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Security Apps: Home Security at Your Fingertips

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home security via smartphone

home security via smartphoneSmartphones are considered indispensable tools today. These devices not only make communication easier, as these also provide security right at your fingertips. Home security apps in smartphones make their houses better and safer places to live in.

The site elitehomesecurity.co notes that home protection in Utah will improve by incorporating security measures in smartphones. Using home security apps, you can prevent break-ins, keep your loved ones safe and cut down costs at the same time.

Keeping intruders at bay

If you’re a working parent, you probably don’t have time to take care of your house. Inadequate security measures in your house will make it vulnerable to break ins. Security apps lessen the likelihood of domestic robberies by sending e-mails and notifications to homeowners. These connect to your security devices to detect signs of forced entry. These apps will not only alert you, but give you control in your security equipment, as well. All it takes is a tap on your smartphone to activate them.

Saving your loved ones

Some security apps have two-way voice technologies for emergencies. Your relatives can contact you in case of home emergencies using this feature. Security apps will also notify you immediately if there are break ins, fires and other hazards in your house.

Downsizing the costs

There may be times where, in your haste to leave for work, you forget to turn off your appliances and leave them running. Your energy consumption will increase, which means higher bills. Your appliances may suddenly break and start a fire in your house. Boosting your home security will save you from additional and unnecessary expenses. Security apps can notify you about active appliances in your house. You don’t have to turn them off manually – your phone can do it for you, thus saving you energy, effort and money.

With security apps, smartphones are not just effective communication tools but cost-effective security devices, as well. With the security and cost-cutting solutions that they provide, you will have peace of mind and convenience no matter where you are.


What Makes an IT Service Management Effective?

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advance IT services

advance IT servicesInformation technology service management refers to the application of technology in the day-to-day operations of businesses. It deals with effective communication and optimization of IT budgets. This also has something to do with tracking and managing the risks the organization has both taken and managed to avoid.

Managing advanced technology IT services involves the same management skills employed in handling other organizational units– only with a few adjustments. For a quick overview, here are the three basic components of IT service management:

Framework

Frameworks provide the basis for managing IT services. For example, the IT Infrastructure Services Library or ITIL covers a framework of best practices to be sure that quality service is delivered. It also helps organizations solve issues that naturally come with the development of IT systems.

Tools

The tools refer to the software used for analyzing data regarding costs and benefits. It also helps in determining risks. The use of tools should support the objectives of the organization. IT service management tools are useful for implementing efficient business operation while generating accurate reports, which help inform crucial business decisions. There’s a wide range of IT service management tools on the market. Be sure to choose those that offer flexibility in terms of supporting IT and non-IT service needs of every department. They should be in line with the organizational flows by configuration and do not require customization that can lead to further expenses.

Controls

The third component involves the management, which relays the technologies and accompanying policies across all departments. This should cover the definition of guidelines, accountability, and any other control mechanisms. IT control makes sure that the technology used by an organization is running accordingly and that data is consistent.

IT service management is beneficial not only in assembling a well-structured IT department, but also in meeting the needs of customers. By implementing an effective IT service management, you should be able to simplify your organizational workflow and as a result, provide services more efficiently.


The Grand “Redesign”: What to Consider Before Restyling Your Website

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topnotch web design companyIn an age when the shelf life of a web design is influenced by unpredictable search engine algorithms, a redesign project is something you should carefully look into. Many website owners make the mistake of rushing into this without considering some important factors. When this happens, the owner runs the risk of losing some elements that might be useful to site visitors. Web designers who don’t perform a comprehensive site review are prone to such errors.

Authorities in online marketing and web design, such as Voodoocreative.com.au and Smashingmagazine.com, remind designers that the main goal of a redesign project is to improve conversions and revenue by modifying existing functions and aesthetics. You should do this without compromising the established reputation or branding position of your business. Here’s a guideline on how you should manage your redesign project.

The Necessity for Design

This is the first issue to tackle. Ask yourself why you need to redesign. Is it because your sales are plummeting? You see no comments on your blog? Your followers are too few? Or is it because you need to re-brand for long-term benefits? These questions are actually the bases of how your website will look like in the end. Have a definite answer in mind, as you can’t go back once the new design is implemented.

Analysis of the Competition

Before coming up with your design plan, check the looks and functions of your competitors’ portals. Compare objectively to see what you’re missing and to get a grasp of how they connect with their customers. Once you see the differences, fill the gaps with appropriate solutions and then integrate them with the design plan you have in mind.

On Brand Consistency

Make sure that your design plan is in line with your branding objectives. For instance, your redesign effort should automatically make use of your brand colour. If the typeface of your logotype is Gill Sans, make sure that this typeface will also be visible on the website. To avoid compromising such elements, refer to the style guide of your brand. Yes, you need one.

Don’t forget the things that concern the website’s more technical aspects. These include the content management system, the server support, the language of the design, and SEO-related matters. These are the crucial elements that ensure your website is functioning regardless of the environment or browser or is visible on the top search engine results pages. If you feel lost in what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a reliable design team.


Venezuela’s President Maduro Threatens To Expel CNN

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Venezuela's President

Image by Fabio Rodrigues

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro threatens to expel the US news network CNN from the country due to its coverage of recent protests there.

Mr. Maduro said he would take action if the news network did not rectify its reportage. He said in a statement that he was sending troops to the western state of Tachira, where there has been ongoing turbulence.

The leader of the opposition, Henrique Capriles, has called for a diplomatic anti-government walk on Saturday.

There were rumors of further clashes in the districts of the capital Caracas and the state of Tachira.

At a news conference, Mr. Capriles rejected violence and said he was ready for dialogue, but claimed the government was not eager to listen.

President Maduro, on the other hand, accused his opponents of promoting violence.

The government of Venezuela has been highly analytical of international media coverage, while protesters say they are alarmed with the absence of media freedom, Irene Caselli, BBC’s correspondent in Caracas, said in an interview.


Co-Pilot Hijacks Ethiopian Plane

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Ethiopian Plane

Image courtesy of BriYYZ

The co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines plane flying from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to Rome hijacked the aircraft and diverted the course to Geneva, Swiss police said in an interview.

The arrested hijacker waited for the pilot to go to the washroom to lock him there. He was unarmed and has requested asylum in Switzerland. The Ethiopian plane was hijacked as it was heading to Sudan.

Flight 702 was set to leave Addis Ababa at 00:30 local time and arrive in Rome at 04:40 local time.

Geneva police reported that the plane, a Boeing 767-300, had made an unscheduled landing in the city at 06:00 local time.

A flight-tracking application showed the aircraft circling over the Swiss city many times before landing.

The airline said in a statement that all 200 passengers and crew on board are safe. They exited the aircraft at about 08:00 local time surrounded by several police officers in Geneva.

At this moment, there is no clear reason why the co-pilot hijacked the aircraft. Police investigations are ongoing.


Hosted PBX: The Virtual Telephone Solution for All Businesses

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reliable telephone solutionEvery business, be it a start-up or a global corporation, requires the right telephone system to improve the quality of their communication activities. Numerous modern business telephone systems are available on the market, yet only a few can compete with the features and benefits of a hosted PBX.

Here are some of the reasons this virtual solution is the ideal phone system for modern businesses:

Reduced Initial Costs

Hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX)is a cloud-based system, eliminating the need for a significant upfront investment by purchasing a physical system. As this solution is mainly virtual, the amount you have to pay initially is much lower as compared with traditional systems. Providers operate and maintain the telephone system from their end, thereby saving you from the inconvenience.

Geographical Flexibility

This virtual system is not limited to the physical location of your business; it is a readily available service through the Internet. It can be used to seamlessly connect your employees wherever they are locally or internationally, allowing you to establish a more broad local presence.

Singular Company Number

Providers of hosted PBX allow you to have a single line for the entire company. Clients do not need to remember different numbers, making it easier for them to store and share your contact details.

Scalable System

This solution is flexible to meet varying business requirements. The services you would get from traditional telephone system providers are limited to land-based, less flexible telephony.

Easy to Use

A hosted PBX is far more user-friendly than conventional phone solutions. It has intuitive web interfaces, allowing anyone to easily manage, monitor and perform changes at any time.

Hosted PBX is perfect for all sizes of businesses. This modern solution allows start-ups and growing businesses to have an advanced telephone system without exceeding their budget whilst allowing established companies to further streamline operations through a more sophisticated communication service.

Clearly, a hosted PBX system is an effective way to take your business communications to the next level.


Keep your Business Bommunication Bystems Up-to-Date with SIP Trunking

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look for a reliable sip trunking serviceSession Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking often involves the use of VoIP to connect the Private Branch Exchange or PBX to the Internet. A reliable SIP Trunking service is the best option if you are looking for a more reliable communications infrastructure, as it provides everything you need to maximise savings and improve your operations.

Clearly, with a stable Internet connection, you can communicate more easily with fixed and mobile telephone users anywhere in the world, thereby improving your quality of service.

One Office, One Line

What is a PBX? A PBX is a telephone system that switches calls between users on local lines while allowing them to share a particular number of external phone lines. This usually eliminates the need to have individual lines for every user within an organisation. Modern PBX systems use digital technology to make switching and processing of calls easier and faster – all through a single line.

One Trunk, Many Signals

A SIP trunking system can even handle several tasks simultaneously. A trunk is a line that transfers many signals, such as voice, images, videos or computer programs. A typical trunk uses multiple wires, cables and fibre optic strands, which allow users to maximise bandwidth usage. Modern trunks are usually available as broadband wireless links.

These elements often work together to form a secure, reliable and integrated communication system. You can connect all internal users using your IP-based PBX. Your SIP Trunking service provider will facilitate the installation and maintenance.

SIP Trunking Means Savings

SIP Trunking allows you to make and receive both local and international calls. With SIP you can even record calls, send email and/or browse the Internet. It simplifies your IT and communication management processes by combining voice and Internet access.

Within any industry, gaining a true competitive advantage can be a challenge. Always aim to be different from your competitors by investing in more simple, yet sophisticated communications systems. Compared to other communications systems, a SIP Trunking solution can support better customer services and deliver a positive ROI much more quickly than you may expect.


Before Buying or Selling RECs: Know the Sources of Renewable Energy

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solar energyWhile the fact remains that we can’t live without it, we have turned it into a sellable commodity, meaning it’s not always free. This goes without saying: energy is important. Many economic players, decision-makers, and even small businesses have ventured into buying and selling energy, especially the renewable types.

True enough, investing in renewable energy is profitable and beneficial. Consider it as one of the top investment choices of those who have the money to afford it. In case you’re planning to be part of the market and go around buying and selling RECS, learn first the biggest sources of renewable energy to find out which is the right one to invest in.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is perhaps the most basic form that has been sustaining life ever since the world began. It comes from the sun and appears in form of high intensity radiation. Heat is an important element that influences many of the world’s weather systems and components, such as wind, rain, and water flow, which are all sources of energy, too. Through solar heat collectors like panels and plates, we can now easily capture, store, and use solar energy.

Wind Energy

We use wind energy to generate electricity or to provide mechanical energy that pumps water. Wind turbines can produce more than 75% of energy. The output greatly depends on the speed of the wind. Location is important when building a wind farm. This is the reason many wind farms are built in open spaces like open field and shores. In other parts of the world, people use wind power as a complementary power to other energy plants.

Hydropower

Water movement can either create two types of energy: mechanical and electrical. The way hydropower works is simple. The force and pressure of the water make the blades of a turbine, which is connected to a generator and the generator turns the mechanical energy into electrical power. One good thing about hydropower is it’s easily controllable. For instance, you can release more water if the energy demand is high, and just contain it otherwise.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is sourced from hot streams or reserves of hot water beneath the earth. What is good about geothermal energy is it’s flexible and always present. Its downsides, however, include risk of getting natural contaminants, like sulphur, and you can only source it from volcanic areas.

Bioenergy

Bioenergy comes from biomass sources like plants and other organic materials. Sources also include animal manure, agricultural wastes, community wastes, and water plants. The development of the extraction process is fairly new, and many advocates and experts are still questioning its feasibility.

Energy Business: More than Buying and Selling RECs

Venturing into the energy business poses some risks, but you can overcome it once you learn the basics. You will have to learn how energy reaches end users and how other distribution methods work.

Resources:

www.retaustralia.com.au
http://nigycc.net
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/business/energy-environment/23green.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Typography: Why Web Designers avoid Comic Sans

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ban comic sansYou see it often in comic books, on birthday cards, store signages, and restaurant menus, but how did a popular font become so famously disliked by web designers?

Comic sans MS, or more commonly known as simply Comic Sans, is a sans-serif typeface. Designed by former Microsoft font designer Vincent Connare, the font is classified as a casual and non-connecting script. It was created to imitate the historical look of comic book letterings and for use in informal documents. Comic sans has been a standard in the Microsoft font library since its release in the Microsoft 1995 package. It has also become a default for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Publisher, and has been used in cartoon guides and speech bubbles—making it one of the most recognizable fonts in the world.

Ban Comic Sans

Comic sans as a “casual font” was originally created for use in informal documents, but many people have overused it, using it in some formal documents, warning labels, and even on grave stones. This is where the backlash against the typeface started.

In 1999, two Indianapolis graphic designers started the “Ban Comic Sans” movement. Holly and Dave Combs started the project after an employer insisted that they use Comic Sans in a children’s museum exhibit. The campaign started as an inside joke on a website, but turned out to be one of the strongest anti-font movements in history. The site’s main argument is that a typeface should match the tone of its text and that comic sans shouldn’t be used in formal, professional tone.

Defenders

Not everyone hates Comic Sans, though. Some are trying to defend it, including French designers Thomas Blanc and Florian Amoneau, who tried to re-imagine the font in their Tumblr account, the “Comic Sans Project.” In their account, the designers used Comic Sans to rebrand some of the world’s most recognizable logos. A YouTube project also dedicated one of its songs to Comic Sans, saying it is “the best font in the world.”

A “Place”

While Comic sans is perfectly appropriate to use on websites that cater to children, many web designers in search engine optimization companies in San Diego believe it has no place in business and professional projects. Most of them argue that it is not suited in content body text, meaning it is best used as a heading or headline, or a short quote.

Comic Sans wouldn’t have caused much of a fuss among web designers had people used the font appropriately from the start. Comic Sans isn’t a “bad” font. Just like any other font, it has a place. There are projects that would benefit from its use. Then again, not all projects strive to be comical.


An Introduction to GIMP Software

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using gimp for photo editingMany graphic designers today look for programs other than Adobe Photoshop to expand their knowledge on editing images. They want to improve their skills by not relying on a single software program alone. Fortunately, an open-source graphic editor called GIMP is available to serve as a good alternative.GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a free editing software that’s similar to Adobe Photoshop, but with additional GIMP-only editing tools. Free download of GIMP works with Windows 7, XP, and other operating systems, making it accessible to anyone.

Program Interface

Three floating windows will appear as you open the software: the layers and brushes dock, main window, and toolbox. You can maximize the main window to see the digital canvas, while allowing the other two to float above it. The layers and brushes dock is usually on the right. The toolbox on the left, on the other hand, is slightly bigger than the one found on Photoshop and doesn’t have other options when clicked.

Getting Started

Create a new blank image and enter the width and height. Hold the CTRL key and use the mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom. Go to the right dock and look for the layers window to see if your blank image is there. Create new layers or import images to start editing. Make sure that there’s an eye icon present on the left side of every layer to make them visible.

Basic Tools for Editing

Use the paintbrush to draw anything using the mouse. The brush type is available on the lower right side of the layers and brushes dock. If you make a mistake, the eraser can delete anything in a selected layer. The rotate and scale tool allows you to adjust the parameters of the image. The selection tools are available in rectangle, ellipse, and freeform to select a specific aspect of an image.

GIMP has a user-friendly interface, so you can learn more about it by playing around with its tools. Look for a fast downloading site of GIMP for Windows XP and other operating systems to get started.

Sources:

http://www.gimp.org/about/introduction.html
http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorials/Gimp/1
http://downloadgimpfree.net/download-gimp-for-windows/