A website in today’s time is a must for individuals and businesses to reach their customers worldwide. A provider of dedicated server hosting offers individuals and businesses the platform and web space to develop their website. The dedicated hosting is a type of service where the provider has exclusive and absolute control of the server. This means that the server is not a common entity for other people or companies.
Here are top five benefits of using Linux web hosting –
- Flexibility – One of the benefits of Linux is that it offers unmatched flexibility to its users. You can create websites, blogs, multimedia applications, forum or any other online platform. Also, the user is independent to use both desktop as well as server applications along with embedded ones. As Linux’s creation was based under General Public License (GNU), user installs only required components which saves the disk space. Linux is available in many flavors – Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Red Hat and more to list. The distribution of all these except Red Hat is offered free and works fine for any user.
- Speed and Simplicity – As compared to Windows, it’s easier and simpler to use even for the user who is not technically trained. Its user-friendly installation and the pre-installed software which is equipped for modification and extension makes it more favorable. Businesses hosting their sites on Linux, experienced good speed while page loading along with better performance.
- Security and Reliability – With the increasing threat of hacking and virus infection, security has become a critical issue. There has been a prolonged discussion on the security and reliability between Linux and Windows. Linux users has always proclaimed it to be strong in case of security. When the user talks about reliability, Linux is always top rated as it’s more reliable as compared to Windows.
- Excellent Technical Support – Linux is always found to be the best in case of technical support. The search engines are always changing their policies so the hosting sites should be able to troubleshoot the problems. With Linux web hosting one can be confident to face such problems with the excellent technical support provided by it.
- Pricing – Entrepreneurs doing online business are always searching for cost effective services and products. There isn’t any requirement of expensive licensing fee for using Linux which makes it cost-effective. Desktop and server applications like DNS server, Web server, FTP, etc. are free to download and use it for your server. Anyone who wants to start the small business website can opt for Linux as the open source content management systems – Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and phpBB run on the Linux platform.
There are also Linux Flavors like Debian, Mint, Gentoo Linux, Ubuntu, etc. that are required for managing the business website. Also, the server administrators need to perform certain important tasks for maintaining the dedicated servers and completing the customer requirements. Thus, Linux dedicated servers are the one stop solution for your new eCommerce business.
Here is the web hosting industry trends that could change the way hosting company works.
1. Web Hosting Security
2. Rapid deployment
3. Cloud applications
4. Network Redesign
5. Nomadic devices
6. Lack of energy
For details - https://www.bodhost.com/blog/trends-web-hosting-to-follow/
Since October is a Cyber Security Month, here are some tips for cyber security which every Internet freak needs to follow -
Be ware of phishing emails -
- Never share your personal information with businesses via email or even in the pop-up screen.
- Avoid clicking on any links in the email-messages. Instead copy and paste the URL into your browser or go for add-on services like Spam Experts Spam Filter.
Discard the information properly -
- Dispose off the confidential documents, especially, that contain personal information.
- Use the correct tools while destroying the personal information or media files from your computer and mobile devices.
Become a good cyber citizen -
- Stop cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking or illegal activity in cyber space.
- Follow the copyright restrictions when downloading from the Internet.
Lock before leaving -
- Create individual logins when computer is used by multiple users.
- Remember to lock down your machine prior to leaving your desk.
Protect your mobile data -
- In case of loss or theft of your device, report to the authorities asap.
- Maintain a strong password for your mobiles too.
- Ensure your firewall and anti-virus are up-to-date.
No wonder, Linux VPS Hosting has become extremely popular. Do you know the reason behind this? It's because the performance and functionality are accelerating due to these virtualization technologies and will continue to grow. Virtual Private Server hosting makes sense for many businesses with its lower carbon footprint that has the ability to scale quickly and easily.
So, let's check out the five reasons why people love Linux VPS Hosting -
- Reliability – Highly Reliable.
- Uptime – 100% uptime guarantee.
- Popular Tech Support – You can utilize completely high technology which Linux supports like LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP).
- Diverse Database Support – Comprises of diverse databases that run on Linux with most popular providers of web hosting – MySQL and Postgre SQL.
- All time affordable – Being an open source type of OS there’s no licensing cost to web hosts.
- Working with Other Programming Languages – Works hassle free with other open source programming languages – PHP for example as well as open source applications.
- cPanel – Works smoothly with cPanel.
Now you know the reasons for Linux VPS hosting getting so popular. Don't spend too much time thinking on this and set the goal for business success with Linux VPS Hosting.
Security is the major concern in the Cloud Computing era today. Enterprises are more and more into cloud deployment as it has become a technological solution for speedy and efficient data storage. But this has lead to the security concern for cloud today. Here's an insight to cloud security -
Security reasons have remained the prominent factor for firms to embrace cloud computing and at the same time the prominent factor for firms to stay away from the cloud too. Experts of the computing field opine that cloud based services still remain a safer alternative for traditional storage systems.
The cloud computing security risks are a dominant aspect to be focused on. Since the data is being transmitted over public networks, the data still remain vulnerable to security attacks. The service traffic hijacking remains the second dominant safety concern. Many cloud service providers have come up with advanced encryption algorithms to overcome this safety concern. However, 91% of the firms are said to possess at least a single form of cloud storage implementation. Read more ....
Also read about the cloud security predictions in 2016 - http://www.cloudtechguide.sitew.us/#Page_1.A
If you want to create a new partition on a linux server then you have to follow the following steps :
- Login to your linux server with root access which is provided by your hosting provider.
- Use the following command to find out the total number of partitions which are already created on your linux server.
after using the command you get the following details :
Disk /dev/sda: 499.5 GB, 499558383616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60734 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 653 5245191 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 654 3713 24579450 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3 3714 6324 20972857+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 6325 60734 437048325 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 6325 8935 20972826 83 Linux
If you need a 1000MB partition then you follow the below steps :
Type n for new partition and specify the cylinder size as +1000M then
Type p to find new partition
Type w for save
Then use the following command
After creating the partition you have to format that.
#mke2fs -j /dev/sdaX
The “X” indicate your created partition number.
Create that particular directory where you wish to point your new partition.
#mkdir -p /new
you have to point your new partition to that particular directory with the below command.
#mount -t ext3 /dev/sdaX /new
If you want to save these setting permanently then utilize the below command.
/dev/sdaX /new ext3 defaults 0 0
save and quite the fstab file.
Virtual Private Server Hosting is booming day-by-day. VPS is a virtualization technology which helps in performance and functionality enhancement which is supposed to continue. There are several other reasons behind businesses choosing Vitual Private Server hosting for website hosting. But still there’s confusion between choosing the right VPS hosting.
Factor 1: Windows or Linux
Factor 2: Unmanaged or Managed
Factor 3: Scalability and Redundancy
Factor 4: Cloud-based or Conventional VPS
Factor 5: Server Specifications and Configurations
Read more on Right Time to Switch to VPS Hosting - https://www.bodhost.com/blog/right-time-for-switching-to-vps-hosting/
According to a study ordered by IBM Security, the full cost of a full-scale data breach can be as high as $350 million. Even relatively small breaches could cost upwards of $3.86 million according to Big Blue's numbers, so there's no reason your company shouldn't be focused on locking down its database servers.
We took a moment to put together some of the top tips administrators can use to plug holes in their servers in just a few minutes.
Disable Public Network Access
Even sites that deploy database resources through a web-based interface generally don't have to allow users direct access to the database itself. They can retrieve information and then present it to an end-user. If you're leveraging a database to run any kind of cloud business application, then there's no reason not to block all public network access to the server.
About the only reason you'd want to allow public access is if you were a hosting provider. Configure gateway servers via an SSH tunnel or some other secured protocol for your remote administrators to connect. Standard database security practices phased out the use of telnet years ago. If you still have someone handling remote database management this way, then it needs to be patched quickly.
Change the Administrator's Credentials
If an attacker knew what kind of database you were running, then they might be able to guess the administrator login name. For instance, if you were using MySQL the admin username is root by default just like it is in Unix. You can change the name to something more complex that only your IT department's administrator would know to prevent even the name from being guessed. Don't forget to flush privileges afterward or the changes might not be take effect right away.
This only provides an additional layer of protection if you've already made sure to set a decent password. Some administrators are now adding non-keyboard Unicode characters to their passwords to make them more difficult to guess. When database software hashes out passwords, it bases the hash on individual bytes rather than what characters you've chosen. Thus a four byte Unicode character may provide the same level of security as four additional lowercase letters.
Encrypt Your Database Backups
An average discussion about encryption usually involves tracing endpoints and making sure that end-users have a secure connection to any resources they're accessing. These are vital areas that need to be protected. However, any copies you make of your database need to be encrypted as well.
Never forget about configuration files either. These are normally stored as plain text documents since most developers don't view them as a significant security threat. However, if a cracker were able to access a configuration file through some kind of application vulnerability it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that they'd be able to get into your database next.
Unless you're running your database server on bare metal for some reason, you should be encrypting each virtual disk image you're booting system software off of.
Keep Your Doors Closed
An overwhelming majority of developers use the default SQL server port number after they have their database up and running. Changing it will at least make attackers have to guess a bit more when they're trying to find a door to enter your system through. Windows Server users may want to disable the SQL Server Browser service.
Those who use a Secure Service Container deployed in an IBM Linux software environment are safer in this respect, because they're protected by Unix's locked privilege system. Linux administrators will still want to make sure they're not making the sadly common mistake of running their database as root.
Keeping Your Server Secured
Pay attention to any alerts you might receive, even if they don't look important. System logging apps usually let you filter out things that aren't important. Anything else may need your attention. If you make sure to tackle any security risk today, then your database server should be secured for the long-haul. Vigilance is the secret to avoiding the kind of high-cost data breaches the IT world has seen in the last several years.
Modified on by PhilipP.
When you see the words "advanced AI" and "video games" in the same headline, you more than likely think about sophisticated computer players that provide skilled opponents for real-world gamers. However, IBM's advanced AI systems are starting to influence video games in a very different way. Software developers are using this technology to change the UX of some of the world's favorite titles, which in turn is leading to some relatively unexpected developments.
One of the biggest changes seems to be coming in the form of AI bots that can pair players together.
A Match Made in Cyberspace
Many so-called free-to-play games have actually encouraged gamers to spend more than ones that feature a one-time price tag. By keeping fans hooked with personalized content, these games have been able to thrive. Gamers love to put their own special touch on things, which is why in-game purchases like weapons, items and game skins have proven so attractive to hardcore players.
According to some engineers, creative AI applications can turbocharge the way that developers study user data and design content around them. Some games are now capable of paying close attention to the way that people play and then matching users together based on their play styles. The idea is that pairing people who will enjoy exploring together will spend more time together online.
Over time, this can increase the amount of money that these people feed into in-app purchases. IBM's Watson AI has been paying close attention to the way that people play Atari's touch edition of Roller Coaster Tycoon in the hopes of figuring out new ways to improve the gameplay and make it more personalized.
IBM and PlayFab, one of the other developers working on the project, say that Watson's special algorithms have helped to create machine learning routines that in turn can lead to some drastic improvements as far as matchmaking is concerned. Over time, they hope to create more personalized content that can better ensure people stay hooked for as long as possible.
A heavy emphasis on personalized content is how some long-running MMORPG titles have been able to last as long as they have. At least one graphical MUD game has been online since 1996, and a few text-based ones predate even that. The reason is that they've allowed players to create their own modpacks that keep the experience fresh for many years after the game in question no longer enjoys a significant amount of promotion.
While it's doubtful that an AI can ever come up with content that's quite as dynamic as that developed by human players, Watson can sure speed up the process and bring creative personalities together to make the overall experience much more fun for everyone involved.
Using an AI to Narrow the Playing Field
Even though we might not see downloadable skins designed by an AI the next time we log into a virtual marketplace, it's obvious that IBM's Watson technology is revamping the way that online games work. However, professional game leagues are also putting this technology to the test.
IBM deployed a Watson-based app at GDC 2019, using it to improve player performance in e-sports competitions as well as create a better fan experience overall. With the esports industry quickly approaching the $1 billion mark, it's starting to host events that can attract more than 100 million viewers.
By leveraging the same technology used to manage the US Open, IBM has been able to scan through hundreds of hours of footage and build a dynamic highlight reel in real time. This can even help to keep on-air conversations by helping commentators stay focused on the action.
The Role of AI in Gaming's Future
Don't count IBM's technology out when it comes to more conventional applications of AI in video games, however. Some gamers feel like an increased focus on online play is starting to diminish the quality of AI opponents. Developers don't always seem to focus on creating a good single-player experience, which is why they're starting to create radically different technologies based on traditional AI algorithms. It's easy to imagine that IBM's Watson can be used to help train the opposition even while it continues to succeed at the many myriad tasks put in front of it.
There has been a lot of talk about AI taking over the design world. Robots are not replacing web designers anytime soon. While 2 billion jobs will be replaced by robots in the year 2030, it's not going to affect the design industry. Humans have the ability to see design concepts and create empathy for their users.
If anything, designers and robots are learning how to work together. AI is playing a big role in the design process, and it's important for designers to adapt to these changes. These automation tools are helping designers rather than taking over their profession. Here are some ways AI-powered design tools will help designers in the meantime.
No Need to Start From Scratch
The beginning of any creative project is the hardest part for any designer. Whether it comes to writing that first draft or designing an outline, the next step is always easier. The same goes for web designers. Automated web design tools like MasterBundles offer a complete design bundle. A service like that does not only facilitate the design creation' process but also allows combining products into bundles that give you a discount on all work, up to 90% of the regular price. It lowers expenses and makes market entrance accessible for all customers: small businesses, marketers, SMM and SEO department workers.
These automated tools use content from your competition, social media, or previous websites, and analyze it to come up with a design scheme that matches your approach. This tool is so accurate that it has worked in 7 out of 10 projects. It has created Web pages that represent a brand with little effort.
Logo Creation is Easier
AI tools eliminated the need for back-and-forth banter between designers and clients. It provides a semi-automated process that gets logos designed within minutes. The great thing about AI is that it can create multiple design logos quickly, so your client can choose the best one.
You might want to design one that shows off your design skills, but this tool can save you time on tackling multiple projects. Contrary to popular belief, these automation tools don't remove the designer from the process. These templates provide you with a canvas as a starting point. This can save you hours from working on a project that's not worth the time or money.
Choosing Color Palettes are Also Easier
Designers can save time deciding which color palette to choose by using AI tools. It can take several hours to find the perfect color combination, and continue that process until the entire project is cohesive. AI tools have generated beautiful color combinations in a matter of minutes. This can save you from wasting time on Pinterest.
Understanding User Experience is More of a Science
AI tools take billions of data points and help you make sense of everything. Every decision you make in the design process will have measurable results, which means you have to rely less on your artistic expression and more on scientific data to increase conversions. While some designers don't like having AI tell them what to do, you no longer have to guess which color combinations will produce the greatest results. The data and the results are right there, along with the proof.
Direction for Digital Ad Campaigns Are Targeted
When it comes to increasing conversions, some automated tools predict how well your visuals will do before your project launches. This type of software requires the use of AI-powered algorithms to give you predictions on how your designs will perform. This eliminates the need for conducting expensive and time-consuming A/B tests. They're likely to replaced by this new technology in the future.
Creating Smarter Modular Design Systems
AI tools can improve your design system. A design system is a series of elements, modules, and patterns that create your brand or product. Small businesses and startups are using design systems to implement their branding in their products and services. AI tools add intelligence layers to these systems to determine how users interact with each of these elements and tell you which one will drive better results.
AI is a scary concept for designers. They're afraid that their jobs will become obsolete. While some jobs are being replaced by AI tools, it's only the mundane ones that aren't expected to last.
No machine is smart enough to replace human designers. AI is having a positive impact on designers who are open to this technology. However, it's still too soon to tell how AI will have an impact on design. More design companies than individual designers are using AI to benefit themselves.
Modified on by PhilipP.
Advanced analysts and data scientists have one of the most popular careers in the U.S. According to Indeed.com, job postings for data scientists climbed to 75% from January 2015 to January 2018. The number of advanced analysts and data scientists will increase to another 28% by 2020, according to IBM's predictions. IBM is one of the major U.S. companies that are always on the looking for data scientists and advanced analysts.
Businesses are realizing that it takes more than an analyst to receive business insights from data. There are large quantities of data that used to be found in science fiction. This data has since widened the gap between business and information technology. A business dashboard such as Toucan Toco might give you context you need to understand this data, but looking into these insights requires knowledge and a deep understanding of the industry to learn from big data. Creating a compelling narrative that provides actionable insights is important if you want better understanding of your business through big data. This is how powerful companies like IBM develop strong team members.
Successful companies and enterprises use data analytics to tell a story. Data storytellers aren't just effective communicators and writers, they're also talented artists. Companies are now realizing the importance of hybrid data visualization teams, which allows them to combine team members with analytical and creative skills to present a story. The team effectively creates visualizations and transform difficult data in a way that most business owners can understand.
This technique is not a new thing as artists have been used in the past. Charles Minard was one of the first data artists in the industry. He's used a series of data to create a visualization of that data. This information would be used today, but with technology that could add layers of data that could add to the story.
Using the Right Components
Stories need an effective plot or chapters. It's important for data scientists and advanced analysts to understand how these elements work together to create a final result. Some stories just need one character while others need multiple characters. Since analytics an important part of revealing new insights, it's about telling a story that allows the business owner to take action or to receive insight.
The artist that works on this data needs to understand the business in order to turn the data into a story. Data analytics consists of art, cognitive perception, and science. Without all three of these elements, the data just deliver complex information rather than providing new insights.
Building an Effective Team
These three elements should be included in a team of two or three individuals. You need one who's an expert at organizing. The other members should consist of a senior member and a less-seasoned member who's still experienced. This is how the hybrid theory works in the art of data storytelling.
Data science will continue to thrive as the amount of big data that businesses deal with grows. It's important to develop effective teams who can translate this data into executions or stories that you can understand and build on. This doesn't contain charts and graphs, but stories that have characters, conflicts, story lines, and conclusions within this data. Then, in time, your actionable insights will be revealed.
As you can see, design plays a key role in the storytelling process. It's not about creating strong visuals, but it's about explaining why those visuals matter in the data analysis process. It can have a powerful impact on data users and how businesses make decisions.
How many times you were caught stuck while trying to create an understandable wireframe for your partners or potential clients? In order to make a wireframe, you have to go beyond just drawing a couple of lines and rectangles, it is about creating a linear structure with strong cohesion in terms of functionality and understandability.
This article is dedicated to designers, newbies and interested users in explaining the needed steps in making a comprehensible wireframe. So without delaying any further let's jump into it.
What is Wireframing?
Let us say you have an amazing website, app or product idea that needs to be placed on paper or screen for showcasing to potential clients. Best way to start is by creating a wireframe designed to be self-explanatory without any questionable details to prevent any confusion in later phases of application building.
Wireframes are simple black and white layouts that represent certain let's say websites features such as adding to cart, selecting a product, payment options, etc. The primary role of wireframes is to clarify good design and the entire process: navigation, user-flow, functionality, and information.
In other words, Wireframes can be called blueprints for the building.
Why do you need to Wireframe?
Wireframes display the website architecture visually.
Sitemaps can be a little bit abstract, especially the very large ones. Adapting a sitemap to wireframe starts the first step in the visual process for a specified task.
Wireframes offer clarification of website features.
In many cases, clients may not comprehend what you mean when you say google map integration, product placement... Wireframing certain project characteristics on a website gives clear communication on how these options will run.
Wireframes prioritize usability
One of the most important points in the wireframing procedure. Creating wireframes pushes usability to the front in revealing page layouts at their core. It requires everyone to gaze objectively at a website's ease of usage.
Wireframes are helping in making the design process iterative
Trying to combine functionality, creative and layout and branding in one step often proved as a wrong way of doing things. Instead, wireframes are taking these elements and objectifies the entire process one at a time.
Wireframes are saving time on projects
Multiple ways wireframing saves time:
- Designing is more calculated.
- Your programming team understands the structure of the project.
- Creating content becomes much clearer.
- You avoid external influences in an already established structure.
Everyone including the agency, web team and clients are fully aware of the project and how it is supposed to operate.
It actually works
Building a service or an application is a process. Wireframing is a crucial part of that process that should not be skipped, you wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, right? Each of the steps have an important place in a larger picture.
Pick the right tools
In following lines I will describe a few popular tools for creating wireframes in no particular order.
Balsamiq has certainly become very popular as wireframes created with Balsamiq resemble sketches thus making it instantly obvious that the wireframe is a product that yet needs to be completed. Balsamiq also offers a great library of reusable components that you can easily drag and drop to design your wireframes.
Omnigraffle is one of the Mac users favorite. Offering a widely supported library of reusable components called Graffletopia. Developed specifically as diagramming program, Omnigraffle has some complex features like automatization of the layouts, custom object styles and graph tools. Several of these options are available in the Adobe CS suite, but even without it, Omnigraffle is a decent value for producing quality wireframes.
You may say that Axure is like the grandfather of wireframing tools, it is one of the first professional wireframing tools. Recently it was only available for Windows. Nevertheless, this tool is certainly popular among industry professionals.
Ending this little tutorial I hope it has inspired you to start your own little journey in experimenting with wireframes. Don’t be afraid to iterate and iterate, it's a repetitive process and we all know that repetition is a giant step to perfection.
Also, keep testing various mentioned tools in finding your most user-friendly and intuitive application as it is necessary for creating a successful wireframe.
In the late 20th century, personal computers transformed the way that most businesses operate. Their introduction in the late 1980s, along with the complex and often expensive networking systems that supported them also spawned a giant and enormous IT services sector dedicated to keeping all the new hardware running. In the 21st century, however, more businesses are moving toward cloud services and technologies like virtualization that is slowly chipping away at the economic model that has allowed IT services firms to thrive for so long.
For them, it's well past time to begin the process of moving away from the tried-and-true break/fix model of IT services, and toward a newer, managed services model. Although that particular writing has been on the wall for some time now, a recent survey revealed that as many as 51% of such firms have yet to even begin the transition – let alone to successfully navigate the shift. To help, here are three of the most critical things for IT service firms to focus on when transitioning to an MSP model.
Putting the Customer First
One of the most difficult things an IT firm has to confront when transitioning from a break/fix model to managed services is to realize that they're going to have to become more of a customer service-oriented organization than they were previously. That's because the typical break/fix model entails fielding customer issues and doling out work to field technicians, while in a managed services environment, it's the technicians that must deal directly with customers. For that reason, firms making the transition have to invest in customer service training for all front-line employees so they'll be able to handle the work appropriately. For larger operations, it may even be beneficial to turn to a call center specialist like AnswerFirst to man the front lines and make sure no customer has to wait in a lengthy queue.
Building a Monitoring Infrastructure
Transitioning to an IT managed services model also requires a wholly different technology infrastructure that's geared towards proactive support, patch management, and equipment monitoring. It's the kind of system that most break/fix providers may not already have, and that means choosing the right solution to handle current and future clients. There are several major options available, from providers such as:
Each available system has its' own strengths and weaknesses, and the right one is usually determined by the types of technology that needs to be monitored. For example, managing large server clusters for a client may require a wholly different setup than what you'd need for multiple clients with desktop PCs and light server infrastructure. The only way to make an informed choice is to demo the available solutions and see if they're a good fit.
Offer Value-Added Services
One of the major reasons it's a good idea to move toward a managed service model in IT is the fact that hardware margins have shrunk so much in recent years. That means IT firms have to squeeze out more revenue per device because they can't rely on hardware sales income to pad their bottom line. For that reason, most managed service providers also offer value-added services to keep revenue flowing in. For example, many IT firms now offer branded cloud backup services to their customers, complete with their own management and monitoring interface. One provider even built a multi-cloud IaaS monitoring solution using IBM Bluemix to offer customers a unique, all-in-one management solution to their growing multi-cloud technology deployments.
Embracing the Change
For the average IT firm, it's also important to note that the transition to a managed services model usually isn't without some short-term pain. In some cases, companies that make the switch end up shedding many of their existing customers in the process – usually because those customers don't have much technology infrastructure to worry about in the first place.
The good news is that in almost every case, those small customers will be replaced with larger ones that offer more stable recurring revenue. Even better is the fact that serving those customers under a managed service model typically lowers overhead, making the entire endeavor more than worth the effort. So to all the IT service firms still hanging on to their break/fix roots, you now know what it's going to take to transform yourself into a 21st century IT provider. Now you have to get out there and do it.
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For those that hadn't noticed yet, cryptocurrencies are everywhere. You can use cryptocurrencies to buy Microsoft products. You can use it to buy the latest tech gear. At one point, you could even buy a special, Bitcoin-only bucket of chicken. It's the blockchain that makes it all possible, however, that's proving to have real implications for the future of technology.
Over the past few years, blockchain technologies have been put to use in some innovative new ways. Most notably, global shipping giant Maersk is using it to revolutionize cross-border trade. Crypto Rocket is merging blockchain technology with Forex currency markets. Even diamond conglomerate De Beers is getting in the act with an end-to-end diamond tracking platform. The blockchain developments have come so fast and often that it's all but impossible to keep up.
For the average person, though, these applications remain abstract. There's been little in the way of development for consumer-level blockchain uses. IBM, however, aims to change that, if their latest patent application means anything.
The Blockchain @Home
The patent describes a new web browser system that would rely on a blockchain backend to provide both secure storage and enhanced privacy for users. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. By making a distributed encrypted ledger the storage medium for web browsing data, users can decide when, how, and with whom to share their data – and there'd be no way around it.
According to the patent application, the browser could use the blockchain to store things like browsing history, bookmarks, software performance data, geolocation, and really any other kind of telemetry the system can produce. It even includes a provision that would make the data collection customizable, so it would be useful in corporate or other business deployments as well. IBM believes that such a system puts control of each user's data back into their own hands, eliminating middlemen and third-parties from the equation.
They also foresee the setup providing a useful fail-safe in the event a user suffers a browser-based cyber attack. With irreplaceable data encrypted, split, and stored elsewhere, it would be safe from harm and could be restored on demand whenever necessary. Critically, the system would provide a user token that could be used to verify that the person requesting the data has the right to access it.
Against the Grain
IBM's blockchain browser idea comes at a time when most other companies are looking at providing users with privacy by preventing data storage in the first place. That's why there's been such an uptick in the use of so-called private browsing or incognito modes in today's flagship web browsers. There has also been a movement to educate people on how to protect their privacy online, as well as a big jump in the use of consumer VPN services by those looking to prevent unauthorized monitoring of their online habits.
Together, these trends paint a picture of an internet-using public that wants nothing they do online subject to oversight by others – for advertising purposes or otherwise. Still, there's no denying that having access to one's own browsing history is a useful feature. That's why IBM's blockchain storage idea could be the ultimate solution to the internet privacy problem. It simultaneously preserves user privacy without robbing them of usability features they've come to expect and rely on. In that way, the idea could be an end-user blockchain application that has some real potential.
To Store or Not to Store
All of this sets up a coming tech battle that could pit two divergent approaches to internet privacy against one another in a war for the allegiance of the multitude of internet users worldwide. The only real question is whether IBM can build, test, and market a usable version of the technology their patent describes before competing solutions become too entrenched throughout the world.
Also, they face the very real challenge of convincing users that their system makes it safe to allow for storing their browsing data. That'll be no small feat given the near-hysteria that's been whipped up by privacy advocates, VPN providers, and conspiracy theorists that see the online threat of a digital big brother lurking around every corner. If IBM succeeds, though, they could become the first company to create a successful mass-market blockchain product that achieves a high penetration rate on computers and devices everywhere. And that, given the slow pace of consumer adoption of the technology, would be quite an accomplishment.
As a modern business owner, it's important to be able to monitor your finances on the web. Since you can't always be at your personal computer or even in your office, you need a handy source to check in, observe your activities, and make corrections if need be. To do this, you will need to consider building a personal financial app that will enable you to monitor and influence the course of your transactions on the web.
What Are the Different Types of Personal Finance Apps?
There are two main types of personal finance apps that you need to know about. These are manual entry apps and linked apps. There are several advantages that come with using each type of app. These will be covered below in further detail.
Manual Entry Apps
Manual entry apps are useful in situations where you need to record your income and general expenses as well as their sources. You can also use them to record how much you expect to spend or earn in the next few days, weeks, or months. In other words, manual entry apps are useful as permanent digital records of economic activity - your profits as well as your expenses.
You should note that there is no actual interface with your online banking account. This means that your manual entry app can't be hacked or, if it is, no actual financial info will be gleaned. The app isn't used for inputting sensitive info, such as banking numbers and accounts.
As a result, your personal security is never in danger. This type of app is simply for checking in from time to time in order to monitor your transactions on the web. However, it does function very well as a simple monitoring device and is highly recommended for this purpose.
Linked Entry Apps
Linked entry apps are a whole other kettle of fish than simpler, more common manual entry apps. To make use of linked entry apps, you will need to have a link between the app and your actual online bank account. This will facilitate your ability to monitor and interact with your account through the agency of your linked app.
The basic idea behind using a linked entry app is to enable yourself to monitor all of your daily financial transactions - including activity on your various bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and developing investments - from one handy location.
Perhaps the main advantage that comes with using a linked entry app is the ability it gives you to keep track of a great many financial transactions as they occur. An expertly built linked entry app will give you instant access to push notifications that will keep you up to date on every past, present, and future action. As a result, you will never be in the dark concerning the progress of your finances.
What Type of Financial App is Best for Your Personal Needs?
The question of which financial app is best for your needs will be one that is answered by your daily circumstances. If your business is at the point where you only have a few basic daily transactions that need to be monitored, your needs will most likely be best served by building a simple manual entry app.
On the other hand, if your business has progressed to the stage where you need to monitor a multitude of activities on various fronts, you are probably best served by building a linked entry app. This type of app will give you an immediate interface with your various financial accounts, thus enabling you to make corrections, additions, or deletions on the fly.
There is No Time Like the Present to Get Started on App Building
Of course, even the most astute business owner may have a hard time when it comes to building rather than merely planning. You may need to engage a professional in the field of financial application development in order to get fully up to speed. These are technical matters that require a great deal of finesse and expertise. It's an excellent idea to consult a professional service before you embark on this particular activity.