Tips to Keep Your Laptop and Data Safe While Traveling

March 2nd, 2015

Smartphones and tablets are nice, but for many of us, especially when working remotely, laptops are still our computer of choice for when we need to get serious work done on the go.

Unfortunately, traveling with a laptop can be precarious. If you’re carrying it around on a trip, you have to be careful it doesn’t get banged up, stolen, or potentially fried if you’re overseas and forget that their electricity works differently. Not to mention the frightening prospect of using unsecured Wi-Fi access where someone might try to hack into your computer and steal your data.

  1. Always pad. We mentioned a padded backpack or briefcase above, but just to make it clear – always use padding of some kind. Even if this means wrapping your laptop in a towel or blanket, you want to make sure it’s protected from getting banged around while traveling.
  2. Carry it with you. You might think your laptop is safer if you put it in a checked bag at the airport, but think again. How many checked bags go lost each year? And who’s to say someone doesn’t decide to go through your bag and steal it?
  3. Stay away from laptop bags. Thieves target these bags because (duh) they are for carrying laptops. Instead, try a padded backpack or briefcase that doesn’t look like a laptop bag.
  4. Back it up. Everyone should do this anyway, but it’s especially important before traveling: back up all of your data. You might need an external hard drive, or it could be as simple as copying everything to USB or a site like DropBox.
  5. Fight the surge. Speaking of protection, bring a surge protector. Most of us use these at home because we’re used to doing it, but when it comes to travel, the thought just never occurs. Well, think again. An electrical surge can do the same damage in a hotel as it can at home.

DirectX 12 confirmed as Windows 10 exclusive

February 20th, 2015

DIRECT 12

Now, a new head-to-head comparison puts AMD and Nvidia head-to-head in the test — only this time, they’re both running under DirectX 12.

DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX.  Direct3D is one of the most critical pieces of a game or game engine, and we’ve redesigned it to be faster and more efficient than ever before.  Direct3D 12 enables richer scenes, more objects, and full utilization of modern GPU hardware.  And it isn’t just for high-end gaming PCs either – Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices you care about.  From phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, of course, Xbox One, Direct3D 12 is the API you’ve been waiting for.

The performance data in Anandtech’s comparison should be taken with a significant grain of salt. D3D12 support is baked into Windows 10, but the code is early. The drivers from AMD and Nvidia are pre-production, obviously, and the underlying OS it itself in a pre-RTM state. Windows 10 uses version 2.0 of the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM), which means that a great deal of under-the-hood work has changed between Windows 8.1 and the latest version of the operating system. The preview is quite extensive, they test the GTX 980 against multiple AMD cards in multiple CPU and GPU configurations and I don’t want to spoil their thunder. At the Extreme preset we see several interesting results:

The first thing people are going to notice is that the GTX 980 is far faster than the R9 290X in a benchmark that was (rightly) believed to favor AMD as a matter of course when the company released it last year. As impressive as the GTX 980’s performance is, I’m going to recommend that nobody take this as proof that Nvidia’s current GPU will blow the doors off AMD when D3D12 is shipping and games start to appear late this year or early next.

The First Ubuntu Phone Sold Out

February 20th, 2015

Ubuntu-phones

The world’s first Ubuntu phone is now available for sale all over Europe, direct from the manufacturer. Ubuntu Edition includes an 8 megapixel camera, dual SIM and best of all, no network lock. The first online flash sale took place as previously announced, and the Ubuntu phone sold out. Due to some technical issues with the ordering process — BQ said the weight of over 12,000 orders per minute contributed to the difficulties — a surprise follow-up flash sale began, and the phones sold out within 10 minutes.

It’s been a long time coming, but finally Canonical is ready to release its first Ubuntu phone. The first Ubuntu-powered Smartphones were originally expected to arrive last year, but recent reports revealed that the software wasn’t stable enough for its public debut. Ubuntu itself promises to reinvent the way you interact with your Smartphone. It uses “Scopes,” which are individual quick start screens, that give you access to everything you need — music, videos, your favorite social networks — without having to switch between multiple apps.

The Aquaris E4.5 will be available through “flash sales” initially, so customers will get just a few hours to place their order, or until all stock is sold out. If you miss out today, you’ll need to wait until the next flash sale for another chance to buy.

Digital Cameras – A beginner’s Guide

February 15th, 2015

camera

We’ve been talking about the rise of the compact system camera for a while now, with 2013 being a pivotal year for the genre and more CSCs being announced than SLRs. This trend continued during 2014 and high-end models which are designed to tempt enthusiast and professional photographers have become increasingly important.

The new breed of smaller, lighter cameras has proved popular with lifestyle, documentary and wedding photographers who want something more discrete to use as well as something that’s easier to carry. Olympus’s OM-D series and Fuji’s excellent X-series have continued to draw praise.

In this basic guide to digital camera technology we hope to try to give digital beginners at least some basis to use in deciding which digital camera is appropriate for them. When shopping for a digital camera it’s at least good to know what the basic terms like white balance, pixel, ppi and dpi mean and how they affect image and print quality. It’s also important to know the difference between things like optical zoom and digital zoom as well as the advantages and disadvantages between storage formats such as Compact Flash (CF), Microdrives, Sony Memory Stick, Secure Digital (SD), Multimedia and camera interface technologies such as USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and Firewire IEEE 1394.

Most have responded by concentrating on cameras that offer something that the cameras on phones generally don’t – extensive zoom ranges, waterproof construction, traditional controls, larger sensors and high-end features.

Wi-Fi connectivity is also fast becoming an essential in a compact camera to allow quick and easy image upload to a ‘phone and subsequent sharing on Facebook and Twitter etc.

Instagram for doctors Lets Medics Share Photos to Solve Mystery Cases

February 15th, 2015

instagram

Like an Instagram for doctors, application lets practitioners quickly upload unusual, informative and shockingly grotesque images to share with colleagues. You can then attach a brief description or question, along with tags to help classify the picture appropriately. Fellow physicians can then ask questions and make comments, and the original author of the picture can respond and provide follow-up information regarding the case as well.

Post it online. The desire to share the unknown, or complex, is a human urge, and no-one knows this better than doctors. Last year Shipes began using Figure1, a photo-sharing app through which healthcare professionals can share photographs and information about their patients for both learning and diagnosis purposes.

It has been called “Instagram for doctors” and in just over a year it has attracted more than 125,000 doctors, nurses and medical students who use the app to share images of rare, interesting or confounding conditions they encounter on the job.

Photos are organized by anatomy and specialty, so a user can look up images of eyes or ears, for example, or images related to a particular medical field like neurology or plastic surgery. Users have to edit out any personal or identifiable information that appears in their photos and the app has a built-in consent form to get permission from patients when necessary.

As a medic himself Landy understands the need to seek external opinions when treating a variety of patients. One day, when looking around his hospital unit, Landy realized how commonplace this virtual sharing was among his students as their hands were occupied not with stethoscopes, but smartphones. They were in search of a second opinion — and now they can get third, fourth and fifth opinions in a single click, with his photo-sharing app.

Report suggest Apple will fully integrate Beats Music into its Ecosystem

February 8th, 2015

APPLE is set to change up iOS, iTunes and its Apple TV in order to integrate a new music streaming service based on Beats Music, which it acquired last year. While it has been expected that Apple will overhaul the Beats Music service for iPhone, a new report from 9to5mac suggests the company will widely integrate the service into its entire ecosystem.

The Spotify competitor will likely use iTunes name and be entirely designed by Apple, but will use Beats’ technology and existing music deals, according to the report.

The design will be made to look just like the current music app on your iPhone or iPad and will allow users to search through both the iTunes and Beats catalogue at the same time. Users will then be able to select whether they want to purchase the track from iTunes or stream it from the cloud using the new Beats based streaming service. Apple is also looking to include Beats’ curated playlists, a feature which was used as a selling point when Beats Music launched last year.

It’s also thought that Apple will continue to offer and support the Beats Music service for Android. This would be the first that Apple has ever developed an app for Google’s Android operating system, something Steve Jobs famously quoted as being “a stolen product”.

“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.” Source: Supplied

Pricing wise, it is believed that Apple will charge $7.99 for the service in the US, less than the $9.99 a month Spotify charges.

In terms of launch dates, the service was originally pinned to launch as soon as March, but it’s now looking more likely to be June at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

Mobile Payments for Dynamics of The Retail Market

February 8th, 2015

mobile payment

With new payment gateways and the steep increase in the number of consumers using mobile phones for shopping and the alternative of mobile shopping is growing to become the latest buzz word in e-commerce and retail. The space for electronic retailing has grown by leaps and bounds and has witnessed dramatic changes in the last decade. The mobile payment being the next big thing and paving way for future retail transactions is going to modify the relationship between customers and retailers. The concept of mobile wallet is growing and gaining traction in the retail market. The mobile wallet is generally an alternative way of making payments which otherwise is done by giving cash, check, or by debit/credit cards. The smartphone using generation of consumers can make payments either by accessing accounts from which funds can be transferred or by holding payment credentials.

The way that consumers make purchasing decisions has dramatically altered: they stand in stores, using their smartphones to compare prices and product reviews; family and friends instantly weigh in on shopping decisions via social media; and when they’re ready to buy, an ever-growing list of online retailers deliver products directly to them, sometimes on the same day.

There are many existing models being used in the segment of mobile wallets in the apparel and garment retailing industry. The Short Message Service (SMS) was used to interchange text messages to make payments. However, such a service was more popular than digital goods like ringtones, avatars, and games. There was no security or encryption and no inherent evidence or confirmation of receipt, payment, or delivery.

Uber’s Taxi Data Will Help Us Understand Our Cities

February 8th, 2015

uber

Ask people about Uber and you are likely to hear either that the Web-based ride-sharing service offers a superior product that should not be regulated any more, or that, in the interest of fairness, it should be subject to the same rules as taxi companies.

Uber, the startup that provides on-demand limousine service using a smartphone, has ferried Chicagoans from River North to O’Hare airport and from the West Loop to Wrigleyville. Now the company wants to bring its luxury sedans to suburbs as far flung as Willowbrook and Winnetka.

Earlier this week, Uber, the meteorically successful car-booking platform, announced that it would share its ride data with Boston, making it the first city in the US to receive data from the firm. Starting in two weeks, then updated every quarter, Boston will get zip codes in which Uber rides begin and end, the timing of rides and the distance travelled.

The Uber data set will join a wide range of others in Boston’s store. Like cities around the world, it has collected data from its public transport system, cellphones and taxi records to quietly transform and improve itself. For example, it is already using data from the public transit system to understand the impact an overpass demolition in south Boston is having on local residents.

One of the diverse data sets that Boston already uses is of the sudden traffic jams that occur, perhaps because of a double-parked lorry. Boston’s Traffic Management Center sees the jam as soon as it starts. The centre receives anonymised cellphone location data from a company called Inrix and crowdsourced traffic alerts from the Waze navigation app. “We’ll use the camera infrastructure to try and understand what’s happening,” Franklin-Hodge says. The fix for a double-parked truck is to extend the length of the green light at the junction ahead of it, allowing more time for slow-moving cars to get out of the jam.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

February 8th, 2015

Cloud computing is no longer on the horizon; it’s already here in a big way. Governments, business, industry, and individuals are increasingly using cloud computing for their information processing, and computational and developmental needs. They have begun to realize several benefits of cloud computing, including pay for the use, quick deployment of applications, variety of offerings from several cloud service providers, enhanced collaboration, agility, scalability, and availability. Moving applications and storage capabilities, application development environments, and even infrastructure and security capabilities to the cloud offers more efficient use of IT hardware and software investments. However, the cloud possesses some risks and some key challenges, and they will remain key focus areas in the coming years.

Initial Risks Evaluation

To evaluate initial cloud risks and inform security decisions, organizations and individuals could use the Cloud Security Alliance’s (CSA’s) Security Guidance Framework. Considerations should be on importance of data and applications/functions/processes to be moved to Cloud, risk tolerance of the organization, acceptable deployment and service model combinations, and potential exposure points for sensitive information and operations. For further information, see the earlier blog post “Evaluating Initial Cloud Risks”.

Integration

Integration could be a major roadblock when moving applications en masse to the Cloud. Silos could emerge and applications and data may not interact with on-premise systems. Integration Platforms as a Service (iPaaS) enable development, execution, and governance of integration flows. Connecting combinations of on-premise and cloud-based processes, services, applications, and data within an individual organization or across multiple organizations.

Multi-tenancy – the True Cloud Solution

Multi-tenancy is tightly related to resource pooling. When properly implemented it leads to significant economic efficiencies, achieved through resource sharing on the provider’s side (but passed also to the consumer’s side). It is important to communicate that logical separation is a suitable substitute for physical separation and that the main risks come from not knowing the architecture. Running all customers on one instance of software and shared hardware really means big savings.

The Innovative Solar Panel for Charge the Phone

February 3rd, 2015

lchargerThe innovative solar panel for charge the phone Inspired by the process of photosynthesis and the ability of leaves to create energy for plant, the duo designers developed a unique charger for smartphones, which looks like a leaf. On one side are solar panels, which it is attached to the glass and collects energy. When the device is fully charged, you can unstick it and connect to your phone to charge the phone. Once you connect it, you can watch how much energy is left in the extra battery and charge the phone via the normal charging, leaving energy in reserve.

This device works in various light conditions, be it direct or indirect sunlight, as well as artificial light. This unit has the versatility to power mobile telephones, AA batteries, digital cameras, MP3 players, iPods and a family of personal communication devices.

The Power Curve unit features a superior battery with high-cycle longevity along with the ability to charge both from the sun into our internal battery or with a USB charging unit powering directly from your computer. The recyclable high-quality nickel hydride battery performs well in both high temperatures and in cold temperatures throughout the world.

Here is how it works, you plug it in for the first time to the USB port of your computer, while the computer is on of course, and give it a nice 6 hour charge(important) After that you can charge it with solar or even slowly with indoor lighting. The unit is much more powerful than the first generation of portable solar products, the case is waterproof, I don’t think you can swim with it!!