Which Apps Make the Best Use of the iPad Mini’s Dimensions?

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Cole Camplese

Anyone who may have been a little sceptical about the benefits of an iPad Mini will have been surprised at its popularity. After all, what benefits are other than being slightly smaller than the full-size iPad – which you already have?

Although the devotion of Apple fans probably means the device would have flown off the shelves regardless, things tend not to shift hundreds of thousands of units without having something to offer. The most obvious benefit being the size, the Mini is very portable and easier to handle should you wish to take pictures or shoot video.

It was also more affordable than the standard iPad, leaving some extra cash to go and stock up on iPad Mini cases from The Snugg. That did not mean it sacrificed speed or memory. It runs on an Apple A5 Dual Processor – the same as the iPhone 4.

Regardless of the other benefits, the main draw of the iPad Mini is the size – it is in its name after all. This has made it the go-to device for many a businessman, wanting the best quality in a device that is easily transportable.

Here are some of the applications which have found themselves particularly suited to the iPad Mini.

Evernote

As the Evernote app lets you sync everything back to your desktop computer, it is perfect for those who want to take notes without being encumbered by a larger device. Users can take notes with text, voice or photographs. It also allows you to access existing Evernote data, so you never leave anything behind.

That is, unless you forget your iPad Mini.

SugarSync

As the iPad Mini is smaller than its older sibling, it loses a little memory as a result. To keep its speed as high as possible, you will also not want to overload the device with too much data. That isn’t a problem, especially when you have cloud storage on your side. SugarSync, for example, offers 5Gb of free data (Dropbox offers 2Gb) and allows you to access a full library of photos, files and music, wherever you are in the country.

GoogleDrive also offers 5Gb of free storage.

Kindle

Portability, as mentioned, is where the Mini comes into its own. A quick tube or bus ride across the city to the next important meeting is the perfect time to chill out with a book. Unlike with Amazon’s portable Kindle device, you cannot buy books directly through the app. But it is perfect when you don’t want to carry around more than one device and find yourself with a few free moments to read a couple of chapters.

Camera+ for iPad

As mentioned earlier, the iPad Mini is far easier to take photos with than the larger iPad. For that reason it is the perfect place to download Camera+ – for the relatively cheap price of 69p. The camera on the Mini will never be perfect and is not the thing to rely on if you’re after professional quality photos. Camera+ editing software goes some way to improving your snaps, with adjustable effects and an excellent clarity filter.

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Protecting Your In-Car Electronics From Theft

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Image via Flickr creative commons from  Jason Cartwright

Whether your car contains the latest in-car radio, fitted with Bluetooth and mp3 function, or your car radio is fairly old, you should always be conscious of keeping your in-car electronics out of sight when you park up. The reason for this? Many hundreds of cars are broken into every year on account of thieves trying to access the in-car electronics to sell on. By keeping your valuables out of sight, you will remove the possibility of your car being attractive to thieves. There are many ways to protect your car and its valuables – here are some further tips for ensuring that your in-car electronics are not stolen.

Park somewhere public

If you park your car in an unknown area, well out of sight of anyone and anything, there is a higher chance that you may come back to find that it has been broken into. Conversely, if you park your car in a very public place where there will constantly be people milling around, then this risk is lessened. The more people that are around, the less likely someone is to attempt to break in to your car, for fear of being caught.

Invest in a car alarm

An inexpensive way to stay on alert to thieves is to install an alarm on your car. All you have to do is activate this alarm when you lock your car and hey presto. The majority of cars these days do not come equipped with alarms which makes it easier for a break-in to occur unnoticed. If a thief is suddenly disturbed by a loud and wailing alarm, he is likely to move on pretty sharpish before he attracts the attention of somebody.

Make sure all windows are closed and all doors are locked

It may sound obvious to shut your car windows and to lock your car doors but think about it for a moment: it’s a really hot and sunny day so all of your car windows have been open to allow plenty of air to circulate. When you come to a standstill, it is likely that you will once again feel the warmth of outside radiating in and thus you won’t even think about closing the windows. It is a similar case with locking your door. Oh it won’t matter because I’ll only be in the shop for a minute. The next thing you know, there is a huge queue and you spend at least 15 minutes inside the shop. That is more than enough time for someone to open the car door and take anything valuable on display, without alerting anyone’s attention.

Hide your valuables

Rather than leaving your valuables on sight for all and sundry, you could transfer them to your glove box. Or better yet, as the majority of thieves will now break in to your car in the knowledge that valuables are stored there – store them in your car boot or take them out with you. A Halfords portable DVD player on full display is like a magnet to a thief. Likewise, if you have a Halfords GPS and you do not remove it from the window, anyone can see it. Remember the phrase, out of sight, out of mind? You should live by this motto when it comes to protecting your in-car electronics.

Advantages Of Shopping Online For Women’s Clothing

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Marco Gomes

The rise in the number of online retailers, alongside the increased usage of digital technology has led many shoppers to hunt online to make their clothing purchases. Not only does online shopping offer customers the ability to fit their clothes shopping around their daily schedules, it also makes it possible for customers to purchase new clothes or shoes from any supported electronic device. Online shopping offers a number of advantages to the shopper as well as the business owner. So let’s take a closer look at how shopping online for women’s clothing can be of benefit to you.

Convenience

We all lead fast-paced busy lifestyles these days which can make it rather difficult to find the time to go shopping. The benefit offered by online stores is that you can access them from any supported electronic device, such as your home pc, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. When you make the most of this new rise in digital technology, you’ll find that it is so much more convenient to do your shopping online. There’s no having to rush through your household chores so you can get to the shops and avoid the traffic queues. Instead, you can enjoy shopping for clothes from the comfort of your own home. And if you’re one of the super busy people, you can shop while on the train or bus on your daily commute to work.

Try before you buy

Although there are no physical changing rooms when you shop online, there has been talk of developing virtual changing rooms in which you can build your own personal avatar who can ‘try on’ the clothes you have selected. This is a great way to see how the clothes will look on your body and how to match items before you navigate to the payment section. What’s more, shopping online gives you access to consumer reviews so if you’re in two minds as to whether to buy that dress, you can see what other people have to say about it regarding size, quality and fit to help you make a better informed decision.

Save money

It’s so quick and easy to compare the price of items when shopping online which means that you’ll almost always come away with a better deal than if you’d shopped regularly in-store. In addition to this money saving, there are often exclusive deals to be found online, not to mention an absence of pushy sales people who can coerce you into making purchases just to get them off your back.

More choice

When you choose to shop for clothes online, you’ll be faced with an infinite amount of choice. What’s more, you’re not only limited to purchasing clothes from your local area either as you’ll have access to retailers from around the globe. There are also many items listed online that are exclusive to the online store which you wouldn’t see had you not trawled the sites online. And the fact that you have instant access to all of this information right at your fingertips holds appeal for many shoppers. Check out the huge range of women’s clothing at Missguided.

Which on-trend items will you purchase next online?

Finding Android Apps For Your Kindle Outside The Amazon App Store

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Image via Flickr creative commons from sidduz

So you’ve bought a Kindle. Well you’re not alone as it is estimated that Amazon sold around 1.7 million Kindle Fire devices in the first quarter of the year – although the company refuses to release official figures. One of the main reasons why people choose to invest in a tablet is to download and make use of the latest apps, from movie software to games. Once you’ve got your hands on one of these gadgets you’re going to want to find a Snugg Kindle Fire cover to keep it safe and then plenty of apps to keep you occupied.

The Amazon App Store 

A court case fought between Apple and Amazon that came to a close in July means Amazon is now able to legally use the term appstore, something that Apple was keen to prevent until it pulled out of the case. The appstore has thousands of apps available – both free and paid for – that can be downloaded by Kindle Fire users very easily from their device. There is no denying that there are some great apps in the store, from the likes of hit games titles such as Angry Birds Star Wars Premium HD and Hill Climb Racing through to video-on-demand apps from LoveFilm and Netflix. But it is not the only game in town…

Third-party apps

While the Amazon appstore is the only official way to find apps for the Kindle, there are other third-party providers out there. But why go anywhere else? Well the main reason is that you will find a wider range of apps available elsewhere. How come? The main reason is that commercial interests make it undesirable for Amazon to offer its customers access to these apps as a matter of course. For example, as journalists at Business Insider found out, it is quite possible to download the Nook e-reader app onto the Kindle Fire, something that Amazon would of course never make available through its own store. So when it comes down to it, while the Amazon appstore has plenty of top quality content for the Kindle inside, if you want a free choice of what available apps you want then you’ll have to go third-party.

The technical bit

Ok, so it’s not actually that technical, but you will need to be careful to make sure that before trying to download apps from third-party sites that you ensure that you change the settings on your Kindle Fire – otherwise it simply won’t work. Go into Settings, More and then Device and ensure that the section entitled “Allow installation of applications from unknown sources” is switched to on. You’ll then get a warning to tell you that this course of action might not be safe. If you’re satisfied then you’re ready to get some new apps!

Where to find third-party app sites 

GetJar is said to be one of the best third-party Android app stores out there at the moment and the firm claims to have in excess of 100 million people using its services. Download the app onto your Kindle Fire and soon you’ll have access to a huge range of new apps.

Tips for keeping your data centre cool

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Image via Flickr creative commons from IntelFreePress

During the summer months, just as clients and employees will get hot under the collar – so will your data centre. Keeping it cool will require a range of data centre solutions – but for any business, maintaining a low temperature can be expensive.

The first step, unfortunately, can often be the most expensive. Optimising your computer room air conditioning units can increase efficiency. At the same time, you should begin an investigation into the integrity of the facility. Look where you are storing it – leaky windows and doors can compromise efficiency. The same applies for ventilation or ceiling tiles that have been removed without being replaced.

If you are in an area where there is a problem with humidity, make sure you have a vapour barrier. Many devices will have been built with one installed so it is important to make sure this is working properly.

Keeping temperatures down can be as simple as maintaining your units regularly. Just like a car, air conditioning units can become unreliable if neglected. Depending on where it is and depending on the season, filters can become clogged with dust over time. If these are not regularly cleared they can become one of the main causes of overheating. The very minimum maintenance schedule should be around twice a year, anything less than that will give you serious problems.

As well as the external factors that increase the temperature of your data centre, the amount of work it is doing can be pivotal in its survival and efficiency. All of the energy it produces will be converted to heat – other than noise, it is the data centre’s only waste product. For almost every bit of energy it spends on processing, you will need to spend on cooling.

If the floor of the room you store your data centre is raised, make sure the grates and similar perforated tiles are as near as possible to the hottest racks. But make sure these are not too close to your air conditioning. If you need to, don’t be afraid to rearrange your units, it will help with air circulation.

Measure the temperature of your racks, where the air is drawn in. If the bottom area of these is coolest, try to rearrange your servers to the coolest areas of the room. At the same time, make sure you use blanking panels to block off the unused, clear room in front of the towers. This process with help with the whole room’s air circulation.

The room shouldn’t be in use by people too often, a human body can add around 100 watts of energy to a room. When it is not in use, make sure the lights are turned off at all times, this can save up to two per cent of electrical heat.

If things get too hot, make sure you have a backup plan to shut down all the non-essential parts of the data centre. This contingency plan will save important data and systems when things get too hot.

Make Sure you Don’t Give Away Confidential Information with Your Old PC

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Razor 512

Making sure you recycle a computer, or any other electrical device, correctly is becoming more and more important. A typical laptop will include harmful components, such as mercury, lead, chromium and other heavy metals. If these end up in a landfill, they have the potential to contaminate the land and water around them.

Recycling is important and can help those who are less fortunate, by giving them access to a PC and potentially the internet. If this is the case, you need to make sure your device is completely wiped of personal data – this can be achieved by procedures such as Computer Disposal’s data destruction process.

Even if you do not intend to send your laptop onto someone else, it still needs to be wiped. It can be picked up by anyone once it has been thrown in a skip and they can harvest it for information to be used against you.

You need to be aware that deleting everything does not clear your hard drive. The same applies for formatting so you need to take a few further steps to make sure the laptop is completely blank. A real wipe of the hard drive requires special software.

In 2003, two students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bought 158 used hard disks from eBay – from those, the discovered 5,000 credit card numbers, personal and corporate financial records, medical records and emails. Only twelve of the drives had been properly wiped.

The best thing you can do to avoid this is to invest in a proper disk-wiping programme or get a professional to do it for you. If you are going to do it manually, the first thing you need to do is back up all the files you want to keep; once you have finished there will be no chance of getting them back otherwise.

Next, you need to download a free data destruction programme or shredder. There are a number of ways to do this without such a programme, but these tend to take much of the hassle out of data destruction.

Then you need to burn the ISO file onto a disk before wiping the device as per the instructions of your programme.

If you are performing a manual clean up, there are going to be certain things you want to keep and an order through which to delete items and folders. Start the process with your personal folders and files. This should be followed by web settings and internet browsing history. Then, make sure you get rid of all emails. This is particularly important as you may think getting rid of stored bank information such as credit card numbers finishes with your web browsing – you may find out that you have detailed these in a past email.

Remember, when you wipe a hard drive the programmes you need to use and the specific processes will depend on your operating system. The method will be different between Windows 7, Windows 8 and XP, for instance. Make sure you research this thoroughly.

How Does The Enigma Machine Compare To Modern Encryption?

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Erik Pitti

Messages written in some sort of code as estimated to date back for at least 2,000 years, and demonstrate that mankind has had a desire to conceal the content of information which it wants to send to a third party for as long as he has been in existence.

Morse code was invented in 1838, and is probably the world’s best-known example, remaining in use through much of World War I – until each side realised that messages could be easily decrypted if they were intercepted.

 

Taking the conflict up a notch

As a result, when hostilities were about to flare up again, the Germans started work on developing a new way of keeping secret messages which were intended solely for transmission between staff of one of the country’s armed forces. The German boffins’ response was the Enigma machine. Effectively it was similar to a manual typewriter of the day, but it was capable of encoding any message into a code which had 150,000,000,000,000,000,000 different combinations. The machine operated by an electric current being sent from the keyboard through a set of rotors and a plugboard, which illuminated the alphabetical code which was to be used. The codes were varied by changing the order of the rotors, their starting positions, and the order of the plugboard connections.

In this way, the Germans believed that their codes would be unbreakable, until the Allies realised that the only way they could do so was to build a prototype computer, and this was the job achieved by famed codebreakers led by Alan Turing, when they devised what became known as the ‘Bombe‘ machine. While other partly successful attempts had been made to break the Enigma codes, the Bombe provided the real breakthrough, and it and its team of operators helped bring the war to a swift and decisive end. They also used techniques similar to those described on this article on modern day hacking by Parcel2go, Social Engineering – The early enigma decryption relied heavily on finding cases when the German enigma machine operators had not followed proper procedure with their machines rendering the messages much easier to crack, often the same day they were received.

 

Mechanical v electronic

But whereas, because it was essentially a machine, Enigma’s code-breaking capacity was limited by its physical size. The advent of modern computers powered by a microchip packing massive processing power into a tiny space, therefore, was the key to scientists’ and mathematicians’ ability to take encryption to new levels.

As a result, experiments have been carried out comparing the length of time it would take for a modern-day computer to do the job of the Bombe. And a collaborative project has also been carried out in which a group of computing experts set out to break a message created using an Enigma machine which had, until then, remained uncracked.

At the time they were sent, in 1942, the Germans had considered the messages to be undecryptable. But this project began to disprove that – even if, in the words of the person who answered the question posed on Yahoo!, “brute force [is used] to test the encrypted message against all possible set-up configurations of the Enigma.”

Even then, the test bypassed the plugboard, meaning that a code produced by an Enigma machine, in its original form, might still have remained unbroken to this day, showing that, while new and more sophisticated codes have been devised – and broken – since, the original Enigma remains just that.