A Handy Tool for Rendering Computer Help Remotely

Are you computer savvy? Even just a little bit more than most people you know? Well, if you are, they probably know it. And, when they need help with their computers, chances are, they call you, right? And, unless you live close enough to simply hop over to their place within minutes, you probably have to help them remotely, over the phone. And, when you do, you come to realize why doctors often refuse to make a diagnosis over the phone.

Windows 10 Start Menu. 11/27/2015

 

 

It can be really frustrating to identify a computer problem over the phone and even tougher to correct it, as you have to guide the person who you’re helping and they may not always understand, or be as familiar as you are, with what you’re trying to tell them. And it often doesn’t matter that they may be as computer savvy or literate as yourself. When I worked for a large company in the past, I often had to try to describe technical problems to our IT department, and I often wished I had some kind of camera that would allow them to see what I was talking about, because it was still difficult at times for both sides to “see” the same problem.

Well, there is a free software program that can really help in this regard. It’s called, Team Viewerand it’s really great! If you ever allowed a tech company to remotely control your computer to diagnose a problem for you, Team Viewer is similar. How it works is, you go to the website, download it, and install it on your computer, and also have the other person do the same. You’ll also see more information about Team Viewer, including resources for both business and personal use. The website is quite informational.

The program will install a desktop shortcut like the one pictured once it is installed. Then both you and the other person call each other and then each of you will click on the shortcut on your computers. This will bring up  the team viewer windows.

 

 

 

 

 

The person needing your help will then give you their password, which you enter into a field on your Team Viewer window. You’ll then see the other person’s computer and your mouse will move the cursor on their screen. They can still move the cursor and see their own screen as well. You can then see what they are seeing and can correct the problem for them or guide them while seeing what they are actually doing and what actually happens when the problem shows up if it is not readily apparent. This means you can see the problem as it really is, which makes it much easier to identify and correct!

It’s really helped me since my cousin told me about it. As I often help a few of my relatives with their computers, and with them living quite a distance from me, it has made it much easier to identify and correct problems on their computers.

If you’re worried about having someone else have control of your computer, just remember, they cannot get control until you give them your password, which changes every time you open Team Viewer. Your mischievous nephew cannot take control of your computer on a whim. He would have to have you turn your computer on and give him the current password.

And, there is a Team Viewer app for Chromebooks, which can then be used to diagnose problems on other computers, whether they are Chromebooks or regular Windows pc’s or laptops.

So, if you are the go-to person when your friends or relatives need computer help, Team Viewer is for you!

Happy computing!

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Autonomous Cars Will Do More Than Just Drive You To Work

Autonomous cars are perhaps the most exciting invention of the 21st century so far. From humble beginnings almost a decade ago, driverless cars have become something that is now discussed in the mainstream and something that practically every major carmaker is working towards right now.

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Autonomous cars will do more than just take you to work or bring you home from the pub if you’re drunk: many experts are predicting that they will fundamentally reshape our society, just as the original automobile did. Just think for a second what the world would look like if cars, trucks, and motorcycles had never been invented. Our cities would look very different, that’s for sure. We’d all be crowded into the center to be closer to services. And there wouldn’t be mile after mile of road and parking lot. Perhaps horses would still roam the streets.

 

The latest predictions from the car industry itself is that we will see autonomous vehicles emerge onto our roads between 2020 and 2025. Tesla thinks that it might be able to get there sooner. And Audi has indicated that it is already at level 3 autonomy and will soon be moving onto level 4. What’s interesting about the current drive to driverless cars is that it doesn’t rely on the usual car model cadence. Instead, the most cutting edge vehicles, like the Tesla Model 3, can be updated wirelessly. In other words, cars are moving towards a platform model where your car can receive new updates like your phone operating system, and customers can enjoy the benefits immediately.

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Will we just have autonomous cars, or will other vehicles also become driverless? The answer to that question appears to be unequivocal “yes.” There are already dozens of prototype vehicles under construction and being trialed in the real world that suggests that autonomy is coming to all categories of vehicle. For instance, there are already flying car prototypes being developed by people like Google founder Larry Page. And other companies, like Daimler, are testing autonomous trucks on US and German roads. The hope is that businesses will be able to buy autonomous fleets by 2025, slashing their wage bills and lowering prices for consumers. We may also see a proliferation of new classes of vehicle, like sidewalk drones which will do everything from clean up the streets to deliver pizzas.

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Will you need to insure your car, truck or motorcycle through Johnson or another company? That’s not clear yet. According to industry experts, it is predicted that insurance will still be required because there is still a risk. Even though autonomous cars are expected to reduce the number of accidents by more than 90 percent, there is still a chance that they will hit pedestrians and cyclists if they step out into the road unexpectedly. As with any technology, there are still risks, but many of those risks can’t be abated by the technology itself. They require pedestrians to make better decisions and observe the road more carefully, something which they are unlikely to do.

 

The question of who will ultimately cash in on this autonomous extravaganza remains to be seen. This is going to be one of the growth industries of the early 21st century, but it’s not yet clear who will win. The early indications seem to suggest that it won’t be the carmakers themselves (except Tesla possibly). Instead, it looks like it is going to be the people who develop the autonomous software and hardware. Nvidia, the computer graphics chip company, has seen its share price rocket to astronomical levels over the last couple of years or so following its foray into deep learning and the autonomous car market. AMD, though lagging a little behind Nvidia in the car space, is another company which could potentially break into the market and make a lot of money. Its share price has quadrupled over the last 18 months.

 

What we do know is that incumbent firms are usually unwilling or unable to change. What usually happens is that they don’t change from within so they are disrupted from the outside. When it comes to autonomous cars, the majority of big car makers are making the right noises, but whether they really understand how autonomy will change the market is debatable. Even today, five years after Tesla launched its wireless updates for the Model S, no other major manufacturer has done the same. In other words, it doesn’t appear as if they understand the new paradigm or are able to transition towards it. Thus, we could see some of the big names in the global auto industry fall by the wayside.

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The Silent Revolution In LED Lighting

When you think of the big technological breakthroughs of the digital era, what do you think of? Perhaps the invention of the internet, cloud computing or artificial intelligence.

 

But while these technologies are no doubt impressive, there’s arguably been an equally important technological revolution going on right under our noses, yet few people have even noticed it.

Wikipedia

 

LED lights were once fabulously expensive. But today, because of improvements in production technology and scale, the costs of producing them has come down by many orders of magnitude. In fact, they’re now so cheap that they rarely cost more than 50 percent more than standard fluorescent lights. That might sound like a lot, but remember than  lights use about a tenth of the energy of standard lights and last ten times longer!

 

Increasing Uses For LED Lights

 

LED lights have made it into all kinds of new applications you would never have thought of. Not only are they being installed in the home, but they’re also being used in business settings to not only cut costs but drive profits. Tom Sawyer Construction LED canopy lights are a type of lighting used by gas stations. Like other companies in the industry, Tom Sawyer has moved towards LED lighting for a number of reasons. But the main reason is that customers prefer LED lighting. Gas stations that use LEDs typically go on to make more profit than those that don’t.

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One of the reasons for this might be the fact that LED lights are able to more accurately reproduce white light than many standard lights. This, in turn, helps make colors appear more natural and vibrant, especially at night.

 

LEDs are also being used increasingly in agriculture. Before LEDs, the idea of having an indoor farm was laughable. Futurists experimented with the notion of “vertical farming,” where plants were layered on top of each other in giant factories, helping save on space, water, and fertilizer. But it was only really a dream until the emergence of LEDs. The reason it couldn’t work before was that providing the plants with light was both too expensive and too hot. Old forms of lighting, including incandescent and fluorescent, aren’t actually very efficient at converting energy into light. For a standard bulb, only around 10 percent of the total energy that reaches the filament gets turned into photons. The rest is just wasted heat. That wasted heat is annoying for most people since it increases their energy bills, but for vertical farms, it’s a huge problem: temperatures from all the lighting needed to keep the plants alive might kill them.

Wikimedia Commons

 

With LEDs, however, more than 90 percent of the energy they receive gets turned into light. And so the same problems don’t occur. In fact, light from LEDs is so cheap, we’re currently seeing an explosion in the number of indoor farms operating profitably, especially in the Far East.

 

LEDs are here to stay. They’re finding their ways into all sorts of applications and making new business models possible. Only the future will tell what they’ll do next.

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Log Onto A Digital Career!

We live in a world that is constantly evolving and changing, and this has never been more prevalent than in the digital world. The world is getting smarter: smartphones, tablets, smart televisions and instant access to information make our planet as switched on as ever. Due to this, careers in the digital world are on the rise and digital education is becoming increasingly popular.

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When people think of working in the digital field, their minds immediately think of IT. For some, a career in IT is not appealing, but it’s important to know that a digital career embraces far more than just the IT field. Sure, there are careers in SAP and various niche specialties, but there is also digital marketing, website building and graphic design that are all important players in a digital game. The skills required for a digital career do vary by industry, and researching your options thoroughly before deciding which route to go down is very important.

The education required for a career in the digital world is often complex, but thankfully there is a huge amount of choice out there. If you want to work in an IT field, it makes sense to study at a school of computing and if you hold an interest in the way computers process their information, you’d be on the right path. For those who love to be creative, then studying graphic design tech skills would be right. Graphic design is so much more than drawing now, especially with the popularity of websites that need designing and building, as well as companies requiring branding help.

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Making the right subject choices at school level will greatly help you embark in a career in digital media. If the school you are in doesn’t offer computer sciences or digital technology as an option, don’t panic! There are so many other subjects that can support your interest and once you go into college and study at a higher level, you can take the knowledge you have gained from those subjects and maximise on those.

The world of marketing is increasingly needing professionals and experts who specialise in digital media development, user experience and digital marketing. Everything in the world is moving online at a rapid pace, and the development of websites and social media advertising means that more careers are being carved out in this industry. There is so much that digital technology is influencing, that even jobs in the retail industry are being influenced and affected by the digital world. This means that there is room for digital careers in every industry.

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The changes that digital is bringing to today’s jobs include the need for new skills and the opportunity to be exposed to new skills. More and more colleges across the globe are picking up courses and degrees within the digital world. Leading universities are changing their curriculums to go with the changing needs in the digital world. This is allowing more and more people to study a digital field, including programming and HTML. HTML is becoming more of a second language for people working in the IT industry, and this bleeds into careers in digital creative marketing. If you decide to go for a career in the digital world, your skills will be transferable across so many avenues that you are spoilt for choice in which way to go.

The rise in the digital career gives people far more scope for entrepreneurial activity and innovative thinking. You could start a business from home with your knowledge of design or digital media development. Even IT professionals are branching out as freelancers and making their own way in the digital business world. The roles you currently work in could see a change in its description, especially if you are working in one of the many branches of technology. The change in your job description will allow you to gain training in digital technology and eventually expand into the area.

Choosing a career in digital is not an easy option. You are choosing to learn about an industry that makes significant changes and evolves very quickly year on year. If you want to work in a field that has constant upgrades, constant learning and a constant need for people to work, you would be right in choosing your career to be in digital technology. Everyone wants a career they can expand in, and digital tech is no different!

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Modern Changes to the Auto Industry You Can’t Miss

All industries change and grow to meet the demands of customers, as well as give people things they didn’t even know they needed. The automotive industry is no different and, like many others, continues to embrace new technology and find ways to use innovations in different areas. If you’re interested in cars or other vehicles, it’s worth keeping up with how the automotive industry is changing. It could help you make a decision about your next car, or maybe it will help your career if you’re involved with the industry. Have a look at some of the ways the industry has become more modern in recent years.

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The Move Online

The internet has played an increasingly important role in the automotive industry, just like it has in many others. It provides a source of information for people looking to buy a car, as well as sell one, service one, and much more. People can use the internet to compare prices and can even buy a new car completely online. Buying online saves time and money because there’s no need to visit a dealership. If you look at the Cars & Co new Lexus deals, you’ll see how much you could potentially save by buying online. There are many other things you can do online too. If you’ve lost your car’s manual, find a new one online. If you need car insurance quotes, look online.

Autonomous Functionality

The idea of vehicles that do things on their own is a huge one in the auto industry. The big concept that many people are obsessed with is self-driving cars. While having them on the road could still be a while away, there are other autonomous technologies you can get in modern cars. For example, there are the models that have built-in automatic parking. All you need to do is press a button, and the car can neatly park itself without you having to navigate a tight space. Driverless cars might not be that far off, either. Ford wants to mass produce them from 2021.

Tapping into the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is something that has grown a lot over the last few years. Several business models within it are based around vehicles, such as the Uber type business. The automotive industry is making moves toward providing for these types of businesses. For example, they are starting to explore how to connect with ride-sharing and car-sharing companies. This could include things like the creation of new dealership networks and leasing organizations.

The Environment

There has been a big focus on the environment in recent years. An increase in hybrid and electric cars, as well as places to charge electric cars, means it’s easier to find a more eco-friendly vehicle. Even cars that aren’t hybrids or electric are more energy efficient to help them use less fuel. Not only does this make cars greener, but it also helps owners to save money.

The auto industry continues to innovate and offer new things to consumers. You could benefit from some of these innovations when you buy your next car.

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Yes, I Bought a Chromebook!

Well, I finally bought a Chromebook, believe it or not!

It’s an Acer R-11.

What made me do it? Well, I’d been interested in a Chromebook for a while now, but I hadn’t needed one and also, I was following my own rule of not jumping on a new technology immediately, to avoid the initial bugs, high prices, and lack of additional features inherent in new technologies when they first come out.

But, my netbook, which I use as my backup and travel computer, was getting much slower and I needed a replacement.

So, I did some research as to what was out there, and decided the Chromebook fit the bill. And, finding that there are different ones available, the Acer R-11 looked best to me.

The Pros:

I’ve had the Chromebook for a few months now and it does perform most of the functions that my Windows 10 Laptop does, with some notable exceptions. First, the pros:

  1. It uses a solid state drive. Solid state drives (SSD’s) have no moving parts and don’t require the cooling fans that regular  hard drives do. So, the computer tends not to have any heat issues, and the operating system (OS) works faster. It will also outlast conventional drives.
  2. Chrome OS works faster than windows and updates itself automatically, without slowing things down as Windows does with it’s “bit by bit” constant updates.
  3. The Chrome OS has built-in anti-virus capability, so I don’t need to install any antivirus programs.
  4. Boots very fast and performs smoothly and quickly. I simply open the lid and it comes on. I then enter my password and it’s ready to go. No loading of this and that as on a Windows PC or laptop. If I’m working on my Windows laptop, and shut down, only to find I’ve forgotten something, I simply go to my Chromebook and can quickly get back to what I wanted to and complete it, sometimes in less time than my Windows laptop can simply boot up. (And it boots up fast as it, too, is fairly new!)
  5. The Chromebook is lighter than my netbook and just as easy to carry.
  6. Chrome OS has been integrated with the Android OS, so I can install apps that I also can install on my Smart Phone!
  7. Any website that can be accessed with a Windows computer can be accessed with a Chromebook. As a matter of fact, you can perform most of the same functions on the internet, such as cutting and pasting, as you can with a Windows computer.
  8. Long battery life. I’ve used skype with the Chromebook for two hour sessions and used less than half the battery. On my Windows laptop, most of the battery would be used in that time frame.

The Cons: 

When I first researched Chromebooks just after they came out, I heard and saw cons such as small storage and complicated printing, and limited abilities, I actually thought of them as being “expensive and bulky flash drives”.

But, in taking a second look earlier this year, I’ve seen that they’ve come a long way, and can be far more useful than I thought at one time.

While the OS is different from Windows, and the keyboard and built-in touchpad have a few qualities one must get used to, the Chromebook is not a totally alien machine. For instance, apps can be placed on a task bar, referred to as the “shelf” in Chromebook lingo, and you can attach a mouse or other peripherals via usb as you would on a Windows computer.

Even what I consider the two major cons, printing set-up and lack of storage, I find that they are no longer the show stoppers I thought they once were.

Main cons:

  1. Complicated print set-up.
  2. Inadequate internal storage space.
  3. Inability to work with many Windows programs and software.
  4. Chromebooks are more internet intensive and will run fewer offline programs.
  5. You do need a Google account, but this is free and easy to open. Once open, you can sync the account across devices so you will have the same Chrome homepage, complete with your bookmarks, settings, etc, no matter which device you use to access Chrome or your account.

There are workarounds to the cons, which make the Chromebook quite usable, however.

You still cannot simply plug in a usb cable from your printer and print from a Chromebook. However, if your printer has WiFi or wireless printing or Google print ability, then you can set up your Chromebook for printing. It is a little complicated, and probably requires that you adjust some settings on your printer as well as on your Chromebook, basically making your printer a “network” printer, even though it may be the only one. You may also need your router’s password. And, when printing, you may need to select your printer with the word, “network” in parentheses after it.

Internal storage space on my Chromebook is 32 gigabytes, which is currently at the high end. However, this can be remedied by using an sd card or flash drive for extra storage.  Also, using such google apps as Google Docs, which store your documents in the cloud, you can also save space.

 

 

 

 

As for Windows software and apps, Windows software won’t install on a Chromebook, but, the Chromebook does have a word processing program which will open Windows word documents, even if they are on a flash drive or sd card. Also, apps such as Google Docs, can help in this regard, especially since documents created and run on this app can be converted to windows compatible docs and docs can also be made available offline, which also addresses the problem of the Chromebook needing the internet for productivity when internet access is just not available in any form.

The Chromebook also has an app that will open your pictures and videos from a windows computer stored on a flash drive or sd card.

As for music, I have found that music files from Windows Media Player won’t be opened by the Chromebook, but it’s possible that using an app, such as Google Play Music, personal music playlists might be accessible. I haven’t tried this yet so I don’t really know. Of course, music acquired through Google Play will play on the Chromebook.

In fact, with the integration of Android apps, you can add android games and other functions to the Chromebook. Some apps you will find are specifically made for phones and may not perform as they would on a smart phone. But many apps will do just fine on the Chromebook.

 

So, how do I like my Chromebook so far?

 

I think it’s great! Sure, there are a few things I still can’t do that I can on my Windows computer, but I can still browse and use apps like YouTube, access accounts like my Craigslist account, and perform other productivity tasks. And by adding apps, I can even play games!

There’s still more to explore on my Chromebook, but so far it has really exceeded my expectations. So, if you’re thinking a Chromebook is just an expensive flash drive, or is too complicated, I once thought so, too, and learned that it’s not. It’s much, much more and nothing to fear, especially if you have used the Chrome browser on your Windows computer. Happy computing!

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Uh Oh, You’re In Tech Trouble

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Most people would agree that tech has benefited our lives in some ways. Whether it’s how easy we can communicate with people far away to how efficiently we can work tech is certainly making a difference. In the past, if someone moved halfway around the world, you would rarely ever speak to them. Now with video calling, social networks and instant messaging, it can feel like they never left. With faster processing speeds and highly advanced computer systems, large files can also be sent online in minutes.

 

However, for every issue that tech solves it seems to create another one. This is particularly true in the business world. Here are a few of the problems you can encounter with tech in your company and advice on how to handle them effectively.

 

It’s Crashed, Jim!

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This is the last thing that business owners want to have to deal with, but it’s actually more common than people think. Tech can be temperamental, and computer systems can collectively crash for a number of reasons. If you’re using a lot of heavy hardware, it might be that the systems simply overheated. Don’t forget that the more servers are used, the hotter they get. Large servers need fully operational cooling systems to keep them running effectively.

 

You might also find that the issue is related to a glitch in the software. If that’s the case, it’s probably been there since the computer network was set up. This is one of the reasons companies should use a professional computer support service to monitor and install their IT. That way any kinks can quickly be ironed out in the first few days of the business.

 

Horrible Hackers

Hacker Security Binary Hack Internet Www Code

Max Pixel

 

Hackers decide to break through computer security systems for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s about the challenge of seeing whether they can achieve it and these hackers are mostly harmless. Others will be looking to steal sensitive data files, and there are plenty more who just like causing havoc for business owners. A hack is never good news, and if one does occur, it might be due to an incredibly simple reason. You didn’t have any IT security.

 

Even something as simple and small as an antivirus software could do its part to keep your company safe from a hack. That’s often how hackers get in. They send a virus that weakens your system security and then access the files themselves to find valuable information.

 

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There a couple of reasons why your tech might be operating at slow speeds. It could be a sign of a virus, and if that’s the case, you should get your systems checked out immediately. It might be because you haven’t cleaned and sorted your systems in a while leaving it messy and inefficient. Or, it could be simply that your tech is out of date. Business owners resist upgrading their tech due to the cost involved. But you should consider putting the effort in here.

 

Even just updating your tech once every two years might ensure that you don’t have too many problems with slow hardware.

 

Take this advice on board, and you can stay out of tech trouble that tends to do serious damage to businesses, big and small.

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