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How Can You Help Yourself If You Don’t Know Much About Technology

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Let’s talk about a topic that very few people really enjoy – technology as it relates to Internet marketing. The fundamental question that most people ask themselves is whether or not they can truly help themselves if they are not comfortable with technology. Let me give you a scenario where this comes up often. An Internet marketer will hire somebody to create a website for them. Three months later, the Internet marketer wants to make some minor modifications to the website. These modifications, while minor, are critical because they have to do with the price of the product or service that is being promoted. For people who understand technology, making these minor changes is rather trivial. But what happens if you’re not comfortable with technology? Do you need to run out and hire somebody to make these changes for you? This is why we need to talk about this topic, and then to provide you with a useful tip that I think can really help you.

Whenever you have somebody do any kind of technical work for you, it is important that you understand that at some point in the future you will more than likely have to make some minor changes to whatever it is that has been done. This can be software, this can be a website, this can be the creation of an electronic publication, he can really be anything. You really need to ask yourself whether or not you want to go through the process of always having to hire somebody to do the work for you. My recommendation, especially if you are uncomfortable with technology, is to hire one individual who is capable of handling all of your technological needs. That way you have one person who turn to whenever something needs to be done. Ideally, this will be somebody who can make changes that you require within 12 to 24 hours.

The One Predictable Thing About Technology

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Making predictions about anything is a tricky business. It’s often fraught with problems and compounded by two factors: too many variables and too many people.

Making predictions in the world of technology is about as rough as it gets. You see a trend, a fad, or a new craze, jump on it, extrapolate, and then go and get it all totally wrong.

As an example, at the turn of the 20th century, it was predicted that passenger air balloon travel – pioneered by the likes of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin – would be commoditized and become the pre-eminent means of mass transit. In fact, it would be so popular, by the 1980s, people would have their own personal air balloon as their primary method of conveyance.

Obviously, this gaze into the future didn’t take into account the airplane, which put an end to that pearl of foresight.

The main problem with looking forward is that people do it in such painfully straight lines, as the previous example demonstrates. The telephone is another useful example; who could have predicted mobile phones at the time Alexander Graham Bell was fussing around with the technological equivalent of paper cups and wet string?

No one could have. Furthermore, how could anyone have predicted that these mobile telephones would one day have cameras built in? Or that you could send written messages on them? You only have to go back 10 years, and such ideas would be derided as foolish drivel.

The future is a curly thing, and in the wonderful world of information technology, the driving force behind much of the confusion is convergence.

Now there’s a buzzword if I ever heard one. And this becomes the next big problem with predicting future trends in technology: let’s get two really cool gizmos and merge them; people will love it!

Err, no! What drives desire is anyone’s guess. What drives need is utility: two very different parts of the brain are being exercised, here, one more than the other!

If something doesn’t fulfill a practical purpose, then it’s neither use nor ornament.

This future-predicting thing is even harder these days, but in a way, even the most outlandish theory could have its day. Things are changing so quickly that new technologies are emerging literally overnight. And given that people’s needs are also changing, evolving, and emerging, who knows?

Going back even further, desire, need – call it what you will – has a common source. The very engine of change is people, society, lifestyle, and a requirement to manage, re-route and/or if need be, delegate all of this data and information.

The Apple Newton was way ahead of its time. A bunch of clever guys ‘n’ gals sat in a room and made a remarkable prediction about how people would “consume” data and information, and they were right on the money – the only problem being that they were over 10 years early!

Now, people are on the move. People work on the move, hold down long-distance relationships, work with colleagues across time zones, and manage bank accounts in a cafe while drinking a cup of chai.

The only certainty is the same one that has been pontificated upon since time immemorial: things change. Things often come together in intriguing, mysterious, and eminently useful ways.

Debunking the Top 5 Myths About Technology

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Balancing the technology needs of state and local government and educational institutions against shrinking budgets is contributing heavily to the proliferation of false logic and expensive miscalculations by people involved in the government hardware procurement process. This article exposes the Top 5 Myths and misinformation that are causing state and local government and educational IT managers to spend more money than they need to.

1. Computer Hardware Prices Are The Biggest Contributors To The Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO).

This one is easy to believe when you’re specifying computers and network devices and sticker shock sets in. The real truth is that computer hardware is only a small part of the TCO. Repairs, labor, technical support, software and the hidden costs of downtime can easily exceed the initial hardware purchase price.

2. Cost-Savings Result When Generic and Low-Cost Hardware is Purchased.

Just the opposite is true. High-quality equipment, such as HP servers, HP desktops, HP notebooks, HP storage, HP workstations, HP printers and other HP hardware used by state and local government or educational institutions actually lower the TCO due to longer mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) times, resulting in lower service costs, and higher resale prices which can lower the TCO come replacement time.

3. Direct-To-Government Pricing Is Always The Lowest Available

Unless you work for a federal government agency that is buying off the General Services Administration (GSA) procurement list, direct-to-government pricing may not always be the lowest price available. It’s not uncommon for companies like Hewlett Packard to have lower pricing schedules available to technology solutions providers that regularly produce large volumes of business that far exceed what most state and local government and educational institutions can generate on their own.

4. Going Through The Request For Proposals (RFP) Process Guarantees The Lowest Prices

Like Myth #3, this one is often untrue as well. Remember that computer hardware purchase prices represent only a portion of the TCO. While it may be possible to find a hardware provider with an unusually low hardware bid price, the chances are that installation and configuration services, if they are even available, will be priced high enough to offset the initial perceived savings.

5. Purchasing Through Full-Service Solution Providers Is An Expensive Luxury

This final myth can actually be the most financially devastating one for state and local government and educational institutions that do not understand the importance of value-added services that are available from companies who specialize in the procurement process. Hewlett Packard technology partners that specialize in the procurement process, for example, can actually lower the TCO by configuring your HP computer products and by providing both personalized account management and rapid support response even after the sale. The best HP computer partners can also assist you with developing your HP computer hardware specifications and submitting your HP quotes. Additional information on configuring technology

Online at Home by Blogging About Technology

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People are social animals. They love to share what they know and love to make their knowledge known to other people. That’s why societal contribution is very valuable in websites such as Wikipedia – because the people are the ones who are shaping the content of the site. Since you’re already disseminating information, why not earn from it as well? Not that you are already being materialistic but, let’s face it, almost every person in this world need money to sustain him and his family. Why not make money online at home in Ireland with a flexible work schedule, too?

Go blog about certain niche markets such as technology. Many people are interested in tech news because technology drives the economy of many countries. Japan, for example, is a country that’s very dependent on technology for its success. If not for the innovations it introduced to the worldwide market then the technological advancement we experience today may not even be imaginable.

The Walyou.com blog and The Hacked Gadgets Forum is one proof of the profitability of blogs. Once ads have been offered to blog sites then it is presumed that those blogs already hit the 5-figure spot already (more than unique 10,000 hits). And once this happens, all the creator must do is to sustain the readership by offering great and updated content every so often. Once you are able to do this instinctively, the rest is all about how to make money online at home in Ireland, your beloved country.

What Is So Special About Technology

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Blogs are budding faster when compared to websites being bought over the internet. The most obvious reason why blogs attract many people is its ease of use. While you need to pay for some blogs, there are other blogs where you need not invest a single penny. Different genre blogs are continuously increasing with added features. However, I have seen many youngsters and others browsing computer technology blogs. What is so special about these technology blogs? I’m sure you would be interested to know the reasons behind this question. Go ahead and read the rest of this article.

For people who are much bothered about investing money online, the availability of free blogs becomes worthwhile. Thanks a million to the creation of blogs. Now you could keep updating the site with various news and ongoing events, share the same with your friends online. Rather than updating useless contents, techies make it a point to update technology tips and tricks so every body could benefit reading their articles. To be true, technology blogs are quite easy to navigate. There can be none without having a craze for gadgets. Most of us would try searching for the latest gadget innovation and tend to get the same before someone could get them.

Gadgets blogs serve as an excellent platform for people who wish to talk about the latest gadget available in the market today. Not only does a technology blog informative, it is interactive as well. People can now discuss on the latest post, leave comments and get excellent eBooks from these sites. Another noteworthy point about a technology blog is the content. Every post will be written in such a manner that even a non-techie will be able to understand. It can serve as a medium for people to share their views about the prices of latest appliances worldwide. It is fun to read tech blogs. So, why don’t you create a blog and start sharing your technological thoughts?

Business Owners Need to Know About Technology

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I feel that I have to write this. I love small business and I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed and grow their business. As a business owner, I understand how much blood, sweat and tears people put into making their business a success. It pains me to see just how close some of these businesses are to a complete technology disaster and the business owners have no idea. I have seen it work a couple of ways. The business owner has a friend that can spell “PC”, no budget for technology, bad advice, internal staff gets burdened with IT Support, or the business owners assume that everything is OK with the technology systems. Whatever the situation is, I see it all the time. The company is on the brink of a disaster and the business owners have no idea. Well, that is why I am going to write this blog series. I want to provide business owners with simple to ask questions, things to look for, items to review and some simple technology advise presented in a non-technical way.

In part 1 of this series, let’s start at the edge of your company’s computer network. In most cases your company is going to have some type of connection to the internet. Most companies will have a DSL line, T1, cable, or some other type of high speed internet access. As a business owner, you need to understand what type of connectivity you have, and make sure it is the correct fit for your business. This will depend greatly on the number of employees that you have and how much your employees are online. If you feel your internet access is slow, then I recommend that you look at adding a cable to your existing internet connection.

Cable is a very inexpensive way, typically around $100-$120, to add high speed internet to your office. For a lot of our clients, we leave the existing T1 connection in place for the reliability, and add a cable modem for speed. A great way to understand internet speed is to think of it as a lead pipe. The larger the pipe the faster your internet speeds will be. A T1 is going to be around 1.5 inch pipe and cable is going to be between a 20 and 50 inch pipe. So you might be asking yourself, if you are paying $400 -$500 for a T1 and cable cost $100-$120, why do I need the T1? The answer will vary, but in most cases your telephone service probably runs over the T1 as well as your Internet connectivity. Plus, the reliability of cable is not as good as a commercial grade T1 circuit.

So, find out what type of connectivity your office has. Review your contracts with your providers. Prices for these services continue to decrease, so if you have a contract that is 2, 3 or 4 years old, chances are you can renew it at a cheaper rate.

If you have questions about your internet connectivity, please ask. In our next post in this series, we will take about Firewalls. We’ll explain what they are and why you need a good one.

Learning About Technology

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Technology ETF or Tech ETF refers to the exchange-traded funds, which invests in the growing technologies across the globe. In the 1990s, the world has seen the power of the Internet in full force. Both the IT and BPO industries have emerged as major sectors for technological developments. Thus, these industries have led to technology ETFs.

Technology ETFs can be classified into 3 categories, which are based on their holdings. These include Sub Sectors, Broad Tech Sectors, and Actively Managed Technology ETFs. The Sub Sectors have specific holdings include semi-conductors and software. One of the most prominent Sub Sector Tech ETF is the Goldman Sachs Networking Fund, which is considered a high concentration and liquidity on a sector.

Broad Tech Sectors have an extensive range of technological holdings. More so, these sectors have a substantial portfolio. Two of the most prominent Broad Tech Sectors include S&P Select Sector SPDR Fund and Shares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Fund. S&P Select Sector SPDR Fund holds large tech stocks in the S&P 500 while Shares Dow Jones U.S. Technology Fund is the largest tech ETF as it has the most number of stocks.

From the name itself, Actively Managed Tech ETFs are funds that are managed actively and their performance is updated daily online or through other means of communication. Some of the most prominent Actively Managed Tech ETFs include Software (PSJ), PowerShares Dynamic ETFs, Networking (PXQ), and Semiconductors (PSI).

Just like any other exchange traded funds, tech ETF has advantages and disadvantages. One of its greatest advantages is that is produces large profits with lower investments as compared to other ETFS. Thus, this results to higher return on investment (ROI). On the other hand, the profits gained on tech ETFs may be lower than other types of investment.

Writing an eBook About Technology

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As writers we are often assigned projects or come up with a project of our own to do. What might seem simple can quickly escalate into a full on monumental task. For instance take a recent project I decided to embark on; an eBook about a specific sub-sector of Technology. Believe it or not it was an eBook on the Future of Skateboards, or rather hoverboards of the future.

Looking at the project, I said well piece of cake, I use to ride a skateboard as a kid, all day in fact. I can write an eBook in 2-days right off the top of my head and since it is such an easy project, I can edit it and write it, get the pictures and even format the darn thing in that time.

Well this little project that I thought could be done in 2 days is now into its first day and I am not even 15% done. This means even if I kick butt, which I have been known to do this is going to be over 6-days in the making. The original idea was proposed by a fellow writer who was doing a single chapter of a book on the subject. I proposed really making it into a big project and said;

“If you are NOT going to write that “Skateboard” book let me know. I think the subject is interesting and can do it off the top of my head into Dragon Voice Software. So, I have already begun.”

Of course my thinking was that if they were not interested, I would make it an eBook for my website, as content [Online Think Tank website] and that I would probably have it done in a few days.

My thinking was why make it a kids book, then it would be more or less lots of illustrations and pictures rather than a reality based plan to actually build a flying skateboard. An Adult book on the other hand would be a subject that could be relevant for UAVs, NASA SATS Future Flight, military, skateboarding or a lead in to technologies described in a Sci Fi book chapter of the future.

Needless to say the project looks like it will be nearly 100 pages, including technical data and lots of research and could easily take 8-10 days full tilt. So, remember to not underestimate your commitment to a writing project, especially a book. I suppose this is really a writing tip of the day for me to recite to my mirror? Think about it.

Cyber Schools Are All About Technology

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Some people are intimidated or unimpressed by cyber schools because they think they are more focused on technology than curriculum. These individuals may not understand how online learning and offline learning can connect for a complete educational experience, or they might just think there is no substance beyond the virtual classrooms and real-time interaction.

No matter what their reasoning, those who doubt the online learning model can benefit from an explanation about the many opportunities and resources offered by cyber schools. This article aims to debunk the common myth that online learning is all about technology and explain the wealth of possibilities these Internet-based schools offer.

In addition to virtual classrooms, real-time student interaction, online tools, and education management systems, today’s online schools offer students:

    • Instruction from certified teachers. These teachers are specially trained in how to work effectively in an online classroom, and they have all kinds of resources at their disposal. They work one-on-one with their students to develop personalized educational plans that meet their unique learning needs.

    • Access to certified curricula. Today’s cyber schools are held accountable by state standards that govern other public schools. They follow the same standardized testing requirements, and they are structured around state-approved curricula.

    • Lots of opportunity to collaborate with teachers and parents. Teacher support and parental involvement are both critical to a student’s success. That’s why these schools create an environment where parents, students and teachers are brought together to collaborate and develop learning approaches that work.

    • The chance to join clubs and activities. Many cyber schools offer extracurricular opportunities that can bring kids together outside of the online classroom. Whether those are academic/art/literary clubs, volunteer opportunities, or community-based activities, students have plenty of opportunities to interact with their peers and form meaningful relationships.

  • An education that exists outside of the computer. Contrary to what some think, cyber school students do not spend all their time in front of a computer. Many lessons require practical application of the material, and students are able to spend plenty of time doing hands-on activities, reading textbooks, using workbooks and utilizing traditional school supplies.

As you can see, cyber schools offer students so much more than an education that is administered over the Internet. These students have access to dynamic, innovative and personalized learning experiences that can help them develop the knowledge and skills needed to pursue success in higher education, jobs and life in the 21st century.

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Technology

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In part 1 of this series, “What small business owners need to know about technology”, we talked about internet connectivity for your business.

In part 2, we are going to talk about Firewalls and why you need a great one. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a Firewall is or what it does because I am going to explain everything in very non-technical terms.

Let’s pretend for a minute that the Internet pipe that we talked about in part 1 is a road into a subdivision and all of the houses in that subdivision represent all of the computers in your business. Then let’s pretend that cars on that road represent internet traffic and how it moves in and out of your business. Since our subdivision is not gated, our employees can drive their cars anywhere they want to go AND people that don’t live in your subdivision (ie. Don’t work for your business) can drive into the subdivision. OK, let’s break from the analogy for a minute. Can you imagine how dangerous that could be your business?

OK, back the analogy. Think of a Firewall as putting a security gate. Now, this security gate is going to stop every car and make sure they are a welcome guest. If they aren’t welcome, they can’t get into the subdivision. This is how most firewalls function today, and it’s just not enough to fully protect your business.

The Firewall that I recommend you use not only has a security gate, but a security guard with a dog. The firewall that I want you to use includes features like intrusion detection and prevention, traffic inspection, website content filtering, and VPN capabilities. To use our analogy, the gate would stop the car, the security guard would check the driver’s license, check the trunk, use mirrors to look under the car, and the dog with sniff every inch of the car to make sure it was clean. You see, most viruses and malware that affect your business productivity today are gotten from legitimate websites that have been hacked. Your employees do not even have to click on anything to get these viruses; just going to the site can infect the PC. How many viruses has your company gotten this year?

Our security guard and dog have another job as well. Not only are they going to check cars trying to get into our subdivision, but they are going to check cars leaving it as well. If your company does not want your employees driving down to Amazon, Facebook, or Career Builder, then we can tell our security guard to not let them go there. I am not joking about this one, a couple of weeks ago we had to block Netflix at a company because someone was watching movies at work.

Another great feature that I recommend that you look for is a firewall device that can provide load balancing of internet connections. If you remember from part 1, we talked about the speed of a cable modem and the reliability of a T1. What we do for our clients is install a T1 and cable and plug them both into our firewall device. We then configure all of the internet traffic to run over the cable and when the cable goes down, it automatically fails over and routes all of the traffic out the T1. So we have speed and reliability.

Actions Steps:

  1. Find out what type of Firewall you have.
  2. Ask if it provides intrusion detection and prevention. Remember the security guard. If not, I highly recommend replacing it.
  3. Ask if it provides website traffic inspection. If not, please replace it before some virus infects your network.
  4. Find out if it provides Website Content Filtering.