How Will Instagram Checkout Change ECommerce

Last month, Instagram announced the launch of Checkout, a new feature that will allow users to check out products from brands from within the app and even make purchases without ever having to leave the app.

The feature works quite smoothly on the limited number of accounts that it is now available on. For instance, if you visit the @NikeTraining Instagram page now, you will find a number of posts with a ‘shopping bag’ icon. These are posts with products that you can purchase.

Hitting any one of these posts will take you to the image with a ‘Tap to view products’ message. You may pick the product you like, and then also customize your purchase based on size, color, etc. and make the purchase. Instagram users outside the US are now displayed a ‘Visit Website’ option instead to make purchases directly from the brand’s website.

From a business perspective, this is a huge step for Instagram as it builds a sustainable business model around its current visual social networking platform. The potential is huge. Instagram could, in theory, open this feature to everyone, and this could make way for influencers to make affiliate commissions for products they refer on the app. Today, Instagram does not have a way to monetize the huge influencer marketing ecosystem, which will change with this new feature.

So what does all this mean for the eCommerce ecosystem at large? Although the feature is in closed-beta right now, we expect the Checkout feature to be available to all businesses in the next six to twelve months. When that does happen, we are likely to see a huge churn in the way eCommerce businesses operate.

Think of the small-time retailer selling fashion accessories online. Today, most of them have a store on eCommerce platforms like Magento or BigCommerce. Customer acquisition is a huge pain given that most buyers head to Amazon online. Given that Search engine is no longer a viable channel for these small time stores, most of them head to social media to attract eyeballs to their stores.

Alternately, most of these small time stores who do not sell products that is a good fit for social media (think auto spare parts) choose to list themselves on Amazon instead. After all, if Amazon outranks your website on Google for every conceivable query, it is a good idea to join them rather than fight them.

But with Instagram Checkout in place, store owners no longer have an incentive to run their own store. They may, as well, list their products on Amazon, Facebook (which already has a Store feature), Instagram and every other customer acquisition channel and monetize directly instead of having to bring customers to their website and then translating them into sales. Selling on Instagram has lesser friction than acquiring traffic from this channel and converting on the site.

That does not mean stores will not have a website presence at all. Instead, most store owners might choose to use websites purely for marketing purposes like content marketing or to build a mailing list. Spending on a store may seem like an unnecessary expense.

That could however not be the case if the various stakeholders in the ecosystem adapt suitably. Should Instagram charge users a monthly fee based on the number of products they have listed, that could make the platform less attractive to sellers.

At the same time, should platforms like BigCommerce move away from a subscription model to a model based purely on processing fee, it increases the likelihood for sellers to continue selling on these web platforms while using Instagram as an alternative source. After all, selling on your own store gives you a level of control that would never be possible over third party platforms like Instagram or Facebook.

But from a buyers’ perspective, Instagram Checkout is more user-friendly. Imagine coming across a new seller you want to buy from. If you were to land on their website, you will be required to go through the entire checkout process like entering your billing and shipping details manually each time. With Instagram, all this is a one-time process. You may buy from new stores with just a click of a button without any of the checkout hassles.

In some ways then, Instagram Checkout could do to eCommerce stores what Reddit did to message boards – why sign up on new boards each time you had a question when you could simply ask the same question on the relevant subreddit?

It will be interesting to see how eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce change their models to take on the new eCommerce platform in town. Will this mean an end to a subscription model? Will that mean a fundamental shift in the way customers buy?

Digital Crime – Top Targets are Not Who You Think

Digital crime is a booming industry. Every day we hear of huge data breaches that have exposed the data of millions of a company’s clients. And we’re not talking of a few years ago either. Just last year, the data of 150 million users of the MyFitnessPal app where stolen.

Modern living comes with perks. We’re not likely to have to run for our lives to avoid being eaten by a lion anymore. We get to access information with the click of a mouse and possibly even a voice command. And, how did we ever learn anything before we had YouTube?

Unfortunately, modern living also comes with some downsides. We might not have to run for our lives anymore, and this could actually be a bad thing when it comes to our fitness levels. Our easy access to information and the fact that we live such a large part of our lives online means that our data is under constant risk of attack.

Data Breaches are Serious

If you check out the infographic below, you’ll see that the MyFitnessPal hack was only one of a long line of data breaches. You’ll also see exactly how much the hacks cost businesses annually. Most surprisingly, though, you’ll learn that your typical victim of cybercrime is not who you’d think.

Small Business is a Big Target

Did you know, for example, that cybercriminals target small businesses 43% of the time? That surprises a lot of people, because, naturally a small business won’t have millions of clients. Let’s look at things from the cybercriminals’ perspective, though.

Google would be a far more lucrative target to hack because you could get the details of millions of account holders. The problem is that Google knows this, so they take serious measures to stop hackers from gaining access.

Not only would it take mad skills to hack a large corporate like this, but it would take a lot of time and effort. You are dealing with a company with the resources to hire the best security experts in the world. They spend a lot of money on security products and security awareness training every year.

Now, compare that to the local plumber’s office. Maybe they have the details of four or five hundred people on record. It’s not a huge amount of data, but the security is probably not all that great anyway.

All our hacker needs to do is to hope that someone in the company clicks on the wrong link. Then they can have all that info transmitted to them. It’s an easy score. And, if the malicious software was ransomware, the hacker makes even more money when the plumber pays to regain control of his computer.

Cybercriminals are quite happy to settle for the simple score, even if it means earning less. In the time that it might take them to crack Google, they could easily have scored a similar amount of information from less well-protected systems.

Cyber security infographc

5 Mobile Technology Trends 2018: What You Should Know

Advanced technologies have made the business landscape more cut-throat, keeping business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals at the edge of their seats. To stay ahead of the competition, owners need to constantly observe both their target markets and their competitors, and learn how each side adopts the latest trends.

One such trend that has emerged is mobile technology, primarily the adoption of connectivity to gadgets. The cost of adopting this mobile technology to businesses—both big and small—will be within reach, making it more accessible.

Furthermore, with the integration of smartphones and handheld devices into the daily lives of consumers, companies and organizations need to understand the various opportunities that mobile technology presents to both the business and its customers.

What are the mobile technologies that my business should know about?

Internet-of-Things

The ability to turn almost any device into a smart object is possibly the best use for IoT. It’s the metamorphosis of the internet that will allow something to connect, monitor, control, or search without human intervention.

A Statista report shows that by the end of 2018, IoT-connected devices will be more than 23 billion and that by 2025, it may reach 75 billion. Items will range from LEDs, toys, sports equipment, and medical equipment, to controllable power sockets.

These smart objects will be interacting with mobile devices to function as a remote. IoT will allow users to interface with their social networks to monitor things, pay for subscription services, update object firmware, monitor readings of devices and sensors, analyze data, and so much more. Soon, it will be useful for many industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and transportation.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

In 2017, both Google and Apple invested heavily to study and improve AR, releasing ARCore and ARKit, respectively. This technology allowed developers to innovate and create mobile solutions for the smartphone using AR.

AR was mostly used in gaming apps and marketing campaigns, as the additional digital layer provides a more realistic and immersive outlook to entertain and impress consumers. However, there is an opportunity for retail, life science, manufacturing, and other sectors thanks to a wide range of AR apps being developed today.

New applications using AR for more practical purposes is expected to launch on mobile, like object measurement, navigation, interior design, and more. Its power to provide a compelling user experience may result in a variety of creative AR apps targeted to market customized offerings.

VR, meanwhile, will still be focused on the game and events sphere but may go beyond by offering a better form of entertainment.

The Digi-Capital New Report in 2017 shows that “mobile AR could become the primary driver of the $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021.”  Indeed, mixed reality or immersive environments have the potential to integrate the digital world into the physical to address the needs of people who are consuming the digital world through mobile.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Developments in AI and machine learning will help fuel intelligence to machines through Deep Learning. This could mean that computers will soon be able to make smart decisions without human interventions. Mobile chatbots are the best example of machine learning by AI.

It has also been predicted that apps that can make decisions and customized to anticipate user behavior would soon be developed. Smartphone developers are looking to pack future devices with as many AI elements as possible and inspire more voice- and images-based AI innovations. Mobile data will be tapped for all these future innovations.

AI and machine learning could also be useful in the education industry through apps that can teach kids based on how they learn. Naturally, mobile e-commerce could also benefit, with apps that could shop based on the consumer’s preference.

5G

The fifth generation of mobile network dubbed as 5G New Radio (NR) is expected to launch by 2019, starting with a few US cities. The world regulator of cellular communications standards 3GPP has already approved it.

5G NR is built around sub-6 GHz and mmWave (24 GHz) spectrum bands. The increased spectrum chunks, bigger carrier aggregation (8 times for mmWave), and beamforming and tracking capabilities can significantly improve throughput and efficiency.

This new standard is expected to provide up to 100 times faster connectivity than 4G, improve user experience, and promote the advanced technologies aforementioned for mobile. Qualcomm already demoed their prototype during the Mobile World Congress 2018, showing a smartphone connected to an actual 5G mmWave and transferring data of over 4 Gbps.

Instant Apps

Android has led the way for this trend, with the Go edition of their latest OS version Oreo. Instant Apps are substantially smaller or lighter versions of apps that do not eat up too much storage space and do not require a download of the whole app from the Play Store. They were borne out of the hassle of deleting apps to make way for other purposes.

These apps have the same design and animation extracted from the native application, without the bulky size. Google is expected to integrate this along with the launcher and is believed to be the next step in the app streaming feature. Other OS will hopefully follow suit.

Which of these technologies is the best for my business?

With different power requirements and data consumptions, the answer to the question depends on what your business needs. And in some ways, one technology would require another piece to work more seamlessly.

For instance, a company that plans to adopt IoT should not be satisfied with m2m sim cards that only use 2G or 3G networks and move to LTE, and eventually to 5G. Both networks are expected to shut down soon and would spend the remainder of their lifespans through applications with legacy devices (that will also be replaced).

More trends are expected to pop up as 2018 comes to a close and a new year comes in, making it harder for organizations to decide which technology to utilize for their business. The good news is whatever mobile trend you choose from the above mentioned will help your company be more successful.

7 Common Mistakes That Can Damage Your Online Privacy

You might think that you’re playing it safe on the internet, but sadly you’re mistaken. The internet today is much more dangerous and poses countless threats from gaining your personal information to stealing your money using your financial details.

Given these countless dangers present in the digital world, many users tend to make small mistakes that could lead to serious problems. In this article, I am going to outline 7 common mistakes that can damage your online privacy. So, let’s get started!

1. Always Using a Credit Card for Online Payments

Why use a credit card for all your online activities and put your money at risk? Hackers can get hold of your financial information and use it for their own advantage. It is so much more sensible to move towards online payment merchants and prepaid cards like Amazon card or Apple Pay.

Limiting the use of credit card makes it less likely for a user to face a big financial loss. Furthermore, these services are often traceable or require certain information that only the original owner may have.

Making payments using these methods can secure you from criminals getting your information. Today luckily, many services are present that offer encryption options and high level of security, such as PayPal and Google Wallet. They not only allow you to make payments locally but work in a vast range of countries.

2. Not using a Password manager

It is highly recommended that all your accounts should have different passwords, because if one is leaked, you are doomed. Owing to the fact that today, we have countless accounts on social media sites and other utility services. This means you’ll have to memorize a dozen or two passwords.

Fortunately, when mankind can reach to the moon, handling passwords isn’t definitely not rocket science. This is where the use of a password manager comes in.

Just create one strong password for your password manager and rest assured your accounts are safe. There are many applications available in the industry now, however, make sure you use a highly recommended and credible application that offers encryption and has features such as self-destruct.

3. Not Using a VPN

A virtual private network is of utmost importance when it comes to protecting yourself online. It encrypts your data, meaning it will be unreadable to any third party. It also masks your location, making it impossible for intruders and surveillance agencies to locate you.

What’s more? With a VPN you can unlock content that is region restricted. The best part is that you could be sitting in the Netherlands and your IP will show that you’re in the United States. However, only the best VPNs can be trusted and actually work.

Make sure to select a VPN that offers wide range of servers, offers apps, and provides AES-256 bit encryption.

4. Connecting to Public Wi-Fi without Security

Public Wi-Fi is like a free cookie! In fact, a free Wi-Fi is actually more important than the food or coffee at a café. But these public Wi-Fi are dungeons for cyber criminals and hackers trying to get lucky.

The best way to protect yourself in such a situation or while travelling abroad is the use of a credible VPN service. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it protects it from the prying eyes of hackers and others alike.

5. Downloading Unreliable Browser Extensions

When you want a particular utility, let’s say an instant PDF converter, you’ll download any extension or software that comes first to you. This is exactly what cyber criminals want you to do. These extensions often contain malware and ransomware. They often steal your credit card information by offering you a free trial or collect the credentials of your social media platforms.

This is why you need to be very careful when downloading extensions on the internet, as they may be a source of malware.

6. Not using a Double Password Verification System

Creating a two-step verification system furthermore protects you, even if your password is extremely hard to guess. A second layer of security is always a good idea and will only protect you.

Even if your password is leaked, the two factor authentication will make sure that no one can access your data unless you verify from both sides.

7. You’re Using Outdated Security Tools

As security threats are being created at an unstoppable rate, the security companies too have to work tirelessly to combat these viruses. It is advisable to update your anti-virus software and other security tools regularly. Keep scans and updates on the auto mode if the software allows so.

Conclusion

The digital platform is the criminal’s new avenue, as all things are taking place online, so is robbery and crime. It is very difficult to catch criminals in the online world, as all data is encrypted and masking yourself is not a difficult task.

Therefore, it is advisable to take security measures on your own and to do them correctly. It is inevitable to avoid the internet and you wouldn’t want to do that either. So take some solid steps and enjoy online freedom the way it was meant to be.

5 Vital Email Security Tips You Should Know

In 2016, the race for the American President saw a popular candidate suffer an unexpected defeat. Hillary Clinton, who was expected to be the 45th president of the United States, lost because of a strange controversy.

The controversy involved her using a private email server during her tenure as the Secretary of State. As expected, the American people were enraged that a government official was using unlawful means to withhold information from them.

However, if this controversy is analyzed through an unbiased perspective, one might consider the fact that Hillary Clinton had her reasons. After all, being the Secretary of State, it was vital for her to keep enemy states away from confidential information.

The scandal was dubbed as the ‘email controversy’ but in actuality, it was an ‘email security controversy.

Quick Tips for Ensuring Email Security

Email security is an issue that is often provided less attention than it deserves. Organizations, institutions and even individuals in personal capacity use emails to share sensitive information.

Protecting this information is utmost important. This is because if the right information gets in the wrong hands, it can be used to blackmail, manipulate or even humiliate someone.

Hence, you should make no compromises in ensuring that your emails remain safe and secure. Below, we have laid out several methods you can apply to keep your emails away from malicious individuals.

Create Different Passwords

Passwords are the backbone of your online privacy. By creating strong passwords you eliminate the immediate threat of a hacker gaining access to your personal information.

However, even if you have created the strongest password in the word, do not use it for all your online accounts. If you have a single password for everything, you are walking into a trap.

Imagine the nightmare if you lose this password. Everything from your Facebook profile to your Amazon account will be at risk.

If you have a hard time remembering multiple passwords, you can avail the services of a password manager. In any case, avoid this rookie mistake.

Be Careful on Public Wi-Fis

Public Wi-Fi can be detrimental to your online security. This is because they are filled with nefarious threats. Hackers lurk on these Wi-Fi networks to get their hands on your sensitive information. This includes the password of your email.

With the program called ‘network sniffers’, the hackers can monitor traffic on a particular network and examine it for important information. However, there is a way for you to escape their watchful eye.

By employing a VPN, you can encrypt your online traffic and keep hackers at bay. A top VPN anonymizes your online profile making it difficult for hackers to monitor your connection.

Avoid Phishing Traps

Phishing is a popular hacking method in which the hacker disguises as a trusted entity, person or an organization to steal your password. It is the oldest form of cyberattacking that originated in the 1990s.

What happens in this attack is that you receive an email or an instant message that directs you to a fake website. The website is a spoof, meaning that it is copy of a legitimate site.

On this website, you will be required to provide your email and password. From there, you can guess what happens next. There are also more direct methods to phishing.

Sometimes you will receive a message from a certain website, asking for your login credentials to ‘fix’ a certain issue. Of course, this will be an imitation of the real website and your credentials will end up with the hackers.

Phishing scams can be somewhat difficult to recognize but there share few common things:

  • Request for your personal information
  • Threats to shut down your account
  • Bad grammar
  • Made up URL

By looking out for above signs, you can avoid phishing and keep your email secure.

Create Multiple Email Accounts

Just like keeping a single password for all account is problematic, using a single email for all online purposes is risky. The reason for having multiple emails is the same reason you should have multiple password.

If a hacker succeeds in breaking into your ‘one-for-all’ email account, he/she will have a field day with your online profiles.

Hence, create separate accounts for work, your personal activities and one for different website you use.

Scan Your Device for Viruses and Malware

To keep your device free from malwares and viruses, run frequent scans through capable anti-virus programs. The good news is that most anti-virus programs perform this function for you.

However, if you believe that you received a suspicious mail, scan your computer just to stay on the safe side. You can never be too careful with your online security.

Final thoughts

As many real life examples have shown, one cannot take email security lightly. You can suffer both personal and financial loss by being careless in your emailing activities.

This is why it preferable that you take all the necessary precautions to keep your emails safe and secure.

150+ Almost Free and Essential Products To Start Your Business

Are you a newbie to the startup world? If yes, then you must be definitely knowing that starting up a business is no cakewalk. It is one of the toughest tasks and involves a lot of risks. Especially, if it’s a startup, you come across a lot of roadblocks that you never thought would ever crop up. Factors such as budget, limited manpower and time can also affect your business or startup when the workload starts piling up and the bills come rolling in.

But fret not! With the help of right tools and an effective team you can easily come over these hurdles and can reach your business potential. There are many tools and products available out there which can prove to be super beneficial for your business in the long run. Below mentioned is a curated list of some important products that every business must use, irrespective of its size, in order to take your business to new heights over the course of time:

Domain name suggestion

Booking the right domain name is the first step of any startup launch. But it is very difficult to get a desired .com domain name under your budget, however, you can try some hacks and find the domain name that best fits to your business name.

  • domainwheel(generate different variations of your desired domain name)
  • domainhack(take advantage of different TLDs and hack your domain e.g hy.pe)
  • agiledomainsearch(generate domain names by adding some random but related word)
  • domaindart(Generate domain name by adding prefix or suffix)

Domain Name Booking

Booking domain is not free but privacy, email forwarding and DNS can be free. Consider these free resources before selecting registrar.

Create Logo

Logo designing charges may vary from $10 to $10,000 but here is options to get one for free.

Create website by yourself

If you are not a web developer or a designer but need simple websites, then you can make it yourself for free or at a nominal cost with the help of these products. You don’t need to worry about hosting and setup also.

Create blog

Blogging is an important way to grow your business online. These tools can help you pull in your target audience.

  • wordpress(self hosted cms, you need to pay for server or hosting)
  • Managedwordpress hosting, free with wordpress.com sub domain
  • medium( $75 on time for custom domain)
  • tumblr(use with your custom domain for free, limited features)
  • blogger(everything is free. use your domain, customize theme.)
  • jekyll-now(host your blog on github)

Create Ecommerce Website

You can use open source software and host on your server, but must have prior knowledge of server management and PHP & Mysql.

If you don’t have technical background you can start from these hosted version of e-commerce platforms.

Host for free

Hosting your website can result in a recurring cost since many of the shared and cheap hostings are not able to provide more than 99% uptime but you can opt for some reliable hosting services for your needs that are free or almost free. It requires some technical skills to deploy your website.

Communicate

Interact with your team or clients.

Lead Generation

If there are any details which are missing from your lead you can get more details by name, company name or email Id

Get Work done

These all services are paid starting from $5

Analytics & Tracking

 

Website Traffic Monitoring

Having a good statistics package working in the background is important for your site. You must know what works and what doesn’t and also the trends that will make your website the next stop for visitors every day.

Track Email

Scheduling and tracking emails is important, especially if your clients are in different time zones.

Track Link

Tracking links of your competitors and those of your web pages is an essential part of SEO strategy.

Create Awesome Social media Posts

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, so make it stand out with the help of these tools.

Manage Social Media Accounts

Social media management tools can help you make the most of your social presence  and reach a wide number of audience.

Create Promotional Video

Create engaging online promotional videos affordably with these tools.

Launching Startup

Get your startup enlisted in these communities and create a good audience base.

Note Taking

In order to build a personal knowledge database, the good old note taking is undoubtedly one of the best ways.

Project & Task management

Managing projects and tasks can be a little difficult. But don’t let anyone tell you this. Manage everything on your own with these tools.

File Hosting & Sharing

Share and host files seamlessly with these tools.

Work Automation

These tools come with a wide range of applications and are ideal for those who are mostly digitally connected workers.

Create Forms

Forms can be a great asset for your business sites. Create one for yours with any of these:

Transactional & Newsletter Emailing

All the email services are paid but they offer a free tier until you start growing

Chat & Support

There are many chat service providers for your website who offer free plans but restrict the contact limits. Here I am mentioning the options which do not restrict them.

Get Payments

These tools help you receive payment from any corner of the world. These are safe and secure to use.

On Site Search

For the times when you want to allow your visitors to search on your website or your database.

Track Competitors

Having an insight of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses can help you create a good strategy

  • mention(Starts from $29 / month)
  • alexa(most popular website ranking probider)
  • builtwith(check what third party technology powering a website. free , paid plans starts from $295)
  • whatruns(Discover what runs a website, when you open a website.)

Security

These tools help make your business fast and safe.

Bookmarks

Lets you save important stuff that you need to get onto later.

Engagement

Good engagement tools help your product grow in the best possible way.

Free Stock Photographs

Finding good images is difficult. These tools make your work of finding them an easy task.

Influencer Marketing

Instead of directly marketing to a large group of your consumers, you can get or hire influencers who can do the work for you or on your behalf.

Others

If you find anything that we have missed, then please let us know in the comments.

Article contributed by Vijay Nagar, marketing manager at BetaPage, a startups & early adopters community

Paypal India’s 18% GST Is Not Applicable For Overseas Transactions

Freelancers in India have been outraged at a recent policy update on Paypal India that suggested that an 18% GST would be charged on all future transactions. The note on the Paypal India website read,

“We have updated our UA  to comply with local laws applicable to Indian companies including local taxation laws. We have been advised PayPal Services will attract a GST rate of 18%. Please consult your tax advisors in terms of your eligibility for refunds.”

In effect, what Paypal seemed to suggest is that all future transactions (starting October 2 or later) would invite a default deduction of 18% towards GST which its users may claim a refund for from the Income Tax authorities after furnishing sufficient proof.

This appeared ridiculous given that Paypal transactions within India are restricted to overseas transactions (which should not invite a GST in the first place). A recent Change.org petition filed over the matter suggested  something even more apocalyptic.

“I have real bad news guys. In a support chat one of our people was able to get a clarification from Paypal that the 18% GST would be deducted on the entire amount, and not just their charges.

This really creates an even more explosive situation.

On one hand, Paypal will take 18% GST from you already, and on the second, you have to register and give the GoI 18% GST (that you need to claim a refund for later), or file exemption.

So in effect, you could be losing 36% of your revenues on arrival, with no clarity on refunds at all because you don’t have FIRCs yet.”

No GST For Overseas Paypal Transactions

But all of this looks to be a miscommunication. GoRumors was able to get confirmation from Paypal that GST shall not be levied on overseas transactions. In an email response, a Paypal support representative wrote,

“Kindly be informed that this information is for a new update which will be coming soon and you will be informed before it is implemented.

Rest assured if it is an overseas transaction it will be exempted from the GST charges.”

Paypal GST India

So there you go – no GST for the kind of transactions that are now prevalent on Paypal.

Paypal Soon For Domestic Transactions In India?

What this also means is that we may soon have Paypal open up for domestic transactions in India. At the moment, this facility is not available to Indian users. But by registering as a local company, Paypal can establish itself as a viable alternative to other popular digital wallets in the country like Paytm and Mobikwik.

That would be a welcome step, if only Paypal didn’t have those high fees.

 

Top Three Ways To Perfect An Eco-Friendly Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Helen Keller once said, “life is either a great adventure or  nothing.” The truth is that life, as fleeting as it may seem, can feel as though it lasts forever when doing something you love. Although it can often be difficult to grab onto the adventure in your own life at times, this desire to do more and be more will forever call to you—the only question is whether or not you will answer. For some, the idea of answering alone can be terrifying but, for others, it can be the best decision they ever make—and for these select few, the idea of a fully nomadic lifestyle calls them forward on journeys they will surely never forget.

However, a life of adventure is far from the only reason why these individuals choose lives on the road rather than stationary lives in the city. In fact, with a massive transition toward a greener tomorrow from our younger generations, it only makes sense that these nomads also choose this lifestyle as a way to reduce their carbon footprint one day at a time.

With this in mind, if green adventure is the kind of life you hope to one day lead, it is highly important that you consider what type of nomadism you hope to achieve, whether or not the RV lifestyle is right for you, and how you hope to create an eco-friendly nomadic alternative to everyday stationary life in order to not only begin this new chapter of your life but ensure that you journey is headed in the right direction, from the first day to the last.

RV, Travel Trailer, or Van: Choose Your Form of Nomadism

The first step to any eco-friendly adventure is to choose your new home. There are many nomadic options out there but one of the most common and enticing comes in the form of the traditional Class A, B, or C motorhomes. However, there are many other things to consider besides the actual home itself, especially if a greener alternative is your goal. For instance, some RVs have solar power, which can be far more cost effective and green than generator-reliant counterparts.

Furthermore, many RVs are complete and total gas guzzlers meaning that your fuel economy will be far less efficient and each day you will be producing copious amounts of carbon emissions. In fact, the average Class C RV emits thousands of pounds of carbon each and every year. On top of all of this, RVs are also known for succumbing to some of the most common transmission problems you should never ignore, such as leaking fluids and slipping gears, which could very quickly turn your fun adventure into a nightmare for both your bank account as well as your health (carbon monoxide poisoning and dangerous leaking fluids are also quite common).

With these cons in mind, you may want to turn toward a van, as it is certainly smaller and more efficient overall. However, this gives you far less space and also means that if you break down, you more than likely will not have a backup mode of transportation on board. Furthermore, most vans do not provide green energy alternatives and still require a large amount of gas.

Therefore, for many fully nomadic individuals, neither of these options are ideal, leaving the travel trailer and truck combo far ahead of the other two regarding both fuel economy and environmental friendliness. The main reason for this is due to the fact that there are many eco-friendly truck brands out there which, when combined with a solar-powered travel trailer, provide the user with fuel economy, and extra space, and green energy alternatives and a setup that allows you to hook up to RV spots and still be able to visit the nearby cities and places using the unattached truck as a mode of transportation. However, once you choose which option is right for you, the next step is to actually create your “green machine” and make it feel like less of a trailer and more of home in the process.

Transform Your New Home Into a “Green Machine”

There are many easy tips to make a stationary home more sustainable out there, but mobile homes are all too often lost in the mix due to the misconception that you cannot create a sustainable home that travels. However, although gardens and compost bins may be impossible in the long run, there are plenty of other ways to make your travel trailer or recreational vehicle less of a mode of transportation and more of a comfortable home that focuses heavily on green alternatives.

For instance, even if your trailer or RV does not have solar power when purchased, it is not all that difficult to install solar panels after the fact. This can not only reduce the amount of hookups needed on the road, which will inevitably save you money, but also reduce the carbon emissions your vehicle produces as well. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of frozen items you have on board, you can also reduce your refrigerant usage likewise. In 2008, every household in America released over 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide from their refrigerators and freezers alone, making the reduction of these emissions highly important for our environment as a whole.

Furthermore, although you might not be able to have an entire garden, you can still grow herbs and bulbs which will make your life far simpler, help ensure the air in your new home is naturally filtered, and also lower the cost of weekly groceries as well. However, although all of these green alternatives are useful, there is still one that could quite literally reduce your carbon emissions by hundreds of pounds each and every year on the road which is surprisingly simple to achieve.

Choose Your Eco-Friendly Secondary Mode of Transportation

The most crucial way to reduce your carbon emissions is by reducing the amount of travel you do outside of getting from point A to point B. For instance, by choosing secondary modes of transportation, such as electric mountain bikes or scooters, you can significantly reduce your carbon emissions when traveling to nearby cities fro myour hookup locations as you can leave behind your gas-powered vehicle and also get in some outdoor exercise in the process.

However, a lot of young individuals think that there are no cheap and quality electric mountain bike alternatives, but this is far from the truth. In fact, there are many cheap electric bike brands, including a few that are even located online such as the E-Zip 2008 Trailz bike and the Mongoose 26” Electric bike.

Furthermore, Walmart also has many electric bike conversion kits, which can transform any mountain bike into an electric marvel, in little to no time at all. The best part about them, however, is that the average mileage of these electric bikes is anywhere between 20 to 60 miles, which means that even some of the farthest locations from a hookup site can easily be reached without wasting any gas or money in the process. Furthermore, with the incorporation of eco-friendly gear such as the Tree Hugger gear supply, you can also explore campgrounds and nature trails without being forced to return to your RV every few hours likewise.

In the end, there are countless ways to grab life by the horns and hold on, but travel is one of the few that actually pays off in full over time. Furthermore, choosing to lead a greener life can also lead to a happier you and a better future for the next generation as well. With this said, it’s no surprise why hundreds of young individuals are choosing a nomadic life over the traditional lifestyles their parents led before them. After all, life is short — so why not live it while you can?

Reasons Why the Samsung Galaxy S8 May Be The Smartphone You’ll Want This Year

With the upcoming release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the advanced features of the phone, there is only one thing on people’s minds: is it worth it? There is a lot of discussions about which smartphone will steal the crown this year, and the Samsung Galaxy is one of the top contenders.

Before we delve into that, though, let us review the roster of phones that is going to be released this year like the Apple iPhone 8, Google Pixel 2, HTC 11, Nokia 8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy Note 8. These phones promise an improved performance, much faster than their predecessors and longer battery life. And this time, people know what to look for because other than those improvements, they are also expecting better graphics and a more intuitive and sleek design.

Which brings us back to the Samsung Galaxy S8. The flagship smartphone is highly anticipated and it is coming out before the iPhone 8 at tech stores like Harvey Norman –  and everywhere else. So here we list down the features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 which you might want to consider when looking at your options this year.

Intelligent digital assistant

If the Apple iPhone has Siri, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have Bixby. It is also an AI, a voice-powered digital assistant that is reportedly more powerful than Siri. It has three main parts: Bixby Voice, Bixby Vision, and Bixby Home. You can trigger Bixby by pressing on button or calling with the Bixby Voice. The Bixby Vision will allow Bixby to “see” what you can see through the built-in camera and can do tasks like identifying objects or scanning QR codes. Wih Bixby Home, you can get access to various information by swiping right from the home screen like fitness activity or the weather.

Wireless charging

Yes, no more dangling and tangling wires. This is probably one of the biggest innovations in any smartphone flagship. The slap on battery pack offered by Samsung would mean that charging our phones will not be as frustrating, what with all the ruckus about using the right wire and whatnot. At the same time, this is a feature that the Apple iPhone has not yet adapted. There are rumours though, that initially, wireless charging will be featured on the iPhone 8 but is now being scrapped. We will never know for sure until the unboxing event of Apple, but right now, it is looking like the Samsung flagship phone has improved on it.

Headphone jack

Apple may think that they are being revolutionary with their earpods, and it is true, it is innovative; however, it is posing to be more of a problem for users than a feature they want to be excited about. No one wants to lose their headphones, whether they are expensive or cheap, it is such a hassle. So not only is Samsung providing cool new headphones with its purchase of Harman last year, it is also a 3.5mm jack. You can keep your Beats or Bose, because the 3.5mm connector is here to stay, at least for the S8.

Snapdragon 835

The Snapdragon exclusivity of Samsung may bode well for the S8. This time, the Samsung will be released with a Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 8895 variant. However, a lot of people are excited about the Snapdragon variants. It promises a faster mobile performance, alternate reality exploration, machine learning capabilities, battery efficiency, and more.

Are you pumped for the new Samsung Galaxy S8? Well, we are, too! And to think, these are just a couple of its features that are keeping everyone at the edge of their seats.

Tesla Model S: Is It Really The World’s Quickest Car Ever?

Tesla was, is, and probably will continue to be a hot subject in the automotive universe. While it’s not the first electric car manufacturer out there, it’s certainly the most iconic one, largely due to its daring approach and numerous innovations it brought to the field. Tesla has revolutionized the world of electric vehicles already, and it has no intention of stopping anytime soon. However, while some of its achievements cannot be contested in any way,there are times when misleading facts and figures get thrown around by the media. Here’s the perfect example.

The plot

The Tesla Model S P100D was recently titled “the world’s quickest car ever” by several online new outlets and magazines.

The context

Claims about the Model S P100D being the fastest car ever starter appearing online after Motor Trend performed some tests using a Model S P100D following a software update the car received. While the update was supposed to cut down its acceleration time to roughly 2.5 seconds for 0 to 60 miles per hour, Motor Trend’s tests concluded a time of 2.28 seconds, which boosted the Tesla in the first position of the top, outclassing supercars such as Ferrari LaFerrari, Lamborghini Aventador and even the renowned Bugatti Veyron.

So, is the Tesla Model S P100D really the world’s quickest car ever? Let’s have a closer look.

“Quickest Car Ever” Explained

The terms “quickest car ever” are fairly vague, and consist of some variables. In the automotive industry, the quickness of a car is based on two main elements: acceleration and top speed.

Acceleration is usually measured by the time it takes the car to get to 60 miles per hour (100 km per hour) from a standstill. Some tests also include additional parameters, such as 0 to 120 miles per hour (200 km per hour), and 0 to top speed. The time is measured in seconds, and the lower it is, the faster the car is, and thus the higher spot it takes in comparison charts.

Top speed is another defining element of a car’s performance, and as it names suggests, it refers to the top speed the car is capable of reaching. Once again, the higher the figure, the better the car ranks.

Tesla’s Figures

Taking advantage of one key advantage electric motors have over conventional combustion engines – instant delivery of power, Tesla focused its advertising on the acceleration element. Tesla vehicles were never marketed as sports cars, despite their impressive performance, so their top speed was not a key selling point, but their acceleration was. The carefully calibrated motors that are driving the front and rear wheels of the car allow for the instant delivery of power to the wheels, so the car can accelerate really fast. Depending on the version, 0 to 60 mph acceleration can be achieved anywhere between an unimpressive 5.9 seconds, for the first versions, all the way up to 2.28 seconds for the latest version. An average acceleration within the 3 second ballpark is to be expected from most Model S Teslas.

The case in question, of the fastest Tesla, was achieved using the top-of-the-line Tesla P100D, a model that comes with 4 wheel drive and a 100 kWh battery, using the Ludicrous + mode. In case you’re not up to date with Tesla tech, the Ludicrous mode is a software option that improves acceleration times at the cost of reduced mileage. The Ludicrous + mode was an extreme version of the mode, available as a purchasable software upgrade.

Although the official numbers for the Ludicrous + are 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds, putting Tesla a little behind supercars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis, tests carried out by Motor Trend have shown a slightly different result – the Tesla Model S P100D set in Ludicrous + mode can hit 60 in less than 2.3 seconds. It only needs 2.28 seconds, to be precise, officially making Tesla the fastest accelerating production vehicle.

Verdict

So, if the Tesla Model S really the world’s quickest car ever? It all depends on where you’re looking from. In terms of pure acceleration, it is outclassed only by the Porsche 918 Spyder, which pumps out an impressive 2.2 seconds for 0 to 60 mph. In terms of top speed, the Model S is not even in the top 15.

However, the Tesla Model S does hold some impressive records. If we’re talking about production vehicles, it is the quickest car in the world, as the previously mentioned Porsche 918 Spyder was produced in a limited series.

So, to be factually correct, no, the Tesla Model S is not the world’s quickest car ever. It is the quickest accelerating production car in the world, which is just as impressive.