Owning and running a business in today’s ever changing and technologically advanced environment is not easy. It requires knowledge, skill, patience, an eye for detail and most importantly the ability to see advantages in your environment and go with them. The way we work has changed over the years and as technology is growing and becoming more complex it give us the ability to do new things in relation to both our business and personal lives.
Cloud is one of these recent technological innovations that will help to make the day to day running of your business and management of your data and information simple and straight forward. With Cloud your business has the potential to become more productive which will in turn improve your chances of growth and success. There are a number of other advantages to using Cloud services, including:
The Flexibility of the Service
As a business your needs are always changing and increasing and it is important that you have a service provider that can keep up with these needs and changes and work with you to ensure the smooth running of your business. The capacity that the cloud remote servers have is second to none and can provide almost instant action if your organisation needs extra bandwidth; and this is one of the reasons that many businesses choose to move to the cloud system.
Fast and Effective Disaster Recovery
Before cloud-based services, companies required complex plans in place in case of the need for disaster recovery. The cloud system is able to take care of most issues quickly and effectively, and faster than many other systems. As all the information is stored in one place and is Internet-based rather than being computer-based, it is also possible to recover lost information in some cases, if the need arises. So you no longer need to worry about keeping all of your company’s information backed up by a separate organisation or in a different place as this can all be done through the innovative and useful tool that is cloud.
Control of Documents
In many organisations it is important for individuals and members of the company to collaborate and connect with people in different regions and countries; and without the use of cloud these individuals would have to work on one file at a time constantly re-saving it and amending it before passing it back to the other person. This makes the task of updating or changing a document extremely time-consuming for all those involved. With the help of cloud you are able to keep all of your files in a central location so that you can work off one copy. If you need to discuss anything with your colleague then you are also able to do this which can improve collaboration results and increase productivity and performance; which is ultimately what an organisation should be trying to do.
An extremely useful benefit of cloud services for Microsoft and other software is that no matter where you are in the country or the world, as long as you have access to the Internet it is possible to connect to cloud. This enables colleagues in different countries and time zones to connect effectively without having to go to the time and expense of travelling to meet each other.
With all these benefits it is easy to see why cloud is such a popular choice for companies throughout the world today. So isn’t it time for your organisation to reap the benefit of a simple and state-of-the-art system.
I’ve owned an Amazon Kindle for over a year now and love the bare look and feel of this device. If you are someone who reads a lot during your daily office commute, it makes sense to invest in a good cover for your Kindle – it protects from the avoidable scratches. While Amazon needs to be commended for providing us with a great device that is mostly resistant to scratches and accidental falls, the scratches caused by the keys and other metal objects in your purse or bag are not always expected. And when the scratches do happen, it simply ruins the reading experience; at least for me.
The Snugg Kindle case is a pretty stylish accessory that you should check out if you own a Kindle. Costing just about $10, this case also acts as a stand if your hands are full and you would still like to read from your Kindle. Snugg were gracious enough to send me a cover for review. Here are some noticeable aspects of the case:
Material : The case is made of genuine leather and comes in a stylish professional looking black color lined with white threaded stitches. While I love my Kindle for the sleek frame, it can be a problem when you are carrying it alongside several other stuffs – many times resulting in me dropping the Kindle. With the stiff cover made with an easy-grip texture, it is really hard to miss the Kindle. You actually can store your Kindle alongside your other paperbacks.
Easy Read : If you are that guy or girl who loves to read on the move, this is a feature you would love. The inner fold of the Snugg Kindle case comes with a sort of strap where you can let your palms through to keep a firm grip on your Kindle even on the move.
Flip Stand: Like mentioned earlier, the outer case can also be flipped to set your Kindle on a stand and viewed at a convenient reading angle. This is a very good feature if you would like to read while doing things like chopping vegetables or even working on a computer.
Overall, this is a great product at a very reasonable price. You can check out the Kindle case on the Snugg website here. Would you be buying one? Tell us what you think in the comments.
Stolen identity is a frightening experience, and it causes a lot of headaches and frustration. The trick is to stay protected whether you’re shopping online or simply giving out your credit card to a live cashier. If you’re already a victim of identity theft, here are a few tips and tricks for regaining your identity:
Understand Identity Theft
Identity theft is more than just a stolen credit card number. Many thieves are now using private information, such as your social security number, birthdate, and/or name to commit fraud, such as applying for loans or credit cards under your name. Approximately 9 million Americans are part of an identity scam, but most aren’t as extreme. Even mild cases of identity theft are difficult to resolve, but with the right support, financial experts can help.
Act Fast When Your Identity is Stolen
The first thing to do is contact each of the credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They can put an alert on all of your open accounts, and can also freeze your social security number from any other accounts being opened or accessed. Next, utilize resources on the FTC website. Many of the forms available on this site will help expedite the process. Depending on the type of theft, you may choose to file a police report with your local precinct.
Keep Track of all Your Information
Next, close any fraudulent accounts and if there are suspicious charges on your own accounts, close them out too. You can do this by calling your banks, credit card companies, and any other businesses with which you have accounts. Keep detailed records of how much time you spend, because if the case ends up going to court, you can seek damages for these hours. Several months after the loss, obtain a credit report to make sure that all the fraudulent charges are gone. Once you complete these steps, your credit will return to its original status.
Learn to Prevent Future Identity Theft
You can also take preventive steps to avoid identity theft before it happens. One tip is to never carry your social security card. If you use a debit card, don’t keep the Personal Identification Number with it. Some experts recommend that you never use a debit card for online purchases. Since this links to your checking account, a thief can drain your bank account in just a few transactions. A credit card is much more secure, since it’s much easier to reverse a charge and issue a credit instead of trying to replace stolen money. Be cautious when using websites to shop, and make sure they have valid security and encryption.
Use Tools That Help
If you receive credit card applications, bank statements, or other personal documents by mail, make sure to shred them instead of tossing them in the trash. Keep careful track of your credit card and bank statements, and report any unauthorized activity immediately. Another great tool is LifeLock id protection, which helps monitor your patterns and alert you of any changes in spending.
With so many resources, identity theft becomes more manageable, and those affected can resolve the problems and return to financial freedom.
After a lackluster release and sparse adoption, it seems like more and more businesses are taking the, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the Windows 8 operating system. And, for PC-only offices and other advocates of all things Windows, lucky number 7 seems to fill the need just fine. So, what are some reasons why your business should avoid upgrading to Windows 8?
No Touch Screen = No Benefit
When designing its new operating system, Microsoft realized that touch screens are trending. To their credit, Microsoft was right, but that doesn’t account for all PC users – especially for those in the business world. Windows 8 does work just fine on regular screens found in offices across the country and world, but the operating system is touch screen optimized. So, if your office computer doesn’t respond to touch, you’re missing out on some incredibly intuitive features.
With Windows 8, your operating system is essentially working off of two platforms: your traditional desktop and a new, ultra-modern operating experience. And, unfortunately, the best of both worlds only complicates matters when it comes to apps. In other words, your apps based in tradition won’t function in the modern world of Windows 8 and vice versa. Although these two platforms share the same operating system, their apps function on radically different levels, which translates to trouble.
A Lack of Applications
Speaking of apps, it doesn’t matter the kinds of applications your business needs or that you’re even able to download them at blazing fast speeds with your business’s DSL Internet Service, if there aren’t any apps available, then you’re out of luck with Windows 8. Sure, the Windows app store will likely create more apps as time goes on, but the question is, how long will that take? Apps make your personal and business life easier, and without them, you have an operating system that’s not operating at its full potential.
The Learning Curve
The drastically different Windows 8 operating system comes complete with a pretty steep learning curve. In fact, just to give you an idea of how different it really is, the standard start menu is gone and replaced with an eye-catching, time-consuming series of animated tiles. Tiles are fine, moving tiles are even better because they’re entertaining, but in the business world, these elements translate to a lack in productivity. Practice does make perfect, but at what cost to your businesses bottom dollar?
Companies Aren’t on Board
Due to the lack of adoption by consumers, many companies aren’t supporting Windows 8. Facebook, one of the world’s most popular websites, has gone on record and stated that they have no plans to bring a Windows 8 app out. So, when it comes time to upgrade your office equipment, there’s a good chance everything’s going to come with Windows 7 pre-installed, thus requiring an additional operating system upgrade for those wanting Windows 8. If you’re still not convinced that Windows 8 isn’t the best operating system for your business, give it a try to see for yourself – just don’t say you weren’t warned.
Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at @joey_fort.
Technology has continued to grow from strength to strength with the continual improvements of mobile phones, the introduction of tablets and the innovative design of Google Glass, but what is coming next for mobile gaming? One thing that most gamers are calling for is improved graphics, but it may be difficult to fetch the very best graphics to mobile devices without compromising the speed at which the game and device runs. One example could be the use of first-person shooters, and how this can be developed and controlled on mobile devices.
Increasing the graphic capabilities of any games – be it poker, multiplayer or simulation – would also mean increasing the memory and battery capabilities of the mobile devices used. There is nothing worse than being half way through a game and it stuttering and stopping, or your battery giving in and the screen going black. Most people are looking forward with a mixture of hope and scepticism to the days when you no longer have to carry chargers round with you when you’re nipping out for a few hours.
But what about hands free; is Google Glass the future of mobile gaming? Imagine walking along the street playing in a poker tournament and still being able to see everything and avoid walking into lampposts, or having your favourite multiplayer game in the corner of your vision and controlling it with your voice, leaving your hands free to do anything else needed.
Although there is of course the fact that Glass isn’t the most visually pleasing device and you might feel rather stupid walking down the street and looking as though you’re talking to yourself. However with it being the first generation it might just be too much for hearts to take when they want to do something, but the technology just isn’t that advanced yet.
Closer to the here and now though is the successful development of cross-platform gaming. Walking home playing football on your mobile or maybe a quick casino game, and being unable to pause and change it to your larger screen once indoors has long been the bane of many a gamer’s life. EA Casual Entertainment is one of several companies to announce they will be publishing games across various platforms allowing this magical transition to take place. Whatever the future of mobile gaming may be, for now you can follow the link and play at the best Poker tables around.
Nano Ink is a revolutionary printing technology that alleviates many of the common problems associated with traditional printing methodologies. Nano Ink has a number of features that set it apart from other types of ink, making it useful in a wide variety of settings. The following situations are just some of those in which the use of Nano Ink would be beneficial.
High-Tech and Complex Graphics
When high-tech and complex graphics must be printed, Nano Ink is the ideal choice. Nano Ink consists of ultra-sharp dots which sharpen the overall image and don’t bleed, leaving precise, defined edges. Nano Ink also offers the widest gamut of CMYK colors, allowing for more color variations and truer richness to precisely match existing graphics printed on other materials and meet an organization’s need for consistent branding.
With the technologies possible on the Internet rapidly expanding, today’s corporations are making use of highly complex graphics to supplement content and brand their online presences. Most organizations prefer a consistent look and feel across all branded materials. Nano Ink makes it possible to transition the same rich graphics from the Web to their print media, providing an indistinguishable branding experience for clients and customers.
Printing on Non-Traditional Media
Even the glossy magazines you see on stands everywhere can benefit from Nano Ink. That’s because Nano Ink allows the media it’s printed on to retain its original characteristics—meaning no interference resulting from the paper type, bleeding, swelling and other after-printing effects that can reduce the quality of images and change the look or feel of the media it’s printed on.
Wedding invitations, for example, are often constructed of unique paper variations. Traditional ink options sometimes don’t mesh well with various textures and glosses, leaving strange-looking fonts and graphics. Likewise, an organization wanting to create stand-out business cards on a different type of card stock would benefit from the precision offered by Nano Ink. The characteristics of the paper types used in either case wouldn’t change—meaning there is no minimized gloss or loss of texture after the printing process, maintaining the integrity of the intended look and feel.
Green Tech and Environmentally Friendly Companies
Any organization placing an emphasis on environmental friendliness and green technologies will appreciate the eco-friendly nature of Nano Ink. Using Nano Ink for printed materials means low energy consumption and zero emissions, features well aligned with the goals of modern green-friendly corporations. The use of Nano Ink can help reduce a company’s overall energy consumption, which can push them closer to meeting industry regulations or company-specific emissions and environmental goals.
For instance, a bottled water company using Nano Ink to print packaging can include these energy and emissions savings in advertised calculations. Printed materials can also list the use of Nano Ink as an environmentally friendly initiative.
Not only is Nano Ink eco-friendly, but it’s budget-friendly as well with the lowest costs of any type of digital printing. Many industries are in flux and under pressure today to make the most of existing assets and resources, so any cost-cutting measure is a welcome alternative. A small publisher shifting all its printing to Nano Ink can realize cost savings that can be invested in other areas to push the company forward. Healthcare providers printing patient education materials can reduce the associated costs, alleviating some of the burden of rapidly rising costs for supplies and equipment.
These few examples provide some insight into the variety of benefits offered by Nano Ink and the various situations in which this new digital printing technology makes sense. There are hundreds of examples of situations in which Nano Ink can be beneficial to both consumers and corporations. Coupled with the environmental benefits and cost savings, Nano Ink is a logical solution for a vast array of printing needs.
Ricky Soars writes for nano ink from landano.com a printing company that is always exploring new ways to make the printing industry more effect and efficient!
If you have been looking at purchasing a Samsung Galaxy handset, then the S2 and S3 mini are two very good options to look at. Both the phones come at a similar price range and that makes a comparison between the two a very useful topic for discussion. Here is a short and crisp comparison of the two phones.
Processor and Dimension
Let us first look at the specifications. The Galaxy S2 comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor that powers this device with a large 4.3 inches display screen. In comparison, the Galaxy S3 mini is equipped with a 1Ghz dual-core processor and a 4.0 inch display screen. Notice how these core specs on the S3 Mini are slightly lower than the S2? That’s been a deliberate strategy to launch the Galaxy at a lower price for customers with a lower budget. The Galaxy S3 mini is available at a price of around $412 while the Samsung Galaxy S2 is priced at $492.
Perhaps the biggest reason why I would go for a Galaxy S2 and not a S3 mini is the camera. The former comes with an impressive 8 MP camera whereas the S3 Mini has a 5 Mp camera. A lot of experts would tell you that camera resolution is just one part and there are several other factors to decide camera quality. But considering that we are comparing two phone cameras from the same manufacturer, we could well ignore the other aspects of the camera that is likely to be similar on both the phones and just go with the resolution.
Here is the tricky part. The S2 runs on the older Gingerbread version of Android whereas the Galaxy S3 Mini runs on the newer Jellybean OS. A layman user may not find too many reasons to pick one OS over the other, but if you are a geek, then you would probably want to own a Jellybean Android phone rather than one running on Gingerbread.
So there you go – specs wise, the S2 is definitely the better phone. But if you have a lower budget or if you are picky about running the latest Android version, then the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is what you should be going for.
It’s become a common occurrence these days to hear the statement, “There’s an app for that!” The popularity of smartphones and tablets in recent years has resulted in an explosion of applications to run on them. It seems we’ve all been inundated with an app to serve a specific need, as our home, business and even personal lives have had an app developed for it.
Many apps, like a built in GPS system, have proven to be indispensable to people either lost or looking for directions, and in my experience, a real estate app I installed helped immensely with a search for new house. A lot of apps available these days might seem silly and unnecessary, like one that mimics a zippo lighter or simulates playing a harmonica when holding it up to your mouth.
Legal Advice is Available for Download on iTunes.
Even the legal industry has gotten on the app bandwagon these days. Like most other elements in our lives, lawyers and their firms seem to want the attention an iPhone or Android app can bring. A quick search of iTunes and Google Play produces a few interesting results:
Nolo’s Plain English Law Dictionary – Available on iTunes This nifty app is actually a pretty good release offered by a leading player in the internet legal advice arena. Nolo has offered internet users the ability to create wills, living trusts and other legal documents for years via their software and website. The app provides a fairly detailed legal language dictionary with plain English descriptions.
Glykka’s Sign Easy, Sign and Fill Documents – Available on iTunes This handy app makes it possible to digitally sign documents from anywhere in PDF, Excel, Word and Email formats. I can see a lot of useful reasons to have this app on my iPhone and think the underlying technology could be a precursor to many other things a smartphone might be doing in the future; like performing person to person transactions in the field.
AB Mobile Apps Ask a Lawyer: Legal Help – Available on Google PlayM This app is one that’s brash enough to come right out and offer legal advice for free! The app is actually a front end for an actual law firm, so one can expect the legal advice given is on the level. It’s an interesting concept that strikes a resemblance to how the insurance industry gathers potential clients by offering some easy to use web technology.
The apps mentioned here seem to be originating from reliable sources and do a good job of providing a service to their target audiences. Nolo has been around for a long time and has passed the test for reliability. Glykka’s product serves a need that does have a lot of potential for growth as people try to conduct more business on the fly with their portable devices. AB Mobile’s Ask a Lawyer might be a useful tool for someone in the early stages of seeking out legal advice and simply wants to get in touch with a lawyer eventually.
A Person in Need of Legal Advice Should Go Old School – Look on the Internet
One should keep in mind that attorneys have been making their legal services available to the public via technology for years. Most reputable firms have maintained excellent websites that in some cases, provide the same things these apps are now offering. Their sites make it easy to get in touch with a lawyer directly, which is usually the best move from the start.One such example is the guide at SSRights.com on choosing the right attorney. Guides like these can help people seeking legal help wade through the sometimes muddy waters online.
The apps might be fun to explore and get some general information about legal matters, but the law is an intricate and detailed field that can be next to impossible to navigate for the average person. It might be in your best interest to get in touch with an actual lawyer first, then start installing the apps.
Have you recently installed a resource demanding application on your Macbook that caused frequent lags? Are you interested to improve the performance of your Macbook and simply can’t afford to purchase the newest and faster model? You don’t need to suffer the financial burdens of buying a new Macbook since boosting the memory of your old one should be good enough to solve this issue.
Despite its obvious benefits, others are still hesitant about adding more RAM on their Macbook. The fact that their unit was running smoothly when they first tried it discourages them to consider this investment. In addition, majority of Macbook users believe that RAM upgrade is very costly and hard to come by. What they fail to consider is that adding more memory on a Macbook is the most cost effective way to get rid of a sluggish unit and turn it into an incredible computing device that offers both speed and reliability. Here are four reasons to convince you even more.
Improves your work pace
Only core programs were installed on your Macbook when you first tried it. After using it for a couple of years, it’s inevitable that you saved countless files and installed a wide array of applications and games into it. With your Macbook’s hardware specifications unchanged, don’t be surprised that it performs worse now. There is no better way to bring back your work efficiency and speed other than installing a new RAM on your Macbook. You will instantly feel the difference after adding more memory on your unit allowing you to open more applications at once and browse through all of them without experiencing any glitch or delay.
Allows you to install and use the latest applications
New applications and games for Macbook nowadays are more demanding in terms of computing speed and RAM. Although an old Macbook might still have enough computing power to support majority of them, this is not the case if we regard to RAM since previous Macbook models have very low innate memory compared to new ones. By boosting your Macbook’s RAM, you’ll be given the chance to install the latest applications and games which opens more opportunities to be productive or be entertained with your unit.
Cheaper than other upgrades
A RAM upgrade is the most cost effective way to boost your Macbook’s performance. All you need to do is visit the nearest Apple store and purchase a new RAM. You can let them install the RAM for a charge or personally carry out the task. To save more, make your purchase during holidays and other special occasions where Apple products including Macbook RAMs are heavily discounted. You can also save more by purchasing a secondhand Macbook memory online but be sure to only make a deal with a reliable source.
Increases the life of your Macbook
A faulty Macbook RAM can affect the overall performance of your unit and threaten the efficiency of the entire system. Replacing your old RAM with a much powerful one will not only boost your Macbook’s speed but guarantee that it will be up and running especially at times when you need it the most. By purchasing and installing a Ram for Macbook pro, you don’t have to deal with the financial burdens associated with buying a new computer. This option obviously can help you save thousands of dollars. Your Macbook has served you for several years now and most likely is a great influence of your current success. Why not reward your Macbook’s loyalty and reliable service by improving its RAM and using it for a couple of years more?
Article written by Kerry Blake – I am a MS Office expert and lecturer who writes articles in his free time. I’m currently writing tips about RAM for Macbook pro and printers.
Seriously, who carries cash any more? Today, 66% of in-store transactions are made with credit, debit, or pre-paid cards, and customers tend to spend more when they use credit cards over cash. If you conduct business on the go, you need to be able to accept credit cards. Luckily, there are several companies offering innovative solutions for accepting credit card payments through your mobile device—and their transaction rates are very reasonable. Here are some of the best.
Square Card Reader ($275 per month or 2.75% per swipe; squareup.com)
The Square Card Reader, which is free when you sign up for Square’s service, plugs into your iDevice’s headphone jack and securely encrypts every card swipe. Once you’ve received the card reader, you can download the Square Register app (free, app2.me/3735) and link it to your bank account. Funds from Square payments are deposited into your bank account within two business days.
With the Square Register app, you can create loyalty cards for repeat customers and send customized receipts by text or email. Your customers can buy or redeem Square gift cards to your business, leave a percentage tip with a simple tap, and, of course, sign their names with their fingertips.
PayPal Here (2.7% per swipe, paypal.com)
PayPal surprised everyone when they jumped on the mobile card reader bandwagon in 2012. Since they already handle a huge amount of transactions, it makes perfect sense. In addition to accepting credit cards, the PayPal Here card reader pairs with the PayPal Here app (free, app2.me/5974) to accept PayPal payments and checks (the latter via the camera function on your iDevice). Funds from swipes are available within minutes in your PayPal account, which you can access immediately if you have a PayPal debit card. Checks could take up to six days to clear. There’s only one fee—2.7% per swipe, which is similar to the transaction fee on PayPal payments. If you have several sales representatives PayPal lets you connect multiple card readers to your account. Like with Square, PayPal will mail you a free card reader when you sign up for their service.
Intuit GoPayment ($12.95 per month + 1.75% per swipe, or 2.75% per swipe; gopayment.com)
The Intuit GoPayment card reader is also free, and works with the GoPayment app (free, app2.me/5975). You can add business logo and contact information to receipts, and the GoPayment app calculates sales tax based on your location. A distinct advantage of Intuit GoPayment is the ability to sync your transactions with QuickBooks. If you process a lot of mobile payments, the Intuit GoPayment card reader is a less expensive alternative in the long run than Square and Paypal Here.
ROAMpay X ($0.38-$1.58 per swipe, roamdata.com)
ROAMpay works in partnership with compatible merchant accounts—it does not sell a merchant accounts service like the other companies listed here. Through the company’s site, you can contact several merchant account providers that are compatible with ROAMpay, and they will set you up with a ROAMpay application. Like other card readers, the ROAMpay X plugs into the iDevice’s headphone jack. However, the additional plastic flaps might create an awkward fit, depending on the case you’re using.
While you have to jump through more hoops to use ROAMpay than any of the other services listed here, the potential benefit is significantly lower transaction rates. Once you’re signed up, you can use the ROAMpay X app (free, app2.me/5976) to capture transactions, signatures, and customer data. You can also use the app to email receipts, track transactions, and transfer funds to your bank account.
Flint (1.95-2.95% + $0.20 per charge, flint.com)
Flint offers a unique solution to accepting payments from your mobile device. There are no card readers or dongles, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a merchant account. Flint uses the Flint Mobile Pay app (free, flint.com) to accept payments, and it uses your iDevice’s camera to securely capture your customer’s credit card information. Some customers may feel unsafe letting you point your iPhone at their credit card as if you’re taking a picture, but they shouldn’t worry—no data or images are saved on the phone, and you have to enter card verification info with every transaction. Like with the other apps, you can also send customized email receipts with loyalty offers, and funds from mobile payments are deposited into your account within two business days. Flint also offers a secure online portal to void transactions, issue refunds, or look up customer information.
Accepting credit cards has never been easier, and these top-notch card reader choices will keep your business running smoothly and looking professional.
Karim is a professional writer and an expert in mobile technology. Many of the benefits of smartphones can be achieved with an always on data connection and with SIM free phones with iPhone SIM only plans, offering flexibility and savings with the contract.