It’s that time of year again when we are reminded of our environmental consciousness. Not there ought to be a special day to remind us, but after the 1969 incident turns out we do. What happened then was an outrageous oil spill in Santa Barbara that dumped 100,000 barrels of crude into the Santa Barbara Channel off to California. This urged Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 to dedicate an official day for our Earth as a constant reminder to make better choices on a day to day basis for us and our future generations to come.
You don’t have to take extreme measures to go green, so here are 10 inexpensive ways to go green. You can try to implement one each week or even each year.Not only would you reduce your carbon footprint by a massive amount, but you could probably inspire others to do the same.
1. Your computer may go to sleep, but it’s still sucking up energy. Turn your computer off at the end of the day. In addition, take steps to create aneco-friendly workplace.
2. Look into carpooling. Need convincing? Read why your green commute will save you money.
3. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead. (We’ll bet you’re already doing this one!).
4. File your taxes electronically to cut back on paper usage. Look into having your tax forms emailed to you instead of mailed as well.
5. Get e-tickets for the movies through apps like Fandango or get e-tickets and boarding passes when traveling.
6. Put a cover on your pool when you’re not using it. Not only will it keep the water cleaner, but it will keep it from evaporating, saving you refills.
7. Repair your leaky faucet (especially if you live in a drought-prone area).
8. Schedule your errands back-to-back to consolidate your trip and save gas or ride your bike or walk when possible.
9. Buy rechargeable batteries. Learn to dispose ofold batteries properly.
10. Don’t heat an empty house! During the winter, turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees F when you’re home and 55 degrees F at night and while you’re away.
We leave you off with these wise words by Gaylord Nelson
“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.”
A quick trivia question for you; how old would you be if you were born in the year 1973? Yes, that’s right, the same age as the first mobile phone, i.e 40 years old! The first mobile device that could be used outside your vehicle that is. Another pop question; can you name the company that was the first to release the very debut handset? No, not Nokia, it was actually Motorola.
April 3rd, 1973 marks the 40th anniversary of the widely regarded first public mobile phone call. Martin Cooper, a Motorola employee, had the honor of making this call in New York City on a Motorola DynaTAC, a device that was designated as a “brick” due to its size and weight.
If you actually think about the fact that 40 years ago, people were restricted to only using their landline, you’ll realize it is quite amazing how far we’ve come. Nowadays, basically everyone (even kids that are not yet 10 years of age) are holding a device and using it with extreme ease. In accordance with a study released just recently by the United Nations, there are circa seven billion people living on the planet. Now another quick trivia question: how many of those do you think hold a mobile device? A colossal six billion! Yes, we are not even kidding.
Getting back to the historical call that was conducted on the Motorola DynaTAC; it’s worth mentioning that the device was 9inches tall with a talk-time of 35 minutes and required 10 hours to recharge.
The two major breakthroughs in the mobile phone technology have been the widespread availability of devices and their ability to access the internet, conforming to Dr Mike Short, an expert from the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Mobile phone technology has come very far ever since; an achievement that has led to years of development, new inventions and the very creation of our beloved Smartphones. These smartphones are being used for internet acces, social networking, maps, morning alarms, games, snapping pictures, watching video clips, texting and obviously calling (though the actual telephone calls are soon to become obsolete with WhatsApp, Skype and Viber).
There is one thing that is truly both surprising and alarming that the previously mentioned UN study had revealed. Apparently, there are actually more individuals who have access to a cell phone today that those who have access to a toilet. Yes, only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet in this day and age!
Even though we cannot deny the increase of usage of smartphones while being in the toilet, if you had to choose between the two, what would your choice be?
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With all the latest technological enhancements, one might easily think we live in a world much similar to what “Minority Report” had predicted. However, despite all these incredibly high-tech software, security flaws remain imminent especially when it comes to operating systems and apps.
Even the “Tom Cruise” of developers is not perfect, and thus bugs do occur. Yet it is the developer’s reaction that sets the tone for the public’s response to such inconveniences; if a promise for a fix is sent and delivered on time, all is forgiven. Unfortunately, this will not be the case with Microsoft’s major glitch that was found in Internet Explorer.
We know what you’re thinking: “Who on earth is still using IE anyways?” well, you might be surprised but some actually still do and it’s very unfortunate for them; it turns out that there’s a bug that tracks mouse movement and certain key presses ( even when IE is minimized, or the tab is in the background).
This security defect harms all versions of Internet Explorer from version 6 all through 10, and a web analytics company was quick to inform Microsoft back in October. Despite Microsoft’s recognition of the matter, it does not intend to fix it any time soon. This constitutes an issue, not just because of the apparent privacy concerns, yet also for security matters. A multitude of people use software keyboards on their screen just for the sake of keeping their passwords safe from keyloggers. Yet, with this glitch, exploitative people can record the mouse movements used for entering a password just by having a web page loaded in the background.
Microsoft itself promotes the security benefits of using mice-based password system with its picture password feature in the new Windows 8. My oh my!
Here is a demo that clearly shows how one could map cursor movements. The video also indicates how some basic analysis of mouse movement can be exploited to collect private data such as passwords or phone digits. What’s even more frightening is the revelation that at least 2 ad analytics companies are already implementing this to track users; if you were not irritated towards advertisers tracking you before, then you should be now!
The website that unveiled this bug has posted a challenge just for kicks for people to attempt to analyze mouse movement. The leader board clearly shows that it requires less than half an hour for one to break down what was being typed on a software keyboard. Very scary indeed!
Merely a year after its launch, the learn-to-code online company run by Interenet guru Ryan Carson Treehouse has reached $3.6m in revenues owing to its loyal 18,700 active users, 380,000 completed quizzes and 330,000 hours of tutorial videos watched on the site.
The major streak of success that has hit Treehouse caused its obvious expansion from 11 employees in 2011 to 54. It seems Treehouse are aiming to go a bit retro with their next step and target the classic print market; they’ve just announced a book deal with Wiley Publishing. Carson’s company will rival web virtuosos of the likes of Brian Solis, Get Satisfaction co-founders Lane Becker and Thor Muller as well as a multitude of others. The Treehouse franchise will initially focus on tutoring HTML, followed by CSS3 as well as iOS 6.
Treehouse already offers a solid curriculum of online video tutorials for a modest price, yet Carson seems to believe that actual books would give reach to a larger portion of learners, that may be into classical print.
“A lot of students need various learning inputs,” he stated. “Video works very well for most, but some of our students really respond to the written format. Our new book series will be a big help to those students.”
Initial foundational volumes from Wiley will cover each of Treehouse’s major areas of tutoring, which include most of the basic web programming technologies. Every book ought to bring the reader an adequate level of understanding of how to construct a website with the technology in question.
Treehouse argues to being the primary coding education platform to gain a traditional book deal, however, we were interested in finding out how Carson’s books would be set apart from the multitude of manuals that are already out there such as O’Reilly’s very once for instance.
“Treehouse Books will be the perfect complement to our online curriculum,” said Carson. “Students can either buy a physical copy or a downloadable e-book. O’Reilly’s books are great but Treehouse books are designed to strengthen those who are learning with Treehouse.”
Coding is not the only genre Treehouse is interested in; they’ve also introduced WordPress starting-off courses,a lead that non-coding books might also be hovering on the horizon. jQuery lessons as well as Android & iOS have also been introduced.
Having the support and funds from the likes of Chamth P, Reid Hoffman, Mark Suster and Keving Rose has certainly paved the way for Treehouse to become quite the overnight success, and thus acquainting the public with online education.
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AMD, the chip-making company has announced today a deal with the BlueStacks software company. A deal that will bring 500,000 Android apps to Windows 8 devices.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has only a few thousand apps written specifically for Window 8 at launch.
The Android apps will be accessible on Windows 8 devices via AMD’s AppZone player. Bluestacks carries a code, one that acts as a wrapper around the device’s programs such as Evernote and Pulse for the sake of eliminating compatibility issue, hence making them easily run on desktops, laptops and tablets.
The core code has received changes by AMD to ensure apps built for the small screens on mobile phones look just as good as run just as well on larger displays.
New tablets and PCs running on AMD CPUs and GPUs will be running on the new software, and they will enable the likes of Flipboard and Fruit Ninja to be downloaded directly to the device through the new AppZone Player.
Manufacturers such as HP as among the ones that the company is working with to get the software factory installed on new AMD machines.
The new partnership gives immediate advantage to AMD devices that are running on Intel processors.
Intel-based PCs will not be as fortunate; receiving only around 2,000 apps through the Windows 8 Store at launch.
“This helps AMD leapfrog Intel by making Windows 8 more attractive on their tablets and PCs,” CEO Rosen Sharma wrote in an email.
“We’ve worked closely together to optimize the performance of the apps for AMD’s unique ‘graphics and computing on one chip’ setup. The result is awesome – mobile apps run beautifully on their machines.”
The new Windows 8 PCs and tablets are not the only ones receiving the revamp; existing Windows 7 PCs that are equipped with AMD hardware.
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This past week or so, we’ve been bombarded with Apple news everywhere, whether we are Apple fanatic or not, we had to listen. Yet, yesterday, it was not all sunshine and rainbows for the Tech Giant for it faced major ridicule due to its ill-performing new maps tool.
The tech behemoth abandoned Google maps and replaced it with its very own Maps App, one that operates through the usage of data that is provided by navigation systems such as Tom Tom. Yet, it seems that Apple was too quick to launch the App for users were quick to notice the many ways the company erred.
Ireland’s very own Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, voiced his dissatisfaction with the iOS 6 system that placed an airfield in the middle of a city farm.
The 3D function also hit many faulty notes such as misplacing many well-known landmarks, placing streets over bodies of water, not to mention the foggy, distorted images.
Disappointed iPhone users were quick to share their horrific experiences by uploading their ‘map fails’ onto a Tumblr blog, which quite bluntly declare “The Apple iOS 6 Maps are amazing. Not.”
The conversation has been so viral that it became trending on Twitter with tons of dissatisfied users sharing ways of reverting to the preceding Google maps function.
Tom Tom clearly dissociated itself from the faulty App, stating it solely provided Apple with the data and was in no way responsible for how that data was used.
A spokesman justified the malfunction saying that the user experience will be enhanced once more users will start to contribute as well as adding additional features such as visual imagery.
“We are confident about our map quality, as selling 65 million portable navigation devices across the world and more than 1.4m TomTom apps for iPhone in the past two years reaffirms this quality.”
In addition to Maps, Apple has also decided to abandon its native YouTube App. A dedicated YouTube App was instantly released and surly enough, performed considerably better than its predecessor.
Well, facts are facts, and Google has a record of more than 7 years in the business of digital mapping, a period that has allowed for them to build a substantial amount of invaluable data. Apple is surly mislead if it thinks they will come even close in the next year or years. Rumor has it, that Google Maps is working on an iOS dedicated app and is just pending Apple’s approval; we don’t know about you but we’re not too keen on Apple’s approval.
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Well, the Olympics haven’t even started yet, but it seems as though the long jump competition is already off to a kick start. Facebook has certainly captivated headlines recently, with its $1 billion Instagram purchase in April, its sudden comment-censorship in May and of course the much deliberated IPO just last week.
However, with the latest unveiling of a camera app for the iPhone , as well as a universal app store (https://www.facebook.com/AppStore) it’s becoming rather clearer that Facebook is heading in the unsettling direction of the Mobile phone platform.
The New York Times says the social network has hired six hardware and software specialists with iPhone experience with the aim to get a Smartphone to market by next year.
“Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” said an anonymous Facebook employee in an interview with Nick Bilton.
This attempt is marked as the company’s third at actualizing a Smartphone into its core business; initial rumors in 2012 put the Fb Smartphone on the spot, yet the company deviated from mobile development, ostensibly due to the realization of just how difficult it actually is to plunge into building mobile hardware.
The fact that Facebook’s mobile experience can be accounted for as novice, this rumor might be a bit too farfetched, at least for now. For starters, for this to actually work out, Facebook would need to find a suitable partner to manufacture the physical device, while improving their current mobile apps excessively. Having a set of core apps, when all is said and done, is not enough; they ought to be popular, and with the not so rave Facebook-mobile app reviews, this might be a bit difficult to achieve. Sure, Facebook would have a great advantage leveraging its strengths to make a superior contact list, but it’s doubtful that will excite enough people to get on board with a Facebook phone.
What’s next? Fb TV most probably, so that everyone will be able to enjoy social updates and sitcoms.
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If you back up your data to a managed service provider’s server or to the cloud, does your provider need to meet all of the data security standards you do? This vexing question becomes more complex as the number and scope of standards expands.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a contractual obligation between credit card providers VISA, Master Card, and American Express with companies that that process credit card data and maintain personally identifiable information (PII). The standard is very prescriptive as to how data is protected and transmitted, but it does not require that a third party storing such data be required to meet the same data security requirements as the company that owns the data. That means it is perfectly acceptable for a company that processes credit card data and that has PII, such as credit card numbers or Social Security Numbers, to encrypt the data and then store it offsite. — just so long as your storage provider does not have the encryption keys and has no way of decrypting the data.
The key to protecting data that is backed up or archived is encryption. According to the PCI DSS standard, “Implement and use strong cryptography (such as SSH, VPN, or SSL/TLS) for encryption of any non-console administrative access to payment application or servers in cardholder data environment.” If data is encrypted, the standard allows for that data to be transmitted to a third party without additional security measures at the receiving site. That said, it behooves you to use secure data backup partners, regardless of what the standard say.
That is not the case for all standards. If, for example, your company is governed by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, then your provider will indeed need to be HIPAA compliant as well. Federal regulations are very strict when it comes to medical records, although there is plenty of flexibility in the standard that defines who can have access. Essentially, authorized individuals include everyone from medical practitioners and hospital or clinic personnel to insurance adjusters and clerks.
Some non-medical or medical-related groups, such as law enforcement and federal intelligence agencies, also can obtain access to HIPAA-protected medical records, with or without a warrant. This becomes an issue when the records are held by a third party, such as an MSP. If a warrant is required to access confidential corporate data, only the company that physically holds the data – the MSP or cloud storage provider, for example – would get the warrant; the owner of the data might not know the data is being released.
If your company is bound by any data security standards, it is incumbent on the IT manager to know if that data can be encrypted and stored off-site. Failure to follow the rules set forth in the standards could end up costing the data’s owner with significant fines, loss of your corporate reputation, and in some cases, potential criminal litigation.
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Virtualization has been touted as the future of data center computing — fewer pieces of hardware are consolidated to address the same or more computing requirements than in the past. However, as IT managers consolidate their resources, the question arises: Do I back up my virtual machine or simply make another copy of it?
One of the misconceptions about virtualization is that as you reduce the amount of computing resources, you also reduce storage resources. In fact, the opposite is true; storage becomes more important and a larger percentage overall of the IT budget.
Generally speaking, backup software will treat the virtual machines differently than a physical server. Running multiple virtual servers on a single physical server results in better resource use during normal operations but can, in some cases, overwhelm those resources during backup. When you have multiple virtual servers running on one host, performance could be reduced during a backup as applications battle for bandwidth. You can, however, run the backup in the background, reducing this fight for resources.
Backing up a in a virtual environment generally requires that VMs be shut down or put into a saved state. This is because part of the virtual machine state information is stored in memory. The state information in memory, plus the state of the virtual hard disk files, along with the state of the configuration file, makes up the current state of the virtual machine. If you choose to back up the files for a running virtual machine, they are most likely in an inconsistent state. Backing the virtual volumes in this state can result in corrupted data in the backup copy.
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In 1977, father of Internet, Vint Cerf was the program manager for the ARPA Internet research project; he created IPv4 and chose a 32-bit address format for an experiment in packet network interconnection.
And that was the beginning; for more than 30 years IPv4 was used to connect billions of people all around the world until the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that it has distributed the last batch of its remaining IPv4 addresses to the world’s five Regional Internet Registries (RIR), the organizations that manage IP addresses in different regions. These Registries will begin assigning the final IPv4 addresses within their regions until they run out completely, which could come as soon as early 2012.
So now what?
IPv6 (with 128 bits address size, that is 2128 IP addresses) must be adopted for continued Internet growth.
However, Internet users won’t notice the effect of IPv4 depletion in the foreseeable future, but in the future there may be parts of the Internet that you cannot reach if the website or service is an IPv6 only network, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does not provide its customers with IPv6 addresses.
As a response, the Internet Society (IS) and large site operators, like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, have agreed to test their readiness for IPv6 and announced for “World IPv6 Day”. A 24 hours test period for the Internet’s savior in which the participants will offer their content over IPv6. The goal of the Test Flight Day is to motivate organizations across the industry – Internet service providers, hardware manufacturers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition.
So are you ready?