8 bad XHTML/CSS Coding practices affecting your Online Business

There are several coding practices to take care of while writing xhtml and css code. Failure to follow any one of it can lead to bad user experience and website owner can  lose potential customers. In this article we are going to discuss the points which must be followed by html/css coder.

1. Unavailable or Unaccessible website

If you want to target a large amount of audience irrespective of its location, then you must be aware about the count and behavior of Internet population. As on March 31 2011, it counted to 6,930,055,154 as per Internet World Stats. What do you think that all of these are coming from a single place and using a single browser? The Internet population is scattered all around the globe and currently Asia Continent has the largest share in this online population.

Displaying the Internet users Statistics (Source: Internet World Stats)

One can reach at following observations easily after going through above statistics. The Internet population is coming

  • from different locations,
  • at different time zones,
  • using different browsers,
  • with different types of machines like Desktop, Laptop, Netbook, Tablets, Smart TVs, Game Consoles, Smartphones,  Mid-range Mobile Handsets etc.
  • at different types of operating systems such as Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Ubuntu, Solaris, Debian, Android, Symbian, iOS etc., and
  • with different Internet connection speeds.

Based on the above listed points, your website must be:

1. accessible from all over the world,

2. online at all the time,

3. browser and operating system compatible,

4. tested on all possible devices and

5.  fast loading .

If your Website does not target any of the above points then it surely losing potential online business opportunities. To ensure this: HTML coder must test the website on different browsers, operating system and on all possible devices.  HTML/CSS code should be fast loading.

2. No Cross Browser Compatibility

Open-source has provided a great extension to software and especially, browser development. The companies are free take advantages of an open-source code and create a browser on it. Let us take the example of WebKit open-source project as it empowers more than 30 browsers (including mobile browsers as well). This subsequently has leveraged us to install any number of Web browsers in our computer systems and other machines. Therefore, each Internet user has leverage to surf the Web from any browser.

There are numerous Desktop browsers are available, however, the major players are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, and so on. Here is the usage statistics for the year 2013.

Year 2013 Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Opera
March 13.0 % 28.5 % 51.7 % 4.1 % 1.8 %
February 13.5 % 29.6 % 50.0 % 4.1 % 1.8 %
January 14.3 % 0.2 % 48.4 % 4.2 % 1.9 %

Browser Usage statistics in 2013 (Source: W3C Browser Stats)

All the above major browsers are built with different framework, coding, practices and guidelines. Thus, their way of working is quite different from each other. It makes the Websites to appear and load different in each browser.

In addition, each browser has its subsequent releases to reach at an advanced stage today. With each release, the installation requirements for a browser changes and not everyone can meet continuously changing installation requirements for the latest or upcoming release of his/her favorite browser. This makes an Internet public to stick with that browser release which they’ve preferred in the past.

The feature of a Website to appear as-it-is in different or above major browsers is termed as Cross Browser Compatibility. If your Website is not cross-browser compatible and looks scattered in different browsers or its versions, then the visitors will close it instantly. This will increase the bounce rates and decrease the chances of order generation.

Its mandatory for html/css coder to test your Website in above major Web browsers. You can also make use of following tools to check the Cross Browser Compatibility of your Website:

3. Does not open similar or different Platforms

As discussed above, the Internet population is making use of different devices to be online and visit Websites. Even if you take the computer category then there are different types of operating systems. The major desktop & laptop Operating Systems are Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Let us have a look on their usage statistics.

2013 Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista NT* Windows XP Linux Macintosh Mobile OS
March 6.7% 55.9% 2.4% 0.4% 17.6% 4.7% 9.5% 2.3%
February 5.7% 55.3% 2.4% 0.4% 19.1% 4.8% 9.6% 2.2%
January 4.8% 55.3% 2.6% 0.5% 19.9% 4.8% 9.3% 2.2%

Operating System Usage Statistics by Internet population (Source: W3C OS Platform Statistics)

The continuous inception of Web browsers and the Web add-ons (like Adobe Flash, Java Applets, JavaScript, Microsoft Silverlight and others) have let a large chunk of internet population to either use outdated browsers even on latest Operating Systems or have latest browsers on outdated OSs. For example, one cannot have Internet Explorer 9 on Windows XP Machine but can install latest browsers (Mozilla Firefox 6, Google Chrome 14, Apple Safari 5 and Opera 11.5) or outdated browsers (Firefox 3.3, Safari 3).

It’s necessary for HTML coders to test the website on different browsers. The tools we mentioned to test cross browser compatibility can also be used to test website on different Operating system.

Let us take another example where one have tested its Website on all browsers at Windows but not focused on Macintosh and Linux. If a user or a community browses that Website in a non-Windows platform like Mac then we’re sure the Website look scattered until & unless it has been optimized for Mac.

Therefore, we advise you to make your Website appear as-it-is at different Operating Systems.

No Options to Increase the Loading Speed of Website

Not only the Internet populations employ different browsers and operating systems but they also surf the Web at different connection speeds. Please have a look on the following image showing average Internet connection speeds worldwide.

Displaying Average Connection Speeds of Internet Users across the globe (Source: Pingdom Blog Post)

After seeing above image, you’ve a clear idea of different Internet connection speeds in use around the globe. If you’ve not optimized your Website as per Page Loading Optimization standards then it will load extremely slowly at more than different speeds.

Before having an idea about the average time spent by an online user on a Website, you must know how much options he/she have when he visits a Website directly or through search engines. Consider following two factors for more information.

  • As per WorldWideWeb Size, currently there are 9.6 billion pages indexed Web pages as on April 10, 2013.
  • If you search for any keyword on any major search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, or Blekko then it will return million of results within few seconds. For example, searching for ‘PSD to HTML’ on Google.com return about 80,100,000 results (0.33 seconds) as on April 10, 2013.

After combining both of the above factors, today an average Internet user have thousands of options, irrespective of his/her connection speed, to look for a particular piece of information. Therefore, a user wants to stay only for few seconds on a Web page just to have a glimpse for targeted information. If your Web page or site loads up in minutes then who will stay at it? The increased Page Loading Time of a Website directly results in to maximum bounce rates or loss in visitors’ traffic. This in turn reduces the expected amount of money generation from a Website.

Therefore, you should optimize your Website and make it lightweight to load instantly on users’ machine irrespective of Internet connection speed. One cannot visit all the geographical locations and test the Websites at different speeds; but one can make use some guidelines and standards to optimize the Page Loading Speed of a Website. You can follow the Yahoo YSlow Rules and Google Page Speed Standards in order to have faster loading times for your Website. We also suggest you to make use of following tools to test the Page Loading Speed of a Web page or site and know the suggestions how to improve it:

Does not work without JavaScript?

JavaScript has played a great in adding the automation or dynamism in the Websites. It has not only saved the time of programmers but also lets the browsers to open and surf the Websites faster. Nowadays, whether it is a simple Website or has some special effects everyone make use of JavaScript. Numerous applications are made or supposed to be launched on the base of JavaScript.

Few famous JS applications are jQuery, Facebook Plugins, Google JS API, Adobe Active Content, Yahoo Active Content and others. As per BuiltWith.com Trends for JavaScript, 728,540 out of Top-visited One Million Websites employ JavaScript to add any application or facility for the users.

On the contrary, there is also good amount of users or browsers having JavaScript turned off and most of them are listed herein below,

  • Screen readers for disabled people
  • Accessible browsers for blind people
  • Mobile Web browsers
  • Out-dated browsers
  • Search Engine Robots like GoogleBot, BingBot, AskJeeves, ScoutJet and so on
  • Command-line browsers & simulators like Lynx, Xenu, GSiteCrawler
  • Server Administrator CUI browsers without any graphical interface

Let us have a look on the studies carried out in the last year 2010 to have an idea about the number of Internet users with disabled JavaScript.

  • In December 2010 WebAIM.org has conducted a survey to know the Website Accessibility through Screen Readers. It has reported that 1.6% of total respondents have JavaScript disabled while browsing the Web.
  • According to Punkchip.com, “If you take The Guardian as an example, the current average visitors per day is around 2,200,000. 1.3% of that is 28,600 users browsing without Javascript. Per day.”
  • In addition, Yahoo has conducted a research to have an idea of JavaScript Enabled and Disabled users of its Yahoo Sites in October 2010. Following figure shows a list of JavaScript disabled users categorized on the basis of their locations:

Statistics of JavaScript Disabled Users of Yahoo Sites in October 2010 (Source: Yahoo Developer Blog Post)

From the above points, we just want to iterate that JavaScript disabled users still exists even if they are small in numbers. It is not a big fight to make a Website work even if the JavaScript is turned off. However, few JavaScript applications may not work. We suggest you to test your Website at least in one or two browsers after turning of the JavaScript.

No Compatibility with Different Screen Resolutions

The days were gone when a Website used to have a logo, “Best Viewed in 800×600 pixels resolution”. Today, the Internet users around the globe have different types of machines and monitors. In addition, a latest monitor or display unit allows selecting any resolution from its settings. Let us have a look on screen resolutions statistics of the Internet population.

Screen Resolutions

Percentage of Users in Jan 2011

640×480

0%

800×600

0%

1024×768

14%

1152×864

1.50%

1280×1024

14.80%

1280×800

14.40%

1360×768

1.30%

1366×768

10.10%

1440×900

9.90%

1600×900

2.50%

1680×1050

9.20%

1920×1080

6.20%

1920×1200

4.50%

Other high resolutions

10.70%

Different Screen Resolutions in usage as in January 2011 (Source: W3C Browser Display Statistics)

If you are coding a Website to work only one or two screen resolutions available in your team then it will not open adequately in other screen resolutions. In nutshell, the Website is losing a large amount of Internet users having higher or lower screen resolutions than your preferred one. Therefore, we suggest you to have a pixel-perfect code & design of your Website, which opens as-it-is at all screen resolutions. You can make use of following tools to test your Website at different resolutions:

Invalid Code

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has laid down the standards for coding in Markup and CSS languages. If you are just coding without following the standards then it may cause a problem. You can test your code and get it validated at W3C Markup Validation and W3C CSS Validator. These validation services also show the suggestions to improve your existing code. You can improve it as per requirements and have a proof of code genuineness. Do not forget:

  • Even if the major browsers do not consider the W3C validation process, still it provides you the industry-standard code helping to perform cross-browser compatibility in less timing.
  • Major search engines may not give more ranking to the W3C-validated code; still W3C Validation process helps you to have search-engine friendly code.
  • Search Engine gives points to validated code when your Website has higher competition for top positions in rankings.

Inaccessible by disabled

More than 20 countries have made it a law that a Website should be accessible by disabled people. The most common conventions of making a Website accessible are governed by W3C WCAG Guidelines – Version 1 and Version 2. In addition, Government of United States has also passed the Section 508 instructing all US-based sites to be accessible by disabled. If you do not care about these guidelines and Accessibility law in your country there is no worry, just be ready to lose potential visitors and have a loophole for not following the law.

If you want to follow the Website Accessibility law in your country or WCAG guidelines to have the attention or business from disabled Internet users then you should make the Website accessible. You can make use of following tools to test your Website for Accessibility Guidelines and have suggestions to improve it:

Conclusion

Nowadays, most of the Webmasters checks above points before launching their Websites into public domain. You can also follow above parameters to have expected online business from your site. We invite our readers to pass on their valuable comments about this article and mistakes to avoid while coding a Website.

 

About the guest author: Ajeet Yadav is associated with WPIntegration offering services like PSD to WordPress theme conversion , WordPress Integration and other wordpress theme design services.(Its a specialized division of Ipraxa – A web design and development company). Follow us on Google+ , for updates on WordPress conversion and Integration service.

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Endpoint Encryption: Your Data Lifesaver

On March 7, 2013, a government watchdog organization reported the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has been sending sensitive information ­— including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and health information of patients — over unencrypted networks to health care providers, advocates and other individuals. Because the data was not encrypted, it was vulnerable to theft or tampering.

While the VA does not believe there has been a recent security breach (although they have occurred in the past), the VA Inspector General’s report brings to the forefront an important issue for anyone concerned about Internet security: the need for endpoint encryption. Even one instance of unauthorized access to a VA-owned computer or device, or a mistake in a recipient’s email address, could have compromised sensitive data and cost the VA millions of dollars in corrective and punitive actions.

Endpoint Encryption: Not Just Computers

IT security experts have helped their teams understand why data encryption is important for years. It’s not simply a matter of encoding data during transit or while it’s in storage, though. With the proliferation of devices in the typical business environment, including computers, tablets, phones, USB storage devices and more, it’s important that data encryption occurs at every endpoint. There’s no sense in encrypting data on a main server, for example, if it’s not going to be protected when shared via smartphone. In some cases, encrypting endpoints may even be law.

Compliance Issues

The VA’s failure to encrypt data sent over its networks is no small issue. In fact, the regulations set forth by the Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which place strict protections on consumer health data, specifically require healthcare providers, insurance companies and any organization dealing with personal health-related data to encrypt their networks and endpoints. In the event of a data breach, an organization’s failure to provide adequate endpoint protection is grounds for fines and other disciplinary action.

Endpoint encryption compliance issues aren’t limited to the healthcare industry, though. In fact, any business that handles private customer information, meaning everything from names and addresses to financial data, is required to maintain adequate security measures to protect that information, including encryption of electronic data. If there is a data breach, the organization bears the burden of proof to show data was properly secured. With proper encryption in place, the organization remains in compliance with the law and is at least partially protected from the potentially devastating consequences of announcing a security breach.

Endpoint Encryption Best Practices

Ensuring your data remains secure and your organization stays compliant with industry and government regulations requires a solid strategy and state-of-the-art tools. Your data is vulnerable not only to criminals, but well-meaning individuals who may unknowingly risk your data by using their own unprotected devices for work or failing to adhere to security protocols.

At minimum, your endpoint data protection strategy should include:

  • A centrally managed and integrated endpoint solution. Users are accessing your network from a variety of devices, and your encryption solution needs to offer FFE, FDE and RME encryption to protect them all. You also need to manage and control if or how each endpoint accesses the central data system. This fine-tuned level of control allows you to accept or deny an endpoint trying to access the system, designate certain devices to operate in “read-only” mode, designate certain storage devices as usable or unusable and more. The system should also allow the capability to remotely lock or destroy any encrypted device, file or folder that is compromised.
  • Secure key management. Encrypted data is only as good as the key used to secure it. Avoid encryption solutions that require storage of the key on a USB device, in an online escrow service or via paper trail, all of which leave the key vulnerable. Choose a service that secures the encryption key in a transparent online escrow service with access limited to those with administrator privileges, using one protected workstation.
  • Pre-boot authentication. Not only should endpoint protection require users to enter a password before accessing encrypted data, the solution should also update in real time, denying or allowing access based on the most current security protocols.

Protecting Your Data Means Protecting Your Business

No one wants to tell their clients or customers their personal data may have fallen into the hands of a criminal. While the Department of Veteran’s Affairs may be embarrassed by the revelation they haven’t been properly protecting data, it’s better the encryption problem was discovered before a data break occurred. Consider your organization’s data protection plan and employ endpoint encryption for an extra layer of security.

 

About the guest author: Malcolm Eubanks is a freelance IT consultant and entrepreneur who works with some of the biggest names in IT security, including Trend Micro. He also enjoys blogging about new developments in IT when his schedule permits. You can follow him on Google Plus here.

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How to Create a Photo Book for Your New Business Launch in 2013

We are off celebrations and it’s time to embrace the goals we have set for the New Year. Many of us made several resolutions for this year; some are determined to stare clear of their past mistakes and make 2013 a better year while for others, it’s time to take action and launch a business. Whichever group you belong, there is no better time to start pursuing your dreams than the first month of the New Year. Now you are about launching a business, and think you have planned everything. But let me ask this, have you created a photo book for the launch?

Why a photo book, you may ask? It’s simple, if you want to showcase your products in an enticing manner, with such descriptions that can get a potential customer transfixed and want to own the item; a photo book is a must for your launch. Perhaps you haven’t created a photo book before, but if you want to see your business to great heights and make the most of this year, you need to leave no stone unturned. You may have seen a personalized photo book album before, but may never know how much value it can add to your business.

That said, here, I want to show you how you can create a matching photo book for your new business launch this New Year.

Start With a Sketch
Sketch out what you’d like the photos to look like. This should be your starting point because taking shots off your products without a pre-determined style or pattern you’d like to show customers may lead to a wasted labor. Hence it is important that you take the time to sketch out a map to follow for your photo book which will guide you towards getting exactly what you want the photos to look like. You don’t have to be an artist to make a nice sketch. It is a draft you will use, so just make something that suits you best.

Take a Few Practice Shots
Now it’s time for the actual thing. Get your camera, and with the guidance of the sketch you created in step one, take a few practice shots. This will help you understand how to adjust the camera to better capture whatever view of the product you want, how to zoom in and zoom out, etc. The idea of this step is to make sure you don’t waste your time adjusting cameras or trying to find the best settings while taking the actual shots.

Take Many Shots off a View
If you are using a digital camera, which I advice you use for obvious reasons, you understand that with a good memory card, you don’t have to worry about storage space and stuff like that. You can actually take as many shots as you would like off a view of each product. Remember you will be using these pictures to promote your business, so it is necessary you choose the ones to use carefully. Personally, I like taking a minimum of two shots off each view, and as you may never expect, I have come to find that there may still be slight differences between the shots and thus helping me choose the best.

Print Your Photos
Once you are done taking the shots and are satisfied with the views you took, it’s time to print them out. First you will need to:

  • Upload the photos from your digital camera to your computer. Most digital cameras come with a USB cable with which you can easily connect them to a computer for file exchange. So you won’t have a hard time with this.
  • Select the shots to use. Go through the photos and select the ones that will be part of your photo book. The computer should aid you in viewing and comparing these photos.
  • Print your photos. You may have to purchase the right paper and get the right printer for this purpose. There are different paper qualities out there, but since it’s your first time, at least as we are assuming, you may want to make a decision that will both match your budget and the use. On the other hand, you can also send your photos to a printing center with some instructions on the quality you need. From experience, I’ve found that full color shots work best in creating the ‘wow’ factor that will make the product look amazing to potential clients.

Put the Photo Book Together
Again, if you don’t have this skill, or perhaps you are doing it for the first time, I will advice you delegate it to professionals. You can also use one of the best online photo book creation tools that will allow you to choose the best theme for your book, provide you the tools to custom create one, organize your images and descriptions in the way you want and choose the quality of the final product you will get. Whichever option you choose, make sure you are getting something that will help in achieving a successful new business launch.

So, this is pretty much it. Does it sound like something that requires a huge financial and time budget? Not at all; the last photo book I created took just 48 hours without leaving a big hole in my wallet. I am certain you can create a perfect photo book before the day of your new business launch. It’s a new year, and a new business of yours is getting born, think big!

 

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Online Backup: Insight for a Layman

Since the computer systems became central to most of our activities, such as utilities, businesses and security, saving data from theft and damage has been of utmost priority. Viruses, malfunctions, hacking and calamities present grave danger to important data and they have repeatedly materialized, causing losses worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Whether you run a business highly dependent on computer system, or you have family pictures and videos dear to you; worrying for their safety would not be a bad thing.

Backup Evolution

The first instances of backup tools were brought about by development of magnetic tapes other such devices, such as floppy disks. These devices posed large problems, either they were able to store very little data, or they stored large amounts of data that was mostly suited for large businesses. The evolution in technology then brought about improvements in magnetic and digital means of storage devices, such as optical drives, DVDs and USBs.

These newer devices presented an easier and cost effective solution to saving your data. They are cheap to acquire, easy to secure and easy to utilize. However, even these innovations are not risk free. You can easily misplace or lose your USB device, you can damage your DVD and sometimes, your device can be damaged by unintended exposures to heat, light, etc. Then there are data servers that you can witness being utilized in universities, a centralized node for securing information with all kinds of software such as anti-viruses, anti-spyware, anti-malware and additional protections.

A New Horizon

The next change in the chain of evolution of backup tools has already arrived. It is online backup of data. Through this medium, you can transfer your information over secured and encrypted internet connection to an online location. There the data rests securely on larger and more secure servers; these can be thousands of servers where bits of data are stored more securely among them. These servers are ever more secure from every risk perspective. The data cannot be stolen easily because these servers are protected by state of the art software; data cannot be lost easily because these servers maintain their own backups and data cannot be easily damaged due to catastrophes because these servers are often located in most secure environments.

Cloud backup is a refined form of online backup. Here the data is stored on servers in bits and bytes on various facilities around the globe; hence providing an additional security blanket. Efficient database structure helps retrieve your files quickly from such servers.

Some Advice about Online Backup

Many websites and companies are offering their services to help you backup your information online; there are many notable ones, such as Norton and many out there that are not renowned. You must choose carefully from among them should not always weight a site based on low cost being charged. It would do well if you performed some research on the ways a particular website is willing to protect you. Some websites may even offer an insurance cover for your data.


About the guest author: The article is written by Gloria. She likes to share the importance of online file storage.

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Taking Care of Digital Data from Computer Virus Invasion

We live in a world of advanced technology where it’s literally impossible to stay 100% clear of electronic threats. Nevertheless, we can still protect our digital data and it’s critical to abide by the rules if you want to stay safe online and prevent intruders from getting into your system. If you want to protect your privacy, your data, your computer and personal information from viruses, check out these useful guidelines you are advised to implement.

Installing an efficient anti-virus program

Viruses and various other malevolent codes keep attacking your computer through diverse ways, and they can irreparably damage your operating system. A virus can destroy all the data that you have stored, decrease your computer’s performance, and produce several other destructions; thus. it is absolutely essential to install a qualitative anti-virus program.

Efficient anti-virus programs comprise of various features like anti-spyware, firewall, anti-worm, anti-spam, heuristic detection engine, Trojan remover, and numerous other advanced facilities that will keep your computer safe. Additionally, a good anti-virus program should scan all files downloaded, e-mail attachments and scan disks, and detect any malicious programs.

Moreover, instead of installing several virus removal tools, you should opt for a fine program that can deal with diverse types of viruses. This is also important because if you install numerous anti-virus programs in your PC, you may decrease its performance, and this is unnecessary since you can solve all problems with only one qualitative program. And, if you need extra protection, you can install an independent anti-spyware to protect your data from threatening spyware that might harm your data. .

Upgrade the anti-virus definition on a regular basis

One of the main benefits of a qualitative anti-virus program consists of its virus definition database, and it is extremely significant for it to feature an AV, in order to clean your system successfully. New types of dangerous viruses appear all the time; therefore, it is essential to have an anti-virus program that can be updated accordingly to the latest versions and remove even the newest viruses.

An anti-virus program that holds a wide range of virus signatures, both new and old versions, will be powerful enough to assure your PC with the necessary amount of protection. It will inspect regularly all the files, scan any findings, and when the virus scan is complete, the antivirus scanner will show a windows with all the infested files existent on the hard drive. Then, you have to click on each name at a time, and select the “Quarantine” or the “Remove” option; the anti-virus software will remove all viruses from your PC and you can be rest-assured that your data is secure. After the operation is complete, you need to restart your PC and run your anti-virus program again to remove residual files that might have been forgotten the first time.

Scan your computer entirely, including all the removable storage media

After you have installed and upgraded an anti-virus program, it is recommendable to let it scan the hard disk, as well as the removable medias. This should take approximately half an hour, or more, depending of the size of the files and their type.

You need to allow the program to perform a “Full system” scan, and you must not open any files during this procedure. There are numerous computers viruses that take the form of an executable file, and they will activate automatically when you click on the application.

Also, active viruses might attempt to reject the efforts of your anti-virus program, or even disable the program, and in these cases the scan may take a few hours until its completion’ therefore, you will need to be patient.

What can we do with a virus that cannot be removed?

When the anti-virus program detects a virus, it will either delete or quarantine it, and if a file is infected, it will heal it. However, you may come across a more complex type of virus that cannot be eliminated, healed or quarantined. In this situation, it is recommended to restart your computer in safe mode, and scan it again, as the program may be able to delete the virus then.

Nevertheless, if your PC keeps getting infected on a regular basis, with exactly the same type of viruses, you ought to do some research on that specific type of worm. For example, the McAfee Virus Information features a broad database that includes countless types of computer viruses, and once you type the name of your virus, it will offer you further information about it, and it will provide suggestions on how to maintain your PC safe.

 

About the guest author: Davis Miller has joined the team of 247 Support experts 3 years back. And now he is one of the experienced and talented people of the expert team. They provide support for every kind of computer related issue and solve them in minutes.

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The Cloud-Based Business Model: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

The cloud is one of the most popular parts of today’s online business world. This involves the use of hardware and software that can be easily accessed online through multiple computers or devices at the same time.

You can use the cloud business model to improve your ability to run your business the right way. You can even use it to keep the cost of running your entrepreneurial work down.

How the Cloud Works

The cloud-based business model is effective thanks in part to the way how the cloud can be used. First, a client server or computer will be used to store a software program. This program can include information that relates to your business.

The client device will link up to an appropriate control node. This will exchange information between the client and a storage database.

A series of additional servers can also be utilized while you are using the cloud. These servers can be made to run multiple programs at the same time. They will also be used to give you access to the appropriate applications that you have access to. These include all applications that you might have bought or rented out for your business needs.

Access in More Spots

All of the information that you can use on the cloud will then be accessible through a larger computer network. You can reach the items on the cloud by using an appropriate website or software program. An account may also be used to help you log into the cloud so you can get all of your data off of it from any spot. This may involve a user name and password and can include as many individual accounts in your business as necessary.

Every single person that you work with or alongside can access the cloud at the same time. You can share information over the cloud with all of these parties. This might be beneficial if you and a few others are running a particular project at the same time and you need to keep in touch with everyone.

The key is to have an online connection ready for whatever functions you might have to use for it. You can use a traditional land-based connection or you can get a wireless Wi-Fi connection going. Either way, a typical cloud-based program will always be online and ready to use at any time.

Easier to Run

You will not have to spend too much money to get the cloud-based model to work for your entrepreneurial efforts. The servers and software programs in your cloud will be based out of spots well outside your personal work environment. Therefore, you will not have to operate these parts of your business on your own. This could reduce the cost of running your business.

The programs that you use may also be updated on their own. The company in charge of running the cloud will be responsible for updating everything as needed. This should save you plenty of time.

An Affordable Measure

It may also be easier for you to afford software as needed when you use the cloud. You do not have to pay for the lifetime rights to any applications that you might use while on the cloud. You can instead pay for whatever you want to use on a monthly basis. It is a perfect solution for cases where you might have changing needs in the workplace.

The use of the cloud-based business model may prove to be the best idea to use for your entrepreneurial endeavor. This model is easy to understand and is made to make what you have more accessible and easier to run. The savings that come with the cloud model may help you out just as well.

 

About the guest author: Davis Miller is a very talented and award winning writer with a unique writing style. He is focusing on latest cloud technology and erp hosting now days.

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iPhone and Cloud Computing for Teaching

We are into the 21st century and advancement of technology has enhancedevery aspect of human life. This enhancement can also be seen in the world of teaching. Those days have gone when teachers used to carry all the stationary to their classrooms including attendance registers and text books. The integration of iPhone apps and cloud computing technology is serving almost every need of the modern teachers.There are lots of iPhone apps available in the market. Let us discuss some of the best iPhone apps for teaching.

TeacherPal

TeacherPal, developed by ITWorx, allows you to take attendance and keep the grade-book with your iPhone. TeacherPal is a free, effective and easy-to-use iPhone app that every teacher must have. You can create separate profiles for all your students and include specific information about them. It allows you to send emails to the parents and students directly.This app can be linked to your Dropbox account for backup. With iCloud, you can synchronize all the information among your iDevices.

Keynote

Keynote, developed by Apple, is a universal app for all teaching arsenals. Keynote allows you to import PowerPoint presentations and create keynote files on your iPhone. If you have got Keynote, you don’t need your laptop in the class. You can buy this app at a cost of $9.99 from the App Store.

eClicker Host

The eClicker Host, developed by Big Nerd Ranch, is an iPhone app that lets you interact and engage with the students.The iClickers have become common among secondary school and university classrooms. This technology allows teachers to take real-time assessment and survey through a set of devices distributed across the classroom. A teacher displays a query and students reply secretly via the given devices, giving the class with an immediate feedback.  The eClicker Host offers the same functionality from your iPhone without investing substantial amount on iClicker devices. The eClicker Host operates over Wi-Fi and any Wi-Fi device can be used by the student to respond to the class.  You can take surveys or surprise quizzes to make the class exciting and interactive. Its price is $9.99.

Stick Pick

Stick Pick, developed by Buzz Garwood, allows you to avoid the use of Popsicle sticks. Teachers use Popsicle sticks in a container to avoid unintentional bias while calling any student. With this app, you can put each student’s name on an individual “stick” and tap-shake-swipe to select a student at random. You may also include the Bloom’s Taxonomy to get some question sets appropriate to the level of each student. For instance, the Bloom’s mode allows you to select from 6 cognitive development levels: Knowledge, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Comprehension, and Evaluation. The Critical Thinking Rubric allows you to track the student responses. The performance of each student can be reviewed and the results can be emailed. It will cost you $2.99.

Edmodo

Edmodo iPhone app allows you to reinforce your taught lessons outside the classroom.  The social networking website, Edmodo.com, allows you to interact with your students and colleagues in real time. This universal app is freely available. You can distribute, manage and check student assignments.  It is similar to Facebook, but specifically designed for educational purpose.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a universal and free cloud storage app for iPhone. It allows you to store the lesson plans, stuffs you wish to share with your class, and so on. There is no need to burn CDs and DVDs, bring your flash-drive to school, or email stuffs to yourself. Once you dropped the stuffs into Dropbox, you can access them from all the devices you use. Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage, which is sufficient for storing stuffs related to teaching.

Spell Check

This app help you correct spelling errors. We often get confused while writing words on paper; this app appears handy in such situation. You just need to type in the word; no matter correct or incorrect, the app automatically suggests the possible correct words. This app also serves the purpose of a dictionary.

Mathematical Formulas

This app would be very handy if you are a mathematics teacher. You can access hard-to-remember formulae instantly. Even teachers may forget the formulae. If a student asks a particular formula that you can’t recall, it would be an embarrassing moment. Keep yourself on the safer side with Mathematical Formulas app for iPhone.

 

About the guest author: The post is shared by Davis Miller; he is a geek who likes to share articles on technology, iphone, bell and other consumer electronics. His penchant towards latest technology cannot be decribed in words.

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Will Mobile Ads Become as Overbearing as Telemarketers? Most Say No

Texting and surfing on a smartphone used to be one of the best ways to avoid those annoying and sometimes rude telemarketers, but smartphones might not be a safe haven any longer. Mobile ads are starting to make their way to smartphones and many people fear they might be the next telemarketer.

What are Mobile Ads?

mobile ads

Image via Raising Teens

Mobile ads are considered a specific type of marketing that focuses solely upon smartphone users. This form of marketing uses the smartphone web browser, mobile websites, text messaging and other features of a smartphone to market a product or service to smartphone users.

There are several types of mobile ads that can be used to advertise products and services. These forms of mobile ads include:

  • Advertisements in mobile games
  • Individual text messages sent to phones
  • Apps that deliver personalized ads
  • Banners on mobile websites

The Issue of Privacy and Mobile Ads

The common fear amongst smartphone users is that mobile ads could get out of control, almost like telemarketers. There is a fear that marketing companies could purchase lists of mobile numbers or use computer software to generate random numbers, which would then be used to send unwanted mobile ads to smartphones all across the globe. These mobile ads would not only be frustrating, but become a violation of the smartphone user’s privacy.

The Development of Organizations to Monitor and Control Mobile Ads

Yes, the fear that mobile ads might become overbearing is a very legitimate concern, but there are groups out there that can control and monitor how companies advertise in the mobile or online worlds. Groups such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association develop rules and standards companies must abide by when it comes to mobile advertisements. These rules prevent smartphone users from picking up their HD touchscreen LG Optimus phone one day and noticing 1,000 unwanted text messages from advertisers.

Will Mobile Advertisements Become Overbearing in the Future?

No one can predict the future but when it comes to mobile advertisements the future is pretty much set in stone. Mobile advertisements will not be able to become as overbearing as phone telemarketers, spam emails, or even the annoying junk mail that always seems to arrive on Tuesdays.

The reason mobile ads won’t become overbearing is because the only way to receive these ads, whether it is text messaging or mobile game advertisements is to invite the marketers onto your phone. Smartphone users will need to physically download or give their permission to allow advertisers to send ads to their phone.

The fear that mobile ads will become overbearing will always be in the back of people’s minds, but the truth is as long as there are agencies to monitor mobile marketing things will stay under control. And remember, you control the mobile ads you see or don’t see on your smartphone!

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_advertising

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Advertising_Bureau

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Marketing_Association

http://www.mmaglobal.com/

 

About the guest author: Shaun Chatman is a freelance writer by night and a gym trainer in the day. Happily married and a father of two gregarious kids, Shaun lives in Dunedin, FL, and spends his free time playing with his kids or watching or playing sports. You can connect with him here.

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History of the Mozilla Project

Mozilla has been one of those organizations that have time and again come up with products that can be used as easily by home users as they can be by professionals. It is a non-profit organization that is well known for two of its products, which incidentally are freeware, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. This article will take you on a journey back in time to the day when Mozilla was established.

Netscape, Mozilla’s First Product

Mozilla as an organization made a mark when it released the released the source code of the browser suite for Netscape. This happened in 1998 and the founders had a very innovative idea in mind. They grouped like minded people who are passionate about coding and share a love for technology, and come up with products that were revolutionary and free of cost. They mainly concentrated on the browser market and aimed to make a mark in that arena.

Company Grew Exponentially

Since Mozilla was a non-profit organization, the company did have people who appreciated the effort and within a couple of years, the movement if you can call it that, had gathered steam. People started contributing actively and their subsequent releases were not only very refined but also oozed with creativity. As there was no restriction to creativity, the company members started working on development tools and a host of other projects along with a wide range of browsers.

Competition from IE

When Mozilla 1.0 was released, Internet Explorer was the most widely used browser in the world, with over 90% of the users opting for it. Understandably, Mozilla 1.0 went unnoticed in 2002 and it took the company a couple more years to gain footing.

Firefox 1.0 in 2004

After a couple of years of innovating and testing, Firefox 1.0 was released by the Mozilla Foundation, which was established in the interim. This browser became an instant hit and within a year, the browser had been downloaded more than 100 million times all over the world. Mozilla Foundation kept rolling out newer versions of Firefox and with every new release, its popularity also grew.

Today, the Mozilla Foundation is a testament to the corporate companies which operate in terms of profits and losses. They have shown that with the right effort and platform, even nonprofit organizations can develop world class apps and provide it free of cost.

 

About the guest author: Penny is an expert with Cirrus Insight. Her interests lies primarily in writing and she loves to write about internet technology and marketing. Cirrus Insights provides Google apps for better salesforce management.

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Can Cloud Computing Be Bad For Microsoft?

Cloud computing has proven itself to be the way of the future.  Just as the Internet loomed large as the way forward for computing technology in the nineties, the writing is on the wall for all technology vendors and their business customers who have not made the move to the cloud.  And just like in the nineties, Microsoft has found itself behind the times, showing up a little late to the online party.  In the nineties, the world wide web was all the rage and getting fantastic amounts of buzz about it being the next big thing.  Bill Gates famously (or rather, infamously) blew the whole thing off as a passing craze.  He spent the next several years and several million dollars making up for that attitude.  Eventually, Microsoft did come out a winner in the browser wars, though not without its share of battle scars and bad blood.

Today, the new battle ground is cloud computing.  Microsoft is hoping that it can do what it did in the nineties and come out the clear winner in a race to the cloud.  However, many are skeptical that they will be able to be as successful this time as they were fifteen years ago.  The computing landscape has changed – software and the Internet is much more mature than it was back then.  Users are much more tech savvy, and most are very familiar with the benefits and drawbacks of personal computing offerings.  Most importantly, however, Microsoft’s operating model itself may not be prepared to handle the kind of move to the cloud that will ensure its overall profitability and industry dominance that it enjoyed in its heyday.

Microsoft’s bread and butter is a combination of its Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office business productivity suite.  They have been providing these software products for around twenty years and have been the market leaders for that time.  Almost all new personal computers that are purchased today run Microsoft Windows.  Most businesses are run on a Microsoft Windows platform and network, and rely on the Microsoft Office productivity suite.  While Apple is definitely taking a bite out of this business with the popularity of its Macbook, the real competition is not in Apple’s laptops, but in its iPhone and tablet devices.  And not just Apple, but Android devices are getting more powerful and more ubiquitous.  As these mobile device platforms begin to overtake the personal computing market, the real money will be made not on operating systems and bulky software installations such as Microsoft Office, but on cloud services.

Microsoft has seen this move to online services on the horizon for some time, so they are not completely caught unawares.  Microsoft Office Live was introduced several years ago to modest success.  In terms of modern cloud computing, Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform is quite adequate, even a technological achievement from a computer science perspective.  The issue for Microsoft, however, is whether its current operating model around distributed software can be replaced with a cloud strategy without losing the high levels of profitability Microsoft is known for.

Cloud computing requires high levels of investment in hardware and network bandwidth.  When Google released its cloud service publicly, it showed pictures of its giant silos filled with hardware as a testament to its scalability and reliability.  Microsoft has been great in providing a software product that takes years to build and test in its private offices before being released to the world.  The question for Microsoft is whether it can survive just as well in an environment where service level agreements with its customers can be kept up on a day to day basis.

 

About the guest author: Jason Phillips, a tech blogger, shared the post. He is writing and publishing useful information about hosted erp software as well as latest news on Microsoft.

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