Written by admin on April 6th, 2011
We always hear about how advanced information technology makes our lives easier. But do we ever really see the full extent of its benefits? Of course, there’s more accessible phone use, and easier research through the Internet, but aside from these, are there any other tangible advantages? Of course, there are! Here’s a list of a whole lot of daily routines which you can readily and quickly accomplish from behind your computer desk.
1. Online banking. Bank errands can be especially tedious. Aside from the need to drive, there’s a one hundred percent chance you’ll end up queuing once you get to the bank’s premises. And what if you have a number of banks to go to? Surely you’d have all the energy and time to make it before these institutions close for the day, right? Well, thanks to technology, this dreaded task can now be accomplished with ease. With financial institutions now offering secured online access to bank accounts, tasks such as transferring money and paying bills can be completed in a matter of minutes.
2. Working from home. Establishing a fruitful corporate or government career used to be a rather narrow path. You apply for a job, get accepted, work your way up the ladder, and hope that one day you get that coveted top position. Of course, all this hard work is still essential if you want to truly establish yourself professionally, but the big difference now is that you can do it right in the comfort of your home. And you know what that means? You won’t have to power dress any more or deal with annoying office mates. Of course, if you need to attend an online conference for the day, you might want to don a professional-looking jacket to hide those matching sweats!
3. Running a small business. In these dire economic times we’re in, it’s reassuring to know there are a few other outlets from which to earn a living. Perhaps you have a knack for creating useful, artsy crafts? So what’s stopping you from hocking them online? You can always put up a standalone website to sell these items, or run an online store through bidding sites such as eBay.
4. Booking flights. If you’re a frequent flyer, then you probably have your travel agent’s phone number on speed dial. But you might need to say goodbye to this business relationship while you still can. Travel agents are in fact a vanishing lot, thanks to airlines making travel reservations a breeze to accomplish now. And the best part of this is that you get to really save on your travel expenses as the need to pay extra for the agent’s services is eliminated.
5. Ordering movies. Weekend movie nights used to commence with a trip to the local video rental store. But this is no more as movies, in their digital formats of course, can be ordered with just a few clicks of the mouse! So why brave a chilly evening journey when you can quickly snuggle up the couch after completing your movie purchase online?
6. Shopping. Avid shoppers can of course frequent the malls. But with more and more online stores cropping up these days, this is no longer necessary. Not only is walking incessantly to find the things you’re looking to buy obsolete, but the whole hassle of looking for a spot in a crowded mall parking lot as well. Plus, you’re not just limited to merchandise that’s offered within the U.S. In fact, you can buy from anywhere around the world. Fancy an authentic sarong for an upcoming beach trip? Surely you’ll find nice ones being sold online!
7. Obtaining a diploma. Online schools are becoming more and more the norm these days. And this just makes sense. Not only does this new platform make education more accessible, but it also makes it cheaper. No more paying high prices for a dorm room, or having those long gas-guzzling drives to and from school. And if you’re worrying about getting a sub-standard education, then fear not! Reputable online educational institutions comply with strict standards set by professional and governmental institutions to maintain integrity. And best of all, there are a number of federal and state scholarships you can avail yourself of to help you obtain an online degree.
Written by admin on April 6th, 2011
Microsoft has lead the pack for quite some time now. Ever since people started using computers, Microsoft has been the reigning household name. The company was able to sustain growth and its market share despite the overwhelming number of competitors and the repeated controversies on antitrust. More importantly, it’s also important to emphasize how Microsoft managed to stay afloat despite the overwhelming growth and consumer reception that Apple has achieved. Throughout the years, the iPod and iPhone producer was able to transform itself into a profit-making machine and has developed billion-dollar offerings throughout the years. While the rest of the industry is still attempting to penetrate into this competition, it’s clear to see the two major players. However, the increasing presence of Apple as a direct competitor poses a serious threat to Microsoft. Experts are speculating: Is it time for Microsoft to take a bow and make way for another leader?
Measuring the Competition
The online community has always discussed the ongoing battle between Microsoft and Apple. However, it’s safe to say that many of these debates don’t provide actual data. Without actual data it’s almost impossible to conduct a good evaluation of the competition. Real facts can properly say whether Apple has been making comparable damage to Microsoft when it comes to sales monopoly and consumer market. Further, such information can also highlight whether the introduction of iPad and iPhone has affected the market for computers and their perceived functionalities. Basically, it all boils down to the sales figures. Sales figures tell a lot about a company’s current condition and the market for their products. The higher the sales figure, the better the company’s position in the competition. The internet is filled with countless news stories, business analysis and economic predictions. Using these sources, the following sections provide compiled information of sales figures and news stories on both Apple and Microsoft. These figures should be helpful in determining what’s the score between Microsoft and Apple.
Windows XP and Continuing Sales Decline
During the earlier part of 2008, a year or so after the introduction of Windows Vista, Windows users were been as accommodating to the upgrade as they were with other Microsoft products. In fact, many of them rejected the idea of converting to the upgrade. The number of users who switched to the new version accounted for less than 10% of the total number of users and around 5% of the same market is still using versions of the Windows system older than XP. As for the Windows 7, Microsoft similarly lost a considerable proportion of its user base. Consequently, Microsoft’s stronghold in terms of XP usage has also been declining over the years. In two years alone, more than 20 percent of its users have abandoned the system altogether. Nonetheless, this is not sufficient to suggest that the marketplace is completely rejecting Microsoft. While the decline in internet traffic from Windows-run computers (95.4% to 91.1%) is perhaps surprising, Microsoft is not alone: the same is happening for other competitors like Linux.
Apple and iOS-based Devices
Mac has been a revolutionary product for Apple. While Microsoft was having problems with Vista, Apple took the opportunity and launched aggressive marketing campaigns to increase the usage of OS X. Still, this is in comparative terms to the giant that is Microsoft. Internet usage from OS X powered devices increased from 3.45% in 2008 up to 5% in the following year. Nonetheless, internet usage through OS X and iOS has also been increasing due to increased sales of both the iPad and iPhone. Because of the innovative approaches given to both products, the market share for both has increased dramatically throughout the years. Currently, it is estimated that the market share for iPhone is around three times greater than the of the Android offering. For the first quarter of 2010, Apple has already managed to increase its market share by 2 percent.
There’s no telling who the clear winner is. With Steve Jobs momentarily leaving Apple and with Microsoft continued efforts to provide more innovative products, the battle is on!
Written by admin on April 6th, 2011
Online accounts are handy in this internet age. With newsworthy events typically unfolding before our very eyes on the web, it’s reassuring to know that we have multiple channels to help us stay connected to the whole world even if we’re only behind our desks. Here’s our choice of the top ten online accounts and why they are so gosh-darn useful.
1. Gmail. Gmail is the email service from the search engine giant Google. That in itself spells a whole lot of benefits as having a Gmail account automatically enables you to access other Google services. Furthermore, Gmail is perhaps the only email service provider out there to have such a gigantic memory capacity – and all of this for free! So store all the digital data you want on your Gmail and never again see the words “inbox” and “full” together.
2. LinkedIn. LinkedIn specializes in professional networking. So, if you need to establish connections with people who may prove to be beneficial to your career, then get yourself a LinkedIn account and start adding these people up in your network.
3. Facebook. With LinkedIn taking care of all the serious business, Facebook is definitely the frontrunner for the most widely-used and accessible social networking website. Do you ever wonder what your classmates in kindergarten are doing now? With Facebook, you may just be able to find out! And we’re not just talking about the possibility of touching base with acquaintances from the past, as you can readily establish bonds with people from all corners of the globe.
4. Twitter. Feel the need to constantly update friends on your comings and goings? Surely you can always ring them, but that takes time and not to mention money. With a Twitter account, you can do this as often as you like, as a single “tweet” gets sent to all of your followers. Talk about convenience, value, and efficiency!
5. WordPress. The Internet is instrumental in paving the way for self publication. Anyone can now get their written pieces distributed to as many readers as possible without ever signing a book deal. And if you’re into this kind of stuff, then you’re surely aware of the many available applications for self publication. Of course, none is as efficient and as easy to use as WordPress. In fact, this program has become the most preferred website architecture and template system! So if you feel the need to write down (well, online, actually) your thoughts, then perhaps you can do so using a WordPress account.
6. YouTube. Everyone has a video camera now, thanks to these gadgets becoming more and more affordable everyday. Of course, what good are those artsy shots of your cat wearing a tutu if they won’t be seen by anyone? With a YouTube account, this is of course possible. Having an account gives you access to use its video-sharing applications. Of course, you can upload as many videos as you want to entice followers to your channel, granted that you’ll follow the site’s posting dos and don’ts.
7. Tumblr. Tumblr is another self-publishing application, but with a little bit of a difference. While it too is a microblogging platform, unlike Twitter, it doesn’t impose a 140-character cap on its users. So, if you like to microblog but do so with more flexibility, then this might just be the application for you.
8. Del.icio.us. This is a social bookmarking website which allows you to manage favorite websites with ease. Furthermore, having a Delicious account gives one access to what other users are bookmarking, making searching for related themes a whole lot easier.
9. Flickr. Flickr is another self-publishing application where users can upload and share photographs. While creating captions for personal photographs is allowed, Flickr is used mainly by others as a repository for images. Running a blog and worrying about photographs taking up too much space? Then get yourself a Flickr which can serve as an extension to your blog!
10. Project Gutenberg. If you’re a certified bookworm, then you’ll surely find Project Gutenberg a gem! This is a website that features free downloadable digital and audio public domain books. Membership is not compulsory and you can go directly to the site to download chosen titles. However, if you would like to help in the effort of digitizing written public domain works, then signing up to become a volunteer will be required.
Written by admin on April 6th, 2011
In the last couple of years, the digital age has spread considerably, and its influences can be seen almost everywhere. Just as man-operated machines have propagated all over the world, so has virtual interaction. Café meetings, strolls in the park, an hour of board games with friends and even weekend trips have become less common in recent years. Many of today’s generation have become dependent upon using various virtual platforms such as online networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) along with other role-playing game (RPG) networks the world over. People are now investing more time in the virtual world than actively participating in the real or active world.
Moreover, the trend of social networking has encouraged the development of virtual relationships between Internet friends. These people may have never meet in real life but their level of attachment and relationship can already rival those of people who know each other personally. Nonetheless, despite the obvious advantage of meeting many people regardless of global location, there are several concerns regarding the effects of the virtual world, the relationships it forms and the interactions that propagate it. The following sections will provide an insight on both the benefits and negative effects of the second life or, simply put, the virtual world.
The virtual world is, in effect, like our second life, thus providing the necessary utilities to live one’s life and connect with others without actually having to physically do so. The virtual world allows someone to stay connected to everyone else while also doing other things. It’s more convenient than having to drive around to hang out or pick up the phone to chat. Simply sending an email to friends, colleagues and other acquaintances or having them join an online conference would suffice in connecting to them.
Further, the virtual world also provides a cheaper means to contact people from other countries. Instead of having to save up to buy airline tickets or pay for telephone bills, simply logging on to a social networking site and chatting with friends can eliminate any obstacles presented by geographical distances. Similarly, there are clear environmental benefits, as virtual communication replaces the need for paper snail-mail. As mentioned earlier, modern computer devices and virtual platforms allow people to multitask in a much easier way. You can easily chat with more than ten friends, send email, shop online and type a report all at the same time. Keeping up to date with people and contacting them regardless of time and location are much easier to do in the virtual world than in real life. It’s easier to talk to each other at 1:00am in the morning through a computer than to meet each other. Further, the virtual world also allows people to find people who share the same interests and intellect as they do.
However, regardless of the many benefits that the virtual world offers, there is much at risk when it comes to assuming life online. First and foremost, you can never be too sure about the safety and security of the personal information you post online. Further, the risk of “running into a stranger” is higher on the internet because a lot of people can access profiles and information conveniently.
More importantly, there’s a chance that people you connect with online are assuming a completely different character once they are online. People can simply become anyone they choose in the virtual world. Since there is no physical interaction, a person’s online character is based on the kind of information they provide. This information may easily be false. Dependence on the online world for social interaction often causes users to suffer disconnection from the real world. For instance, spending excessive amounts of time playing RPG can lead to lack of productivity and social depression. This isolates the user from interacting face to face with people, which is vital in social development and personal growth. In more ways than one, it is safe to say that people should only participate in the virtual world in a moderate manner.