A closer look at how the Internet really works

It’s tough to imagine a world without the presence of Internet. After all, so many of us go online now to watch movies, converse with our acquaintances, play games and catch up on current events. But how much do you know about the Internet and exactly how it works? You might be surprised at everything you don’t know. The Web site Business Insider recently took an intriguing look at the world of the web, paying special attention to those little factoids that you should but likely are not aware of.

Facebook is King

You may know Facebook as that place where all your friends brag to each other about their latest vacations or post daily that game-winning goal their kid scored for the school football team. But do you also know that Facebook pretty much dominates the Internet in terms of online traffic? It’s true. According to numbers from Hitwise, Facebook accounts for one out of every five page views on the Internet. This past year, Facebook soared past the 1-billion-user mark.

The Biggest Data Center is Rising in Utah

Do you know the location where largest data center sits? Soon, it will be Utah. As outlined by Business Insider, the National Security Agency is now in the process of making a enormous data center in the state. As soon as the center is ready for operation, it is going to store an amazing yottabyte of data. Like most people, you probably have no clue what a yottabyte is. But the name is certainly impressive. And know this: A yottabyte of data represents an absolutely large amount of data. A yottabyte is the same as 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes.

Streaming is on the Rise

Do you stream movies or Tv programs to your TV, computer or tablet? Even if you don’t, the odds are high your neighbor likely does. Streaming became one of the Internet’s most widely used features. As per the Business Insider story, quoting statistics from Harris Interactive, more than 50 percent of U.S. residents are now using the web to watch TV. Streaming video has become an especially desired service among the younger customers which are flocking to Web streaming. According to Business Insider, streaming is a huge hit among individuals under the age of 35.

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Get off your butt and start standing

If you’re working in an office, you might unknowingly be setting yourself up for health problems. According to a recent story by NPR, those who spend too much time sitting throughout the week face a much greater risk of heart related illnesses than do individuals who are more active. The NPR story quoted a researcher from South Carolina University who discovered that men that sat more than 23 hours per week were 64 percent more prone to die from heart related illnesses than were those who sat less than 11 hours in the average week.

The Good News

The message is obvious: Get off your butt. Fortunately, you are able to reduce your sitting time by building a standing desk. A standing desk — which is exactly what it actually sounds like, a desk at which you stand as opposed to sit — is far from pricey. You can assemble it with cheap parts from Ikea. Here’s the recipe, thanks to the Lifehacker blog.

The Easy Way

If you just require a simple desk, Lifehacker suggests creating a standing desk that utilizes Ikea’s Utby legs. Though this desk will be smaller, you’ll be able to fit your laptop, monitor and keyboard easily enough on it. You should have space, too, to have a lamp and storage. To construct this desk, buy a Vika Amon Top, Utby under frame, Ekby Jarpen shelf and one set of Capita legs. You will find all of these parts at Ikea for the total of about $140. Best of all? Based on the Lifehacker story, you can assemble this desk together with only a screwdriver.

A Bit More Complicated

You don’t need to accept a homemade standing desk with a narrow top. You can easily update to one having a wider top. And you can do it while still confining your desk-part shopping to your nearest Ikea. First, as Lifehacker advises, find two packages of Capita brackets, one Lack shelf, one Vika Amon tabletop and five Vika Byske legs at your Ikea. Then grab your power drill and get busy. Lifehacker ranks this desk as a “medium” one to build, as a result it ought not to be overly difficult to construct.

Cloud Computing – Safe Data Storage and Increased Efficiency with the Ultimate IT Solution

More and more businesses today recognize the need to be able to carry out their business activity without being tied down to company premises and without having to invest extensively into new software and hardware; more and more businesses understand the importance of utilizing cloud computing as a tool to make daily workflow smoother and finances more calculable.

As the fasted developing trend of the 2010s, cloud solutions are very efficient and hold immense potential for companies and organizations and for the individual user as well, by increasing computer capacity without extending infrastructure. Cloud computing solutions are varied and diversified, but they all share few characteristics:

  • The workload is shifted from local computers to the provider’s hardware and software infrastructure. The computing services are no longer operated on a dedicated hardware, like a server in the basement of the office building, but they are run on the service provider’s platforms, hiding the actual process of data management from the end user, wrapping the process in a “cloud”.
  • Customers can access these services through a network and a user-friendly interface. In the case of public systems accessible for an extended customer base, this network is the internet, while private systems like the ones used by companies or organizations utilize an internal system like the company intranet. The contents required by the user are stored on remote servers operated by the provider, and the customer’s local computers will gain access to these contents through an application.
  • Cloud computing is flexible and scalable: it offers the user the possibility to increase or reduce the size of the resources accessed, and the resources consumed can be measured and translated into fees to be paid by the customer.

Web-based virus scanning services, web-mails, computer security management devices, anti-spam tools are just a few of the most common examples of these cloud solutions. Average consumers, small enterprises and large corporations alike show more and more interest towards these platforms, acknowledging them as useful tools that make their lives easier and that can be used to start-up or develop their business: private users can store their data safely in the virtual storage places; small companies can operate without having to invest into new computers and programs, while larger organizations can make their day-to-day activity more efficient.

Cloud computing allows these businesses to outsource certain tasks, thus reducing expenses, while also ensuring that the company’s data base is completely safe and stored on a fail-proof network.

You can get more out of Excel

If you’re like most computer users, you utilize Excel on a daily basis, whether you’re computing your household expenditures and revenues or figuring out what each of your company’s sales reps sold for the month. But, if you are like the majority of Excel users, the possibilities are also good that you are not making use of this program to its full capacity. Excel can be a truly powerful application. You just need to learn how to tap into its full power. Here, then, are three tricks that can help you get more from Excel.

Adding non-contiguous values

Excel’s AutoSum option is an incredibly useful tool. It lets users swiftly add rows of numbers together to calculate a single sum. A lot of users, though, don’t know the way you use AutoSum to add values that aren’t contiguous, or adjacent, to one another. Fortunately, this task isn’t as complicated as users may believe. The TechRebpublic blog recently explained how users are able to use AutoSum to include non-contiguous sums. The procedure involves picking one column of numbers and holding the computer’s “Control” key to select a second column. Users are able to use AutoSum to calculate the sums of both columns, even if they’re not located next to the other.

Preventing bad data entry

Do your employees often enter bad data in your company spreadsheets? Your staff might be entering text in a spreadsheet developed only to accommodate numbers. This is often a frustrating situation when it’s time to review your spreadsheet. The good thing, though, as PC Magazine wrote in a recent story, is the fact that Excel features a method intended to protect against personnel from typing the wrong information within a company spreadsheet. This amazing feature? It’s known as Data Validation. Click on the “Table Tools” tab on Excel. Next, click “Data Validation.” Excel then permits you to enter just what type of data your employees need to be entering into the spreadsheet. For instance, you could tell Excel to only allow numbers and never text in a spreadsheet’s fields. Excel will prevent employees from entering an incorrect kind of data.

Don’t let unsaved files ruin your day

What’s worse than watching your computer shut down while you’re working on Excel file that you hadn’t yet bothered saving? Actually, there are tons of things a whole lot worse than that. That’s because Excel enables you to easily recover “lost” documents. Here’s how to accomplish this: First, select the “File” tab in Excel. Next, click “Recover Unsaved Documents.” Finally, click on the document once it appears on your screen. In addition? This works for Excel files which you never even gave a name.

A look back and forward at the biggest tech stories

Technology is advancing swiftly. So it will be little surprise that 2012 will go down as being a year that saw technology firm up its hold on the imagination of the U.S. public. Everything from how the election was covered to the way consumers handled their holiday shopping was influenced by technology this year. And next year? That appears to be another big year in technology.Here is a look back at the tech trends of this past year and look forward to what could be the important tech stories of 2013.

Obama’s grip on election tech

The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be a nail biter. At the end of the day it wasn’t. Pres. Obama won reelection with over 300 Electoral College votes, turning away a late challenge by opponent Mitt Romney. Part of the credit has to go to Obama’s superior polling technology, referred to as Narwhal. Obama knew exactly which voters he had to attract. And he aimed at those voters with laser-like precision throughout the election campaign. Romney’s vaunted Project Orca, meant to work as a massive get-out-the-vote machine for Romney, ended up as an epic failure. Orca even crashed during election day, dealing a major setback to a campaign that had been already struggling. Technology also changed the way newspapers and Internet sites reported on the election. Throughout the 2012 campaign, candidates were fact-checked very quickly during debates and campaign speeches by reporters and fact-checkers using Twitter. It’s safe to say that neither candidates nor reporters will ever view election campaigns in the same way.

Drones

Technology is changing how the U . S . battles terrorists. Unmanned Predator drones made headlines in 2012, especially as their deadly strikes claimed a number of the United State’s most-wanted terrorists. The drones, of course, were never without critics. Some worried they will be used to spy on law-abiding citizens. Others worried that drone strikes routinely claim the lives of civilians along with terrorists and other military goals. What’s not up for debate, though, is the fact that unmanned drones will continue to become a significant weapon in the United States’ war on terror. As drone technology improves, their accuracy and effectiveness stand to increase.

The coming year

What does 2013 hold for tech? Look for consumers to spend even more of their dollars on tech. And this holds true even if a second recession should grip the country. People are getting used to surfing the net and reading e-mail messages on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. They’re more willing than ever to spend in the convenience that comes with mobile technology. Expect, too, to see the popularity of tablets and smart phones only increase. These items already ranked as several of the hottest of the holiday shopping season. There is no reason to expect this trend will slow in 2013. Finally, don’t be surprised technology reach an increasing number of emerging nations in 2013. And this is great news: A global tech boom will connect our planet’s inhabitants. That can only be a good thing.

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Work More Efficiently With A Clean Desk

You know it’s time to de-clutter your desk when there is not even enough room on it for your morning coffee. And what about underneath your desk? Does it look like a snake pit of cables and wires? It’s tough to work when you have to shovel past papers to get to your keyboard. Fortunately, there are simple solutions to both decrease the clutter atop your desk and get rid of the sprawl of computer cables and wires under it.

  1. Tackle the wires – If the wires under your desk are a mess, there is a couple easy ways to deal with this. One inexpensive way is to acquire some binder clips, if you don’t already have some. Use these to hold the cords together and keep them out of the way. A more expensive way is to buy a wireless charging pad, or powermat, and purchase a wireless mouse and keyboard. With these you can wireless charge devices just by placing the object on the mat. This will do away with all of the cords you need for charging along with any that you have to use to connect your mouse and keyboard to your computer.
  2. Reduce desktop clutter – If your desktop is cluttered with paper, you can lower this by just using less paper. Seems obvious right? We are much more reliant now-a-days on digital communication. Which means that much of the information you need is accessible in your email. You can manage that info within your email or you can use a program like Evernote to keep your notes safe and digital. Often, our desks can become cluttered with papers. If you do need to keep papers, make sure you file them away ASAP. This will keep you organized and your desk clear.
  3. Throw things away – Become good, too, at throwing things away. If a client provides you with a sample of a book that you’ll never read, either pass it along to a fellow co-worker or donate to your local Goodwill. If you receive a memo that you know you’ll only look at once, recycle it. The quicker you move items off your desk, the more unlikely that you are to litter your workspace.

What Matters When You Are Hunting for a New Laptop

What really matters when you’re buying a new laptop? New York Times writer Sam Grobart suggests that it’s not processor speed or a laptop’s graphics card that counts. Instead, typical laptop buyers – those who want to search the Internet, watch movies, send e-mail messages, and write reports on their machines – look at more down-to-earth measures of a laptop’s worth. Specifically, Grobart recommends that consumers look at such mundane factors as a laptop’s weight, screen size, and memory.

Weight matters

The reason why weight is so important may be obvious. Laptops are designed to be portable. The more it weighs, the more stress it will put on your back as you tote it around. Look for a laptop that is less than 6 pounds. The good news is, most laptops weigh less then that.

Screen size

For those who will be watching a lot of videos or movies, a good screen size to shoot for is one that measures 13 inches diagonally. This is the perfect size to watch movies and it is small enough to carry around in most bags.

Memory

Another essential thing to search for in a laptop is the RAM, or random access memory. The recommendation is that consumers should purchase laptops that have no less than 4 gigabytes of RAM. Anything with less will move slowly. Anything above 4 gigabytes is unnecessary for most laptop users. One more thing you don’t need to be concerned about is the processor. Most laptops made today have processors that are fine for the needs of most people.

7 Smart Network and PC Security Tips from Dolomite Technology

7 Smart network and PC Security Tips from Dolomite Technology

Check out one of our latest videos discussing PC Security Tips on YouTube. 7

Smart network and PC Security Tips from Dolomite Technology

Doctors and Hospitals Going Digital

When your doctor must access your health records—everything from your allergies to the treatments you received during past visits—does he or she pull out a manila envelope packed with scraps of paper? Or does your physician log onto the computer? The odds are becoming increasingly high that your doctor turns to the computer.

Electronic health records

Recently medial professionals have been adopting software called EHR (Electric Health Records). This has become more and more common. The percentage of office-based physicians who use EHR software stood at 57 percent in 2011, which increased from 50.7 percent in 2010.

Electronic records good news for patients

This, by the way, is good news for patients. We would like our doctors to be organized. We’d like them to have the capacity to access key health information swiftly. With health-record data stored in computers, they are able to do this. They won’t need to fumble through piles of paper to find our medical histories, what types of medication we are allergic to, and whether we’ve gained 15 pounds since our last visit. This information will all be available to them at the touch of a keyboard. EHR systems could also shorten the wait times that we face when we visit our doctor’s offices. If doctors aren’t wasting time shuffling through paperwork, they can spend more time visiting with patients and diagnosing them, whilst seeing patients in a more productive manner.

Federal government encouragement

The government is even behind the movement to digital documentation. The government is also pushing physicians to file their prescription information electronically instead of by hand. This, too, is sensible; pharmacists are more likely to make prescription medication mistakes when they’re trying to read the often-incomprehensible handwriting of doctors. If they can access prescriptions electronically through their pcs, the potential for mistakes falls dramatically.

The Live Chat Trend

Live chat is a great way to make it easy for your customers to contact you. If you like the idea of them having the capacity to go to your website and ask a live agent a question, you may want to look into live-chat.

Anyone home?

Recently, Ivana Taylor wrote an article for the American Express OPEN Forum about live chat and how it will make a company more available to consumers. Have you ever walked around a department store searching for an employee to answer your question? It’s annoying. With live chat, your customers won’t have that experience when visiting your website. They can ask you a question and get the response right away.

Live chat apps

There are many tools you can use for live chat that are both powerful and affordable. One simple app is called Olark’s live chat tool. Its simple design makes it simple to use, but it doesn’t have a lot of extra features. A few others that are a little more robust are LiveChat.com, SnapEngage, and LivePerson. These allow business owners to use their mobile devices to live chat, which could be helpful if you are not always in front of a computer.

The trend

Customers today expect to hear back from businesses quickly when they have questions. If they don’t, these customers will move on to another company. That’s where live chat comes in. With chat apps, you can quickly give your customers with answers to their questions. You can more readily engage them in conversation. And when you do that, your chances of creating long-term customers are greater.