• Computer

    Dangers of Digital Currency

    What If the Power Goes Off?

    The modern world is a kaleidoscope of electronic gadgets and systems that make possible things we only dreamed about as kids. Thanks to our electronic world, you can buy a house from your cellphone, see what the night sky looks like in real time on the other side of the world, or profit from nanosecond differences in trading times in the stock market. All before you get out of bed.

    Just like my “modern” guitar friends, many people seem to take it for granted that the digital systems that underlie these miracles – the Internet, for example – are eternal. So when I hear someone make plans that assume uninterrupted connectivity, I think to myself: “What if the power goes off?”

    Which brings me to one of the most frightening ideas I’ve come across in a while.

    A U.S. tech giant is reportedly working on a software platform based on the infamous digital currency “Bitcoin.” The idea is to make it possible for major currencies like the dollar or euro to operate like Bitcoins. Anyone could transact with anyone else in the world directly, bypassing banks completely. Just log on, send your money and you’re done.

    This promises a world with no banks, no fees and no hassles… but lots of danger.

    Digital Counterfeiting

    Everyone knows that counterfeiting is a risk with paper money. That’s why individual bills have serial numbers on them. But the same applies to digital currencies. Unlike physical money, the electronic files that represent digital currency can be duplicated exactly, with no trace. Since spending a digital dollar doesn’t delete the electronic data that represents it, and in the absence of banks and their accounting systems, some other way is needed to prevent that dollar from being used again by the same person – so-called “double-spending.”

    Bitcoin accomplishes this by means of a “block chain.” Every few minutes, a group of all recent Bitcoin transactions is created, called a block. This block is then quickly distributed across the Bitcoin system, where it is added to the ongoing chain of all Bitcoin transactions (hence the name). That way, if someone who has already spent a given Bitcoin (and has not received it back legitimately from a third party) tries to spend it again, the system will reject it as “counterfeit.”

    Bitcoin accomplishes this by using a distributed system of anonymous “nodes” that keep track of the block chain. But the same thing could be accomplished by a central server. The tech company working on its own digital currency has therefore floated the idea of turning dollars and other currencies into digital form – with the central server controlled by central banks.

    What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    I don’t need to tell you what would happen under this system if the power goes out: No moolah. Of course, the same thing can and does happen now, with so much of our transacting done by credit or debit cards. But at least we have the option of keeping and using cash.

    Am I paranoid in thinking that, no matter what the advantages of digital currencies – and bypassing banks is really tempting – the real danger isn’t power outages, but rather giving a central power the ability to turn our money on and off? The dangers of digital currency aren’t small. After all, imagine the opportunities for monetary mayhem: digital wealth confiscation… automatic taxation… courts issuing warrants to seize your digital money…

  • Computer,  Technology

    IT Consulting Can Help Start-Up

    This is also true of start-ups, which can sometimes struggle to know exactly what they need in regards to an IT service or which technology and software can help them in their endeavours. With this in mind, here are some of the main areas that an IT consulting company can help any new business get off to a good start in.

    As mentioned above, it can be difficult for new businesses to know where to start when it comes to implementing IT solutions in their fledging company. For this reason, hiring an independent IT expert can help a great deal in installing this essential infrastructure that will pave the way for business success.

    Some of the services that an IT consulting company can provide include advising on cloud computing solutions, network installations, software and hardware choices, as well as delivering remote and on-site IT support and carrying out computer repairs.

    Having this expert perspective on what exactly is needed is valuable for any company, but especially for start-ups as they attempt to establish themselves in their chosen field or industry. This alone can be a very compelling reason to hire the help of an IT professional for an initial assessment and tailored advice.

    The second point that needs to be made is that hiring an independent IT specialist can often provide excellent value for money to starter businesses, as they will not be paying out for in-house technical support instead. Indeed, the cost savings that can be made are one of the main reasons that any business hires an IT consulting company instead of employing an in-house specialist.

    Furthermore, many IT consultants will tailor their services and packages to suit the businesses that they are working with. If they are working with a large business with a very large requirement of support, this can be done for a higher price rather than a smaller budget. For small and new businesses, packages of services can be tailored accordingly.

    This can mean that IT solutions are available within smaller budgets and without unnecessary extraneous services or the need to hire extra staff. This can have many financial and practical benefits for any start-up.

    One of the major benefits of hiring a IT consulting company to help get a new business running smoothly is that having a professional on hand to help solve difficulties and issues can mean that any technical problems will not cause potentially disastrous downtime for the business in question.

    Whereas this is true for large and well established businesses as well as new and smaller companies, technical issues can be potentially devastating for a fledgling enterprise that is trying to make its mark in a saturated global economy.

    Issues with internet connectivity, software issues and systems failures can all derail a small and new business that is trying to establish itself, and having IT experts on hand to help overcome these issues can make a huge positive difference for start-ups. With specialists just a phone call away, potentially disastrous problems can simply become minor hiccups.

    These are just a few of the ways that an IT consulting company can help a start-up company. From advising the new enterprise on the best IT practices and tools to implement to helping overcome technical difficulties without any major problems, there are many great reasons why this kind of service can be valuable for any company that is just starting out.

  • Computer

    Online Store for Desktops

    A few months back my boss asked a simple, yet important question from me, “Because it seems like laptops have taken over desktops and tablets have taken over laptops, do you think that the market or utility of desktops is going to vanish someday around?”

    Well! I spontaneously answered that could not happen. Advanced technology may produce more advanced desktops with revolutionary features but their utility can never dissolve.

    Now when the usage of desktops is so common, the complexities of issues is also quite common. Reason being, its usage is no more limited to a few experts or officials. Certain threats have taken over the nerves of users like cyber insecurity, data theft, personal information theft, data management, applications management and much more.

    Though the desktop technology seems like racing at an unimaginable speed, there pops up the need of several desktop applications just like any other gadget. The irony is no techie has still planned or understood the dire need of an online store for desktop applications so far.

    So the next big question is, “How far we need an online store/ single market place/one stop destination for desktop applications?”

    Not every desktop user is so tech savvy that he/she can actually delete the confidential data permanently. Such users delete the file they are supposed to delete and believe that no one can recover it. Not all know that after deleting the file goes to the recycle bin and can be recovered anytime. Needless to mention, not all of my readers would be aware of the fact I have shared here.

    Well! What a user needs in that case? Though, there are many players in the market that offer such desktop utilities that can ease the task of deleting the files or unnecessary data, the users have to search rigorously for it. In this case if there is a reliable market place just like Google play store, the users can install the utility in moments and use it, saving a lot on time and money.

    Then, in another case, there is a considerable possibility that the hard drive of your desktop is bulking up with redundant data, duplicate files etc. causing fragmentation and slow speed.

    Fragmented data sucks up more space just like the haphazardly piled up stuff in your room. So, what needs to be done is to defragment it timely and remove the duplicate files. But the task of searching duplicate files is quite gruelling as well as stodgy.

    What is required here is a utility to intelligently clean up the duplicate files on a click. As mentioned above, the users find themselves in a confusing state and wonder which duplicate file finder they need to install and from where they should get it. Again, if there is an online store for desktop applications the users can easily read the reviews and download one they like.

    In short there can be profuse instances where a novice desktop user finds himself in a topsy-turvy state and needs different desktop utilities.

    This is where we need to accept as well as understand the significance of an online store for desktop applications.

    Just surmise the presence of as worth an online store for endless desktop applications as Google Play Store or iTunes. How handy the desktop utilities will be? How easy to get an application would be? How hassle free the desktop usage would be?

    I really feel that the next big gift from technocrats should be a reliable and free to download App store for Desktops.

  • Computer,  Technology

    Data Destruction Services Benefit You

    Ongoing Quality Control Checking

    Data destruction companies set required standards and employ quality control checks, in order to destroy all your digital data safely. Some companies that destroy their own data do not set any standards and employ quality control checks. Due to this reason, there is no guarantee that all their data is destroyed safely.

    Offers many more services

    There are a lot of data destruction techniques that are used by professional companies. Crushing is one of the effective and widely used techniques to make your data unrecoverable. Because crushing guarantees that sensitive information does not leave the business premises, many companies prefer this approach. Degaussing is another technique that removes the magnetic properties of the HDD (hard disk drive).

    Boost your company reputation

    Some security violating techniques such as data breaching can lead to very serious problems, and greatly affect your company’s reputation. Data destruction companies employ personnel who are good at handling procedures related to destruction of personal consumer data. Proper demolition of sensitive information helps to achieve utmost security, which in turn boosts your company’s reputation.

    Responsible disposal

    It is very important to collect the stuff and dispose it in a responsible way. A professional destruction company will help a lot to dispose it off in a more responsible way. In addition to this, they also ensure a safer and cleaner environment.

    Cost Effectiveness

    By hiring experienced and well-known data destruction firm, you can save a lot of your time and money. However, it is important that you research well about the company, before hiring them.

  • Computer

    Fast Solution to Slow Computers

    1. Less Fragmenting – As compared to storing data in a specific location on a magnetic disk, SSDs host one large memory station wherein all files are placed. The computer no longer needs to move a mechanized reader over a spinning disk to find particular files. When more data is saved unto a magnetic disk, there is a higher tendency for the data to become cluttered. This feature is absent from SDDs which means it takes less time to open programs and access information.
    2. Less Errors regarding “DLL, SYS and EXE files” – Due to less fragmenting, important boot files and “.exe,.dll and.sys” files are found faster. This results to a lower tendency for these files to go missing or to become corrupted when new programs and updates are installed. That translates into fewer malfunctions.
    3. Faster Boots – When a computer running an HDD is powered, the hard drive has to bring the disk to a particular speed before it can start reading anything from it. This is what makes boot times long. On top of getting the disk to spin, it then has to find the files on it. With SDDs, there is nothing to spin. This guarantees more constant and shorter wait times for the computer to start up.
    4. One less area of malfunction – When an HDD starts acting up, it could point to a problem with the disk or the reader. This means that even if the magnetic disk is fine, the mechanical parts of the reader might give in to wear and tear long before the disk starts to deteriorate. This does not happen with SDDs due to the storage facilities of this type of drive.
  • Computer

    Clean the Junk Files In PC

    1. You could also uninstall any program that you no longer use or need. Simply click Start menu. Press the Control Panel icon. Choose the Add/Remove Programs. From the list, you would see the programs that you do not use anymore. If you are not sure, you could also check the importance of that particular program by checking the “Last Used On” tab to see how frequently you use that program. Then, uninstall the unused or unwanted programs.
    2. Another place where there are usually lots of junk items acquired is the “My Documents” folder. To ensure that you would not regret deleting useful documents later on, you might want to make a copy of those important items in a CD before you proceed with the cleanup. How to remove junks from your My Documents folder? Simply select and delete the documents that you no longer need. Do the same with “My Pictures”, “My Videos” and “My Music” folders. Videos and pictures actually take up so much of the hard disk space.
    3. Windows could also help you speed up the process of clean up by simply deleting the items that it has already checked for you to delete. These items are usually from the Downloaded Program Files, Thumbnails, and Temporary Internet Files. Simply press the OK button and the clean up would begin.
    4. Old files and previous installations could also be free from junk files if you would use the Clean up system files. However, this type of clean up is usually discouraged if you are a newbie in computer use as you might delete a useful program or folder unintentionally or accidentally. Recovering of these things would then be difficult or even outright, impossible. How to do a system cleanup? Click the “Clean up system files”. The entire content of your hard drive would be available to be deleted at your disposal. Click the items you wish to delete. Kindly read the description of each file, folder or program before you press delete. Then, just press OK for the clean up to begin.
  • Computer

    Optimize Windows Registry

    So when you experience any of these symptoms, it is time for you to clean your Windows registry. Then again, before you optimize it, see to it that you consider several important factors. For instance, you should avoid installing every application you see. Sure, there are plenty of great applications online. However, before you install it, you should think thoroughly if you really need it.

    If you need certain applications at the moment, you may consider using their portable versions instead of installing them. Portable programs install in their own folders and do not add entries to the Windows registry. It is also easy to uninstall them if you do not need them anymore. Simply delete their folders and everything they contain.

    See to it that you uninstall applications the right way. If you delete one of your programs, its folder can go straight to the Recycle Bin but it can also leave behind broken shortcuts, folders, files, and registry entries. Hence, you should not just delete a program. You should use the Uninstall feature of your computer or use a software program especially designed to uninstall programs.

    • To use the Uninstall feature, just open your Control Panel and go to Programs and Features. Here, you will see the default uninstaller of your application. Choose Uninstall to remove your installed folder with its included files, folders, and shortcuts.
    • If you are using Windows XP, you can optimize your registry by cleaning hidden startup, removing useless programs, disabling useless services, disabling Windows Messenger, optimizing network settings, defragmenting hard drive, disabling System Restore, and disabling Virtual Memory.
    • If you want to make sure that your default uninstaller does not leave behind data in your Windows registry, you should purchase a licensed uninstall program to remove your application and perform a system scan on your computer. It is crucial to scan your computer to find data that you may want to remove.
    • You can get a registry cleaner to scan your Windows registry and find errors. It is ideal for you to get a software program that lets you customize your scan. A good registry cleaner allows users to select areas that they want to scan as well as let them defrag and optimize their registry.
    • Using a registry cleaner is actually one of the best ways on how to optimize Windows registry. This software program does not only protect and clean your registry automatically, but it also prevents system errors such as DLL, SYS, and EXE errors. In addition, it helps minimize problems when installing new applications as well as prevents crashes. With just one click, it can scan and remove unnecessary entries in your registry. Furthermore, it can prevent your data from being corrupted by conflicting entries.

  • Computer

    Avoid a Computer Crash Disaster

    I thought I was doing all the right things. I have a cloud backup service that backs up daily behind the scenes, and I also back up regularly to an external hard drive.

    Then my computer hard drive crashed. It’s never a matter of if, by the way, it’s a matter of when it will crash!

    Since I hadn’t needed to access my backup files before the crash, I never checked to see what was actually in the backups. As it turned out, everything wasn’t getting backed up like I thought it was. I hadn’t checked with my cloud service to make sure I had it set up properly, nor had I checked the back-ups I was saving to my external hard drive to make sure files were being included correctly. Some of my files got backed up but not all.

    Luckily, my computer tech guy was able to restore my files. But of course, there is still the worry I had before and during the time he was working on my computer, plus the added cost that I wouldn’t have had to incur if I had done my backups correctly.

    Using an online email service is one thing I was doing right (and of course continue to do) that helped me get back some of my files. I could easily retrieve documents I had sent to people or ones they sent to me. That enabled me to continue work that I might not have been able to otherwise. It was a huge time saver and stress reducer since I didn’t have to recreate the documents from scratch!

    The other thing I did right was to work with a virtual assistant. I was sending her files to work on that I would have only had on my computer (and probably would have lost) had I not been working with her. But because I was, I had them in my email Sent folder.

    Schedule regular back-ups (even daily if necessary) to several locations. You should have your files backed up to 3 different sources:

    1. Use a cloud service that will save your files to their servers. The cost is well worth the peace of mind.
    2. An external hard drive.
    3. I also recommend backing up all your files to a flash drive or CD. I hadn’t done this before the crash, but my tech guy gave me my restored files on a flash drive and I now intend to keep it as an extra back-up. But flash drives and CDs don’t necessarily last forever so don’t use them as your only back-up platform.

    And you want to back up your entire system at least once a week. Windows version 7 or later comes with a built-in feature that will make a mirror image of your entire computer. Save that to your external hard drive (or even 2 hard drives to be really safe!).

    Don’t keep your external hard drive near your computer. In the event of a disaster such as a fire, you don’t want them to be right next to each other or they’ll both burn up!

  • Computer

    Fix Windows System Errors

    Cool Down Your Computer

    Your computer’s hard drive, as well as many of its other components, is sensitive to temperature. Extended periods of use or a faulty cooling fan can cause overheating, which will, in turn, wreak havoc on the circuits. Errors may be solved if you simply turn off your PC and let it rest for a while. Cleaning the cooling fan with light, pressurized air (never vacuum your PC’s internals) is also advisable so that dirt doesn’t build up and interfere with its operation.

    Clean Your Registry

    A damaged registry can cause fatal errors, as this is where a lot of system information and settings are stored. Cleaning your registry of unnecessary or corrupted data can thus fix problems, or even prevent them from happening if it is performed regularly. It is possible to repair and clean your registry using any of a number of cleaning programs that can be downloaded for free. The user interfaces of this type of software are usually friendly and unintimidating, so you should have no trouble putting them into operation.

    Be Aware of Your Programs

    It will help a lot if you make yourself aware of the programs that are running on your computer. These aren’t necessarily limited to the ones that you opened during a particular session: a lot of software, particularly freeware that you download from the Net, perform background operations that could be clogging up your computer’s RAM and causing performance issues. Be sure to remove programs that you no longer use, and properly shut down software once you’re finished with it.

    Check for Malware

    It is easy to point the finger at malware when something goes wrong with your PC, and, in a lot of cases, you wouldn’t be wrong to put the blame on a virus, Trojan, or spyware that somehow slipped past your defenses. When you see a system error, run a full virus scan with your anti-malware program to see if it can pick up anything. If you have neglected to install an antivirus, remedy the problem immediately: many of the most reliable brands offer trials or free versions of their programs that offer adequate protection.

    Defragment Your Hard Drive

    As your hard drive fills up, it will begin to have a little more difficulty finding space on which to store your programs and files. It often happens that the data for a certain file or software gets spread out over several different locations on the drive, and this can cause problems when you call that particular information up. If you are using versions of Windows earlier than Windows 7, you should perform defragmentation regularly to prevent this from happening. The option to defragment should present itself when you open “Properties” after right clicking on the drive in Windows Explorer.

    Restore Windows

    If all else fails, it may be time to restore or even reinstall your operating system. Restoration will take your system back to a point at which it was still functional, while reinstallation will give you a clean slate, so to speak. Both of these can be performed with your Windows Installation CD, though you should be warned that reinstallation is a lengthy and tedious process that will erase all your existing files and require you to reinstall all your other programs. Only do this if you are sure that you have no other option.

  • Computer,  Technology

    Facts About Emails

    • 29% of the emails you receive are newsletters. Remember you registered there, subscribed on that and so on and so on. Every time you register you are automatically subscribed to newsletters of that company, so do remember to untick the box “Receive email notifications” or similar, because that’s just annoying isn’t it?
    • Less than 50% of emails deserve an attention. Probably most of you have noticed that, when you open an email account every morning you firstly delete around 30% of your inbox and then you start checking other emails which you believe are important. Read the point above and unsubscribe from the newsletters are rarely open and add the email addresses you don’t want to hear from into SPAM folder.
    • Five minutes of every hour an average employee spends on writing and reading emails at work. That can sound perfect, but if you think about how much time could be saved, taking into account that less than 50% of emails should be really be opened or read. In a year that could save you around 80 hours. If you are employer – think about that.

    Some fun facts about emails:

    • Homer Simpson had his own email address. This email was revealed in one of the episodes of The Simpsons, where [email protected] address was shown. After that one of the writers tried to answer all those incoming emails from the name of Homer, but it didn’t last long due to high number of interested people.
    • The @ sign in emails is known as different name in different languages:

    o In German it is called “spider monkey”

    o In Russian @ is usually pronounced as a “dog”

    o In Chinese it is named as “little mouse”

    We have no idea why @ is named after animals in different countries, but we know for fact only one – every person should think more or less about their privacy and security whilst sending emails. It is a fact that your personal data could be stolen or bank details received via some virus-email or spam. In order to protect yourself from that – search for secure email services.

    Here are some examples of such secure email services:

    • Hushmail is a secure email service that allows to use your own domain name for $5.24 per month.
    • Lavaboom is a German email service with encryption. In future will allow to burn emails after reading.
    • PDF Postman has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook and PDF files encryption.
    • Voltage SecureMail is a secure email service for corporate customers.