Friday, 26 May 2017

Is My Data Safe in Online Drives, or Should I Back It Up as Well?

Google data

Backing up Data on Online Drives – is it really safe?

Having files synchronised with online data storage services such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox,Flickr, Apple iCloud, etc. is very handy as it helps in retrieving some or almost all of the photos if the smartphone or laptop of the user crashes or is stolen.

However, one should never assume that the data is absolutely safe whether its network servers, cloud services, USB drives or external hard drives, smartphones, SD cards or CDs. Schofield’s Law of Computing states that a data doesn’t really exists unless there are at least two copies of it. But in today’s world, it is advisable to keep three backups in different places in such a way that even if one of them gets deleted it should not affect any of the others.

Syncing files with Online Drivers

A few years back, OviDemetrian, a Google Drive user, started a discussion on his website saying, that because of poor user interface he lost many years’ work and his personal memories which he had saved as Google Docs. When he moved all his files out from the Google Drive folder on his PC, he did not realise that those were just links.

When he went online and found out that his Google Drive space was running out, he emptied the trash folder which immediately deleted all his files. The reverse also used to happen often. A user would install Google Drive on their PC, put some files in its folder, upload them and then delete the data. However, on checking online, their files were not there. Users have a problem in even local synchronisation. Take for example, a user who has set up an external hard drive to sync with his data present on the PC’s hard drive.

All the files get backed up but if he accidentally deletes a file or a folder on his PC, the same file or folder is also deleted from the external hard drive due to the sync program. In this case, the external hard drive can be used to back up data the second time, that is, for backing up the back up. Another problem users face is the threat they face from ransomware where all the files on the PC are encrypted and are held hostage. This affects even external hard drives and cloud drives.

Triaging files

Some files are really important, such as family photos, which are irreplaceable and some really disheartening to lose such as an incomplete PhD thesis or a novel or any important data. In order to prevent such loss of data, an easy way would be to keep all the important files in a single folder and back up just that one folder instead of the whole PC, thereby avoiding backing up unnecessary data.

You can also choose the storage format depending on the size of the data to be stored. If the total size of the data is 700MB, a CD-Rom can be used, if the files’s size is 4.7GB, then it can be stored on a DVD. There are external hard drives that can hold a maximum of 8TB of data.

However, external hard drives of smaller capacities are more affordable. Optical discs can also be used since they are cheap and multiple copies of them can be easily made. At the same time, they are very useful as they are not affected by ransomware.

Option of Storing on Cloud

A few specialised cloud-based services are available for back up, namely Mozy, Carbonite and SugarSync but they are costlier than an external hard drive and can take a relatively long time to back up all the data.

Cloud drives used for general purposes such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox are ideal for sharing small files with others or for sending from one device to another but are not suitable for backing up data. You can have one to two copies of your data that is really important but if the storage size goes beyond 2GB then the additional storage space needs to be purchased.Google Drive charges $19.99 per year to provide 100GB or 1TB at $99.99.

Likewise, Dropbox also charges a certain amount which is £79 per year for a storage of 1TB.Microsoft Office 365 Personal offersOneDrive storage of 1TB for a price of £59.99 for a year. However, the best deal available is Office 365 Home with Premium OneDrive wherein the users get 1TB each for a charge of £79.99 a year along with Microsoft Office software for their PCs and Macs with an addition of applications for their smartphones and tablets.

Nevertheless, there are certain threats with cloud storage, such as the either or both the mailbox and cloud drive being inaccessible because of the provider or a hacker. Also, these online files can only be accessed using internet connection.

Therefore, it is advisable to not rely on just one cloud service for backing up your data and even two is not sufficient. Although, it can be a part of a more cautious and fool proof back up strategy where other media can also be included.

10 Smart Gadgets That Make Apartment Living Easier

Smart Home Products Devices

The modern smartphone is still in the learning process. In the rush of the technology world in making everything internet connected, the home tends to be a space with the greatest potentials for changes and lasting effect. We tend to be dependent on the internet in making our routine life much better and effective. There are various types of smart home products devices which are inclined in controlling the functions remotely from your smartphone and this trend is on the rise.

Several renters are of the belief that they are unable to revel in the perks of smart home devices since they are incapable of altering their living spaces. However there seems to be abundant of amazing products which could be utilised in one’s rented apartment. Probably one would be on the look-out for plug-and-play devices which would need minimum or no installation that could be packed up and taken along when they tend to move out. The following devices could be impeccable for renters.

1. Smart battery which upgrades normal smoke detectors

Rather than replacing the prevailing smoke detectors with a smart equivalent, you could just update the prevailing alarms. The Roost smart battery could turn normal smoke detectors into smart devices by just installing the battery. This would not need any tools and you could just pop it up and one would be capable of getting smartphone notification whenever the alarm tends to go off or if the battery seems to be low.

2. Install free smart plug which saves energy

It could be very annoying when one is faced with a high electric bill beside the rent. However Wemo smart plugs could be helpful. You could just plug them in your prevailing outlets and then plug in your appliances. This can be remotely controlled, whatever has been plugged in the Wemo, enabling the user to turn devices off when not at home.

3. Smart controller for air-conditioner

If an air conditioner has been provided by the landlord, you could upgrade the same into a smart AC unit with the support of the Tado Smart AC Controller. By installing the controller you would be capable of controlling the appliance remotely and save around 40% on energy cost. The Tado is also said to function with heat pumps.

4. Removable smart air conditioner

If the renter is not in possession of an air conditioner, he could treat himself to a smart, affordable AC unit. Frigidaire Smart Window AC tends to provide the renter with remote control over the device and offers maintenance reminders to save the user of not forgetting of changing the filter.

5. Standalone security System

The need of mounting cameras or pay a monthly fee for monitoring your home is not essential. The Piper All-in-One Security System together with Video Monitoring is said to be appropriate for rentals. This could be placed on a shelf or table and one will be capable of monitoring your place with HD video streams with real-time notification should something go wrong.

6. Kit to turn regular blinds to smart blinds

Another product which could turn your normal apartment fixings to smart gadgets is the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit. When it is installed, you will be capable of controlling your window coverings from your smartphone and set up schedules for them to open as well as put them in energy-saving mode.

7. Easy Installation of smart light bulbs

Smart bulbs are much preferred to smart lights. There are no hubs or bridge needed for these light bulbs besides a Wi-Fi connection. These could be even synced with Alexa of Amazon and hence can be controlled with voice commands.

8. Showerhead which enables you to take phone calls

Smart showers are said to be fantastic though there are chances that the landlord may not compromise on the installation costs. This should not stop you from enjoying a tech-savvy shower. The H2oVibe Rain Showerhead could be installed on the prevailing shower enabling you to answer calls or rock out on some of your favourite hits while you shower.

9. Sleep system to block out loud neighbours

Having noisy neighbours in the neighbourhood could be very disturbing especially at night. The gadget Sense Sleep system not only produces ambient noise in blocking out disruptive sounds but it also monitors your sleep patterns providing personalized recommendations on how one could have a good sleep and wake up in the morning.

10. Pet camera to keep your dog from barking

Should the barking of your pet tend to bother your neighbours, you could try quieting down Fido with the support of the Furbo Dog Camera. This amazing device is said to send you notifications if your pet is found to be barking and enable you to talk to your dog as well as feed him a treat or two

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Mind Boggling Optical Illusion Reignites the Debate Over Whether the Outfit is Blue and Black or White and Gold


Strange Optical Illusion

A clip shared on Korean site Ruliweb portrayed two outfits, one black and blue while the other yellow and white which seemed to alter right before your eyes. After an ill-famed debate had divided millions all over the web, it had been reignited by a short clip portraying a strange optical illusion.

 When a small section is relocated from one dress to the other in the animation, though it tends not to alter colour, it seems to match the shade of both the dresses. As the section tends to slip from the black and blue striped outfit to the yellow and white stripe dress it seems to abruptly slot into place without any problem. This delusion is said to work by adding what seems to be a shaded blue box above the yellow dress and a yellow tinted box above the blue dress.

However the delusion on the shifting of shade is on how the colour is viewed which is one of the reasons why several debated on the original colour of the #TheDress way back in 2015. Professor of Ophthalmology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, Andrew Lotery had informed the MailOnline that the variance in observation was owing to lighting conditions, the device from where the image is seen as well as the age and gender of a person.

Visual system Throws Away Information

People all over the social media have been debating about an image depicting a perfectly nice bodycon dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe. The debate is more than just social media and is about primal biology as well as the way human eyes together with brain have progressed in seeing colour in a sunny world.

 Light is said to enter the eye through the lens with various wavelengths matching to various colours. The light tends to hit the retina towards the back of the eye wherein pigments initiate neural connections to the visual cortex, the area of the brain which develops these signal into an image. Though the first surge of light is the result of whatever wavelengths tend to illuminate the world, reflecting off whatever one views at.

The brain on its own tends to figure out what colour light is bouncing off the image your eyes are observing and basically detracts that colour from the real colour of the object. Neuroscientist at the University of Washington commented that our visual system tends to throw away information regarding the illuminant and extract information related to the actual reflectance.

Various Combinations of Genes

Lotery had clarified that all tend to have various combinations of the genes which tend to develop the sense of colour for red, green and blue and since these genes are on the X chromosome, women seems to have added variations. As a consequence, women tend to have a more vibrant range of colour and could be more prone as well as subtle to particular colours.

 This could explain why women are casual between seeing the different colours while men typically do not tend to do so. He further went on to add that some people seem to have more than a single dose of a blue colour genes for instance and hence they will see higher or lesser stages of this colour also.

McLaren 720S Review: Mono-Live

McLaren 720S

720S - Unmatched By Rival Ferrari 488 GTB

You can settle back for some automotive theatre by pushing the start button in the McLaren 720S where the carbon fibre pod before your eyes seems to swivel through 90 degrees illuminating a mass of digital instruments.

Towards the entre a portrait-style infotainment system comes to life as your shoulders tend to pulsate to the launch cycle of 4.0-litre, twin turbo V8. This is followed by a heated growl from two exhausts, which has been mounted waist-high towards the rear, signalling the start. It is said to be a performance which is unmatched by the rival Ferrari 488 GTB. While coordinating with insiders of McLaren it was learnt that they had underestimated the importance of this kind of theatrics when they had launched their initial production car, in 2011.

The strangely named MP5-12C.McLaren had been considered to be the best Ferrari’s heritage and passion with production competence. Need for affected behaviour for the 720S had further been complex by an issue of McLaren’s own making. The company’s 200 mph mid-engined supercar known as the 570S already disapprovingly acclaimed is priced at £143,250. The 720S begins at a price of £208,600.

Apparent Difference – Styling

Director Haydn Baker, vehicle line director had informed  that when a customer tends to walk in a showroom and views both the cars; they had to give them a reason to gravitate to the 720S. Considering how fast the 570 tends to be, that appeal had to be about more than pure performance’.

 The most apparent difference had been the styling. Though several of the manufacturers tend to create a family of appealingly similar cars such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, the 720 as well as 570 seem to be radically different. Out of the two, the 720S is said to be more `Marmite’, where one expecting to discover conventional headlights, will find two gaping `eye sockets’ designed to assist channel air to the radiators.

Baker had mentioned that they wanted to make a statement with the headlights and also wanted the sides of the car to be very clean. The 570’s side air scoops utilised in cooling the engine had also been replaced by a channel running along the top of the bodywork – where it tends to meet the window glass and an added unobtrusive intake low down behind the door.

New Track Telemetry System

The signature airbrake of McLaren that tends to be fully deployed in about 0.5 seconds is also said to be present and accurate. It has been claimed by the engineers that the 720S is twofold as smoothly competent, has been defined by the ratio between adverse drag and appropriate downforce as the 650 model it tends to replace.

The 720S tends to debut McLaren’s new Track Telemetry system utilising GPS, three cameras together with a series of sensors comprising of throttle angle and lateral/longitudinal G-force in order to record circuit lap data.

 The driver can review the data, comparing various laps utilising the central infotainment screen or download it for later study. It is superb considering it as a tool for improving driver performance

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Checking for the Latest Windows 10 Update

Windows 10

Microsoft’s Creators Update for Windows 10

Recently released Creators Update for Windows 10 by Microsoft is also called Version 1703. The user can view what version number tends to be running on the PC on pressing the Windows and I keys to open the Settings app or choosing the Settings app from the Start menu and selecting the System icon. You can opt for `About’ towards the bottom of the list on the left side of the System Settings box.

 Here you can view the edition of Windows 10 connected on the computer (like Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro) together with the version number as well as the other technical details. If 1703 tends to be listed as the version number, your computer has been updated to the Creators Update.

 The upgrade to Windows 10 last month was the most recent revision of Microsoft of its Windows 10 operating system, which came in less than a year after the Anniversary Update (Version 1607) in August 2016. The Creators Update comprises of many new features such as a 3-D renovation of the paint program. Another option of viewing if one has the latest variety of Windows 10 is to check your Apps list for the new Paint 3D program.

Enhancement to Microsoft Edge Browser

The Creators Update also seems to bring about enhancement to the Microsoft Edge browser as well as improved designs for video game lovers. But as in the case with any main system update, there are bugs which tend to come up. On the online forums of Microsoft, some of the users had reported issues with Bluetooth and internet connectivity, computer-memory problems, Dolby sound disaster, crashing apps besides other anguishes.

Hopefully these problems can be fixed in the near future with system patches and workarounds. If one’s computer has already upgraded itself to the latest version, then the user would prefer to need to explore the Settings app a little more to ensure that you have the new operating system organized the way one would desire. For instance on opening the Privacy icon on the main Settings screen in order to settle the quantity of personal data one would prefer to share with Microsoft.

Automatically Install App Updates

Windows 10 tend to automatically install the app updates whenever they seem to be available. However the user could also check for updates manually. Some users are inclined to check manually so that they can see if there are any variations stated in the update. To enable automatic app updates you could –

  • Open the Store 
  • Tap or click the user icon towards the top near the search form 
  • Tap or click Settings 
  • Toggle on Update apps automatically 

To manually check for app updates

  • Open the Store 
  • Tap or click the user icon towards the top near the search form 
  • Tap or click Downloads 
  • Tap or click Check for updates 

The user could also check particular app for update by going to the Store page where you can utilise the search forms in locating the app. Another option is to check My Library for a list of all your apps.