Internet Connection Types

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Over the last two decades, the Internet has pervaded our everyday lifestyles in a way that makes the cyber world less of a luxury and more of a necessity for access to opportunity and information. With that in mind, not everyone requires the same connection speed for their Internet service, as we all tend to use it with a different purpose in mind. To make the search for the ideal Internet connection a little bit simpler, let’s look at some common Internet options and dissect which speed may best meet your own online needs.

Dial-Up

By far the most inexpensive of Internet options, dial-up – otherwise known as analog (56k) – is famous for — beyond its trademark connection sound — boasting the slowest Internet connection speed on the market. Using an ISP-provided public telephone network to connect, the quality of the access is relatively poor compared to its competitors and reaches a meager speed height of about 56 Kbps, much too slow for quality streaming or downloading. Still, dial-up is the economical option for a family living on a low budget, or for anyone who

5 Cool Mouse Operations You Can Use In Windows

Here are five windows operations that you can use on some occasions with windows or associated software.

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1 – Open new links in brand new tabs on Windows Internet Explorer

If your mouse has three buttons – then use the middle one to open new tabs. Hover the mouse pointer over the link and press the mouse wheel to open up new tabs.  All you need to do is place the mouse pointer over a link and then press down on the middle mouse button (the mouse wheel).

The middle mouse button is able to roll forward or back, however, it is also able to be pressed down and clicked just like a button.  If you do this on a link then it will open up that link in a new tab.  This is a lot quicker than pressing right-click and clicking on “open in a new tab.”  It is an easier way to research certain items by simply clicking in order to open new tabs.

If you are feeling the super lazy you can hold CTRL and press Tab to scroll through your

Monster Machine Cracks the Game of Go

A computer program has defeated a master of the ancient Chinese game of Go, achieving one of the loftiest of the Grand Challenges of AI at least a decade earlier than anyone had thought possible.

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The programmers, at Google’s Deep Mind laboratory, in London, write in today’s issue of Nature that their program AlphaGo defeated Fan Hui, the European Go champion, 5 games to nil, in a match held last October in the company’s offices. Earlier, the program had won 494 out of 495 games against the best rival Go programs.

AlphaGo’s creators now hope to seal their victory at a 5-game match against Lee Se-dol, the best Go player in the world. That match, for a $1 million prize fund, is scheduled to take place in March in Seoul, South Korea.

The program’s victory marks the rise not merely of the machines but of new methods of computer programming based on self-training neural networks. In support of their claim that this method can be applied broadly, the researchers cited their success, which we reported a year ago, in getting neural networks to learn how to play an entire set of video games from Atari. Future applications, they say, may include financial

Benchmark your data storage device

When you buy a data storage, or build your own, say, a RAID, you naturally want it to work fast. I have never met a single person who does like the slow drives.

However, often the real-life read/write speed of a device is somewhat different from the values advertised by a vendor or in case of DIY device from the design-time speed estimation.

There are many reasons why a device performs slower than expected. For example, when analyzing NAS performance, you should take into account the throughput of network to which you connect the NAS. For the external drives connected to a PC via USB, the overall performance will be limited by USB bus which at least five times slower than the slowest hard drive.

However, before you set to find out why your data storage device doesn’t provide the maximum performance, let’s learn how to measure the performance.

The process of measuring various performance characteristics of a data storage device is called benchmarking. The main measured parameters are:

  • linear read and write speed – speed at which a device can read or write sequential blocks of data;
  • access time – time for which

How Seniors Can Get the Best from the Digital Age

For most of us these days, using a computer has become a daily occurrence, so much so that many of us can’t imagine life without it. Completing work projects, checking correspondence, interacting socially and shopping online have all become part of our everyday existence, but not everyone has become part of the Digital Age. There is one significant group in our society which has been left behind by events, and it’s perhaps time to include them.

A significant number of the older members of our communities have little or no experience of computers, and will not be aware of the many benefits that regular internet usage can bring. In an era when we are encouraging young children to find their way around the web and to become increasingly au fait with everything computers can achieve, it seems a shame that we are neglecting those at the other end of the age scale.

Those who were born in the 1980s and beyond have grown up in an era of technological innovation, and are therefore better equipped to understand the many gadgets and gizmos that have appeared on the shelves of our stores ever since. Although there are

Raspberry Pi The Cheapest Computer to Date

If we look few decades back, it was almost impossible to think of working with a computer without any proficiency of knowledge about it. Gradually, the developers made it simple by making use of a graphical operating system. Now, it is simpler yet by the invention of Raspberry Pi, it has been developed by a charity called Raspberry Pi Foundation. It is not more than the size of a credit card. The feature which makes it genuinely special is its ‘ease of use’, especially for the beginners. Another important factor is its price, which is either $25 or $35, depending upon the version. The price is good news for them who can’t afford to buy a usual desktop.

These days computers are important, as these have become important means for communicating, be it for business purpose or some personal need. We could assure you that Raspberry Pi fulfills the basic needs of all classes of people. However, you need to understand one thing clearly, from the moment you take the circuit out of the package, do not expect things to happen automatically. If you do not know how to work with Raspberry Pi, land up on Raspberry

Virtual Reality’s Killer App Taking Over Your Social Life

The door to mass-market virtual reality is about to burst open. Engineers have solved most of the hardware challenges, driven down the price to just a few hundred dollars, done extensive testing, and gotten software tools into the hands of creative developers. Store shelves will soon be teeming with head-mounted displays and hand controllers that can paint dazzling virtual worlds. And then the first wave of VR immigrants will colonize them.

You might think the first adopters will be gamers, but you’d be wrong. The killer app for virtual reality will more likely be something to enhance ordinary social experiences—conversations with your loved ones, a business meeting, a college class—but carried out with a far richer connection than you could establish by texting or talking or Skyping.

Jeremy Bailenson, founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and his coauthors predicted in these pages in 2011 that such “social VR” was on the horizon. “Current social networking and other online sites,” they wrote, “are just precursors of what we’ll see when social networking encompasses immersive virtual-reality technology. When people interact with others for substantial periods of time, much as they do now on Facebook but with fully tracked

Considerations Before Bringing Your Small Business on the Tech Bandwagon

With the emergence of cloud computing coupled with software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0, and the proliferation of advanced wireless technologies and mobile devices, small businesses today are able to access a wealth of powerful and affordable technology solutions like never before. Moreover, those small businesses that are willing and ready to bring this technology into their operations are beginning to realize that they can even outrun and outsmart their big business competitors.

But with all this hoopla, it may become difficult for small business owners to sort out which equipment and applications are necessary, and which are not (or at least not for right now). Knowing how, if, and when, to bring in new technology is essential to the health of your business and can noticeably impact your bottom line. Here are a few things to consider before acquiring any new equipment or software for your company.

Why are you looking for this technology? First you need to define what you want to change or improve in your business. Depending on your needs, you may decide to hold off acquiring new technology if a viable, cheaper alternative exists. For example, many software applications

Streaming Dreams

On a rainy night in late November, Robert Kyncl was in Google’s New York City offices, on Ninth Avenue, whiteboarding the future of TV. Kyncl holds a senior position at YouTube, which Google owns. He is the architect of the single largest cultural transformation in YouTube’s seven-year history. Wielding a black Magic Marker, he charted the big bang of channel expansion and audience fragmentation that has propelled television history so far, from the age of the three networks, each with a mass audience, to the hundreds of cable channels, each serving a niche audience—twenty-four-hour news, food, sports, weather, music—and on to the dawning age of Internet video, bringing channels by the tens of thousands. “People went from broad to narrow,” he said, “and we think they will continue to go that way—spend more and more time in the niches—because now the distribution landscape allows for more narrowness.”

Kyncl puts his whole body into his whiteboard performances, and you can almost see the champion skier he used to be. As a teen-ager in Czechoslovakia, he was sent to a state-run boarding school where talented young skiers trained for the Olympics. At eighteen, “I realized then that all I

Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter It’s Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity

In 1969, the Neiman Marcus catalog offered the first home PC, a stylish stand-up model called the Honeywell Kitchen Computer, priced at $10,600. The picture shows an aproned housewife caressing the machine, with this tag line: “If she can only cook as well as Honeywell can compute.” That image should be on every cubicle in Silicon Valley; it’s a testament both to what technologists get right and what they get badly wrong.

To their credit, they understood that Moore’s law would bring computing within the reach of regular people. But they had no idea why anyone would want it. Despite countless brainstorming sessions and meetings on the subject, the only application the Honeywell team could think of for a home computer (aside from the perennial checkbook balancing) was recipe card management. So the Kitchen Computer was aimed at housewives and featured integrated counter space. Those housewives would, however, require a programming course (included in the price), since the only way to enter data was with binary toggle switches, and the machine’s only display was binary lights. Needless to say, not a single Kitchen Computer is recorded as having sold.

Today, of course, we have computers in

Is the Internet Making Us Crazy What the New Research Says

Before he launched the most viral video in Internet history, Jason Russell was a half-hearted Web presence. His YouTube account was dead, and his Facebook and Twitter pages were a trickle of kid pictures and home-garden updates. The Web wasn’t made “to keep track of how much people like us,” he thought, and when his own tech habits made him feel like “a genius, an addict, or a megalomaniac,” he unplugged for days, believing, as the humorist Andy Borowitz put it in a tweet that Russell tagged as a favorite, “it’s important to turn off our computers and do things in the real world.”

But this past March Russell struggled to turn off anything. He forwarded a link to “Kony 2012,” his deeply personal Web documentary about the African warlord Joseph Kony. The idea was to use social media to make Kony famous as the first step to stopping his crimes. And it seemed to work: the film hurtled through cyberspace, clocking more than 70 million views in less than a week. But something happened to Russell in the process. The same digital tools that supported his mission seemed to tear at his psyche, exposing him to

Sad as Hell

we look for control factors. Sometimes we invent them. The goal of solipsistic anxiety is to find an individual agent that explains our misery. We eliminate possibilities one-by-one in hopes that a single cause remains. This is how people deduce food allergies and come to workable morning routines (no to coffee, yes to tea; don’t transfer trains, walk the extra eight blocks instead). It’s frustrating when changes in lifestyle are not singular but rather come in waves, making it harder to identify and explain away the sole source of pain. We prefer that our personal problems not be overdetermined.

In the past year, I graduated from college, got a desk job, and bought an iPhone: the three vertices of the Bermuda Triangle into which my ability to think in the ways that matter most to me has disappeared. My mental landscape is now so altered that its very appearance must be different than it was at this time last year. I imagine my brain as a newly wretched terrain, littered with gaping chasms (What’s my social security number, again?), expansive lacunae (For the thousandth time, the difference between “synecdoche” and “metonymy,” please?), and recently formed fissures (How

The Incredibly Strange Mutant Creatures who Rule the Universe of Alienated Japanese Zombie Computer Nerds

Three years ago, the serene Tokyo bedroom community of Hanna was shaken by a series of grisly crimes. Four pre-teen girls were abducted, molested and mutilated in a serial killing-spree The New York Times described as so “un-Japanese.” But the perpetrator, who had sent bone and teeth fragments to the grieving families, couldn’t have been more Japanese.

The murderer enticed the children to his six-mat in Saitama, then molested and murdered them, recording the gruesome details of his deeds on the hard-drive of his computer.

When police finally caught up with Tsutomu Miyazaki, they found the 27-year-old living in two realities. By day he was a sullen apprentice at a local print shop. By night he lived out the fantasies he had internalized from avidly watching his collection of more than 6,000 slasher videos and pornographic manga, or Japanese comic books.

In defense of his warped client, Miyazaki’s attorney claimed that video and reality had merged; Miyazaki couldn’t tell gory fact from gory fiction. After Miyazaki’s much-publicized trial, one thing was clear: A new generation of anti-social, nihilistic whiz-kids had arrived.

Dubbed the otaku-zoku, or otaku for short, these are Japan’s socially inept but

A Nation Of Echo Chambers How The Internet Closed Off The World

Will Leitch, senior writer at Sports On Earth, culture writer for Bloomberg Politics, contributing editor at New York magazine and founder of Deadspin, is doing his yearly fill-in for Drew Magary on today’s Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo. (Here is 2011’s version, and here’s 2012’s and here’s 2013’s.) Leitch has written four books. Find more of his business at his Twitter feed and his official site.

In 2012, actor Rob Schneider, famous for something or other, spoke to a California television station about AB 2109, a California bill that required parents to get a physician’s approval to opt out of vaccinating their children (something no sentient physician would ever approve). I only came across this interview recently. It is amazing.

You can almost follow along with Schneider’s browser history as he continues to ramble on; there’s the mom message board, there’s the InfoWars THINGS THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW thread, there’s the blog of the doctor with the degree-by-mail who is the only one willing to tell parents the truth. You can tell Schneider spent all night preparing for this interview, jotting down the words he wanted to emphasize, “efficacy,” “toxicity,” “Nuremberg laws,”

FLYING UPSIDE DOWN

ONE holiday morning in 1978, Tom West traveled to a city that was situated, he would later say guardedly, “somewhere in America.” He entered a building as though he belonged there, strolled down a hallway, and let himself quietly into a windowless room. Just inside the door, he stopped.

The floor was torn up; a shallow trench filled with fat power cables traversed it. Along the far wall, at the end of the trench, enclosed in three large, cream-colored steel cabinets, stood a VAX 11/780, the most important of a new class of computers called “32-bit superminis.” To West’s surprise, one of the cabinets was open and a man with tools was standing in front of it. A technician, still installing the machine, West figured.

Although West’s designs weren’t illegal, they were sly, and he had no intention of embarrassing the friend who had told him he could visit this room. If the technician had asked West to identify himself, West wouldn’t have lied and he wouldn’t have answered the question, either. But the moment went by. The technician didn’t inquire. West stood around and watched him work, and in a little while the technician packed

Building the VW of PC’s

That was another thing. They hated having to translate their work into dumbed-down metaphors for the shiny shoe set – the meddlesome lawyers, media scribblers, and potential corporate sponsors who came through wanting to “understand” without doing the hard work of paying attention. Oh, god. This was just one more reason that Francis Benoit was glad he was working here at the La Honda Research Center and not out there in some corporate start-up, because despite all the roll-up-your-shirtsleeves myths and stereotypes, when you got right down to it, working for a start-up meant he’d spend 80 percent of his time doing complete bullshit – chasing VC money, writing technical documentation, hiring people – and all of it involved dumbing down your work. And the meetings! To participate in that game would be a waste of god-given talent, it would be a crime against his very own nature. Francis Benoit could just see himself cooped up in some office park, suffocating on his own unvented thoughts, poisoning himself, just to prove something to the shiny shoe set.

Then there was the time that photographer and his camera crew came out from New York to shoot an ad

Software-defined storage redefines modern data management

TBR Perspective

Data center transformation is no longer an option for only the brave or well-funded. Software-defined storage (SDS) is transforming data management into a simpler, less costly and more approachable option for customers compared to traditional models. Because the SDS approach is progressing more rapidly and at a more customer-accessible level than other technologies, such as networking, it will help define the overall software-defined data center movement that is in motion.

Thanks to the innovative inroads paved by server virtualization, data center customers increasingly focus transformation investments on other infrastructure elements such as networking and storage. Software-defined networking (SDN) represents the next step in the software-defined evolution for many, but SDS is leading the charge for the software-defined data center. In turn, vendors are aggressively positioning to capitalize on customer demand for better storage management and more effective utilization of analytics and other business-transforming trends.

As data storage demands skyrocket to accommodate the influx of devices connected to today’s data centers, the premise of buying complex, pricey storage arrays is quickly growing outdated, if not outright unreasonable. Traditional storage arrays retain business value now and in the foreseeable future, but data center customers consider

Requirements Engineering Means Business Success

Imagine woodcutters in a forest. They work hard and cut tree after tree to build a street. It is a huge physical effort and their foreman drives them hard to stay on schedule. He wants to cut a certain amount of trees per day and provides the workers with all they need to achieve this objective. Suddenly the client who ordered the street to be build comes back and shouts: “wrong direction”. Despite all the operational efficiency of the foreman and his team, they did not manage to deliver the intended customer experience.

Sounds familiar? Indeed, this is what we observe with many software products. Complex features must be developed at a low cost, but once they hit the market they won’t sell as expected. Or customers demand many changes during the development process, thus reducing margins dramatically from initial targets. Software requirements engineering is the systematic approach to providing direction before and during software development. It provides the means to deliver the right products or solutions at the right time for the right markets.

Requirements Engineering (RE) is the disciplined and systematic approach – that is the “engineering approach” – to elicit, specify, analyze, commit,

Stopping Bugs Before They Sneak into Software

Software development is not for the faint-hearted. Programmers often work long hours, typing code while staring at computer monitors. Computer software can include millions of lines of code, so given the nature and the volume of the work involved, mistakes are unavoidable.

Those mistakes—known in tech circles as “bugs”—can cause serious consequences for customers. Eliminating coding bugs is well-nigh impossible, but for software companies, reducing their numbers by any reasonable means is a high priority.

Now, Microsoft researcher Andrew Begel and a few academic and industrial colleagues are trying a novel approach to reduce coding errors: tracking the eye movements and other mental and physical characteristics of developers as they work. He will be discussing his work on July 15 during the second day of the 15th annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, in an afternoon session called “And how does that make you feel?”

Existing work to analyze the causes for bugs has focused on detecting correlations between bug fixes and code after the bugs are detected. But in his paper titled Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development—which he wrote with Thomas Fritz, Sebastian C. Müller, and Manuela Züger of the University of Zurich, and Serap Yigit-Elliott of the engineering and