Editorial

By August 4, 2013 Read More →

Windows Server 2012 is Still Where It’s at in 2013

Word on keyboard Choosing a server operating system is a lot more complicated than "Just put the latest version of Windows on it," which is the treatment most workstations get. Server operating systems have different needs and requirements from your workstations, such as administration plug-ins, higher security requirements, and compatibility with common server hardware configurations. Windows Server 2012 is the latest Windows server operating system, with a number of new features that enhance Windows hosting and other server applications. Here’s everything you need to know about Windows Server 2012.

Cloud Effects

You can immediately tell cloud computing had a big effect on the design philosophy behind Windows Server 2012. Microsoft focused heavily on its Hyper-V technology that enables platform virtualization, allowing for the creation of public or private clouds that are completely virtualized and isolated from other users in the environment. The Hyper-V improvements will hopefully help Windows catch up to Linux in the cloud environment, as the OpenStack platform has gotten a great deal of attention for Linux cloud servers. Hyper-V virtualization can also be used in non-cloud virtualization tasks for your network. Centralized control features allow admins to keep track of everything from a single workstation, instead of going from server to server.

Many of the new security features are also cloud-oriented, such as authentication changes. The Deployment Wizard included with Server 2012 makes it easy to deploy services and policies, greatly simplifying administration tasks. Other advantages include enhanced disk encryption, Direct Access, and Active Directory Domain Services, as Redmond Magazine outlines.

Application Platform

The application platform is another improvement in Windows Server 2012. Microsoft designed the technology to work better with Windows Azure, along with adding frameworks and tools focused on simplifying application and cloud application development. PHP is supported natively in 2012, making it much easier to use PHP scripts than in previous versions, according to Microsoft’s website.

Data Control

Server Message Block 2.2 has gotten a big overhaul, allowing it to transfer 6 gigs of data per second. The scalability has also been addressed, allowing file servers to scale to take advantage of the amount of data transfer available now. Dynamic Access Control improves the permissions on shared folders, allowing you to specify a great deal of parameters that controls who can access folders. This allows administrations to have fine-tuned control over data, improving the security of the network overall. PowerShell increases the automation opportunities within the Windows server environment, allowing administrators to work smarter, not harder, on common and complex admin tasks.

Considerations to Keep in Mind

The development of Windows Server 2012 reflects a few Windows 8 influences, notably in the user interface, according to State Tech. The Metro interface, designed primarily for touch screens, eliminates the start button and provides a different Start screen, as well. Since this is a new operating system, carefully investigate hardware and vendor compatibility. Not all vendors have drivers available for this OS yet. Some are working through compatibility issues.

What are your thoughts on Windows Server 2012? Share them in the comments.

Posted in: Editorial
By August 1, 2013 Read More →

What Is It That Makes Online Casinos sites So Secure?

Key-on-screen When you put your card details in to any website, you need to be sure that you can trust that website to keep those details safe? But how can you be sure that the online casino that you are choosing to bet on is reputable?

There are some casino sites out there that may take a while to pay out your winnings, or at least that is what I have found, but I have thus far managed to keep my card details between me and the company I gave them to. I have, in the past perhaps, taken chances with companies that were under threat of being hacked, but I have learned to steer clear of anything that doesn’t meet my checklist now.

There are some basic steps that you can take to gauge a website’s credibility. A simple Google search should return results that say rogue or blacklisted if there are any issues.

Once you are on the website, check for good design and mention of where the company is registered. Make sure they have signed an agreement with a gaming body that has a code of conduct and a list of rules regarding the site, including the Ecogra seal of approval.

Companies such as Winagames Australia use numerous reputable banking options such as credit and debit cards, Neteller, PaySafeCash, ClickandBuy, Direct Bank Transfer and more. Make sure that the green padlock appears next to the web address on any page where you are asked to put in the details of these accounts and cards.

Reputable software is part and parcel of online gaming. Companies such as Playtech, Microgaming and other big casino software vendors will only deal with reputable companies, so you can look out for their software as a seal of approval too.

On the security tab on the casino website, check for P128-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Digital Encryption, ISO certifications, PCI Compliance, and various anti-fraud measures which you can double check by running through Google.

Another way to make sure that you have chosen the best option for your money is by using forums where people discuss websites. Perhaps start a discussion in these forums and mention the names of various sites that you want to play in. By checking with other players, you can feel relaxed about playing games on a website that won’t rip you off or sell you details to third parties who could use them for simple spam or something more nefarious.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 31, 2013 Read More →

Say Bingo! With the Best Mobiles for Online Gaming

Sony Ericsson Xperia PlayNokia N95htc one X With online gaming sites like Jackpotjoy increasingly making their online content more mobile-friendly, it’s now easier than ever for gaming fans to access an ever-widening range of gaming experiences on the move. As the UK’s favourite online bingo destination, mobile gamers heading to the Jackpotjoy bingo site are not only greeted by an array of fun games variants, but story slots and more.

With the selection of content on the increase, and the in-game graphics, sounds and features improving in quality all the time, when you’re playing on the move you want a phone that can keep up, to deliver the best mobile gaming experience possible. Thankfully, today’s smartphones and mobiles are more than capable of doing just that. In the space of a few short years they’ve gone from being simple communications devices to gaming powerhouses.

So for those looking for a little fun-on-the-go, we’ve take a look at some of the best mobiles out there right now, from bargain to high-end.

HTC One X+

HTC’s One X+ has Featuring a powerful 1.7GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, the HTC One X+ offers up best-in-class gaming capabilities in a smartphone format. The fact that this phone’s processor is a Nvidia means you’re also given access Tegra Zone, and that means a whole range of apps with upgraded graphics is at your disposal. Add to this the supremely beefed-up battery – a 2,100mAh battery that’s far superior to the one the HTC One X came equipped with – and you have even longer gaming power. We also love that fact that the LCD screen gives a a top notch 720p, so those graphics always looks clean, bright and crisp.

Nokia N95

Consistently rated one of the top ten best mobile casino phones in recent years, the Nokia N95. Truly revolutionising the smartphone market when it first appeared (and with an eye-watering original SIM-free price tag of £630 to boot), it wins points for its Symbian operating system, which has earned the reputation of being the most reliable OS for mobile. We like that you can plug in heaphones as well as stereo speakers, for better gaming sounds, and a nicely textured keypad makes navigating your way round bingo and gaming sites a cinch. This is one for players looking to invest in a great all-rounder – offering up superior Sat Nav, phone, connectivity, media player and camera capabilities.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

At the more affordable end of the smartphone market (around £100-£150 SIM-free), this phone is an all-out appeal to the serious gamer. A much-hyped PlayStation phone that features a slide-out gaming interface, it’s the only phone on the market that features gaming controls straight out of the box without the need for extra accessories. With a 1GHz processor it’s fast and fun, runs all Android games, offers access to 32-bit PlayStation games, and is equally adept at handling touch-screen online games like Jackpotjoy bingo too.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 26, 2013 Read More →

Personalise your laptop with a laptop cover

decal Laptops are useful tools and they’re becoming indispensable in many homes. But, it can be a little dull to look at the same cover day after day and as with mobile phones, it’s sometimes nice to change the look of your device. In homes where two or more identical laptops co-exist then it can be important to be able to easily distinguish between them, too. This is where laptop covers come in very handy.

Works of art or humour?

People get very attached to their laptops and the way they look has become as much an extension of the owner’s personality as phone covers have. There is a huge range of covers available and a simple web search will lead you to any – from plain coloured ones to some absolutely gorgeous designs. There are many based on common themes, current memes and trends and a few arty ones, but look at websites promoting and selling an individual artist’s work in different formats for some really unique ones. There are even sites that allow you to design your own cover, if you have the cash to spend on something bespoke. A good way to start is with a simple search for “laptop covers” plus an interest of yours.

Decals

If you like smaller designs, then decals may be an alternative answer. They’re just as easy to change as covers, if you feel like a change and are sometimes a more affordable option. You can get a big variety of designs too. If you’re a Mac user then it’s worth looking out for clever decals that make good use of the apple logo. Available from the internet, you can find plenty of humorous, interesting and beautiful decals and one benefit is that since they don’t necessarily take up the whole space you have much more say over the positioning of your decals.

Practical decoration

As well as looking good, there are some practical benefits to using a laptop cover. Making your laptop more individual makes it easy to identify it immediately; Useful where, as mentioned before, identical laptops co-exist, or in the library if lots of people are studying and moving between books and computers. Covers also provide a level of protection from minor bumps and scrapes. Finally they’ll keep some of the everyday dirt off of your laptop. You can get covers that have inserts to stop lint getting into the USB and charger ports but even a simpler one will protect from little scratches and general dust to some extent. This will all help to extend the life of your laptop, or keep up the resale value when you need to upgrade. You can of course get paid cash for your netbook if you do decide to upgrade.

There are so many different kinds of laptop covers, decals and other decoration that it’s really very hard to choose between them. You can easily spend hours searching for just the right decals and covers related to your interests or deciding between glorious art works.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 25, 2013 Read More →

TV Faster Than the Speed of Reality

television apparatus from 1950 Our living rooms are filled with more screens these days. Smartphones tell TV viewers more about their favorite characters as they watch. You can play "Words with Friends" while you’re waiting for the commercials to end. And laptops allow people to multitask on homework during halftime.

Meanwhile, marketers are trying to reach consumers on second, third and fourth screens. Let’s pull back the curtain to show the tactics being used in order to maximize the budding romance between advanced smart TV technology and the ever-present Internet.

Faster is Better

We demand high-speed Internet, uninterrupted TV signals, and Wi-Fi on our phones wherever we go. Why should our views of TV be any different? Now, TV programmers are shifting their focus to fully integrate with users on multiple devices. So far, Twitter is the platform of choice.

Many TV shows allow viewers to give instant feedback or ask questions through the social channel while a show is broadcast. TV programmers put hashtags on screen and use them as immediate sounding boards for their shows. TV show hosts often respond back to viewers’ questions in real time, empowering those at home to feel like they are a part of the show.

Networks have also introduced connected TV apps. Bravo’s "Bravo Now" app allows viewers to answer in-program poll questions during the show “Watch What Happens Live.” The answers are displayed on the show in real-time.

Is Reality Finally Real?

TV programmers are driving viewer engagement by allowing faithful followers to have a direct impact on a show’s outcome. For example, the “Miss USA” pageant lets fans vote for their favorite contestant online. The contestant who received the most votes automatically makes it past the first cut during the live telecast.

This is not only gets viewers interested in the live pageant before its television debut, but it is also a way to ensure direct participation from a wide group of individuals. Plus, the higher the interest level from viewers, the more the pageant can charge for advertising and sponsorships. Reality shows such as “Survivor” also are using social media as a way to encourage fans to vote for contestants they feel should win prizes or special awards.

Let the Games Begin

Smart TVs and second screens have created another trend – gamification. For the 2012 show, "The Great Escape," TNT created an app that allowed viewers to take their own journeys alongside the show’s contestants. The app rewarded the player for watching the show, and used game mechanics to keep interest high.

Other shows jumping on the bandwagon, too, to fuel fan loyalty and amplify viewer numbers. As the programs shift in this direction, programming providers are doing so, as well, notes http://www.Direct4TV.com.

What Does the Data Show?

TV show apps can provide content creators and advertisers with rich data and targeted consumers. Not only can advertisers better target their ads, TV writers and producers can even better tailor their content and interactive elements based on second screen user demographics of their most invested viewers.

And while networks are expanding their reach, websites are creating content to enhance the TV screen, too. TV networks and program providers are embedding videos directly on their Web pages to increase SEO and enhance the probability for more social likes. By showing segments of popular TV shows or creating new content, the TV and the Internet continue to intersect.

Whether it’s through real-time interaction by way of Twitter during a live telecast, or through audience participation in a specially designed gamified app, the strong ties between TV and the Internet are undeniable.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 13, 2013 Read More →

What’s New (and Improved) on the PS4?

arcade If you thought the PS3 could do everything, just wait until the PS4 comes out later this year. However, if you were hoping that the PS4 would be able to make you coffee and do your taxes, you may have to wait for the PS5 for that. The PS4 introduces some cool new features like improved controllers, social sharing, facial recognition technology and the ability to stream games using cloud technology-not to mention that the PS4’s CPU is discernibly more powerful than the PS3’s. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of these new improvements.

Improved Hardware

Although the leap in graphics from the PS3 to the PS4 isn’t as big as the one we saw from the PS2 to the PS3, it is still significant enough that hardcore gamers will be impressed by the improvement, according to the Los Angeles Times. What stands out on the PS4 is the 8 GB unified memory and a GPU that has 18 processing clusters with 64 cores each. This means faster response time and increased parallel computing power.

DualShock 4 Controllers

The new controllers are fitted with motion sensors, and the PS4’s new camera will be able to track each attached controller with pinpoint accuracy. The controllers also have a high-resolution touchpad. If that isn’t enough, the controller also features a share button. Since the PS4 automatically records the previous several minutes of your game, you can simply push this button and share those recordings with your friends.

Playstation Move

If you have been waiting for facial recognition capability from a game system, you won’t have to wait much longer. The new Playstation Move will track the light bar on your controller and then identify your face to your game avatar. The new Move will also have two dual-color cameras, a three-axis tilt sensor and four wide-baseline microphones. It is not yet known whether the PS4 will launch alongside the new Move controllers and Eye Camera or if it will be a console upgrade that updates the current camera and sensors, as explained on TechRadar.com.

Sony’s Cloud and Streaming Games

Unfortunately, the PS4 will not have backwards compatibility for PS3 games, or PS2 games and PS1 games for that matter. However, the Official Playstation Magazine – UK stated that GaiKai (a cloud technology provider that Sony acquired in 2012) is claiming that after the PS4 is released, we are likely to see PS1, PS2 and PS3 games be made available through the Playstation Network. So eventually, every game on every PlayStation could be available via the cloud.

Of course, identity theft is still on the rise and there is always the possibility that the PSN could be hacked like it was back in 2011. So if you’re afraid of having your identity stolen, take the advice of an article published in the USA Today and get an identity theft monitoring service like Life Lock in addition to making your password more unique and trickier to crack.

Confirmed Games

It’s easy to get caught up in all the new game console features and forget about the actual games. If you don’t like the games you are playing, what good does an expensive game console really do you? The good news though is that Playstation does have a pretty awesome list of games debuting with the PS4. Some highly anticipated game releases include Diablo III, Knack, Assassin’s Creed 4, Infamous: Second Son, and Killzone: Shadow Fall among others.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 11, 2013 Read More →

The Television Revolution Continues

TV Wikipedia-rfSatellite television revolutionised viewing opportunities; live events beamed around the world became common place.  The Internet followed and these two factors have ensured that the revolution has continued. Everyone can get access to information and entertainment day or night.

Sport value

One of the major beneficiaries has been sport and its stars have suddenly found their incomes multiply out of all proportion because the major stars can expect earnings from business that wants to reach the consumer.
The value of sports clubs has risen dramatically as business has diverted its promotional budget towards popular sport and its stars. What better way to persuade consumers of the quality of their products, whether luxury or everyday than to get them associated with world sports stars in soccer, golf, tennis and beyond?
Marketing strategists understand that a prominent logo on clothing sends a positive message to the audience that for major competition can be spread right around the world.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 23, 2013 Read More →

Streetcar Not Desired: Privacy Issues Stunt Google Initiatives

googleview Those who have never used the Google Street View application on their laptops or Google phones are missing out on one of the coolest features of Google Maps and Google Earth. Once you’ve zoomed in as far as the satellite images allow, Street View images, where available, can be accessed for an up-close-and-personal look at college campuses, historic landmarks, and even a home you are thinking of purchasing. The technology brings several cities across the globe right to your desktop, but the way the images are gathered have caused several governments to halt Google’s operations in their respective jurisdictions.

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office accused Google of using its Street View cars to gather and store data from unsecured wifi networks it encountered in the process of taking photos and videos. Google initially dismissed the charges as "a simple mistake" on their part, according to the Daily Mail, but a follow-up investigation by U.S. regulators discovered Google specifically engineered software for the purpose of data hoarding. The ICO re-opened its investigation last summer and has requested Google reveal any personal information was gathered and what steps it took to prevent privacy breaches.

Around the same time Australia’s Privacy Commissioner discovered Google failed to destroy data it said it "inadvertently" gathered through 2010. According to ZDNet, Google informed the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, in March of 2011, that all the data it collected from open wifi networks had been destroyed. French authorities not only ordered Google to delete private data it gathered from its citizens, but also requested the actual data disks be surrendered to them.

Self-Driving Cars

The next big endeavor Google hopes to introduce to the general public is its self-driving cars. Company co-founder Sergey Brin told Time magazine he expects their automated vehicle technology to be a reality in the next five years. A vast majority (93 percent) of fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents are due to human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Google reasons their self-driving vehicles will save lives, lower auto insurance costs, and revolutionize transportation in general.

The fact Google’s self-driving cars rely on the data Street View cars gather may limit their geographic reach. Big Brother Watch, a U.K. civil liberties organization, has repeatedly referred to Google’s operations as "spy-fi" and said Google continually makes excuses instead of admitting its spying activities. China has already blocked access to most Google services, while authorities in Bangalore, India banned Google Street View cars in June of 2011.

More Trouble for Google

Privacy issues aside, the sheer cost of Google’s self-driving technology will hinder sales even if the cars are made available by 2017. Developers at Oxford University have been touting their own version of automated driving technology. The major difference between theirs and Google’s is the price, which Oxford claims would cost about $150 per car, compared to the six-figure price tag for Google’s automated cars. Oxford also claims it does not need the mapping data Google uses to navigate its cars.

The one place Google has been relatively free from scrutiny is its home United States. Other than the U.S. Department of Defense banning Google from publishing pictures of military bases, the company has endured just a few scattered lawsuits. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging Google violated the Wiretap Act and Federal Communications Act. The FTC, however, failed to prosecute the case.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 13, 2013 Read More →

Green Technology to Improve Your Household

gogreen Many people have green aspirations – after all, who wouldn’t want to save the planet. Some people, however, allow worries associated with the potential costs of going green to keep them from realizing their eco-friendly goals. While some green products – like striking smart cars – are expensive, others are highly affordable. Instead of continuing to put off the adoption of green practice, start with something small and affordable, like adding some green technology to your home.

Home Security

You can stay green while keeping your home secure. According to www.securitycompanies.com, do-it-yourself home security systems are viable, green options, thanks to new technology. Companies like FrontPoint Security now offer systems that you can order online or via the phone – saving the gas-sucking drive a salesperson would have to make. You can even install these entirely wireless, drilling-free systems yourself. The billing process is even green with paperless statements.

Posted in: Editorial
By May 30, 2013 Read More →

Creating a Quality Website With 1 & 1

1and1.co.uk Having an attractive and informative website is essential for individuals and businesses looking to promote products, services, or just to keep others informed. However, efficiently building a quality website from scratch can seem a daunting task. Premier web hosts are available who can assist in creating such a website suited to one’s specific needs.

1&1 Internet Inc. is a leading Web hosting provider. The Company provides a complete portfolio of web services for business and personal needs. They gear their services to various skill levels and budgets. Their MyWebsite offering allows one to create a professional web presence quickly and easily, following easy-to-understand steps.

Posted in: Editorial