Archive for November, 2013

Tips in Choosing the Best Home Security System

November 28, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

A home security system is a smart investment that can protect both your property and your family. There are different types of home security systems out there, and while some are basic and others are more advanced (complete with smartphone apps and accessories like the HomeLink products from AmericanSecurityCo.com), they all provide the same basic functionality: detection of intrusion and the ability to warn you, and even send automatic notifications to a security monitoring service, should you decide to use one to provide outside monitoring.

When shopping for a potential security system for your home, there are several things you’ll want to consider. With so many types of systems and monitoring options available, it can be easy to become overwhelmed, but if you keep the following tips in mind, you’ll have a much easier time of narrowing down the selection to the system that best meets your needs:

Connection. Security systems are available in both hard-wired and wireless setups. While hard-wired setups are generally more consistent and less prone to errors or device interference, wireless sensors and other security units make it easier for you to customize the configuration of the system.

Sensors & Lights. Do you want or need motion sensors to be placed in your home, outside of your home, or both? Can these sensors be customized to be turned off during certain times, such as during the daytime when you and your family members may be coming and going from the home? Can flood lights be added to outside doors and other entrances? How sensitive are these devices to cats, dogs, and wildlife? The last thing any homeowner want is a loud alarm sounding every time a squirrel crosses a sensor’s path.

Monitoring. Can you monitor your home with installed video cameras? Are these cameras accessible from outside of the home? If third party monitoring is available, what are the monthly fees and what type of monitoring and emergency service notifications are included?

Access. How can the system be accessed to arm or disarm, or to make other adjustments? Some systems feature just one hardwired configuration panel, while others may offer individual panels for each floor of the home. Some security monitoring systems offer smartphone apps, browser-based logins, and even wireless RF buttons you can install in your vehicle.

Message Archiving: A New Era in Tracking Conversations

November 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

The birth of email significantly changed the way we communicate with each other. The world felt small as it progress and it has become one of the intangible mediums of communication. While some controversies arise with some government trying to track criminal activities and plot to overcome power, huge questions begin to swirl as to how far can the government dig should they be given access to these information, or how will it be regulated and to what extent can they use such information.

Emails, be it free, or paid for, have message archiving capabilities that keep messages for years. While this can vary depending on the email provider, the need for message archiving facilities or services then arises which some industries use to monitor employee activities. Financial firms for instance use this to address some requirements as requested by regulators or in the legal discovery process.

Email archiving solutions is not there to vouch against its clients but it works in their favor to help them address the requirements set by law in order to respond timely to FOIA (Free of Information Act) requests which includes keeping records of any electronic communications such as email and instant messages. It also helps in answering requests for evidence in a legal proceeding.

Email archiving provides email forensic and discovery tools that help process email retention management, advanced search capabilities, tag assignment, legal holds and production of evidence.

Healthcare industries need to comply with HIPAA regulations by keeping records of electronic communications as needed in producing evidence for a legal or regulatory discovery inquiry, and protecting patient confidentiality.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) states that federal court sees email as having a life expectancy of its own and that it must be of reasonable timeframe say 3 years and that businesses must follow suit in keeping orderly records of communication.

What’s a Blade Computer?

November 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

While the name suggest something extraordinary, a blade computer functions like a personal computer and as a client that is like your typical desk PC but housed in a rack enclosure normally found in data centers or specialized environments.

As mentioned, it functions like your ordinary PC but this one takes advantage of the many robust architectural feats started by blade servers.

Blade computers have CPU, RAM and hard drive. Some of these may or may not have an integrated graphics built-in, may support multiple hard drives. As the name suggests, it’s in a “blade” form that is usually found plugged into an enclosure.

Blade computers support your usual operating systems for example, Microsoft’s blade PC version of the past XP and Vista Business.

Access to Blade PCs is usually achieved via Virtual Network Computing (VNC), which allows users to log on to the blade PC using a client device. The login experience is pretty much the same as being logged into a local computer.
The major advantages of blade PCs is that it offers enhanced data security mainly because all data are maintained in the datacenter which can be easily saved to a mass storage device which means that even if the mass storage device gets stolen, the data cannot be compromised or used unlawfully. It is also cost effective and it offers access for disaster recovery just in case extenuating circumstances happen and the need for access to the blade PC’s files is necessary.

As mentioned above, being like your typical PC, these computers are easy to deploy, space efficient, and highly manageable.

Web and Audio Conferencing Advantages

November 9, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Businesses in recent years have gone ways in finding solutions for their communication needs. Talking to clients, closing deals, encouraging investors and even training employees have become less location dependent meaning, communications have been possible at anytime and anywhere via the internet. This convenience is what encouraged businesses to adopt robust audio conferencing technologies that connects anyone from anywhere via the internet.

Companies like StartMeeting offers audio and web conferencing services that includes a set of intelligent tools designed for screen sharing and standard conferencing. Most services of this nature often combine desktop sharing with integrated audio capabilities that can be used simultaneously by individuals using the appropriate tools.

Audio conferencing of course can use regular landline phones with touchtone commands by simply dialing a number and an assigned meeting ID. International calls for audio conferencing is also possible via international toll dial-in numbers. If you’re not familiar, it works as a VoIP service similar to the many services out there that delivers audio conferencing and screen sharing capabilities that is connected via the internet.

There are many VoIP service providers in the market today however, it’s always best to choose which one offers the features that you need, delivers what they promise, and not to forget, fits your budget.

Not everyone is familiar with the ins-and-outs of this technology so it’s also equally important that the service provider you chose is technically competent and willing to work with you above and beyond so you can start using the service despite the technical challenges of using a new service or technology.

Understanding the Value of Software Testing

November 9, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Software development doesn’t end after programming codes. Applications designed for special use or specific operating system undergoes a very crucial process which is testing to find out if it serves its purpose.

As developers become more focused on creation and development, they tend to outsource their testing requirements to more experienced professionals that specializes in web application automated testing.

This approach not only lessens their responsibilities but also provides them with a security blanket that the third-party testing company will provide them with an honest and objective feedback which will help them improve their software before it’s even released to the public.

There are many software testing scenarios where small and medium enterprise businesses can venture into depending on their needs which includes mobile applications testing, web applications testing, enterprise applications testing, cloud applications testing and big data applications testing.

As the number of mobile users increase over the last few years, let me focus on the nature of mobile application testing. Mobile application development has become a platform for businesses to increase their revenue and to market their products and services as the number of smartphone users increased their demand for mobile apps.

Tablet computers even added to the demand for apps that not only work for phones but on the tablets as well making the industry for mobile apps development an increasingly lucrative venture.

Having said this, 15-22% of all website traffic since 2012 all came from phones and tablets thus making businesses more attracted to the idea of developing their own mobile applications catered specifically to mobile and tablet users for increased revenue and larger market reach.

Consequently, mobile applications development grew in demand as well as the need to adopt into different platforms (operating systems), display sizes of screens, and device features. This is where the need for a third-party testing service comes into play. The system will then emulate and automate the testing process of the mobile application to ensure that they will work on different platforms, devices and hardware it’s designed for.

So the next time you download an application for your phone or tablet and it works perfectly, that means the company is just as serious as making their users happy than making money.

Disposing Old Electronics? Recycle it!

November 4, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

In the US alone, an estimated 2.37 million tons of electronic scraps were reported but only a quarter of this amount was actually recycled. These electronic scraps or E-scrap were mostly discarded TVs, computer peripherals like printers, scanners, keyboards, fax machines, mice and not to forget cellphones.

The massive accumulation of electronic scraps that were largely contributed by technological advancements poses a much needed outlet to recycle End of Life electronics through electronic recycling.

In Elgin Recycling for instance, they filter all E-scrap from their various recycling centers through their R2 certified warehouse ensuring that the electronics are handled safely and securely. This means, responsibly eliminating any trace of sensitive information that maybe derived from scraps of magnetic media such as hard drives using High Energy Pulse Degausser.

This method is an industry standard and every company offering similar recycling services must comply to pass accreditation in order to be allowed to operate.

At the moment, similar companies cater to businesses of all sizes, government agencies, residents, education institutions and non-profit organizations. Some even offer pick-up and drop off at several locations.

This endeavor supports an effort to alleviate electronic waste and promote environmental awareness about an uncharted topic. It’s about time that each gadget owner should realize that there’s a right way of disposing electronic trash.

While people might get wary of disposing their damaged hard drives or defective computers for fear of having their sensitive information stolen, it’s also important that electronic recycling companies should rally to educate tech consumers about the safety of their information prior to recycling in order to eliminate doubt and gain trust.