The Big Picture for the Tech Economy

Amazon and Facebook have reached all time highs but their success may not actually be good for the economy, in fact its probably pretty bad for it. Pretty regularly the two tech companies are seeing their stock sour other big names have reported their first quarter earnings below estimates and are struggling with falling numbers. Macy’s and Disney land are the two most recent corporations to be slammed in recent weeks. Some inside traders can’t help but wonder that the internet giants are to blame.

Amazon is shaking up everything, and is changing the way people buy and sell everything. The brick and mortar are no longer the necessity they once were. “Amazon has a huge impact on employment, on rents and on downtown usage, we’ve seen mall retail effects here that are nontrivial.”

More over, their vast online retail sector that Amazon has also introduced a myriad of services, over the years to compete in a variety of markets. The company is also now expanded to include not only their Amazon Prime swag, but also their grocery delivery service. fgfgfg

Facebook, is also for the most part expanded beyond its core social media platform which is becoming, an ad revenue generating powerhouse which is thanks in large part to its huge reach and scope. But that seems kind of obvious.

“So Facebook and Google control online advertising and Amazon is 30-plus percent of e-commerce, so what’s a bit counter intuitive about these new and exciting technologies that are making everything competitive is they tend to be very dominant.”

But the true scope we are trying to understand may be harder to see than originally believed, but that’s fine. Especially, given their reliance on the internet and their vast reach across burgeoning markets.

“There’s a big disruption going on and economists really have trouble quantifying it in terms of productivity growth, which at the end of the day is important for economic growth. There’s an old saying that you can see the internet every where except the productivity data, and you’re definitely seeing that play in the stock market as well… You have disruption but it’s not yet crating the kind of growth that we had either in wages or in the economy with prior technologies like in the 1920’s and 30’s.” Colas added.

So we are in between a rock and a hard place for our economy. In once sense we don’t really want to break away from

Amazon.com Inc. logos are displayed on laptop computers in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Amazon.com Inc. is scheduled to release third-quarter earnings on Oct. 24. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

this trend because of the convenience and speed inherent to its model. However, it is clearly a kind of means to toxicity in the market place and among US consumers. So where they decide to go from here will only tell of the coming change we see across the board both in distribution and manufacturing.

What is going to be interesting is what the face of Facebook will be in a decade and how they will continue to monetize their product. What I mean is that this is largely a market experiment so we’ll see how it goes down in the town.

The Ad Blocking Dilemma

Lets face it the internet is one giant multi national billboard. A means for anyone to plug their product or service by directly reaching their clients or potential clients though search engine specific content targeting. In terms of advertising there has never been anything this direct or successful in achieving this end. But for the everyday internet user they see this constant stream eerily Stop-hljtising1 and applicable advertising for your particular circumstance or disposition at the time. How many times have you looked at the advertisements and thought “this thing knows me, better than I know me” to escape this weird orwellian nightmare of content specifically geared for you many have turned to Ad Blocking software to avoid the omnipresent distraction.

But the very content we seek out and love can only maintain its level of excellence through the direct funding of advertisers. Thus Adblockers is undoubtedly a big deal for the internet and the future of the production of content. and it is clear that something has got to give in this arena because they are loosing money, in a big, big way. Ad blockers put themselves forth as a means to circumnavigate the ills of data collectors and bring place themselves upon a plane as an almost robinhoodian hero of the internet and net neutrality. However, we often forget that Ad Blocking services need to keep the lights on and are a tech business in the same way any internet company is. Their business is not different than the very ones they claim they are protecting you from.

In fact the Ad Blocking companies are making their money by streamlining the way to advertisers by offering a back door to your internet content, and giving the most robust and complete look at your data and search history. what are the implications of this? well that remains to be seen, but what we do know is that this huge industry very few people are even aware exists. The industry is in a kind of limbo period where no one really knows where it will go, or what to expect in the future. Although we can be certain that the several high profile cases surrounding this industry will come to a head in the near future.Careelkjlkjyramid

Some experts in the field have argued that by solely focusing on ad blockers buisness model is a red herring for the real topic at hand, which is of coarse how to better serve its users and the relationship to advertisers advertisement and internet security in general. This debate is the result of a larger systemic problem that defines the perimeters of this para dime and our navigation of the internet in general. As the Harvard business school associate Benjamin Edleman writes “You’ve modified our website for your business purposes… You’ve modified it in order to get us to pay you tribute, in order to get us to buy our ads back in. You claim it’s all about protecting consumers from bad ads, but actually you’re perfectly willing to certify our ads so long as we paid you.”

FBI Employee Information Accessed By Hacker

This Monday, the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced that investigations were taking place regarding a hacker that broke into the American government’s computer systems and stole sensitive information about employees at the agencies.

The hacker accessed and stole information regarding 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees online Sunday and publicized data on 20,000 FBI employees on Monday.

DHS spokesperson S.Y. Lee gave the following staement:

motherboard“We are looking into the reports of purported disclose of DHS employee contact information… We take these reports very seriously; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.”

The Department of Justice was investigating “unauthorized access of a system operated by one its its components containing employee contact information,” and added that no sensitive personally identifiable information appeared to have been compromised.

Strange statements considering that DHS data posted to the Web contained phone numbers and email addresses of past employees, though some of them hadn’t worked int he agency for years.

Motherboard did report the data theft on Sunday, claiming that a hacker had turned stolen information over to it and announced his intention to go public with the information.

According to Motherboard, the hacker was able to use the email account of a DOJ employee and social engineering to enter into the agency’s intranet and download 200GB of files. This was all explained to Motherboard by the hacker.

Motherboard is a section of Vice news focused on the future:

“With in-depth blogging, longford reporting, and video journalism, Motherboard investigates the news and events that are already affecting the years to come. We want to help you get your hands on tomorrow. Beyond that, we strive to bring our audience an honest portrait of the futures we’re racing towards.”

The hacker apparently failed to penetrate the DOJ Web portal on his own,  but had the bright idea to call a government department, act like a newbie, and simply request the code for accessing the portal, which eh was given over the phone. Once inside, he gained access to the computer used by the person whose email he had compromised and gained access to DOJ’s internal network.

mb2“It was a fairly simplistic attack combined with social engineering, but audacious when your’e going after an FBI employee,” commented chief research analyst with IT-Harvest Richard Stiennon. “It’s easy for complacency to set in at high-volume call environments such as government help desks… If you flood a help desk with password reset requests and similar requests without any negative consequences, eventually operators are going to get comfortable handing out login tokens.”

The whole situation is an indicator of the limits of even the most secure systems; the gullible employee is always the Achilles’ heel.

“All the advanced algorithms, machine learning and log aggregators can’t protect an organization from a gullible employee susceptible to the ‘Look, your shoe’s untied’ ruse,” commented Stealthbits Technologies channel marketing manager Jeff hill.

“In today’s world, the best cybersecurity strategy is to look for and identify suspicious behavior of legitimate accounts,” he added.

Zano Fails, Kickstarter Hires Investigative Journalist

Zano promised the world a mini-drone with a host of bells and whistles, and the world was psyched. Its Kickstarter raised over $3 million and earned its stature as a Kickstarter staff pick. It was even short listed for its best of CES 2015 award and chosen as one of Popular Science’s 100 most amazing innovations of 2015 last October.

torquing groupUnfortunately, the crew behind Zano just couldn’t deliver on its promises.  Its failure sparked intense anger among Kickstarter donors, who accused Zano of scamming them out of their hard-earned donations. Kickstarter took a creative approach to the mounting tension, enlisting an investigative journalist named Mark Harris to determine what factors led to Zano’s disappointing inability to produce.

Based in Seattle, Harris was shown to South Wales, where he spent six weeks conducting interviews and connecting the dots to complete an epic tale of tragedy that was no scam, but a legitimate failure on the part of Zano.

It all started with a business called the Torquing Group, a business led by self-taught engineer Ivan Reedman. Reedman wanted to create a marketable drone that, through clever and misleading marketing, lit Kickstarter on fire and galloped towards its target goal.

Unfortunately, once the money was secured, Reedman and his associates soon discovered that the past to mass producing what would have been an incredible drone was fraught with obstacles; obstacles none of them was equipped to handle.

“Torquing’s director managed their business poorly and spent the Kickstarter money too freely, but I’ve found no evidence that any of them ended up rich on the backs of the crown,” concluded Mark Harris in his 13,000 word write up. He claims that as production problems increased, Touring associates demonstrated “a dangerous lack of self-awareness of the problems the company was making for itself.”

Reedman himself apparently admitted that neither he or any member of his team “possessed the technical or commercial competencies necessary to deliver the Zano as specified in the original campaign.”

And so a humbling lesson was duly learnt by Reedman and the Tourquing group. But what about Kickstarter?

kickstarterHarris asserted that Kickstarter and other funding websites must “reconsider the way they deal with projects involving complex hardware, massive overfunding, or large sums of money,” advising that they bring in mentors to keep an eye on projects like Zano which suddenly become responsible for opening much more money on many more consumers than originally projected.

Harris also stated that Kickstarter and crowd-funding websites should be much more straight-forward about the risks that backers face; after all, it’s not Kickstarter’s responsibility if a project like Zano ends up tanking.

Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler wasn’t open to much of Harris’s criticisms. He claims that Kickstarter’s rules regarding realistic videos and genuine prototypes are extremely difficult to enforce, and that it is a backer’s responsibility to assess the potential for the creator to successfully create the product.

“If you want 100% success with hardware and new products, I think the only solution is that you just shop on Amazon,” Strickler stated.

 

HTML; You Can Do It Too!

Web page design is an industry that will thrive as long as companies see fit to have an internet presence; and that shows no signs of ending right away. Accordingly, people with creative juices and an interest in tech have found very satisfying jobs in this arena. Think web page design might be for you but don’t know anything about it? Here’s a brief overview of what HTML entails.

Wait… What’s HTML? It stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. Web page designers use HTML to instruct web browsers on how to format all the text and pictures of a web page to the designers’ specifications. HTML tags determine everything from headings, font, and text size to where videos and links are located on the web page. If you’d like to see the HTML tags that determine how this page is formatted, simply right click and choose “view source.” There you’ll see all the HTML tags enclosed within < (less than) signs and > (greater than) signs.

html2Don’t worry if it looks confusing; it’s a little time-consuming to learn all the HTML tags at first, but it’s easy to use once you just know what everything means. If you’re ready to get started, you can open up the application on your machine that possesses the least tools; on Windows this is Notepad and on Macintosh the application is called SimpleText.

To convey that you want to begin the web page, write <html> in the first line. To initiate the heading, then write  <head> in the second line. To initiate the text of the title that will make up the heading, write <title> at the next line. Now you can choose whatever title you want. I’ll choose “Eternal sadnes” and then close the title with the command </title>. Back slashes are used in HTML to end formatting categories. The title all together will now look like:

<title>Eternal Sadness</title>

To end the head, I drop to the next line and write </head>. Now I have my titled heading. Next I’ll start with the body by writing <body>. I drop to the next line and write I am always sad and it makes it hard for happy people to want to be friends with me. Then I close the body using </body>. The whole thing looks like this:

<body>

I am always sad and it makes it hard for happy people to want to be friends with me.

</body>

To wrap things up on this little introductory project, I tell the browser that my formatting is finished by writing </html>.

firstIf you save this file in Notepad or SimplyText, you an open it in your web browser. Find a drop down menu and pick the Open File option. Open that sucker up and see how it looks. Pretty cool, huh? That’s the basics of web design, now all you need to do is go out and educate yourself on what HTML tags are out there and how you can best use them. When you’re ready to make a web page of your own accessible on the internet, you’ll have to pay for a web server to carry it.

The Manhattan District Attorney Calls for Access to Encrypted Data

According to the BBC, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has released a report claiming that law enforcement should have access to encrypted data on smartphones. His report comes as a direct response to Apple and Google, whose iOS and Android operating system automatically encrypt the data used by their operators.

The report claims that “the consequences of these companies’ actions on the public safety are severe.”

franceDebate regarding whether data encryption services should be accessible to the average consumer have been even further fueled by last week’s tragic multi-pronged terrorist attack in France. 129 Parisian citizens were killed and 352 were wounded by three teams of terrorists that staged coordinated attacks at six locations. The planning necessary to carry out these attacks has prompted authorities to claim that increasing their access to the private information of the public would help them to find attackers’ murderous plans before they are carried out.

The U.S. feels intrinsically involved in the issue, as is demonstrated by the statement given by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “The United States and France are not only friends, we are family. And today, the entire world joins our family in the heartbreak yet again.”

“Don’t mistake what these attacks represent,” Kerry continued. “This is not a clash of civilizations. These terrorists have declared war against all civilization… This is an assault not just on France, but coming on the heels of brutal attacks in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere, it is an assault on our collective sense of reason and purpose, an attack on civility itself.”

The egregious attack has caused a ripple of international security concerns all around the world. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a plan for $3 billion in additional funding to be spent on the country’s military forces to fight terrorism, law enforcement has been ramped up considerably in large U.S. cities like New York and Washington D.C., and a variety of international sporting events and music concerts have been cancelled.

So back to Manhattan: recently in a case unrelated to the, attacks in France, Apple refused a court order to unlock data on a smartphone that is part of a criminal case.

encrypt iphoneThe District Attorney of Manhattan then filed his report, claiming that “smartphones are ubiquitous, and there is almost no kind of case in which prosecutors have not used evidence from smartphones… Evidence from smartphones has been used across the country to investigate and prosecute homicides, rapes, assaults, domestic violence, narcotics rings, kidnappings, larcenies, frauds and robberies. ”

Alone with these assertions came a series of case examples and several questions for Apple and Google regarding the technical details of their encryption schemes and their policies of not adhering to requests to decrypt data. Apparently the District Attorney had already asked these questions in other letters but received no response.

The report proposes that smartphones be made subject to search warrants, so law enforcement could force operating system designers to unlock encrypted data held on the device.

System 76 Releases Wild Dog Pro

On October 20th, System 76 announced the release of its latest and greatest desktop, the Wild Dog Pro. Wild Dog has a variety of top-of-the-line customizable configurations for the best possible video editing, media creating, software engineering, and computer-aided designing experience available. The device offers high-end processing capabilities for the most demanding games in circulation and was described as “the absolute latest and greatest in hardware innovation” by Carl Richell (who is, admittedly, the president of System76).

Wild Dog is priced at $769 and comes preinstalled with Ubuntu 15.10 (also known as Wily Werewolf), so buyers can expect a cutting-edge operating system to go along with their top-of-the-line hardware.

The default desktop is set to Unity. Users can install other Linux desktop environments and distributions if they so please. Users can choose between a sixth-generation Intel multicore, a multithreaded Core i5 Skylake processor, or the Intel i7 water-cooled 6700K processor. The chipset is Intel H170 Express.

Wild Dog has a dual-channel DDr4 @ 2133 MHz up to 64 GB. In addition, users can opt into either the Intel HD Graphics 530 or an Nvidia graphics card up to GTX 980 with up to 4 GB.

One of the handier accoutrements of the Wild Dog is its possession of a variety of ports and accessory connectors, including front and rear data ports for both USB 3.0 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-A and USB 3.1 Type-C. The power supply is rated 500W to provide 80 percent or greater power efficiency.

wild dog pro2

Ever trend setting, System76 has become one of the first industry leaders to omit Adobe Flash from its newly remastered software images. The company claims that the absence of Flash is due to some security concerns as well as the fact that Flash is no longer totally necessary for a full internet experience.

The Wild Dog is not designed to be light, small and portable. First and foremost it is meant to be powerful and durable.

“While thin and light computers and all-in-ones are a great fit for some users, they sacrifice performance and storage to achieve their size,” explains Richell. “The wild Dog Pro is designed for creators and engineers that don’t want to make sacrifices. It’s quiet, powerful and beautiful.”

As Richell confirms, the Wild Dog Pro targets engineers, designers and other professionals who appreciate or need high-end technical features and performance.

Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT posits, “There are more of those folks than you might think, especially in technically savvy companies that develop their own Linux-based applications and tools in-house.”

“The Wild Dog Pro units sell at a premium,” he continues, “but System76’s ongoing success suggests that there is a sizable audience for thoughtfully and well-designed Linux-based desktop systems.”

Reviewers also love the Skylake processor, which gives them the opportunity to “completely arm themselves with the power needed to accomplish their tasks with brimming confidence.” (System76 again).

The internet is definitely raving- better get out there and check out Wild Dog for yourself!

Use of data recovery software for recovering your lost file

Data is considered as one of the most valuable asset of the company, the loss of data of any company can hinder the functioning of the company and in addition to this it can also cause a financial loss to the company. With the changing time the methods of keeping the date is also changing; now everything is managed and maintained by the computers and the use of paper has decreased.

With the computers, there is always a chance of technical error due to which one can lose the data, and the loss of data can cause great financial losses to the company. Hence it is advisable to maintain the back up of your data or use data recovery software.  Data recovery software is used for restoring the missing files. There are many recovery software in the market some are absolutely free while the others are payable. In addition to the use of recovery software you can also hire professionals who provide recovery services.

Need for using the recovery software

  • Sometimes a file get deleted due to various reasons such as- improper shut down of computer , power failure, clerical error etc. In this situation the recovery software has its role. The deleted files can be easily recovered with the use of recovery software.
  • Many a times the file gets corrupted or lost due to the attack of malware in such situation recovery software is used to recover the missing files.
  • Every time you cannot recover a file from the recycle bin or through emails, hence when these recovery methods do not work recovery software is needed to recover the file.

Tips regarding the use of recovery software

  • If you hear any tapping, scarping, humming or a slicking sound from the drive, it is advisable not to install the recovery software even if you are going to install the best recovery software. And all you need to do is turn off the computer.
  • There might be the problem in the hard disk of the computer, if the device is spinning up but the motor is not releasing. In this situation you should avoid installing the recovery software
  • It is advisable not to install the recovery software on the drive on which you are trying to recover data, as the software you are installing might overwrite the data you are trying to restore.
  • It is advisable to keep the backup of your data, as the backup ensures the complete recovery of the lost data. And if you do not have any backup of your data you should opt for hiring professionals for the recovery of the data

You can take the help of the professionals for retrieving your data, as they are expert in their job and can recover your data in mush less time. You can find these professionals easily by searching the web. They also provide online services; and for this they will take your computer on the remote access and will easily perform their task.

Data recovery from hard drives and RAID

Data from one’s hard drives and RAID systems can be lost due to number of reasons like malignant viruses, corrupt files or simply when one is unable to open it. This could happen when unknowingly an important system file gets deleted too. Though one often chooses the data backup option in every few days; there are many a time when it is not done on time. That is when data recovery comes into picture. Though data retrieval is difficult but it is definitely possible with help from professionals. Here are a few important points to keep in mind about recovering data from hard drives and RAID systems.

Recovering data from a Hard Drive

Hard drives are used extensively to store data. They are used since many years and many a times loss of data is observed on these. The main points here which can cause loss of data are as follows:

  1. Physical damage: hard drives are prone to mechanical damage If not used properly, the content can be lost immediately. Accidental damage can be through someone who is not aware of it. New people or unknown people can delete the data. Then there can also be spillage on these. They can be destroyed because of water or accidentally stamped by someone. So be very careful and use them accordingly.
  2. There can also be data corruption or reformat of data because of viruses. So be very sure and always use antivirus.

RAID data recovery:

In recent times, the safest option available to store data is RAID. It is considered safest when it comes to data loss. Generally data loss chances are less here as compared to others. They are available in various configurations. The data loss is not common here but if it occurs, recovery is equally time consuming and complicated. The different configurations provide different benefits. They are as follows:

  1. RAID 0: This is the most common types of configuration. But it is not safe as others are. It gives high speed but does not allow one drive to fail.
  2. RAID 1: It is also a popular configuration and allows at least one drive to fail. Its speed is less as compared to RAID 0.
  3. RAID 5 & 6: There speed is pretty good and they also allow at least one drive to fail.
  4. RAID 10 and above: It is expensive type. It allows at least two drives to fail. Provides good speed and safety. If data is lost, then recovery is difficult.

There are multi layered and complex systems too. The recovery here is rather most expensive.

RAID systems are considered one of the safest systems to protect data. It is used widely. But if one loses data through this, it is time consuming and expensive to retrieve it back. One definitely needs an expert as it is not an easy task. There are different types of RAID systems available. Rescuing of data from them is cumbersome. Thus, a professional intervention is always suggestive.

All about Data recovery from Hard Drive

We all store lots of data and information in our computers, laptops, hard drive and flash drives. It may contain all the necessary data about your new business project or some old memories basically in the form of snaps. Losing this data can be very stressful. Imagine if one day all the information in your laptop is gone, then any person can lose his cool. Here comes the process of data recovery. It is a process by which all the lost data can be recovered easily. The loss of data can happen accidentally, or some virus can be the cause or by reformatting your device or by using corrupt files, hard drive failure or even by hacking. Reasons can be many but sometimes it is essential to get back all the data, which can be done conveniently by data recovery process.

How does it work?

Can data recovery process help one to retrieve the lost data? Well, the answer is yes! With the help of data recovery methods, one can certainly get back all the data that is lost. Actually, it depends on the way by which one has lost all the information. There are different data recovery processes and each can be used for specific reason only. There are numerous ways and hence the first step is to ascertain the main cause of data loss. Then only one can further decide on to which process to apply to recover the lost data.

Hard Drive Data Recovery: We all use our hard drives to store information. But sometimes it is found that the files we are trying to open are corrupt. This can happen to anyone as generally hard drives have the major percent of data. Here are some of the reasons of losing data:

  1. The file can be accidentally deleted. This happens when someone who is not known can accidentally delete your important file. One may not be able to locate the file at all. Then it can be recovered easily as many laptops and computers have the back up. The deleted file can be retrieved easily.
  2. The data can be corrupted or it can be affected by viruses. The viruses cause the information to turn unreadable and the person is not able to open the file at all.
  3. The hard drive can also be physically damaged which leads to data loss. This can be due to accidentally dropping it, stepping onto it , if it has been exposed to water. Sometimes another person who is not aware may also tamper with it. These all cause loss of data.

But the good thing is data recovery from hard drive is easy with data recovery gurus. An expert can recover all the data easily. But being cautious and preventing it from damage or virus is very important. Protect your data from all types of viruses or prevent them from corruption as these are the main reasons of data loss. Also be cautious and handle your drives properly. Prevent untoward accidents which can also lead to loss of important data.