Category Archives: Guest Writers

Blogging – How Powerful Is It?

Guest writer Ken Myers, offers some surprising data on blogging.

imageBlogging has become a very influential part of online activity. What was once a simple way of developing an online method for a log of events, has turned into a way of communicating information regarding any aspect of life you may think of.

Since the first bloggers began writing information in the early 2000s, popularity of the activity has inspired millions of people around the globe. How influential has blogging become?

1. Replication – In every one-half of a second, a new blog is put up on the Internet. While this can account for a great deal of how often people blog, you should also consider that a large portion of these blogs usually become inactive or produce very little in terms of information and activity.

2. Early Bird – More blogs are read in the early morning  – twice as many as are read at night. For those who wish to catch an early start to the day, posting information before six in the morning has a greater chance of attracting attention and being read. Most content is read by 10 AM and slowly declines as the day progresses.

3. Since the 1990s… – In 1994, Justin Hall published the first “blog” while he was a college student. As early as 1999, there were only 23 blogs spotted throughout the Internet. In the following five years, that number rose to approximately three million.

4. Freedom of Speech – Currently, the majority of bloggers reside in the United States. Nearly 31 million blogs have been created making up nearly 20-percent of all blogging worldwide. Freedom of speech could be partially accredited to the mass amount of information Americans are able to share.

5. Business Traffic – A business that has a regular blogging schedule can amplify leads and traffic to its website. Simply producing a single post per day can increase traffic by five times more than a blog that has less than four posts during the month.

6. Sales – Companies with more than 51 blog articles can experience a 77-percent increase in monthly leads. If a business could produce a single post per day, sales income could increase greatly after three months. It’s all about patience and quality content.

7. Educated – As of 2009, 75-percent of bloggers have college degrees. Approximately 40-percent have graduate degrees. Does this mean that college students are more inclined to share information, or are they looking for a method to pay student loans?

8. Sharing – Nearly three-quarters of bloggers do so in order to share their expertise and knowledge. However, only 61-percent of bloggers do so in order to supplement an income. As blogging has been deemed as potentially lucrative, it is one of the few ways that one can get paid to share his or her knowledge without subscribing to a full-time job, or keeping corporate hours.

Although there is still room on the Internet for traditional websites and eCommerce, blogging has overpowered previous methods of sharing information online. They can be tied into social networking hubs such as Facebook and Twitter, or use to generate income through the use of paid advertising and affiliate marketing.

How often is the information you’re looking for posted on someone’s blog?

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of Longhornleads.com and has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

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Filed under Blogging Tips, Business Development, Guest Writers, Opinion

Three Reasons Why You Won’t Regret Building Your Own Gaming Computer

In this guest author post, Brent Hale lays out a series of benefits associated with building your own gaming computer – some of which you may not have considered.

imageBuilding your own computer is a daunting task. There’s a lot of risk that you, the system-builder, must take on, because there’s a lot that can go wrong during the building process.

And, even though there is an infinite amount of information available on the internet on how to assemble a computer, any misstep you make during your build could potentially cost you a lot of money. Obviously, that’s not something that the majority of computer-users and PC gamers want to deal with.

However, if you are willing to accept the challenge of building your own gaming computer, then there are a lot of rewards that you will receive from the process as well. In this article I will go over three reasons why you won’t regret building your own gaming computer.

#1 – You’ll Save Yourself Some Money

Despite the fact that PC gaming has long been the most powerful gaming platform, some gamers have never made the switch over due to the high costs associated with getting a capable gaming computer. And, rightfully so.

Pre-built high-end gaming computers from the manufacturer often exceed $1,000. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for most gamers, especially when you consider how much the popular gaming consoles cost.

Fortunately, the good news is that a solid gaming computer can be had for much less than $1,000. You just have to build it yourself…

One of the biggest reasons why people end up building their own PC is to save some money. By building your own gaming computer you cut out the middleman and you avoid having to pay high markup prices.

The money saved from cutting out the middleman can help you in two ways:

1) you can keep that saved money, or

2) you can put that saved money back into your build.

Obviously, the first option will allow gamers who wouldn’t normally be able to get a quality gaming computer do so. And, the second option will allow gamers to stretch their budgets and get a more powerful rig.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a solid gaming computer and price is one of your big concerns, then cutting out the middleman and building your own system is a great option.

#2 – You’ll Be Able to Build Your System Exactly How You Want It

One of the ways that computer manufacturers are able to maximize their profits is by buying the components they use in their builds in bulk. This is great for them, because they get a discount on the parts.

However, the problem is that they build up an inventory of certain components and they are forced to use only those parts in their systems. As a result, computer manufacturers typically only offer a limited amount of builds and they don’t present a whole lot of customization options. This can be frustrating for gamers who want to build their computer a specific way, with specific parts.

By building your own computer, the doors are opened to whatever components you want to use. That means that you can customize your system to the specifications that you want.

Not only that, but by choosing to build your own system, you will also get to control the quality of the components that go into your computer.

Manufacturers have long been known to put cheap power supplies and motherboards in their builds in order to cut costs and increase their profits. And, while power supplies and motherboards won’t contribute directly to your in-game experience, they do play a significant role on the overall build quality of your system. Furthermore, a cheap motherboard and/or power supply can cause a lot of problems for you down the road.

So, an added benefit of building your own computer is that you can ensure that your computer is of a high quality – because you will be solely responsible for choosing the parts that comprise it. This will allow you to build a more durable and more efficient running computer that will last you a lot longer than an ordinary manufacturer-built machine.

#3 – You’ll Gain an Important and Extremely Relevant Skill

In today’s tech-driven world we rely so much on computers. In fact, we’ve become so dependent on computers in the past 20 years that if they were taken away it’s likely that the whole world would erupt in chaos. This probably isn’t a good thing… but it does show how important computers are in our society.

Due to how important computers are, perhaps one of the most rewarding benefits that comes with building a computer is the knowledge that you’ll gain and the value and the opportunities that that knowledge will present you.

First off, by knowing how to build your own computer, instead of having to buy a brand new computer every three or four years, you’ll be much more inclined to upgrade your system as it becomes necessary. This will save you even more money over the long run and it will make your initial investment last even longer.

In addition to saving money through upgrades, you’ll also be able to help your friends and family members save money by helping them build their own computer as well.

Or, you can turn your new skill into a side business. There are a lot of people who want high-end custom-built computers that are tailored to their own specific needs. Unfortunately for those people, there aren’t a whole lot of mainstream options for them to get those kinds of computers. So, if you enjoy your initial building experience, there are definitely opportunities for you to profit from it.

In any case, knowing how to build a computer definitely doesn’t limit you. Instead, it opens the doors up to new opportunities and gives you leverage in a world dominated by technology.

Build Your Next Computer… You Won’t Regret It

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with building your own computer. You have to choose your own components, assemble your system, and troubleshoot should anything go wrong. And, if you do run into any problems, it’s up to you to fix them.

However, for those of you who are brave enough to take on building your own computer, there are a lot of benefits that you’ll receive. You’ll save more money, get a higher quality machine, and you’ll gain a valuable skill.

So, even though there is risk involved, there are also a lot of reasons why you should consider building your next gaming computer.

Author Bio

Brent is an avid PC gamer and huge computer hardware enthusiast. He runs EliteGamingComputers.com—a site dedicated to helping gamers build their own PCs. If you’re looking for a new gaming PC, stop by EGC for more information. There you’ll find a number of builds for cheap gaming PCs and high-end systems alike.

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Filed under Games, Guest Writers, Technicians Advise

Review: Counter-Strike Global Offensive

imageCounter-Strike Global Offensive, or GO for short, is the next title in the series of counter-strike games. I have played all of the recent games, so I figured I would give this one a try as well.

The first thing I noticed when starting up Global Offensive was that the graphics have improved. The maps have become a bit more detailed and the character models are much improved. The previous versions of counter-strike required a lot of skill and strategy and CS:GO is the same way. Due to this, CS:GO has evolved as the next big game being played in leagues and in LAN tournaments.

For those who have no idea what counter-strike involves, it is a pretty simple concept. CS:GO pits terrorists versus counter-terrorists in 2 different scenarios.

The first scenario is a game mode in which the terrorists are trying to plant a bomb at particular locations around the map. It is the counter-terrorists job to try to stop this from happening. If the bomb gets planted, the counter-terrorists have a limited amount of time to try to defuse the bomb before it blows up.

The second scenario is a hostage rescue mission. In this mode, the terrorists start by a group of hostages. The counter-terrorists then try to reach and rescue the hostages.

Maps

One thing that has stayed pretty consistent through the different versions of the game is the maps. CS:GO holds true to the counter-strike series by having many of the same maps, just with a few updates. A few of the maps have minor changes that have helped to balance sides a bit.

One great thing about CS:GO is the communities ability to create maps. Unlike other games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, counter-strike comes with a map editor which allows members of the community to create their own maps. These custom maps are a huge hit with the casual CS:GO gamers. A constant creation of new maps can really keep the game interesting.

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Weapons

In general, the weapons are pretty similar to the previous versions of counter-strike. However, there were a few small changes. A few pistols have been changed. Also, a few SMGs and shotguns have been changed as well. Most players use the rifles and these have pretty much stayed unchanged.

image

Competitive Match Making and Ranking System

One huge change in the new CS:GO is the competitive match making system. In previous versions of counter-strike, you would simply have to find a server on your own through browsing. Usually when doing this, you would have to find and play in a community run public server – these rarely used competition rules. If you really only played casually, this wasn’t a huge deal. However, if you liked the idea of a playing a match, then it was pretty tough to find a game.

With CS:GO, you are able to play in competitive mode with the click of a button. If you want to play with friends – easy, just invite them to a lobby before you search for a game.

This new system gives you a rank after a few games. This rank is then used to help match you up with players that are around your skill level. If you play with friends, the system will try to average your ranks when looking for a game. I personally have seen many of my steam friends get into the competitive mode. These were people who never left a casual game in the past. I see this as a big accomplishment by CS:GO to be able to bring new players into this mode of the game.

Overall, I think CS:GO is a great step for the counter-strike series and I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoyed past versions of counter-strike.

Guest author Bio:

Guest author post  by Dominic Acito of domstechblog.com. Dominic brings a background as a high level super user and gamer, to the Blogging world.

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Filed under Games, Guest Writers, Online Gaming, Software

4 Amazing Things Created By 3D Printing

In 1984 3D printing was born, and after some incredible advances in 3D printing technology over the past twenty years, we’re now at a point where we’re beginning to see some impressive results.

I have put together a list of some of the craziest, most impressive and potentially world-changing 3D printed objects that have so far been created by this mind-blowing technology – which is still only in its infancy.

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1. Artificial blood vessels

Back in 2011 a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany successfully overcome problems in tissue engineering when they printed working blood vessels.

There had been a number of research teams that tried to overcome the problems involved in providing artificial tissue with nutrients that need to arrive via capillary vessels, but these results from the German team are the most promising.

If creating working blood vessels wasn’t impressive enough, the technology could soon be used to help those patients on organ donation lists, and allow us to print fully working organs for transplant.

2. A gun

While an entire 3D printed gun hasn’t yet been made, technological advances have meant that certain parts of guns can be. Lower receivers, the parts of a gun that include the workings of the trigger and the magazine, have already been successfully printed and fitted by some 3D printing/gun enthusiasts – and it’s been causing quite a bit of controversy.

Should the technology improve to a point where additional gun parts can be manufactured (and the odds of that happening are pretty strong) then 3D printers could effectively kill a country’s gun control legislation, with individuals effectively able to create their own weapons at home – or at least, part of them.

3. A prosthetic jaw

In 2012 Belgium scientists created a 3D-printed jawbone for an 83-year-old woman after her jaw became badly infected. The standard 20-hour surgery required to reconstruct the jaw was deemed too dangerous considering the patients age, so something else had to be thought up…

While prosthetic jaws have been created before, the operation was the first ever to involve a 3D printed prosthetic. The prosthetic jaw was printed in layers from titanium powder before being covered in a ‘bioceramic’ coating.

4. Other 3D printers…

In 2007 RepRap Project (short for replicating rapid prototyper) – a company whose goal is to develop the world’s first self-replicating 3D printer – released Darwin, a 3D printer capable of printing almost all of its component parts.

RepRap Project hopes one day to be able to supply their 3D printers cheaply to people around the world, and to communities in need of materials normally associated with expensive industrial processes that they have no access to.

Exciting news for global development – these self-replicating 3D printer could well bring about a new industrial revolution in the 21st century.

This is an article by Rob Henry who is one of the directors at Ink Worldwide, which provides products like Epson, HP, Canon and Brother Ink and Toner throughout the UK. Rob has been with Ink Worldwide from the beginning and has played a major role in helping run and grow the company.

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Filed under 3D Printing, Guest Writers, Printers

Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Website And Network Secure

imageEvery day, innocent websites are compromised by malicious hackers. Google identifies almost 10,000 malware-infected websites each day, and half of those are genuine websites belonging to legitimate companies. These companies haven’t done anything wrong, but they find themselves blacklisted by Google, and that’s only the edge of the brutal iceberg.

Hackers inject vicious malware into these sites to infect visitors. They confuse and lure users to dodgy websites and they break in and steal important and often sensitive customer information.

It’s a real and constant problem, but there are easy and simple steps you can take to guard against these attacks and keep your site, your network, and your customers safe and sound.

1. Use strong passwords, keep them secure and change them frequently

We all know that we should choose complex passwords, but sometimes laziness takes over and we slack off. This is a crucial mistake. Obviously, you want to choose exceptionally strong passwords for your server and website admin area, because a vulnerable password here is a free ticket for hackers to cripple your site and do untold amounts of damage.

It can be inconvenient to remember frequently changing passwords, but in the end, it’s a simple solution that can save a lot of headaches in the future. It’s also imperative that you enforce good password practices for your users.

Compromised user accounts are a special hell of their own. Demanding that minimum password requirements are met for registration will force users to make smart choices. Insist on eight characters, at least an uppercase letter and a number or special character. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it.

Make sure that any passwords are stored as encrypted values. Ideally, you’ll use a one way hashing algorithm like SHA. This method means that during authentication, only encrypted values are ever compared. In a worst-case scenario, if someone hacks in and steals passwords, this will limit the damage.

They can’t decrypt them, and they will be reduced to attempting dictionary or brute force attacks, trying every single combination until a match comes up. It’s time consuming and computationally expensive and just not worth the effort for most people.

Your wireless network password should be seriously strong, and the network should be protected by Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) rather than WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). WEP encryption is brittle and hackable in minutes these days and should never be relied upon.

It’s also imperative to ensure that your PCs are well protected against viruses at all times to prevent password theft.

2. Be discreet with your error messages

Make sure your error messages aren’t giving away too much information. If your website requires a login, you should pay attention to how your error messages deliver the message that their login attempt has failed. A quick-and-simple, very generic message such as “incorrect login information” is your best bet.

It doesn’t tell the user if half the query is right (especially not which half!) When a hacker is attempting brute force attacks to gain access to usernames and passwords and the error message identifies one field as correct, that’s valuable information for him. He then knows that he’s halfway there and can concentrate all his attention and effort on the remaining field. Don’t make it easy for them!

3. Keep software up to date

Make sure that you’re consistently and quickly applying security updates to all of your software. From your personal PC’s virus protection, to your server operating system, and website software like content management systems, blogging, forums, and blogging platforms.

Hackers are quick to exploit any known holes and bugs, and you want to get there first. Sign up to the mailing lists and RSS feeds of all your software vendors. They’ll be the first to alert you to any security issues and their solutions. Find out and follow it up.

4. Limit Use of your Administrator Account

Keep your computer’s admin account for installing updates and software, or for reconfiguring the host when you have to. Don’t go online while logged into your admin account. Non-privileged user accounts are not just for guests and visitors: you should have one yourself for everyday use. If you browse the web and read your email with an admin account, you leave yourself open for an attacker to gain entry and access to your host.

5. Ask the experts

You don’t have to do it all on your own. There are good tools out there for monitoring your own website, but not everyone has the time or inclination to stay on top of security 24/7.

It’s possible to find monitoring services for very reasonable prices. These companies will check for malicious activity, give you an alert if your website shows up on a blacklist, scan your site for vulnerabilities, and be there for support and repairs if you do fall prey to a hack.

If you’re dealing with databases of sensitive customer information that are attached to your site, it’s probably worth it to get an expert in from the start, sweeping your code for bugs and building in extra lines of defense from the ground up. For small businesses, companies such as SiteLock and Stop the Hacker offer packages for under $100 a year.

This guest post was provided by Amanda Gareis on behalf of Drexel University Online. Drexel expanded into the online learning sector in 1996 and now offers its recognized curricula to a worldwide audience. Drexel Online offers degrees in Information Science, Information Technology, and Computing and Security Technology. The university also provides an Information Technology Career and Salary Guide resource for those looking to enter the industry.

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Education, Guest Writers, Internet Safety

Choosing Backup and Recovery Solutions for the Virtual Environment

One of the least popular action words in computing – perhaps not the runaway leader – but it’s up there – backup. 

One of the most expensive undertakings in computing – perhaps not the most expensive – but it’s up there – the painful crisis following a system failure without a – backup.

There’s no need to remind regular readers of the inevitability of a hard drive crash and of the necessity of running with a proactive backup strategy – they get it (I think   Smile  )

But, given the accelerating pace of change in the small business market – most particular in the use of  virtual machines, small business owners may well need a quick refresher in how to implement a strategy which ensure both physical and virtual environments are actively protected.

Here’s a timely guest article from Michael Krutikov, a Product Marketing Manager over at Symantec, in which Michael explains how to get it right.

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imageIn a virtual environment, each host server has the potential to become a single point of failure for business-critical applications. Because of this, businesses need to invest in practically invulnerable backup and recovery solutions that have been specifically designed for the virtual environment – as well as the physical environment.

You could, of course, use one backup and recovery solution for your physical environment and purchase a second for your virtual environment, but that can introduce a whole host of problems that you may not have the time or resources to handle, like the need to manage a second interface, the disruption to your team – who has to learn it – and the cost for a second set of backup hardware and licenses. Instead, most experts recommend streamlining your backup and recovery needs by finding a single solution that protects both environments and will:

  • Provide granular- and application-level recovery. To ensure that you can restore what you need, when you need it, make sure that your backup and recovery solution offers all levels of recovery, including full virtual machine, individual virtual disks, virtualized application & database servers, as well as files, folders and even individual emails. That way, you can get your most critical business components back up and running quickly.
  • Deduplicate (data deduplication is a specialized data compression technique for eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data), across both physical and virtual environments. When you deduplicate data across both the physical and virtual environments, you’re able to not only save large amounts of disk space as compared to compression or single-instance storage, but you can reduce backup storage costs and backup window times, as well.
  • Include storage efficient backup. This improved form of data backup will exclude deleted blocks from a backup to increase your storage efficiency.
  • Automatically convert physical backups to virtual machines. By choosing a backup and recovery solution with this feature, you’re able restore physical servers to virtual machines, and it eliminates the need to have an already-configured, physical server ready to go in case of a failure.
  • Offers physical server and multi-hypervisor support. Because many organizations are running multiple hypervisors, finding a solution that supports them all will simplify your backup complexity, and management – and help reduce your licensing costs.

To ensure that your backup and recovery solution keeps even new virtual machines protected, be sure to look for one that will automatically detect new machines as they come online. That way, your team won’t have to spend time and energy searching for new machines – or editing backup up policies when new applications move to different hosts.

Michael Krutikov is a Product Marketing Manager, supporting Backup Exec since joining Symantec in 2007. With a 14 year career in IT, he now works on marketing partnerships and programs built from thousands of meetings with partners and customers in a constant learning mission to deliver Symantec solutions that can better address their needs.

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Filed under Backup Applications, Guest Writers, Symantec, System Recovery Tools

Ransomware! – How A Layered Security Approach Can Defeat It

My Australian mate, Mal Cowan, steps into the breech when his good friend gets infected with one of the most difficult to remove pieces of malware currently ripping up the Internet – ransomware. Follow Mal, in this guest writer article, as he spins up his skill set and puts the hammer to a ransomware payload cybercrime.

imageRecently, I received a frantic call from a good friend.  He informed me that when he booted his computer, there was a message supposedly from Australian Law Enforcement, stating that his PC had been involved in illegal activity and, distributing pornographic material.

Freak-out time – The malware had taken a photo of him via his webcam and placed it in the top  middle of the Law Enforcement notice.

Note: This scam is not restricted to Australia. The graphic below provides ample evidence that this type of ransomware is a global issue.

Graphic courtesy of F-Secure.

Immediately, I knew what this program was – Ransomware.  Tech and blog sites have been full of news of this scourge in the past few months.

At first look, there was a full screen message – complete with an official looking logo from the Australian Federal Police.  The computer’s IP address had been logged, and there was indeed a photo of my friend, along with the messages outlined above.

The clincher? The message stated that he had to pay a fine to unlock his computer.

First, I tried to start Task Manager to stop the malware process.  That did not work – it simply would not load.  The computer was well and truly locked.

Next, I tried to restart the computer in Safe Mode.  No luck.  The message appeared again.  Still frozen.

Then, I inserted Kaspersky Rescue Disk (a fantastic Linux based recovery disk made for just this type of situation), and restarted the computer.

Selecting boot options before Windows started, I loaded Kaspersky and updated the malware database via the Internet.  The wonderful thing about Kaspersky is, it scans the infected machine without Windows running, so anything nasty cannot hide.

After a three hour scan, Kaspersky came up with 50 Trojan detections (one of the biggest I have ever seen).  It was able to eliminate all but one of them.

I crossed my fingers and restarted Windows.  Instead of the message, there was just a big white screen – still locked.  Kaspersky had obviously made a dent, but I needed something more.

Before leaving for my friends house, I had loaded up a USB stick with Hitman Pro Kickstart.  Hitman Pro is a wonderful true cloud antivirus scanner using multiple AV engines, with an excellent detection rate.

Recently, it also added a feature in which one can create a bootable USB stick that can bypasses the infected boot process.  The catch is – this must be done on an uninfected machine (which is why I used my personal computer to create it).

I inserted the USB stick into the slot, restarted the machine, and went to boot options (the F12 key on the infected machine) and selected “Boot from USB”.

Hitman Pro Kickstart came through.  It booted straight into the Windows environment without a hitch, and then proceeded to run a scan (an Internet connection is required).  I was a bit dismayed when the scan came back clean, as I knew Kaspersky had not been able to eliminate one threat.

But now, I was past the ransomware Trojan and able to start other antimalware applications.  Malwarebytes was next.  I updated it and proceeded to run a full scan.  Bingo.  It nailed a few more Trojans that had got past Kaspersky and Hitman Pro, and after deleting these nasties and rebooting the computer normally again, a further scan with Hitman Pro, Malwarebytes and AVG, the computer came up clean.

The point of my story really is quite simple.  NOBODY can rely on one antivirus/antimalware application to catch all malware.  The ransomware obviously got past the onboard, realtime antivirus (which was not AVG, I installed that afterwards).  Kaspersky detected most of the infections, Hitman Pro helped me boot into the Windows environment, and Malwarebytes cleaned up the rest.  AVG came up with a clean scan after I uninstalled the old antivirus.

How did my friend get infected?  Who knows.  There are so many exploits that this Trojan could have used that I don’t have a clue.  The computer is a family machine, used mostly by children for online games and such.

Just visiting a family friendly site can get your computer infected these days. It could have been worse.  It might have been an infection that actually encrypted the contents of the whole computer.  That’s a nightmare I am glad I didn’t have to deal with.

Thanks Mal.   Smile

9 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Free Security Programs, Guest Writers, Malware Removal

How Solid Ink Technology Can Revolutionize Workplace Sustainability

Think you know ink? In this guest author article, you’ll get an introduction to an old “new” technology – Solid Ink.

imageAlthough Solid Ink technology is far from a brand-new concept – having been around since the early 1990s – it remains unique in its innovative printing method as one of the most economical and environmentally friendly techniques in the printer industry.

It is not only an increasingly viable and affordable option for businesses looking to improve the color output and professionalism of their business documents; it has the ability to significantly improve a company’s bottom line.

Developed by Xerox and brought to market in 1991, Solid Ink is now said to generate up to 90 per cent less printing waste than comparable color laser printers; resulting in a very attractive low total cost of ownership.

As a cartridge-free technology, there are no cartridges to dispose of from the workplace and subsequently, less packaging to feed to the landfills. But how does it work and how does it provide such a vibrant print output in comparison to a conventional laser or LED printer?

Solid Ink images are printed onto a rotating drum that is offset onto paper with just a single pass of the print engine. This imaging process ensures an almost-100 per cent ink-to-page transfer for normal printing.

Unlike toners that can spill and leak, causing wastage, not to mention smudge resulting in poorer quality print output, Solid Ink sticks are incredibly safe and clean, generating a miniscule amount of landfill waste in comparison with a typical color laser.

Businesses looking to minimize waste of valuable resources on printer maintenance should look to adopt a Solid Ink printer immediately. These only consist of three main assemblies – the print head, the print drum and the controller. With fewer parts to maintain and repair and its ability to last for up to 10,000 prints on average, these printers also use considerably less energy over the light cycle and reduce the energy consumption of color printers from over 75 per cent by an additional 42 per cent.

There is a myth that Solid Ink devices can take a long time to warm up, holding back print jobs that result in delays and workplace inefficiency. It is not however regarded an issue in the typical office environment, particularly where Solid Ink printers are left ‘idle’ in low-power modes rather than switched off entirely.

Many of Xerox’s uniquely-developed Solid Ink printers boast a patented Intelligent Ready power management function that learns and adapts to the unique print usage patterns of your particular workplace.

With a low entry price and greatly reduced cost per page Solid Ink printing technology is now the most environmentally friendly way of putting image to paper and can greatly reduce a business’s carbon footprint in line with government targets.

About the author

“How Solid Ink Technology Can Revolutionize Workplace Sustainability” is written by authorized Xerox supplier First Choice Business Systems, one of the UK’s leading providers of Solid Ink multifunctional printers and print production environments. It aims to maximize efficiency, cost control and organizational fit for customers across a breadth of industries.

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Filed under Digital Media, Green Living, Guest Writers

Google Nexus 4 – The Best Android Device Ever?

Google’s Nexus 4 might just be the best Android device around. Guest writer Allison Foster walks you through a comprehensive overview – see what you think.

imageIn keeping with the aesthetics and innovative features of its bigger brothers, the Google Nexus 4 is a smartphone to contend with. This device has the technological benefits of the tablet line condensed into a small pocket version with access to telecommunications.

Providing overwhelming graphic capabilities as well as processing power, the Nexus 4 is loaded with the hardware it needs in order to accomplish virtually any task. It is a phone that can engage a person on a variety of levels whether it is for entertainment, professional, or personal use.

1. Display – Using a 4.7-inch display, the Google Nexus 4 runs at a resolution of 1280×768 with 320 pixels per inch. This provides an amazing clarity for video and graphics, making it ideal for streaming movies or playing games. Operating at such resolutions also makes web browsing ideal as one would be able to see the website as it would be on a desktop computer system or view the condensed site if it had been optimized for smartphones. Protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2, one could feel comfortable with carrying the Nexus 4 in his or her pocket without worry of keys or other materials scratching the glass.

2. Connections – The Google Nexus 4 is compatible with a number of carriers as it uses GSM, EDGE, and GPRS on 850, 900, 1800, and 1900MHz bands. This unlocked smartphone is capable of using 3G networks, support for more than 200 service carriers, and can connect to virtually any wireless access point supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n. As an added bonus, Bluetooth and Android Beam technologies increase connectivity across millions of devices.

Keeping true to using innovative technologies, the Google Nexus 4 is capable of wireless charging. This form of replenishment is also called inductive charging and uses electromagnetic fields in order to transfer energy from a charging base to the receiving unit. This technology has been utilized in the past in key-cards and readers.

3. CPU and Memory – Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 CPU, the Google Nexus 4 operates at 1.5Ghz with a quad-core chipset. Backed by 2GB of memory, this smartphone has power to burn for running multiple apps simultaneously. Even Google admits to the Nexus 4 as being, “our snappiest smartphone yet.”

4. Features – Loaded with the standard apps that accompany any Android device, the Nexus 4 also supports:

i. An 8MP rear and 1.3MP front facing camera – This provides amazingly clear and detailed images

ii. A built-in microphone – When combined with one of the built-in cameras, this phone can utilize video conferencing through Google+ with exceptional quality

iii. The ability to voice search – Searching the Internet is easier if you don’t have to type in the letters. Just tell the Nexus 4 what it is you need to search

iv. Gesture Typing – No longer will you have to press each letter individually in order to create sentences. With Gesture Typing, you simply run your fingers across the letters of the on-screen keyboard in a fluid motion

Google Wallet – Contain the information of your credit and debit cards within Google Wallet in order to use your phone for wireless payment at one of more than 200,000 locations around the United States

The Google Nexus 4 is a premier phone that is built for longevity and multitasking. With access to apps such as Google Play, Netflix, and more this phone can provide a wealth of entertainment and communication wrapped in the sleek and elegant design of its chassis. This impressive addition to the Nexus family is more than a simple smartphone; it’s a tool of unlimited possibilities.

Author Byline:

Blogging was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be reached through e-mail – allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail – the rest you know.

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Filed under Android, Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Smart Phone

The Best Sites for Internet Radio

Radio – it’s not what it used to be. Guest writer, Jason Miner takes us on a tour of  Radio land and, I must admit – I was surprised by the volume of available choices. You might be as well.

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imageAs technologies for Internet bandwidth have allowed for improved streaming, many office personnel and home users are finding their favorite music in the form of Internet radio stations. While streaming music has been around for quite some time, the increased bandwidth supplied by the Internet has provided the means to stream higher quality music as opposed to the lower-quality WAV formats of yesterday.

Finding the best Internet radio site is completely up to the user. Although one person may find Pandora to be the ultimate site, others may have an affinity for Yahoo Music. Regardless of your preferred musical genre, there are sites-a-plenty for your entertainment needs.

1. Pandora – One of the most popular Internet radio stations online, Pandora is full of a great deal of music for all fans. Listening to streaming music is as easy as entering what you want to hear from the main page. Complete with artist and title, Pandora offers links to sites like iTunes and Amazon in order to buy your favorite music.

2. Shoutcast – Developed with Winamp in mind, Shoutcast can deliver a wide range of music for the popular MP3 player or straight from your web-browser. Radio stations can be viewed according to the most popular based on how many listeners are using it at that moment in time. Shoutcast also works for the Android version of Winamp.

3. Jango – Nearly as easy to use as Pandora, Jango is loaded with various genres of music. This site is free to sign up with and can base your login off of your Facebook profile. Music is available to purchase from the links to iTunes and Amazon.

4. Slacker – Although Slacker.com is more commercialized with image and banner advertisements than some of the others, the website does have a large selection of music for instant streaming. By signing up with Slacker.com for a low monthly fee, you are able to listen to exact tracks from a variety of soundtracks. However, the site is completely usable with a wide range of music for free.

5. Yahoo Music – Find radio stations all over the country in Yahoo Music. Many radio stations will have online broadcasts of the local content. Although not every radio station in the United States is present in Yahoo Music, a large variety of local stations are. Listen to radio stations from your home town, if it’s available on Yahoo.

6. Radio Tower – Like Yahoo Music, Radio Tower has a very large listing of various live online radio stations to choose from. While the site itself is extremely busy with banners and advertisements, you can find radio stations from all over the world and listen to music in your native tongue.

7. Local Stations – A great deal of local radio stations have online counterparts now-days. Whether the radio station advertises this or not, a search in your favorite engine can yield results relating to music from your local stations. You’d be surprised by how many local radio stations broadcast the content live on the website.

Internet radio can supply you with virtual on-demand music of your favorite bands, genres, or time periods. Some may discourage online entertainment of this nature for it takes away from the local radio stations in one’s area. However, many of these local radio stations have online broadcasting methods to ensure that their computer-based fans can still be within reach.

The Internet is shaping the way the future is looked at by the entertainment industries. We should embrace innovation and look forward to what can be developed next.

Author Bio:

Jason Miner, an expert freelance writer loves writing articles on different categories. He is approaching different bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts through “www.blogcarnival.com”. He can be contacted through e-mail at jasonminer8atgmaildotcom.

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Filed under Audio Applications, Freeware, Guest Writers, Internet Radio