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Protecting Yourself in the Cloud

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Things are changing in the world of data storage as more companies and individuals turn to the cloud to store information. From helpdesks who can now help customers globally through cloud computing to an individual who can now share photos with distant relatives using sites like Dropbox, the use of internet-based storage has grown significantly. Yet, recent news reports demonstrate the importance of protecting yourself when you use internet-based storage for both personal and business use.

Password Safety

Recently, news media outlets were full of reports of celebrities whose personal photos were accessed from their iCloud accounts. Apple’s investigation revealed that there had been no breach in their system but due to a targeted attack on “user names, passwords and security questions.” Too often, users choose the same passwords and security questions for all internet sites, making it easy for hackers to gain access. A list of the most obvious passwords show that too many people use easy-to-guess passwords, including “123456,” “password” or “abc123.” Other passwords that security experts recommend against are your name, your children’s name or the name of a pet. They also recommend changing passwords periodically as added protection.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication requires an additional step when you sign into an online account. Some websites send a code via text message that must be entered along with your password, while others require login approvals when you sign in from an unfamiliar computer. Although not all websites offer two-factor authentication, if a site does provide the service, using them can add another layer of protection to your online storage.

Avoid Linking Accounts

Linking accounts, known as daisy-chaining in the computer world, can open you up to hackers as well. Using Facebook, Twitter or Google in order to access other social media sites, such as Pinterest, can allow a hacker access to all of those sites at one time. Before using a social media site to sign into another social media site, consider what a hacker could gain access to if they learned your password to that site. If any compromising photos or bank account information could be accessed, do not link the accounts.

Never Use the Same Password or Secret Question

When setting up accounts, create different passwords for different sites to make it more difficult for a hacker to gain access to everything you store on the cloud. In addition, choose a different secret question and answer whenever possible. If your secret question is always your mother’s maiden name, it would not be difficult for a hacker to access your password even if you do use good password practices.

By following these simple tips, it will be more difficult for hackers to gain access to the information you have stored on the cloud and keep your personal information safe. It is also important to back up all data, both on the cloud and on your computer, on a regular basis to protect from loss should something go wrong. A stolen laptop could result in loss of all photos and documents if it falls into the hands of a talented hacker.

Science:

Rising Technology for Successful Chiropractic Offices

Mixing massage, pressure and spinal adjustments into one treatment plan, chiropractic techniques have been practiced for decades with minimal technology aiding the professional. As more gadgets enter the marketplace every month, innovative chiropractors are seeing the benefits for their practice and loyal patients. From direct to indirect technology, adjusting the spine has become even more precise and relieving.

Not Just X-rays

Whether you’re a stellar athlete or a typical office worker, the body confronts poor posture and repetitive movement each day. Chiropractors used to rely strictly on exams and x-rays for diagnoses, but newer technology makes certain body parts clearer for treatment. Foot scanners depicting posture and weight distribution tells the chiropractor volumes about daily movement. They can adjust the feet and spine for patients to walk taller and straighter. This technology can be used at each appointment to see improvements in real-time.

Merging Care and Social Media

Chiropractic technology isn’t just about treatment equipment, but also includes communication with clientele. Practices readily employing social media stay in patients’ minds to encourage more visits. Professionals can post informational blogs, tweets and updates to better patients’ lives. Just a basic update puts the practice’s name in the person’s mind, making it possible for a new appointment to be scheduled. Even harness new clients as updates are shared or commented on. The virtual world has endless opportunities.

Space Technology for the Medical Profession

One of the main duties for chiropractors is evaluating the spine. Professionals in the past had to manually feel and diagnose a patient based on experience, schooling and talent. Today, chiropractors supplement their training with vertebrae scanners. With a patient lying comfortably on a table, the scanner bounces a signal off vertebrae to have a more precise calculation of necessary adjustments. They can even print a copy of the findings to place in a patient’s chart, making the information concrete for future reference.

More than a Table

Patients are more comfortable than ever with technologically advanced adjustment tables. There’s no need to haul yourself onto the table anymore. Simply stand with your back against the table and it lays you down automatically. Adjustments for the chiropractor are simple as well, moving an arm or head up and down with air-cushioning mechanisms for the most comfortable experience. Some tables even have speakers embedded in the construction for soothing music during the visit.

Advanced Techniques

Technology is also advancing the basic chiropractor visit. Regardless of the available equipment, chiropractors must still adjust a person with their bare hands. Technology revealing new ideas and discoveries about the human body allows professionals to alter and enhance their adjustment practices. A slight change in adjustment angle, for example, could alleviate a pain that was otherwise a chronic issue. Technology brings education and experience together for happy patients.

Let your chiropractor take your body to more comfortable places with advanced tables and adjustment techniques. From basic soothing music to the newest body scanner, practices incorporating today’s technology are seeing better results and more loyal customers treated each day.

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last update: March 4, 2015

Mobile:

5 Industries That Need Mobile Readiness

Now that there are more people in developed countries using mobile devices compared to PC’s, some industries are scrambling for mobile readiness. It’s no longer and option, and thankfully some industries are prioritizing getting mobile in order to best serve their clients and customers. If you’re a business owner, you need to incorporate mobile into your overall responsive design plan immediately.

The good news is that, as a consumer, the experts you depend on might already be a step ahead of you. Whether you’re working with a Munich law firm or a lash technician who comes to you, check out some of the professionals who are on top of mobile readiness. They’ll make your life a lot easier.

1. Financial institutions

Most of the major ones have an app, and all are committed to making your mobile browsing experience a positive one. Security is key, of course, for financial institutions which means they feature the best protection. Thankfully you don’t have to wait for banks to catch up with a mobile ready world.

2. Lawyers

A great lawyer is at his client’s beck and call any time of day or night. This means making it easy to reach them (sometimes a phone call just isn’t possible). Easy to navigate sites that make connecting electronically fast and easy is a must. When time is of the essence, mobile readiness needs to be in check.

3. Restaurants

Owning a restaurant is a huge investment and risk, plus you have plenty of competition. People are searching for great food as cravings strike, and if a restaurant’s website isn’t mobile ready, customers will move on to the competition. A menu, contact information and hours that’s accessible is a requirement.

4. The hospitality industry

As more people are using smartphones to plan vacations, this means they’ll likely make a hotel choice based on convenience. Yes, star ratings and reviews are still important, but so is the ability to simply peruse room options and make a reservation on the go.

5. Service providers

Whether it’s a plumber, a masseur, a salon or an appliance inspector, don’t forget about the customer in customer service. Service providers also face a lot of competition, and many of them are freelancers or small business owners. Knowing your clients are using mobile devices to find and reach you means you need to deliver.

The reality is that every industry needs mobile readiness. However, some are facing more pressure than others.

 

4 Benefits of Going Into the Cloud

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Cloud technology can make your personal and professional life easier, better and more cost effective. Why haven’t more people fully embraced the cloud? There are still businesses using old school hard copies and filing cabinets, homeowners with paper documents spilling out of home offices, and a bunch of Americans who have embraced mobile readiness but are still wary of cloud tech. There are a lot of misconceptions that need to be addressed.

For every savvy business that’s gone paperless, there are countless more behind the times. Cloud technology is much more secure and safer than any traditional method the average businessperson or homeowner could achieve on their own. It’s not perfect, but neither is your old school filing system that’s vulnerable to natural disasters, burglars and fires. Here are the major benefits of cloud tech and why you should get on board today.

1. It’s eco-friendly

What’s eco-friendly about having multiple hard copies, tossing used ink cartridges instead of properly recycling them (which is admittedly a pain), or taking up a bunch of space and resources just to have papers sit and collect dust? Cloud tech is green.

2. It saves you money

It costs money to maintain a printer, buy paper and ink, pay the bills that keep the whole system running, and you’re paying for every square footage of space that filing cabinets are sitting on. How much you can save depends on how much you’re currently spending on printing costs.

3. It allows for flexibility

Why be chained to a physical location? With cloud tech, you and your employees can take care of 99 percent of business from anywhere in the world. You can control who has access to what files, what they can do with them (share, edit, just view, download, etc.) and suddenly a virtual environment is born. Offering telecommuting options is also known to improve employee happiness and productivity, as well as reel in the best new candidates.

4. It’s what peers and customers will come to expect

What happens when that big new client simply wants you to share, via the cloud, a contract? You’re going to look unprofessional when you have to say “you don’t do that.” Cloud tech is the future, and it’s happening now. Not getting on board will highlight ineptness.

There are many free cloud tech options that work well for the average person and small business. What’s your excuse?

 

Lifestyle:

Buying and Selling Real Estate Just Got Easier

Technology has changed the way the world does business and the real estate industry is no exception. It is intricately involved in the way people look for homes or commercial property as well as the way people sell their property. Real estate agents also reap the benefits of the impact of technology on the real estate business.

The Buyer and the Seller

Many property listings are done online. Home listing companies have sites where potential buyers can search for the house of their dreams in the location they want. They get access to thousands of homes in the market within a few minutes. For example, a Realtor in Oregon can get information about a home for sale in Texas in a few minutes. In the past, it would have taken several days to get the information, and the information would not have been as thorough as it is online. Because the buyer will get his or her first impression of a home online, it is essential that the website be attractive, up-to-date and provides complete data about the property. When people can get so much information online, there is less chance that agents will put undue pressure on buyers and possibly force them into buying property that they don’t really want.

Most buyers will look online before they make the decision to visit a house in person. Technology benefits sellers in the same way. Their property has a much wider viewership. Salespeople no longer need to put in long hours taking potential buyers to house after house. This reduces labor costs.

The Real Estate Agent

Real estate digital signage has had a huge impact on the real estate business. It allows legal contracts and other documents to be signed without the parties being physically together. Digital signage means more images, videos and less text. Printing costs are greatly reduced, which, in turn, reduces operating costs. This will eventually cancel out the cost of investing in digital signage technology. Buyers will see high resolution photos and high definition videos and may be able to have a virtual tour of the building.

Agents need to figure out the costs involved in buying and selling real estate. Buyers want to know that the final costs will be and sellers want to know what their property is worth. Today, online mortgage calculators give this information quickly. This is a great advantage, because the buyer may change his or her mind by the time they get the information, if getting the numbers takes days.

Technology has made the real estate industry more efficient and able to organize and handle large amounts of data. In the past, the agent had the multiple listing book and the consumer didn’t get a look at it. Today, it’s the opposite. The consumer has unlimited access to the whole market. In the end, this benefits both the agents and the buyers and sellers. Agents need to retrain themselves to take advantage of this. It gives more privacy to the consumer and they are more in control of the whole process.

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Gadgets:

Gadgets for the DIYer

Advancements in technology are not merely restricted to the world of electronics. Some of the latest gadgets on the market are tools and products that function as upgrades for home, work or play. Complete chores or DIY projects in less time, keep a work site neater, or enjoy the outdoors without fear of wildlife destroying food supplies.

CORE Power Motors

Printed Circuit Boards have helped power electronic devices for decades. However, the CORE company recently converted the conventional brain technology into the power source for a series of motors. The environmentally-friendly motor contains a multi-layered, circular PCB between two circular magnets. The electricity that powers the device comes from a lithium polymer battery and 10 layers of copper. The 1.5 hp device is only one component of the Power Lok yard-tool series. The system also features an interchangeable blower head, a hedge-trimmer and a string-trimmer. Using the same technology, the company has also designed motors offering up to 4,000 hp of power.

Black & Decker Matrix

Most home improvement projects require a drill, a sander and a saw. The famous tool company engineers manufactured the Matrix that provides DIYers with the convenience of one power source and multiple interchangeable tool heads. Choose from equipping your workspace with any or all six tool options that include a drill, impact driver, jigsaw and oscillating device. The unit comes with a powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery that operates each tool at variable speeds with a simple pull of the trigger.

Tidy Drills

When needing a drill to create holes in brick or concrete, rotary hammer/drills provide the power needed. Now, some brands come with handy snap-on HEPA vacuums that trap the dust and make clean-up a breeze. Harmful dust travels through the nozzle and aluminum tubing into a well-designed canister. Some of the drills on the market featuring the innovative attachment include the Makita LXRH011, the Milwaukee M12 HammerVac 2306-22 and the DeWalt DC233KLDH. The cordless drills are powered by battery-packs ranging from 12 to 36 volts.

Sturdiest Coolers

Camping and hunting enthusiasts who spend a great deal of time in bear country may be interested in the latest innovation in coolers that are guaranteed to be animal proof. Popular mechanics technicians put a number of containers through a variety of tests, including subjecting the devices to the wiles of a 450 pound grizzly bear named Ondar. Of the different brands tested, the Pelican Progear surpassed the others in a number of categories. When filled with ice, the cooler achieved 38 degrees Fahrenheit in less than five hours.

The unit stood up to the test and showed little sign of wear after being dropped in a 40-foot water-filled ravine. The true test of durability came when filled with ice cream sandwiches, marshmallows and spilled maple syrup. The trainer cued the bear to offer his opinion. Equipped with specially designed press-and-pull latches, Ondar walked away defeated in less than 15 minutes and was not able to claim a tasty reward. The cooler also did not appear worse for the experience.

Science:

5 Ways to Reduce Headaches Triggered by Digital Screens

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Sometimes our technology can do more harm than good. Those who suffer from chronic migraines can sometimes suffer when a headache is triggered by the bright lights of computer, TV, or mobile device screens. But since we must regularly interact with these technologies in our personal and professional lives, it can seem impossible to escape screen-time. Here are four steps you can take to alleviate tech-induced migraines.

Dim Brightness

A majority of devices now come with brightness adjusters so that you can dim the glow let off by a digital screen. Sometimes harsh lights can trigger painful headaches. Learn how to customize the brightness controls on all of your devices, so that you can control these settings with ease.

Invert Colors

This unique setting allows you invert the colors displayed on your computer or mobile device screens. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re reading long documents with black text on white backgrounds. Inverting the colors allows you to read white text on black backgrounds instead, which might reduce the amount of strain on your eyes. The invert colors option can usually be found in the accessibility settings of various operating systems.

Antiglare

Sometimes lights in your vicinity can reflect off of your computer monitor. These painfully bright lights might trigger eye strain or headaches. Invest in an antiglare screen cover to avoid these hassles. Antiglare products and also reduce the amount of glare you experience while using a laptop outdoors.

Don’t Use Screens while in Motion

Many people can develop a headache due to motion sickness, especially if they use mobile devices while riding in a vehicle. Using your cellphone in a bus or in the passenger seat of a car might seem like a tempting way to pass the time during a long commute. However, your eyes can become strained while trying to focus on text during a ride.

Naturopathic Medicine

Headaches can often be relieved by natural treatments. Processes such as biopuncture can help reduce the amount of tension in your body. As your muscle release and relax, you can experience a reduction in headaches.

Tension headaches and migraines caused by technology use can become debilitating, preventing you from finding comfort at home or at the office. Headaches can be caused by straining your neck or eyes while using technology. Treat these issues by calibrating the settings on your screen and experiment with all-natural care.

 

Lifestyle:

Don’t Be Misled About Proper Tire Inflation

At the turn of the 21st century, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of nearly 12,000 vehicles to check the status of their tire inflation. The study revealed that almost 40 percent of the vehicles tested had at least one if not more of their tires underinflated by as much as 20 percent.

Furthermore, nearly 30 percent of the tested vehicles were operating with tires under-inflated by 25 percent or more. But the figure showing on the tire only reflects the maximum pressure the tire should reach, not the recommended pressure to which it should be inflated.

Busting the myth of recommended tire pressure

Why is this an issue? It all stems from the Firestone recall of 6.5 million tires after a series of accidents occurred as the result of poor tire construction. The “smoking gun” to blame for the tire failure leading to the rash of accidents was low tire pressure.

According to Best Tire Review, the pressure stamped on the tire sidewall shouldn’t be the actual pressure in the tire.

The effects of friction on tire pressure dynamics

As you drive your car, the movement of the tire on the road creates friction. Friction generates heat. Heat causes the tire pressure to increase.

If the interior tire pressure is filled to its maximum before this reaction occurs, it’s easy to see the potential for a tire to exceed its recommended maximum pressure. This makes for an unyielding ride, where the bumps in the road are more jarring on passengers and the vehicle suspension.

It reduces the footprint of contact on the road that causes uneven wear toward the center of the tire. Don’t let the sensation of steering response and cornering stability give you the false impression that overinflation is safer. Your tires will be more susceptible to puncture or blow-out while you’re driving.

The hidden dangers of under-inflated tires

There really is a bit of the Goldilocks scenario about determining the correct tire pressure. If they have too much pressure, they don’t grip; too low, and they can fail.

Low pressure absorbs more of the impact on the road. This can create improper flexing of the side wall and reduce roll resistance, not to mention the excess wear and tear on suspension. The effect can be overheating of the tire, which can lead to tire separation or blow-out.

Tire pressure monitoring

Vehicles that are 2008 models or newer will have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in. This is the result of the TREAD Act enacted by Congress in 2000 as a result of the failures.

The system performs by sensing the tire pressure either directly or indirectly, which means the warning light on the dashboard either indicates the actual pressure or simply reports a potential underinflation of any one of the four operating tires.

As helpful as this system may be, it can still lull drivers into a false sense of security, and encourage them to fail to check the pressure in a timely fashion. Nothing beats having a reliable tire pressure gauge that may be used to check on the true tire pressure reading while the vehicle is cool.

This is when it should be at the recommended pressure, which is typically found on the inside of the driver’s door, glove box, or owner’s manual.

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