Tech Giants Take the Reigns

Google may like to portray itself has a garage-based startup that took flight through non-conformist work ethics and an altruistic devotion to the spreading of knowledge. To some extent, the company has certainly contributed to the wealth of technological advancements the have changed the lives of the underprivileged.

That said, the company has started to become somewhat all-powerful, and it’s worrying a lot of citizens during an election cycle focused on the unjust campaign finance systems that make our democracy feel a lot like an oligarchy, as Bernie Sanders says.

The Center for Responsive Politics recently released that Google spent more money on federal lobbying than any other company since 2012, and that 34 senators and 128 members of the House of Representatives had received a total of almost $300,000 in campaign contributions from the wealthy tech mogul.

tech g2A civil society organization known as Public Citizen warned last November that Google was “amazing greater political power than ever,” after it opened a White-House-sized office in Washington D.C. According to PC, Google ranked first among all corporations in lobbying spending over the first three quarters of 2014 and invested a whopping $18.2 million on federal lobbying in 2015, meaning it invested even more than the powerful trade association of the pharmaceutical industry.

PC states that Google has hired or retained 102 lobbyists since 2014, 81 of which previously held government jobs.

“Meanwhile, a steady stream of Google employees has been appointed to high-ranking government jobs- an individuation of the company’s growing influence in national affairs.”

The revolving door between Google and the US Government is certainly concerning. “Where Google stops and the government starts is hard to tell. They’re backers of Barack Obama and it’s well known in Washington how it’s done,” an antitrust lawyer based in Washington commented. “I’ve heard instances of Google calling the White House to say they’re unhappy about appointments. They don’t just buy off politicians; they buy off the ecosystem, including advocacy groups and think tanks.” Obama famously appointed Megan Smith as chief technology officer last year; Smith is a former vice-president of Google.

According to the Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division’s research director Taylor Lincoln, “Google has essentially responded to concerns about its practices by saying, ‘Just trust us.’ But Google is gaining so much power that regulators may find it difficult to act if it turns out that the public’s trust has been misplaced.”

google v euA lot of controversy regarding Google’s role in the US government boiled over in reaction to the Guardian’s revelation that Google pressured a number of senators and House of Rep members to discourage prominent MEPs in Europe from moving forward in their considerations to break up Google’s online business into separate companies.

Court said of this year’s election: “Google leant their analytics and voter reach to Obama and they’re doing the same to Hillary Clinton. When you control the greatest technology on earth to reach people, Democrats want to be your friends.”

Google’s offering of unrivaled campaigning technology led Precursor president of research Scott Cleland to make the following statement: “The Google influence machine is one we’ve never seen before. It’s the first dominant company in the internet age.”

 

3D Printing Changes the Game

Many believe that 3D printing is more of a fringe tech-enthusiast’s game than a real industry disrupter… and they’re completely wrong.

A variety of car manufacturers have begun to 3D print small, specialized car parts, and it’s only a matter of time before 3D printing technology advances to the point that larger objects can be built for cheaper.

“In the coming year, we are going to see 3D metal parts being flight-tester in real applications, not just trivial parts, e.g., brackets, hinges, flanges, attached to noncritical components,” stated Tim Simpson, professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State.

Simpson isn’t alone in noticing that additive manufacturing-manufacturing in which parts are created through layering of materials- is actually less faster and less expensive that the more conventional subtractive manufacturing in which a product is made by cutting or pressing it out of a material.

“Meanwhile, companies that don’t get into the game will start to lose employees to those that are readily using AM, which will create a further divide between companies that want to do AM and those that can do AM,” Simpson continued. “Buying a machine is the easier part; learning how to run it well is challenging.”

3d print2Clearly the technology is quickening its pace to the point that companies will soon be competing for mastery over it. But why?

“The use of 3D printing brings professionals from different areas to collaborate, and innovation is a side effect of these collaborations,” explained M. Zuniga. “The main benefits are low cost, speed, versatility and innovation.”

And 3D printing has something to offer to more than the manufacturing world.

“Industries leveraging 3D printing in a sizable way today include dental; smoother medical, such as hearing aids and surgical models; some limited and specific aerospace applications; and then the widely applicable consumer space for education, design and customization of collectibles,” listed Michael Raphael, CEO of Direct Dimensions.

“I look for applications where the design is essentially consistent yet where each of them is unique for some reason… Dental and medical are obvious. Teeth are essentially the same, but each is different. 3D printing shines for these applications because no tooling is required, and you can make them each unique just as easy as you can make them all the same,” he explained.

3d print3“Following this paradigm, I look for adoption in other human body-related products. Medical devices provide a good case, such as orthotics, braces and splints. Other extractions would include protective gear, sports and performance gear, and footwear.”

Raphael did indeed strike gold with the medical field. As Steven J. Hausman, president of Hausman Technology Presentations explained, “Patients have already received 3D-printed jaws, ribs, sternum, teeth, tracheas and skulls… there will be no part of the body that will not be duplicated int he future, ranging from inexpensive customized prosthetics to bioprinted organs using the patient’s own stem cells so that tissue rejection will not be an issue.”

Soon even the gastronomic market will be flooded with 3D printed products: “3D printing has gained traction in the food industry, wherein pasta, candy and other foods can already be printed,” confided Chinh Pham, co-leader of the Greenberg Traurig.

Cybersecurity Injuries Create Unprecedented Issue for FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is unsure how to asses the effect on consumers when businesses fail to properly protect their customers from e-commerce related fraud and cybercrime. However the FTC proceeds is sure to have a large impact on its ability to initiate cybersecurity violation cases. The dilemma even has the potential to be taken up by federal courts of Congress to resolve.

The internal issue began when some FTC staff members issued a notice that they were challenging the dismissal of a commission complaint against a private company called LabMD for failing to maintain cybersecurity. The administrative law judge for the FTC ruled in favor of the complain’t dismissal, but the staff now plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

labmdAccording to the complaint, LabMD’s insufficient cybersecurity measures allowed for personal consumer information to be leaked. This complaint was originally dismissed on the grounds that the FTC staff had failed to prove that substantial injury had also befallen the customers whose electronically processed records had been dispersed onto company networks.

LabMD performs diagnostic specimen tests for medical service providers and manages related records for both medical and insurance purposes. According to the concerned staffers, the information leaked involved expert testimony and physics printouts of data.

LabMD’s legal council was happy to hear of the ALJ’s decision, stating that it “confirms what our client, LabMD, has said all along which is that the Federal Trade Commission’s case is meritless.” Daniel Epstein, executive director of the legal council company Cause of Action stated further that the FTC “produced no evidence that even a single patient was harmed by LabMD’s alleged inadequacies… Instead, it was the FTC that victimized LabMD and its employees, and more importantly, the doctors that it served.”

The issue comes down to a question of standards. There was no argument as to whether information was leaked, but rather whether or not harm was done, and at what level of exposure of sensitive information can be seen as legitimately harmful. Harm can be seen as anything from financial injury to inconvenience to embarrassment.

dog doctorThe FTC’s inability to cite a single actual consumer victim after the leak definitely limited the validity of their case. Though they may not win this one, the issue of creating a real-time standard for proving harm and injury in cyberprotection cases has been revealed.

“Importantly the ALJ opined that historically liability for unfair conduct has only been found in instances where there is proof of actual consumer harm,” commented chief privacy officer at Epstein Becker & Green Patricia Wagner. “One of the striking thing about the ALJ’s opinion is his willingness and ability to parse through the evidence, understand what this studies presented demonstrated- and failed to demonstrate- and evaluate the circumstances in a well-reasoned manner. Rather than just assume that a breach automatically means that consumers would be harmed, he evaluated the facts and circumstances at issue in this case.”

Christ Burris of King & Spalding also saw precedent-material in the decision: “The recent LabMD decision serves to highlight that the commission’s cybersecurity authority under the FTC Act is not without limits, and that the commission must prove that specific cybersecurity incidents actually meet the requirements for an unfair or deceptive practice under the statute.”

 

Virtual Money; What Gives it Value?

If you’ve heard of bitcoins, you know that society is being forced to confront the fact that the value of money is more a matter of societal acceptance than something grounded in truth. This isn’t news; after all, even when all U.S. currency was backed by gold, you have to admit in our technological era that gold doesn’t quite have the same value as it used to in terms of our society. Gold earrings are nice, rings are cool, whatever, but it’s kind of an outdated thing to enjoy in a world powered by oil and advanced electronics.

drawn moneySo back to the bitcoin, the little currency that could. What led to its adoption in society and why was it accepted as valuable? Hypothetically, anyone could have proposed that a previously nonexistent currency start to mean something, but people would probably begin to think that person was insane.

Perhaps the elegance of the bitcoin code and system was what pushed it over the edge, from idea to real-thing. Its P2P system, which is heavy with encryption and bitcoin mining, allows for a user-controlled economic space where greedy bankers and corrupt governments can’t gain enough leverage to upset the system; the entire virtual economy functions based on advanced mathematical equations, not the whims of business-savvy pseudo-monarchical figures.

Here’s how it works: you have a store of bitcoins in your virtual wallet, a bitcoin storing application you can download for free. You can either leave them there and hope that they appreciate in value as time goes on (you used to be able to buy 5000 bitcoins for $27, now they’re worth over $400 each), or you can cash them out into local currency.

drawn money2If you decide to store them onto your computer, it’s important to remember that there’s no central bank to keep track of how much money you have (that was the appeal, remember?). That means you might want to make a backup record of your balance, perhaps on a flash memory drive.

Bitcoin transactions are immediate and irreversible. Your bitcoin is validated by a process that verifies whether or not it has the proper credentials. There are no national regulations for bitcoins, so you can transfer across country lines and dodge the service charges and taxes that tend to come with those kinds of decisions. No one can know how much money is in your account other than you, and your account cannot be frozen.

But how did the bitcoin come to be accepted? Simply, because people chose to believe in it. After the 2008 recession was caused by irresponsible and greedy bankers, libertarian-minded activists, financial speculators and people who simply no longer trusted the government-backed banking system began to see value in the system. To the, the use of mathematics and encryption implies a lot more real value to a currency than a government official’s thumbs up.

The more people believe in the system, the more believable it becomes. Trust tends to be contagious, meaning that the virtual currency becomes more and more legitimate the more people use it. It’s difficult to judge just how many people are using it today (seeing as it’s an anonymous system), but the guessed number tops out at 2.5 million.

 

Just Upgraded to Windows 10? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Your Privacy

If you’ve been paying any attention to the rumors swirling around, you might have heard that Windows 10 is weirding people out; users have found that the newest Windows upgrade has been copying their files and information.

Actually, that’s always been happening. Turns out that operating systems have been collecting the same information and sending it back to Microsoft since Windows XP. That information is not social security numbers, email passwords, etc; it’s just telemetry data.

Telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. It sounds creepier than it is; most of the information is pretty typically leached from users in the interest privacy settings bpof improving operating systems during the next bout of upgrades.

Still, people wanted to at least have the option of turning off the data transfer. There may be some mid-game upgrade that allows for this, but for now, here’s what you can do:

To check out your privacy options, you need to go to Windows 10 Privacy Settings. You can find it at the start menu. If you get to the General tab, you’ll see that the default is for all options to be switched on.

Here you can turn off the advertising tracking, SmartScreen Filter, and data flow to Microsoft regarding typing and writing.

In the Privacy section you can also go to Feedback and diagnostics, where you can limit the data sent to Microsoft to some extent, though not completely; your only choices are Basic, Enhanced, and Full. You can also turn off the location services here.

Another place you can check out is the Manage my Microsoft Adverting and Other Personalization Info area at the bottom of the privacy screen. If you click on that, you’ll see all your information regarding personalized ads. Clicking on Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) will give you even more information as well as the option to opt-out of any personalized ads from the company whatsoever… assuming you’re using the Edge browser. If you use another browser (which you probably do), you can access the DAA from that browser to get a list of companies that are also providing customized ads and see what your options are from there.

cortana bpThen there’s Cortana, who’s name seems pretty ripped from Halo, or was that intentional? Anyway, if you want to set her up, you should know she’s kind of intense.

Go to Cortana and Search Settings; this is where you can control Cortana so that she does your bidding the way you like it. For example, maybe you don’t want her to assist (interrupt, remind) you in Microsoft Edge, in which case you can go to Settings, Advanced Settings, View Advanced Settings, Privacy and finally “Have Cortana Assist Me in Microsoft Edge”. It’s buried pretty deep in there.

Finally, whether or not your information is sent to Microsoft is largely determined by whether or not you have a Microsoft account. If you don’t, your activity and information will remain local to your computer so it definitely will be more private. That said, and like always, you have to pick between privacy and convenience; without a Microsoft account you are limited in terms of your use of the Microsoft store and some other activities.

6 Technological Advancements that Change Lives in Low-Income Nations

In many parts of the world, tech news is basically synonymous with a stream of advertisements for whatever products were most recently released by Apple, Intel, Microsoft, etc. However, in nations where people commonly lack access to infrastructure that “developed” nations take for granted (i.e. electricity, running water and the like), inventions can be the differentiating factor between two vastly different qualities of life.

luci

  1. Take the Luci Solar Lantern for example. Perfect for people who live off the grid or can’t afford electricity bills, the Luci Solar Lantern powers up in the sun and is capable of lasting between six to twelve hours into the night. It’s also extremely durable and portable- it’s easily collapsed, waterproof and shatterproof.
  2. Then there’s the Lifestraw, a handy little water purifier developed in Denmark in 2005. Handheld and portable, the Lifestraw  is capable of killing 99.9 percent of bacteria and filtering 1000 liters of water. It was listed by Forbes as “one of ten things that will change the way we live,” though experts are quick to mention that the Lifestraw is at best a short-term solution to the larger problem of supplying everyone on the planet with reliable, safe water.brck
  3. The BRCK is another big one. This device is a battery-powered wireless modem that runs of a 3G-enabled sim card and can provide internet access to 20 devices at the same time. It’s a rough-and-tumble device with an 8-hour battery life and access to the Brck Cloud, so users can check in on the device whenever and wherever necessary. It costs $250, which split among the users of the 20 devices amounts to pretty cheap internet in times of need.
  4. The PowerPot is crazy. This portable electric generator is also a cooking pot. It uses thermoelectric power generation and can transmit the heat it uses for cooking into electricity. The pot can charge two smartphones, MP3s and LED lights, so it’s ideal for camping vacations and emergency situations.hippo water roller
  5. The Hippo Water Roller is one of the simplest inventions on the list, but it is also among the most clever and effective. The design? One plastic barrel attached to a handle on either side that can be rolled in front or behind the user. This invention is currently in use in South America, India, and 21 African countries by people who usually have to spend hours of time relocating water; now they can reallocate that time towards education or working to lift their families out of poverty.
  6. The Embrace Infant Warmer saves the lives of premature children born in countries that lack the medical infrastructure to otherwise support them. It’s a stand-in incubator that has already helped to reduce the newborn death rate and healthcare costs worldwide.

How Data Recovery Pro Helpful For Recover Mails And Deleted Files

Nowadays, email is more important for lives and our business and within one click people can send messages to anywhere. In the enterprise of IT (Information Technology) is generally known as restoration of the files to a laptop, desktop, server as well as external storage. The process of data recovery varies depending on the basics of data loss, whereas the data recovery help to develop the back up as well as target media. Today there are various laptop and desktop software platforms are available and this allows the users in order to restore the files themselves. Meanwhile the restoration of the database becomes the complicated process therefore it requires the intervention. This software is provided by the efficient services and they typically used for recovering the important files.

The recovery plan always helpful for the organization and they take responsibility for the data recovering and meanwhile the software provides the strategy for steps that how data can recover easily. The Data Recovery Software has different solutions this all used to sort of numerous information about the devoted and loss. The enterprise as well as home customers can obtain and purchase the replica of the details as possible by using software. Today, most of the customers will avail for the lifelong and they can utilize and assist the process after purchasing the software and also it possible people to utilize as long.

Data Recovery Software Benefits:

Today Data Recovery give the mind, peace for business people because of recovering the lost files and deleted emails. The data recovery is essential software and this secure the scans as a result this brings back the entire deleted message to life and even it from Windows Mail. Data recovery even recovers all partial files from the bad sectors. Today this Data Recovery Pro helps recover a different variety of data and file type because they have the ability for retrieving all missing files and other data from the peripheral devices including iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle as well as the iPod Nano. The Data Recovery Pro is more sophisticated, therefore these will recover files easily from the portioned drives as well as buy from format. Due to the filter technology this allows people in order to search for the text which has been lost and allowing people for finding the files just by searching using a phrase of different keywords.

Today using ParetoLogic’s is very easy to interface and use and the Data Recovery also guide people through the online reviews and this will shows the different methods in finding files as well as recovering them. With this method you can also preview the files before search or even recover the text in lost data. This software allows everyone in order to sort out the different list about what need to recoverable. Along with the Data Recovery Pro, the ParetoLogic’s software used to back up the data’s by the support program and customer care.  The recovery program and email feature the different benefits. You can download the files fee also can retrieve and find the email attachments and deleted mail.

Becoming DayBreak Game Company

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Who is Daybreak Game Company, you ask? Why, that is the new name of much beloved Sony Online Entertainment. This section of the Sony conglomerate has officially been sold to Colombus Nova. Not many have heard of them in the entertainment industry considering that they are an investment firm. Not much has been released about the acquirement of one of the first internet gaming businesses in the industry.

The online entertainment division of Sony was one of the earliest producers of massive, multiplayer online games (also known as MMOs). Their most popular hit was the original EverQuest, one of the most popular fantasy games in the 90’s. It was released in 1999 as a monthly subscription MMO: a fantasy game that let you join other players to engage in quests and build your own story lines. You could battle monsters and demons, accumulate treasure and adventure in a shared digital world.

Unfortunately, its popularity plummeted in comparison to other MMOs such as World of Warcraft. They have been struggling in more recent years considering the new generation of consumers they need to cater to. While other companies such as Riot Games (who produce the League of Legends series) are keeping pace with the younger generations, Sony has been falling far behind. It doesn’t help that theses days, they also have mobile game producers to compete against as well.

They’ve produced games based on many well followed pop culture series (such as Star Wars) and have tied their name to a plethora of popular brands. Despite this, those games are still not performing as well as they have wished. Sony even changed their tune on charging a fee to play the game even after buying it. Their games became free to play, just like the rest of the market, in which the concept is to offer the game for free, but charge the consumer small amounts here and there to purchase in game items and weapons. (Many online players just choose to go without the upgraded goods and just play for free.)

EverQuest may have been their most popular online game, but nothing from that side of the company could compare to what the PlayStation console was able to bring in. It’s better know, and more versatile. Thankfully, we won’t see any negative change in PlayStation, as it has no part in the current deal with Colombus Nova. They knew that their best businesses always became fruitful if they invested in the media, which is where they already thrive. They will continue to publish games for PlayStation and keep it a top contender against the rivaled Xbox. Sony Online Entertainment was strictly PC games.

A plus side is that good amount of new job opportunities will be presenting once Daybreak is established. Their goal is to take many of the great games that were played online, and finally bring them to console gaming. The company may have started as Sony’s online division, but from what the buzz is on the wire, they may have just created a new competitor.

Flash drive data recovery Services

If we are talking about flash drive data recovery, USB data recovery or stick drive data recovery so they are more beneficial and offers the opportunities to save all valuable storage data from these drives which are damaged, stop working or may corrupted eventually. Some time people wrongly assume all these data and later it cannot be recovered from all these devices and they leave them as it is or throw them. So the precious data or unrecoverable information might be lost. But now this problem can be solved with the help of Platinum Data Recovery services. It may recover the storage data from any of damage USB or flash drives.

recovery1There are two type of flash drive data recovery:

Logical flash drive data recovery and physical flash drive data recovery. Lets we read more about them.

1) Logical flash drive data recovery: It refer data which is automatically problematic or the computer system has been corrupted by a malicious virus or by other code where it is initial that data recovery process start soon to recover all important information safely. The logical failure of any drive must need flash drive recovery services to save the lost data or any stored data which has been deleted accidently or caused by improper reformatting of any drive.

2) Physical flash drive data recovery: A flash drive may get Physical failure by some different type of damage to the device that makes it unreadable. There are some other reasons of this physical failure like improper installation, dropping it down, damage by dirt, food and liquids and many other reasons can be come in this list of physical damage of a flash drive.

To resolve this type of issue it is necessary to use the effective tools and instruments to extract all important information which are stored in this flash drive. There is one place where you can get relief or solution for your drive damage problems and we introduce this place with the name of Platinum data recovery which having all type of equipments and skills to handle the cases of physical damage of flash drive and safely recover your precious data.

We can mention here some reasons of stop working of the flash drive like physical damage, high range of pressures or temperatures, improper installation or insertion, spoiled by the food or liquid items, data corrupted and others with the large number of software related issues which can be the cause of flash drive failure physically or logically.

Some more reasons for flash drive failure:
1. Damage the controller of flash drive.
2. Exposed by liquid and food items.
3. Broken connectors of flash drives.
4. Damage in the file system of flash drive.
5. Improper or wrongly formatted drive.
6. System may not recognize the flash drive.
7. Burnt chips inserted in flash drive.
8. Corrupted tale of master file.

recovery2How can recover the data immediately?

There is a number of problem or their reasons but you have only one chance to recover your data so don’t waste your time and call instantly to the platinum data recovery to get flash drive data recovery services in cheap rates.

Recovering lost data from the external hard drive

All those pictures; all those files, music and memories saved on your computer’s external hard drive assure you the safety of those precious moments. But; what if you fail to access it or if you find all the data are lost? It could be the worst nightmares come true. When you face hard drive failure you can try out a few things before calling in the experts. But if it never works then a data recovery company must be your next stop.

hard1How to recover lost data from external hard drive; DIY

Data loss is basically of two types; software related and hard drive related. Both can be resolved and lost data can be retrieved by following few basic protocols. However if these tips fail you can always pitch in the experts.

In case if it is software related the first thing you have to do is to shut down your system connected to the drive. The easiest option for retrieving the data from it is by cloning that drive.

Many recovery programs are available on the internet where some are free and some are paid programs. You can then scan the cone using any of the reliable recovery programs.

Recovering lost data from external hard drive

Trying to recover the lost data from an external hard drive becomes a not so complicated task when you are aware of all the components of the hard drive. PCB, platters, head assemble, firmware are the common and most important parts of any external hard drive. PCB accommodates the main controller of the drive. It is the circuit board that is located at the bottom of the drive. Platters are the data storing components of the drive where anywhere up to 4TB data can be stored. Typical platters have two head assembly which is nothing but the read and write heads.

They literally fly over the platters or spin over them with a gap of few nanometers without actually coming in contact with the patters. When these heads are damaged they can destroy all the data by rubbing on the platters. Firmware is the unique module every hard drive has; it can be termed as your hard drive’s very own minute operating system. These parts if fail can result in your drive losing the data or the capability of reading or accessing the data.

Recovering data from hard drive due to the failure of the any above mentioned parts can be a complicated process which requires expert hands. Calling in the pros rather than losing all those memories and moments you have stored over the years is worth the money you spend on such recovery services.

hard2Retrieving of the lost data which is but memories and moments stored on your external hard drive; seeking the aid of reliable data recovery service providers is now certainly a possibility. So, what are you waiting for? However, you can also learn about the varied data recovery software that is available in the market and do it yourself.

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