Saving, investing and making money with technology

Month: January 2017

Career Options for Science Students

There is around one crore of students writing 12th standard board examination across the nation. It is evident these exams are a turning point in each of pupils life. Even once the results are out both students and parents may experience sleepless nights. It is a vital point in student’s life where they have to make career options that would lead them to lead a happy and prosperous life.

 Now coming to biggest question that arises in every student “what’s next?” once done with board exams. Most of them have already chosen a stream that they want to step in after class 10th. But it may change one’s mind in two years of time span. Some even may have thought of preparing for PMT or IIT-JEE. It always betters to have a backup. Students preparing for various entrance exams can opt for NCERT Books and NCERT Solutions. These books help to upgrade one’s knowledge quotient.

NCERT Solutions are prepared by expert academic writers and teachers. The contents are in detail manner that are easy to grasp and are understanding. One of the advantages of NCERT Books is that they are available online.

Science is vast stream comprising of several courses with a lot of future scopes. One of the advantages of science students is that they can either opt for other streams in humanities and commerce which pupil’s of other stream do not have.

Science is categorized as Applied and Pure Science. Further, it can be classified as Biology and Maths Category. The first thought that would appear in mind is either engineering or Medical. However, they are several other courses that one can choose from.

Explore Careers

Engineering: At present, it is one of the most sorted out career options. If a student is keen in Maths, Physics and Science subjects, and if they love to explore the world of machines and technology then this can be the best option. Course Duration is four years. The Bachelor of Technology offers courses in different fields. Namely,

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Electronics and Communication Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Automobile Engineering
  • Printing and Media Technology
  • Industrial and Production Engineering

MBBS: Students who are keen interested in biology and would like pursue in medical stream can opt for this field. The course offered as follows.

  • Nursing
  • Optometrists
  • Dental Surgeon
  • Pharmacists
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Dental surgery
  • Bachelor of Ayurveda medicine and surgery
  • Physician and lots more.

Biotechnology: This stream is a combination of both Biology and Technology. Courses offered are as follows

  • Sc in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics
  • Diploma in Biotechnology
  • E. in Biotechnology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Science in Biotechnology.

Forensic Science

  • Sc. in Forensic Sciences
  • Sc. in Life Science, Chemistry, Forensic Science
  • Sc. in Forensic Sciences
  • Diploma in F/Sciences
  • Diploma in Criminology and Forensic Science for Police personnel
  • Diploma in Forensic Science Diploma in Forensic Science

Agriculture

  • Sc in Agriculture
  • Sc (H) in Agriculture
  • Sc in Agricultural Eco and Farm management
  • Sc in Agricultural Meteorology
  • Sc in Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Sc in Agricultural Statistics
  • Sc in Agronomy
  • Sc (Agriculture Marketing and Business Management)
  • Sc (Bio-chemistry and Agricultural Chemistry)
  • Sc in Crop Physiology
  • Sc in Entomology.

Students today have various career options that they can choose within their field of interest. More such interesting facts and information visit BYJU’S.

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Are We Creating An Insecure Internet of Things (IoT)? Security Challenges and Concerns

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been an industry buzzword for years, but sluggish development and limited commercialization have led some industry watchers to start calling it the “Internet of NoThings”.

Double puns aside, IoT development is in trouble. Aside from spawning geeky jokes unfit for most social occasions, the hype did not help; and, in fact, I believe it actually caused a lot more harm than good. There are a few problems with IoT, but all the positive coverage and baseless hype are one we could do without. The upside of generating more attention is clear: more investment, more VC funding, more consumer interest.

security and the internet of things

However, these come with an added level of scrutiny, which has made a number of shortcomings painfully obvious. After a couple of years of bullish forecasts and big promises, IoT security seems to be the biggest concern. The first few weeks of 2015 were not kind to this emerging industry, and most of the negative press revolved around security.

Was it justified? Was it just “fear, uncertainty and doubt” (FUD), brought about by years of hype? It was a bit of both; although some issues may have been overblown, the problems are very real, indeed.

From “Year Of IoT” To Annus Horribilis For IoT

Many commentators described 2015 as “the year of IoT,” but so far, it has been a year of bad press. Granted, there are still ten months to go, but negative reports keep piling on. Security firm Kaspersky recently ran a damning critique of IoT security challenges, with an unflattering headline, ” Internet of Crappy Things “.

Kaspersky is no stranger to IoT criticism and controversy; the firm has been sounding alarm bells for a while, backing them up with examples of hacked smart homes, carwashes and even police surveillance systems. Whether a hacker wants to wash their ride free of charge, or stalk someone using their fitness tracker – IoT security flaws could make it possible.

Wind River published a white paper on IoT security in January 2015, and the report starts off with a sobering introduction. Titled Searching For The Silver Bullet, it summarizes the problem in just three paragraphs, which I will condense into a few points:

  • Security must be the foundational enabler for IoT.
  • There is currently no consensus on how to implement security in IoT on the device.
  • A prevalent, and unrealistic, expectation is that it is somehow possible to compress 25 years of security evolution into novel IoT devices.
  • There is no silver bullet that can effectively mitigate the threats.

However, there is some good news; the knowledge and experience are already here, but they have to be adapted to fit the unique constraints of IoT devices.

Unfortunately, this is where we as system security developers stumble upon another problem, a hardware problem.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, addressed the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, warning that embedding sensors into everyday devices, and letting them record what we do, could pose a massive security risk.

Ramirez outlined three key challenges for the future of loT :

  • Ubiquitous data collection.
  • Potential for unexpected uses of consumer data.
  • Heightened security risks.

She urged companies to enhance privacy and built secure IoT devices by adopting a security-focused approach, reducing the amount of data collected by IoT devices, and increasing transparency and providing consumers with a choice to opt-out of data collection.

Ramirez went on to say that developers of IoT devices have not spent time thinking about how to secure their devices and services from cyberattacks.

“The small size and limited processing power of many connected devices could inhibit encryption and other robust security measures,” said Ramirez. “Moreover, some connected devices are low-cost and essentially disposable. If a vulnerability is discovered on that type of device, it may be difficult to update the software or apply a patch – or even to get news of a fix to consumers.”

While Ramirez is spot on in most respects, I should note that the Internet went through a similar phase two decades ago. There were a lot of security concerns, and the nineties saw the emergence of the internet-borne malware, DDoS attacks, sophisticated phishing and more. Even though Hollywood depicted a dystopian future in some films, we have ended up with kittens on social networks and a high-profile security breach here and there.

The Internet is still not secure, so we can’t expect IoT to be secure, either. However, security is constantly evolving to meet new challenges, we’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again, with IoT and subsequent connected technologies.

IoT Hardware Is And Will Remain A Problem

Some of you will be thinking that the hardware issues mentioned by the FTC boss will be addressed; yes, some of them probably will.

As the IoT market grows, we will see more investment, and as hardware matures, we will get improved security. Chipmakers like Intel and ARM will be keen to offer better security with each new generation, since security could be a market differentiator, allowing them to grab more design wins and gain a bigger share.

Technology always advances, so why not? New manufacturing processes generally result in faster and more efficient processors, and sooner or later, the gap will close, thus providing developers with enough processing power to implement better security features. However, I am not so sure this is a realistic scenario.

insecure iot

First of all IoT chips won’t be big money-makers since they are tiny and usually based on outdated architectures. For example, the first-generation Intel Edison platform is based on Quark processors, which essentially use the same CPU instruction set and much of the design of the ancient Pentium P54C. However, the next-generation Edison microcomputer is based on a much faster processor, based on Atom Silvermont cores, which is in many Windows and Android tablets, today. (Intel shipped ~46m Bay Trail SoCs in 2014.)

On the face of it, we could end up with relatively modern 64-bit x86 CPU cores in IoT devices, but they won’t come cheap, they will still be substantially more complex than the smallest ARM cores, and therefore will need more battery power.

Cheap and disposable wearables, which appear to be the FTC’s biggest concern, won’t be powered by such chips, at least, not anytime soon. Consumers may end up with more powerful processors, such as Intel Atoms or ARMv8 chips, in some smart products, like smart refrigerators or washing machines with touchscreens, but they are impractical for disposable devices with no displays and with limited battery capacity.

Selling complete platforms, or reference designs for various IoT devices, could help chipmakers generate more revenue, while at the same time introduce more standardisation and security. The last thing the industry needs is more unstandardized devices and more fragmentation. This may sound like a logical and sound approach, since developers would end up with fewer platforms and more resources would be allocated for security, however, security breaches would also affect a bigger number of devices.

Money Is Pouring In, Analysts Remain Bullish, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of the most common ways of tackling any problem in the tech industry is to simply throw money at it. So, let’s see where we stand right now in terms of funding rather than technology.

According to research firms IDC and Gartner, IoT will grow to such an extent that it will transform the data centre industry by the end of the decade. Gartner expects the IoT market will have 26 billion installed units by 2020, creating huge opportunities for all parties, from data centres and hardware makers, to developers and designers. IDC also expects the IoT industry to end up with “billions of devices and trillions of dollars” by the end of the decade.

Gartner’s latest comprehensive loT forecast was published in May 2014 and it also includes a list of potential challenges, some of which I’ve already covered:

  • Security: Increased automation and digitization creates new security concerns.
  • Enterprise: Security issues could pose safety risks.
  • Consumer Privacy: Potential of privacy breaches.
  • Data: Lots of data will be generated, both for big data and personal data.
  • Storage Management: Industry needs to figure out what to do with the data in a cost-effective manner.
  • Server Technologies: More investment in servers will be necessary.
  • Data Centre Network: WAN links are optimised for human interface applications, IoT is expected to dramatically change patterns by transmitting data automatically.

All these points (and more) must be addressed sooner or later, often at a substantial cost. We are no longer talking about tiny IoT chips and cheap toys based on such chips, this is infrastructure. This is a lot of silicon in server CPUs, expensive DDR4 ECC RAM and even bigger SSDs, all housed in expensive servers, in even bigger data centres.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; industry must tackle bandwidth concerns, data management and privacy policies, and security. So how much money does that leave for security, which is on top of Gartner’s list of IoT challenges?

A lot of money is already pouring into the industry, VCs are getting on board and the pace of investment appears to be picking up. There were also a number of acquisitions, often involving big players like Google, Qualcomm, Samsung, Gemalto, Intel and others. There is a list of IoT-related investments on Postscapes. The trouble with many of these investments, especially those coming from VCs, is that they tend to focus on “shiny” things, devices that can be marketed soon, with a potentially spectacular ROI. These investments don’t do much for security or infrastructure, which would basically have to trail IoT demand.

Big players will have to do the heavy lifting, not VC-backed startups and toymakers. Agile and innovative startups will certainly play a big role by boosting adoption and creating demand, but they can’t do everything.

So let’s think of it this way, even a small company can build a car, or tens of thousands of cars, but it can’t build highways, roads, petrol stations and refineries. That same small company can build a safe vehicle using off-the-shelf technology to meet basic road safety standards, but it couldn’t build a Segway-like vehicle that would meet the same safety standards, nor could anyone else. Automotive safety standards could never apply to such vechicles, we don’t see people commuting to work on Segways, so we cannot expect the traditional tech security standard to apply to underpowered IoT devices, either.

Having commuters checking their email or playing Candy Crush while riding their Segways through rush hour traffic does not sound very safe, does it? So why should we expect IoT devices to be as safe as other connected devices, with vastly more powerful hardware and mature operating systems? It may be a strange analogy, but the bottom line is that IoT devices cannot be expected to conform to the same security standards as fully fledged computers.

But Wait, There Weren’t That Many IoT Security Debacles…

True, we don’t see a lot of headlines about spectacular IoT security breaches, but let me put it this way: how many security related headlines did you see about Android Wear? One? Two? None? It is estimated there are fewer than a million Android Wear devices in the wild, so they’re simply not a prime target for hackers, or a subject for security researchers.

How many IoT devices do you own and use right now? How many does your business use? That’s where the “Internet of NoThings” joke comes from, most people don’t have any. The numbers keep going up, but the average consumer is not buying many, so where is that growth coming from? IoT devices are out there and the numbers are booming, driven by enterprise rather than the consumer market.

Verizon and ABI Research estimate that there were 1.2 billion different devices connected to the internet last year, but by 2020, they expect as many as 5.4 billion B2B IoT connections.

Smart wristbands, toasters and dog collars aren’t a huge concern from a security perspective, but Verizon’s latest loT report focuses on something a bit more interesting: enterprise.

The number of Verizon’s machine-to-machine (M2M) connections in the manufacturing sector increased by 204 percent from 2013 to 2014, followed by finance and insurance, media and entertainment, healthcare, retail and transportation. The Verizon report includes a breakdown of IoT trends in various industries, so it offers insight into the business side of things.

The overall tone of the report is upbeat, but it also lists a number of security concerns. Verizon describes security breaches in the energy industry as “unthinkable,” describes IoT security as “paramount” in manufacturing, and let’s not even bring up potential risks in healthcare and transportation.

How And When Will We Get A Secure Internet of Things?

I will not try to offer a definitive answer on how IoT security challenges can be resolved, or when. The industry is still searching for answers and there is a long way to go. Recent studies indicate that the majority of currently available IoT devices have security vulnerabilities. HP found that as many 70 percent of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack.

While growth offers a lot of opportunities, IoT is still not mature, or secure. Adding millions of new devices, hardware endpoints, billions of lines of code, along with more infrastructure to cope with the load, creates a vast set of challenges, unmatched by anything we have experienced over the past two decades.

That is why I am not an optimist.

I don’t believe the industry can apply a lot of security lessons to IoT, at least not quickly enough, not over the next couple of years. In my mind, the Internet analogy is a fallacy, simply because the internet of the nineties did not have to deal with such vastly different types of hardware. Using encryption and wasting clock cycles on security is not a problem on big x86 CPUs or ARM SoCs, but it won’t work the same way with tiny IoT devices with a fraction of the processing power and a much different power consumption envelope.

More elaborate processors, with a biger die, need bigger packaging and have to dissipate more heat. They also need more power, which means bigger, heavier, more expensive batteries. To shave off weight and reduce bulk, manufacturers would have to resort to using exotic materials and production techniques. All of the above would entail more R&D spending, longer time-to-market and a bigger bill of materials. With substantially higher prices and a premium build, such devices could hardly be considered disposable.

the internet of things - iot

So what has to be done to make IoT secure? A lot. And everyone has a role to play, from tech giants to individual developers.

Let’s take a look at a few basic points, such as what can be done, and what is being done, to improve IoT security now:

  • Emphasise security from day one
  • Lifecycle, future-proofing, updates
  • Access control and device authentication
  • Know your enemy
  • Prepare for security breaches

A clear emphasis on security from day one is always a good thing, especially when dealing with immature technologies and underdeveloped markets. If you are planning to develop your own IoT infrastructure, or deploy an existing solution, do your research and stay as informed as possible. This may involve trade-offs, as you could be presented with a choice of boosting security at the cost of compromising the user experience, but it’s worth it as long as you strike the right balance. This cannot be done on the fly, you have to plan ahead, and plan well.

In the rush to bring new products and services to market, many companies are likely to overlook long-term support. It happens all the time, even in the big leagues, so we always end up with millions of unpatched and insecure computers and mobile devices. They are simply too old for most companies to bother with, and it is bound to be even worse with disposable IoT devices. Major phone vendors don’t update their software on 2-3 year old phones, so imagine what will happen with $20 IoT devices that might be on your network for years. Planned obsolescence may be a part of it, but the truth is that updating old devices does not make much financial sense for the manufacturer since they have better things to do with their resources. Secure IoT devices would either have to be secure by design and impervious from the start, or receive vital updates throughout their lifecycle, and I’m sure you will agree neither option sounds realistic, at least, not yet.

Implementing secure access control and device authentication sounds like an obvious thing to bring up, but we are not dealing with your average connected device here. Creating access controls, and authentication methods, that can be implemented on cheap and compact IoT devices without compromising the user experience, or adding unnecessary hardware, is harder than it seems. As I mentioned earlier, lack of processing power is another problem, as most advanced encryption techniques simply wouldn’t work very well, if at all. In a previous post, I looked at one alternative, outsourcing encryption via the blockchain technology; I am not referring to the Bitcoin blockchain, but similar crypto technologies that are already being studied by several industry leaders.

Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace, prepare for war. It is vital to study threats and potential attackers before tackling IoT security. The threat level is not the same for all devices and there are countless considerations to take into account; would someone rather hack your daughter’s teddy bear, or something a bit more serious? It’s necessary to reduce data risk, keep as much personal data as possible from IoT devices, properly secure necessary data transfers, and so on. However, to do all this, you first need to study the threat.

If all else fails, at least be prepared for potential security breaches. Sooner or later they will happen, to you or someone else (well, preferably a competitor). Always have an exit strategy, a way of securing as much data as possible and rendering compromised data useless without wrecking your IoT infrastructure. It is also necessary to educate customers, employees and everyone else involved in the process about the risks of such breaches. Instruct them in what to do in case of a breach, and what to do to avoid one.

Of course, a good disclaimer and TOS will also help if you end up dealing with the worst-case scenario.

Hiring? Meet the Top 10 Freelance IT Developers for Hire in January 2017

This article was originally posted on toptal.

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Must Have Equipment For The Work-At-Home Person

If you’re a work-at-home mom or just a person that works from the comfort of their own home, there are some things you need around when it comes to office equipment. Of course, you need a good computer, maybe even a desktop computer and a laptop, but that isn’t all that you’ll need. You might have contracts to sign, photos to take, and people to talk to.

When it comes to working from home there are all sorts of jobs available. Here are some of the things you might need for any of them.

The Right Computer And The Ability To Travel

You definitely need a good computer for your home business. You want something that can keep up with the work that you do, which may mean something with a fast processor and something with a good amount of room. You may also need a computer with a CD-Rom, meaning something like a Chromebook just wouldn’t do.

If you travel sometimes for work or like to work out of coffee shops and bars, you’ll definitely need to have a notebook or laptop that can travel with you. Take some time to research the best deals as well as the best products before you make a choice. You’ll also want to invest in accessories for your laptop, like a protective carrying case and maybe a good set of headphones for privacy.

A Trusty Smartphone And Maybe Even A Tablet

You definitely want to invest in a good smartphone, especially if you’ll be using it a lot for work. You might want to make sure that the GPS system on it is a good one too if you travel a lot for work. Find a company that covers the areas you travel.

You may also want to get a phone with a decent camera so that you can save money and use it for any photos you may need to take for work purposes. A Bluetooth headset is also a wise phone accessory investment, as is a portable charger.

Your Printer Needs To Do More Than Print

Last, but not least, all home businesses need a printer. But you need something more than that, so pay a little extra and get a 3-in-1 printer. This device offers you printing, scanning, and makes copies for you.

No matter what type of home business you have, even if you’re a freelance writer, at some point you are going to need to print or scan something, like a contract. Don’t wait until the last minute to have this important piece of office equipment on hand. Look for one with quality printing and that won’t make you go broke on the cost of ink cartridges.

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Motive Wave : Analyze Trade Evolve

MotiveWave Software is a well-established developer of easy-to-use full-featured charting, analysis and trading software built for the individual trader. Our product “MotiveWave” has very advanced charting and drawing tools that are highly customizable and yet still easy-to-use, and also specializes in advanced analysis tools like Elliott Wave, Fibonacci, Gartley, Gann and Ratio Analysis. Plus, MotiveWave has all of the features (and more) that you would expect in a professional standalone trading platform, including scanners, strategy trading, custom strategies, backtesting, optimization (genetic and exhaustive), replay mode, walk-forward testing, reporting, and trade simulation.

MotiveWave has a product to fit any budget and trading style and is available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms. MotiveWave Software is a privately held company based in Toronto, ON with users worldwide.

The founder tried to find an Elliott Wave Software that had all of the features he was looking for to use in his own day-to-day Elliott Wave Trading. He couldn’t find any software that had everything he was looking for, so he decided to build his own Elliott Wave tools for his own use.

After building his own Elliott Wave tools, the founder realized that there might be a market for the tools he had created. He began to work on turning his Elliott Wave tools into a market-ready Elliott Wave Software package.

MotiveWave Software was founded as a privately held company. A free pre-release version of MotiveWave was released to the public as a niche Elliott Wave Analysis Software. Feedback was collected from the users and incorporated into the product to ensure it was easy-to-use and made sense for the individual trader. The feedback from users was that they didn’t just want an Elliott Wave Analysis Software — they wanted Elliott Wave Analysis Software and a full-featured trading platform all in one software platform. MotiveWave began expanding the functionality of its Elliott Wave Software with the goal of evolving into a full-featured standalone trading platform.

MotiveWave Software released version 1.0, an Elliott Wave Software which also included trading functionality.

MotiveWave Software released version 2.0, which included strategy trading, backtesting and optimization, and officially became a full-featured standalone trading platform with the most advanced Elliott Wave features available.

MotiveWave Software continues to invest in product development and releases updates with new features and enhancements to the software on a regular basis.

MotiveWave Software continues to invest in product development and releases updates with new features and enhancements to the software on a regular basis.

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Motive Partners : Financial Technology Investors

In the current world, financial trading has become one of the daily sources of life for many people. As a result of this, millions in terms of financing has been directed to new discoveries on the same line. This has made it possible to trade in the same. Thus tech guys also ventured in this line and as a result there was a revolution in the financial technology. Many and different organizations have allocated some part of their resources to this business venture to discover new and better methods so as to furnace thousands from the same. As a result, some huge investors have taken to the business of helping start-up companies that have new ideas in the financial technology line or as it is best known as the FinTECH industry. There are a variety of investors and some are the Motive Partners who we are going to discuss in depth below.

Motive Partners is a group that contains various entrepreneurs and investors all from different fields and all have different expertise in the various environments to ensure that they help start-up businesses that have decided to venture in the financial technology sector. On top of this they also ensure that old businesses that are focused to improve the financial technology are also boosted and given some sort of backup. The company is made up of people who have different expertise including: operators, investors, industry leaders as well as technologists all that help guide the said company to ensure its success. The core mission for the investment firm is to build as well as backing of the various start-up financial technology organizations to ensure that the said firm has a stable and bright future.

The above investment firm will take the company that they plan to invest in hand in hand through all the hardships that they face. Since many people in the world are taking into ensuring that they manage their accounts as well as their property personally ensuring that financial institutions do not handle this, they educate the public about the various financial technologies that they have. This will ensure that the start-up company has a stable and steady customer platform. The start-ups suffer from different hardships and the main ones are that they do not have enough capital to ensure that their ideas transform to something tangible. The investment firm will ensure that in a case where the idea is a good one, your ideas will be helped so that they can manifest to something tangible. They will also help different start-ups to ensure that there is an innovation that is line with the financial sector.

Since time in memorial, there has been domination from the financial institutions in the financial services and as a result there may be some sort or reluctance from this institutions. The group Motive Partners will fight for financial stability as well as the rights of their customers to ensure that there is some competition to the financial institutions so that the services offered also improve. The economic situation is also affected by the ways in which the financial institutions carry out their businesses. This is caused by the fact that most institutions in the line currently do not get the share of the capital that they intended to have. As a result they will have to better their services or face death due to the fact that most people are taking matters to their own hands. The group Motive partners has also had a hand in this due to the fact that they have educated their customers on the business.

The group has changed the FinTECH market through the following ways investing, innovating and also operating. In the investing arena, the group has taken to the different areas to figure out the various methods that may result to the improvement of the financial technology. Through this, they have invested in the different firms and made the ideas from the firms develop to actual algorithms or more tangible material to trade in the financial market. Through innovation, they have seized opportunities that others deemed not possible to ensure that there is sanity in the financial trading sector. They have also made vast changes that are visible to people in the financial services department. Through operation, they have helped the organisations that they partner with in their managerial areas so that they have stable companies and as we all know happy workers give the best results in any working condition.

The group in itself also has a chain of command within itself. The group that manages the investment firm is broken into three parts that include: Managing Partners, the founding partners and finally the team that is in the administrative role. The managing partners include Rob Heyvaert, Stephen C Daffron, Mike D Hayford and one man that is known as Andy Stewart that was just promoted from the partner’s level.

The next level of managerial, comes the founding partners that include: Frank Martire III who is the general head of counsel in the firm. Next is Etienne Castiaux who is in charge of the technology and has a title as the chief technology officer in the firm. Luc Philippi is next on the list and he is in charge of the operations that occur within the firm. Jon Bradford was one of those founding father to the company from its early stages and has since held a part in this managerial office. Alastair Lukies is the final member within the founding partners.

The group that is held responsible for the organization of the firm consists of people who are the principals in the investment sector the people that fill this shoes include Sam Nayden, Neil Cochaine and finally Yuting Zeng. There are also two people who act as the principal chiefs of staff and the two include: Brad Yankiver and Sam Tidswell. Next there is a man that is responsible for the investments and acts as the vice President to the principals and his name is Jeff Yellin. Jessica Roy is next in the ranking order and she is the director in human capital sector. AK Patel is the guy that is head in the IT area. There is an associate that is added to the list and his name is Ashvin Sinnathamby.

Early this year, the firm took an investment in a company that is known as LMRKTS. The amount that they invested in the said company as of now has not yet been revealed to the public. The company is responsible for reducing counterparty risks in most banks. The company is based in New York.

The investing firm is located in the current day New York as well as in London.

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OFM Expands Into Everyday Furniture With New Essentials Line

N.C. manufacturer to unveil over 100 different desks, chairs and tables over next two years

Holly Springs, N.C. – OFM, one of the nation’s leading office and school furniture manufacturers and distributors, announced today that it has officially launched its new Essentials by OFM line, dramatically expanding its everyday furniture with over 100 new desks, chairs, and tables, all being introduced over a two-year span.

“OFM has a built a great reputation, not just for the quality of our furniture, but also for our customer service,” said Blake Zalcberg, president of OFM. “Now everyone can enjoy what we have to offer, whether you’re searching for the perfect table for your living room or the right desk for your dorm room.”

The new Essentials by OFM line includes many of the products end-users need on an everyday basis. Currently, OFM already has 50 new models in stock including leather seating, mesh seating, folding tables and chair mats, and is expanding this list by the end of Q2 2017 into over 100 new items. The company just released a “racing style” leather gaming chair and a leather heated “Shiatsu” massage chair.   

Zalcberg says he sees how on a daily basis many of OFM’s dealers are going up against the largest companies and are constantly looking for new solutions that allow them to not only compete, but to win, and win while driving profits. This is one of the reasons Zalcberg says they introduced Essentials by OFM.

Started in 1995, OFM has long focused on furniture for the office and educational setting, offering its products through national retailers, mail-order catalogs and online dealers. The family-run company saw a market opportunity to expand into more consumer-oriented products with fast shipping and dependable customer service.

“We believe our dealers and customers will find this new line to be complementary to the OFM core product, “added Zalcberg. “A lot of companies selling this kind of furniture focus just on the product and we think that people are going to love our customer service as much as they love our chairs, desks and tables, regardless of their budget.”

About OFM
OFM is a family-run office and school furniture manufacturer and distributor headquartered in North Carolina with distribution centers there and in California, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. For more than twenty years, it has provided affordable, quality furniture through a nationwide dealer network, offering the latest concepts and designs to businesses, government, health care and educational facilities. Working with manufacturers in Mexico, Taiwan and China, OFM designs furniture to meet the highest industry standards which are sold through a variety of retailers, mail-order catalogs, and online dealers including Staples, Wayfair, Overstock, and National Business Furniture.                               

To learn more about OFM, visit: http://www.ofminec.com.

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Power Efficient Home Offices Can Save Money And Polar Bears

Does your father still use that fancy fishing rod you got him last spring? Did your significant other like the new watch, and that witty custom engraving? Do you enjoy working on your new 4K monitor, sharp enough to slice through a medium rare steak?

These might be the perks and gifts you could have afforded, had you paid more attention to power efficiency in your home offices. While it’s true that Toptal’s goal is to screen and select the top 3% of freelance software engineers, it’s also true that many remote developers overlook being power efficient. Also, we don’t exactly have a corporate headquarters with fancy plaques, reserved parking, and corner offices for top brass.

Most of us work from home, or from our own offices – most of us pay our own bills.

Of course, most freelancers didn’t start off that way. About 15 years ago, I was sweating and freezing at the same time as I was overseeing a green screen shoot in a cramped studio. There were a couple of dozen kilowatts worth of lighting and other equipment and the AC was on full blast. But it wasn’t enough, because the studio was like a sauna from the waist up and a fridge from the waist down. The AC couldn’t keep up and all the cold air just sank to the floor in seconds. It went on for days, and my employers weren’t too happy to see the damage at the end of the month. Our makeup artist almost ran out of supplies too.

But I wasn’t paying the electric bill, the company was.

Granted, this is a drastic example and most remote workers don’t burn hundreds of kilowatts of power per week, but saving a few dozen watts every hour can make a big difference at the end of the year. So, if you want to save a few hundred dollars or more and use them to treat your loved ones or yourself to something nice (rather than burning dead dinosaurs for fuel), keep reading.

Obvious Home Office Power Efficiency Tips

Let’s start with some more or less obvious tips. I won’t waste much of your time with the basics. Anyone can Google “home office power saving” and come up with loads of different guides, but I’ll save you the trouble and list the most important points:

  • Use power efficient lighting
  • Set your thermostat correctly (if available)
  • Use air conditioning unit for heating when possible
  • Check your insulation
  • Don’t forget to turn off lights and hardware
  • Select the right hardware and set it up for efficiency
  • Use good power strips, or smart sockets

Let’s take a closer look at these points, with an emphasis on the needs of the average Toptaler.

Power Efficient Home Office Lighting

Lighting is a good place to start. New bulbs are easy to retrofit, and high quality LED lighting is available around the world and on many e-commerce sites with worldwide shipping.

Traditional incandescent lighting is dead, and has been replaced by CCFL and LED lighting. Halogens are still used, but they can’t keep up with LEDs in terms of efficiency. Basically, you should focus on LED bulbs or modern fluorescent tubes. Both are available in a range of different color temperatures, so if you’re a “cool white” person like myself you should have no trouble finding something to match your needs – just make sure to check the Kevin temperature rating and find the right one.

power efficient home offices

Since we cater to a tech savvy audience, we should also mention connected LED RGB bulbs. Philips pioneered the concept a few years ago with its Hue LED lighting range , and cheaper alternatives are starting to show up as well. These solutions allow you to change the color temperature and intensity with just a few taps on your mobile, so they are ideal for people whose living room doubles as their office. They allow you to work under daylight or cool white light, then switch to low intensity warm light when you unwind and get in the sofa to watch TV.

Heating and Cooling Your Home Offices

If you happen to have a big home, this may be a big item on your power efficiency list. In case you are used to heading out to the office and coming back home 10 hours later, you’ve probably set your heating and air conditioning accordingly. But what happens when you start working from home?

If you have central aircon and heating, the most obvious approach would be to keep everything on because you don’t head out for work anymore – but this may prove very expensive in the long run. If you live in a studio apartment, you don’t have much choice, but if you’re in a house you do.

While you are technically still at home, you don’t have to heat or cool every single room just because you’re working in your home office. You need to focus on one part of your home and that’s it – don’t bother with the rest and treat it as if you were out. Of course, if you have kids or share your home with other people, this is not an option.

You can try to maximize heating efficiency by double-checking insulation in your home office, maybe even investing a small extra compared to the rest of your home, because that’s where you will be spending most of your time. You can also consider using small space heaters and portable fans to cut costs when it’s not necessary to heat or cool your whole home. Depending on the local climate, air conditioning can also be a significant expense during the summer. If you install a standalone AC unit in your home office, you can use it to efficiently cool down just one room without wasting power on the rest of your home. Modern inverter air conditioners deliver exceptional efficiency, and in addition to cooling they are also the most efficient way of heating your office, provided the temperature difference isn’t too big (this really depends on your location).

Also, if you happen to live in a warm climate and use air conditioning several months a year, you also need to take into account heat generated by all hardware in your office and heat generated by yourself. I am not going to quote Morpheus from The Matrix, because his BTU figures were a bit off and we’re looking for watts, but the average person dissipates more than 100W of heat an hour while sitting. Depending on what you do, your computer and monitor could use 100W to 500W, inefficient lighting 50W or more, and so on.

In a warm climate, all this extra heat has to be removed via ventilation or air conditioning. You will pay for each wasted watt.

save money with power efficient offices

This wouldn’t be the Toptal blog if we didn’t mention some geekier alternatives as well, so we will mention smart tech designed to shave off a few pennies from your energy bill. The Nest thermostat is probably the best known solution out there. Home automation is the next big thing, and we will undoubtedly see a lot more connected thermostats and all sorts of clever smart home appliances that will save more energy.

Nest claims its thermostat will pay for itself in about two years, assuming it’s installed in an average American home with a programmable thermostat. In any case, Nest is just a sign of things to come. While smart technology can’t make up for efficient heating systems and good insulation, in some cases it could cut your heating bill by a few percent (and we are talking about relatively big bills).

Of course, the easiest way to keep heating costs down is to drop the temperature, but I am not going to advocate that you freeze just to save a few bucks. Setting a sedentary reminder on a smart device is a good alternative, plus it’s good for your health. Instead of sitting behind your desk for 2-3 hours in one go, make sure to take short breaks every 45-60 minutes or so. If you’re working from home, you can use this time to do some basic chores. You don’t have to exercise, but taking the trash out, doing the dishes, or something along those lines should be enough to get your blood pumping so you won’t feel nearly as cold. Plus, it’s good for your eyes, spine, and cardiovascular system.

Another geeky way of boosting power efficiency comes from Elon Musk’s Tesla. The electric car maker recently announced Powerwall, a massive lithium-ion battery pack designed for homes. It is supposed to store energy during “peak solar” and allow homeowners to reuse it when the sun goes down.

The idea is not entirely new, a similar approach has been used by power companies for decades. For example, power companies use pumped-storage hydroelectric plants to store power during the night and reuse it during the day. Powerwall allows the individual homeowner to store power in pretty much the same way. It’s not just about solar. In many cases utility companies offer better rates during the night, and sell more expensive electricity during peak hours.

The Tesla Powerwall is set to ship later this year, with prices starting at $3000. The price may be a problem, especially if you need to replace the batteries every few years. Another issue may be the whole peak rate angle – if everyone decided to use such solutions, the concept of peak rates would probably disappear altogether, as home power storage would make demand flat around the clock. Economy of scale is another question. As the world moves to sustainable power generation, using solar and wind power, we will need more power storage options. Utilities will be able to create them at a much bigger scale – you can store a lot more energy in an artificial lake than a bunch of expensive lithium ion batteries that have to be replaced every 5-10 years.

Choosing the Right Hardware

Different people use different hardware in their home offices, which raises a few problems when dealing with this issue. For example, someone who spends most of their time working in standard office applications or doing much of their work in a browser doesn’t exactly need a very powerful computer. I know I don’t, but my friend has to play around with EMC Documentum on loads of virtual machines locally, so he needs a lot more processing power, RAM, and storage. Designers need bigger and better screens, more powerful GPUs, and so on.

However, no matter what you do there is probably room for improvement.

power efficient computer hardware

The good news is that the latest generations of Intel and AMD processors offer good power efficiency, and in many cases their integrated graphics are good enough for a lot of users, so many people are choosing to dispense with powerful discrete graphics. In case you don’t need exceptionally fast hardware or graphics capable of running the latest games, a mid-range PC or Mac should be more than enough.

If you are tempted to keep using your ancient desktop just because it’s “good enough”, you may want to do some math and figure out whether it’s worth it or not. The PC update cycle has slowed down to a crawl, and Intel claims the age of the average PC is about four years. If you have such an antiquated system, chances are you could get the same level of performance, or superior performance from a much quieter small form factor (SFF) desktop with vastly improved power efficiency.

Actually, I am typing this on one such machine because my old desktop decided to bid farewell to this cruel world a couple of weeks ago. It’s a PC, not a Mac mini, but the hardware is basically identical – an Intel Core i5-4200U processor with integrated graphics, 8GB of RAM, SSD and HDD. I usually use this machine as my HTPC and a portable backup, but it’s faster than my duly departed ATX desktop yet consumes about one fifth of the power, thanks to an ultra-low voltage mobile processor manufactured in a superior node (22nm vs 45nm) and modern hardware all around.

Of course, many developers use notebooks as their daily drivers, and they tend to offer the same efficiency as SFF systems based on mobile chips. This is also true of all-in-one (AIO) systems like the iMac, as they are usually based on notebook hardware mated to a big screen.

If you think you’re in the clear because you are using your notebook, it all depends on the type of processor you have inside, its age, and efficiency. Also, if you use an old external monitor, for example a five-year-old CCFL-backlit 1080p panel, chances are you are already wasting a lot more power than you would with a new LED-backlit monitor.

Even if you need a very powerful desktop, it’s always a good idea to choose the latest and most efficient components out there. They might cost a bit more than last year’s hardware, but if you will use the system for years and eight hours each day, even small efficiency gains should justify the premium. In some situations, a smart upgrade will pay for itself.

more power efficiency ideas

Another option is to get a secondary system and use it for only some tasks. For example, why use your office machine to watch streamed content on your TV if you can get a mini-PC or a stick PC for $100-$200? It will save power and reduce wear on more expensive components in your primary system. Intel is planning to bring more ultra-low voltage processors to the stick PC form factor, so a few years down the line these tiny machines could be used for more serious stuff.

Setting up Home Office Hardware

In case you’ve decided to get a new, more efficient desktop or notebook with a brand new monitor in tow, you can expect some efficiency gains, but you also need to set everything up correctly.

I know quite a few power users never embraced a lot of power efficiency features on their machines, not because they didn’t care but because many of these early features were immature and impractical. However, the latest versions of Windows and OS X, coupled with modern x86 platforms offer exceptional boot and recovery times. It has a bit to do with software, a bit to do with processors and motherboards, and a lot to do with fast solid state storage. I won’t go into the details, as you need to do a bit of research depending on which platform you use and what sort of hardware you have under the bonnet, but there should be some room for improvement. Set hibernation and sleep profiles to best meet your needs, with an eye on efficiency.

Obviously, on more powerful systems there is more room for improvement. You can’t save a lot if you’re already working on a new notebook, but you can on a desktop. In case you are building your own desktop system, as many enthusiasts do, choosing quality power supply units with a top-notch efficiency rating is important. Oh, one more thing – don’t get a huge PSU in case you don’t absolutely need it – get one that meets your wattage needs and sports a Platinum or Gold efficiency rating.

power efficiency and your computer

Using high-quality power strips is also a good idea, not only because it might protect your precious hardware (and even more precious data) in case of a power surge, but because power strips can be used to save a few watts too. The most obvious way of doing this is by flicking the off switch as soon as you’re done working, but this may not be practical for most people. It is a good idea if you don’t plan to use your office for a few days or weeks. You also need to think about organizing your hardware supply through two or more power strips, allowing you to switch off stuff you don’t use all the time with the flick of a button. All hardware wastes a bit of energy when it’s on standby, but we’re not talking about big numbers here.

One interesting option is to use smart sockets for some devices, effectively turning “dumb” devices like heaters or lamps into smart devices. These connected sockets can be programmed or controlled remotely, allowing you to save power and time in some situations, depending on your needs. Smart sockets and connected LED bulbs may also come in handy for security purposes. If you’re the traveling type, you can set use them to create the appearance of an occupied home, which might prompt local burglars to pay a visit to your neighbor’s home instead.

So How Much Can I Save?

To be honest, I have no idea. It depends on where you’re located, what you do, and which hardware you use.

Electricity prices vary from region to region, and the differences can be staggering. This is why I tried to steer clear of some certainties in this post. For example, a user in Denmark could save a fair amount of money by upgrading from an antiquated desktop to a SFF machine like an iMac mini or Intel NUC; but a user with the same hardware in Ukraine wouldn’t save nearly as much, so the upgrade is probably not worth it from an economic perspective.

Our audience is global, and so is our network, so we can’t offer one-size-fits all advice. Luckily, our audience also tends to know a thing or two about tech and math, so I am sure calculating how much money can be saved by boosting efficiency won’t be a problem.

For example, a conservative 100W reduction in power consumption (8 hours a day, 25 days a month), will save you just $24 a year, assuming a kWh price of $0.10. However, in developed countries you are likely to pay a lot more than 10 cents per kWh, so if you pay 30 cents like most people in Western Europe, you are looking at $72 a year. That’s not bad for a measly 100 watts during office hours. Over the course of your computer’s life cycle of 4+ years, that’s upwards of $300, which you can invest toward more efficient hardware rather than burn it.

Of course, saving 100W eight hours per day is peanuts in the big scheme of things, but bear in mind that we are talking about individual home offices here. You pay the bill, not your employer, and the savings might extend well beyond your home office. After all, you would be investing in your home, not just your home office, so money spent on efficiency tweaks could yield much bigger returns as you would be making both your home and your office a bit more efficient in one blow.

In many cases, savings of a few hundred dollars per year should be possible, if not easy, and you could recoup the initial investment in just a couple of years (excluding computer hardware, which we all have to upgrade anyway).

Granted, many people will argue that it’s simply not a lot of money, especially for well-paid software engineers. But over the course of a decade, hundreds have a habit of turning into thousands. However, it’s not just about the money. By making your office and home more efficient, you’re also making a family of polar bears happier.

Burning one kilogram of coal or oil produces between 2.5kWh and 3kWh of electricity, so a single home office with improved efficiency can save a couple of kilos of fossil fuels each week. To generate 100kWh of power, coal produces about 120kg of CO2, which is roughly the same as a modern compact car would generate over the course of a 1000km drive.

Still, we don’t have to invoke cuddly polar bears to feel good about ourselves. Most of us work from home offices , so we use cheaper household electricity and enjoy better prices than businesses in many parts of the world. Since we don’t commute or drive to work each morning, we already save a bit of money and reduce our carbon footprint.

Plus, we don’t get stuck in traffic.

This is an article from Toptal writers.

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Casino Mania: Live The High Life With Slots Online

An elegant and luxurious life style is something we all desire. Therefore online slot games depicting the life of the super-rich are very popular. Microgaming has two such online video slots that depict this theme in a perfect manner. Both have exciting and lucrative free spins features. You can play these games at online casinos like All Slots, Royal Vegas and Jackpot City.

High Society is the first of these. The high paying symbols are private jet, luxury yacht and limousine highlighted in gold. The other symbols are gold and silver ingots, executive briefcase, sack of money, diamond ring, gold watch and cuff links. The game logo is the wild symbol that can appear stacked on reels 1 and 5. The wad of currency is the scatter symbol. It awards payouts multiplied by the total payout when two or more appear anywhere on the reels in the same spin. Three or more scatter symbols trigger the free games feature in which you have to select from the two options provided. The Super Wild Reels option awards up to 20 free spins. You will get up to three wild reels in each spin. Play great online casino games today. If you land a scatter symbol on reels 1 and 5 in the same spin, then the free spins will retrigger. The Super Multiplier awards 10 free spins. The payout multiplier starts from 2x to 5x and increases during the free spins. Additional wild symbols can appear in reels 2, 3 and 4 as well.

The Finer Reels of Life is the other online slot game. It follows the slots engine made popular by Thunderstruck II with 243 ways to win. The high paying symbols are diamond, champagne, whisky and cigars, wine and cheese, coffee and chocolates. The game logo is the wild symbol with a 2x multiplier property. The golden star is the scatter symbol. The Wild Celebration feature can be triggered randomly and turns up to five reels wild. Each of the finer things offers its own set of free spins. The Coffee and Chocolate feature awards 10 free with a 5x payouts multiplier. The Wine and Cheese feature awards 15 free spins in which a special wild wine symbol randomly turns other symbols into wilds. The Whisky and Cigars feature awards 20 free spins in which symbols are randomly transformed into 2x or 3x multipliers. The Champagne and Diamonds feature awards 25 free spins with the popular Rolling Reels feature. Payout multipliers increase with consecutive wins till they reach 5x

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All You Need To Know About Online Gaming

There are many people who take part in online games each day, and many of them would admit to how addictive these games can be. This habit has influenced a significant growth of the online gaming industry with new companies emerging every day.

Players can now choose from a wide range of variety available for young children, teenagers, and adults. Many of the games you would find online are targeted for a specific age group. Those that are geared towards younger children are often times educational and interactive. On the other hand, those created for adult entertainment are usually constructed in such a way that the only thing they provide to their users is a way to beat boredom.

 

Benefits Of Online Gaming

Enhance memory

Online games provide a platform which is indeed very re-collective in terms of making a player get into the world of gaming. The biggest bonus of online gaming is that the player has a variety of games to pick from which are only a click away and play for fun or play for real money. Everyone is aware of the fact that humans normally do not utilize 100% of their brain function. Games like puzzles, logic based games, trivia and problem solving help brain function.

Recovery and health

Not all games you find online are for entertainment; rather most revolve around an educational background which is indeed a motivational area of comfort for children. Many non-profit organizations formulate games in order to help aid those children and adults which are suffering for specific kinds of illnesses.

Social interaction

There are communities formed within these games which indeed form a bond between all players and rather forms a community. The virtual world indeed is sometimes very promising when it comes to providing gamers a ground to voice out without their identity being given out.

Instant play

Since software installation is not needed, these games are ready to play using just your browser. All you have to do is to be connected to the internet and log in to your favorite gaming site. Select which ones are perfect for you. Once it loads, you are set for fun and excitement. With that said, players can now take advantage of the many online gaming companies available today. These are companies you can trust to give you high quality products for the entire family at all times. You can also follow the link below and have an experience of the online gaming world like never before.

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Donald Trump Limited Edition Inauguration Coin Liberals NEVER Thought They’d See; Petition To Ban Trump

 

Trump Limited-Edition Inauguration Coins Minted in the USA. Available for 4 Days Only!

President-elect Donald Trump “Inauguration Commemorative Coin” has been released for people to buy.

The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017, on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C

To celebrate this important date in American history the coin was designed by Gilroy Roberts & Frank Gasparro and was minted to be sold in limited-edition celebratory coins, all the coins are made in the USA.

“This limited edition collector’s item was made to commemorate the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America,”

You can buy it directly from the official website by clicking here.

One side features Trump’s profile portrait and the reverse side is the official presidential seal.

Each coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and is handsomely showcased in an acrylic coin capsule.

The 2017 Presidential Inauguration is on January 20th in Washington D.C, and the coin is for sale for 4 days only! However, due to the limited quantity minted it may be completely sold out earlier.

Pictures of Proud Fellow Patriots

If you would like to have your image posted here. Please contact us via the link at the bottom of the page.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy it directly from the official website by clicking here.

Update: We were just informed that today, there is a special offer that let’s you buy the limited-edition coin for only $14.95 instead of $29.95. Offer still available as of Friday, January 13, 2017, but may expire soon.
Note: If you are trying to place an order and the website isn’t loading, try refreshing the page. Due to the high demand, the website may be having issues loading.
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