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About Besttechie

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    Mr. President
  • Birthday 07/19/1989

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    New York
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    My Girlfriend, Computers, Business, Helping People, Music, and Sports

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    Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2016) - 2.9GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
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  1. Besttechie

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  2. We all have those moments where we’re seated at the computer without an activity lined up. Maybe we’ve just finished up some work or just made a purchase at an online store. We stare blankly at the screen and ask ourselves, “What now? Should I go read a book? Should I do some cleaning around the house? Or should I toss myself down into the rabbit hole that is the Internet?” Let’s be honest: most of us choose option three. The Internet provides a nearly endless stream of interesting content and mindless distractions, and if you have time (and aren’t picky about how it’s spent), you too can find an activity to engage in online. We’ve highlighted a few ways you can burn time on the Internet below, but if we miss out on one of your favorites, you’re more than welcome to leave your suggestion as a comment. StumbleUpon Want to be sent to a random website on the Internet that another person has deemed interesting? StumbleUpon is the ticket. You can opt for a site totally out of left field, or be sent to a random place related to subject matter you’re interested in. And thanks to the way StumbleUpon works, the more a site is liked by other users, the more likely you are to be transported to it. So you’re bound to come across something fascinating, and it’ll only take you a few seconds of clicking the “Stumble” button to get there. Wikipedia You may have heard tales of those sucked in by Wikipedia. They go to the collaborative encyclopedia to research a single topic, but soon, they’re pulled into pages on other topics, and further and further down the rabbit hole they go. What started as a visit to the “potato” page becomes, hours later, a read through the biography of McDonald’s founder Ray Croc. Wikipedia’s internal links make it super easy to become distracted while reading another topic, so if you want to get lost on the Web for a few hours, Wikipedia isn’t a bad choice. Gamble Online You could spend time online playing some games, but hey — time is money. Why not play something that has the prospect of making you a bit of dough? While online gambling isn’t exactly legal in the U.S., some provinces in Canada allow gaming through Live Casino Games. Take a stroll through an online casino, play a few hands of baccarat, and who knows — maybe you’ll win a little bit of cash. Or you could lose, and suddenly you’ll have the motivation needed to do something more productive. The post Bored? Here are some ways to burn time online appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  3. Before long, our cars might drive us. It’s a cool idea–but are we ready for the cybersecurity problems that entails? As we’ve brought more of our lives online, the looming threat of cybercrime has grown ever more prominent, as has the risk that human error will see sensitive data fall into the wrong hands. Today, it seems like it’s impossible to even turn on the news without hearing about a new cyberattack, a new type of ransomware, a recently-uncovered data breach, or some black hat cyberespionage incident. And the bad news is that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. See, we’re on the verge of what may be the biggest technological revolution in human history. A development that will change the way our cities our designed, the way we drive, and even the way we design our networks. I’m speaking, of course, about self-driving cars. While it will still be at least a decade before we see consumer-ready autonomous vehicles on the streets, companies like Google and BlackBerry have made enormous headway in testing and securing this new technology. It’s likely that within our lifetime, we’ll see the tech hitting the road. Before it does, however, there are a few major roadblocks we’re going to have to move past first. For one, autonomous vehicles cannot currently read body language or accurately predict human drivers. Someone driving in LA rush hour could do any number of random things that a human driver might predict and react to, but an AI driver might not understand. Not only that, an understanding of pedestrian body language is critical for a self-driving car to be road-safe – otherwise, it will be unable to determine if and when someone at a crosswalk might step out onto the road. “There are many situations that autonomous cars are still pretty far from knowing how to handle,” said Shlomo Zilberstein, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in an interview with Popular Mechanics. “Some of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of both fully-autonomous cars and semi-autonomous cars are simple things that motorists take for granted. Eye contact, [for example], is a very significant thing.” These challenges will be overcome with time. Of that, I have no doubt. A far greater (and arguably more pressing) problem lies with cybersecurity. Consider what might happen if someone were to successfully hack a self-driving car. That isn’t like breaking into a bank account to steal money or a factory to steal intellectual property; a hacker could easily turn a self-driving car into a devastating road-bound missile. Think of the damage they could cause – it’s a scary thought, isn’t it? CONCEPT: Inside a self-driving car.While it is worth mentioning that autonomous cars are unintentionally more secure than human-controlled vehicles, that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks. They even made a movie about it. Outlandish though it was, there’s a grain of truth there, behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Self-driving cars aren’t the only thing that is being brought online, either. They are just one part of what many envision as the city of the future – a ‘smart’ metropolis where everything from street lamps to traffic lights to the power grid is connected. We need to make those systems near-impenetrable. Because if we don’t, cyberattacks could cause more than financial damage – they could end lives. To achieve this, we need to work together. We need to stop looking at cybersecurity as something that only needs to be handled on a business-by-business basis, and view it as something that rightly impacts us all. Beyond that, there needs to be a few areas of focus. Vendor accountability. Self-driving cars and other IoT devices need to be hardened against intrusion – and there needs to be legislation that holds vendors responsible if they are not. And speaking of legislation… Updated road safety laws. Road safety and vehicular cybersecurity go hand-in-hand. Lawmakers and businesses both need to work together to figure out how to regulate autonomous vehicles, and what safety standards are reasonable to apply. A more comprehensive code review process. There are millions of lines of code in modern connected cars – and there are even more in fully-autonomous ones. Given the sheer volume of programming necessary for even a single self-driving vehicle to hit the road, errors are inevitable. As such, we need an ironclad (preferably at least partially automated) review process to ensure we aren’t releasing vehicles to the public that are laden with dangerous vulnerabilities. Consumer education. We need to demonstrate to people why cybersecurity is important, and their role in protecting their systems, networks, and vehicles from attackers. If a hacker cannot break into the car itself, they might instead target the driver’s smartphone, or a nearby house or building. Systems isolation. Critical systems within an autonomous car must operate in isolation from one another, while still working together to create a consistent, coherent driving experience. This is likely the challenge that will be solved first, as we’ve already seen this to an extent with modern connected cars. Over the air encryption. One of the biggest cybersecurity issues with autonomous vehicles is update delivery. We need to ensure that patches and security releases can be downloaded remotely, and that those remote downloads are as strongly-encrypted as possible. Awareness of evolving threat models. As artificial intelligence becomes more prominent in the business world, so too will it catch on in the underworld. Before long, we will see an arms race between cybersecurity-geared AIs and rogue AIs under the control of hackers. That might sound like something out of science fiction, but it’s our future – and it’s one that vehicle manufacturers, vendors, and drivers must all be aware of. Eventually, self-driving cars will become a common sight on the road. It probably won’t be tomorrow. It probably won’t be two or five or even ten years from today. But it will happen – and when it does, we need to ensure we’re ready for the wave of vulnerabilities those vehicles and their associated infrastructure brings with them. Because with connected cars, it isn’t just data we’re protecting. It’s cities. It’s infrastructure. It’s people. The post Are we ready for the cybersecurity challenges of self-driving cars? appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  4. In the month since the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal began dominating the headlines, we had Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress, learned that the number of affected Facebook users increased to 87 million, and have seen a growing number of people participating in the #DeleteFacebook movement. While I’m not happy about the way the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal has played out, I have decided to keep my Facebook account, at least, for now. Nonetheless, the folks over at Blind, an anonymous work talk app that lets you discuss things anonymously with your colleagues, conducted a survey with their users to find out whether or not people had deleted their Facebook accounts. All in, nearly 5,000 people responded to the survey and 13.7% said ‘Yes,’ which, clearly isn’t good news for Zuck & Co., however, what shocked me most about the results of the survey was that 53% of respondents didn’t delete their account and also didn’t tighten their privacy settings. The part that makes this shocking to me is that these people didn’t adjust their privacy settings at all and they represent the majority of respondents. The only thing that I could think of in terms of the overwhelming number of people who didn’t delete or adjust their privacy settings is that a majority of the people who use Blind work within the tech industry, which may (and I need to stress this: may) mean they were more careful about their settings initially. That being said, I had my Facebook account privacy settings highly customized prior to this scandal, but I still found myself going through and making some additional tweaks after this whole ordeal. Blind ran the survey from 4/13 through 4/19, you can find the complete results below: Yes. 678 (13.7%) No, but I tightened my privacy settings. 1,169 (23.6%) No, and I didn’t adjust my privacy settings either. 2,627 (53.1%) I didn’t have Facebook before the incident. 477 (9.6%) I’d love to hear from you, did you delete Facebook? Let me know in the comments or tweet me. The post Report: 53% did not delete Facebook or tighten their privacy settings after Cambridge Analytica scandal appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  5. Marketers have an opportunity to learn more about successful branding every time Google has a new initiative. In fact, the company’s entire evolution makes a successful case study. The brand has a name and a logo which are known to more of its billions of worldwide users. Moreover, the entire Google logo history contains some essential branding lessons many should learn. Being one of the most powerful online brands in the world, Google has stuck to a few branding principles throughout the years. Visual communication matters, so its logo has improved until it reached a peak of interactivity, friendliness and recognizability. You know a Google logo element when you see it. Also, you enjoy discovering its new forms and shapes. Learn more about your own brand by looking into the Google logo history! Brand construction Google first showed off its name and logo back in 1997. The logo’s first version is far from impressive, carrying a strong 1990s vibe. However, the Google logo history was just beginning. At the time, Google was just a Stanford University project developed by two students. The logo seems to have been created using MS Word. Even though it was a private project, Google had a name and logo. Google’s first logo should be a possibility branding lesson. Regardless of how tiny a project is, you should develop a brand around it. You can find possibilities anywhere. Moreover, you have enough time to improve your project after its release. Brand release Google’s logo history over the years.Google Beta was officially released in 1998. The world saw a very improved logo, which resembled the one we know today. The color scheme was defined, together with the font. Color order differed. Moreover, the letters kept a slight 3D shadowing from its predecessor. However, the brand’s message was loud and clear – this is who we are, and we show everyone our name and logo altogether. Many brands exist before their release version, and nobody stops you to improve and adjust before you release it. A brand needs to have a strong message and elements which tightly connect to the message it aims to send. Google’s task was difficult, as its target public consisted of everyone who uses the internet for any information. However, the brand managed to find a common message which was appealing for its public and the company could promote. Mistakes can happen Google brand managers decided to show off a logo which featured a resemblance to Yahoo!’s brand image. Between 1999 and 2010, the logo changed its color order to the one we know today. The first G changed from green to blue, in search for a more energetic and friendlier image. For one year, the logo also included an exclamation mark, which was quickly removed. 3D shadows and rounded edges were still there. However, since 2010 colors became brighter. Google eliminated soon its common element to its competitor, Yahoo! The Google logo history doesn’t include an official announcement for this change. Therefore, you might feel the need to adjust a logo element if you receive signals from the market or it resembles with a competitor’s. You don’t need to announce adjustments, if they don’t also include a rebranding campaign. Adjusting brand messages The Google logo history includes another unannounced update. In 2013, the Google logo has gone flat. This was the first step of a transition to a friendlier and more interactive version. The logo included tome minor typographic changes which the end user could hardly recognize. Logos are there for years and decades. However, you can update its elements and adjust its message. Consider reviewing your logo occasionally and see if it fits how your target audience has changed. Rebranding to digital Google announced a major change to it logo in 2015. It consisted of: A new font which was mad in-house. Product Sans is also used for Google’s mother-company, Alphabet. This font improves brand identification through contrast and use a better pixel grid. Google introduced animation to its logo by integrating more interactive elements, such as the loading dots. As screens get smaller, this version of the Google logo is now friendlier and more visible on smartphones and tablets. The brand values and message are now more in line with Alphabet company due to the common font. When you announce a branding change, make sure that you consider all aspects that might make is spectacular. Announced rebranding campaigns involves no adjustments during the year it occurs. Consider messages, purpose and possibilities before any rebranding. Moreover, if you pay attention to details you can discover new elements to brand which is exactly what Google did. Interactivity is essential Google is a friendly, yet straightforward and innovative brand. The company had to create a campaign which emphasized its message. The Google doodles were first created in 1998, as out-of-office messages. This initiative was well-received, so the brand decided to explore the option. Today, Google doodles make the news, are interactive and personalized for countries and areas. They are targeted for both grown-ups and kids, as the Halloween doodles with games are. You will need a way to outline your message. Such a marketing campaign answers to a simple question: why? Why you say your brand is in a specific way? These initiatives bring you closer to your audience and make your brand more human. The Google Logo History Success Google began as a school project and is now among the internet leaders. This was a long, yet calculated way to travel. The Google logo history includes details and fun facts which you can additionally research on the Internet. You can study the brand’s evolution and discover successful branding lessons. Google’s initiative worked for a mainstream public, even though niches, brand positioning and specific target categories now seem to rule the marketing world. The Google logo history reveals inspirational and motivational branding lessons you should acknowledge. As your brand grows, you can research your public thoroughly and see which one you can apply. The post How the Google logo has redefined branding appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  6. I’ve written about web hosting services before as finding good web hosting for your site can be a challenging thing to do. The web hosting market is extremely saturated, there’s so many options out there which can make it difficult to weed through the bad hosts and find the good. I recent stumbled across an interesting new web hosting provider that uses the power of Google Cloud to offer web hosting services. The company is called Templ.io and I’ve been testing their services for over a week now and I have to say I’m impressed. Getting started with Templ.io The team over at Templ.io have built an easy-to-use dashboard that offers a seamless experience to setup a WordPress site on the Google Cloud infrastructure. In my tests, smaller sites were easy to migrate over to Templ.io while larger sites required me to get the [friendly] Templ.io team involved to help me out. While receiving help from the folks at Templ.io they were always very kind and professional and worked quickly to ensure that my questions were answered and that my site was fully functioning. While the Templ.io team is very helpful and knowledgable, they do realize that providing easy migration tools is of the utmost importance. When I spoke with them in detail about this, they assured me that it is a top priority of theirs to streamline the migration process via a new migration plugin. When you are setting up or migrating your site to Templ.io you will have the choice to select which Google Cloud datacenter you want to utilize. All of the Google Cloud datacenter’s are the same, so it’s recommended that you pick one that is located closest to you and your audience. Additionally, I should note that the cost of data and traffic may vary based on datacenter location, with North America and parts of Europe offering the cheapest data rates. Once you start start setting up or migrating your website, Templ.io will then set up a Google Cloud server, install Ubuntu linux, NGINX, MySQL, SSL (via Lets Encrypt), and fully configure and optimize the server for WordPress, including installing the latest version of PHP (PHP 7). The Templ.io dashboard As I mentioned before, Templ.io offers an easy-to-use dashboard to manage your website(s). Once you setup (or migrate) your site, you will see it listed in the dashboard. By default, Templ.io will assign a random name/word subdomain (e.g. arthur.templ.io) as a temporary placeholder domain until you add your actual domain from their dashboard. Once you add you domain, you can also add additional features like email and file access (or SFTP). When it comes to file access, it’s not like most traditional hosts which provide you with a username, password, and host, you need to provide an SSH key in the dashboard in order to be able to connect via SFTP. Luckily, if you don’t know how to do that, the folks at Templ.io have created documentation showing you how. I should also note that the team has created a lot of much needed basic documentation for their service already, however, it would be nice to see more in the future. From the dashboard, you can also get easy access to your site home page, WP Admin panel, and site database using conveniently placed buttons right on the site management page. That’s a small thing, but it’s a nice touch. The database management tool is fairly basic, but it seems to get the job done, though I’d prefer to see something a bit more robust like PHPMyAdmin. The benefits of Google Cloud web hosting There are a lot of benefits to using Templ.io and hosting your site on the Google Cloud infrastructure. For one, it’s extremely fast. It’s also extremely scalable. Using Templ.io you always have dedicated CPU and RAM for your site — so there’s no shared resources. In my tests, running BestTechie with Templ.io without any caching plugins was nearly as fast as my site running on DigitalOcean. And remember, that’s without the help of any caching plugins. It was really snappy. Additionally, because you’re site is being powered by Google Cloud you can easily scale up your plan with Templ.io as you grow with little or no downtime. You can also easily change the datacenter your site is being hosted in with the click of a button, again, with just a few minutes of downtime. Templ.io also offers automated daily backups that are kept for a month without any additional cost (it’s factored into the plans pricing). Lastly, another great benefit to using Templ.io and Google Cloud is that it’s much more robust. For example, if you run a site on a single server, if that server goes down, your site goes down. That isn’t the case with Templ.io and Google Cloud. Final thoughts While the team at Templ.io is definitely mostly focused on WordPress-based sites, they are flexible in terms of working with customers and I’m told would be willing to setup other platforms in addition to WordPress (e.g. how my site runs on WordPress but my forums run on Invision Power Board). I think that flexibility is important, so that’s nice to see. The team has been extraordinarily helpful to me throughout my testing and I think they have developed a great service. Sure you can setup a Google Cloud web server on your own, but it likely won’t be as optimized as the ones at Templ.io or have the added benefit of being completely managed. Overall, I like the service and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a great managed cloud hosting solution. Pricing for Templ.io starts at $29/month for their small plan, $79/month for their medium plan, and $149/month for their large plan. They can also create fully customized and scalable plans based on your specific needs. The post Review: Templ.io Google Cloud web hosting appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  7. Maximizing your influencer content is key to increasing on-site conversions. You need to know what type of influencer suits your target audience, attract your chosen influencer, and then build a relationship that can benefit you both. Learn the value of quotes and use them to promote your product. Realize that advertising has changed a lot, and that influencer content is your best tool to staying competitive in this new atmosphere. Choose the right influencer for your audience Focus your marketing efforts around your audience, since they are where your conversions (and money) will come from. You want to find out who they are influenced by, or at least the type of influencer. It’s more effective to use an influencer, seen as more trustworthy and independent, than to just blanket advertise without one. Who are the top influencers in your target industry? Are you looking for someone who will influence your readers to act, or change the way they think? Sure, your ultimate goal is to increase on-site conversions, but do you want to achieve this goal through increased traffic on your website or through getting your brand out there on social media? Answering these questions will help you choose the right influencer. Attracting an influencer Social media is your friend when it comes to landing your preferred influencer. You might want to start by checking out if any influential people are already aware of, and talking about, your brand. Look at what your influencer is talking about on social media. What kind of content are they interested in and talking about? Do your best to find common ground between your brand and their content. Join in on the discussions they’re having and explore collaborative possibilities. You know you can both help and promote one another, so show them what you’re worth. Building relationships Your collaboration with the influencer is going to benefit both of you, but someone’s got to start it off. Take the lead by promoting them on social media, using their services, and introducing them to useful contacts. The influencer will do the same for you once you’ve demonstrated your value. The best use of a relationship with an influencer is to make it an ongoing thing, rather than a single collaborative effort whose benefits will fade over time. Influencer quotes “One of the most valuable aspects of your relationship with an influencer is being able to quote them. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Quotes, in general, are very effective since people love to be quoted and people also love sharing quotes,” recommends Daniel Gould, marketing manager for EliteAssignmentHelp. Perfect for social media, by the way. Every time you quote your influencer, you can tag them, keeping your brand fresh in their mind (maybe reminding them how fantastic your services are when they return) and encouraging them to promote you again. Just make sure it’s okay for you to quote them, or you risk backlash on their social media and negative publicity. And yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity. It’s a new era in advertising The world has changed a lot in recent years, and so has advertising. People see so many ads in a day, on many different platforms, that they begin to tune them out. You can reach people by combining real content with your ad. Using an influencer is a great way to accomplish this task. People will move towards brands that provide information they actually want and need. If you know who influences your target audience then you know how to get their attention. And that’s not just a massive accomplishment in the current environment of dwindling attention spans, it’s the key to increasing your on-site conversions. Writing your content Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone. You don’t want to look like a goof by cranking out some sub par influencer content. That’s not going to help you attract your desired influencer. Get some help if you need it. Here are some resources that will help you write perfect influencer content: ViaWriting and Grammar Checker are useful grammar tools. PaperFellows and Oxessays are good proofreading tools, recommended by Huffington Post. StateofWriting and MyWritingWay are writing guides you will find useful. Academized and BestBritishEssays are great content marketing agencies. SimpleGrad and AcademAdvisor are writing communities you will find helpful. Keys to success It can feel like a daunting task to recruit and work with an industry influencer. Just choose the right influencer for your audience, attract your influencer, build a working relationship, cross promote one another, and utilize the power of the quote. Don’t forget to use the writing and grammar tools above to polish your influencer content. Follow this guide and you’ll see how useful influencer content is for increasing your on-site conversions. The post How to use influencer content to increase on-site conversions appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  8. Since it was released in 2009, Bitcoin has had a dedicated following of people who believe in the cryptocurrency. However, last year (2017), was the year when Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (such as Ethereum and Ripple) really went mainstream. The price of a single Bitcoin went from around $1,000 to almost $20,000, making some skeptics rethink their stance on cryptocurrencies. Since then, the price of Bitcoin has cooled off a bit, but is still hovering around the $8,000-range for one Bitcoin which is crazy to think when originally you could buy a single Bitcoin for a few cents (that’s quite the return on investment). Nonetheless, the explosion of popularity for Bitcoin has resulted in more and more places starting to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. What that means is now you can pay for your coffee or new computer using Bitcoin instead of USD. The fine folks over at 16Best have compiled a helpful chart identifying the growing list of places that accept Bitcoin payments, including Nike, Dell, Amazon, Starbucks, Newegg, and many more. It’s already quite an impressive list, but expect it to continue to grow as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become even more mainstream. Click to enlarge.The post The growing list of places that accept Bitcoin payments appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  9. So you want to start a business and need help figuring out how to get that startup cash? Here are seven funding sources to raise capital to start your own business. Savings This is the simplest source of funding for entrepreneurs kickstarting a business. This way is safe and effective as it won’t leave you in debt if your business fails. The drawback here is the time it takes to save up the funds needed. Certain businesses may need thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding. This can take decades of saving for some people to come up with. So, many instead choose the speedier options below. Venture capital or stock option funding Venture capital or investment have become one of the biggest sources of funding for business startups nowadays. Here, you pitch your idea for a business to individuals who have enough money to finance it. Then, you offer those may be interested a share of the profits and a say in how the company is run. The perk of this approach is the quick way in which you can get the money needed to set up your business. This method is particularly useful for those in industries with a high startup costs, like in green energy and medical industries. It’s also good for certain other industries like tech, which these days have relatively low startup costs but potentially very high returns. Of course the money you raise isn’t free, there are drawbacks as well, that come in the from losing both complete control and the money you can make, from your company once it’s up and running. So, like all other options on this list, you should compare the perks and drawbacks to see if this source of funding is right for you. Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. Often times crowdfunding is associated with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that let you pitch your idea for a product/service and receive pledges from people and in return the funders receive rewards/perks. The rewards/perks can come in the form of early access to the product or special promotional materials. There are also sites such as SeedInvest that allow people to invest in your company for shares of equity/ownership. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) The latest trend in fundraising is to offer what is known as an initial coin offering otherwise referred to as an ICO. An ICO allows startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies (usually Bitcoin or Ethereum). ICOs are not currently regulated, however, the SEC has began to take a serious interest in them due to some ICOs resulting in fraud. We’ve talked in the past about the future of ICOs and whether or not they should be regulated. Loans Loans are a great middle ground for those looking to finance a business. They offer a quick and easy way for you to get the needed funds for your company. But, they don’t require a share of your company or a share of the creative control. So, once you’ve paid off your loan, you’re free to enjoy all the profits from your business. They’re also an increasingly diverse option. You can refinance your house, apply for a personal loan, or even check out title loans. You can do this all online too from sites like TFCTitleloans.com. The only drawback here is the cost of the interest rates on the loans. So, make sure you do your homework to get yourself a good deal if you’re choosing this option. Part-time jobs or side hustles This is a popular source of funding for younger entrepreneurs. Getting a second, part-time job can help you accumulate enough money to put into a new business. This can help you bring in more money quickly, without needing a loan or investor. But, it will require more work and can be time-consuming. This makes it a better fit for younger entrepreneurs who may struggle to get approved for a loan. Grants or bursaries Part of the rise in the popularity of entrepreneurship has come from government support. Small and medium businesses can help boost a country’s economy. Because of this, the government is often happy to support the creation of new businesses. So, there are usually plenty of grants, bursaries or government-sponsored loans with low interest offered to entrepreneurs. These have next to no drawback, other than a potentially unsuccessful application. They can also make a great addition to another option on this list for added funding for your new business. The post 7 funding sources to raise capital for a business appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  10. Records of contracts and transactions are defining structure of economic systems. They exist to protect assets, verify identities, set boundaries in organizations. These records also govern communications among organizations, individuals, and nations. They also guide social action. But in the digital world, the ways to regulate and maintain control has to change. Blockchain technology is the core of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. It is an open ledger that records transactions between parties efficiently and in a more permanent way. Furthermore, you can program the ledge to trigger automatic transactions. Countless applications can run on blockchain technology, from banking to employment and transportation. This technology can also be transformative in social organizations. Most organizations are quite optimistic about the potential of these applications for social change and consider this technology a perfect method to establish trust, thereby creating potential for larger forms of social organization. IoT and Blockchain There’s also a link between the Internet of Things and blockchain. One of the developments in this area would include quantitative measurement of qualitative phenomena. Apart from tracking and verifying device history, an IoT powered by blockchain could provide a level of autonomy for devices, allowing them to make various transactions independently. P2P More Reliable This technology can also transform how we use resources. Several applications demonstrated the ability of this technology to improve resources allocation. This technology can establish trust, making peer-to-peer transactions more reliable. As a result, a lot of the problems of the shared economy apps will become obsolete. Big businesses, like banks and tech giants, will drive innovation. The increasing popularity of blockchain-based contracts can make blockchain a middleman in executing all business deals, legal agreements, as well as exchanges of data. Microsoft and IBM are already utilizing their cloud infrastructure to create custom blockchains for their customers. Researchers, on the other hand, explore blockchain apps for projects that range from medical and insurance records to digital identity. The best cities for blockchain startups 2018 are also using this technology for global payments, music sharing, tracking sales, etc. In digital assets and transactions, you can base anything on this technology. But legal hurdles must be untangled first before we can see wider adoption of it. However, those who are already adopting it are making amazing progress. And within the next few years, most of your digital life will start to run on a blockchain foundation. With this technology, contracts will be embedded in certain codes and saved in shared databases where no one can delete or tamper with them. In that case, every task and every payment would have a record and signature that could be stored and shared. In that case, we may no longer need bankers, brokers and other intermediaries. Blockchain in real estate Blockchain technology can create more equitable rent market. Rentberry is already using it to provide features that involve transparent rental auction. In this way, participants can see active bids and the highest bid. Tenants and landlords can negotiate prices in a secure way. The platform automates various areas of rent process, like agreements, payments. With this technology, the real estate shifts to a peer-to-peer model. It means that you don’t have to pay agents to assist you in finding a property, banks to transfer funds and exchange currencies. Other uses of this technology This technology can build a digital identity. Project Amply, for instance, is creating a subsidy management system net for preschools in South Africa. The technology can help enabling children to receive services that were not available for them before. Blockchain can also transfer digital assets without the use of intermediaries. And this what the UN Women did. The organization partnered with the Norway government to develop this system. The post Here’s how blockchain is becoming instrumental in social change appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  11. We all aim to be well off financially, but for young adults that are just starting out in the working world, becoming financially stable can seem long ways away. As students transition into responsible citizens, they quickly find that making money and keeping it isn’t as easy as they had hoped. Moving Towards Financial Maturity Admittedly, most young adults are quite clueless about how to handle their money, so they go about learning the hard way from life’s experiences. While one certainly can learn valuable lessons from trial and error, there is a better way to learn how to handle one’s finances. Knowing the ins and outs of saving money and getting better at protecting one’s assets will help you find financial success. Read on for some of the best tips to grow into a more mature money mindset. Discipline Yourself Most financial mismanagement comes out of being impatient and the need to buy everything you might want or need. The sooner you get into the habit of disciplining yourself, the faster you’ll be able to get your finances together. Instead of using credit cards for everyday purchases, learn how to save and budget for the things you want and just use credit cards for emergencies. Additionally, learn to say no to things you don’t need. Many people choose to go out of their way to buy products from name brand stores, without realizing that they can buy the same items for a lower price at different stores. Make Your Own Financial Decisions As an adult, it is important that one understands how to deal with money. This is particularly true for adolescents that are just starting to live independently. Relying too much on others will stunt your growth financially and get yours into a habit of dependency. By learning to know how to support yourself and how to stay financially afloat, you will be able to grow your wealth and become as rich as you hope to be. Too often our parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends give us guidance based on their situations or experiences. In these situations, someone may learn bad spending habits that will hinder their growth in the long run. Rather than relying on the guidance of others, take control of your money and learn about finances for yourself. Once you have an idea of where you hope to go financially, be sure to stick to your plan, keeping the opinions and advice of others at a distance. Keep a Journal of Your Spending Once you get started making some of your first financial choices and have supplied yourself with some solid financial knowledge through your new publication set you’ll start to understand the importance of budgeting, the difference between a need and a desire, and small ways to reduce your spending to make sure you are saving more and meeting your financial obligations. Before you can drastically cut back on your spending, you will need to first figure out where you are overspending. Start by noting where you spend the majority of your cash on a daily basis. Doing so will help to open your eyes where your money has been going and what you should do about it. Once you have finished, you will know what needs to be done to help put you in a better place financially. Begin an Emergency Fund Regardless of what your current financial situation is at the time, if you don’t have an emergency fund, you need to start one now. Even if you have a fair amount of credit card debt, high student loans, or simply feel like you don’t make enough money, failing to have money stashed away for an emergency will undoubtedly force you into a worse place financially. There is no reason why you can’t begin saving money right now. Whether you begin with $5 or $500; the crucial part of starting an emergency fund is actually putting your money away, eventually making a habit of putting a certain amount of your earnings away on a regular basis. If you don’t feel you make enough money to save, consider a part time job. You can drive with Uber or sell your jewelry online. No one is saying you need to take up a second career. But, working a few extra hours a week can help you build up that savings. Protect Yourself A part of growing up financially includes making it a point to have insurance. While it may seem unnecessary at the time, having insurance will allow you to save more money in the event of a disaster. Make sure that you are protecting yourself and your resources at all cost. Including health insurance, renters insurance, disability insurance, and sometimes even life insurance in case you have individuals who rely on you. The sooner you step up and become financially responsible, the sooner you can spend some time living and loving life. Even if you are just starting to get on the right foot financially, taking steps every day to become more mature with your money will allow you to reach the financial goals you dream of. The post 5 tips on how to become more mature with your money appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  12. Running a social media campaign is never easy. You must consider a lot of aspects including your strategy, your actions, and especially your budget. Whether you own a small or big brand, your social media marketing must provide effective results in order for the traffic performance to grow. All good until we stumble across a truly unpleasant situation: lack of budget or insufficient budget. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this challenge. You need to point your attention on different strategies and different aspects because traffic is traffic. As Mark Cuban, Marketing Specialist at AustralianEssays notes, “What you do doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your social media campaign’s ROI (return on investment) to stay positive and steady.” Well, in today’s post, I’m sharing 7 quick and effective tips to promote your brand on social media with a shoestring budget. 1. Be Different Being different means to display a unique value proposition in the niche marketplace. Simply put, you should do better than your competitors. See what all of your big competitors currently do and try to do better. Come up with something original and the customers in your niche will slowly become your loyal customers. 2. Provide True Value If you want to win in business, marketing, and sales, you need to work with one rule in mind: provide as much value as possible without truly expecting something in return. Of course, we do expect money in return. However, I’m saying that you should treat your prospects extremely well by giving them the best you’ve got. That’s when you give true value! 3. Engage With Your Audience You should engage with your audience on a consistent basis. Every time your social media followers comment on your pages, you should give them what they need. Solutions to problems, information, inspiration…you name it. It’s important to engage and get personal from time to time. This way, they’ll see the “human” side of your brand and there will be an increased rapport. 4. Offer A Great UX To offer a great user experience means to provide your users an easy, convenient, and fast way to access whatever they want. Have a clean social media page, illustrate the most important posts, and offer customer service whenever your users require it. 5. Measure and Optimize Your Results If you don’t track and measure your performance, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether you’re on the right path or on the wrong path. Obviously, you’ll feel it on your budget, but that wouldn’t stop you from investing again and again without measuring your results. There are plenty of free social media analytics tools that you can use to improve your entire performance, so don’t hesitate to do so! 6. Scale Once You Find Something That Works Once you identify a pattern that’s bringing positive feedback on a consistent basis, you should scale your processes and aim as high as you can. For example, if you find an ad campaign that provides 50% ROI for a few days in a row, you should immediately double or triple the investment in order to triple your results. 7. Be Consistent and Perseverant You should never give up no matter how many times you become disappointed. Most of the successful entrepreneurs and digital marketers have failed countless times before they got where they wanted to be. In fact, this is a topic that Jeff covered in a recent episode of the TechieBytes podcast titled the importance of persistence as an entrepreneur. The marketplace is tough but you need to be tougher. Prove that and your business will do well enough on social media! Conclusion Promoting your business on social media without disposing of an impressive budget is surely not easy. However, it surely isn’t impossible either. You can get organic traffic if you work for it, and you can stabilize your traffic flow by consistently paying with your time and attention instead of paying with your money. The post 7 tips to promote your brand on social media with a shoestring budget appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  13. Buying anything technologically complex can be a difficult and time-consuming experience. Whether purchasing for yourself or for others, the constantly evolving marketplace in terms of both hardware and software can leave many of us a little behind when it comes to our understanding of what is on offer. In this article, we’ll help go over the key components you need to know when choosing a device which fits your needs, and which will help you get the most out of your money. Know What You Need This is going to be a lot easier when buying for yourself and can be a little tricky when buying a device as a surprise gift for another. What you need to understand is what the different models can do, and what your choice will actually be used for. There is not much point in buying an expensive device which can do a great many things you’ll never require, so making an informed decision is both necessary and cost-effective. The key questions you should be asking here are: What is the primary use of this device? If it’s a cell phone first and foremost, you need to make sure that all the relevant components are included, and that the size itself is well suited for you and your hands. This can be especially important when purchasing both smartphones and tablets for users with impaired vision. What else might it be used for? If you are likely to use the device for more technical applications, then you need to be sure the device itself has the processing power to meet these tasks. A partially useful device is a colossal pain, so this is something we wish to avoid. Be sure to look into benchmarks and other types of performance reports for each smartphone you’re considering to get an idea of just how fast they really are. What level of technical understanding do you have? Not all operating systems and devices are created equal. If the user is new to the digital world then simplicity could be a huge concern. No point in buying something complicated that you can’t figure out. Right now there are two main mobile operating systems out there for smartphones: iOS and Android. If you want an Apple product, you will get iOS which is viewed by many as very intuitive and easy-to-use for customers. That being said, there are versions of Android (sometimes referred to as stock Android) that don’t come with the unnecessary bells and whistles [sometimes] included by manufacturers, however, often times stock Android phones are a little more expensive. All in all, it’s something to keep in mind. Do we have any special concerns which need to be taken into consideration? Is the device likely to get wet? How about dropped? Does it need satellite capabilities? The wrong choice here can render a device broken or unusable within a very short time frame, so it is best to first take into account any of the possible concerns you may have (Ask yourself: am I a klutz? Only you can answer that honestly). In addition to this question, another good question to ask is what accessories (if any) exist to help me minimize my chances of breaking my brand new smartphone? One company that has designed super protective cases for those of us who are clumsy is Otterbox. Once you have a bit of an idea here, the only thing left is narrowing down the models which meet your criteria. Fortunately, there are many websites like Best Online Reviews and even our very own (BestTechie) which have reviews written by professionals who take into account things which we can often miss. Following your choice, you need to find a dealer from who you can make your purchase. Just as reviews, there are many aggregator websites out there like PriceGrabber which can help point out which stores or online marketplaces have the best deals. Getting Ready For Next Time While the devices made today are quite powerful and long lasting, they are not designed to be used forever (this is large part due to lithium ion batteries and their limitations among other reasons). While you are using your device, keep in mind what you like and what you don’t, what you want that your device can’t do, and what your device can do that you never need. This can help inform your next purchase, saving you again when it comes to lower cost and reduced overhead. The post Basic tips to select the right smartphone for you appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  14. There’s a reason many students choose to live on campus while attending college — the truth is, enrollment in higher education can take up as much time and energy as a full-time job. Classes take up several hours per day, and that’s not including the amount of work you’ll need to do on your own time. That’s why it’s important to take every step you can to operate as efficiently as possible. We’ve put together some college tech hacks that you should definitely consider using to save yourself some time. Make use of a few of these — or all of them — and you’re certain to have more time on your hands for the fun stuff. Google Drive Stop assembling your projects in Microsoft Word. Cease creating your slideshows in PowerPoint. And for heaven’s sake, stop storing your important files on a thumb drive! Google Drive can do all of these things, and offers worry-free backup so if you happen to make a change to a paper that you want to undo, you can simply go back through an endless amount of revisions and revert your document back to its previous form. And Google’s collaboration features make it easy to work on a project with several people at once in real time. The New iPad A few weeks ago, this recommendation would have been a model of the iPad Pro. Now? There’s really no need for one of the pricer iPad options. The new iPad starts at $329 and recently added support for the Apple Pencil, which is great for jotting notes and signing important education-related forms. And the form factor makes it great for use as an eBook reader, so that thirty-pound backpack can become a whole lot lighter if you manage to get your textbooks in digital form. Travel Router A lot of colleges have fortunately gotten with the times and installed cross-campus WiFi, but is that really the best option if you’re in a dorm and need broadband for your smartphone or laptop? Instead, consider a travel router — a device that can turn the ethernet port in your room into your own personal wireless network, giving you faster speeds and more stable connections. Essay Writing Service You probably shouldn’t hire an essay writer every single time you get an assignment, but when you’re in a time crunch and feel comfortable outsourcing some of the work, or you’d rather spend some time hanging out with friends, an essay writing service can offer a shortcut toward getting the work done. It’ll cost you some money, sure, but if you value your time a whole lot more, and factor in some of that time to review the work you receive in return, an essay writing service can be a helpful tool. Any other college hacks you’d recommend to your fellow students? Drop them in the comments below! The post 4 college hacks you should absolutely be using appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  15. Besttechie

    Review: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

    After Fitbit’s release of the Fitbit Ionic, sales were not as high as Fitbit expected. By introducing the Versa into their line of products, Fitbit is back in the competition for providing one of the best smartwatches to date. The Fitbit Versa is a health and fitness smartwatch designed to help you live your best life. It provides many of the same features as the Ionic but with a new, lighter design. Read on for a review of all the features included in the Versa. Lighter Design At first glance, the Versa looks similar to an Apple Watch with its bright color touchscreen and lightweight aluminum body. The body is a square shape with rounded edges and contains three buttons on the sides of the watch. The Versa comes in five unique colors: Black case and black band Rose cold case and peach band Silver case and gray band Rose gold case and woven lavender band Graphite case and woven charcoal band Each watch can be customized to fit your style by changing the bands and the clock face. Changing the bands isn’t as easy as the ones on Apple watches, but you can easily change Fitbit watch faces in the Fitbit app settings. With the Versa, Fitbit provides more custom face options for you to choose from. One of the most attractive elements of the design is the Versa’s incredible battery life. It can last four days and nights without you needing to charge it. For a comparison, all-day battery life for the Apple WatchSeries 3 is typically 18 hours. Lower Price Tag The price for the black, peach and gray band watches is $199.95, while the woven band watches sell for $229.95. The Versa does not have a GPS, making it less expensive than the Fitbit Ionic. Compared to other smartwatches such as the Apple Watch Series 3 that starts at $329, the Versa is an excellent deal. It features many capabilities that are comparable to Apple Watches and other smartwatches for a fraction of the cost. Health and Fitness Tracking Fitbit smartwatches continue to be one of the best motivational methods for improving your health, and the Versa takes fitness tracking to the next level. It provides many of the same features as the Fitbit Ionic: All-day activity tracking for steps, distance, floors, miles and calories Guided breathing sessions SmartTrack technology that automatically records activities such as runs, aerobic workouts and sports PurePulse Heart Rate technology that tracks your heart rate Sleep tracking Swim workout tracking However, the Fitbit Versa also offers some unique health and fitness tracking features that help make this watch an attractive option. Female Health Tracking: Fitbit will soon be releasing a feature to turn on female health tracking where you can log your period, track your cycle and gauge ovulation. On-Screen Workouts: This feature is available by downloading the Fitbit Coach App for $7.99 per month or $39.99 per year. The app will deliver on-screen workouts that provide step-by-step guidance to walk you through various workout moves. The app workouts will also adapt based on your feedback. The one element that differs from the Fitbit Ionic is the built-in GPS. When using the Fitbit Versa, if you go on a run without your smartphone, the Versa can’t trace the distance or pace accurately. Phone Compatibility The Versa is made for everyone and is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows phones. On your Versa watch, you will be able to receive calls, texts, calendar and app alerts. Fitbit announced that they would soon be adding additional functionality for Android users to send quick replies to messages straight from their watch. A few things users have noticed while wearing the Versa is that the messages roll down from the top as opposed to appearing on the whole screen. Also, the text size is small. Users find that the call notifications make it easy to reject or accept a call straight from their watch. Wallet-Free Payments Wallet-free payments are available because of a built-in NFC chip which stores credit cards for use on your watch. However, the Fitbit Pay feature is not included in all Fitbit Versa’s and is only available in special editions of the watch. Lots of Potential The Fitbit Versa appeals to a variety of people and helps individuals manage their day while tracking key health information. The elegant and lightweight design makes this watch an attractive option. The Fitbit Versa may have the potential to become the greatest smartwatch of its time. The post Review: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article