Advantages of Cloud Backup Solutions

Advantages of Cloud Backup Solutions Backing up your computer system is imperative, especially in the business environment where disaster management needs to be in the forefront of your mind at all times. Imagine the chaos that can take place should your systems crash or your network is infected with an unwelcome virus which corrupts all … Continue reading “Advantages of Cloud Backup Solutions”

Advantages of Cloud Backup Solutions

Backing up your computer system is imperative, especially in the business environment where disaster management needs to be in the forefront of your mind at all times.

Imagine the chaos that can take place should your systems crash or your network is infected with an unwelcome virus which corrupts all your files. You will lose valuable information from customer account information to invoices and product information to stock levels and so much more. This is why it’s imperative that every company that uses a computer ensures their computers are backed up effectively.

The biggest problem is that a majority of companies still use old traditional methods. Backing up their systems to external hard drives which they store in an office or safe, not the ideal situation. In the event of a fire or flood, it is possible that not only the computers get damaged, but the safe is compromised, affecting the drives inside, which again means you lose everything.

Computer disasters are known to cost companies thousands each and every year, which is why you need to be prepared. It doesn’t matter if you have a small work from home office or you run a large corporation, the importance of backing up your system is exactly the same.

Another problem that is seen with traditional methods of backing up systems is that team members will set an hour aside at the end of each week, backing up their files for the week. While this is diligent, it’s not good enough. In the event of something going wrong with the computer, you will have lost an entire weeks’ worth of work. If all the systems are infected or suffer the same fate, then you lose a weeks’ worth of work off each and every computer in the office. As you can imagine, this is hours of work and possibly thousands of potential income.

The cloud backup solutions are a leading choice for many companies today who want to ensure that their information and data is safe and secure at all time. This is an affordable solution, which enables you to pay for what you need. For smaller companies you will find that you can use a set amount of storage space online that you need, adding more space as the business grows. It’s a type of modular system, which caters to companies of any size with complete ease.

The benefit to cloud backup solutions is that you can access the data you have stored at anytime from anywhere. This means that if you get home and realise you forgot to draw up an important invoice or document, you can do it in the comfort of your home at your own personal computer with the log in information you have been provided.

All you need to use cloud backup storage is an internet connection. This means you can access the data off your phone, tablet or computer at any time. This is very advantageous for managers and directors of companies that want to continue working after hours, but still leave the office.

Further when you use this type of solution you will find that the backup is stored off site, this reduces the risk of the all your data being destroyed in the event of a fire or other disaster. With the information backed up away from the office, you have complete peace of mind that it will be there when you need it.

Further you will find that the system is automatic. Not risk of your system not being backed up for days on end. As a document is saved or a report is drawn, the system will automatically back it up to the system, so you know your backup is always current.

How Inventory Visibility Creates an Efficient Supply Chain

How Inventory Visibility Creates an Efficient Supply Chain

Creating inventory visibility can be a complicated process. Inventory is often stored at many places throughout the supply chain, including the warehouse, shipment trucks, and on the shelf. The complexities of supply chains often make it difficult for businesses to employ accurate means for monitoring their inventory. It’s not uncommon for them to rely on approximations based on shipping invoices or outdated methods.

When managers take a blind eye to inventory management, they miss out on the cost saving opportunities associated with complete inventory visibility. Implementing barcodes, radio frequency identification (RFID), or similar inventory tracking systems can provide your business with efficiencies that aren’t feasible with traditional inventory counting systems.

Improve overall efficiencies

Counting with RFID is approximately 25 times faster than barcode scanning. This speed leads to reduced costs and less disruption. RFID chips can be placed on products-no matter where they are in the product life cycle-allowing more accurate tracking and greater inventory visibility from start to finish. Easy product tracking lets managers see order anomalies as they occur and quickly adjust, saving time and money on future complications.

RFID provides computerized product management, so visibility is possible from anywhere, giving managers full control of inventory, even if it’s been outsourced or is in transit.

Appropriate inventory levels

One of the major inefficiencies that businesses face is improper inventory levels-both too little or too much can be costly. Excess inventory exposes businesses to greater opportunities for products to become lost, damaged, or become obsolete. It takes money to stock products with no immediate return on the investment in storage. Too little inventory prevents you from meeting customer demand, which will not only cost you the present sale, but will also damage your brand’s reputation.

Improving your inventory visibility will empower you to keep the optimal level of inventory to prevent these expensive supply chain mistakes. Optimizing your inventory also ensures that your customers will always have access to the products they want.

Increase market responsiveness

Improved inventory visibility allows you to see market trends more clearly. When it’s obvious that more of your product is moving, you can quickly ramp up production to meet customer demand. Being a first mover on this increased demand provides you with a unique competitive advantage. On the flipside, if products are moving slower, reducing production can prevent excess inventory and save you wasted costs in the long run.

Resolve unpredictable scenarios

Although companies often outsource parts of their production, they cannot abdicate responsibility for inventory when it’s out of their hands. When meeting customer deadlines, a firm grasp on product timelines, even those being produced outside of your control, is crucial. To avoid embarrassing slip ups, RFID tracking and inventory visibility allow you to reduce the risk associated with outsourcing. You can monitor product whereabouts from your own firm. If a problem occurs, appropriate actions can be taken to resolve the issue-before it’s brought to the attention of your customer.

Improve customer relationships

Whether you’re providing products for other businesses or directly to consumers, you know the value of a good relationship. Inventory visibility bolsters these relationships by allowing you to provide products on time and have the appropriate inventory levels on hand. The ability to monitor trends in how inventory is moving means that you’ll always be able to meet customer demand. When customers are able to rely on your business, you’ll be able to develop a more loyal client base, which is always good for the bottom line.

Although implementing a system like RFID for greater inventory visibility can seem like a daunting task, the benefits outweigh the initial investment in time and money.

Important Factors to Consider When It Comes to Apple Repairs

Important Factors to Consider When It Comes to Apple Repairs

Almost every person in the world has a mobile device of some kind these days. A high volume of these devices are Apple products. These contain the well-known iPhone and the iPads, which is the mobile tablet. Mobile devices offer convenience, they enable to stay in contact with colleagues, customers, family and friends while on the move, whether it’s answering a call, receiving an email or emailing through an important document.

When something goes wrong with your mobile device, your world can come crashing down around you. The funny thing is that you won’t realise how reliant you are on your Apple product until it stops working and then you are stuck without your contact list, without emails, without internet and you have to revert to your PC computer to help you manage your messages and work.

When it comes to Apple repairs you can’t simple drop your device off at any store. You need to choose a reputable company that has years of knowledge and experience working specifically with Apple products. While you may assume that all mobile devices are created equal, they are different in the components they use, the systems that operate them and so much more. Finding a company that can fix your device and provide you with a good quality service is imperative to getting your device back up and running again without delay and reducing the risk of losing all your valuable data.

The first thing you are going to want to do is ensure the company you choose for Apple repairs has a good reputation in the mobile repairs industry. You can type the company name into your search engine and go through the results. Find online forums and independent review sites where past customers have written down their experiences and shared it with the world. This can help you narrow down your search and identify the companies that are going to be able to help you get back up and mobile in the best possible timeframe.

Experience is essential when it comes to Apple repairs. Many people will choose to take their device to an Apple store, which is an option, but this is the same as taking your vehicle for repairs at the dealership. It can be expensive and with the number of devices they work with daily, you could find yourself missing your phone or tablet for a week, two weeks or even a month or more, depending on what is wrong with it.

Further don’t let price be your only deciding factor when it comes to Apple repairs. While price will play some role, you also want to ensure that you are getting the best repairs possible. Focus on the company, how long they have been offering this type of service, their reputation and their customer reviews. Use this to make your final decision, rather than focusing on price alone. Of course if all the companies you have selected for Apple repairs come out equal, then enable the price to play a role in your decision, combined with turnaround time.

Ensure the company you choose for Apple repairs can provide you with a guarantee once they have completed the work. They should believe in their own quality of work, sharing this trust with you in form of a guarantee. The guarantee should last a short while, enough time to ensure your device is working properly. In the event there is further issues, they should be willing to take back the device and carry out the work completely free of charge.

MiniDigital is a well-established company that helps customers grow using mobile applications. This company is business orientated and offers mobile apps to all types of companies in all different industries. The company offers their service online with a high level of service and support offered at all times. MiniDigital has a dedicated team of experienced professionals with years of knowledge and experience in the industry catering to small to large companies with a transparent approach and affordable prices

How to Get The Best From Your Monitor Calibrator

How to Get The Best From Your Monitor Calibrator

You’ve bought your monitor calibrator, installed and updated the software, connected the measurement instrument and you’re all ready to make your first display profile. Accurate on-screen color is just a click away.

Or is it?

Before calibrating and profiling a monitor for accurate color display, there are a number of ‘pre-flight’ checks you should carry out to ensure that the results you get are as good as possible.

Uniformity assessment: It’s not worth attempting to profile a display if it significantly fades at the corners or has a localised color cast, as any judgements you make will be affected by this. A quick way to visually test uniformity is to set a neutral mid-gray desktop pattern and close all windows. Older-style CRT displays usually have controls that allow you to adjust for mis-aligned screen display and various other screen geometry faults, but there isn’t anything you can do about a faulty LCD panel; be aware that LCD manufacturers do specify tolerances for uniformity and defective pixels.

Clean the screen and position the measuring device: LCD panels don’t attract dust the way electrostatically-charged CRTs did, but it still settles there, and fingerprints won’t help your calibration efforts either. Make sure that if you have a colorimeter with suckers for attaching to glass CRTs that you don’t press it against an LCD panel as it could pull the front membrane off when you remove it. All recent colorimeters for use with LCD displays ship with counterweight arrangements that allow the instrument to rest against the front panel. It usually helps if you tip the screen slightly backwards, to ensure that the colorimeter stays flush to the screen and doesn’t move during measurement.

Resolution and bit-depth settings: LCD panels are best run at their ‘native’ (maximum) resolutions. Most LCD displays support lower resolution modes for compatibility with older video cards, but it may interfere with color rendition as well as image sharpness if you run the display at lower settings. If you’re not certain whether you’re running at maximum, it’s a good idea to check this and that you’re running the display at maximum color (bit) depth – see your operating system help for how to do this, but you should have ‘millions’ of colours, 24- or 32-bit selected.

Display warm-up: It’s crucial that you let your display warm up before attempting to calibrate and profile it. Although CRTs were always known to require a warm-up period to stabilise, it is also true for LCD panels, though once warmed up they then remain more stable than CRTs. Allow at least half an hour.

Energy and screen savers: Disable anything that is likely to change or shut off your screen before beginning profiling. Most screen-saver timings are based on user input activity and won’t necessarily notice that a calibration application is running. Given the warm-up requirement even for LCD panel displays, it makes sense both for calibration purposes and for general working to disable anything that turns the screen off too quickly.

Ambient lighting: Changing the luminance (brightness) on a calibrated display to allow for changes in lighting conditions will invalidate your calibration. Aim to achieve consistent lighting instead. Some display calibration and profiling tools (and some displays) offer ambient light adjustment options that are intended to compensate for changes in the lighting environment. These should never be used.

Arrange things so that the display is the brightest object in your field of view but don’t work in a completely dark room; lighting levels similar to those that are comfortable for watching TV are appropriate. This will help increase the apparent contrast and reveal more shadow details in your images. A monitor hood (included with many high-end models) may be helpful here. When measuring your screen for calibration and profiling, do switch the lights off, draw blinds or curtains, etc, to minimise the chance of stray light getting into the measuring instrument and giving false readings.

Apple Watch – First Impression

Apple Watch – First Impression

Apple Watch has been around for a few months. Well, in some countries at least. It arrived here, in Thailand in mid-July and I made sure I got it on the first day it became available. So, after calling all the people I know have anything to do with Apple, I got it reserved. Into a car right after work, 2 hours in traffic, another 30 minutes to find a parking spot and another 20 to find the shop and… I was finally able to put my hand of the watch. Or rather, to put Apple Watch on my hand.

The first thing you want to do it to link it to your iPhone and start playing with it but… you need to be patient. It takes a few good minutes to boot. It seems like forever as you want to play with your new Apple Watch right away. After all, this is very different from any other Apple product.

So, 5 minutes passed and I was at last able to play with my new toy. First thing I wanted to do was to check the watch faces. I expected 20 or 30 faces and was given a choice of just 10! Just 10 faces is not enough and, to be honest, they are not that exciting. Modular face is what I went for as you are able to add 5 complications to it. So I added things I use more often, namely weather, calendar, date, activities and battery status.

Next, let’s have a look at the apps. There are some apps preloaded and more and more apps have the Apple Watch version now. You can upload apps to your watch via iPhone. The process is smooth and very fast. The menu of the apps might be a bit confusing in the beginning. All those little circles moving around might be something overwhelming at first but you will get used to it. And soon you will realize that it is probably the best possible layout. A long list of apps would not, most likely, work well. Also, you can change the layout of the apps on your iPhone. You should place the apps you will be using most often closer to the center for easier access.

On your hand, Apple Watch feels good, it is light, touchscreen works very well. Overall, the user experience is great. If only we had more faces and apps that run natively on the watch it would have been perfect. Yes, now the apps run on the iPhone and are mirrored on your Apple Watch. Because of this, they are sometimes slow to load. However, it should all change with WatchOS 2.0 where the faces will open for the developers and apps will run natively on the Apple Watch.

I am sure that once you spend some time with your Apple Watch you will find it easy to use and, what is even more important, you will find it very useful. But how you can use your Apple Watch is something that I will cover in my next article.

For more information about Apple Watch and Apple products in general, please visit http://applemaniaworld.com

What You Need To Know About VPNs

What You Need To Know About VPNs

VPNs make it possible for businesses and individuals to communicate and transmit data over a wide area network. The cool thing with VPNs is that you are able to send private information over public channels. Since VPN relies on WAN connections, computers connected to the network don’t need to be physically nearby-they can be countries or even continents apart and they will communicate perfectly.

Types of VPNs

There are many types of VPNs with the main ones being:

Virtual private dial-up network (VPDN). This is a user-to-LAN connection where users have to connect to the company LAN. As a company owner, you need to set up a NAS (network access server) and then provide your users with software that will enable them to reach the NAS from their computers.

You should note that this type of VPN requires a third party to provide encryption services.

Site-to-site VPN: as a company owner you have to invest in dedicated hardware that will make it possible for your multiple sites to connect to your LAN through the public network. It’s good to note that most of the site-to-site VPNs are extranet or intranet-based.

Benefits of VPN

There are a good number of benefits that come with VPNs. These benefits include:

Business application: if you have a business you are able to maximize the businesses efficiency courtesy of VPN. Using VPN your employees are able to connect to the computers in the office network using their personal computers at home. The employees are able to access messages, documents and other information. This ensures that the employees don’t have to wait to report to the office to start working-they can work from home.

In addition to employees being able to access information from home, different office branches can connect to the VPN and share confidential information securely.

Protection: as a regular consumer you can use VPN to access Wi-fi or other loosely secured network. The cool thing with accessing Wi-fi using VPN is that you add a layer of protection against information theft.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about VPN. You should note that while the network is great to use, it tends to reduce your transfer speeds due to the additional network overhead involved. It’s also challenging to set it up for the first time as a novice. For ideal results, you should hire a professional to do the work for you.

VPNs have been around for a long time. The unfortunate thing is that you need to pay to use them. We have a free VPN that allows you to encrypt your data free of charge.

Electronic Contract Manufacturing Today

Electronic Contract Manufacturing Today

Fifty years ago, all components of an electronic product were manufactured by the same company that produced the final product. This meant that the manufacturer had to purchase the raw materials, employ experts, carry inventory for each and every individual component that goes into the product. In addition, this made it extremely difficult for small companies with small runs to enter the market and compete.

The market was ready for ‘electronic contract manufacturers’ that specialized in the design and manufacture of specific components that would then be sold to the OEM to be placed in the final product. Narrowing the focusing of a company to just one product or component, allowed them to offer economies of scale in the acquisition of raw materials, talent and expertise in the design process, and equipment for production. This cuts costs for the original manufacturer and frees up their capital.

With this new structure, manufacturing companies were able to produce a better product, more efficiently, and easily scale up or down to customer demand. In the design development process, usually the most complex and difficult part of the process, a contract manufacturer is more likely to accumulate a team of experienced engineers that will focus their expertise on the specific component. In the production process, they are more likely to keep up with the latest, high tech equipment and state-of-the-art technology.

Suppose there is a problem with one of the components. If the manufacturer is producing all the components in-house, it may take a while before it is found – and maybe even after it has gone to the end-user. In addition, the problem has to be solved using in-house resources and capital. When working with a contract manufacturer, in many cases component flaws have already been caught long before they reach the OEM – often due to experiences with other manufacturers. Often a third-party view of the problem is what’s needed, and the resolution is solely on the shoulders of that third-party.

Since an ECM only purchases materials for the components they produce, they are able to purchase in bulk offering the OEM substantial cost savings. And since they are purchasing from their individual supplier in greater frequency, the manufacturer takes advantage of the strong relationships developed.

Finally, the contract company will thoroughly test the components they provide for quality. They will stay at the forefront of technology proposing improvements and upgrading their product so that it works better, lasts longer, and is more efficiently. This is a daunting task for the original manufacturer that has hundreds of components to keep up with.

An electronic contract manufacturer is an expert in the components they develop and provide. This expertise offers extreme value.

Considerations when choosing an Electronic Contract Manufacturing partner

For many companies, especially small to mid-sized companies, having a contract manufacturing partner is not only a good idea, it’s critical to the success of the business. Besides pricing structure and quality requirements, there are several other items that should be considered in evaluating potential partners:

How much and why do they want your business – Choose a partner with compatible objectives.

Some companies may only be interested in the amount of money at stake. While it is important that the numbers match up for the benefit of both parties, find out what their main driving force is. Larger contract companies may be interested in smaller manufacturing companies if they offer the opportunity to gain experience in an industry that is new to them. Or a product that has big growth forecasts.

Learning the answers to these questions is important before proceeding to the length process of submitting an RFP, and more critically, entering a partnership.

If the business principles do not match up, the OEM may not get the attention they need to make their product successful.

What will the ECM be looking for in a partner – Provide accurate forecasts

No one knows where an original manufacturer plans to go unless they see a well-developed forecast. If they want to make the most of the partnership, they need to inform the contract manufacturer about where they have been and where they plan to go in the future. This provides needed credibility.

The contract manufacturer will need to know what level of risk they are signing up for, while determining what level of resources will be needed to meet the requirements. Will they be able to purchase materials when needed, will they be able to handle the inventory?

What are the expectations regarding inventory

Determining up front what the policies and liability for inventory are between the two companies will minimize the possibility of conflict, and surprises. Understanding inventory issues and supply chain management, and actively making efforts to reduce exposure, is crucial when forecasts do not match up to sales, or a crisis occurs.

How will the ECM handle product changes

With electronics changing at lightning speed, changes are bound to occur fairly regularly. Find out the preferences for handling product changes, and the process they have taken in implementing them in the past with other customers is very important.

Defining the level of involvement expected by each party in the change proposal, analysis, and execution is important for the success of the partnership and the product itself.

Partnering with a company that has a large amount of experience in the multiple phases of a product lifecycle will provide valuable input in the various phases. Therefore, this experience as well as the documentation process should be discussed.

There are many aspects of electronic manufacturing that need to be considered when deciding on a manufacturing partner. These are some of the less obvious, but very important issues to make sure are not forgotten.

General Microcircuits is a North Carolina based Electronic Contract Manufacturer providing simple solutions for circuit board manufacturing since 1980. We design new products and improve existing ones, supporting the entire process from concept through production, serving a wide range of markets, including industrial, commercial, telecommunications, medical, and defense.

Technology Transforming Future Generations

Technology Transforming Future Generations

Nature Valley launched an ad campaign in early July that showed a huge difference between the generations alive today.

They asked 3 generations the same question: “When you were little, what did you do for fun?”

From the grandparents and parents you heard answers like berry-picking, growing watermelons, playing baseball, and building forts.

The children’s responses to the same question included video games, texting, sending email, and watching videos. Nature Valley didn’t stop there, though. They spread the gap even wider when asking the kids how long each day they spent on their electronics. They responded with at least 3 to 5 hours everyday and one little girl aged around 6 said she would “die” without her tablet, their tagline following: “Nature has always been a part of childhood.”

What changed from one generation to the next?

There are currently 6 living generations today:

The Greatest Generation (1901-1926)
Silents (1927-1945)
Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
Generation X (1965-1980)
Generation Y/Millennial (1981-2000)
Generation Z/Boomlets (after 2001)

Technology was introduced during Generation X and Generations Y and Z grew up not remembering a time without certain technologies. The technological revolution that brought along the first mac computers to cell phones to smartphones happened all within the short span of 42 years. Yet, already it seems that technology is changing the habits and lifestyle of future generations. It is a scary thought to think that for so many years prior to this revolution, generations grew up in nature and sent this tradition down, yet in less than a lifespan of the average human being, this healthy and natural way of being has virtually gone out the window (quite literally).

The Greatest Generation, Silents, Baby Boomers, and Generation X are the only generations alive today who remember a world without computers and cell phones. They are the ones who spent a majority of their childhood outdoors and did not have all the conveniences of life as we have them today (some of The Greatest Generation grew up without electricity, refrigerators, or air conditioning). In the 1950s the obesity rate in America was at 9%, but about 50 years later, after the technological revolution, this rate tripled to 33% and in 2006, not a single state reported obesity rates below 10%. An estimated 1 in 3 children are overweight in America today. Is this just a coincidence that as soon as generations starting becoming addicted to technology, obesity rates skyrocketed? While there are more factors to obesity than exercise (diet is also a huge factor), it seems as though children who spend up to 5 hours a day playing video games or texting on their cell phones are not prioritizing time outside of the house. Today, the typical child spends an average of 30 minutes outside per day.

Being outdoors has been proven to be beneficial for children’s body, mind, and spirit. Along with exercise building strong bodies, being outside in the sunlight provides essential vitamin D, which helps protect against future health issues with heart disease, bone problems, diabetes, and more. It can also be said that being outside can improve distance vision and help prevent nearsightedness (which is also a common issue today). Some studies have found that being in an environmental setting can extensively improve symptoms of ADHD, while an outdoor-style education can increase test scores and critical thinking skills. Another study shows that children’s stress levels decrease immediately when they see nature and playtime outside reduces the anxiety that come from the fast-paced, 24/7 world that technology provides.

Not only does technology steal most of the time children spend outside in nature, but there are a number of studies today that show other negative implications of continuously using electronic devices.

Addiction to some forms of technology are real medical conditions. One boy, around 6 years old, answered that sometimes he forgets that he has a family–parents, a sister, a dog–because he is so immersed in the virtual life of his video game. Nomophobia–the fear of being separated from your cell phone–is also a real term that many people feel everyday. Addiction to technology, just as addiction to anything, is considered a psychological disorder that is treatable. Addiction to video games, for example, is being treated as an “impulsive control disorder” along the same lines as compulsive gambling. Along with the side effects of any addiction such as depression or anxiety, addiction to technology also hinders social development.

Even more alarming studies today have claimed that certain technologies, such as cell phones, can physically cause harm to the body over time. Cell phones, while switched on, emit invisible electromagnetic radiation that is absorbed by the body. There has been much debate over a vast array of health effects of mobile radiation over the years including cancer, infertility, autism, learning disabilities, depression, hormonal imbalance, and more.

Currently in US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a regulation for the specific absorption rate (SAR) of mobile radiation allowed to sell a cell phone in the marketplace. Today, phone companies are testing their SAR’s with a dummy designed after a 220 lb (100 kg), 6’2″ (1.88m) adult man. Clearly, this model doesn’t work well for children who may be a quarter of that size or less-in fact, Om Gandhi, a professor at the University of Utah, children absorb 10 times the amount of radiation that adults absorb. Even if the health effects associated with cell phone radiation haven’t been proven yet, it can’t be good to have your child constantly absorbing high amounts of electromagnetic radiation that is speculated to have these effects.

None of this is to say that you should unplug yourself or your children from technology entirely–some of it acts as a necessity in our society today. Without a computer and cell phone, almost all businesses would not be able to function. The important thing to take away from this information is to be cautious and healthy about the way you approach technology. Limiting time spent on electronic devices, making time to spend with your family outdoors, and remembering that we are just human beings, not robots controlled by technology, are important in leading a healthy lifestyle for you today future generations to come.

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Our Lives

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Our Lives

We create Artificial Intelligence. In turn, the A.I, designed to self-enhance makes itself smarter as a consequence. The A.I takes over the world. The end for humanity as we know it. Does it seem far-fetched and ludicrous? You bet so. Is it a plausible scenario or it is a mere creation of sci-fi novels and movies? Whatever your take on it, artificial intelligence is a multi-billion industry and growing. John McCarthy is credited with coining the term artificial intelligence in 1955. He defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. In fact, a World War II genius had already grappled with the question “can machines think?” Computer pioneer, mathematician and cryptanalyst Alan Turing was a man ahead of his time. He devised the Turing test- the litmus test for any robot or computer worth of being deemed ‘intelligent’. “If a computer could deceive a human being into believing that it was human, then it would deserve to be called intelligent”, mused Alan Turing. Last year, it was allegedly reported that a computer had passed the Turing test. The British computing pioneer can finally rest his case! Not so fast. While the computer might have displayed signs of ‘intelligence’, we still have a long way ahead.

We’ve certainly come a long way since the dawn of computing in the late 1940s. Yet, we are still struggling to build an intelligent digital machine or network. Robots have put thousands of people out of work in the automobile manufacturing industry. Medicine is taking advantage of the latest developments in artificial intelligence. Elderly care facilities and hospitals are using robots to track their patients. Should you be worried about an eventual rise of the machines? Well, you should be. Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder, earlier in March said that “computers are going to take over from humans”. Wozniak fears that robots could make us their pets. Elon Musk, tech billionaire and CEO SpaceX and Tesla Motors compared the efforts on artificial intelligence as “summoning the demon”. He said that A.I posed a greater existential threat than any other human invention, even nuclear bombs. British theoretical physicist cosmologist Stephen Hawking fears artificial intelligence could end humanity. He thinks that “computers will overtake humans with AI at some point within the next 100 years”. Still unfazed? Well, consider that many business processes are being automated thanks to the rapid developments in software engineering and artificial intelligence. A.I may develop survival skills and may deceive its makers. It could play dumb until it comprehends its environment enough to escape from it and outsmart its creators. It could outsmart financial markets, out invent human researchers and scientists, out manipulate human leaders and develop weapons that could blow our planet to smithereens. As dystopian as it might seem, consider that most transactions in the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, Dow Jones or London Stock Exchange happen via computers. Millions of stocks are sold and bought in a matter of seconds, through the help of sophisticated algorithmic trading techniques and state-of-the-art computers. Granted, the esoteric and arcane trading algorithms are designed by math whizzes, quants, and smart programmers. But, what if the algorithms become so smart that they improve themselves? Are you willing to let some computers replace you?

There’s no need to panic, though. We, humans are at the core of every invention. We do the programming. Why should your worry about artificial intelligence in the first place? For one thing, many accountants, bank tellers, supermarket cashiers and secretaries face unemployment due to automation. Big data and artificial intelligence go hand in hand. Where one grows and expands, the other follows suit. Will A.I makes humans extinct? Well, that all depends on how we program them. Asimov first law of robotics states that a robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, let a human being come to harm. Can we build robots or computers that are imbued with high morals and ethics? We don’t know for sure. Until then, enjoy some good dystopian novels. One day, you might get to live such a reality. You never know!

How to Get The Best Mobile Website

How to Get The Best Mobile Website

Trying to navigate a full website on an iPhone or Android can be incredibly difficult, meaning there is a demand for an easier, more streamlined format for mobile users.

So the question remains: How can a company ensure that they have a top-of-the-line mobile website for consumers? By keeping in mind these tips, a great mobile website is quite reachable:

User Friendliness

This is arguably the most important aspect of any kind of website. If a client cannot navigate a site easily, they will avoid it. This means that it is essential to ensure that the experience is as easy and to the point as possible. Things that can be done to accomplish this are:

• Limiting your page count: By getting right to the content and the important aspects of your site, people won’t be wasting their time by continuously clicking and looking for the specific page they need. Look at the most viewed pages of your website, and make those easily accessible on your mobile site.

• Streamlining your layout: Continuing with the theme of limiting pages, create a type of “road map” for clients to follow. Getting them from Point A to point B in the least amount of taps, you not only save time on both ends, but you help consumers find content in a quick and timely manner.

• Enabling a “Full-Site Option”: Keep in mind though, that sometimes people will be looking for something very specific on your website. Having an option for them to look at the full layout might save them time rather than trying to find it in your streamlined and generalized mobile site.

Simplified

• Optimizing White Space: Formatting any digital space can be a bit daunting, and by using white space effectively, you can ensure that a crisp, clean design does not become cluttered and chaotic. With less space to use, ensuring that a user can click on what they intended is the goal, and by keeping a clean appearance, this is an easy task to accomplish.

• Reduce Text Entry: To make things as simple as possible for a user, reducing the amount of text that they need to enter to find what they need is essential. Utilizing features such as drop down menus and check lists are an easy and cost effective way to allow for a customized experience and road map to help get results as fast as possible. Creating an easy, fast, and customized experience for a user is what any website should strive for. Following these tips can help to turn your website into a great mobile site.