Blockchain vs The Cloud: Which Is Better?

The cloud is actually a physical location where files are stored. Blockchain can be described as millions of people’s computers. There is no actual server for the blockchain.

It’s common to describe the cloud as simply somebody else’s computer. Though not entirely accurate, it does convey the idea that the cloud is actually a physical location where files are stored and computing is done. It’s a powerful server is the gist of it.

On the other hand, the blockchain can be described as millions of people’s computers. There is no actual server for the blockchain. All of the transactions are shared by anybody who has downloaded the blockchain.

This is the one major difference but there are others as well. In this article, we will go over what those differences are so you can decide where you should focus your attention. 

Security

Every transaction that happens on the blockchain is registered and verified before being sealed with encryption. Whether you are buying Bitcoins, sending them to somebody else, or building an app on the Ethereum blockchain, nothing can change the transaction details. 

This is because if it is changed, it would be noticed by everybody else who has the blockchain on their computer and would need verification for the transaction to be resolved. Any input changes on a hash will result in a change of the output. If the input never changes, then the output never will either no matter how many times the algorithm is run.

In the case of a cloud server, there is one server that can be breached and nobody would know until it was too late. There are no so-called “miners” that verify the transactions so security is much laxer on a cloud server than on the blockchain. There is always a vulnerability in any server which can be hacked. Some are more difficult than others, of course, but a very sophisticated hacker, group of hackers or even nation-state actors can find a way in if they are dedicated enough. 

The blockchain is virtually hackproof for this reason but the cloud is something that can be accessed by sophisticated hackers. 

No middleman

A server or the cloud has a centralized management system. It could be the bank that uses it to store their customers’ data or it can be a hosting company that keeps the data from websites on their network. In any case, there is one governing body responsible for how it operates.

The blockchain is totally decentralized and there is no middleman at all. Nobody decides on their own authority how things are going to work on the blockchain. It is a very democratic process that is generally governed by the consensus of its miners or other users of the blockchain itself. 

This means that it is much more efficient when it comes to organically going in a certain direction rather than relying on one authority to make all of the decisions. Even transactions can happen much faster because of this system as opposed to credit card or debit card payments that require more processing time since they go through many different processes.

The whole point of cryptocurrency is to put the power of finance into the hands of the people. Anybody can be their own bank thanks to cryptocurrency. They can lend out the money they have without being at the mercy of a bank or central authority and buy as much of the coins as they see fit. And all of it at a very low cost since the only fees are to pay the miners who are verifying the hashes. 

Transparency

Because the blockchain exists on potentially millions of computers, anybody can see exactly what is happening on it at any given time. The cloud is a mysterious and vague place that is hidden away from sight. Nobody knows what is happening to your data or other information there. 

This lends itself to being much more trustable and can be used in different applications in which transparency is vital. Fraud can happen on the blockchain of course, but it is more difficult to do and everybody sees that it happened right away. There are no secrets on the blockchain. 

Transparency is the reason that the blockchain is becoming more widespread in industries like supply chain management and healthcare. 

In the case of supply chain logistics, it is the perfect way to make sure that there is no miscommunication between the parties involved in getting a product to market. From the manufacturer to the recipient, and everybody along the way, there is a visible trail to which everybody has access. 

Healthcare administration is responsible for a lot of waste of resources from time to money. And it is mainly because of the lack of sharing of information between entities. On the blockchain, transparency helps everybody have access to the same information. With it, a pharmacy can make sure that a patient is not prescribed the wrong medication because they have the same information the doctor has. On the same token, if somebody switches insurance providers or even doctors, their information goes with them thanks to the blockchain. 

Cost

Another downside to cloud computing is the cost. Giants such as Amazon and Microsoft have the market cornered to provide servers for complex operations like rendering video for gaming and other high GPU computations. As such, they can charge whatever they want which ends up costing companies a lot of money.

Since the blockchain is on millions of computers, a lot of complex computations can be done by using idle computing power from individual computers rather than one central server. 

This cuts costs down to a fraction. Rather than be beholden to these corporate giants that can charge whatever they want, most of the processing gets done by ordinary computers since there are so many of them using the blockchain. As more companies end up occupying the blockchain space, the more access there will be to this computational power and the costs will reduce even further. 

*This article has been contributed on behalf of Paxful. However, the information provided herein is not and is not intended to be, investment, financial, or other advice.

Intel Optane Memory Pinning : Unable To Load DLL

There are three ways to fix the Intel Optane Memory Pinning error. Go through the fix in the same order as mentioned below.

Introduction

When we buy a computer, we often come across many options to choose from. While it is a personal preference to pick between a laptop and a desktop, it can get confusing in the case of computer memory. How do you pick the right memory for your computer?

When choosing between solid-state drives or the SSDs and hard disk drives or the HDDs, you may be confronted with the option of an Intel Optane motherboard. A lot of people may be unaware of Intel Optane Memory Pinning.

In this article, we will discuss all the details related to an Intel Optane motherboard. We will cover what it offers, how it works, and what does it mean. We will also discuss the Intel Optane memory pinning error and how to solve it.

What is Intel Optane Memory?

To learn how an Intel Optane technology operates, we need to understand the computer system’s memory storage system first. Mostly our computer’s data is stored on our hard drive. It can be either an SDD or an HDD. An SDD acts like a solid memory chip, and an HDD uses a mechanical disk that resembles “physical arm and spinning” to read as well as write the data.

When we compare SSD and HDD, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages between these two methods to store data. But the clear difference between them is a solid-state drive normally provides rapid processing times compared to a mechanical hard disk drive.

Similarly, a hard disk drive mostly provides bigger storage space, and it is cheaper than a solid-state drive. This way, it becomes easier to store more data at a lower cost. 

The technologically advanced Intel Optane memory hardware merges the best of both the SDD and an HDD to get the best results. The innovative Intel Optane memory hardware allows us to enhance the efficiency of a larger HDD, to get a faster processing speed like an SDD. It can easily be pre-installed in newer systems, or we can add this feature later on compatible systems. 

Fig 1: Intel Optane Memory (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

There are a few basic terms to know when using Intel Optane memory on our computer. Their detail is as follows,

  • Windows 10 x64
  • 7th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel 200 Series chipset

How does Intel Optane memory work?

We have discussed Intel Optane memory performance about how it enhances the speed of our computer and makes it more active, but it is important to know how it works. In short, the versatile technology instantly understands the assignments you complete most often; it includes startup, file searching, and launching a program. It remembers all these things even when the system is powered off.

In the words of Intel, Optane technology works using a unique collaboration of Intel 3D XPoint memory media with that of an Intel-built latest system of memory controller along with the interface hardware, and also the software IP. 3D XPoint known as the nonvolatile memory technology of the company enables storing data more speedily compared to commonly used computer architecture. 

When it comes to computer storage, it is important to learn the basics regarding Nonvolatile memory.

What is Nonvolatile memory?

Nonvolatile memory or NVM is a type of memory that keeps the stored data even when the computer is powered off. It is usually used for backup storage. It is opposite to the volatile form of memory storage, i.e. the RAM, which requires uninterrupted power to maintain data.

With the help of 3D XPoint, Intel Optane technology can drive high-speed and higher capacity data storage near the system’s processor. Intel Optane technology has thousands of times less latency but very higher durability compared to NAND flash memory, which is considered a branch of NVM technology related to storage.

Why Is Computing Faster On Optane Memory?

As we discussed earlier, Optane memory memorizes your frequently used data. The adaptable system accelerator has access to your frequently used data. This data can be in the form of videos, documents, pictures, games, and many other applications near to our system’s processor. 

When we turn our computer on and launch any of these programs, we’ll experience less latency and an increase in the speed of the computer. Since we don’t have to wait for the program’s response, it makes our experience more seamless.

Intel Optane Memory Vs. SSD Or HDD

It doesn’t matter if we are working on a much faster SSD or a greater capacity HDD, the work of the Intel Optane memory is to achieve the maximum from your computer by assisting your DRAM or the dynamic random access memory.

Fig 2: An SSD (Source: https://www.geeksgyaan.com/)

What is DRAM?

DRAM is also a volatile memory technology. It is used to save the data and actions performed by the processor. It saves the data temporarily. This type of memory needs the power to perform their actions. This means as we switch off the power, we’ll lose all the data on DRAM.

Difference Between Optane and DRAM

Operation of the Optane memory is different from DRAM. It memorizes your frequently used data. Most importantly, it doesn’t need any power to do so. It remembers the data even after we switch the power off. Optane memory does not entirely replace the DRAM but is intended to assist it.

When we use Optane technology as well as the volatile memory, it provides us faster access to our data and better response from the computer. DRAM alone cannot achieve this. For example, a 16GB HDD with Intel Optane memory is two times faster than a 16GB HDD with DRAM on a desktop and four times faster on a laptop.

Advantages of Intel Optane memory

Intel Optane memory offers many advantages. For not only the business servers across the globe but also offer the same for common computer users. It does so by enhancing the storage space and reducing response time.

Optimize End-User Computing For Businesses

End-user computing or EUC is a title that relates to computer systems and programs that are intended to enable non-programmers to build beneficial and functional computer programs. 

EUC is a general concept, but it has the prominent meaning of enabling end-users to thoroughly control their computing background. It does so without the actual help of programmers. For example, an accountant using Microsoft Excel to complete his or her assignment. By doing this, they save time. EUC with Intel Optane is changing the industry as companies explore virtualized assistance.

The explosion of interlinked gadgets and digital interfaces is producing large volumes of new data. If we want that data to be beneficial, it should first be effectively collected and examined.

Intel Optane memory changes large volumes of information into relevant insights quickly by improving big data programs and transactional burdens.

How Can Optane Memory Help You

The most important thing to discuss is how it can help us or what it can do for us.  It can help us in the following ways.

Streamline personal workloads

Intel Optane enables us to work more intelligently on a computer that understands and changes with practice. It takes your unique computing habits and transforms them into an advantage, delivering proven productivity benefits in real-time operating circumstances.

Our programs can respond faster with the help of the Optane cache drive saved closer to the processor. It increases performance and makes sure you achieve more in less time. It reduces your workload and makes it well organized and efficient at the same time.

Less Wait, More Productivity

It is very beneficial for creators who use their computers for writing articles, coding programs, designing, or editing photos or videos. They will enjoy the advantages of Intel Optane technology. It helps you to launch the programs quickly after restarting the system. Because it remembers your frequently used data. We don’t have to wait for the program’s response for so long.

Search for new opportunities and boost productivity with a processor that responds quickly. The memory possesses larger spaces so users can handle massive workloads that put a substantial demand on your computer or laptop storage system.

Improve Your Gaming Experience

A system with Intel Optane reduces the lag time when you are playing an online game. For example, if you are playing Unknown Battle Ground on your system with Intel Optane technology, you will find it more responsive and lag-free. You will be the first on the battlefield every time you enter a match. 

If our game is loaded quickly, you will experience faster gameplay. It provides you a better gaming experience by accelerating your system using smart technology. You no more have to wait too much for your game to load.

Computers That Have Intel Optane Pre-installed

You don’t need to buy a separate Optane memory module for your computer. You can purchase one that has built-in Optane technology. Because adding it to your system is not an easy task, you may face a compatibility issue. That is why it is better to purchase a computer with Optane technology pre-installed.

Some examples of such computers are given below,

  1. HP ProBook 440 G5 business laptop
  2. HP OMEN 880 gaming desktop
  3. HP Pavilion 27-inch AiO desktop

Intel Optane Memory Pinning Unable to Load DLL Error

Since the introduction of Intel Optane memory in 2017, it has been reporting errors by many users. This error is known as Intel Optane Memory Pinning Unable to Load Dll Error. This error is produced due to the update in Windows features version 1903. See the pic below:

Fig 3: Intel Optane Memory Pinning Error (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

How To Fix Intel Optane Memory Pinning Error

There are three ways to fix the Intel Optane Memory Pinning error. Go through the fix in the same order as mentioned below.

Method 1

This solution involves repairing Intel Optane pinning explorer extensions. You can perform this by following these steps.

Step 1: Click the Windows button + S. This way, the Search tab opens up. Now, enter  “control” to see an option to launch the Control Panel

Step 2: Navigate to Programs -> Programs and Features

Step 3: Select Intel Optane pinning explorer extensions option given in the lists and press the Repair button to remove the error. 

Method 2

If the problem persists, you may require to uninstall the relevant driver. Here are the steps to uninstall the faulty driver.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start Button. After this, select the Device Manager option to open it 

Step 2: Double click on the Software Component option to open and expand the category

Step 3: Right-click on the Intel® Pinning Shell Extensions option and select the Uninstall device option present in the context menu. 

Step 4: Go to the pop-up window, click on the “Delete the driver software for this device” option. Here you will find the Uninstall button. Press this button to install the driver. 

After the uninstallation step, restart the device. This way, a window will automatically install the new version of the driver. 

Fig 4: The uninstallation step (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

Method 3

In case, you have followed both the above-given methods, and the issue persists, you are probably required to remove the present Intel Optane Pinning Explorer Extension. To do this, open the “Programs and Features” tab of the Control Panel. Right-click on the option and select the Uninstall option. This way, this error will solve most of the time.

Summary

Intel Optane technology is an exceptional memory system. It connects DRAM and storage. It improves the speed of your computer by making its response quick. It memorizes your frequently used data. So it needs less time to initiate a program. You can separately add this to your system. Also, you can buy a computer with built-in Optane technology systems, it offers you high storage space and a high-speed system.

VoWiFi (Voice Over WiFi) Or WiFi Calling – Everything You Need To Know

Voice over WiFi, also known as VoWiFi is a relatively new technology in the market. Though it was available for the corporate sector for a while, however, its availability for the common masses is relatively a new phenomenon. Because it is new in the market, hardly anyone knows about it. Therefore, we will here provide details of various aspects of VoWiFi to understand it better including its working, advantages, and how to activate it. 

What is Voice Over WiFi?

VoWiFi is voice traffic or the messages sent by using a wireless internet connection. For better understanding, you can consider it similar to Skype in working. However, there is some fundamental difference between VoWiFi and messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook. You can directly call or message using a built-in phone dialer and messaging facility if your phone is connected with the WiFi connection. 

With VoWiFi you can do phone calls without cellular coverage using the WiFi connection alone. This can prove a game-changer for the areas where cellular coverage is either too weak or non-existing. To use VoWiFi, your phone should have software that is compatible with this feature and a WiFi router that has priority for voice traffic.

How Voice Over WiFi Works?

WiFi calling or Voice over WiFi can take place very conveniently today, thanks to several technological advancements that have taken place over the years in the telecommunication sector. Before Voice Over LTE time, cellular providers transferred voice calls using the conventional circuit-switched networks including GSM and CDMA. On the other hand, for data services, IP dependent packet-switched network was mostly used. 

VoWiFi - 1

Pic 1: The WiFi calling Icon (Source: https://7labs.io/)

The reason for using two different platforms for the Data and voice calls was that the infrastructure in the past was not advanced enough to transmit voice using data. Since the inception of VoLTE, it becomes possible to send voice and data using the same packet-switched cellular LTE network. 

VoWiFi or WiFi Calling allows the transfer of voice data packets over the WiFi with the help of the internet. This way, there is no need to use the common cellular network and calls can take place over the internet as well.  

Advantages of Using VoWiFi

VoWiFi provides several advantages over the cellular network. Let’s have a look at some of these advantages. 

Better Call Quality

In popular localities where cellular network is not powerful, the making of phone calls, particularly in closed places is a big issue. However, if you are using the VoiceOver WiFi feature, the call quality and very strong irrespective of how powerful is the cellular network coverage in your area. 

There is an advantage of using the VoWiFi of better voice quality compared to existing calling sources. 

Reliable Connectivity 

Continuously connectivity with a cellular network is a major issue, particularly when you are staying in a remote area. Fortunately, hotels in these places offer WiFi facilities to their customers. This is where the VoWiFi will benefit you. With VoWiFi, you can call anyone using your smartphone using hotel WiFi. 

However, it is important to stay away from the unknown and unreliable WiFi network as it can prove harmful for your data. Always connect with a WiFi network that is private or offered by a reliable source.

Low Battery Consumption

It is a fact that your smartphone consumes more battery when you are connected to a cellular network compared to the WiFi connection. When you are using the WiFi connection to make calls, less battery is consumed as your phone doesn’t need to search for the closest cell towers in the area, particularly in remote locations.

While using the VoWiFi, you can make a call without connecting with the cellular network. Therefore, you can turn on airplane mode to save the battery and still can enjoy phone calls.

Low Cost 

Another advantage of using the Voice over WiFi is no or less additional charges. Though, the charges may not differ greatly when you are staying within your country between the ordinary cellular network and VoWiFi. However, VoWiFi is very useful in reducing the call cost when roaming. For example, you are a Canadian citizen and your SIM is registered there. You have to go to the USA for a business tour, you can still do calls and receive them using VoWiFi while staying in the USA. 

However, before trying it, talk with your service providing company, how much it costs to do WiFi calls.

How to Enable VoWiFi on Your Smartphone?

To enable VoWiFi, your phone must have relevant software that supports this type of calling in it. If your phone has this feature, you can enable it from the setting menu of your phone. As soon as you turn on this feature on your phone, you will be able to send and receive WiFi calls. Remember, the relevant software is built-in and you don’t need to install any additional apps or software for this purpose.

However, steps to turn on this fascinating feature, every phone required different steps. Currently, only selected phones support the VoWiFi feature, the list of such phones will be provided in the latter half of this article. 

For iPhone

Open your iPhone settings section. Click on the option related to Phone Setting. You’ll see the option of WiFi calling in this section. Click on the turn on WiFi calling option to enable it on your phone. 

WiFi Calling on Phone

Pic 2: Turn on the WiFi calling option in iPhone to enable it (Source: https://7labs.io/)

The method to enable WiFi calling in the Android set is a little different. Different Android sets have different methods to enable the WiFi calling option. You can enable it by following one of the methods given below:

 Open your Android set settings, click on the SIM cards and mobile networks settings. After it, select the SIM, you’ll see the “Make calls using WiFi” option. Click on it to enable WiFi calling.

In another way, open the phone setting, click on the WiFi and internet option. Here you can see SIM and Network settings, click on this option. After it, click the “Select SIM” option. After it, go to the “Enhanced Communications” option. Here you’ll see the “WiFi calling” option. Enable it to enjoy the WiFi calling feature. 

In the case of the Phone App, click on the Menu Icon located at the top right side of the app. From here go to Settings and click on the WiFi calling option from settings to enable it.

How to enable VoWiFi on Android phones

Pic 3 & 4: How to Enable WiFi Calling on an Android Phone (Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/)

Requirements for VoWiFi to Work Well

There are certain requirements for the Voice Over Calls to work well over your WiFI wireless system. Among these requirements, two are of utmost importance. These requirements are Capacity and Coverage. Your WiFi wireless network must meet these requirements for VoWiFi to work well. The brief details of these two factors are given below.

Capacity

Here, capacity means, the bandwidth is strong enough to provide VoWiFi facility well without any effect on other services and traffic at the same time. Otherwise, VoWiFi will not work will if bandwidth strength is enough to support other kinds of traffic simultaneously. 

Remember, the voice-over WiFi is very sensitive to rapid changes in the capacity of the WiFi network. The higher the capacity, the better will be the quality of these calls.

Coverage

Coverage is an equally important requirement for the proper working of VoWiFi. By coverage we mean the wireless network coverage is wide enough and it covers all of the areas where you want to make and receive the calls. With limited to no coverage, you can’t take benefit of the VoWiFi facility. 

Besides these two requirements, there is no more but a less important requirement. VoWiFi works well on the network which gives top importance to voice traffic.

Make Sure These Things Before Using The VoWiFi

Better Signal Strength and roaming or coverage are the two most important factors to look for before shifting to VoWiFi.

Ensure that all the smart devices are getting a minimum of -67 dBm is the signal strength

To use VoWiFi on your smartphone, make sure none is getting a minimum of -67 dBm in signal strength. Therefore, conduct a test using a similar device on which you are going to have the facility of VoWiFi. The recommended device for this test is your smartphone rather than your tablet or PC. 

Ensure that the Wireless Coverage is Sufficient

Make sure, you are getting a signal strength of -67 dBm or more everywhere in your home to the office where you want to use VoWiFi. In case the signal strength is weaker than this recommendation, increase the wireless access points. For this purpose, you may require a setup/system that helps your phone to shift to another access point in case one access point is not providing stronger signal strength. 

This type of setup is helpful in two ways. First, it not allows one connection or device to consume more capacity than other devices but also allows you to walk to other places in the home while talking to anyone.

Devices that Support VoWiFi Calling

Though, the VoWiFi is a recent technology, yet, there are quite a few devices from various companies that support this feature. As of January 2021, only three smartphone manufacturing companies are offering this feature. Let’s have a look at these devices.

Apple/iPhone

Currently, Apple offers a VoWiFi feature in at least 6 iPhone models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • iPhone 11 / Pro / Max
  • iPhone XS / XS Maax
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

Samsung

Samsung is offering a VoWiFi feature in more than 15 Phone models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 / Plus / Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 / 10 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 / Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy A71 / A70
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s / A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A30s / A30
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s / A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A01

Huawei

Huawei is offering VoWiFi feature in at least three of its models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • Huawei Mate 10
  • Huawei Mate 20 / Pro
  • Huawei Mate P30 / Pro / Lite

Frequently Asked Question Regarding VoWiFi

How to Make WiFi Calls?

Normally, for WiFi calling, no extra software is required to do calls. For this purpose, you only need a device that supports WiFi calling. With VoWiFi supporting device, you just need to turn on the feature and connect the device with the WiFi network to achieve the desired results.

How do you activate VoWiFi?

VoWiFi has a separate icon, present close to the signal icon on the upper side of the screen. It is close to the icon of LTE signals, and we are all familiar with this kind of signal. When VoWiFi is active, you can see its icon easily there.

How much does VoWiFi cost?

VoWiFi is not free of cost. The cost of voice over WiFi calls is the same as your active call or message package obtained from the cellular company. In case, you have no package subscription, the normal rate of calls will apply on voice over WiFi calls as well.

How is VoWiFi different from VoLTE?

Though, these terms are identical, but, technically they are different. VoLTE helps cellular in transmitting the voice and internet data through the same channel. However, the VoWiFi uses a different technique and uses the WiFi network to transfer voice data, rather than through the cellular channels. 

Final Words

VoWiFi or Voice Over WiFi has numerous advantages over VoLTE. For example, VoWiFi is particularly useful in the areas where the cellular network is weak or unavailable. Besides this, it has another advantage including better call quality, reliable connectivity, low battery consumption, and low cost. Currently, VoWiFi use is limited to a small number of users, however, in the future, its use is expected to rise tremendously.

Insulation Resistance Testing – The Complete Guide

What is the Insulation Resistance Test? 

An insulation resistance test or IR test is used to calculate the overall resistance between two selected points isolated by the electrical insulation. The purpose of the test is to check the effectiveness of the electrical insulation in stopping the flow of current. The insulation resistance tests are used to measure the quality of insulation in two ways. First during the manufacturing of the products and also during the use of the product at any time.

Such tests play a crucial role in the advance detection of the expected insulation damages. This proves very helpful in avoiding the frequent mishaps and costly repair works related to electrical products. An IR tester is used to measure the insulation resistance. We will discuss these testers later.

The insulation testing setup for grounded and ungrounded components varies greatly. To test ungrounded appliances, a 2 wire ungrounded connection setup is used. This type of device includes capacitors and resistors. See the pic below to understand it.

Setup for ungrounded components to check insulation resistance

Fig 1: Setup for ungrounded components to check insulation resistance. Here GRD stands for DUT Guard Source (Source of pic: https://www.chromausa.com/)

On the other hand, for the grounded appliances 2-wire grounded measurement is mostly used. In a grounded part, one of its two connections is attached to the ground. While in the ungrounded component none of the connection is attached to the ground. An example of a 2-wire grounded connection is the calculation of insulation resistance of cable submerged underwater. See Figure 2 to see such connections.

Wire grounded connection

Fig 2: 2-Wire grounded connection (Source of pic: https://www.chromausa.com/)

How is Insulation Resistance Measured?

Measurement of Insulation resistance or IR test consists of four steps. These steps are charge, dwell, measure/calculation, and discharging. 

In the first step i.e. the charging step, the voltage is increased to the required level from zero. This helps in giving the needed stabilizing time and slows down the input current intake to the DUT. After achieving the selected voltage, the voltage is allowed to decrease or maintain at the selected level. This is the second step and called the dwell.

 At this moment, the measurements of the insulation resistance are taken. This is the third step called the measurement step. In the fourth and final step, the DUR voltage is dropped back to zero after taking the measurements. 

Insulation resistance IR tester normally has up to four output connections. Their names are ground, shield, +, and -. These four connections are used for different types of applications. Here it is important to note that the output voltage usually ranges from 50 to up to 1000 V DC. In perfect resistance value should be higher in the range of 35 to 100

Check figures 1 and 2 to see how the DUT connections are attached. The IR tester measures the resistance and displays it. To measure the insulation resistance, the megger test performed by the megger tester is most popular, followed by the fluke 1507 insulation tester. 

Important of Insulation Testing?

As we all know the color coating that surrounds a wire that protects the wire and people. However, this insulation is not forever and it starts to deteriorate over time. With deterioration, the quality of insulation also starts to decrease. If the wire is being used in a harsh climate or in certain industries, the rate of wire deterioration is also high. Therefore, it is important to check the state of insulation frequently for the safety of workers. 

The insulation tests are performed to make sure the insulation resistance is in the acceptable range. There are quite a few tests currently under use to check any insulation breakage. However, the best of all and easiest to is the insulation resistance test also known as the IR test. There are certain purposes and advantages of using the IR test. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

  • The IR test is used to make sure the insulation requirements are met and also to verify the right hookup.
  • This test is important as a regular incident preventive maintenance job.
  • The test is also important for maintaining quality control during the production of electrical appliances.
  • It is also helpful for troubleshooting purposes.

Types of Insulation Resistance Tests

Generally, three types of insulation resistance tests are in use. These types include Short-time/spot reading test, Time-resistance method, and Dielectric absorption ratio. All these tests are performed using the Megger insulation tester. 

Short-Time Test

This method is also known as a short time or spot reading test. In this method, you just need to connect the meter megger with the wire insulation you want to test. As the name depicts, you operate the system for a very short period of time usually less than a minute. See figure 3 to see how the resistance generally varies with time.

How normal insulation resistance curve looks along the time for the spot reading test

Figure 3: This is how the normal insulation resistance curve looks along the time for the spot reading test. The resistance is measured in Megohms (Source of pic: http://www.techni-tool.com/)

To check the resistance across the insulation, just pick a point on the curve of continuous increasing resistance value as seen in figure 3. Generally, the value is lower in the case of only 30 seconds, while the value is higher when the value is taken for 60 seconds. Remember the value of resistance may change with change in temperature and humidity.

Time-Resistance Method

This method has a distinct advantage over the short-time test as its value doesn’t get affected by the temperature. It also provides the right information without taking help from past tests. Its values depend on the absorption effect of the right type of insulation when compared with the insulation containing the moisture or contamination. 

In the time resistance method, you need to take multiple readings at a particular time and compare them with each other. This kind of insulation testing is referred to as absorption tests. In the case of the appropriate insulation, resistance will increase continuously over the selected period of time. 

On the other hand, if the insulation is contaminated and has moisture, the resistance value should be low. This means the insulation is tempered and needs repairing. See figure 4 to see the results of appropriate and contaminated/moisture ridden insulation.

Trends of different insulations in Time-Resistance Method

Fig 4: Trends of different insulations in Time-Resistance Method (Source of pic: http://www.techni-tool.com/)

Dielectric Absorption Ratio

This test shows that good insulation demonstrates a slow increase in IR when the test voltage is applied to it. After connecting the connection appropriately, the test voltage is applied and the values of IR are noted at two separate times. This time is usually 30 seconds and 1 minute. However, it can be 60 seconds and 10 minutes depending on the electrical appliances. 

In order to calculate the value of IR, the 2nd value is divided by the 1st value. For example, the value of resistance at 10 minutes is divided by 1 minute to calculate the value. This ratio is known as the polarization index (PI). We find the state of insulation resistance with the help of PI. See the table below in this regard.

Insulation condition with regard to PI

Table 1: Insulation condition with regard to PI. The higher the PI value, the better is the condition of the insulation. (source: https://www.ecmweb.com)

Insulation Resistance Testers

Without a quality IR tester, the true value of insulation resistance can never be found. Here, it is important to note that a particular IR tester can’t be good for all types of industries and applications. There are certain factors that determine which type of resistance testers should be used. Some of these factors include:

  • What type of equipment is being tested?
  • The place and industry type where the IR tester needs to be used.
  • The magnitude of the voltage required for the testing.
  • Other factors include the experience of the person conducting the tests and the standard of safety at the place where tests will be conducted.

Best IR Testers

There are dozens of IR testers in the market. Every tester has some pros and cons. However, some of the testers are better than the others. Let’s have a look at some of these testers.

Megger Megohm Meter- Victor VC60B+

Victor VC60B+ insulation tester megger is among the best available IR testers in the market. This tester provides accurate results and comes with a 9V powerful battery. Using this, one can test resistance at various voltages including 250, 500, and 1000V. The best part of this tester is the great range of testing including as low as 0.1 to as high as 2000 Megaohm. 

The Megger Megohm Meter.

Figure 5: The Megger Megohm Meter. (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

Victor VC60B+ insulation tester can operate at a wide range of temperature and humidity. The meter megger comes with a wide, easy to use and understand LCD display screen. The insulation tester megger is best to use in telecom, mechanical and electrical wires, and appliances.

Digital Megohmmeter Insulation Tester- Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester

The next IR tester on the list is Fluke 1507 insulation tester. The is a lightweight, easy to handle tester. It works on AA Alkaline batteries and is literally a noiseless tester. Like the megger meter, it can test resistance at various voltages including 50, 100, 500, and 1000V. It comes with a great insulation testing range, starting from as low as 0.1 Megaohms to as high as 10 Gigaohms. 

A Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester

Figure 6: A Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

The best thing about Fluke 1507 insulation tester is its automatic calculations of PI and dielectric absorption ratio. It also powers off automatically when not under use for a long time. It is best for the professional and technologically advanced industries. 

R5600 Insulation Tester

Designed by the REED, the R5600 insulation tester comes with strong and double molded plastic which makes it very durable. You can test resistance at various voltage levels including 250, 500, and 1000V. It can measure resistance up to 2000 megaohms. It is equipped with a conventional dual display screen. This makes its measurement easy to understand and read. 

R5600 insulation tester is best for indoor testing of electrical appliances, motors, and wires.

 A R5600 Insulation Tester

Figure 7: A R5600 Insulation Tester (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

Safety Precautions for Insulation Resistance (IR) Testing

During insulation resistance testing, it is necessary to take some precautionary steps to ensure the safety of the workers. Let’s have a look at some of the important safety precautions given below.

  • Never perform insulation tests on energized electrical appliance or wire. Always perform the test when it is turned off. 
  • Keep away from holding or touching the test meter as much as you can. 
  • Close down equipment and disconnect all the connected switches. Discharge the terminals only into the earth.
  • In order to see if the circuit is dead, use the three points testing method. These points are: check and test the available live circuit, after it tests the selected circuit, and test again the first live circuit to see if the IR meter is working well. 
  • Protective equipment is necessary if you are testing the live circuit. Protective equipment is also necessary if you working in a possible inflammable environment.
  • Use insulated gloves while testing and connecting the switches and leads for tests.

The Final Words

Insulation resistance testing is important to check the condition of insulation over a wire or electrical appliances. It also plays important role in incident prevention related to electricity and checking quality control during the production of electrical appliances. There are three types of IR tests including the Short-Time Test, Time-Resistance Method, and Dielectric Absorption Ratio. These methods are used for separate applications.

The quality and reliability of the IR tester are very important to make sure the IR measurements are 100% reliable. To select an appropriate IR tester, keep important factors in mind. Some of these factors include what type of equipment is being tested, place and industry type, and voltage requirements for the IR testing. Last but not the least, always follow the above-given precautions before performing the IR testing.

Top Email Subject Lines That Will Make Sure Your Email is Opened

One of the most important aspects of a company’s digital marketing efforts is its email marketing section. It is one of the constant lines of communication that showcase your e-commerce company and its many products and services consistently. Not only does it work as an avenue to market your company, but it is also a great way to make money online.

Close to 69% of businesses invest money and time on email marketing, and for a good reason – an email can get you a return of 44% ROI once you manage to get the right audience members. 

Subject lines constitute one of the more crucial aspects of an emailer as it is used to garner the attention of a first-time or recurring reader and receiver of your email. Your subject line can make or break an emailer, and with e-commerce companies depending on this avenue, it is a contribution you must pay close attention to. 

Luckily, as email marketing has progressed over the years, we’ve been able to find certain subject lines that work well. These lines have been curated by us to help you kickstart your email marketing efforts the right way and begin selling online. If you feel other subject lines belong in this list, feel free to add them to the comments below.

You could also check out this comparison between MailChimp and ConvertKit  to understand which email service provider will work best for you and your marketing efforts.

How Important are Subject Lines to Having an Engaged Audience?

For starters, email subject lines are the first thing your audience will ever notice about you in their inboxes. Fighting for inbox space has become a fierce battle, with the average person receiving close to 121 emails a day! Couple that with brands looking to jostle and stand out among the rest, you face an uphill battle trying to promote your e-commerce store.

Here’s a stat – 35% open an emailer based purely on the subject line alone. Automation and lead-generation have made it easier to receive data from the customer, including names. Using a person’s name in email results in a higher open and click-through rate compared to the others. 

Subject lines play a vital role in deciding the fate of your emails. Make sure you spend time researching the best ones to use to get the best results. With time, you’ll notice your intended audience responding positively to your emails, and you’ll know your subject lines played a significant role. 

Basic Prerequisites for Making Subject Lines Work

A caveat before we proceed – while subject lines can make or break your email campaign, it is important that you send your messages to the right people. Use a tool like ContactOut to help you find the right email address of the prospect you want to reach – this way, you avoid sending your message to the wrong target, and thereby maximize your open rates.

To make your subject lines work, you must first build three strong pillars to your email strategy. These three pillars will form the foundation around which all your email marketing efforts are geared towards.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind with regards to designing persuasive emails and making sure they work well:

  • A relevant email list – This is the first step towards ensuring your subject lines, ergo, your emails get opened and read. A good email list can be achieved by many exercises, including lead-generation forms on the website, social media advertising, and many more. What’s important for you is to notice the audience that is interacting with your website.

Relevant email lists will give you an indicator of the type of individuals interacting with your brand. Once you’re clear with that, you can tailor your email subject lines to work according to the audience base and move forward. As an e-commerce store, knowing your audience base is absolutely crucial as they are the ones who have a higher affinity towards purchasing your product over the long term. 

  • Good copy – While this is pretty much a no-brainer, you’d be surprised by the number of marketers who have seen an upturn in fortunes just by hiring a strong copy team. Certain email marketers have seen numbers go up by 45% after they’ve spent extra effort on improving their copy, so it just goes to show the role it plays in a strong email. 

Good copy can also be the hallmark of a great brand because you’ll be able to own a space in the mind of your reader and audience. It acts as a precedent to your company and will undoubtedly see audience members look forward to opening your emails. 

  • Well-designed subject lines – A good subject line impresses the reader, and a great subject line pushes them to open their email and go through its contents. That’s where you have to play a role in choosing the right subject lines. Find the ones that suit your business, and depending on the intention of your email, deploy the same.

Most subject lines revolve around psychologically engaging the customer with the use of certain catchphrases and words. We’ve broken down some of the best in the business for you to go through and use:

Some Great Subject Lines That You Can Take Cue From

Subject lines can revolve around various psychological capsules that can entice a customer to click and open them. The better you’re able to evoke an emotion, and the higher are your chances of getting a click-through.

Here are a few types; you could try:

  • Curiosity-inducing – These subject lines get the audience interested and curious with regards to the content present in the emails. There are a few lines that can evoke this sort of a response from them, including the likes of:
  • Is this you?
  • Ten unknown facts about Thanksgiving
  • DON’T open this email
  • What’s with this $200 hair-trend
  • Cheetos wouldn’t want you to know
  • It’s all that it takes to be successful
  • We have the secret right here.

 

  • FOMO – FOMO lines are those that create a feeling of missing out among the audience. During the dull periods of a sales season, you could use FOMO subject lines to get the best returns in CTRs and open rates. These lines include:
  • Sale for $43 shirt ends today
  • Your discount expires NOW!
  • In case you missed out…
  • Your prescription is slowly running out…
  • These books are too good to miss!
  • Starbucks – by invite only!
  • You’re missing out on this!

 

  • Emails addressing pain points – Certain companies are smart enough to identify the pain points in their customer’s lives and address them directly in their email subject line. This, in turn, creates a sense of curiosity in the mind of the customer and prompts them to open:
  • Where do all the toys go?
  • What happens after you run out of stock?
  • All beauty issues solved here
  • Since we can’t all win the lottery…
  • Feed guests without really breaking the bank
  • Don’t waste money on ink…
  • A 30-second sales pitch

 

  • Re-targeting emails – Re-targeting emails are ones that are used towards audience groups who have reduced or stopped interacting with your brand. It is a great way to rekindle that lost connection and get them to click:

 

  • Still interested in the deal?
  • New things are in store!
  • It’s only been a month!
  • Hey, did you forget this?
  • Pick up from where you left this off
  • It’s been a while
  • We’ve missed you! Please come back!

 

  • Funny subject lines – Funny subject lines are always an excellent way to grab the attention of your reader as humor never fails to work. There are a few subject lines that end up working immediately as they bring a smile on the face of your reader:

 

  • We like being used…
  • We’d like to teleport you to the shopping cart…
  • Where to drink beer right now…
  • How can you waste time without wasting time at work?
  • Four kinds of people to avoid on New Year’s
  • Look what you did, bro!

 

  • Social proof – Sometimes, the best kinds of email subject lines are those that work because actual people are validating the same. These can include links to testimonials that speak in benefit of your brand:

 

  • Top reviewed styles from customers
  • Here’s what XXX celebrity had to say…
  • Simple recipes from our best customers.
  • Psst.. your friends are up to something
  • These are the people’s favorites…
  • Here’s what our clients are saying

 

  • Offer email subject lines – An obvious entry into this list because offer subject lines are always a great way to grab anyone’s attention, at any point of the day. Here are a few examples you could use to get them to click on a good sale:

 

  • Two for two
  • 25% OFF on everything!
  • Everything must go!
  • Meet your new shirts
  • Get a head start
  • Get priority access

Conclusion

Thus, with great subject lines come high ROIs and amazing click-through rates that improve the quality of your leads. Learn to use your subject lines effectively to get more people interested in your brand and the company’s online presence.

The following is a great list of some excellent software for e-commerce you could use when it comes to email marketing. These have been curated explicitly as great alternatives to Mailchimp, offering you the best outlets with which you can get started with the above subject lines.

Outsource Social Media Marketing – Six Reasons Why

Running a business of any size involves a lot of research and planning and, you likely don’t have time to manage all those social networks yourself. You probably don’t even have time to manage even one channel. So, should you try to manage it yourself? Or should you outsource social media marketing?

Outsourcing in 2019
52 Per cent of Small Businesses Plan to Outsource in 2019, Most Ordinarily for Accounting, IT Services, and Digital Marketing Tasks

Many businesses are reluctant to waive their marketing to third parties since they think – and rightly so – that this is a vital function to guarantee the achievement and growth of their enterprise. Because of this, they wind up failing or restricting this essential function because of insufficient time, tools or abilities.

Below are some reasons that one should opt for outsourcing social media marketing:-

GAINING UNTAPPED EXPERTISE AND SKILLS

Outsourcing sociable networking into a skilled way they know how companies can use the platforms to market, examine new ideas and make new connections daily. Additionally, they probably understand how to quantify and enhance the Company operation of social websites. Outsourcing your project can help you gain a lot of knowledge unknown to you.

Essential duties of a social media manager include developing the content topic in such a way that it cost-effectively reaches the target audience by creating and creating all social media content (images, videos, written, audio etc.)

Utilizing an outside Digital Marketing Company provides you with the chance to concentrate on what you do: your job. An expert takes over and deals with the strategic and technical sides of your digital marketing program. He guides and guides. You specify the plan together, and you keep control. Then you delegate the implementation with confidence.

You could also train them to make use of third party marketing tools like CreatorKit which frees up your time further.

This is especially critical when you want to diversify your marketing into multiple channels. How you design your Instagram profile is going to be different from how you work on Facebook, Snapchat or other platforms. The kind of content you develop too is going to be different across each of these platforms. Learning how each platform works is going to take a lot of time and effort that can be better utilized in growing your business. You can hire agencies that specialize in these various channels in order to better streamline your operations.

WAY INTO THE TOOLS OF TECHNOLOGY

Not many SME owners take some opportunity to examine how their opponents communicate, furthermore, what the real expectations of the clients are. Plus they have very little time to trace the growth of technology, tools, and press.

On the flip side, it’s the essential work of any specialist Digital Marketing Company: to remain alert, to decode the tendencies and also to examine the newest tools to have the ability to counsel to the best of its clientele.

Outsourced digital marketing accounts additionally contribute to efficiencies in higher funding allocation resulting from information analytics and re-allocation of funding foundation efficacy of yield on advertising spent.

CREATIVE CONTENT MARKETING

A social media manager have the basic to expert knowledge on how to curate and assemble the content. The primary purpose of any business that is conducting social media shouldn’t only be restricted to posting the material, to make the audience aware about the brand, it is crucial to have proper know-how on

  • When to post?
  • What to post?
  • Why this content?
  • How to make strategies to make the engagement boost your sales?

Outsourcing your Digital Marketing Company compels you to think creatively of the above factors on the part of digital manager due to the outside service provider have decent operating expertise to have a fresh look at your company. It presents new ideas and provides options to enhance your communicating and reconnect connections with your clients. It may even help you to find new prospecting leads.

SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation is the critical goal of any business, but how one can adequately implement the social media marketing strategy?

Outsourcing marketing is the chance to control prices. You specify the magnitude of outsourced services depending on the budget spent on promoting your organization based on days. It will let you prioritize the assignments of the outside adviser.

These are all aspects of an increasingly intricate marketing mix that has to be mastered, coordinated and integrated to raise the visibility of its company and develop its actions. For example, did you know that there are seven different types of ads just with Instagram?

This suggests a mastery of these stations and techniques in addition to a functional analysis of the outcomes to guarantee the effectiveness of those activities.

FILLS THE GAP BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND VISION

And that works great when that technical purpose like online marketing isn’t cored to your small business but is an enabler. And also the longer duration has one individual in your staff who assembles captive wisdom and additionally coordinated and operates together with the outsourced business to handle these electronic initiatives. Additionally, this reduces hiring concerns, prices or retention challenges for your organization.
If you outsource your electronic marketing, you hope to boost your entire marketing campaigns with specialist advice that you get on automated approach from the outsourced agency that are specialists working on projects across businesses for numerous customers.

Your outsourced digital marketing spouse includes a Great Deal of expertise that may complement your thinking and strategy, leading to better outcomes.

It communicates your manifestation. It alleviates your groups by taking charge, inside your organization or of tasks associated with marketing: commercial documentation, site, marketing visuals, client communications, media relations, direct marketing, etc.

COST REDUCTION AND EFFECTIVENESS

Based on the expertise level of this social networking management service you employ, how big your company? The package of services that you need? And also a lot of different facets, professional social networking marketing may price you anywhere from $1,000 a month to $20,000 a month.

Digital Marketing, in itself, is considerably less costly than conventional types of marketing. A time slot on TV, distance on a small hoarding or possibly just a tiny ad in the paper (or even a front-page advertisement) will provide you with a bomb.

Possessing a freelancer or a contractor who knows entries and exists of social media for longer duration makes it possible to save money as digital marketing demands the ideal experience, knowledge and expertise to handle media planning and buying and assisting in savings there.

Conclusion

The critical need to remain upgraded on the ever-changing electronic marketing world goes off once you’ve got a perfect partner to whom you’ve outsourced your job. Being in the know of everything that occurs in the electronic world across mediums and platforms is an extremely time-consuming undertaking. That can certainly take its toll if it’s managed in house. So outsourcing helps manufacturers have a spouse who assists the brand be upgraded without spending the effort and time demanded this.

Ransomware And Its Impact

Picture this.

It’s another normal day. You wake and head over to the office, grab a cuppa and settle down to begin going about your daily business. You hit the power on button on your computer and instead of the usual login screen you are accustomed to, you are instead confronted by an on-screen message, very likely featuring the image of a large padlock, informing you that your computer is permanently inaccessible until you make a payment via in a prescribed form.

Welcome to the world of ransomware. You have just become a victim.

So what is a ransomware?

Without getting into technical jargon, ransomware is any malicious software program that infects your computer and restricts access either by locking the screen, encrypting files or both, until you pay the hacker that created the program a ransom.

The first such program to be distributed widely was a program known as Cryptolocker in 2013. Thousands of people had their lives disrupted.
Unlike other malware that spies on your computer silently and sends stolen login details and other personal data to hackers, ransomware announces itself. It’s actually quite audacious on the part of hackers.

Like most viruses and malware, ransomware uses many of the same attack vectors. For example, email attachments and links, botnets, torrents and other technical means such as piggybacking on genuine software updates. The recent Goldeneye/Petya ransomware that affected users in late June 2017, gained access to computers via a software update of a popular accounting application in the Ukraine. The hackers somehow managed to infiltrate the software company that designed the program and injected the ransomware into the software update files. Everyone who performed the update caught the infection.

Unlike other forms of viruses and malware, you can’t get rid of ransomware by flashing the BIOS, wiping the drive or returning the computer to a restore point. The hackers make sure you can’t access any of these features. Also, a unique decryption key is created during the install and stored on the hacker’s server. In the event, you fail to pay the ransom in time or the ransomware detects an attempt to tamper with it, a “self-destruct” is triggered, deleting the decryption key and destroying all the encrypted files on the user’s machine. If the ransom is paid in time, the hacker sends the decryption key to the user and the user enters the key in an area provided on-screen. This unlocks/decrypts the files. Ransom payments are usually demanded via digital currency Bitcoin which makes sure the identity of the hacker remains anonymous.

Because hackers have been known to release the decryption key once paid, many people have resorted to paying the ransom rather than seeking other ways to deal with the problem. This has added fuel to the fire because so long as hackers can make money with ransomware, they aren’t going to stop anytime soon.

Ransomware isn’t simply a nuisance. It is a serious security threat that has law enforcement agencies working around the clock to bust hacker rings. While some infected computers are still usable, loss of data has a serious impact on productivity for businesses. Small businesses may never be able to recover if they lost important data.

The best defense

The best defense is data backups. If you have a backup of your data, you won’t have to pay the ransom. You will only lose time trying to get your computer to work properly again. Secondly, install an antivirus program that offers strong ransomware protection and always ensure it is up to date. Don’t ignore operating system security updates. Set your computer to automatically install security updates. And, don’t click on links in emails or open attachments from people you don’t know. Avoid pirated software and torrent sites because these often host ransomware.

Conclusion

If the unimaginable happens and you find yourself having to deal with ransomware, do not panic. Antivirus companies have a number of solutions for the most common types of ransomware. Check out their sites and from another computer and follow the instructions. Unfortunately, if it is a new type, you may have to wait a little longer for a fix. All the same, security researchers are making great strides but it will be a while before they beat the hackers at this game. With ransomware, prevention is better than cure.

5 Impressive Blockchain Applications for Small Business Owners

It is an era of smart gadgets, cool apps, and big data. In this time of emerging technology, do you often wonder how you can tap into the right technology to empower your small business?

This article will put light on one such technology which could completely change the way you manage your business affairs: Blockchain!

Started as a public transaction for bitcoin, blockchain has now evolved into a technology used for dynamic purposes — from cloud computing & storage to business contracts and from payment methods to supply chain management.

No wonder the community of entrepreneurs, businesses, and enterprises, all are trying to grab hold of this innovative technology for its benefits.

Multiple blockchain applications can help you boost your business while being easy on your finances. But, before we dive into that, let’s first get a solid grasp of what exactly is blockchain and how it can benefit small business owners.

Simply put, blockchain is a growing list of records called blocks that are linked using cryptography. It is a time-stamped series of record data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. These blocks are secured and bound to one another through cryptographic principles.

Some of the features of the blockchain application include: 

  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Enhanced Security
  • No Transaction Cost
  • Decentralized Technology
  • Distributed Ledgers
  • Faster Settlement

In the coming years, your business can escalate towards success if you get on board with implementing these 5 most impressive blockchain applications:

1. Payments and money transfers

The massive inflow of cash can make your banking experience a mess. And often, you are expected to pay hefty transactional fees to banks to transfer a lump sum amount of money.

In such a scenario, blockchain emerges as a warrior that can defeat your adverse banking experiences while giving you a smooth and secure transaction method. Having its roots in cryptocurrency, this seems to be the most prominent and beneficial application of blockchain.
Through blockchain technology, you can instantly transfer funds in an extremely secure manner without any intermediaries or extra fee.

It also comes in handy while paying wages to international/remote employees and contractors. Abra, Bitwage, and Coinpip are a few companies that are leading the path of transferring funds or handling payrolls via blockchain technology.

2. Smart Contracts

Be it starting a new firm with fresh contracts or entering into new terms in your existing business, documenting fair and reasonable contract often becomes an uphill battle. And to add to your problems, there are always middlemen or third parties making the situation more complicated.

Now imagine if self-automated computer programs could carry out the terms of any contract. It isn’t a far-fetched dream — it is precisely what “Smart Contracts” is.

The term “smart contract” may sound like a newly coined technological jargon. However, you’d be surprised to know that the term has existed since 1993. It was only after a decade that “Smart Contract” became the buzz in the business world. The credit for this goes to the Ethereum Project, which “is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.”

Blockchain Technology will allow you to form self-executing contracts, i.e., smart contracts, while eliminating the need of a third party. It will not only save you a decent amount of money (which your lawyer would have vacuumed out of your pocket), but it will also enhance security, traceability, and accountability.

3. Cloud Storage

Are the various cloud hacks in the news making you question your cloud storage charges? Do you often wonder if the price you paid for your cloud storage solution worth it? Its exorbitant fee can become overbearing for your business as they lack security and transparency.

However, it is practically impossible for a firm to store data without these clouds. It is where the introduction of blockchain can prove to be beneficial. Blockchain cloud storage solution takes the user’s data and breaks it up into small chunks.

Further, it adds an extra layer of security and distributes it throughout the network. Each chunk of data is stored in a decentralized location. This method makes it impossible for hackers to gain access to your complete data. If intruders try to hack into it, they first get encrypted data and then get only a chunk of the data. It makes blockchain cloud storage solution one of the safest options while being easy on your finances.

4. Supply chain management

Today’s consumers are curious and well informed. They are attracted towards a business that can provide them the complete details of their products-from manufacturing to sale. However, it isn’t an easy task to keep full track of each transfer of your goods.

This is where you can rely on blockchain supply management to help you get real-time information of your data. It would increase transparency and visibility, improve inventory management while reducing delays and frauds. Tracking the supply chain and digital trail information would help you to build trust among your consumers.

5. Raise Capital Globally

If you are willing to raise more capital for your business via global investors, blockchain is the way to go. As digital currency operates independent of geographic boundaries and can be transferred easily without any international fee, it gives every business an equal opportunity to raise funds.

Summing it all up

These blockchain applications will help you scale up your business and gain maximum profit by optimally utilizing the blockchain technology. With blockchain, you don’t have to worry over things like data breach and lack of privacy anymore — your business transactions are protected by a system that you can rely on.

On top of that, with blockchain, you don’t require a central hub anymore; it serves as a bridge between vapors devices and help you carry out transactions at low cost.

Author Bio:

Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Right Mix Marketing Blog. She specializes in writing about content marketing, SEO and social media. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling. You can follow her on Twitter at @rightmixmktg.

MindInsole Reviews

We normally review only those products that fall within the consumer tech space. However, we decided to make an exception for Mindinsole since there has been great interest for this product in a few of the message boards that I am a part of.

The data for this review has been captured through half a dozen interviews that I conducted with people I have known on these message boards – these are people whose integrity I can vouch for. It was insightful to listen to their stories about dealing with pain and their experience with various treatment methods and techniques. 

What is Mindinsole

Mindinsole is what you call an acupressure magnetic massage insoles. Basically, this is an insole that you slip inside your shoe so that your feet presses against this strip when you are walking. The insoles have intricate pressure points that are believed to activate the nerve endings that come from various parts of the body. The idea is that by activating these nerve endings, you increase blood flow (oxygen flow, that is) to these body parts. Increasing oxygen supply relieves these body parts of any malaises that you may be suffering from. 

In addition to the acupressure points, Mindinsole also has magnetic touchpoints that are placed strategically across the strip to improve oxygen supply to the more vital nerve endings on your feet. 

Mindinsole

According to the manufacturers, this is a combination of Chinese acupressure and Chi energy techniques that can heal common ailments like foot pain, back pain, and the like.

How We Measured Effectiveness

As a tech blog, GoRumors cannot comment on techniques like acupressure and reflexology. So in order to review Mindinsole, we decided to take a scientific approach. These are the questions we wanted to answer – does the user suffer from specific ailments before using the product? How long did they wear Mindinsole, and finally, what is the long-term impact on using Mindinsole? 

Our MindinSole Review

For our study, we worked with six customers all hand-picked from a health forum where I have known these people for a long time. These are people who have been chronically suffering from back pain, soreness, muscle stiffness or foot pain.

One trend emerged when I asked the person about their background – they all had jobs that needed a lot of physical exertion. One person I talked to is a field salesman – he spends the day traveling across the city and has developed back pain due to this. Another person is a mother of twins and has developed back ache due to carrying her kids and running around all day. There was one person who was 65 years old and had soreness and back pain simply due to his age.

Another pattern I noticed was that each of these users had been facing some sort of pain or soreness for at least six months or more. So it is not a recent issue. 

For the sake of the experiment, we used 8 pairs of magnetic insoles – four were Mindinsole while the other four were from copycats brands that we picked off Amazon. The objective here was to give us these six people one of these samples at random to see what worked and what did not. I retained one sample of both to test them myself. 

Here is what we observed. Even though Mindinsole and the copycat brands looked just the same to the naked eye, there was a noticeable difference in their effectiveness.

First off, Mindinsole created pressure points that were firm, but was still extremely comfortable to wear. The other sample was too pointy and was too uncomfortable for me – I couldn’t get past the second hour of wearing them. 

Secondly, I noticed that the magnets in the copycat sample were sort of wobbly. While it didn’t give away during the time I used it, it was sort of obvious to me that the magnets would have come off if I had to use this for a week or more.

So how did the work for people with pain management issues? For this experiment, we let each of our six test users use the insole we sent them for a period of six weeks. We interviewed them at the end of each week to understand how they felt about the product, if they faced any issues with the product, and any other insights that they could add. 

Mindinsole Works!!

So here’s the spoiler – Mindinsole works. Absolutely. 100%. All three people we sent the product to saw an immediate improvement in the pain that they were facing. The mother of twins who faced chronic back and foot pain issues called me proactively to tell how her life felt so much better now. 

The 65 year old customer who had been facing back issues too confirmed that his pain had significantly reduced after he started to use Mindinsole. 

Copycats had varying success rates

In his first call with us. the field salesman who had complained of back pain, told me that his pain had come down considerably since he started to use the insole we sent him. However, the other two customers we tested noticed so significant improvement to their pain after starting to use the insoles. 

Pain comes back if you don’t use it regularly

One thing is certain. This is not a product that you can use and discard once you are pain-free. The people we worked with had physically demanding jobs and so stopping use of the insoles only meant that the demands of their job caught up with them soon. 

So you have to keep using the insoles regularly to be constantly pain-free. 

But here’s the thing. The copycat brands that we used for the test simply did not last long. The field salesman we worked with for this review had the magnets in his insole come off within one month.

Mindinsole, on the other hand, had a top quality product. All the three insoles we used for the study continued to be in perfect condition at the end of our six week study.

When it comes to longevity and effectiveness of the product, I cannot recommend Mindinsole enough.

How easy is it to use

Mindinsole measures 310 mm * 125 mm * 15 mm. As such, this is ideal for both men and women with average feet sizes. If you have large feet (Men > US 14 and Women > US 12), this may probably not be as effective.

I found that Mindinsole was pretty comfortable to use regardless of what kind of shoes you wore. The Mindinsole that comes out of the box may be larger than what you need. However, you also get clear guidelines on how to cut the insole to fit the shoe of your size. Putting the insole into your shoe is easy, but can take a bit of time since you need to be careful about how you fit it in. 

Check out the manual that you get with the product for instructions – they are easy to read and follow; no complaints there. 

Mindinsole Price Review

Mindinsole is currently available at a 50% discount when you use this link. That is, one pair of Mindinsole will cost you $37.9 instead of the usual $63.32. 

I would however, HIGHLY recommend buying two pairs of MindInsoles. This is available at a price of $75.98 instead of the usual $126.63. This is because putting the insole inside your shoe and taking it out everytime is a pain. With two pairs, you can insert your Mindinsole into your two commonly used pair of footwear so you don’t have to take it in and out. 

Hold On – You Can Get An Extra Pair Of Mindinsole With This Easy Tip

When you click this link to the shopping page, try this – move your mouse towards the close button of your internet window. When you do this, you will see a ‘Free Offer’ pop up. Clicking on the “Click Here To Activate Your Free Gift” button will make you eligible for an additional pair of Mindinsole. 

Mindinsole Free Gift

This is very useful if you use more than 2 pairs of shoes and want to use a third pair of insoles as well.

SuperBoost WiFi Reviews

Ever wondered why none of us are happy with our internet connections? 

Here’s a little secret. Most routers you get in the market are designed for office spaces. Office spaces are large and open and this makes it easy for the router to reach your computers.

But within your homes, you have walls separating the different rooms. You may also have furniture that comes in the way of your signal and all this makes your WiFi very weak. 

The average router can reach a distance of 20-30 feet.  But this is further reduced in a home setting.

What do WiFi Extenders do

WiFi extenders are meant to solve this connectivity problem. They capture the signal from a router and distribute it further over a 20-30 feet radius. So when you place an extender around 15-20 feet from the router, you now are able to access its signal from even 40-50 feet away. 

Our previous experience with NetGear 

NetGear is one of the most popular names in the WiFi extender market. We have been using a NetGear product for over a year now and are not very happy customers. Here are some issues we have faced. 

Frequent disconnection

We had trouble in getting the extender to detect our router’s signal. Even when it did, it frequently lost connectivity and this meant we had to do the setup all over again. 

Inconsistent speed

We set up the extender just 15 feet away from the router and could detect full signal. Yet, the speed we got from the extender was significantly lower than what we observed when connected to the router directly. 

Poor customer support

There is simply no customer support to speak of. There is, of course, a message board you can post to, but speaking to an agent is not possible unless you pay for it.

Our SuperBoost WiFi Extender Review

We purchased a SuperBoost WiFi Extender in the last week of September and got the  product delivered within three days . Here has been our experience so far. 

Compact and nifty

First off, we are really impressed with how compact the device is. It is roughly  the size of a credit card  with no antennas hanging out. This, we realized, is important because it makes it easy to fit the device in any power socket. With NetGear, the device didn’t fit a couple of places in our house that would have been ideal to place an extender otherwise.

SuperBoost WiFi Extender

Setup & Installation

One problem we had with our previous NetGear extender was that it was a little too technical for the average internet user. I would consider myself a tech nerd, and even I had to fumble around with the manual to figure the installation.

The SuperBoost WiFi extender is  designed specifically keeping the home internet user in mind . This is evident as soon as you press the ‘reset’ button to initiate the setup process. The entire  setup takes less than two minutes  and can be done by anyone without help.

Absolutely impressed.

Data Transfer Speed

This is something I had a problem with on NetGear. The advertised speed on my device was 300 Mbps. This means that if your ISP provides internet at 100 Mbps, you should have no trouble seeing the same speed over your WiFi extender as well. Unfortunately for me (and as I can see on other customer reviews on Amazon), this does not seem to be the case. The internet speed falls considerably over the extender. 

With SuperBoost however, I did not notice any discrepancy whatsoever. Any time I experienced a fall in speed, I connected directly over my router to check if the issue was with the extender or my Internet Service Provider. Almost every time, it was the ISP’s problem. 

I have  faced no issues whatsoever  with SuperBoost in this regard. 

Coverage Area

According to the manual that you receive with the SuperBoost WiFi extender, the working range for this device is 100 meters indoors and 300 meters outdoors. That’s a bold claim given that most WiFi extenders in the market only have an average range of 30-40 feet indoors (that’s like 12 meters).

To test this claim, I set up a WiFi extender in our front yard and tried to reach for the signal from as far as possible. I could comfortably see the full signal on my phone for up to 30 meters away. The signal started dropping after that and we could not see any signal from SuperBoost beyond 200 meters. 

That is still a lot of coverage area and after testing it at a friend’s massive bungalow, I can safely say that  this device can adequately reach any nook and corner of your house at full signal . Unless perhaps, if you live in the White House! Bad luck Mr. Trump 😉

Multi-Device Connectivity

Most WiFi extenders that I have tested in the past start to deteriorate once multiple devices connect to it. This is because each of these devices send internet data requests simultaneously. The extender puts all these requests in a queue and sends it one-by-one to the router. 

SuperBoost WiFi Extender works in very much the same way. But we were able to test with  nine simultaneous connections without any drop in performance . You can however expect a slight drop in internet speeds as more and more devices connect. Let me explain. SuperBoost WiFi has a speed of 300 Mbps. Let’s assume that your router too has the same speed. My ISP however serves their internet at 100 Mbps. This means that both the router and the WiFi extender have larger capacities than what my ISP provides. 

Let’s say we have 3 devices connected to it at once. Since the offered internet speed is only 100 Mbps and the capacity is three times that, we will still manage to see top speed over each of these devices. However, if you have 6 devices connected to it, there is simply not enough capacity to handle all these connections at the ISP’s speed. So in this case, the speed on each device will fall to 50 Mbps. 

This is at no fault of either the router, your ISP or the SuperBoost WiFi extender. This is how internet connectivity works everywhere. 

Security

During the initial setup of your WiFi extender, you are asked to set up a password for your connection (just like you have one for your router). There are different “protocols” that you can choose from like WPA, WEP, etc. 

To put it simply, these are different forms of encryption with which you can store your password. One thing that differentiates SuperBoost WiFi Extender from the other devices I have tested is that it comes with a WPS button. WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup and this allows users to connect to their WiFi in an equally secure but an easy-to-use way. If you are in a secure home setup, there is no reason why you should not use WPS. SuperBoost WiFi Extender makes this possible for you.

Interesting Features On SuperBoost WiFi Extender

Other than the features and specs that I have reviewed above, the SuperBoost WiFi Extender has a few other interesting features that sets it apart from other WiFi extenders available in the market today. Here is a brief note on what you get. 

Dual Modes – SuperBoost WiFi Extender comes with two different modes that you can choose from – coverage mode and performance mode. When you pick the coverage mode, you are going to experience maximum spread of the signal. This is ideal when you are organizing an event and want to make WiFi available for as many people as possible.

However, when you are at home, you can pick the performance mode that will bring down the signal coverage area, but can provide you with an extremely strong WiFi signal. Your internet is going to be blazing fast no matter which corner of the house you access from.

Extra WiFi Access Point – Do you have guests at home ask for your WiFi password? It’s an awkward spot to be in, right? SuperBoost WiFi Extender comes with a mode that creates an extra WiFi access point when required. This way, you can create a new access point for your guests without having to give away your WiFi password.

Price

We purchased the SuperBoost WiFi Extender for $79 back in September last year. However, at the moment, SuperBoost WiFi is available on a discount. If you are purchasing one unit, the product is priced at  $49.99 . However, there are bigger discounts on offer for customers who buy multiple units. For instance, if you buy four of these WiFi Extenders, you should  save as much as $180  from the selling price. 

Please Read This Before You Buy
Here’s a nifty trick to get more value for the money you pay. When you click on this link, you will be taken to the Checkout page on the SuperBoost website. While you are here, move your mouse cursor quickly towards the close button on your browser window (but do not close it). When you do this, you become eligible to claim a microSD memory card worth $30-$50 for free. Do not miss this when you buy the SuperBoost WiFi Extender.