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Monthly Archives: May 2016

24
May
2016

Quality Hosting And Connectivity Are Becoming Life or Death Resources

by Bill

Way back in 1999 there was a story that circulated online about General Motors CEO Jack Welch responding to a Bill Gates presentation at COMDEX. The fable claimed that Welch had said something to the effect that “If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars that crash twice a day and every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car” among other quips and jibes. The story itself has been proven false by Snopes, but the meaning behind it is becoming truer each year as technology continues to evolve.

Just this week, the NFL unveiled a new type of robotic practice player that is being tested during Pittsburgh Steelers minicamp. The devices, developed at Dartmouth by Dan Rooney (one of the owner’s sons and his team), can “run” the 40 yard dash in five seconds or less on grass and will soon be upgraded to run specific patterns for players to practice without tackling each other or risking injuries.

Simultaneously, in an unrelated story, Uber is now experimenting with their first wave of driverless cars in Pittsburgh as well. Designed to always be on, handle consumer traffic and fully automate one of the more mundane activities people have been engaging in for decades – getting from point A to B via their car.

As the world begins relying on cloud computing for tangible real-world products and services that can cause collisions, damage or loss of life – the need for reliable, secure and persistently maintained hosting is becoming even more important.  Whether it’s an airplane looking for a landing strip, a car deciding whether the traffic light is red or green, a tackling robot calculating how far away a player is and how much force to exert upon impact – data loss, hacks or failed connections are becoming too dangerous to overlook.

It’s one thing to need to reboot your iPad because Angry Birds isn’t playing properly. It’s something entirely different, to be figuring out what went wrong when a two ton vehicle crashes because it lost signal, or received erroneous information from a source it trusts.

National Net continues to make every effort to improve and secure your online connectivity each day. Whether you want to use your server to drive a car, or drive traffic to a landing page, we understand the importance of getting every packet of information to its destination safely and expediently, because whether you want to kick a field goal from the 20 yard line or the 50 yard line, your form and approach need to always be the same if you want to succeed.

 

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17
May
2016

Google, Facebook & Bing Continue To Ban Ads Without Regulation

by Bill

In what is quickly becoming one of the most interesting developments in recent Internet memory, the major platforms are continuing to flex their muscles by denying entire verticals the ability to advertise effectively online. Google announced the decision to ban advertisements via Google Ad Words that would promote payday loans and high interest emergency because the company feels some of those businesses are engaging in predatory loan practices. Bing recently banned ads for third party tech support services, which can sometimes also be fraudulent, or may prey upon people feeling vulnerable to viruses or other digital threats, and Facebook has also jumped in to join Google in banding ads from anything remotely ‘adult’ on its platform.

While many argue that they are private businesses and since they own the platform they should be able to do as they please with it, there is also a countervailing viewpoint emerging with some merit. Google dominates the Search marketplace to levels that at least border on antitrust infringements, and in collusion with Bing and Facebook have the power to not only curtail but to outright destroy the ability of entire verticals to make their products or services available to the public. While you may agree with some or even all of the things they have banned so far, it is important to take into account that these edicts are being issue unilaterally with zero regulation or oversight from any outside entity.

What happens when Google decides not to allow sporting goods to be advertised because they may lead people to engage in activities that can result in concussions? The number of items these monolithic companies may decide to ban are endless, and the fact that few are speaking up when some that are subjectively unsavory to them go by the wayside only fuels the likelihood that the emboldened moralistic forces within tech today will eventually overreach to an even wider degree.

It’s simple to say that consumers can go and choose a competing brand more inline with their own points of view, but that comment holds less and less weight as these companies take measures to further secure their primacy. Recent court decisions granting Google wide leeway to republish segments of entire books without the consent of the authors, lobbying efforts aimed at leading regulatory efforts rather than reacting to them, and 10 figure war chests to engage in legal battles, legislative battles or to buy out would-be competitors are compelling reasons to look a lot more closely at the editorial decisions now being made by today’s most powerful media outlets.

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10
May
2016

DNA Technology: Microsoft Investing Heavily In Biological Storage

by Bill

Scientists have been working on data storage in smaller and smaller silicon chips. Now a breakthrough has been found that allows data to be stored and accessed using biological DNA, and Microsoft is funding further research by purchasing ten million strands of DNA from a biotech firm.

According to the preliminary research, the possibilities are very promising. Just one gram of DNA can hold one zettabyte (yes, that’s one billion terabytes) of data. The other promising thing about this technology is that DNA is probably even more faithful than your old hard drive, as DNA can be sequenced and identified from specimens that are thousands of years old.

This might sound like some kind of evil scientist experiment, but the applications are actually mainly benevolent and helpful to humankind. Scientists hope to create custom genetic material that can be inserted into microbes that will allow them to perform helpful tasks, mainly producing chemicals that could be nutrients. Thus, there are a lot of medical applications for this technology.

The company that spearheaded this technological effort is known as Twist Bioscience and they have the cost already down to .10 per strand of DNA, but they want to get it down even further, to .02 per strand, to make these efforts even more affordable to others. The overhead costs of this type of technology have already dropped from billions of dollars in the 90s and early 2000s to just thousands of dollars today.

It seems that Microsoft is hoping to be on the cutting edge of using life itself as high fidelity data storage. According to the company, trials with Twist have proven that the data on the DNA can be fully retrieved and thus, could be a great option for long term data storage once the technology is even more affordable and widely accepted.

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04
May
2016

Mobile Encryption Is Now Becoming Standard With Simple Settings Changes

by Bill

Encryption is becoming more and more of a hot button issue, with people who don’t want anyone to listen in on their communications. How can you make sure your mobile device communications stay private? There are a few things you can do.

First of all, there are some apps which offer greater security. Chat and call apps Fiver and WhatsApp have recently implemented encryption so strong that even these companies themselves are unable to hack it. The two apps have a wide user base of 1.7 billion between them, and are now providing highly secure methods of communication that are setting a new standard for consumer privacy in the digital world.

However, using an app with a high level of encryption is just not enough according to some security analysts. You must also take a few extra measures to make sure people don’t get into your devices. One thing you can do is to enable “fingerprint verification.” A fingerprint is a unique key that is given to any user of one of these chat apps. You must configure the settings of your phone to let you know when a user’s fingerprint has changed. It might just mean that they restarted their phone, but it could also mean that there is a third party listening in or some other interceptor in action.

The other key component of encryption is denying any attempts by third parties to backup your data to cloud based services, because while your phone may be encrypted those cloud services assuredly are not. In fact, the big celebrity account hack, in which hundreds of private celebrity photos were released by hackers, happened only because the images were allegedly stored in the cloud. The downside to not backing up to the cloud is that your data will be lost if you don’t back it up to some other drive or computer.

All through the move toward Mobile, consumers have continuously traded away their own privacy and data security in exchange for modern conveniences. Now it appears that pendulum is starting to swing back the other way, with many of your potential customers now more interested in keeping their data safe than in having it readily accessible to anyone, anywhere, with or without their consent.

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