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IT Reviews

First a Smart Phone, Now a Smart Home?

Published on January 6th, 2016 | by Milena Delucci

Smart HomeThe turning of the century marked the beginning of a smarter era, where there are smart phones, smart computers and smarter consumers. Now it seems, the smart technology is affecting even bigger products, such as actual houses and buildings. Behold, the dawn of the smart homes.

What is a Smart Home

A smart home refers to a house with appliances, security systems and features that are capable of communicating with each other and can be controlled remotely, by time schedule, from any parts of the house, as well as from any location in the world by phone or internet.

Smart home technology is coming to the forefront of the market. Keystone Construction and other home builders are all adapting to this change and are trying to incorporate these elements to their projects, seeing as 64% of buyers are reported to be interested to key smart home features.

Why A Smart Home

Popular smart home features include Bluetooth Garage Door Opener, LED Toilet Seat, Ultra HD TV, Blu-ray players, and Roku TV, Smart Washer/Dryer Combo, Smart Lightbulbs, among others. All these features aim not only to improve a homeowner’s living, but also cut costs.

After all, being smart nowadays mean more than pressing a few buttons or controlling plasma screens. Smart technology is born with the purpose of helping humanity conserve energy, which is a battle today’s generation and the next will find themselves battling.

This is perhaps the most crucial feature of a smart home: it’s ability to help with the conservation of the earth’s limited resources. More people are becoming aware of the significance of turning a home truly smart and green by integrating systems that control light, irrigation, power and monitor usage.

So it all comes down to the benefits of a smart home: convenience, and savings of time, money and energy. Although, it’s still a little ironic how expensive a smart home is. Frankly, this is its biggest disadvantage. But analysts are sure experts will find a way to address this problem.

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IT Reviews

SEO

Reavowing Links: Can You Do It?

Published on May 21st, 2015 | by Milena Delucci

SEODisavowing toxic and unnatural links is a wise move for anyone trying to get out Google’s penalty radar. But what if you realized a little too late that some of the links you disavowed are actually good links? Is reavowing possible?

Before we answer that, let’s review the list of links that you’d want to disassociate from. One word: spam. Spammy links from poor-quality websites are out to ruin to your ranking.

Seoresesellerprogram, a white label SEO provider, recommends taking action against paid posts and links coming from dead directories, non-niche websites and fake comments that stockpile spammy content and links.

Now that you’ve established that these links are harmful to your website, the next best move is to submit a disavow file to Google before it catches you. So you did that. Done.

In some cases however, you’re not done. Some of the links you’ve submitted are actually good for your ranking, but you reached that conclusion just a fraction too late. Good news for you, Google has a solution. You can, in fact, reavow a disavowed link, by simply resubmitting a disavow file that doesn’t include the supposed unnatural link.

So you can go from this:

#Unnatural links that you want to disavow
domain:a-bad-site.com
domain:actually-a-good-site.com
domain:another-bad-site.com

To this:

#Unnatural links that you want to disavow
domain:a-bad-site.com
domain:another-bad-site.com

How Google Deals With Reavowed Links

Easy-peasy, right? Not as much you think. It’s not the reavowing per se that you should be mindful of, but whether or not it’s going to matter much.

Just because a link has been reavowed, it doesn’t mean it can count again. Due to spammers’ tactics to control Google, it’s mostly suspicious of reavowing activity, thinking that it can just be an ongoing experiment.

Most people who tried Google’s reavow tools have experienced the same thing: not much improvement in traffic. Experts have theorized that Google has an algorithm that won’t recount reavowed links if the activity raises suspicions of manipulation. This usually happens when thousands of links are reavowed at the same time.

The best way to avoid this is using the disavow tool with caution. If you’re planning to reavow, make sure it doesn’t come off suspicious. This way, you have higher chances of Google counting back reavowed links.

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IT Reviews

no image

Simple Troubleshooting Tips for Video Conferences

Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Milena Delucci

Video ConferenceFor some people, video conferencing is just a way to connect with overseas bosses. While for others, it’s a means to meet with a new client. Nonetheless, both are equally important when conducting business. That’s why setting it up, from equipment to software, is best left to the professionals.

One of those video conferencing providers is Adigo.com, which provides full-on video conferencing service. To people who have limited knowledge about computers, these guys are basically lifesavers. But, after they’ve gone and installed the system, their support staff can only support you through the phone. What if you’re in the middle of a conference when it happens?

1. Drops

If there is anything likely to ruin a video conference, it’s inconsistent Internet connection. Moreover, drops usually happen at the most inopportune times. So what do you do when you’re face to face with your boss when the connection decides to act up? Simple things such as shutting other devices that eat the bandwidth and reconfiguring the router help keep the speed up.

2. Dialing Screens, No Display

When the dial screen shows up but doesn’t display when the call connects, there is a problem with the firewall from either parties. You can try dialing some test numbers to see if you or the guys on the other side have the problem. You can also ask an IT professional with an MCU expertise to come look at your equipment.

3. AV Resynchronization

It might not be as big a problem as network or hardware failure, but unsynchronized audio/video can ruin a routine conference. It can be solved by buying new equipment. If you have upgraded everything but your infrastructure, there is the possibility of your old tools not using all your new stuff accordingly.

4. Framerate Lag

Sometimes, some obscure things that you can’t find easily ruin the video conference. Internet is good, mikes and computers are all green, but the framerate is lagging. The easiest, and best, solution is to get H.323 with multipoint capabilities. At the very least, it should support a high-definition conference of four parties.

The worst thing you can do is panic in such a situation. Composure is needed to deal with technical problems. It will help you solve the problem quicker and show your boss how you deal with stressful circumstances.

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IT Reviews

website design

Four Websites from 2014 That Can Inspire the Design of Your Website

Published on February 3rd, 2015 | by Milena Delucci

website designThe demand for website designers was increasing day by day last year, since more businesses, blogs and social networks recognize the importance of a well-made website. Clients and Internet users like it more and they tend to come back to browse or explore all the features. At face value, it’s already alluring and then it’s also functioning well.

Many websites created last year pushed the boundary of creativity within web design. You can take inspiration from these websites or find a single aspect that you can reinvent into something different. Here are some of them, as listed by Bricks and Mortar Creative:

1. Grovemade

Assume for a moment that most of the websites will include selling the product of a particular company. Grovemade made a straightforward design about their main commodity: iPhone protectors and their special wood case. You can navigate through the website because all its destinations are available on the top bar.

2. I Remember

This website was built to spread awareness of how Alzheimer’s disease actually affects the brain. Visually enticing and interactive, users can learn about one of the most crippling effects of the illness.

3. Quay

Minimalism takes full flight on this dining website. Other fine gourmet restaurants should take notice at how the design was made to put the user’s focus on the dish displayed on the home page.

4. Volkswagen

The German carmaker used the benefits of modern, sharp photography to fuel the design of their website. The textured background and simple typefaces below fully complement the beaming red Golf GTI in the center.

Don’t be afraid to use other sites as an introductory vision for your own. It’s important to have an idea about web design. By observing how these websites created theirs, you can give birth to a new one that’s completely you.

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IT Reviews

cloud computing

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining: How Cloud Computing Helps Small Businesses Grow

Published on October 3rd, 2014 | by Milena Delucci

cloud computingDo you constantly think about that one thing that can make a difference to your business?

Today, no technology discussion would be complete without talking about the rise of cloud computing systems. They play an important role in expanding a business and helping it gain a competitive edge. No one can avoid the buzz around cloud computing. Everyone is talking about it.

Many entrepreneurs make business management more difficult than it is. As you look to maximise your return on investment, you should know the changes you need to make. To migrate to the cloud, understand how your business can benefit from using it.

It Reduces Security Risk

Security is a major concern for everyone. If you and your workers use cloud computing, desktop computers are merely a device to finish tasks and contact clients. The important data of your company are secure in one central location. Cloud computing systems require your username and password, which means hackers cannot access your files. It is comforting knowing your business strategies, bank accounts, and other company secrets are safe and protected.

It Improves Efficiency

Many businesses like yours are migrating to the cloud to manage business growth and improve productivity. If you use cloud computing, you will no longer worry about employee collaboration, software updates, and even storage space issues. Saving and accessing are now easier, as cloud services allow your team to work from the same document. If you find it difficult to use, you can always get some help. ICT companies are responsible for speeding up your processes, managing your servers, and transforming how your business functions.

It Saves You Time and Money

How do you spend your IT budget? As a small business owner, you are probably wondering if there is something that can help you save time and reduce expenses. Cloud-based services can help you with software licensing, upgrade expenses, and server maintenance. Instead of buying a hardware that often goes unused, spend your money on software that lets you stretch your company budget.

From improving IT security to reducing costs, cloud computing will provide your business an opportunity to grow and expand.

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IT Reviews

portable radio

Why the Two-Way Radio Remains Relevant

Published on August 7th, 2014 | by Milena Delucci

portable radioIn a world full of smartphones and tablets, why would anyone use anything else to talk? It may be confusing to find people still using portable radio snow, but as it turns out, the eight-decade-old technology still has some advantages over the latest phone models.

The redeeming feature of two-way radios is the simplicity of their design. Engineers envisioned just one purpose for this portable radio, and designed every piece of it to reach that objective. That goal is communication. It has no apps, cameras, screens, or anything that might deter the tool from doing its job.

Quick Voices

Smartphones do the same thing though, don’t they? Not exactly, phones make calls, which isn’t the same thing as what two-way radios do. When someone wants to contact a friend on a phone, they have to dial a number, wait for the signal to make contact, and then wait again for that friend to answer.

With a two-way radio, a person just needs to push a button and talk. There’s no waiting involved whatsoever, and the users can be sure the person on the other end got the message. The immediacy of voice is perfect for delivering short messages in emergencies and other scenarios that require coordination.

Secure Line

Another advantage that the two-way radio offers is that it’s set to talk to only a fixed number of people. People don’t have to worry about privacy issues. Imagine a world without telemarketers or even junk ads,; just get a two-way radio and that world can be a reality.

Two-way radios have a huge following in different fields like law enforcement, construction, and planning. The two-way radio is a tool best used for business operations and is impractical for personal use. But, it’s much better than phones in the things they were designed to do.

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IT Reviews

The Right To Be Forgotten: Google Criticized For Removing BBC Story From Search

Published on July 7th, 2014 | by Wileene Grace Olimpo

google-searchengineA European Commission spokesperson has expressed concern after it emerged that an article by Robert Peston was removed from Google’s search results, saying the company’s decision was “not a good judgment.”

Public interest

Google responded to the EU ruling on the “right to be forgotten” by removing articles from its European search rankings.

In a blog post, Peston said the search company had removed his article from the public record, but acknowledged that he received a “notice of removal.” sifting

The BBC understands that Google is examining more than 250,000 “irrelevant, outdated, or no longer relevant” web links people wanted to be removed.

Removal requests

“Google clearly has a strong interest in making sure that they’re able to work with whatever the legal requirements are, so they position themselves in a particular way over that,” Ryan Heath, spokesman for the European Commission’s vice president, said in a statement. “It doesn’t come cheap to deal with all of these requests, so they need to find some way to come up with dealing with them.”

Even if the information had been published legally, Google responded to EU ruling by introducing an online form giving visitors to its European sites a formal route to make removal requests.

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IT Reviews

data center management

The Importance of Effective Data Management

Published on June 10th, 2014 | by Milena Delucci

data center managementToday, large amounts of data need to be filed and subsequently accessed at a high speed pace. Establishments such as malls, schools, business centers, and even government agencies rely heavily on data storage and organization of vital information.

This is where data management is significant. Data center administrators are charged with the responsibility of overseeing technical and IT issues in the data center. It is a highly sensitive job that requires responsible preparation and careful implementation.

Below are a few handy tips for simplifying data center operations management for both novices and experts alike:

Maximize storage space needs

The bigger the capacity, the more information can be stored and the faster it can be accessed when necessary. Most companies still make use of direct attached storage. Keep in mind, however, that they are only accessible through servers that are physically connected.

Prioritize automation

An automated datacenter is crucial to effective management of IT infrastructure and human resources. With automation, records are kept more accurately and tasks can be delegated and assigned more responsibly.

Incremental improvements should be made

Make changes in stages instead of in one quick go. Sudden and immediate changes to a system sets you up for astronomical errors, which could otherwise be handled easily, should you have implemented incrementally while working out the kinks.

Limit risk through redundancy

Vital servers and network components need to have backup. It is important to have uninterrupted access to all the stored data whenever needed. That is why backups should be created because this helps foster better security and faster speeds.

Data centers are complex, even daunting, environments to manage. When done efficiently, effective data center management can enable you to plan needed updates and schedule changes in line. With improved knowledge on the subject, you can hit targets, lower costs, and even increase scalability. Data centers vary in size. The key is to utilize what you have and employ tactics that optimize what you have.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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IT Reviews

electrical supply company

From Electricity to Equipment: Breaking Down Home Studio Essentials

Published on May 2nd, 2014 | by Milena Delucci

electrical supply companyPeople who are into music may want to build a studio right in the comfort of their own homes. With the right equipment and the help of an electrical supply company, you can build a professional quality home studio. Here are the basic tools every home studio should have.

Recording Device

Believe it or not, the personal computer you use now is actually an integral part of it all. It’s commonly used in home studios because it’s compact and simple. Every computer has a built-in sound card that will work fine for home studio recordings.

Recording Software

Have an audio recording and editing software installed on your computer. Find one that can record both analog audio from a microphone and MIDI data from electronic instruments. You can edit and mix several tracks, add sound effects, and export recordings using audio software.

Microphone

You should get a good microphone to ensure that your recordings are of top quality. No amount of digital effects and editing can save a bad recording from a bad microphone. A condenser microphone is advisable for acoustic vocals and instruments recording. Get a pop filter for your mic to make vocals sound clearer.

Headphones and Speakers

Get monitor speakers to hear exactly what the recorded audio sounds like in real time. This will help you know exactly how the recording sounds and makes it easier to fix if it sounds wrong. You’ll also need headphones because recording sessions are done in a multi-track format. You must hear previously done tracks using headphones as you record a new one for synchronization purposes.

Audio Interface

You need an audio interface to convert analog audio to digital audio. This takes the pressure off the processing power of your computer. This is essentially useful for laptops which mostly have slower processors and don’t have extra space for internal PCI cards.

With the right tools and knowledge, you can run your home studio efficiently and produce quality recordings. Plan the design and use the space well to feel comfortable every time you’re recording.

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IT Reviews

advanced technology solutions

Internet Security: Protecting Businesses

Published on April 30th, 2014 | by Milena Delucci

advanced technology solutionsThe Internet allows businesses to reach a wider market and accomplish different processes efficiently. Similar to other technological advancements, however, it comes with its own set of challenges. Security is one of the common concerns. How do you prevent network attacks, reduce system downtimes, or avoid losing data? Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about these anymore.

Here are some tips on Internet security:

Train your staff

A knowledgeable staff is your first layer of protection. Teach your employees about basic security principles, such as using strong passwords. You should also develop guidelines on Internet usage with penalties for violating policies. Furthermore, train your employees to handle and protect customer details and other important information.

Secure access to your computers and other IT equipment

When different employees need to access the network, it’s best to have access protocols to make sure staff can access only what they need. This will help you monitor which employees manipulated which files.

To prevent outsiders from accessing your network, think about installing advanced technology Internet firewall solutions.

Back up data securely and regularly

System downtimes can lead to data loss. Protect enterprise data and other important files by backing up the network regularly. Depending on your business processes and the amount of data you manipulate every day, think about creating a backup for your files every week or at least once a month.

Use the latest software

Malware and viruses are common online threats. To prevent these elements from causing problems on your network, install a reliable antivirus program and update it periodically. In addition, install operating regular system updates. After making system changes or installing updates, make it a habit to scan your computer for viruses and other problems.

With advanced technology Internet solutions, you can focus on your business instead of your IT needs. Make the most of the Internet and watch your business grow.

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