BYOD

Bring your own device – business

By on November 14, 2015 in Business, Ergonomics, Technology

Machinery and equipment is highly essential at workplace and home environments, especially in such technology driven times where emails and messages are shot back and forth so frequently. Every workplace, whether small or large scale, demand hardware devices such as computers, printers, scanners to name a few, coupled with other output devices such as external storage devices. One debate which has gripped the professional world is whether workers and officers should be allowed to bring their own devices at work. While the proposition may seem beneficial and attractive, it has certain pros and cons, which must be taken into account to fully endorse, or reject, the idea.

To start with the advantages, to bring one’s own device at work, can have multiple benefits. For one, it saves the company or firm’s fixed costs and expenses, which are primarily incurred when the machinery is bought. On the other hand, when individuals bring their own devices at work, running and operational costs are also minimized since maintenance and repair expenses are borne by those individuals, and not the workplace entity. This reduction in cost is indeed advantageous for the company or firm, which can allow it boost its profits.

In addition to this, bringing one’s device at work is also beneficial as it eliminates space issues. Generally, computers and other devices take up large amounts of office space. If the workers and employees bring their own device at work, space will be made and occupied in the presence and absence of devices respectively. Otherwise, bulky and large devices take up space unnecessarily and for large amounts of time; even after office timings!

Furthermore, one major advantage that bringing your device at work has is that everyone takes responsibility for their own devices. It is often the view that machinery and devices provided by your company for office purposes is mishandled and mistreated by the employees. Therefore, when the employees bring their devices to work, they will own up the responsibility of taking care and attending to their devices!

Yet, bringing your own device to work can also prove to be a menace. For instance, this proposition can lead to secret leak of private and confidential data, mainly through simple transfers or even through external hard drives. Sinister activities may rise, as employees secretly attempt to attack or damage the company. Thus, the idea of bringing your own device to work is not so comforting, if viewed from the employer’s perspective.

Moreover, bringing your own device to work can also be problematic as it can give way to stupid and cheeky excuses by non-serious employees, who by not bringing the said device can avoid work altogether! If only work related excuses were not enough; another relating to devices will surely add to the already huge miseries of organizations and other employers!

And let’s not forget the biggest disadvantage of bringing your own device at work: the physical strain of carrying and lifting the devices; from home to work, from one desk to another etc. it would surely be a lot of hassle if we have to carry our devices every day; pack and unpack them at the start and end of each day!

Bringing your own device at work is a debatable idea: one that should only be embraced when all the pros and cons are fully analyzed. What do you think?

Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do.

Website Maintenance. Yes, there is such a thing.

By on November 11, 2015 in Business, Technology

Whether you have a WordPress website, Joomla, Drupal or any other CMS platform it is very important to keep it up to date. By that I don’t mean the content, though that is also important. I mean keeping your version of, let’s say, WordPress up to date.

Much like Microsoft do for Windows and other products, these guys are regularly checking for errors, potential security issues and other things that need fixing. When they release a new version, you should back your website up and update it. This will not only help prevent viruses getting in, but also make your website function better. That’s the idea anyway.

If you remain too far behind on your website update, your website host may actually take it down until you catch up – because it really is a serious security concern.

The conclusion? Update and update your website regularly.

Sit Right with SitRight

By on November 4, 2015 in Business, Ergonomics, Home, Technology

I know this topic sounds boring but stay with me for a minute – if you work at a computer a lot or even at all, it’s important to maintain correct posture, stretch regularly and exercise. Sometimes we forget, are too busy or can’t be bothered. I know, I’ve been there. If you’re one of those people that forget and wish you didn’t – click here to download SitRight 

It’s a little program that you can set to remind you to do a stretch, grab a drink from the kitchen ect. If you don’t like it, you can turn it off or uninstall it – but trust me, you don’t want the pain and discomfort of the injuries that come from working at a computer all day – especially when they cost nothing and are so easy to prevent. They may even make you feel better and happier in general.

There are some other ways to mitigate adverse health effects like that – for example click here for our earlier post 

Graph_10Employees_1hourPerWeek

Cost Savings from Innovation

By on November 2, 2015 in Business, Technology

Let’s say you can save five minutes a day, how much time is that really?

5 minutes x 5 days (working days) x 52 weeks in a year / 60 minutes (convert to hours)?

It’s almost 22 hours a year (21.6)!

Imagine further that you could do that for five of your staff – that’s over 100 working hours per year. Five minutes isn’t much, but it adds up.

One of our main objectives at Demidov Innovations is to help small to medium enterprises in The Hunter get the most out of their time through improvements in technology, process and training. If your computer systems did more for you, and did it quicker – how much time do you think your organisation could save? And this isn’t limited to just faster computers. If certain tasks could be automated for example, it would free you up to focus on higher value work. A lot of the time the resources are already there and just need to be unlocked.

For a related post click here for our Maintenance and Future Planning section.

Shuttle PC with Kodi Linux on it

Kodi / Kore and KodiBuntu

By on October 31, 2015 in Home Entertainment, Technology

The picture with the cup is for scale – the Shuttle PC next to it is the ‘media center’ I bought about 5 years ago for brand new $400. Good old Shuttle. For the last year or so we’ve been enjoying using the Kodi media center Operating System at our place – with an interface designed specifically to be used for finding and playing media, it’s a breeze whether you have a wireless keyboard and mouse or an air mouse

Or if you don’t have or don’t want either of those, just use Kore on your smartphone. Turn your phone into a remote for your media center – in fact it’s better because you can scroll through your playlist or find other movies and play them without even being in front of the TV. You can see it all from your smartphone. Brilliant.

And the best part? Both Kodi and Kore are free.

Interestingly, HD performance is much better on Kodi than Windows – we’ve been able to make extremely old low-spec computers that could never play High Definition movies before (processor too slow to play properly) run perfectly smooth through Kodi. So if you have an old computer you’re not using, or want a cheap media center with all the perks with next to no expense, then Kodi is your best option. You’ll find an old PC or laptop on Ebay for around $100 – $200 to do the job. Just make sure it has a HDMI port to connect to your TV. That’s the cheapest option – any more money you want to spend would make it even better.

PS at this time we haven’t tried the Compute Stick – but it looks like a good option if it can keep up with HD.

Wifi – is it safe? How can I make it safer?

By on October 28, 2015 in Business, Home, Home Entertainment, Technology

It’s an interesting question and is why I decided to write this short article on it. Short answer is no. Long answer is – it depends on a lot of different things like the type of encryption you use, the complexity of your password and so on.

In short, the best two things you can do to protect your WiFi connection are:

  1. If you have an old WiFi router, make sure you’re not using WEP encryption as that takes about 8 minutes to crack. The solution: If your current WiFi router has WPA2, use it. If not then get one.
  2. Make sure your  password is long. Longer than 10 characters. Include numbers and capital letters, even things like $#%. Why? The easiest to do and most common WiFi cracking method is either brute force or dictionary attack. The longer the password the better. Each additional character multiplies the amount of time such an attack would take. For example, 10 characters could take a few years. 12 characters could take 10 years.

What’s there to worry about then? Years? Yes, but you could also be unlucky and it could take a week instead. The point is, the longer the maximum is, the less likely it will happen sooner. It’s like a guessing game. Is the number between 1 and 100 or 1 and 100000? Which game will likely be won first?

CERN

Idle Computer = Secrets of the Universe

By on October 26, 2015 in Technology

Thanks to computing technology you don’t need to be a genius physicist to contribute to helping discover the secrets of the universe. Perhaps find a new, clean, renewable energy source? Faster-than-light travel?

Maybe you’ve heard of CERN? To quote their website:

“What is the Universe made of? How did it start? Physicists at CERN are seeking answers, using some of the world’s most powerful particle accelerators.”

I would encourage anyone to consider helping them out. If you’re not using your computer, why not let it help calculate the answers. Just download and install this bit of software and donate computer ‘idle time’ to a great cause. For more info, see the website http://lhcathome.web.cern.ch/join-us

Fairphone Logo

Fairphone – example of responsible use of the global economy

By on October 22, 2015 in Business, Home, Technology

How many of us are appalled by the idea that our expensive tech gadgets are assembled in sweatshops? or the fact that the raw materials are mined in areas of the world where it causes violence and conflict? All of us I would think. We’d like to do something about it – but what can we do as individual consumers? If we’re going to be realistic about it, we need those items like computers, smartphones ect. and we have to buy them somewhere.

Fortunately there is a better way! Introducing the FairPhone https://www.fairphone.com

I automatically like it better than my Galaxy S6 and any of the iPhones because it has an SD card slot and a removable battery. Remember those?

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, please consider the FairPhone. If you’re not, why not subscribe to their newsletter to support them and be up to date on their developments?