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Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Perhaps the term “wannabe” is too harsh to describe the following projects; but becoming Google killers is what they aspire to be and in that context they are wannabe’s and nothing less. Google enjoys the top spot in search engines and has not been faced with a decent threat… well, since its conception. Many have tried and failed to knock it off its throne and here are a few noteworthy contenders.

Bing –It was a ridiculous name to start off with; imagine responding to someone’s question with “just Bing it”? Microsoft determined that what the public wanted was a search engine with extras, a funky interface and a navigation menu. As usual, they got it wrong. After the initial buzz that was created, the website has been dropping in popularity with every passing day. The main problem can perhaps be traced to the fundamental point of a search engine – To search and deliver results quickly and effectively. Bells and whistles are nice for a while, but what people want is something that gives you results without taking up bandwidth or time or shoving unnecessary things in front of your nose.

Wikia Search – This project was conceived by Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales and his Wikia Co-founder Angela Beesly. Wikia Search was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and the collaborative work that went towards making it a success. “Crowdsourcing” was deemed to be the next big way to power search results. The primary idea was to increase the relevancy of search results and make the process as transparent as possible so that no one would be able to “play the system”. With the transparency angle, the creators wanted everyone to be able to see who modified the search results, where and why. Sadly the project came to an end in March 2009. The economic recession took no prisoners and as a result the funding ran out for the project. Wikia Search has been put on hold indefinitely, but hopefully this innovative concept will return at some point in the future.

Cuil – Pronounced “cool”, Cuil was formed by ex-Google employees as well as several web veterans. The project’s goal was to take on Google head-to-head and come out as the winner. It hope to do this by using its own page rank system which gave merit to relevance rather than popularity (as Google does). So the engine would look for your search term on a web page and then look at the content in the page to see how relevant it was to the term. Search results would be filtered in this way and deliver better results to the user. Unfortunately, things did not work quite according to plan users were disappointed with the results they got. Rafe Needleman of CNET put it succinctly when he said Cuil launched in a blaze of glory which was followed by a collapse in a ball of flames.

Wolfram|Alpha – Technically Wolfram|Alpha is not a search engine in the same context that Google is. It was unfortunately portrayed to be a Google killer by the media and has never quite lived up to that expectation. But make no mistake Wolfram|Alpha could have dethroned Google as the portal to knowledge if things had gone according to plan. The idea behind the project was to have a verified repository of information which users could plunder in their search for facts. The “Coup de grâce” in some ways was its ability to understand natural language – to an extent. Both those features made it an excellent tool research tool, which could have become a premier source of information. However, the initial lack of data coupled with a lack of relevancy for a majority of users has seen it drop from public interest day by day. The project has been boosting its repository with more and more data every day with the hope that at some point the project will take off.

 

 

Keystroke Loggers and Their Advantages

Keystroke Loggers and Their Advantages

Keystroke loggers come in many forms and can be hardware of software based. They are designed to capture the keyboard input from a user key-for-key. Usually keystroke loggers are known more for their negative use than positive use.

Hackers often use various different implementations of keystroke loggers to capture personal details of a user. Through this they gain access to bank account details, passwords, etc. However, a good virus / malware scanner should be able to protect you from this type of threat.

The positive use of keystroke loggers is to ensure safety – in the workplace and at home. By using a logger on all your office machines you can track any information leaks that take place. Employees may be knowingly or unknowingly revealing sensitive information to customers and a logger will help you identify that. It can also help you monitor any unwanted browsing activities. Productivity can be lessened by time wasted at social networking sites, mini games sites or worse at pornographic sites. By using a logger, you can keep a tight control on your internet access policies.

The same can be done at home. This time it is to protect your children. Although it may seem like an invasion of privacy, knowing exactly what your children are doing online can help prevent unfortunate incidents taking place. There are many predators out there on the net and taking precautions against it will be prudent. By monitoring and blocking inappropriate websites, you will be protecting your child from harm.

Why companies need ISO certification

Why companies need ISO certification

Article written by Find Comment

Quality is what sets apart the wheat from the chaff; this is not only applicable to individuals but also to business organizations as a whole that need to stand out from stiff competition that is a given in almost every industry.

And if you belong to an organization that is looking to obtain an ISO certification, you can be sure that this will not only increase the productivity in the organization with the adequate training that is provided but will also increase efficiency thus contributing to the overall increase of the quality of product or service that the business organization offers. Thus, one can also expect increased profitability along with the reduction of costs involved with the company’s overheads as well.

CE certification takes into consideration the aspects of consumer health, safety or environmental requirements as set by European Directives on a case by case basis and is a mandatory conformity mark recognized by all countries associated with the European Economic Area. This is important in the situation where businesses would like to expand into Europe from their operating home base.

Similarly, the ISO 14000 certification which is applicable to businesses of any size, location and income, has put standards in place to help these business organizations to design and implement an effective environmental management system.

It is not hard to recognize that each of these certifications will directly or indirectly affect the overall quality of the product, and thus are equally important certifications for every company to obtain.

P2P File Sharing – Is It Really That Bad?

P2P File Sharing – Is It Really That Bad?

The first thing you should know is that file sharing and the technology are not illegal. The problem arises when users share what they are not supposed to share.

The technology itself is there to facilitate quick sharing of vital and free to distribute files. This may include research documents, photographs, videos and even music. However, the tag of free to distribute should be on the file that is being shared. The only other way you can share is if you exclusively own the rights to the file; such as a photograph you took of your dog, kitchen, etc.

The P2P architecture was designed to bring down the costs in acquiring servers. Storing all files on s single or multiple file servers is a costly business. Whereas storing them on a multitude of PC’s is cheap and effective. Unfortunately, the abuse of the system is what has given the system itself a bad name. Now, P2P is predominantly associated with Piracy and that has blackened its name forever.

Any form of media that you can think of can be found on file sharing networks worldwide. Movies, music, textbooks, images, etc. can be found easily by even a six year old. Tackling this problem is not easy. Sadly the very nature of the service’s architecture is what makes policing it almost impossible. With the files being scattered all over the world and residing on multiple computers, hunting each one down and bring legal action against a user is never ending work.

Is Your Software Developer Performing Efficiently?

Is Your Software Developer Performing Efficiently?

There is a plethora of companies offering to do your software programming for you, but you must never jump into a deal right away. Your outsourced software programming and development projects must be put in the hands of skilled professionals who can deliver according to expectations. Many a software programming firm asks good money for very poor work done. Avoid getting yourself into this trap by judging the company and studying their work quality and ethics.

Below are some tips: First, if their rates are too good to be true, you have every right to question the quality of work that’s done. In attempts to save on capital, many businesses are flattered by extremely cheap prices, only to find themselves mad with disappointment and frustration at wasted money, time and effort. A software programming company may ask for little money because they make be lacking the skills and credentials to complete your job for you. Other companies may use their low rates as part of their marketing campaign. The truth is, however, that they will only give you whatever you paid for. Scout and check competing prices for variation. Next, look into their commitment.

A bad software programming company will do the job for you and deliver, with no follow-up care after. You will want to choose a company which works in close collaboration with you to make sure the software is developed exactly how you’d like it to be. Bad customer service is a very clear sign you must not at all costs, sign up with a company. When you entrust your software to a company, you trust that they will be able to provide you with constant feedback on progress. As such, you also trust that they will have a support group ready to cater to your needs even after the software project has been completed. If your prospective programming company does not show signs of stable customer support, save yourself from a huge headache and scout for other companies.

Do You Really Need a Screensaver?

Do You Really Need a Screensaver?

Before LCD monitors became prevalent, screensavers were an essential part of any computer setup. This was because of a design flaw in CRT monitors. If an image was displayed for a long time, phosphor burn-in would occur. This simply means that if someone worked on MS-Word the entire day, the main interface would be left imprinted, more or less permanently, on the screen.

Screensavers were invented to avoid this issue by keeping constantly moving images or black screens on screen. But monitors have come a long way and the role of screensavers has now changed. The following are some of the reason you might want to install a screensaver.

1. Distraction – Dancing babies, koi carp swimming across you screen, the One Ring tumbling towards Mount Doom etc are all great distractions if you need a short break.

2. Security – Sometimes we forget to logoff or lockdown the computer when we step away from it. Having a screensaver that auto-locks the computer and requires a password to continue can be a lifesaver.

3. Promotions – If the computer screens in your office are visible to customers, it would be wise to put your products and services on rotation as a screensaver.

4. Uniformity – If you don’t have any products to promote or do not wish to use that method, you can always put your company logo as the official screensaver. This will help to avoid any embarrassing incidents involving inappropriate screensavers with customers.

5. Streaming info – Using a screensaver that pulls up RSS feeds might be useful in some circumstances.

What Happened to Google TV?

What Happened to Google TV?

In 2010 Google launched Google TV, a Smart TV setup box to access internet via TV and also watch TV over the internet. It adds interactivity to watching TV.

Physically it came via a set-top box or special TV sets that have the technology built in. Several manufacturers offered it such as Intel, Sony, and Logitech. The OS on the either methodology was Android.

The OS featured a home screen where users can bookmark channels, photo albums, music, etc. The interface looked very Boxee-like and would allow you to run applications and other features. Since Google opened the source code for Google TV for developers, so there were tons of useful (as well as useless) apps.

Google TV also featured the Chrome browser with the very latest flash plugin. Apart from using the browser for the usual needs, you could search for your favorite TV show and this is what the whole Google TV concept is mainly about. The results for your search would display links to the show on Hulu, download links on Amazon, links to the show on FOX’s website and even the TV schedule. When you saw it on the schedule, you can set it to be recorded on whatever DVR device you possess through the Google TV interface.

Google TV stopped in June 2014 and replaced by Android TV, which is far superior system.  Google has partnered with Sony, Philips and Sharp to offer this built in in their TV sets.

Hiring an IT person

Hiring an IT person

For most people, learning technology is just as tough as learning Greek or Latin while most companies also think that their technology requirements are uniquely complicated and the computer support orange county needs to take a similar approach. Even though one part of it is indeed true, the core technology used is the same for every organization except for a few tweaks here and there that can be easily taken care, so that the business can begin to function smoothly as soon as possible.

IT companies offer computer and customer support to their clients who require professionals with technical expertise in these areas. Even though it does cost a lot to maintain a large in-house team, the IT solutions provided by these companies also ensure that the costs are not too much either.

Interestingly, if one had to look for an organization that can provide technical assistance, one should review their previous track record and the kind of clients they have had to find out whether this organization is suited to your needs.

Whether you are just starting up or intend to switch from a previous IT solutions provider, it is important that you find IT support that fully understands the specifics of the business while also providing support that would turn out to be economical in the long run.
And in leaving technical support to the experts, you can then focus on areas of your business that need your attention.

Reasons for Microsoft to smile

Reasons for Microsoft to smile

Traditionally Microsoft has been at the receiving end of most tech related jokes. In many ways all the barbs are justified as its OS’s have been bulky, resource hungry and its browser has been a clunky app that that just barely got things done.

The main reason that Microsoft enjoys a majority share of the OS and browser market is that
a. Initially it was virtually the only proper OS available for PC users
b. Apple failed to penetrate the consumer market significantly
c. Internet Explorer was forced upon users
But all that seems to be changing as of late.
Over the years IE has seen many challengers to its crown and the most notable of the 90’s challengers, Netscape has disappeared into the wings. Opera has made a comeback, but Firefox, Chrome and Safari have been the biggest reasons for IE losing market share. After making constant one percent drops over the years, it was one very rare occasions that IE managed to get gain any market share. But over the last two months IE has done the impossible and actually gained ground. This is a significant reflection of how much IE has improved.
Windows 7 has also contributed greatly to Microsoft’s fortunes as it has also gained market share. In fact, it has overtaken Windows Vista in market share. The reason for this could be that Microsoft has finally produced an OS that actually does what is supposed to do without asking for too much. Vista was probably the worst OS to come out of Redmond and the bad press it has generated over the years will take some time to fix. However, currently, the signs are good for Microsoft and the company can afford to smile after a long time.

Keeping Tab with A Fleet GPS Tracking System In Place

Keeping Tab with A Fleet GPS Tracking System In Place

The current trend of having a fleet GPS tracking is fast catching up with almost all of the fleet managers. It is not only convenient to have a tracking system for the fleet but also safer. By taking the help of a fleet tracking system the worry and concern about the vehicles is totally taken out and the manager’s minds and they can concentrate on expanding their business rather than wasting their time worrying about the whereabouts of their company’s fleet of vehicles.

Many employees do think that installing a GPS tracking device in the vehicles is being done only to keep tabs on their activities and many of them even consider this as a huge question mark on their loyalty by the employers. But if the employee is actually doing his or her job properly there is no need to worry about the tracking device. It is only the trouble makers that should worry about the tracking device being fitted in to the vehicles that they drive.

Using real time GPS vehicle tracking is a very wise decision as the exact timings of the arrival and the departure of the vehicles can be predicted. In addition to this facility the vehicle can be continuously monitored for the speed limits and if in case the driver decides to exceed the permissible speed limit or veer off from the decided route then it is possible for the managers to contact the erring drivers and issue a warning. The safety benefits of installing a GPS tracking system cannot be stressed upon enough.