Solving the Cloud Mystery for Small Businesses

What “cloud” really means is using Internet services for file sharing, email, document sharing, etc. Rather than storing files on your local network, the files get stored back up on the remote server. The remote server is maintained by the cloud services company. Email has been used this way for years: you purchase email hosting on a monthly basis and never think about the server housing its contents. All of that server side storage is done remotely through an Internet connection. Cloud services are generally cheaper and the costs to implement and maintain are much lower than housing your own internal server.

An in-house server is good for those types of systems where you want to keep your data on site, within your own business network. A good example is a hospital which houses its own data center. Some services may be used online, but those services that require 24/7 access are maintained on campus. Unless you have redundant Internet connections, there is always a possibility you can lose your connection. Additional costs are associated with housing a server; you need to pay for the hardware, keep backups of it, and hopefully have off-site redundancy in case of a fire/flood/etc.

The advantages of owning a server in-house include minimal downtime, and better application performance and speed, (depending on the type of applications you are using. ) If its important for you to control your own system and have the data at your place of business, owning a server may be the way to go. The disadvantage is the costs to maintain (including back ups, up keep, security, end of life, etc) for the server. You also need to make sure you have redundant power in case of a power failure. Usually, this is minimalized by purchasing a UPS that the server plugs into, as well as the regular power from an outlet.

The first step for a small business is to write out a list of business functions/problems an IT solution would solve for you. For example, a small business may require the following:

Types of Services

email
document sharing
Video conferencing
Database application

Important questions to ask

Do any of these systems hold confidential data which needs extra security or encryption?
What are your up time requirements? Is minimal downtime acceptable or unacceptable?
Can the systems be accessed in-house and remote, or are they only accessible to be accessed in-house?
Are there hidden costs or fees associated with the cloud computing services? Be sure to ask about maintenance contracts and the type of technical support available.
What are the hardware/software requirements for accessing the cloud computing services?

Some cloud companies offer a package that addresses each solution, or you can choose bits and pieces of each. As far as housing your own server goes, one modern day server would be sufficient to manage several types of small business applications.

Nicole Dyess runs Geeky Moms, a business devoted to inspiring women to use technology to their advantage.

The Modern World of Artificial Intelligence

Technology plays a pivotal role in bringing transitional changes in the lifestyle of humans all over the world. Since ages, men, women, and the technology are deeply associated with each other. The growth in technology also brings our future much closer to us with ever faster speed that we think of it today. The technology is expanding at an exponential rate and hence, No one can predict or guarantee how long your latest gadget or product that you buy from the market few second before will remain in the top technology list.

The extensive growth in the technology has not left any stone unturned to mesmerize the human experience. Every stage and state of the industry in which we work today has been reshaped fundamentally through technology, which emerged drastically in the second half of the 20th century. With the advent of the internet, the technology has broken all the boundaries and perception of the people all over the world.

This revolution is also believed to be powerful tool that is capable enough so that in the upcoming days Computers and the technology will soon become more intelligent than us. The technological development opens new possibilities whereby the daily life of people became more comfortable, healthy, understandable, safe, fun and independent. The latest technologies also provide us, the assistance in terms of energy-friendly and sustainable solutions that helps in improving the environment in which we are living.

The rampant intensification in Technology has moved much ahead from merely making our lives more convenient. In addition, to this, it has the potential to change every aspect of what we think as humans. Due to this, we have become transhuman.

What Is Transhumanism?

Transhumanism is said to be an intellectual movement that aims to comprehend what makes one human, and how we can go beyond our natural limitations. In short it is a phase that transform human in which we behavior and condition through developing its physical, and psychological capacities with the growth of available sophisticated technologies.

The growing usage of technology has also changed the mankind in regards to the ability to perform in any situation. The rapid use of latest technology also makes a man and woman smarter. Furthermore, the faster rate of technology transfer in this digital world also explores how quickly our younger generation is adopting this technology in this age than those who were born few years earlier. The advancement of new technologies provides us a better way of communication and excellent usage of entertainment for making our life more enjoyable.

Will 3D Printing Be the Demise of Plastic Injection Molding?

Some observers of the plastics manufacturing industry, especially those with a vested interest, would like to have you believe that 3D printing is going to be the demise of injection molding. While there are certainly cases where 3D printing makes sense, the reports of the death of injection molding have been greatly exaggerated.

Plastic injection molding is a tried-and-true method of production that is in no danger of going away anytime soon. It is a basic, dependable method of producing high quality plastic parts. Despite recent improvements in the technology of 3D printing and those likely to emerge in the future, the fact is that more than 80% of plastic parts used in products today have to be injection molded.

The answer to the question, “Which manufacturing method is best for my part?” is, “It depends.” It depends on variables like quantity, quality and cost.

Quantity

David Kazmer, Professor of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, said in a published paper that 3D printing currently makes sense for the most rapid “procurement time to quantity” for a small quantity of 50 or fewer units.

So for production runs, injection molding is still the best manufacturing method, especially considering the long production time involved for 3D printing compared to injection molding.

There is an emerging “hybrid” practice of 3D printing the mold tooling inserts only, then producing the parts with injection molding. For certain limited applications, 3D printed inserts can be employed as a test mold for product development and very limited quantities. A 3D printed mold may last for typically just 60 to 180 pieces.

Kazmer’s study looked at where 3D printed tooling inserts may fit into the big picture, and concluded that there were still significant issues with both metal inserts (surface finish and machine cost) and polymer inserts (surface finish as well as poor strength and heat transfer).

Quality

One of the key limitations of 3D printing is the inability to make parts with the same physical properties as conventional injection molded parts. Although the number of various materials available for 3D printing seems to be constantly increasing, it is still limited compared to all the various plastic materials that can be molded. While a 3D printed prototype might be acceptable for evaluating its shape, there is no way to test the material characteristics if your prototype is not the same material as the production part will be.

Another issue cited in Kazmer’s study was surface finish. While the surface finish of the part may vary according to how good (expensive) the 3D printer is, it is still no match for the smooth surfaces attainable with polished steel injection molds.

Last, but certainly not least in the list of quality differences, is the issue of tolerances. Although the ability of 3D printing to hold tighter part tolerances is expected to improve with advanced process designs (like parallel printing) and optimization, today the part quality achieved in 3D printing is inferior compared to molded parts.

Cost

The overall cost of a 3D printed part compared to an injection molded part is tied to the quantity being produced, assuming the aforementioned quality issues do not preclude 3D printing as an option out of the gate. In the study at Lowell, the cost of 3D printing 300 of a certain size part was $20 each. The piece price of injection molding a million such units with a steel mold was just $1.13 each.

Another cost factor to consider is that associated with a design change in the prototyping stage. In 3D printing, there is no cost of modifying a mold for a prototype iteration. Design changes are simply made to the CAD model.

Within injection molding, design changes with a steel mold are typically easy to make and relatively inexpensive, but with aluminum molding tools, a design change may require the expense of all new tooling.

Additionally, new simulation software is now available to help resolve injection molding challenges in software – rather than through costly, time-consuming prototyping iterations. Testing molds in a virtual simulation environment cuts across communication barriers and allows designers, moldmakers, and manufacturing professionals to collaborate more efficiently and effectively, while eliminating the need for costly prototype and mold cycles.

When it comes to 3D printing versus injection molding, the best production method for your parts will become clear when you can answer these questions regarding your desired quantity, quality and cost.

The World Behind a Computer Screen

Undoubtedly, globalization has changed all the concepts of how people interact with each other and manage their times throughout the day. In our modern society, an individual is capable of taking several decisions regarding different segments of his life without leaving his smart device. The cellphone alongside with the internet have developed mechanisms that allow different people with different interests, opinions and beliefs express themselves incredibly fast. It provided several benefits, such as communicating with different people, from different places, in different time zones. However, it was also the trigger for some issues.

This technological revolution made incredibly easy to express yourself: With only one click, you can expose your beliefs, pillars and rights. As a consequence, people turned out to act like saints and devils at the same time. You might be asking yourself what it means to be a saint and devil at the same time. Here is what it means: On Facebook, everyone is a saint, who fights for human rights, poverty and peace, condemning those who are not as pure as they are. Every action can be considered racist, offensive or homophobic and even if you did not mean to say that, I am telling you my friend; the “judges” will be there looking and pointing fingers at you.

The definition of hypocrisy, directly from Google, stands for the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. That is exactly where I am trying to get. Because, it is funny that most of the time, those people who are claiming for world’s peace and human rights, are the same people who park their car in the handicapped parking spot, or are even the ones who talk something bad about their own friends and family. I honestly think that if most people were the person who they pretend to be on social media, there would be no wars, poverty and or madness. The world is much more beautiful on a computer screen.

Please, do not get me wrong, I am not trying to say that people should stop posting positive things or fight for their rights. Furthermore, do not think I am perfect, because I am far from that, in addition, I might have done the same at some point on my social media page. However, I realized how annoying it was and how hypocrite I was turning to be. My main point and what I am trying to communicate is that those who actually care about the world are too busy trying to change it, therefore do not play the “Facebook Activist” role, because we are all tired of this play.

Our generation lives in a status that people are constantly trying to prove themselves. People just need to be who they are without trying to impose dogmas and criticisms on others. Therefore, because of the aforementioned reasons, facts and explanations, just implement the values which you believe to be the right ones without imposing and exposing them to the whole world. Being honest to yourself is the first step to change a whole problem. Before posting something in our social media page, whether it is a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. we should ask ourselves: Am I going to offend someone? What is the purpose of my post? Deeply inside, you ask yourself before you criticize others: Do I have credibility? Well, if you actually need some time to think about it, you probably should not post it. And remember guys, character is molded by actions and not posts.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Buying a Desktop PC

Let’s face it – computers have become an integral part of our lives. They’re everywhere so much so that without them this article wouldn’t even exist. Today when shopping for a computer, you will be spoilt for choice with several different models, configurations and prices to choose from. Shopping for a computer is no easy task especially for the less tech savvy with several tech jargon in the air, making mistakes rather inevitable.

Whether you’re looking to buy a budget computer or top of the line model, listed below are 5 common mistakes to avoid and by a computer that serves you well.

1. Buying a computer that doesn’t match your needs – if you think a computer is amazing based on the hyperbole surrounding it or simply because it looks good, you are taking the wrong route to computer shopping. It is however right to prioritize certain features both technical and aesthetics when buying a computer, but bottom line is buying one that will satisfy your needs. For example if your needs are basic such as internet browsing or some word processing, investing in a high spec model is not a viable decision.

2. Believing in a single number – when shopping for a computer, there are several numbers that are mentioned and a few that are disregarded. For example, many computer shoppers believe that an i7 processor is better than an i5 and although it is, there are several high quality i5 chips that will knock the socks of their i7 counterparts. So rather than simply focusing on high numbers, it is important to consider the components of the computer and other metrics such as clock speed, hyper threading and cache size.

3. Not knowing what your operating system includes – there are several operating systems to choose from, each with their own set of pros and cons. These include Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS and Linux, and each although may come across as being aesthetically different upon first glance, they do offer different functionality and better yet handle software differently.

Software that works well on your old operating system might be compatible with your new OS and in worse cases software for your new OS might not even be available. For example, Microsoft office will work its best when plugged in to a Windows OS computer, but will function differently when used on a Linux or MAC powered computer.

4. Ignoring missing details – as mentioned before it is wrong to simply favor high numbers when shopping for a computer because small numbers could mean the difference between buying a computer that’s right for your needs and budget and one that offers no real value. For example, if you’re a gaming enthusiast, buying a computer with no graphics card makes no sense. This not only does not serve your purpose of buying a computer to begin with, but will cost you a lot more when you decide to add components are a later time.

5. Thinking components can be added easily – continuing from the last point, adding components at a later point is a costly affair given that you will have to pay technician fees and then for the components as well. Another important point to note is that most computer warranties are voided as soon as you opt for third party technical help to open the computer and install new components.