Thursday, 19 June 2014

How To Create Beautiful Documents Without Any

Every once in a while you need to create a beautiful flyer, invitation or brochure. This can be really tricky, especially if you are not a graphic designer. Most of the companies spend hundreds of dollars to hire professional designers that design their business cards or posters. Even regular people need some beautiful wedding or birthday invitations sometimes.
The first time you come across such a problem, you do not even know where to begin. Designing such documents yourself sounds complicated. You have no idea what software to use, or how it should look like. Most of the people, even the ones who do not know anything about graphic design, have heard about the Photoshop software. It allows you to edit images. But is it really the best choice for designing a flyer or invitation?
You might think there should be an easier way to create this kind of documents. There should be a way that would allow creating beautiful documents even for people who do not have any graphic design knowledge. This is true. There are many powerful text editors that allow you not only to write text, but also add various graphic elements into your documents. The best and most well-known example of this is Microsoft Word.
However, if you are a Mac user, the better choice for you is Apple's Pages app. Just like Microsoft Word, Pages is powerful text editor, but it has a couple of advantages over Word. To begin with, it is much more user friendly, faster and cheaper.
Despite all of this, the most important advantage is templates that come with the app. Pages include loads of pre-designed templates for various documents, such as invitations, brochures, business cards, flyers, etc. So if you want to design a beautiful invitation, just select one of the invitation templates and add your own content into it. Every template has text boxes and sample images. Replacing the sample photos is as easy as drag and dropping the new image onto the image placeholder in the template. Adding text is as easy as typing it into the pre-designed text boxes.
The best part of this is that all the templates are created by professional designers. This means that even if you have no knowledge in the graphic design, you can still create professional documents with the couple of minutes of work. So the next time you will need a beautiful flyer or invitation, you know where to start.

By John Ethan Perry

Best Anti-Virus Software For Your Android And iPhone Device


The increasing popularity of different operating systems paves the way for more security threats out there especially in the internet as one becomes vulnerable to malware, identity theft and other advanced internet attacks. Many of us forego the thought of buying anti-virus software as this is expensive and more often than not, valid for only a year or if you are interested, you can extend the license up to several years but the cost goes up as well.
However, getting antivirus software can be your best defense especially if your knowledge about computer repairs is limited. Although the software can be expensive, knowing which one is the best will hopefully provide the best value for your money. Additionally, there is some excellent free anti-virus programs out there that can help cover most of our security needs and would be perfect for those not-so technology savvy people out there.
Anti-Virus for your Mobile Devices
Depending on the OS that you have on your mobile device, the best software should include anti-malware apps especially if your OS is Android. Although Android is impenetrable by viruses, malware can hamper the functionality of your mobile device. The popularity of the Android OS also makes it a favorite for hackers so do ensure that when you are installing software or apps, go directly to the official website such as Google PlayStore or if you have an iPhone, go check out iTunes.
If you want to install a security app for your Android device, consider checking the features of the apps. It is best to look for an app that thoroughly cleans, deletes malicious threats and offers real-time protection. Google's Android Device Manager works perfectly for Android users as well as CM Security, Malwarebytes, Avast, Sophos, Bitdefender and AVG. These antivirus are free though if you want added protection, you can also upgrade depending on what you need but for basic security, these are the best out there.
On the other side, if you are an Apple user, then be sure that you are well protected from viruses entering your iPhone especially if you do nothing but the basics like texting or calling. If you are opening emails and the likelihood of sending the said virus to other recipient is a real threat, then you can download some software that will help you scan your email's attachment. One of the best is the VirusBarrier but it is not a free app,. If you want a free one, do try Norton or McAfee.

  By Patrick Laurence

Tips and Tricks Make Excel a Fun Work

10 Excel Tips and Tricks which are dead useful:
  1. Automatically SUM () with Alt + =: Did you know you could add an entire row or column by simply clicking the first empty cell? Click, press ALT + '=' and simply add up the numbers in every above cell.

  2. Number Formatting Keyboard Shortcuts format: There is a true logic behind the keyboard shortcuts, which otherwise seem random to you. For example, to format a number as a currency you have to use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + 4. It may seem random to you, but SHIFT + 4 gives you a $ sign. So if you want to format a currency, you simply put CTRL + $. You can do the same with formatting a number as percent

  3. CTRL + ' to display formulas: While in the process of misbehaving troubleshooting numbers, have a go at the formulas first. See the formula used in the cell by simply hitting the two keys: Ctrl + ' (also called the acute accent key) which is the furthest to left on the row with number keys. It is tilde (~) when you press shift.

  4. Go directly to the Start and End of Column Keyboard: Sometimes, data sets are bottomless pits. You could scroll till the end of eternity or use the shortcut CTRL + down arrow to jump down the last filled cell or vice-versa.

  5. Repeat the same formula for multiple cells: Typing the same formula for all cells, No! First you need to create the formula in the first cell, and then take the cursor to the right lower corner of the cell. See the cursor turning into plus? Now simply double click to copy the formula and drag it on the rest of cells in the column. Bingo, problem solved!

  6. Delete/Add columns keyboard shortcut: It takes you all day to manage columns and rows in your spreadsheet. Here's how you save a little time: Press CTRL + minus and it will delete the column you have placed your cursor on and CHTRL + Shift will add a new column.

  7. Adjusting width of column(s): There's a way to get rid of those useless #### entries. Simply click on the column header and move it on to the right side. Double click when the cursor becomes a plus sign and your work is done.

  8. Copying a number or date pattern: This one is damn easy! Enter the information in two rows to establish the pattern. Highlight those and drag your cursor down to the number till which you want your cells to fill up respectively. This will work with numbers, dates and months.

  9. Tab between worksheets: So cross-checking different worksheets every time means you have to touch the mouse and all that. Why don't you simply enter CTRL + PGDN and if you want to go reverse type CTRL + PGUP.

  10. Double clicking format painter: With a simple mouse click, you can now duplicate a format in other cells with only a click. Many excel users use it by double clicking on the format painter to copy the format into multiple cells. Yay!
So these were some amazing excel tips that are deemed to come extremely handy in times when you need to save even an itsy amount of time. It is always easier when you make your data easier to manage.

By Patrick Kee

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

IT Support Helps Your Business Run Smoother

There are a lot of ways that IT support can help your business run smoother. You cannot be expected to do everything on your own. Especially if you are the "be all" for your business, you need to focus on other aspects including marketing and sales. By focusing on the areas that directly affect your profits, you can ensure that your business is thriving. Someone else can provide you with the support you need for IT.
You may not be aware of all of the technology out there that can assist your business. Each and every year, new strides are being made that make it easier for businesses to run. IT support is able to tap into this technology more to provide you with more. This includes more assistance where you need it the most. For example, did you know that there are hosted phone systems that you can get where you can eliminate the need for a receptionist at the front desk?
An IT support person can walk through your business and tell you about all of the areas that can be enhanced through the addition of technology. This may cost you a little bit of money initially, but it is a wise investment. Eventually the help on your IT will allow you to enhance various aspects of your business which can save you labor and increase your profits. Both of these are good for business and will affect your bottom line in a positive way.
By having support from a third party, you get documentation and communication where you need it the most. This includes guarantees in terms of what you need to hear - such as reduced downtime on your website and that help is a phone call away so you never have to worry about IT issues that linger. Even if you are fortunate to have an IT department, they may be limited in their knowledge - and this is where your business may be at a point where it cannot grow because of their limitations.
IT support can help you with your website, your cloud server, your email, your website design and virtually anything else that you need assistance with. When you have someone who makes it their business to give you what you need in terms of IT, your business runs smoother. This is because you have dedicated people who are always looking out for you. They ensure you don't have downtime and have access to all that you need.
In today's day and age, you can't be without IT support in one capacity or another. The more support you have, the smoother everything runs. The good news is that you don't have to do it all by yourself. All it takes is raising your hand and asking for some assistance. Finding a third party company that anticipates your needs is out there - and can make a world of a difference on your business.
Formed in 1997 and located in Houston, Dallas and Austin Texas and in Dubai, ERGOS is an IT solutions provider that stays ahead of the curve, providing innovative IT services. We provide our clients the kind of service that we would want. ERGOS provides managed IT services, IT infrastructure, Cloud IT and business solutions that Power Your Business and empower your work force. Our three technology divisions, Managed IT Services, Cloud IT Solutions and Business Solutions (Web Hosting and Development, Search Engine Optimization, Business Process Analysis) will address all your IT needs.

By Jeff Weigang

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Do You Know How Much Information Your Smartphone Leaks About You?

Smartphones and handheld devices are an integral part of everyone's life now. Everything has gone mobile these days! Right from our work to social lives, to banking and even shopping. Mobiles have become an inevitable component of our lives. Unlike our earlier mobile devices, which focused on voice-based communications, today's phones involve varied types of capabilities including computing and sensing. Although these abilities are highly useful at times, these capabilities at times pose some serious privacy concerns. The common components of a mobile phones that businesses or attackers utilise to snoop on users, include sniffing on their mobile phone sensors using the microphone, camera, and GPS receiver in most phones.

Although there are varied systems that use video-cameras, sound waves, or even magnetic fields, to sniff data, the most widely used technique is interception of the Wi-Fi signals emitted by users' smartphones. Triangulating on that signal can estimate the phone's position to within a few meters. Some are also involved in collecting a unique identifier, namely a MAC address, for each phone, which allows building behavioural information of customers (Source: TechnologyReview -1).
Businesses today are aware that tracking mobile devices can lead to generation of valuable information about customers, which can then be utilised to serve them better or reach to a much effective group. And this may be precisely why 'Indoor positioning' is slowly picking among businesses. U.S. retailers like Family Dollar and American Apparel have also experimented with indoor positioning. Indoor positioning is a practice of locating objects or people wirelessly inside a building using a network of devices or signals emitted by devices.
Nordstrom is also one such business using indoor positioning. They acknowledged that in an attempt to serve their customers better, they are tracking their movements through their stores. They are using specific software to track how much time you spend in specific departments within the store. The sensors within the store collect information from customer smart phones as they attempt to connect to Wi-Fi service (Source: CBS local - 2). Yet another example includes Forest City Enterprises. They triangulate cellular signals to monitor foot traffic in nearly 20 shopping centers they own and/or manage. They claim that the data helped them decide on various crucial aspects that affected user experience.
As far it is for businesses, these interceptions sound highly useful. But how about the users who aren't aware of their movements being watched over! With the rapid proliferation of applications, the problem of privacy violations based on sensors of mobile devices is expected to grow. Most mobile phone platforms available lately are insufficient to protect their users from such leakage of information. For better privacy across mobile phone users, desirable uses of sensors and good privacy protection solutions are important.

By Oushee Ouseph

Difference Between Web and Software Development

As website and software are two different concepts, their history is also separate and not quite connected to each other. The British CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web (WWW) in the year 1990. Three years after the first website was built, CERN officially announced on 30 April, 1993, that the World Wide Web would be completely free to access for everyone. An interesting fact is that earlier, before the invention of HTML and HTTP, protocols such as the Gopher Protocol and File Transfer Protocol were used to retrieve specific files from a server.
Conversely, there is a long standing debate over the creation of the first fully made software program. It is said that the first piece of software was produced by Ada Lovelace during the 19th century for the proposed analytical engine. Unfortunately, the program never got implemented. Again, there are concrete records that the first software theory was proposed by Alan Turing in his famous essay, Computable numbers with an application to the Entscheidungs problem.
Many people assume that both websites and software are created on similar platforms. However, this is not true as their functions and utilities are completely different. A website is a place you visit in your web browser while a software system is an application that is installed and used on a computer. It is a non-tangible part of a computer.
A typical website is hosted on one or more computer servers. Its area is linked to the internet to run single or multiple webpages. A software package includes written programs and related documentation for operating distinct functions of a computer system. In most cases, these programs are stored in read or write memory. Interestingly, both these technical functions have turned into largest businesses of 21st century. Innumerable software development companies have sprung up in the recent past and their share in the gross world product (GWP) is also increasing meteorically.
Again, it is important to mention here that the job of software developers is to create software programs that also run on servers, internet, browsers, etc. In other cases, it runs on computer systems and electronic devices. Nonetheless, the software developers need to learn much more about the fundamental operating system platforms. A higher level of expertise in programs is expected from them in comparison the web developers. The goal of a software development company is to provide cost-effective and reliable solutions to various businesses matching their relevant needs.

By Prakash Singh Chauhan 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Understanding the Difference Between Performance Testing and Load Stress Testing

When developing a website, you need to put the site through rigorous tests to ensure that it can perform at its best at all times. Whether you already have a website and have noticed your traffic numbers dropping or you are in the process of launching a new site, then you will want to look at the performance testing and load stress testing solutions available.
There is a distinct difference between the two and both are just as important as the other when it comes to ensuring your site is running well, even in peak periods.
Performance testing is used to determine response times, duration and time lapses in the system. This type of software tests the entire system, addressing performance issues and ensuring the system is reliable. It identifies problems; such has how long pages take to load, enabling you to make the necessary changes.
It is important that you are aware that customers that visit your site will move to one of your competitors if they cannot find what they are looking for, the pages take too long to load or they cannot access the site at all. The problem is that a majority of these customers will never return to your site, which means you've lost potential income because your site wasn't performing adequately.
Performance testing is responsible in testing the behavior of the system and the speed the pages take to load. This testing should be carried out on a regular basis and used to monitor the site at all times, enabling you to address any issues quickly and effectively before it becomes a serious problem.
Load stress testing is the other important software that you will want to invest in, you can see a return on investment within a short period of time as it tests your system, identifying problems and giving you the ability to make the necessary changes as quickly as possible.
Load stress testing determines the load on the system in terms of volume and endurance. This software can identify the behavior of the system and how much it takes to reach breaking point. It identifies memory issues, buffer overflow, bandwidth issues, system failure, response times and so much more.
Load stress testing helps identify issues with the database, hardware and network. It is a useful tool to see how the application will behave after a crash, ensuring you have the relevant steps in place to ensure it gets back online in the shortest space of time.
When choosing your software solutions for testing, it is important that you choose wisely. There are a wide variety of load stress testing and performance testing solutions on the market, each one offering different reporting options and system checks.
You should be focused on ensuring that your website is running at its best at all times, which means it can load pages quickly, perform under load and will not reach breaking point when you have a couple of hundred visitors visiting your site throughout the day.
Your developers should work with the testing software to ensure that when you launch your site you have peace of mind that all problems have been managed. If you already have a website the load testing software can monitor the system, identify issues and inform you as and when they happen, reducing the risk of too much downtime and giving you the ability to repair the issues quickly and effectively.
Always choose your software from a reputable supplier that is dedicated in helping you achieve online success in terms of productivity, visibility and brand.

By Simon Pri

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Speech Recognition a New Technological Innovation

To survive in a cutthroat competition, it is necessary for every company to stay one-step ahead of their competitors using every available technology. Companies have to find out every possible way that can improve service and better customer's experience. Furthermore, to acquire new customers, companies have to hire more employees to meet customers to convince and educate them about the benefits the company may give them. Moreover, companies need to cut operational expenses without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
Speech recognition is such a technology that came into existence after nearly 30 years of research and development. Speech recognition understands the words spoken by the customers and converts them into text that the computer understands.
Just as we recognize a person by his or her appearance and voice, in the same way, speech technology can help devices observe spoken hints from the surroundings. By hearing unobtrusively and consistently, a voice technology can store information into a program, assisting other sensory sources and help make a better image of a situation.
When this technology is incorporated on the phone, any transactions through the phone can be completed up to 40 percent faster than pressing keys and listening various options before reaching their desired option.
It is proved that behind every successful business there is an effective use of technological innovation that enhances employees' productivity and operational efficiency. So speech recognition can be the best investment for every company that aspires to become or stay ahead as high-performance organizations.
A new development in voice recognition technology has allowed the businesses to improve their customer service drastically. Voice recognition software can prove its relevancy in any sector be it medical services, call centers or agriculture. It can be used to increase productivity while reducing unnecessary work burden on the employees.
Especially in call centers instead of engaging employees in answering phone calls and routing them to the relevant customer care executive, the software can handle the task, allowing the employee to be positioned to handle calls that are more complex.
Simple calls can be handled through the system where customers can guide themselves to the answers they need. As speech technology is further integrated with global positioning systems, businesses can track the real location of their field agents.
In its initial days speech recognition technique had many drawbacks such as background noise or if a person having sore throat or in a different accent talked to the system can confuse the system. This would frustrate the customer. Now this technology has become more advanced and can easily recognize hard to understand accents in the way people speak in the different parts of the world.
The higher, long-term potential of speech recognition can be found in its capability to make business more brilliant and of higher value. Utilizing the wide mobile transmission, speech-based mobility solutions can be the best response to the continuous problems of client connections and their fulfillment. With the integration of Voice Biometric can successfully decrease frauds, and increase customers' satisfaction. A voice-based program is therefore the perfect alternative to present methods of using representatives and call centers, boosting their protection and performance to allow ongoing development. Thus, companies can implement this technological innovation without being apprehensive for security or compatibility for personal or professional use.
A speech recognition and Voice Biometrics work on any cell phone, enabling companies to connect with clients any time irrespective of geographic borders, and in any language. The main point here is that this application is really a boon to improve customer satisfaction as well as helping companies to obtaining greater revenue by simply acquiring new clients as well as having current clients.

By Rajendran Sharma

Recruitment Management Software Is The Ideal Foil For The HR Department

Recruiting new employees for your company is a thankless job and is most often handled by the HR department. The department needs to continuously keep a check on the present employees while also keeping a track of the older ones, the prospective ones and many more. No wonder that HR departments are always over burdened. Due to this burden it is but imperative that there might be some mistakes and that only could change the whole demographics of the company. Mistakes by the HR department can turn out to be a whole lot troublesome and therefore utmost care must be taken by the HR while working.
The same goes for recruitment functions too and a small mistake means that you might lose a very good prospective employee without any valid reason. The recruitment procedure is a grueling task and often requires more than one person to properly conduct it. The tasks include collecting all relevant data and storing it, then going through the employee history, etc.
Then again the recruitment procedure also involves interviews which have to be regulated correctly. The interviews are not a very grueling task but it becomes difficult when the HR has to deal with the related paperwork too. Collect information about the candidate, get a background check and many other things are to be done. It is this task that makes a relative simple interview process look humanely impossible.
Above all that there are general tasks for the HR which regulates the procedure of the company and streamline the working. Such a plethora of things to do can be very taxing on a single individual and here in enters the revolutionary Recruitment Management Software.
This unique software could be the shoulder on which the HR department can load all their burdens. The software is designed to carry out the taxing recruitment procedure in a simple and smooth way. It stores all the data, background checks and employee history and allows access to them whenever required. The basic idea behind the software is to streamline the recruitment procedure and to ensure the lack of human error. It also provides all information about a candidate at one place simply by clicking on the mouse. This specific ability gives the HR a definite edge and makes his job easier during the main interview process. The interview process becomes easier for the interviewer if he has all the information at his fingertips.

By Syreus Gupta

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Future of 'Mobile Development' Discussed at the DeveloperWeek 2014 Conference

Mobile devices are here to stay since they help us connect and engage with our family, friends, and business associates while on the move as well as help us educate and gather information on products and companies online.
In the DeveloperWeek 2014 Conference + Event Series, the hot topic of discussion was related to the importance of mobile development. The mobile app development market is not only driven by money although according to the various industry experts, by 2015, there will be around $400 billion additional spending on the mobile market.
Most of the mobile development companies invest a lump sum amount of money to develop something unique and innovative and create new relationships between things, tasks, and locations.
Although to any normal person it may seem the different technologies for mobile including the database, business logic, HTML 5 or JavaScript, app tools, ad networks, and so on would be the same for both web and mobile world. In reality, the mobile developer world is taking enormous advantages of such high-end features including multi-device compatibility, phone-specific actions and events, geo-focused advertising, new mobile development technologies, etc.
Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mbaas) companies participated at this year's DeveloperWeek with speakers from such well-known companies like Built.io, Kii, Telerik, Sencha, and Parse which is acquired by Facebook.
You can assume mbaas to be the "Heroku for mobile apps". Many of the above mentioned mobile development companies who attended the event let mobile app developers instantly use mobile functionalities such as texting or push notifications or "code once for multiple devices". In other words, mbaas allow mobile developers to do less coding.
The mobile app analytics and app testing industry is found to be growing by leaps and bounds with lots of new companies adding to the list. Mention can be made of companies such as Appurify, Sauce Labs, and Optimizely which provides A/B testing for web as well as mobile app development.
There are also a large number of mobile-only advertisement networks and monetization tools represented at DeveloperWeek 2014 such as the Millennial Media, AppFlood, and Zample to name just a few.
Let's now have a look at the main points discussed in the 2014 DeveloperWeek Conference.
API User Experience is Advantageous
According to the ProgrammableWeb Executive Editor, Mr. David Berlind, mobile developers are expert problem-solvers; thus for them maybe the API user experience is not that important. The mobile application developers are smart enough to scrap data out of an AOI if they need to do so. However, you cannot altogether ignore the fact that if a person gives the developers instant access to a similar data source via an API, all developers will jump to get the same. Industry pioneer such as PayPal's Jason Harmon states we need to focus both on external and internal user experience developer engagement to access and share information in an effective fashion.
Lack of iOS Developers
At the DeveloperWeek Conference, the lack of iOS developers became evident. According to some attendees, not having enough iOS developers is keeping the Native app vs. HTML5 argument still alive.
Lack of Catering Service and Coffee
The 2014 DeveloperWeek did not have proper catering service, and to get coffee, an attendee has to walk at least two blocks from the main event venue. Developer crusader Tony Blank of Context.IO quickly set up a coffee stall at the venue arranging two large containers of prepared Starbucks coffee. He soon found a long queue of developers outside his stall waiting only to learn about his company's API over coffee!
Some other notable mobile app development points discussed at the DeveloperWeek are as follows:
  • When releasing an API, you have just one chance to get it right.
  • Internet of Things is equal to Internet of APIs.
  • No separate sessions were held to debate about security issues covering mobile development and developers.
  • Want to encourage developers to know more about your API? Tell them a story.
By Carrie Miller

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Best Uses of SMS Marketing

Utilizing text messages to market to your customers directly via their smartphones-the one device that is almost always with them-can be a very effective approach for small businesses. Knowing how and when to do this, however, is critical in order to ensure the full success of such a campaign.
Knowing your audience goes back to marketing basics. The end goal is to know your target audience better than they know themselves. Provide what they needed to have before they had thought of in. It is important to put different SMS mobile marketing strategies into a larger and more meaningful context. Following are some of the best ways in which to utilize the power and benefits of text message marketing to your small business customers:
  • At Events
    Depending upon the nature of your event, you have multiple options for how to incorporate SMS marketing. If you are giving a presentation and want to be able to share the file with attendees, simply have them text a code to you and they will receive a reply text with a link to obtain the slides.

    You could also send out texts with promotions that are valid only during the event to spur immediate action. If you wish to engage your audience to be more interactive, use text messaging to poll people about different topics-all relevant to the event, of course.

  • In Store
    The best time to get people to buy your products is while they are already in your store. Take advantage of text messaging to alert customers about specials that they can enjoy while shopping at that very time. You could even suggest related or accompanying products to encourage the upsell process.

  • Anytime Touchpoints
    While certainly the end goal of any overall marketing program is to sell, sometimes there are individual campaigns that are designed to create goodwill or customer loyalty. Text messaging can be leveraged to do this by sending special messages to customers on their birthdays or near select holidays. Including some marketing efforts that are not directly aimed at selling is a smart way to stay in touch with customers without making them feel pestered by you or pressured to buy at every moment.
Texting is easy and extremely inexpensive. This makes testing a campaign with SMS marketing well worth your time. We also believe it will be more than worth your investment and pay many times over for itself when implemented properly.
Edward Kundahl is president and owner of Allentown-based BusinessCreator, Inc., an Internet marketing agency and Web development company that offers clients total search marketing and interactive media solutions. His roots are in small-business search engine optimization and marketing and making sites user friendly and accessible to search engines. He can be reached at ed@businesscreatorplus.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8412630

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Why Apple's IOS8 Operating System Should Excite Users and Developers

Apple's new iOS8 operating system was recently revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.
While iOS8 may not be a game changer it certainly offers many new features for business use and should excite developers wishing to share and create applications within the new framework.
On the business front, Apple has focused on stronger security. Data protection will be expanded to more applications to enable finer control over such items as mail encryption.
The expanded data protection will include basically all pertinent apps as well as user credentials. These credentials will be protected by a pass code until after a device is unlocked following a reboot.
Apple says it is unleashing a variety of enhanced productivity tools with iOS8. Inbox mail management should be easier as a quick left or right swipe enables a user to mark messages as read or unread or flag them for follow-up.
The new calendar view enables you to see your colleague's availability to schedule a meeting, easing the effort of finding a time convenient for all parties.
Work execution will be easier with iCould Drive. Apple touts you will be able to work on any file anywhere. This will include presentations, PDFs, images and more. This will work right from the iCloud on any device you use, whether it's a MAC or PC.
Need access to corporate documents? Third party document apps can be used to access corporate file servers so you can get to the document you need right from the app you want to edit it in. Apple promises you will be able to transfer files to and from a MAC device even without an Internet connection.
Enhanced connectivity should be a great benefit. Apple says users will be able to start an email on one device and seamlessly continue it on another. iPhone users will be able to answer phone calls on their MAC or iPAD and send SMS messages from any of them.
Those who use photos will enjoy the ability to edit and organize every photo one takes on all your devices though the iCould photo library.
Messaging too will have new features. You can add your own voice into a text message and send a video of what you see as you are seeing it.
Should you wish to workout with colleagues, the health and fitness apps will utilize an easy to read dashboard to share communication with friends, your trainer and even your doctor.
"Spotlight" will serve as a type of answer search engine. It will provide information from Wikipedia and offer trending news and more.
IT departments will have better data and device management tools. iOS8 has more ways to manage information securely without burdening employees with complex rules and work personas. IT staff can now push iBooks, ePub and PDF documents automatically to user devices using mobile device management, MDM, tools. Users should have access to what they need when they need it.
These new tools will give developers deeper access and even more to work with. This will include new keyboard options and still more ways to share content.
Developers will find the ability to create and utilize apps that communicate with other an exciting enticement as Apple pushes the boundaries with this new innovation.

By Marc Arbesman

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Scrum Transformation: How Transparency Is Offered

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine over "transparency" and the effect of Social Media. It amazes me how the new generation so easily communicate their day to day activities and how they feel with no fear. With the help of technology they are a generation of openness.
Yet organizations have not caught on to this. To transition to scrum you need a dedication and commitment to transparency. It is not only one of the five scrum values, it is crucial to the success of any transformation. With openness there is trust. Without trust your project is doomed to chaos and potentially fail. In scrum, transparency is offered through the scrum ceremonies. Let's walk through these.
Sprint Planning:
In sprint planning the team and product owner work together in determining what work will get pulled into the sprint. The team should openly communicate when a story is too large or not ready to pull into the sprint. Design approach is established, tasks are openly defined. The team communicates what they plan to deliver. They also communicate what criteria defines done for them.
Daily Stand Up:
The stand up is yet another opportunity for transparency. It is all about sharing information and identifying dependencies. The team should discuss how and what they plan on doing that day. This is all about communicating the plan of the day and what blockers or impediments the team has crossed. The power of the stand up is often under estimated. Many new teams feel it is unnecessary, not really understanding the value it offers.
Demo (Review):
The demo is held at the end of each sprint and facilitated by the product owner or scrum master. It is all about showing the product owner, stakeholders, and or sponsors the work that was completed. The team shares the work that was committed, the challenges over come and listens for feed back. Sponsors, stakeholders, and or product owners provide open feed back to the team. It is important to understand this ceremony is an exchange, and not an opportunity to thrash the team or hide behind requirements. It should have a cooperative and friendly feel.
Retrospective:
The retrospective is an opportunity for the team to openly discuss what went wrong, and how they can improve. It is a tool to review and improve the dynamics and processes of the team. This is another ceremony not used properly and sometimes not performed. If used correctly it should motivate and help solidify the team.

By Leonor Urena

Understanding Shopify and How to Get the Most of It

Starting a small business is one of the best things that you can always do. Being an entrepreneur requires one to always think outside the box and come with solutions that are really good. Entrepreneurship is a very dynamic process that changes rapidly. For instance, starting good business years ago is very different from starting a business today. The biggest factor that has challenged this process is that of technology. Today, for a business to do really well, it is very important for the entrepreneur to think of the best way to incorporate technology into it. Failure to do this will lead the business being outdone by the vicious competitors. Therefore, this article explains a few details about Shopify and how to get the most out of it.
Shopify is a dynamic web application that allows a person to come up with a good web store that he can sell anything imaginable, from goods to services. For one to effectively use Shopify, there is no need to be technical but a lot of interest in trying to discover new things. The good thing is that you do not need to shut down your brick and mortar business model to incorporate Shopify and e-commerce into it. You can still decide to use the two models and creates a better company.
There are many advantages for using Shopify for e-commerce. One, using Shopify for e-commerce is cheap and affordable. Any business can afford to get the services of Shopify. This is simply because the charges go from less than $40 per month . As such, anyone can afford this service. You should note that in the past, e-commerce website designs used to cost a lot of money such that many entrepreneurs were locked out of the industry. Secondly, using Shopify is very easy. All you need is to create an account, get a theme and place in your items. The shopping cart has been designed and all you will have to do is to put your specific details for payment. In addition, thousands of e-commerce stores are now using Shopify as their base platform. The ratings from these firms are very impressive.
To implement a good Shopify strategy, it is very important for one to get a good designer who has been in the industry for a long time. The benefit of this is that when you have an expert, various things are bound to happen. For instance with a good Shopify web designer you will be at a better chance to get a custom designed theme which goes in line with your company's theme. In addition, when you have a good Shopify designer, search engine optimization will be enhanced. As such, it will be very possible for you to rank very high in the search engines. This will have two important benefits to your company. One, you will increase the margins of the business by reducing the cost of marketing. You will also be available to many people without any payment. This will reduce the customer acquisition cost.

By Annie Mishra 

HTML Code for Virtual Assistants

Let's talk about HTML code. Call it what you want - code, HTML, geekspeak, and so on. Can you read it? No?!? Then learn!
Why should I learn some HTML code?
If you, like so many other small virtual assistant solopreneurs out there, are creating your website on your own.. you should know code. Not at the uber-geek level, but some general code. Knowing how to read code can save you a ton of time when it comes to updating widgets, creating campaigns and tweaking changes here and there.
You also are going to have clients who need a little something changed, fixed, or updated. Be proactive and get formatting errors, mismatched type, and broken links fixed.
If you use WordPress for your site, you can still incorporate HTML.. and sometimes it's simply easier to snag a generated HTML code snippet and paste it into your WordPress post or page. In this type of situation, once you have the generated HTML code, go to WordPress and start your page or post. To the top right of the body field you will see "Visual" and "Text." Text is where you would paste your HTML.
Do I Need Special Software?
No. You can write code in Notepad, which every PC has. There are also a bunch of WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") online HTML editors out there too. If you need a quick change or tweak, they are handy to bookmark.
Do I need to know anything else?
Keep in mind that code is sort of like a highlighter. You highlight the parts that you want to fancy up but putting HTML before AND after the special bits. The code is trapped inside carrots, otherwise known as these little things: <>
Back in the day, we used to call 'em less-than and greater-than signs.
Tip: Remember you need to open the carrots and close them.
The internet has evolved over the years and because of that, there can be more than one set of HTML codes for the same thing. For example, see the codes for italics below.
OK.. Short List Me!
There are ton of basics out there, so let's get started (and keep in mind that this won't show the actual formatting):
  • Paragraph: <p></p>
  • Bold: <b></b> This is how to <b>bold</b> text.
  • Italics: <i></i> This is how to <i>italicize</i> text.
  • You can also use <emphasis></emphasis> in lieu of <i></i>
If you're used to using Microsoft Word's Styles & Formatting, then you are familiar with Header formatting. HTML also uses headers H1-H6:
  • <h1>Title goes here</h1>
  • <h2>Sub-Title here</h2>
  • <h3></h3> and so on..
Just as important as formatting your type is, it's also important to insert links.
  • Link to a page: <a href="http://www.yoursite.com">Your Site Name</a>
  • If you want the page to open in a new tab/new window, then you would use: <a href="http://www.yoursite.com" target "_blank"></a>
  • Link to email: Send an email to me at: <a href="mailto:you@yoursite.com>me@mysite.com</a>
Other HTML Codes
There are a few HTML codes that do not require a close.
  • Horizontal line: <hr>
  • Line Break: <br />
  • Adding an image: <img src="http://www.yoursite.com/image1.png">
  • If you're image is too large, you can tell the code how big to make the image: <img src="http://www.yoursite.com/image1.png" width="400" height="350">
Did You Know?
Did you know that you can view the HTML for any website? Depending on your browser, you can see the geekspeak by
  • Internet Explorer: Right click on the page and choose "View Source"
  • FireFox: Right click on the page and choose "View Page Source"
  • Chrome: Right click on the page and choose "Inspect Element"
  • Opera: Right click on the page and choose "View Page Source"
At the end of the day, any additional knowledge or experience that you add to your VA toolkit will only add to your value and make you indispensable to your clients.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success. Schedule your free 30 minute consultation by visiting our website.

By Denise Dukette

The Top 10 Reasons to Pay for IT Support

IT support may not be something that you WANT to pay for, but there are lots of reasons why you should. You may be trying to do it on your own. Or you may have individuals on staff that is providing it for you. Either way, it can be advantageous to outsource your IT so that you can enjoy better IT services.
Here are 10 good reasons why you want to pay for your IT support.
  1. It's more affordable. You may not want to believe it, but by working with a third party, you can actually spend less on your IT than paying someone on your staff to focus on it 40 hours a week. And if you pay more than one individual, that's even more money.
  2. You get more. With IT support from a third party, you get to tap into all of the services that they have. You may currently be limited by what your employees (or you) can do. As soon as you reach out for support, you can do more for your company.
  3. Offer a better product to your customers. When your customers go to your website, they want a service. If your website is lacking, they may not be able to pay online or order online. As soon as you get support, you begin offering a better product.
  4. Eliminate downtime. With IT support, you can eliminate or dramatically reduce downtime. If your IT department doesn't know what they are doing, you may have downtime when upgrades are being made. If they take too long, you may lose a lot of money.
  5. Eliminate staff. You can eliminate a lot of unnecessary staff because of learning how to use technology to your advantage. This includes your receptionist thanks to hosted phone solutions.
  6. Help is a phone call away. There are going to be times when you need to know how to do something. If you have IT support, you can pick up the phone and get answers.
  7. Issues won't linger. The moment you need help, help is dispatched to you. This is simply because you are paying to get your problems fixed.
  8. Get the documentation you need. It's important to get a guarantee on your downtime and everything else. If you aren't paying a third party, you don't get this guarantee.
  9. Use technology more efficiently. Technology is everywhere you look, but it may not be in use where you need it the most. Let IT support tell you how to enhance your business with all of the latest software and all of the latest process management that is currently out on the market.
  10. Utilize your time better. You don't have time to focus on every aspect of IT, which means you should hand it off to someone else. The money that you spend in IT services will come back to because of being able to work on more projects - and even enhance your sales so that you can increase profits.
Formed in 1997 and located in Houston, Dallas and Austin Texas and in Dubai, ERGOS is an IT solutions provider that stays ahead of the curve, providing innovative IT services. We provide our clients the kind of service that we would want. ERGOS provides managed IT services, IT infrastructure, Cloud IT and business solutions that Power Your Business and empower your work force. Our three technology divisions, Managed IT Services, Cloud IT Solutions and Business Solutions (Web Hosting and Development, Search Engine Optimization, Business Process Analysis) will address all your IT needs.
By Jeff Weigang

3 Major Benefits of Custom Software Application Development

Computer applications have reduced human effort significantly, apart from also improving service delivery within organizations. Many businesses have in the past adopted custom software solutions for diverse operations. The main aim of using these programs is streamlining business functions and enhancing the overall operational efficiency. In order to undertake custom software application development your firm needs to put together a team is comprising of a system analyst and programmer/custom software developer. You can also choose to hire custom software development companies to help you.
There are several advantages of utilizing custom software programs within an organization. These include:
1) Coordinating Business Processes
Business Web applications enable firms to achieve coordination of various processes, through a central information repository, an act that boosts communication in different departments. Various stakeholders can utilize the centralized software in the firm, which enhances efficiency and service delivery. Developers of custom business software analyze organizational needs then come up with software best customized for the firm.
2) Updating New Content
Your company can update as well as manipulate content within custom business web applications. This provides them with an avenue to host new, accurate details on the website. Such applications help your firm to keep up with the latest industry trends. A web developer can easily install new tools plus designs in websites that are already customized. A fresh and regularly updated online presence will help your firm to not only retain old clients but also attract new ones.
3) Integrating Business Functions
Software developers design custom mobile apps while having your company in mind. These programs are crafted to fit into your organization's processes without a glitch. Their aim is to integrate the multiple functions performed by your staff within the organization. Users of custom mobile applications need not try fitting their processes into a different application. Management and employees both get relieved by the gains which come from adopting custom mobile apps. Procedures for training are easy, as employees would have been acquainted with the processes used.
It is in fact your staff that designs the custom software applications utilized by your organization. As a result, your business firm will not require obtaining any licenses in order to operate them, since it owns the license and rights of using that software. This means your company can do anything with it. Custom software application development comes in handy especially where huge numbers of personnel get to use them for free. An additional benefit is that your company will also not require any authorization when conducting changes in future to accommodate business growth.

By Harikrishna B. Patel

Friday, 28 February 2014

Cell Phone Detector Security Devices

If you are a business manager, or otherwise responsible for safeguarding your company's assets, here are five important technologies you should consider as part of your security solution.
Entrance alarms
For any business location, however large or small, security starts at the perimeter. Any possible point of entry should be equipped with an alarm system. In many cases, this works in conjunction with electronic ID cards that are issued to employees, who can use them to operate electronic locks. Electronic locks can also be used to restrict access to sensitive areas within the building, such as computer server rooms or research labs, where only authorized personnel are allowed.
Closed-circuit television
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are one of the most efficient and effective ways of monitoring the safety and security of business premises. Many public premises such as retail locations make a point of placing CCTV monitors prominently where would-be shoplifters will see them and, hopefully, be deterred from committing a crime. In offices and manufacturing facilities, cameras can help ensure employees are not indulging in inappropriate behavior of any kind. They can also help with employee safety in locations such as parking lots (monitoring for automobile break-ins, for example).
Motion detectors
Motion detectors can be deployed to detect the presence of unauthorized visitors in a wide variety of locations. Their advantage over security cameras is that they do not rely on the vigilance of an operator staring at a screen to spot an intrusion. Instead, any movement that triggers the detectors will set off an alarm that alerts security personnel. Motion detectors can be used to complement a building perimeter security system. Even if an intruder somehow manages to get into the building, he will set off an alarm as soon as he enters any area protected by a motion detector.
RF detectors
cell phone detector and RF detection devices identify emissions from various kinds of electronic equipment. These can be used to signal the presence of a variety of threats to security, including hidden microphones, cameras, and even GPS trackers. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use a cell phone detector, which is a type of RF detector that is specifically designed to detect cell phone transmissions in areas where these are prohibited.
Fire alarms and smoke detectors
Last, but by no means least, are precautions against fire. A fire is perhaps the most devastating disaster that can hit a business. It can completely destroy business premises, and all of the records, inventory, computer systems, and everything else that a business relies on to function. It is imperative that you install fire alarms and smoke detectors that, at minimum, meet the regulations that govern your commercial premises, and ensure that these are regularly maintained and tested.

By Mavis Black 

Why You Should Be Texting Your Call Center!

We recently had an opportunity to create an emergency notification text messaging system for a financial service application built on ShoreTel iPBX and ECC technology. The requirement was to push out text based alerts to individual or groups of ShoreTel phones based on external events. These were typically stock tick updates and very time sensitive! The requirements document also required the ability to send text messages on manually on demand. The text messages would either be created by the Receptionist entering the text into a webpage for transmittal to the select phones or group of phones; or based on the receipt of a SMS text message. The SMS message would be relayed to the ShoreTel Phone API and then passed off to a group of phones for follow up by brokers as required to satisfy the client requests.
We have long contended that SMS application will find their way into the Call Center as triggers to initiate a scheduled call back as alternative to "please hold for the next available agent". The opportunity to implement such an application was for us very exciting. Smartphones, undeniably ubiquitous, offer the possibility that customer service applications can be developed to enable customers to contact an inside "agent" without having to navigate a call tree! Why increase the number of telephone lines coming into your call center, just to put callers on hold until the next available agent can accept the call? People on hold, are people frustrated. If clients could just send a text message to the call center, targeted at the specific agent group responsible for problem or opportunity resolution, assured by return text message that they will be called at place and time certain, over all costs for all would be reduced and customer satisfaction increased. The concept of "abandoned" calls would be eliminated and real time reports, dramatically redefined!
We invision a Call Center in which there are actually very few incoming lines. The entire call center is based on Agents calling clients back based on agreed to call times defined in an incoming SMS Text message sent from a smart phone or smart phone application. The application, though functionally generic, could be made specific to a company product or service and also include the CRM links necessary for an Agent to service an account when they call the client back at the appointed time. This is a much more stream lined approach to Call Center operations in which telephone lines are optimized, Client service is customized and Agent time maximized.
There are any number of SMS gateways that can be integrated as an internal server or as a subscribed service and combined with the display functions of a ShoreTel phone to enable this scenario. Additionally, Waze can send real time location updates that can also be routed to ShoreTel phone displays. Imagine the application of location based services to SMS text messages out to the display of ShoreTel phones in a call center environment! ShoreTel does an excellent job of documenting the SDK and API interfaces necessary to support this application. In fact the standard API itself is more than useful and is demonstrated in the accompanying video.

By Peter S Buswell

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Benefits of Reponsive Design

In today's world where mobile devices are fast gaining popularity and are infect replacing laptops and desktops, a large segment of users prefer to carry out most of the tasks using these. In fact so fast has been the growth rate in this segment that neither social networking platforms like Facebook nor the major e-commerce vendors can overlook this segment now. It is therefore important in these times to have the website mobile ready so as not to miss a major chunk of traffic coming visit the mobile devices. There are many ways in which a website may cater to the mobile devices but responsive design is the one
that has become most popular in recent time owing to the many benefits it accrues. In this article we will outline some of the major advantages of this approach:
1] One consolidated website that gives the same user experience as there is no need to have a separate URL with a different mobile copy of the website.
2] Since there is no need for a separate mobile copy of the website, this approach proves to be cheaper and less time taking where as to build a separate mobile site would mean investing more time and resources. This also proves to be quiet effective in terms of man hours since the administrator dos not need to manage two separate websites.
3] Maintaining the aesthetics. Responsive design allows the website to break the website vertically and fit it in according device screen size thus allowing all the images and styles to b kept intact. It also eliminates the need to cut down on images as well as using smaller sized images.
4] Major search engines like Google not only prefers but in fact recommends that the website be responsive since responsive sites use a single URL to cater to the mobile as well as computer traffic, this makes it easy for the search engines to keep track by crawling and indexing the sites. Such sites are often given preference when users search for local service specially, via mobile devices.
5] Increased conversion rate. As outlines earlier many a users nowadays prefer browsing the net using mobile devices. If such users land on a website that is not responsive, they would have a hard time browsing such a website with both vertical and horizontal scrolls. There is also a high probability that website may be rendered improperly on the device. Such users are most likely to leave the website quickly this increasing the bounce rate. Whereas for a responsive website the changes are much higher that the user will stay on and browse the website. This becomes very important in context of e-commerce websites where this may result in higher conversion rates and sales.
With this we have outlined the major benefits of responsive design as briefly as we could without beating around the bush. We hope that this will help you understand the importance of responsive design and would encourage you to adopt this yourself. So go in for responsive design and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

By A. Chaudhary

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Features of a Good Tablet PC

Technology has continued to advance at a pace that is almost unimaginable. There is a new product on the market almost on a daily basis. Since the number of electronic products on the market is increasing at a very fast pace, it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right products to buy. This applies to all kinds of electronic products including tablet PCs. If you have prospects of buying a good tablet, you can use the following tips. First of all, find out whether the storage capacity of the item you wish to purchase is large enough. Tablets can be used to execute a good number of tasks including typing, playing music and viewing movies. A good tablet must have enough memory to store a good number of files. Before buying any electronic item, find out whether its storage capacity is exactly what you want.
Apart from memory, good tablets are supposed to have the ability to execute many tasks at a time. This is commonly referred to as multi-tasking. It is a very important to ensure that the product you are buying has the ability to execute as many tasks as possible simultaneously. This feature can enable you to do many tasks within a very short period of time. There is close relationship between this feature and the device memory. Therefore, make sure that the device you are about to buy has enough internal memory. In most cases, external memory has a little bearing on the multi-tasking abilities of most electronic devices. However, some devices can be set to manipulate the external memory when the need arises. For such devices, increasing the size of the external memory is enough to improve the multi-tasking abilities.
It is always advisable to pay particular attention to the operating system of the item you wish to buy. For tablets and many other electronic devices, the operating system has a huge bearing on their performances. Therefore, it is important to buy a tablet whose operating system is very powerful. If your knowledge on operating systems is scanty, find out from your friends or close relatives who have been exposed to a variety of operating systems. Unlike the features indicated above, the operating system affects many other functions. Some of the functions which are affected by the operating system are multi-tasking abilities, software compatibilities and software installations. The performance of any electronic device is closely related to the functions above.
The introduction of the touch sensitive feature has greatly revolutionised technology. A good tablet is one which is very sensitive and responsive to touch. Before buying any tablet PC, you have to find out from your close friends or relatives who have used the device before whether they found the touch screen of the device as sensitive and as responsive as required.
Another feature worth looking out for is the processor speed. This feature will determine the speed at which all your commands will be executed. The most vital user commands are copying, pasting, deleting and implementing new settings. It will also determine the speed at which the device will be switched on and off.

By Sharmistha Chanda

3 Simple Ways to Speed Up a Mac

Nothing beats the performance of a brand new Mac. It's quick to load up, and can tackle multiple tasks with ease. While you may do your best to keep your Mac clean, photos, documents and your iTunes library may actually be slowing things down. Here are 3 simple and proven ways to speed up your Mac.
How to Speed Up a Mac
Fine Tune Your Startup
If your Mac is slow to startup, you may have too many unnecessary apps trying to load up. Cleaning up your startup will fix the problem. Instead of waiting for your browser to load and a host of other apps, you can start using your Mac right away.
To fine tune your startup, head over to System Preferences > Users & Groups and select your username. Click on the "Login" items, and take a look at the list of apps that startup when you boot your Mac. Uncheck any apps that you don't need. This is the simplest way to speed up a Mac and one of the most effective.
Clean Up Your Hard Drive
Macs use any free hard drive space as virtual memory, so lack of hard drive space can really hinder performance. Freeing up some hard drive space can speed up Mac Pro by providing more virtual memory.
Start out by emptying your Trash and removing any unused apps on your Mac. There's a good chance that you have quite a few apps that were mistakenly installed or only used once. Deleting these from your hard drive will provide you with more space and more virtual memory.
Use the Activity Monitor
Your Mac's Activity Monitor can give you a little insight into which apps are "memory hogs." The Activity Monitor lists all of the running apps, CPU usage, RAM usage and virtual memory usage. If an app is using a considerable amount of virtual memory, you may want to get rid of it or minimize your usage of it. Make sure not to download anything from internet without seeing it properly. These can contain virus, trojan with it that can harm your mac and you might not able to recover it from this issue.
These are three simple ways to speed up your Mac, but you may also want to consider using cleaning utility tools as well. By keeping your hard drive clean and free from unnecessary apps, your Mac should run in tiptop shape at all times.

By Mansoors Shaikh 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Has Hacking Become a Matter of Life and Death?

Hackers have figured out how to break into your car's computer. After several months of research and testing, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will publish detailed blueprints of the techniques to attack critical systems in the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape. They will make this knowledge known through a 100-page white paper.
According to their report, a hacker can control your steering wheel or suddenly slam on the brakes at 80 miles per hour. Or they can disable your braking system at slow speeds. No matter how hard you step on the brake the car will not stop. In other cases, they can accelerate your car when driving at slow speeds.
In their demonstration, they used a laptop computer while sitting in the automobile. They did not research remote hacking because another group had already done so. However, that group is unwilling to publish their findings. It is rumored they used Bluetooth systems and wireless networks in 2011 to break into a vehicle's computer system.
Sounds like James Bond, doesn't it?
Already we are bombarded with notifications about purchasing antivirus software for our computers. Now we should be on the lookout for the same software to protect our automobiles.
This news sets up a theme for World War III. The new mercenary will be the hacker, who is frequently teased and called a nerd, living at home with his parents and sitting in his bedroom orchestrating an attack. They will be able to immobilize an entire nation by controlling vehicles. At worst, they could take the lives of many by causing accidents on highways and city streets.
While this possibility seems far-fetched or too distant in the future, technology and software vulnerabilities make it a reality. If you have On Star, it may be wise to check with them to see if they are taking measures to ensure their system can protect you. They are already set up to control your vehicle through a wireless system.
On another front, there are hackers who have figured out how to override the door locks on luxury cars like Bentleys, Porsches, Audis and Lamborghinis. The researchers were planning to present their findings at a technology trade show. Except, Volkswagen obtained a restraining order from the British high court to prohibit the researchers from presenting their findings.
For now, we may safely ride and park our automobiles. Moving forward, we will have to take precautions that have never been considered. On the other hand, it would seem those who drive the old classic cars from the days when computers were not used could be immune to this threat.
If you are not driving an old classic, you should be nice to the nerds. If the hacker/nerd becomes the vicious soldier of war, you may be first on his or her list.

By Ted Santos

Friday, 21 February 2014

Spyware - Useful Or An Intrusion Of Privacy

 Earlier, if you wanted to keep an eye on your spouse, you would have to rummage through his or her drawer and cupboard to find secret letters and keepsakes. The later decades introduced security locks and codes to help secure personal information from prying eyes. People have now started storing information on their smartphones and, more recently, tablets, in password-protected files and folders. Similar security measures can be adopted for calls and text messages.
The field of science and technology is a queer one. For every new item or facility it creates, it also offers an antidote. This explains the creation and launch of cell phone spyware.


Spyware - An Introduction
Spyware are software applications that enable users to gather confidential information about a person or organization without their knowledge. Such kinds of tracking software applications are typically used to monitor cell phone activity, but they can be used on tablet and computers as well.
The phone spyware applications are installed on a device, secretly. Once installed on the phone or computer, the spyware exports varied details including call logs, text messages sent and received, mobile internet connections, web pages browsed and the phone's physical location.
Normally the data is exported to a cloud server where the person spying can access the date for viewing.
A few highly advanced applications for telephones also allow users to listen to phone conversations, and use the phone as a microphone - someone spying can listen to a conversation in a room where the telephone is. The owner of the phone, tablet or computer does not have the slightest hint that private information is being transferred to a third-party via the tracking software application.
Types of Spyware
1) Most are in the form of concealed malware that generally tags along with free downloads or gains access to your system when you visit pornographic sites. As soon as they gain entry, they set up automatically and start leaking out private and confidential information.
2) The other type includes software applications that are purchased and installed on the device one intends to track. After the application has been successfully installed, the user only has to log in to the app website to track movements and access your information.


Who can use Cell Phone Spyware?
Spyware has earned a bad name because it is largely used by criminals and stalkers. Gathering information covertly might also not sound like a very good idea to you. However, it isn't bad if it is for the opposite person's good or the good of the people at large.
Computer and cell phone spyware were used to launch successful business marketing campaigns. By monitoring a person's use of the internet including the websites visited and the pages viewed, business owners attempted to tweak their marketing strategies and thereby reach their target audience.
Parents and spouses make up a large percent of commercial spyware users. As far as parents are concerned, the use is for a good reason. Given the amount of time children spend online, parents should keep a check on the websites their children visit, the people they contact and their whereabouts; whether they attend school regularly or spend their time elsewhere. Spouses also have the right to know to if their partner is cheating on them.
Answering the question posed in the title - useful or intrusion of privacy, it's a matter of how you use the phone spyware application! For sure though it is important to note that phone spyware available online is illegal in most countries without the consent of the user (or a warrant).
So whilst parents could potentially put the spyware on their children's telephones to protect them, if a husband puts it on his wife's phone without her knowledge this is an illegal invasion of privacy.

By Meini Listanti