Cloud Computing!

shutterstock_1139108621Cloud computing has revolutionized the way technology is used to share information and resources to achieve coherence, relevance and economy of scale. These three factors are hugely important today when individuals and businesses require being in the forefront of their activities and achieving profits and revenues while reigning in expenditure.

This kind of computing is the method or model of internet-based computing that provides on demand, processing capabilities as well as data to computers and other devices on a network through a shared pool of resources such as applications and services, networks, servers and storage devices, which can be requested and used with minimal effort. Cloud computing enables businesses and users with capabilities to store and process vital data in third-party data centers.

In simple terms, cloud computing means the storing and accessing of information and applications over the internet instead of leaving them on local hard drives or in-house servers. The information accessed is not ‘physically close’ and the metaphor ‘cloud’ relates back to the days of flowcharts, graphs and presentations where the server infrastructure was depicted as a ‘puffy, white cumulus cloud’ that stores and doles out information.

Cloud computing or ‘the cloud’ as it is commonly known enables a ‘pay as you go model’. The availability of low-cost computers and devices, high-capacity networks and storage devices as well as complementing factors like service-oriented architecture, adoption of hardware visualization and utility computing have contributed to the success of cloud computing in a very big way.

Cloud Computing Architecture

The five specific factors that define cloud computing are:

• Broad network access
• On-demand self service
• Resource pooling
• Measured service
• Rapid elasticity or expansion

Broadly, that sums the essence of this kind of computing. However, there are several loosely coupled components and sub-components that are essential to make computing work. These are divided into two sections – the front end and the back end which connect to each other via the Internet.

The Front End is the physically visible interfaces that clients encounter when using their web-enabled devices. Not all computing systems use the same interfaces.

The Back End comprises all the resources that deliver cloud computing services. These are essentially virtual machines, data storage facilities, security mechanisms etc. that together provide a deployment model and are responsible for providing the ‘cloud’ part of the computing service.

Benefits

Exponents of computing are quick to praise it citing the many advantages and benefits it provides. Among the many benefits, the prime ones are:

• Enables scale up and scale down of computing needs
• Enables businesses to avoid infrastructure costs
• Allows companies to get applications running quicker and faster
• Improves manageability and adjustability of IT resources to meet fluctuating business demands
• Reduces maintenance

The high demand for cloud computing is further enhanced by the advantages of cheap service costs, high computing power, higher performance and scalability and easier accessibility and availability.

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Choosing the Right IT Support Vendor

Signing on the dotted line with an IT services and support provider can be a challenging proposition. With a lot of big market players making their presence felt and various critical factors to size up for making a well-thought-out decision, settling for a right provider may eat up more time and efforts than expected. Moreover, no company would let the deal break the bank. Although the situation may not seem as grim as you walking a tightrope, you must exercise ample caution before contracting out IT services to a vendor.

Draw out the Benefits of IT Support Services

With the competition among the industry rivals going through the roof, it is important that you do not falter on technological grounds. As a result, sound IT infrastructure should be high on the agenda. To ensure that all your information technology needs are duly met, make it a point to find a trusted and professional IT solutions provider. Serving the organizations of all magnitude, ranging from small-scale to large-scale, an information technology consultant firm focuses on combining technological innovations with business practices and thereby ensuring seamless day-to-day operations. This, in turn, propels the growth of the business.

Leap at What Serves the Purpose

Although an IT firm may cover a broad spectrum of technology solutions, you may go in for stripped-down features which fit in with your business needs and suit your pocket. Some of the fundamental IT services are:

  • Software and Hardware installation, maintenance, and regular upgrades.
  • Computer, Network, and Server Analysis: Tracking down potential threats and addressing them for the optimized performance.
  • Patch Management: This ensures that your systems operate with the latest critical security patches.
  • Proactive Support: Offsite monitoring of critical systems to ensure maximum uptime and productivity.
  • Remote Office Access: Allowing the authorized users access to secured files and e-mails.
  • Round-the-clock Technical Assistance
  • Virus and Spyware Protection and Removal
  • Prompt response to technical glitches

With such a wide array of IT solutions, you are rest assured that your business will progress ahead by leaps and bounds. Above all, it will take the information technology loads off your shoulders and will let you focus and build on your core strengths and competencies. It will, ultimately, leave you with the bang for your bucks.

On the conclusive note, it is worth mentioning that information technology serves as a backbone of any business entity. As a result, it is important that you have everything covered on the technological front.

This article equips the readers with the various facets of IT support and the need to align your business with a professional and trusted IT vendor.

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A Short Introduction to the Revolutionary 3D Printing Technology

One of the most remarkable technologies to have been developed in recent years has to be that of 3D printing. This technology enables you to use a specialized printer to create the things you design on a computer with the help of certain materials. If you are planning to use this technology, it helps to know a bit about it like the working of the technology, salient features, scanners and 3D modelling applications, how to print etc.

How Does This Technology Work?

In order to 3D print something, you need to create the concept art of the object first. A virtual design has to be created in the form of a specialized file such as CAD. CAD files can be created with the help of a 3D scanner if you are planning on cloning a specific object. A 3D modeling application will also suffice if you want to create the design on your computer.

3D Scanners: These specialized scanners can make use of various technologies in order to create a 3D model. Some examples include volumetric sacking and structured light among others. 3D scanners are an important part of 3D printing technology but they can be rather expensive but cheap DIY kits are also available.

3D Modeling Applications: Like scanners, you can find a range of these applications. Professional grade applications are quite costly. On the other hand, free or cheap applications are also available for beginners to create concept art with. Some applications even come with tutorials to help you get started.

Printing the Model

Once you have readied the model, you need to work on it further to get it ready for 3D printing. In order to prepare the model, a process known as slicing is used. In it, the model is sliced into numerous horizontal layers. In order to do so, you need a specialized software. Some modeling applications have this function built into them. In some cases, you may have to use a specific slicing tool that is compatible with the 3D printer. Once completed, the actual printing process can be started. The time required for the printing to be completed depends on the printer you are using, the materials you are working with and the complexity of the structure.

3D printing technology has certainly progressed far. However, it still has a long way to go till it becomes a part of homes like regular 2D printers.

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Tips on Making Distributed Agile Teams Successful

Tips on Making Distributed Agile Successful

Purists and Scrum hipsters will argue that dispersed teams are a taboo in Agile communities of practice. However, in reality there are many instances where an organization has to outsource due to lack of local skill set or other reasons. Being prepared for what to expect and how to approach and prepare for the facilitation of distributed teams can go a long way in ensuring the success of the Agile initiative.

1. Decide on how to distribute

  • Teams work differently in their remote locations, but the whole team officially syncs up at least once a day, but also ad-hoc as situations call for it;
  • ach team in each location has all the necessary skills to execute on the committed sprint backlog;
  • Individuals in different cities must be encouraged to work as one team as opposed to one team in country A and another in country B;

2. Create stickiness or coherence

  • We want teams that will stick together which requires a clear vision;
  • We therefore acknowledge that cultures in our team differ – we should encourage collaboration and relationship nurturing early on in the project for sub-cultures to form;
  • Work actively to strengthen tactical as well as team structures;
  • Build trust through early communication of progress

3. You’re going to have to change how you communicate

  • In the Cinderella Project (a perfect project) a team would come together from their disparate locations to meet, socialize and form cohesion;
  • We encourage teams to stay together for at least an iteration;
  • Learn the lay of the land
  • Become familiar with the ‘flavour of Agile’ being used (e.g. all teams estimate, collaborate, execute and communicate differently – get to know these traits – it’s going to make or break your Agile initiative!)
  • Organize quarterly visits for either the whole team or have people cross pollinate through travelling between locations
  • Invest in the concept of having team ambassadors, people that ensure good working relationships
  • A Wiki culture, or information sharing philosophy is going to be very important, more so than with co-located teams
  • You are going to need more meat on that product backlog to physical counter the absence of key people
  • Horizontal communication must be encouraged and drive
  • Distance isn’t such a problem, time zones are!

When transitioning to a distributed team, err on the side of over-communicating.

4. Additions you’d need to accommodate in the framework you are using:

  • Meetings will require slack time, people are going to catch up (and rightfully so) whether you like it or not;
  • Share news as it happens about the project, good and bad
  • Honour basic meeting etiquette:
  • One conversation at a time
  • Everyone must know who is speaking
  • Keep to the time-boxes
  • Facilitator to set up technology, conference bridge etc. in advance of meeting, and test the connections
  • Ensures everyone has the right dial-in information

5. Technology

  • You’ll have to ensure your technology supports your dispersed nature
  • Use Agile Lifecycle Management tools like Jira, VersionOne etc
  • Use proper high quality video and voice tools to video-conference successfully and to bridge the distance gap
  • Online whiteboards for design sessions will aid collaboration
  • An online Retrospective tool that will ensure the opportunity to improve isn’t lost

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9479201

Getting The Perfect Drone For Your Child

Drones make very popular gifts for children and with so many models available for kids, you will find one that your child will love flying. Drones are generally safe for children and you therefore have nothing to worry about. You can actually improve your family time when you get a drone for your kids complete with a camera to capture those moments in the park or around the house or garden.

The good thing about kids is that they are fast learners and it will take a short moment for them to learn how to safely control the drones. It is however still important that you supervise the kids as they enjoy the flying. When you are out looking for the best drones for kids, you will realize that quality increases with price. But there are so many sturdy and cheap drones you can get for your kids. With the right selection, you will be able to purchase a drone that is easy to fly, easy to maintain and one that is durable for that matter.

Consider the minimum flying age

The truth is that drones are not suitable for kids of any given age. Drone manufacturers do give age recommendations when it comes to the mini drones with eight years being the cut for most. You can however also use child maturity to determine what age is perfect for them to own and fly a drone. Whereas age of 10 may look suitable enough, children who are familiar with robotics and such may be able to fly the drones at younger ages. The age should also guide to the drone features that are relevant. For instance, kids over age of 12 will most likely find action camera drones more appealing than those without.

Check speed and size

These are the two elements that play a role in drone accidents. When choosing drones for kids, it is safer that you go for the model made of ABS plastic that is lightweight and durable. This kind of a drone eliminates the damage that could be caused by a much heavier or larger drone, especially when a child is just learning to fly. Small toy drones are basically harmless. Lower yaw rate are also best for kids. Propeller rotating speeds should be selected accordingly to minimize dangers when children are learning to fly. Slow flying drones are safer for kids, but you can always upgrade the size and speed according to the age and skill achieved.

Think about flying environment

You can either get an indoor or an outdoor drone for your child or one that can be flown in both environments. Indoor drones have stable hovers and very responsive commands whereas outdoor drones should at least be wind resistant and feature motor power to keep hover stable. Before buying, ensure that you have enough space to fly it, whether indoors or outdoors. The last thing you want is to have your kids fly the drones in your neighbor’s space which can be privacy invasion.

Drones for kids can keep them busy and excited as long as you choose a safe and secure model. Find out all about the drone before buying so you are sure it is the best for the child.

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Questions You Should Answer Before Buying A Drone

With drones becoming increasingly popular amongst individuals and businesses, new models are constantly being released into the market. Each release comes with the aim to bring improvements in the flying experience. This new technology actually has great potential for different industries and choosing the best drone is what you should be paying attention to in relation to your needs. Whether you are getting a drone for your new flying hobby or for business, there are things that you must take into consideration to end up with the best model. Below are helpful questions you should answer to guide your purchase.

What is my intended use? Remember that different drones have different features to complete specialized tasks easily. If it is just for flying fun, for instance, then it should not matter whether it has a camera or not. If it is for taking pictures and videos, however, then you want to make sure that it comes with a premium camera that you can trust for quality images. Let the tasks that you wish to complete with your drone lead you to the best drones for sale.

What is my budget? Apart from what you can afford, the intended use can determine what amount is reasonable for a drone. Recreational purpose drones are cheaper compared to those that are created for specialized tasks. The rule here would be to get a drone that you can afford and one that gives you the flying experience that you are looking for. For instance, cheaper drones may prove harder to fly for beginners because they lack some features that would otherwise make flying easy. Repairs and maintenance should also feature in the budget considering that drones are crash prone.

What type of drone is more convenient for me? Getting familiar with the types of drones available in the market is paramount in making the most suitable decision in terms of purchase. The types are differentiated by the features and the common drones today are ready to fly or RTF, BNF or bind and fly drones, ARF or almost ready to fly drone, RTH or return to home drones and FPV or first person view drones. You will also find drones with GPS navigation. These types offer varying assembling and flying experiences and you should consider each one before deciding what type works best for you.

Are there are any registration requirements? Usually the weight of the drone will determine whether you need to register it with the relevant agency of not. Most toy drones are not heavy enough to require a registration but you might need to register more sophisticated business related drones to avoid civil penalties. Apart from registering, you will need to adhere to flying guidelines. For instance, you may not be allowed to fly above given heights and near airports.

Where will I fly the drone? This is very important because there are places that are off limits. Think safety and legality when looking at drones for sale.

There are a huge variety of drones for sale. To make the right choice you would have to be clear about your needs so you select a drone with all necessary features to make your flying experience most rewarding.

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Appointment Scheduling Software – The Benefits And Choosing The Best

Appointment scheduling software helps in managing appointments. This is very important for businesses, including those that are in the service industry because customers and clients are always looking for convenience and do not like waiting in line. With proper appointment scheduling, you are able to see customers and attend to their needs without wasting their time and having large numbers waiting to be served giving you a hard time managing everyone easily.

Scheduling software makes it possible for the clients to book appointments online from wherever they are. Some of the platforms are very good in that they make it possible for you as a business to process prepayments and deposits online. With such an important tool, you are able to handle and serve customers satisfactorily and everyone is happy at the end of the day. With such software, you do not need to get a person to answer calls and schedule appointments.

Some of the businesses that can benefit most from the appointment scheduling software include gyms, medical offices, spas and salons. Professional consultants and photographers will also find such a system helpful in tracking appointments.

The benefits

· Manages wait lists so there is better customer handling

· Offers customers flexibility of booking appointments online without a need to call or visit for the same

· Sends automated mobile notifications to serve as reminders for the scheduled appointment

· Supports online payments offering lots of convenience for business and customers

· Integrates calendars and important business systems that matter

· Reduces costs because no person will be needed to attend to calls and schedule the appointments

· Saves time for both business and the customers

· Customers can easily schedule appointments at any given time; the system remains accessible round the clock

Getting the best

With so many benefits, you definitely will want to consider appointment software. To have the best experience as a business and to give the best to your customers too, there are things you must consider in the system.

Ease of use – Software you choose should be user friendly. Even a customer with no computer skills should have an easy time booking the appointment using the system. Try it out before settling for it.

Customization – Is it possible for you to customize the system? A system that gives you this ability is best because then you can make it work in the manner you want. You should be able to change layout to meet your brand, integrate it with business and also control access. The more control you have, the better the system will be.

Size and price – Scheduling appointment software that grows with business is most beneficial. You should be able to only pay for the size you need for the business, then you can upgrade as the demand for more space and functionalities grows.

Date security – The system should have measures to ensure that client data remains secure to meet professional standards of the industry you are in. You also deserve to get technical support at any given time for the system that you settle for in the end.

When you have an appointment scheduling software, customer handling is made easy and convenient. Choose a system that meets with every business need you have to get best value.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9521099

4 Myths About Fiber Optic Cables

While fiber optic cables have been around for a long time, most people don’t fully understand them. Due to this, there are plenty of myths surrounding them. Some of the most common myths include:

The optic fibers are expensive

Years ago, the fibers used to be expensive. They were more expensive than copper. This is no longer the case. Nowadays, due to the drop in the manufacturing costs and ease of terminations, fiber optics are now less expensive than most of the copper installations. In addition to the cables being cheap, they are also easy to maintain.

The cables are difficult to terminate

Just as the fiber cables were expensive a few years ago, they were also difficult to terminate. The cables were fragile, they required you to limit the amount of exposed glass, and the glass shards were dangerous thus you had to take great care of yourself. With advances in technology, this is no longer the case. Nowadays terminating the fibers with SSF is very easy. In fact, you can do it with just a little training.

The fiber optic is impossible to hack

Fiber optic cables are often used in computer connections. One of the most sensitive issues with computer connections is the ability of other people to get access to your information through hacking. The cables use light that stays within the cables which makes it difficult for hackers to access your data. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for hackers to access your information. All the hackers need to do is to have a network tap and a physical access to your cable. Due to this risk, you should take the safety of your computers seriously to prevent people from getting into your network. You should also encrypt any data that you want to be kept private.

Optic fiber infrastructure is different from that in copper

In most cases, fiber optics are compared to copper. Since they are competitors, many people feel that their infrastructure is different. This isn’t the case. Most of the parts and pieces of the two are similar. The wall boxes, patch cables, wall plates, and in-wall components are the same. The layout of the two networks is also similar.

Conclusion

If you didn’t know some inside details about optic cables now you know. For the units to give you ideal results you need to buy them from a reputable store.

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Important Tips To Improve Photogrammetry Scanning Quality

pixel-light-effects-rig-for-services-2Photogrammetry can simply be defined as the measurement of photographs. It is a process that largely depends on camera positioning around the given subject and light control to create high resolution details of skin and clothing. The scanning can be used for capturing data for various projects including face replacements and CG characters. With so many variables to control, photogrammetry scanning can be overwhelming. There is just too much trial and errors involved to achieve best practices but with a few helpful tips, it is very possible to achieve accuracy and top quality with the process.

Tip 1 – Think about overlapping coverage. When building your setup, you should use as many cameras as possible so you are able to reduce or minimize manual cleanup later. Enough coverage translates into very decent recreation and you will also rarely miss any information when you use enough cameras so manual cleanup is very minimal.

Tip 2 – Put in measures to minimize distortions. When there are distortions, it is given that your system will have issues aligning the images. The fact is that most Photogrammetry systems come with a lens that helps reduce images, but it is always a much better choice to try and minimize it in-camera. Use tools that match with the camera format that you are using to get the best results every time.

Tip 3 – Mask out the background to dramatically improve overall quality of generated mesh and post processing time. It is a process that can be time consuming, especially when you need to go through every single picture but it pays off in the end. If manual masking is something you would rather avoid, then you can use systems that offer automatic masking feature to achieve a clean background. It also helps to tie cables together and eliminating any junk from the frame, especially when using a camera rig.

Tip 4 – Focus on more resolution when operating. You can use as much as necessary from your sensor because the more the resolution you can achieve then the more detailed your mesh is going to be. Try every way not to waste a single pixel if you can actually use it for quality benefits.

Tip 5 – Remember that lighting remains key in all kinds of photography. To increase depth of filed and eliminate photo noise, keep your aperture small and ISO as low as you can. But because doing so will definitely decrease amount of light that you get to work with, ensure that you have other light sources to substitute. Consider using flashes over continuous lighting that are less efficient, less color accurate and expensive for that matter. Flashes keep talent comfortable and enough lit unlike continuous lights that can produce heat leaving enclosed rig hot.

Tip 6 – Pay attention to photo orientation. It is factor that plays a huge role in accuracy of projects and it needs to be accurate for every camera position. Increase number of well-positioned points to improve orientation quality. These points should take up a greater percentage of photograph area.

Photogrammetry is among the services that you can enjoy from 3D scanning experts. Choose a service provider you can trust to deliver quality to your photo project, however demanding it could be.

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6 Top Areas of 3D Scanning Benefits

3D scanning process has proved to be very beneficial in capturing the exact measurements and shape of any given object. It is a technology that has eased production processes in all fields and more people are now embracing the benefits of this sought of scanning where total accuracy of details on an object is needed. It is a process that has actually reduced manufacturing costs and yet offers higher quality parts in the end. Below are some of the top areas the 3D scanning benefits.

1. Prototype

This process can be applied to prototype phase in different kinds of ways, but the major use is to reduce design cycles needed in the prototyping. When 3D scans are used in designing a part, the accurate data makes it possible to utilize precise measurements of the physical product reducing the process by a huge percentage. The scanning is also combined with prototyping so that physical objects are scaled accurately.

2. Design

It is among the areas that have greatly benefited from 3D scanning. They scans are applied starting with physical object and then using this to create a CAD model. Mating parts are also scanned and then incorporated into a given design so the end result is better fitting parts that are consistent. This process is known as reverse engineering or modeling and when utilized, new designs are improved and incorporated for engineering optimization of manufactured part.

3. Production

In production, the scanning is used to capture tooling or parts changes which occur in the production phase. Usually hand tuning is needed in tooling to get the desired finish and look of a given part. When 3D comes into the picture, the optimizations and hand modifications are easy to transfer from tool to tool so all parts manufactured match after the production ends. The scans also help in analyzing and characterizing tool wear during the production; this is very helpful in correcting tool failure or eliminating the same before it is too late. It is actually very possible to recreate optimized part using a 3D scan.

4. Engineering

3D scan data makes it possible for physical objects to be translated into the engineering phase of projects directly. The data offer flexibility in performing FEA, CAE, CFD and other analysis that is necessary in the engineering area on objects manufactured and physically modified. The process offers a simple way of achieving accuracy.

5. Quality control

Using 3D scanning, it has become possible to analyze built condition of parts after manufacturing. This non-contact technology offers a quick way of inspecting overalls size and shape of the parts and detecting issues that could affect performance of the parts. When combined with statistical analysis software, 3D scanning helps maintain and predict the quality of parts in the manufacturing phase.

6. Distribution

It might sound unrealistic, but 3D scanning comes handy in vision systems used in distribution and shipping centers to sort and track packages. The scanning certifies the integrity of products before and after shipping. It is also used to increase packing density and creating support structures and casing.

Lidar scanning systems are some of the systems used in 3D scans to create offer precise digital copies of props, cars, aircraft and even buildings. There is just so much that can be enjoyed using the system

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