• Not just smartphones, a number of smart devices at home as well as workplaces have become an integral part of our everyday life. Voice assistants, at the moment, are the hottest products in the market. These devices can simplify daily tasks by resolving general queries, streaming music, finding local businesses, and ordering products and services. Some research suggests that by 2020, 30% to 50% of the total internet searches will be done employing voice assistants. Pretty cool, huh? However, is it really worth buying? Read further to find out.

    How can voice assistants benefit you?
    Apart from the obvious advantage that they can instantly look up for the information you demand, voice assistants can undertake a number of tasks. Right from acting as a recipe guide to reminding you about daily errands, virtual assistants are truly intelligent digital companions. Likewise, these tiny know-it-alls can be integrated with other home devices such as smartphones, televisions, audio systems, phones, or even light bulbs or coffee makers. All you need to do is be ready with your next command, sometimes without even having to lift a finger. Not just for tech geeks or busy parents, such form of accessibility and convenience can be incredibly useful for people with disabilities and seniors as well.

    Why do people seem reluctant to use it?
    Virtual assistants can have unbridled access to one’s personal information. Therefore, consumers are apprehensive about the loss of security and privacy. The data and consumer’s search patterns can be used to monetize by the makers for targeted marketing. Moreover, unsecured devices at home risk being hacked. Not just for stealing digital data, cybercriminals can even use these to figure out the user’s address and daily schedule.

    Another drawback of a voice assistant is that it can’t determine whom it is conversing with. There have been instances of TV noise in the background or a child’s voice to initiate unauthorized purchases. At the same time, such inaccuracy also indicates that voice assistants can unintentionally record private conversations and store it in the database.

    Are we ready to let voice assistants take over?
    Honestly, not yet! Voice assistants will be able to tap their potential in the next couple of years only if the manufacturers address concerns including the loss of privacy, the inefficiency, and the security issues. The good news is that technological biggies are working on making voice assistants more human as well as secure. Needless to say, the next 2 to 3 years are critical for brands like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft to streamline processes for their voice assistants to deliver a more fulfilling user experience.

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  • Since the last decade, big data analytics is slowly finding applications across multiple industries including healthcare. With a massive amount of patient data generated on a daily basis, the healthcare industry has a lot of potentials to use big data analytics’ predictive capability. This can help in predicting and preventing the outbreak of epidemics. Moreover, the use of big data analytics in the healthcare industry can bring down costs considerably and improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients. Here are a few ways in which the healthcare industry can use big data analytics to provide efficient services.

    Identification of patients who are at a high risk
    Often many healthcare facilities find that a large number of patients come into the emergency department over and over again. This increases the cost, which does not necessarily transform to quality healthcare services. Neither does the higher cost ensure a better outcome for the patient. Using big data analytics, patients who are at a high risk can be identified using the medical data about the specific patient available in the healthcare system. The patients then can be provided with customized care to prevent future ER visits.

    Prevention of errors related to incorrect medications
    One of the major problems in the healthcare sector is related to incorrect medications. A human error related to picking the wrong medication for a patient may lead to harmful consequences or even death. Big data can analyze a patient’s medical records in the background. This background analysis also includes checking the medications prescribed to the patient. In the case of wrong medication selection, the system can flag the error and send alerts. This will prevent any errors related to the dispensing of wrong medications.

    Improvement in patient engagement
    The number of patients opting for medical wearables is steadily on the rise. These wearables are physician aids that help in keeping track of heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, number of steps taken, and other health-related data. This data can be fed to the cloud, which can be then analyzed using big data analytics. This will help physicians monitor a patient’s health remotely and reduce the number of patient visits. The patient will become more independent and engaged in their healthcare.

    Prevention of data and security breach
    It has been observed that the healthcare is highly susceptible to data breaches. This is because healthcare systems contain personal data, which has high value. Big data analytics come with strong protection features, which can help in the prevention of security threats and data breaches.

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  • With a massive amount of data collected by organizations across various sectors, it has become quite significant for these organizations to utilize the data collected efficiently. Right utilization of the data can help in making better business decisions and gain insights into the results of strategies adopted by organizations. This massive amount of data that aids in making strategic business decisions is known as big data. Big data comprises of structured as well as unstructured data. Thus, organizations that want to do big data analytics need to use tools that can efficiently huge amounts of varied datasets. Here are some of the popular data analytics tools being used by many organizations:

    Initially developed by Facebook, the SQL-based database query engine Presto became an open-sourced big data analytics tool in 2013. It is being used by Netflix, Airbnb, and Teradata. Presto has the ability to handle petabytes of data. With one of the highest speeds of data retrieval, Presto can extract data from multiple data sources. Using Presto, you can run analytics across all the data systems of the organization.

    Apache Hadoop
    One of the most popular big data analytics tools, Apache Hadoop can process huge amounts of data through a distributed system. This open source software has been developed using Java. Mostly used by organizations in the banking and financial domain, Apache Hadoop uses a large network of computers to process and analyze data locally.

    PolyBase is a big data analytics tool used to analyze relational as well as non-relational data. This is especially useful while analyzing and querying data obtained from systems that use Hadoop, Azure Data Lake Store, and Azure Blob Storage. Some of the biggest advantages of using PolyBase include flexible storage options, scalable performance management, and enterprise security.

    This big data analysis tool is run on top of Hadoop. This tool is used for the management of distributed data for Hadoop. It uses HSQL to access big data across systems. HSQL or HiveSQL is a query language similar to SQL. If an organization is required to do data mining, they can use Hive along with Hadoop.

    Big data is mostly made of unstructured data. To query and analyze this unstructured data, NoSQL or Not Only SQL can be used. With a better performance than most databases, NoSQL can store a huge amount of data. With a number of open source NoSQL databases available, an organization can build their own versions on top of the existing NoSQL databases.

    Big data in EXCEL
    Using EXCEL 2013, it is possible to connect with the data stored in Hadoop. You can access and analyze big data through Hortonworks’ Enterprise Apache Hadoop platform. In EXCEL 2013, the Power View feature can be used to summarize and analyze big data.

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  • The optical fiber has taken over, and it is being deployed worldwide. You are not going to see all IP enabled set-top boxes anymore because they are replaced by the DVB standard. There is no shortage of innovations, and researchers are spending a lot of time and effort to design more and more innovative televisions into the market. Top manufacturers like Vizio TV have been highly responsive to the technological innovations, and they have managed to come up with the most advanced televisions in the market.

    • Lifeless pictures and images of analog TVs have disappeared.
      The viewing experience has become more interactive. Earlier, all analog TVs offered lifeless pictures, and images and the colors were not impressive. All these problems are solved with top quality products such as Vizio D series, and their most advanced high-definition technology offers pictures and images of unbelievable clarity. The sound system is superb, and you can enjoy TV viewing in the best possible manner.
    • Learn about high-definition
      High-definition (HD) is the buzzword, and you can find the best products including Vizio TV – Vizio E series being labeled as high-definition. High-definition stands taller than SD (Standard Definition). Most people have upgraded their televisions to high-definition models. As far as digital HD broadcast is concerned, there are two standards and they include 720p and 1080i. What do the ‘p’ and ‘I’ mean? The ‘p’ refers to progressive, and the ‘i’ refers to interlaced. When it comes to 720p broadcast, the picture is created with a vertical resolution of 1280 pixels and 720 horizontal scan lines. It suggests that this technology has the benefit of one frame representing a complete image. As far as 1080i broadcast is concerned, the picture is created from two 540 horizontal scan images and combined for making 1080 lines. In such a situation, the vertical resolution turns 1920 pixels. All modern televisions including Vizio TV – Vizio M series and Vizio P series support playback of 1080p and is preferable compared to 1080i particularly in fast-moving sequences. You do not have to worry about motion blur. Vizio TV has a wide variety of high-definition TV sets for everyone’s budget.

    During the initial phase of the high-definition TV, everyone perceived it to be slow, and that available content was confined, and the receivers were costly. This perception changed with the launch of more and more innovative products and it is a great evolution in the history of television technology. The digital switchover is spreading like a wild fire and you can find people embracing the HD revolution with great enthusiasm. It can be said that the quality of viewing has undergone tremendous transformation.

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  • The massive technological jump in digital media can only be seen with great awe. If you look at the advances in digital compression and transmission, you will be amazed. Technology has done wonders in several ways.

    • Digital TVs have taken over
      High-definition broadcast has become a standard practice and after LCD, LED and Plasma, 3D television was also introduced. All these developments have increased the options and offerings for the buyers. The analog television broadcast has almost become extinct, and you can find digital televisions everywhere. Top manufacturers like Polaroid TV have come with innovative products, and you can expect more and more innovations in the immediate future.
    • Limitations of analog TV no longer exist.
      Before the digital switchover, analog television was reigning, and it was resource hungry as far as the amount of bandwidth needed to carry a single channel. Normally, it was between 6 and 8 MHz based on the kind of video being utilized. This made a constricting effect on the number of channels that could be transmitted. All these limitations no longer exist because of the introduction of digital TV, and you will never have to worry about bandwidth when you buy products such as Polaroid TV.
    • Effective reuse of analog technology
      The digital revolution became successful in reusing the current analog spectrum more effectively. What does it mean? An 8 MHz carrier utilized for analog broadcast can easily be converted to Digital Video Terrestrial, and it equips to carry three high-definition channels or 9 standard definition channels and one SD channel for the same quantity of bandwidth. You would need more than 70 MHz of the frequency spectrum for achieving the same thing with the conventional analog standard. Apart from squeezing the added number of channels into less space, digital television brings many more advantages. Highly sophisticated products like Polaroid TV bring high clarity pictures, and they do not suffer from ghosting or other related issues associated with analog systems. Polaroid TVs also offer benefits such as enhanced digital sound, subtitle support, electronic program guide and many more.

    Today, you can find that the TVs are sold with an integrated digital decoder. Traditional televisions can make use of a separate set-top box. The technological improvements are taking place at an unbelievable pace, and you can find the changes in the products launched by leading makers like Rea TV. Digital technology has brought in unimaginable improvements in the television industry as compression techniques offer unlimited possibilities. There are a lot of options in the market like Sceptre TV, Seiki TV, Sigmac TV, Silo TV, Sunbrite TV, Sylvania TV, Upstar TV, Westington TV, Quantum TV, etc. you can choose from.

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  • Creating a website today is as easy as creating a profile for any of your social media pages. With many free and paid tools available at the click of a button, all you need is a good idea and great content. Content is king in today’s media, which is why more and more domains and platforms are offering free and premium services for people out there who want to create a web site.

    Here are some of the popular picks for tools which can be used to create a web site in a matter of minutes:

    Weebly: Weebly probably is the easiest way to create a web site and maintain it online. The platform offers custom domain name hosting services, with drag and drop content features which will make it easy for you to manage your content created and updated regularly.

    ImCreator: This is a do it yourself website builder with a drag and drop platform as offered by Weebly. Templates can be chosen to customize your website or simply start with a blank site page to add features. The website builder is HTML based which makes it compatible across multiple platforms.

    Wix: Wix is a popular and interactive platform with hundreds of templates from which you can choose the one that suits your content. All builder tools are HTML 5 compliant making it accessible through different platforms. The web builder also has many tutorials which will help guide you through the vast maze of features this platform has to offer, to help create a web site from scratch.

    Breezi: Breezi is a specific web site design platform for designers who want to create a web site and take their work online in a visually attractive way. The platform gives unlimited control over how every inch of the site will look, giving you free reign of all the tools and resources available at the disposal of the site. The service also gives free choice of either choosing their web hosting server or opt for third-party hosting through FTP synching.

    Comster: Comster allows you to create a website in a matter of minutes and will enable you to be up and running to take it live through their hosting services. The sites will be fully responsive to whatever content you want to showcase through your web site, blog or online store.

    Donation to: Donation to helps you create your very own fundraising page, with the contributions that are directed through either a WePay or PayPal account.

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  • Have an idea for a website, but don’t know where to start? Here are easy steps that you can follow to create a web site.

    Establish your platform: Websites cannot go live and function the way you want them to irrespective of the type of content without a content management system or CMS for short. The CMS allows you to make all the necessary modifications wherever and whenever you feel the need. This is why it is imperative to narrow down a reliable content management system from many popular ones like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal among others.

    Installing the CMS: Popular CMS sites will ask you to install a dedicated CMS manager on your personal computer from where you can customize the theme, fonts, all types of media and content that is supposed to be hosted on the website.

    Choose from free or paid themes: Choosing from the different themes will make all the difference because they will decide how the final site will look when it goes live. This is the third important step when you create a web site.

    Find a hosting provider: CMS will manage all the content on your website, but a web hosting provider will manage the website when it goes live through their servers. This is where your website will get its name and identity on the world wide web. E.g.www.(your website name).com.

    Choose from the different packages: Depending on your budget and type of content you want to be hosted, packages can be availed for hosting and website maintenance. It is a good idea to steer clear of shared web hosting however.

    Importance of different plugins: Plugins can add additional functionality to your website which can, in turn, draw more eyeballs. WordPress is a CMS which has thousands of plugins which can be installed for free. Popular ones include social media buttons, email subscription buttons, gallery plugins to display images and various utilities among others. Adding plugins is a crucial step when you create a website since your content will be complemented by the additional page views and requests they provide.

    Maintain and update your content: An idea is not just enough to create a website, there should be relevant content to support your idea to generate the necessary pageviews and requests by end users. It is important that you post relevant and updated content which will keep your targeted audience engaged. The more time they spend on your site, the more are your chances of monetizing and generating revenue from the same.

    Use of tools: CMS’s offer promotional tools which can be used to promote the content available on your website. Social media marketing is key to generate more eyeballs and subscriptions.

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  • Almost every single person has a smartphone today. Because of this, there are millions of apps out there today. If there’s something you want, there’s probably an app for it as well. Pretty much every business and hobby has an app today. It’s not just games and productivity tools. Anyone can create and upload an app onto an app store. There’s also a very high demand for individuals who know how to make an app. While creating an app in itself isn’t that hard, learning the process can be time-consuming. Here are 4 reasons you should consider investing your time and money into learning how to make an app.

    Need of the hour
    There are over 7 billion people in the world today. Most people who have smartphones either use iOS or Android as their main platform. The audience is large and keeps increasing by the day. People prefer apps and hence there is a demand. App development has a lot of opportunities today. It is a skill that will always prove to be useful. If you need an app for your venture, you can even do it yourself and save yourself a lot of costs in hiring someone.

    Learning it is easy
    The Internet has made everything you need available instantly. Moreover, there are software and online classes that can equip you with all the information you will need to create an app. With time and practice, you can easily master it in no time. There is no lack of resources to learn how to create an app.

    You probably own a smartphone and know how to use it. You can judge other apps and use the pros and cons you have gathered from them into making your app. You can come up with ideas and implement them yourself by creating an app. Who knows? You can even be the developer of the next viral game. If your app succeeds, it will be a great source of revenue.

    Connecting to people
    Apps are a great way of implementing this simply because it is easily accessible to everyone. If you create a resourceful and creative app, you can reach millions of people all over the world with it. You can design and create an app for your own business. It can be a platform through which you can render services or sell products. You can always be creative and innovative with apps. With the limited screen size available you can showcase the best of your app and its features. Apps that are original and unique are often really popular. By learning how to create an app, you are open to a future where there are no bounds to what you can accomplish.

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  • Development in technology has brought us all closer than ever. We can stay connected every single minute, irrespective of where we are located. This luxury brought about several services and networks all of whom have been competing to bring to us the best possible services including fast, cheap and strong connections. The best of this came about with the introduction of VoIP (voice over internet protocol). With VoIP came the era of free calling. This is the ultimate boon. However, this does not exactly mean free calling. The person needs to have an active internet connection. Once established, you can seamlessly connect to the person on the other end. Due to this, there are businesses developed depending on communicating with international clients. This was only possible because of the internet. Conference calls are not just used by businesses. They are also used by people to connect with many at once. There are tons of apps out there which allow you to make free calls.

    The best of them are listed below.

    1. Google+ Hangouts
    Who does not have a Gmail account today? After that, it is just one simple step to get your hangouts started. This is really easy to setup and really fast too. The connection is excellent with several audio and video features that have to be enabled to establish a call. The call can be made from the chat itself. More people can be added to the call through the email id. It is one of the most used conferencing services.

    2. Skype
    This is an app set up purely for video conferencing. It also allows you to make phone calls over the internet. Skype is available in most of the systems or can be downloaded from the play store. It is a free service. To enable this service, you are required to create a skype ID. Through this id, you can add others through their id. The Skype service is used by business organizations. They use it to conduct long-distance interviews or meetings. It also allows you to easily add more people while on a conference.

    3. Free Conference Calling
    This is a cleverly named service that allows you to make free calls nationally or internationally. Once you create an account, you can make calls to over 57 countries. They have features that record the call. They develop statistics based on how the call went, active participants and the members on the call. The best feature is that it allows a conference with a 1000 people.

    4. Openvoice
    Open voice allows you to connect with 500 people on the call. It is also known for its statistics and features like making calls to a specific group of people. Open voice allows toll-free calling to international numbers and has a free call recording feature. The advantage of this app is that it has an app. Once downloaded, you can make conference calls on the go.

    5. FreeBridge
    It is a conference call service that allows you to make around 100 connections in the conference. It is more popularly used by major conferences in their business activities. It is commonly used to conduct board meetings, sales, and interviews.

    They allow you to save money and time. Business processes take place faster as information is communicated hassle free via FreeBridge.

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  • Technology is reaching new heights every day and it has touched all facets of life. With sophisticated high-speed data transfer, face-to-face communication knows no bounds. Video conferencing has changed the way the world communicates. It has a tremendous impact on how business is carried out, improving the services a company offers across the world. It has shrunk the boundaries of classrooms in education. It has brought families closer together, although they may be geographically dispersed. Companies have a global presence today and it has become a tough task for management to keep track of their remote offices. Video conferencing proves to be the most financially viable option to save time, travel, and energy of individuals.

    Companies offering cell phone connections, and cell phone manufacturers, have made video calling one of their unique service points. Today, we have companies that are rolling out video call apps that have made communicating truly face-to-face.

    Here are some benefits of video conferencing.

    • Remote Work
      The concept of remote work gained prominence with video conference calling. People at different locations can get in touch with each other, from the comfort of their office or home. This helps in connecting real time resulting in establishing a better relationship with colleagues. It results in far more effective communication which is good for businesses.
    • Save Travelling Costs and Time
      Video conference calls save time, money and energy on travelling. Companies now have the freedom of planning their meeting at short notice. Today, conferences often happen remotely, helped by HD quality and enhanced sound. Documents and presentations can be shared online resulting in efficient delivery of services. Many video conference facilities allow multiple users to log in and edit documents simultaneously.
    • Infrastructure
      Video conferencing is dependent on quality infrastructure. A consistent internet connection, and high spec computer, camera, microphone and speakers and important. They play a crucial role in the success of the conference call.

    Video conferencing however comes with disadvantages.

    • Loss Of The Personal Touch
      Nothing can replace the feel and ambiance of a real boardroom meeting. Body language could be missed, and this is a real danger if there is a lag in the connection.
    • Technical Glitch
      As stated above with less human interaction, the onus of a successful meeting lies with technology. A consistent and strong internet connection is important to ensure no lag. A lag results in people not saying things they otherwise would.
    • Varying Time Zones
      Companies have to play to the time-zones of the customers which can be challenging for companies to manager.
    • Cost Of Set-Up
      Video conferencing also involves high investments to develop the infrastructure.
      There are more benefits to video conferencing than costs. Once the technology is purchased, the cost savings will start to accumulate with less travel costs and increased communication.
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