology offerings at that time may prove even more beneficial for your business. You may sometimes have questions about the software, contact your software company and communicate your needs to them. Provide feedback about the software, it enables them to better their offerings and if you are very happy with their service do not forget to write an appreciation noteFind Article, it is that piece of motivation which will oblige them to keep serving you better on your future requests.

How to make the most of New Technology in your Business

Technology is continually advancing allowing us to run our businesses better faster and cheaper than ever before. Quite often technology can be daunting to say the least. Technology is such a huge and diverse area. The following guidelines will help you take advantage of the latest advancements.

Look for ways of implementing new technologies that are relatively low risk. This will allow you to evaluate their effectiveness without tying yourself into a long term commitment and expense. It is quite common for companies to offer their products to you for a free trial period so that you can test and evaluate the product. Make use of this free trial and spend some time to evaluate the product to see if it will meet your requirements.

Don’t be afraid of using Technology, its there as a tool to help you improve the way you do things and should not be thought of as a barrier to getting things done. The best Technology companies will design their products to be as user friendly as possible and will provide support to you as you implement their products.

Make use of internet based technologies. Where possible utilize technologies that do not require you to install and manage complicated software and hardware. This allows you to concentrate on learning and using the technology in your business rather than worrying about installing and maintaining it. The latest version of software is always available to you without requiring any upgrades to your computers. And the software will be accessible to you wherever you are in the world providing you have a computer and an internet connection.

Take the time to learn how to use new technology. Time spent learning and understanding exactly what can be done with new and existing technology will pay off many times over. Most modern software has extensive help documentation and tutorial information. Use this information to get the most out of your investment.

Focus on introducing technologies that will make it easier for your staff to do their jobs and interact together. Don’t get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest technology. Technology should be viewed as a business tool like any other and should be able to justify its cost with quantifiable results and a return on the investment to your business.

It can also be useful to invest in the services of specialized Technology Consultants who will be able to guide you through the process of identifyingScience Articles, evaluating and implementing new technologies in your business.

The Basics To Know The Technology

Technology is always changing and evolving, but most businesses can’t afford to keep pace with the latest trends. There is always something new in the market that companies can buy to leverage their systems and upgrade them. It is a dilemma but don’t haste on buying new technology right away, if you have built a good foundation of technology you are still on track.

Focus on laying a solid foundation for your business technology, with a plan and a budget for ongoing support, maintenance and replacement.  It’s just as important to get the technology basics right as it is to have a strong financial or marketing plan.  In this article, I share with you a touch on the ten technology basics that should be in place in your business to get it running in soid shape.

1. Hardware & Software – The most obvious technology components.  To reduce problems, ensure that your hardware isn’t too old and always use legally licensed software.

2. Power protection – Often neglected, power protection equipment is an essential investment for protecting your more expensive technology assets from power-related damage.

3. File sharing – Whether using a shared storage device on your network, a ‘hosted’ solution or your own server, save yourself from the tiring and unproductive task of emailing documents around your own team.

4. Backups – Ensure they are functioning, checked daily, tested weekly and stored securely at another location.  It’s not enough to ‘think’ that they are working and that ‘someone’ is looking after them.

5. Internet access – Balance your monthly fee budget with a connection that is reliable and gives you enough speed and data allowance to enable your staff to work effectively.

6. Domain name – The cost is negligible to show people you are serious about your business and you are not just operating with a free email service.  Build your internet presence on this and tap into a great source of new customers.

7. Security – Though network ‘firewalls’ and ‘anti-malware’ software security measures are now considered essential, don’t neglect the physical security of your computers.  Is your server easy to grab during a break-in through your front door?

8. Passwords – Commonly avoided in small business as you trust the people you work with, secure, complex passwords are needed in your defense against hacking attempts and physical theft.

9. Plans & Policies – Technology needs to be managed like any area of your business, not just taken for granted and acted on in an emergency.  Your plans should include budgeting for replacing aging hardware, business continuity processes in case of technology failureFree Articles, and disaster recovery processes.  Policies for staff covering acceptable usage and computer security are also easier implemented before they are needed.

10. Trusted I.T. advisor – Develop a relationship with a technology expert who is willing to learn about your business.  Then you’ll get the best possible support and solutions that fit your current needs and future plans.

Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooter about the next steps for reinforcing your strong technology foundation.

Linux Programs Secure Your System Bit by Bit

As daunting as securing your Linux system might seem, one thing to remember is that every extra step makes a difference. It’s almost always better to make a modest stride than let uncertainty keep you from starting.

Fortunately, there are a few basic techniques that greatly benefit users at all levels, and knowing how to securely wipe your hard drive in Linux is one of them. Because I adopted Linux primarily with security in mind, this is one of the first things I learned. Once you have absorbed this lesson, you will be able to part with your hard drives safely.

As you might have deduced, the usual way of deleting doesn’t always cut it. The most often-used processes for deleting files — clicking “delete” in the operating system or using the “rm” command — are not secure.

When you use one of these methods, all your hard drive does is mark the area where the deleted file used to be as available for new data to be written there. In other words, the original state of the bits (1s and 0s) of the deleted file are left intact, and forensic tools can recover the files.

This might seem like a bad idea, but it makes sense. Hard drives are designed to optimize hardware integrity, not security. Your hard drive would wear out very quickly if it reset the bits of a deleted file to all 0s every time you deleted a file.

Another process devised with hard drive lifespan in mind is “wear leveling,” a firmware routine that saves each new file in a random location on the drive. This prevents your drive from wearing out data cells, as those near the beginning of the drive would suffer the most wear if it saved data sequentially. However, this means it is unlikely that you ever would naturally overwrite a file just through long-term use of the drive.

So, what does it mean to “securely wipe” a hard drive?

Moving Raw Bits

Secure deletion involves using a program to overwrite the hard drive manually with all 0s (or random data). This useless data overwrites the entire drive, including every bit of every saved and deleted file. It even overwrites the operating system, leaving nothing for a malicious actor to exploit.

Since the command line is usually the simplest way of going about manual operations like this, I will go over this method. The best utility for this is the “dd” command.

The “dd” commamd can be used for many things besides secure deleting, like making exact backups or installing Linux distributions to USB flash drives, but what makes it so versatile is that whereas commands like “mv” and “cp” move around files as file objects, “dd” moves data around as a stream of raw bits. Essentially, while “mv” and “cp” see files, “dd” only sees bits.

What “dd” does is very simple: It takes an input and sends it to an output. Your Linux system has a stream of 0s it can read located at /dev/zero. This is not a normal file — it’s an endless stream of 0s represented as a file.

This will be our input for a wipe operation, for the purpose of this tutorial. The output will be the device to be overwritten. We will not be overwriting an actual running system, as 1) you probably wouldn’t want to; and 2) it actually wouldn’t work, because your system would overwrite the part of the system responsible for performing the overwrite before the overwrite was complete.

Securely erasing external storage devices, like USB flash drives and external hard drives is pretty straightforward, but for wiping your computer’s onboard hard drive, there are some extra steps involved.

The Live-Boot Option

If you can’t use a running system to wipe an onboard drive, how do you perform the operation? The answer is live-booting. Many Linux distributions, including those not explicitly specialized for the purpose, can be loaded and run on a computer from a connected USB drive instead of its onboard drive. When booted this way, the computer’s onboard drive is not accessed at all, since the system’s data is read entirely from the USB drive.

Since you likely installed your system from a bootable USB drive, it is best to use that. To live-boot, we have to change the place where the computer checks to find an operating system to run by entering the BIOS menu.

The BIOS is the firmware code that is loaded before any part of any OS is run, and by hitting the right key at boot time, we can access its menu. This key is different on different computers. It’s usually one of the “F” keys, but it might be something else, so it might take a few tries to figure it out, but the first screen that displays should indicate where to look.

Once you find it, insert the live-boot USB, reboot the computer directly into the BIOS menu, and select the option to change the boot order. You should then see a list of storage devices, including the inserted USB. Select this and the live system should come up.

Locating the Right Address

Before we do any deleting, we have to figure out which address our system assigns to the drive to be deleted (i.e., the target drive). To do that, we will use the “lsblk” command, for “list block devices.” It returns information about attached block devices, which are essentially hard drive-type devices.

Before running the command, take note of the target drive’s storage size, and detach all devices connected to your computer EXCEPT the drive storing the system you are live-booting from. Then, run “lsblk” with no arguments or options.

$ lsblk

The only device that should appear is your onboard hard drive and the live-booted USB. You will notice that “lsblk” returns a name (under “NAME”) beginning with “sd” and then a letter, with branching lines to the same name appended with a number. The name the branches originate from is the name of the “file” serving as the address of the drive in the /dev directory, a special directory that represents devices as files so the system can interact with them.

You should see an entry with the size of the USB drive hosting the live-boot system and a path under “MOUNTPOINT”, and (only) one other entry with the size of your target drive with no mount point listed. This second entry gives you the address for the output of “dd”. For instance, if your target drive corresponds to the name “sdb”, then that means /dev/sdb is the address.

However, to identify the address of an external drive you want to delete, run “lsblk” once with no device attached, check the (single) entry against your onboard drive’s size and make a note of its address, connect your target drive, run “lsblk” again, and check that its size corresponds to that of one of the entries in the output.

The output of the second “lsblk” command should now return two entries instead of one, and one of them should match target’s size. If your system is configured to automatically access inserted drives, you should see a path including “/media” under “MOUNTPOINT”, but otherwise the target drive should list nothing in that column.

As these addresses correspond to hard drives, it is important to be EXTREMELY careful to give the right one, because otherwise you will delete the wrong drive. As I noted earlier, if you accidentally give the address of your running system as the output, the command will immediately start writing zeros until you stop it (by hitting “Ctrl-c”) or your system crashes, resulting in irrecoverable data loss either way.

For example, since the letters are assigned alphabetically starting (usually) with the running system, if a single connected external drive is the target, it probably will be addressed as /dev/sdb. But, again, check this carefully, because it may be different for you.

Foiling Identity Thieves

Now we’re ready to delete. All we do is invoke “dd,” give /dev/zero as the input, and give our target (for this example, /dev/sdb) as the output. “dd” is an old command from the time before Linux, so it has a somewhat odd syntax. Instead of options prepended with dashes (“-“), it uses “if=” for “input file” and “of=” for “output file.” Our command, then, looks like this.

$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb

Depending on how big the target drive is, and how fast your processor is, this could take a while. With a powerful processor wiping a 16-GB flash drive, this could take as little as 10 minutes. For an average processor writing over a 1-TB drive, though, it could take a whole day. You can do other things with your computer (though not with that terminal), but they probably will be slower, as this is a comparatively processor-intensive task.

Though this is probably not something you’ll do often, knowing how definitely will serve you well in the rare instances when need to. Identity theft from forensically analyzing discarded drives happens all the time, and this simple procedure will go a long way toward defending against it.

Build software for faster Computer

Imagine you were able to solve a problem 50 times faster than you can now. With this ability, you have the potential to come up with answers to even the most complex problems faster than ever before.

Researchers behind the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Exascale Computing Project want to make this capability a reality, and are doing so by creating tools and technologies for exascale supercomputers – computing systems at least 50 times faster than those used today. These tools will advance researchers’ ability to analyze and visualize complex phenomena such as cancer and nuclear reactors, which will accelerate scientific discovery and innovation.

Developing layers of software that support and connect hardware and applications is critical to making these next-generation systems a reality.

“These software environments have to be robust and flexible enough to handle a broad spectrum of applications, and be well integrated with hardware and application software so that applications can run and operate seamlessly,” said Rajeev Thakur, a computer scientist at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and the director of software technology for the Exascale Computing Project (ECP).

Researchers in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division are collaborating with colleagues from five other core ECP DOE national laboratories – Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, Oak Ridge and Los Alamos – in addition to other labs and universities.

Their goal is to create new and adapt existing software technologies to operate at exascale by overcoming challenges found in several key areas, such as memory, power and computational resources.

Checkpoint/restart

Argonne computer scientist Franck Cappello leads an ECP project focused on advanced checkpoint/restart, a defense mechanism for withstanding failures that happen when applications are running.

“Given their complexity, faults in high-performance systems are a common occurrence, and some of them lead to failures that cause parallel applications to crash,” Cappello said.

“Many ECP applications already feature checkpoint/restart, but because we’re moving towards an even more complex system at exascale, we need more sophisticated methods for it. For us, that means providing an effective and efficient checkpoint/restart for ECP applications that lack it, and providing other applications a more efficient and scalable checkpoint/restart.”

Cappello also leads a project that focuses on reducing the large amounts of data that
is generated by these machines, which is expensive to store and communicate effectively.

“We’re developing techniques that can reduce data volume by at least a factor of 10. The problem with this is that you add some margin of error when you reduce the data,” Cappello said.

“The focus then is on controlling the margin of error; you want to control the error so it doesn’t affect the scientific result in the end while still being efficient at reduction, and this is one of the challenges we are looking at.”

Memory

For information that is stored on exascale systems, researchers need data management controls for memory, power and processing cores. Argonne computer scientist Pete Beckman is investigating methods for managing all three through a project known as Argo.

“The efficiency of memory and storage have to keep up with the increase in computation rates and data movement requirements that will exist at exascale,” Beckman said.

“But how memory is arranged in systems and the technology used for it is also changing, and has more layers,” he said. “So we have to account for these changes, in addition to anticipating and designing around the future needs of the applications that will use these systems.”

With added layers of memory on exascale systems, researchers must develop complementary software for regulating these memory technologies that give users control over the process.

“Having controls in place is important because where you choose to store information affects how quickly you can retrieve it,” Beckman said.

Power

Another key resource that Beckman and Argo Project researchers are studying is power. As with memory, methods for allocating power resources could speed up or slow computation within a high-performance system. Researchers are interested in developing software technologies that could enhance users’ control over this resource.

“Power limits may not be at the top of the list when you’re dealing with smaller systems, but when you’re talking about tens of megawatts of power, which is what we’ll need in the future, how an application uses that power becomes an important distinguishing characteristic,” Beckman said.

“The goal for us is to achieve a level of control that maximizes the user’s abilities while maintaining efficiency and minimizing cost,” he said.

Processing Cores

Ultra-fine controls are also needed for managing cores within an exascale system.

“With each generation of supercomputers we keep adding processing cores, but the system software that makes them work needs ways to partition and manage all the cores,” Beckman said. “And since we’re dealing millions of cores, even making small adjustments can have a tremendous impact on what we’re able to do; improving performance by say, two to three percent, is equivalent to thousands of laptops’ worth of computation.”

One concept Beckman and fellow researchers are exploring to better manage cores is containerization, a method for grouping a select number of cores together and treating them as a unit, or “container,” that can be controlled independently.

“The tools we have now to manage cores are not as precise, making it harder to regulate how much work is being done by one set of cores over another,” Beckman said. “But we’re borrowing and adapting container concepts into high-performance computing to give users the ability to operate and manage how they’re using those cores more carefully and directly.”

Software Libraries

Applications rely on software libraries – high-quality, reusable software collections – to support simulations and other functionalities. To make these capabilities accessible at exascale, Argonne researchers are working to scale existing libraries.

“Libraries provide important capabilities, including solutions to numerical problems,” said Argonne mathematician Barry Smith, who leads a project focused on scaling two libraries known as PETSc and TAO.

PETSc and TAO are widely used for large-scale numerical simulations. PETSc is a library that provides solutions to specific numerical calculations. TAO is a library that provides solutions to large-scale optimization problems, such as calculating the most cost-effective strategy for reloading fuel rods in a nuclear reactor.

In addition to scaling diverse software libraries, ECP scientists are also looking for ways to improve their quality and compatibility.

“Libraries have traditionally been developed independently, and due to the different strategies used to design and implement them, it’s been difficult to use multiple libraries in combinations. But large applications, like those that will run at exascale, need to be able to use all the layers of the software stack in combination,” said Argonne computational scientist Lois Curfman McInnes.

McInnes is co-leading the xSDK project, which is determining community policies to regulate the implementation of software packages. Such policies will make it easier for diverse libraries to be compatible with one another.

“These efforts bring us one step closer to realizing a robust and agile exascale environment that can aid scientists in tackling great challenges,” McInnes said.

At South Korea Airport There are robots that are ready to help you

INCHEON: Robots will start roaming South Korea’s largest airport this summer, helping travelers find their boarding gates and keep its floors clean as the country prepares for its first Winter Olympics game.

Starting this month, Troika, a self-driving robot made by LG Electronics, will rove the Incheon International Airport, telling travelers how long it takes to get to boarding gates and escorting them to their flights. A jumbo cleaning robot will help cleaning staff swab the wide expanses of floors in the airport west of Seoul.

Troika, about the size of a young teen, is equipped with a rectangular display on its front that looks like a giant smartphone screen and can show flight information, an airport map and weather data. Its partly rounded head has a flat touchscreen face that displays blinking or smiling eyes or information.

The guiding bot responds to its name.

Travelers can insert their tickets into its scanner to get flight information, and Troika will then ask if they want to be escorted to their gates, warning laggards to “Please stay closer so I can see you”.

Troika’s debut piqued the interest of many in the airport. Heads swiveled and children approached with curiosity as the 140-centimenter (4 foot 6 inch) robot with its white body and black screens glided through the terminal.

Robotics is gaining ground in South Korea, where many big businesses are automating factory production lines. South Korean researchers have won awards in international robot competitions. In 2015, South Korea’s Team KAIST beat the U.S. and Japan to win the DARPA Robotics Challenge with a humanoid that completed tasks without losing balance. But South Korea has been slow to introduce human-like robots or interactive robots in public places like hotels or stores, unlike its neighboring Japan where Softbank’s humanoid Pepper is no stranger.

Incheon International Airport Corp. believes it is the first to introduce such service-oriented robots in a South Korean public space. Another state-owned airport operator, Korea Airports Corp., which operates 15 international airports in South Korea but not Incheon airport, also has teamed up with local companies to introduce air-purifying robots to measure air quality and clean terminals.

Incheon International Airport Corp. said in a statement that it does not expect the robots to replace human workers, but just to help, especially with overnight shifts and physically demanding tasks.

Future plans include deploying robots to advise travelers about items that are banned on flights, serve food in airport lounges and carry cargo.

South Korea expects the robots to burnish its reputation as a technology leader when the country hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

But its maker LG is still working out the kinks.

Troika can recognize its location inside the airport terminal and navigate around passers-by and obstacles, said Kim Hyoungrock, the chief research engineer at LG Electronics who oversaw the robot’s development.
It’s meant to be a fast learner: By July, Troika will be speaking English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese, Kim said. However the robot can only perform a few simple tasks it has been programmed to carry out.

During a recent test run it failed to recognize some voice commands, such as when Amethyst Ma of San Jose, California, asked how she and her kids could catch a bus to the city.
Still, such machines could be quite useful for overseas travelers, Ma said.
“It’s becoming common in a lot of public places so that’s why I came to it right away,” she said. “It’s a source of information, especially if we don’t speak the local language.”

WhatsApp Shaves Off a Little More Privacy

WhatsApp on Thursday announced an update to its terms and privacy policy — the first in four years.

Among other things, the changes will affect the ways users can communicate with businesses while continuing to avoid third-party banner ads or spam messages, according to the company.

However, WhatsApp will begin to share some personal details about its 1 billion users — such as phone numbers and other data — with Facebook, its parent company. The information sharing will permit better tracking of basic metrics, allowing Facebook to offer better friend suggestions, for example — and of course, to show more relevant ads.

Connected Network

The increased connectivity and information sharing might not be apparent to WhatsApp users initially. Further, neither WhatsApp nor Facebook actually will read any messages, which are encrypted. Phone numbers and other personal data won’t be shared with advertisers.

Despite those limitations, the fact that WhatsApp will share any relevant information with Facebook has raised some flags.

“This announcement should be very concerning to WhatsApp users, who have been promised many times by both WhatsApp and Facebook that their privacy will be respected and protected,” said Claire T. Gartland, consumer protection counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

“That is why many individuals use WhatsApp in the first place,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

“WhatsApp may claim otherwise, but this is really the beginning of the end of privacy through that service,” warned Jim Purtilo, associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Maryland.

“We’ve seen this cycle before. Web users visiting sites with a browser once had some sense of privacy, but it didn’t take servers long to figure out how to share traffic data with one another and piece together profiles of each user,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Today, any time you visit a site which offers a Facebook login or an AddThis tag, you also transmit a trace of your activity to big corporations to analyze and use,” Purtilo added. “Just browsing is enough — traffic analysis lets companies fill in the blanks, and this paints a pretty rich picture of you. You’d be pretty naive to think they go to this trouble for your benefit.”

End of Privacy

The warnings over privacy concerns actually go back to 2014 when Facebook first acquired WhatsApp for approximately US$19.3 billion.

“Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, sent a letter to the companies during Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp warning the companies that the privacy promises made to WhatsApp users must be respected,” recalled EPIC’s Gartland.

“WhatsApp’s blog describes two different means of opting out of the proposed new sharing,” she noted, “and neither of these options appear consistent with Rich’s letter, which requires Facebook to get users’ affirmative consent before changing the way they use data collected via WhatsApp.”

Moreover, it does not appear as if WhatsApp even plans to secure what could be considered “meaningful, informed opt-in consent from its users to begin sharing this information with Facebook,” Gartland suggested.

Opt-Out Process

Users will be able to opt out, according to WhatsApp, but it likely will require reading the fine print — something few users actually do.

“WhatsApp says in a FAQ that existing users can opt out of sharing account information with Facebook for use by Facebook to improve the user’s ‘Facebook ads and predicts experiences’ in two ways,” said Karl Hochkammer, leader of the Honigman Law Firm’s information and technology transactions practice group.

“One way to opt out is to click the ‘read’ hyperlink before accepting the new terms of service and privacy policy, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and uncheck the box,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“This is set up to make the default rule an opt-in, with the option of opting out, so if someone agrees to the new terms and privacy policy without opting out, WhatsApp is also saying that a user has 30 days to make this decision by changing the user account’s settings,” Hochkammer explained. “Even if someone opts out, the information will still be shared with Facebook, but it won’t be used in connection with the user’s Facebook account.”

This method of opting out, in essence, could result in a user’s private information still being shared with Facebook.

“All WhatsApp has effectively said is that they are ready to apply the same analysis techniques to messaging as had previously been done for Web browsing,” remarked Purtilo.

“Privacy goes out the window at that point, even if bit by bit,” he added. “You can’t monetize such services without knowing how to tailor your advertising, and the only way to tailor it is by opening up the traffic and content for analysis, so that big corporations will have an even richer picture of you.”

Will Users Care?

It could be that WhatsApp can’t afford to disregard the wishes of an installed base of more than 1 billion users, but it’s questionable whether many of those users actually care about the new policies.

“On one level, this was probably inevitable. Facebook is a public company that faces investor scrutiny to make a profit,” observed Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insight at the Local Search Association.

“It is the logic of the market, and thus was unlikely that WhatsApp could continue with the small subscription model,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “It simply has too large a user base for Facebook to ignore from the advertiser point of view.”

Though there may be a loud and vocal minority that objects, most users will accept the changes.

“Look at the many changes that Facebook has made over the years,” said Sterling.

“That hasn’t had a detrimental impact on the company, even as many of its users are distrustful of Facebook,” he pointed out.

WhatsApp “is probably betting that users who would never try their service under these terms are now sufficiently dependent that they give up their data rather than invest the effort to find alternate products,” said Purtilo, “and we’ve seen that before as well. This is how privacy dies, bit by bit.”

Cool Technology iPhone

Multi-touch screens

The iPhone’s most obvious contribution was to ditch the physical keyboard.

Prior to 2007, phones fell into two main camps: feature phones with a numeric keypad or “smartphones” like the Blackberry with a full QWERTY keyboard. The latter sometimes came with a touchscreen but they required a stylus to operate and weren’t really suitable for typing.

The iPhone instead featured a 3.5-inch (9 centimeters) LCD screen with multi-touch technology. Not only did this get rid of the stylus in favor of what Jobs said was the ultimate pointing device — our finger — it enabled “smart” functions like pinch-to-zoom and physics-based interaction that presented on-screen elements as real objects with weight, size and intuitive responses.

More importantly, it allowed the screen to cover the entire face of the phone, which was the basis of many of the devices’ other innovations.

Multi-touch screens The iPhone’s most obvious contribution was to ditch the physical keyboard. Prior to 2007, phones fell into two main camps: feature phones with a numeric keypad or “smartphones” like the Blackberry with a full QWERTY keyboard. The latter sometimes came with a touchscreen but they required a stylus to operate and weren’t really suitable for typing. The iPhone instead featured a 3.5-inch (9 centimeters) LCD screen with multi-touch technology. Not only did this get rid of the stylus in favor of what Jobs said was the ultimate pointing device — our finger — it enabled “smart” functions like pinch-to-zoom and physics-based interaction that presented on-screen elements as real objects with weight, size and intuitive responses. More importantly, it allowed the screen to cover the entire face of the phone, which was the basis of many of the devices’ other innovations.

Google Maps

It may seem strange to list Google Maps as an innovation made popular by the iPhone, but Steve Jobs was central in bringing Google’s mapping smarts to mobile devices when he asked Google to build an app for the iPhone.

It was the first smartphone to feature the app, and even though the original iPhone didn’t feature GPS, this was rectified in later versions, allowing Google to add the turn-by-turn satellite navigation capability that is now standard in smartphones.

Google Maps It may seem strange to list Google Maps as an innovation made popular by the iPhone, but Steve Jobs was central in bringing Google’s mapping smarts to mobile devices when he asked Google to build an app for the iPhone. It was the first smartphone to feature the app, and even though the original iPhone didn’t feature GPS, this was rectified in later versions, allowing Google to add the turn-by-turn satellite navigation capability that is now standard in smartphones.

Applications That Can Help You Be Go Green

So, when time is a constraint and you still want to contribute to the conservation of environment in whatever little ways you can, try out some cool mobile apps that help you do so. Android Application development companies as well as iOS application development companies have come up with applications that either guide you or les you lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. Listed below are 6 eco-friendly apps which you can make use of in your daily life:

Dropcountr – every single drop of water counts

This app helps you identify unnecessarily wastage and helps conserve water and use it judiciously. It calculates the water budget in your house according to the information you provide regarding the water expenses. This app has partnered with the water districts and utilities and helps the consumer monitor and manage the usage of water. Tips are provided on water conservation and rebates offered by utilities if any, are sent through mails. Alerts are sent if there is high water usage on a given day. This app has revolutionized the way in which consumers manage their water resources. We think this is one of the coolest apps there are and you should begin with this one to go green.

iRecycle – recycle your way to a green lifestyle

If you are not aware of the things that can be recycled in your household and where the disposal sites are located, this is just the app for you. iRecycle app has access to about 1,600,000 ways to recycle around 350 materials and any queries regarding recycling are answered in the app. It has category-wise divisions of recyclable items and for each category a list of items that can be recycled appears. The places with full information where the selected item can be recycled are provided.  So, you are saved the hassle of looking out for disposal places and at the same time you get to do your bit towards environment conservation. Pretty Cool in our opinion!

Carma Carpooling – because cars are after all the major source of pollution on road

Carpooling is a concept which helps in reducing the carbon footprint by sharing travel vehicles with others whose destination is the same as yours. This app is different from others because you needn’t book your vehicle and destination in advance. It is a real-time based app wherein you just need to login to see for vehicles already moving in the direction of your destination. By this the cost of travel is reduced as well as a lot of fuel is saved. Try it out, we have and we like it!

Locavore – your elders were right; eat local and seasonal produce!

Eat seasonal, eat local is the new mantra for staying fit. But do you know that by sourcing local and seasonal products you play a role in saving fuel needed to procure the products from far-away localities. This app locates your position and displays the local products available in that season. It also lists products which will be available in the coming season. It even provides a list of farmer markets in and around your locality.

GoodGuide – choose your products with detailed information

You go to the supermarket and randomly pick all the items in your weekly list without even looking at the ingredients. You should most certainly be concerned about how healthy or safe what you pick up is for you! This app has a barcode to scan the items and it then displays all the information about the product. The app also ranks the product according to its impact on your health and on the environment. It covers a vast range of products from food to toys and beauty products. So now you can decide what to buy and what not to, based on the product score. As a leading iOS and Android application development company, we think this is a great idea for an app.

Oroeco – helps you reduce your carbon footprint

What you can do to reduce the carbon footprint counts rather than what you think others can do. Working on this concept, this app helps you estimate your personal carbon footprint based on your regular spending habits. This app also gives you some tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and improve on it. In a way, it makes you think about how you can incorporate the ideas in your general spending habits and being an android and iOS application development company committed to reducing the carbon footprint, we love the idea behind this app.

By using such eco-friendly apps, you contribute for a greener environment. Better still, your children learn to cultivate these habits by looking at you. After allBusiness Management Articles, children inherit what we leave behind and what we want to leave behind is purely dependent on our choices today. Go green!

Ways to Make Your Computer Working Like New

Windows systems are used to perform numerous tasks efficiently. It works exceptionally smooth when you buy it new but over time due to prolonged use, it starts creating certain performance related issues. These issues may cause due to various reasons. If you are dealing with certain PC problems as your system starts fading away, then you should try these steps to experience that smooth performance when you bought it new.

Manage Startup Items: Your startup process may include many unnecessary programs and apps which run for no good reason and makes boot process lengthy. These unnecessary programs and apps include bloatware, obsolete programs, and other unnecessary items. When these unnecessary programs run at boot time they prolong the boot process. To manage these programs and to speed up your boot process to improve your system performance you can perform some tweaks in system settings. To improve and manage startup process in Windows 7 and prior versions follow these steps.

  • Go to Start menu and type “msconfig” in Run box and press enter to open System Configuration window.
  • Select Startup tab here to view all startup items.
  • Now uncheck any item in the list which you don’t want to run during startup time.
  • Click on Apply and reboot the system.

To manage startup items in Windows 8 & 10, follow these steps.

  • Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  • Now in the Task Manager window click on the “more details” to see a detailed view of the items.
  • Click on the Startup tab to see programs that run at boot time.
  • To disable any item from running at startup, right-click the program and select Disable option from the pop-up menu.
  • Reboot your system to see the difference in boot time.

Update Drivers: Drivers are typically a piece of software that helps Windows to communicate with system’s hardware. For example, audio & graphics drivers help you to perform high-end music and video features efficiently. Outdated drivers hamper system performance considerably.  Your system automatically downloads and install most of the drivers for your various device like network adapters, monitor, video cards, printers etc. through Windows update. It is likely that your system hosts all latest drivers still if you want to update drivers manually you can perform these steps.

For Windows 7 and prior versions.

  • Click Start menu and right-click on Computer.
  • Select Manage and click on Device Manager in the left pane.
  • In Device Manager window, select and expand categories to locate the device you want to update the driver for.
  • Now right-click on the device name and select Update Driver Software.

For Windows 8 & 10.

  • Go to Start menu and type Device Manager in the Run box and select it from of options.
  • Expand the category and sift through the devices to find the device you want to update the driver for.
  • Right-click on it and select “Update Driver”.

Here you will find two options.

  • First, “Search automatically for updated driver software” to update drivers automatically.
  • Second, “Browse my computer for driver software”. Here, click on the Browse button to find the location of the downloaded driver file. Else, copy and paste the location address of downloaded driver file to the box. Click Next to install the driver.

Defragment Disk: Your system disks get fragmented over time due to prolonged use and make your system hard disk work extra time. It usually slows down your computer speed and performance. To deal with it, you can defragment your disks using built-in Disk defragmenter tool. It will help fixing an issue related to disk on your system.

Follow these steps to defrag disk on Windows 7 & earlier versions.

  • Go to Start menu and type disk defragmenter in the Run box and select it from the options.
  • Select the disk you want to defragment under Current Status.
  • Click on Defragment Disk to initiate the process.

Alternatively, you can click on Analyze Disk button to check whether your disk requires to be defragmented or not. It may take some time during defragmentation process. You can use your computer during the process.

To defrag disk in Windows 10, follow these steps.

  • Go to Start menu and click File Explorer from the left pane.
  • Click This PC option and right-click on the drive (on which Windows 10 is installed) which you want to defrag. From the context menu, select Properties and go to Tools tab.
  • Click the Optimize button under Optimize and defragment drive section.
  • Make sure OS drive (usually C: ) is selected.
  • Click on Analyze button and wait until Windows completes the analysis and show the percentage of fragmented files.

Note: If Windows doesn’t find fragmented files then it will display a message stating disk doesn’t need to be defragmented.

  • Once Windows completes the analysis, click on Optimize button to initiate the defragmentation process on the selected volume.
  • Wait until Windows complete defragmentation process.
  • Reboot the system and start using Windows 10 normally.

You can follow these simple steps to improve your system performance immediately. Following these stepsArticle Submission, you can improve the performance of the individual device and a system as a whole. Improved speed and performance will save your time and efforts too.