FROM OUR BLOG
A VPN, for Virtual Private Network, a tool or rather a software that allows you to assign an IP address different from yours while encrypting your data that travels on the net. In reality, you can, therefore, indicate that you are in the USA while you are touring Europe, or make it look like you are in England while you are in China. How come such a tool is useful for you as a user? Let’s dig deeper into this:
What’s the use case?
The use of a VPN has several applications. Not everyone uses it for the same reasons, but in the end, everyone would probably need this type of software. So here’s why you need to use a VPN in 2019.
Secure your computer or smartphone
A VPN receives information from a site before sending it to your computer. It is an additional layer of security. If you are attacked or connect to a malware-ridden site, it is the VPN and its servers that are targeted, but never your devices. This offers another layer of protection to users.
Remain anonymous on the net
As explained above, the VPN gives you another IP address. You can decide to connect from any country and thus have access to different sites or avoid blockages in the country in which you live.
A VPN is beneficial when traveling, since you can be in a country that does not allow Google or Facebook, and you are then unable to communicate with your loved ones on the other side of the world. The VPN immediately solves this problem.
Avoid geo-blocking of content
Having another IP address allows you to access different content. We can make it look like we are in the USA to access the complete Netflix US catalog, for example, or in Hulu.
It is also true for poker players or those who like gambling; access is limited in many countries. With a VPN, you can easily bypass these prohibitions.
Secure connections to public Wi-Fi
If you are regularly connected to public Wi-Fi networks, then your data is not well protected. A hacker can easily access your device and thus obtain data about you, such as your IDs and passwords, for example.
With a VPN, all data entering and especially leaving your smartphone is encrypted. There is, therefore, no risk that a hacker will come across your bank codes, for example.
How to choose a good VPN?
Here is a short purchasing guide, which quickly explains how you can choose a software adapted to your needs, and also gives you some information on the choices made in our comparison.
There is a large amount of VPN, and our site is continually evolving. If we think that some VPNs deserve to integrate the comparison, then we will talk to you about it during our tests.
The confidentiality and conservation policy (or not) of the logs
It is THE #1 criterion, according to us.
Make sure your VPN provider does not keep your browsing and download history!
Accessible countries and servers
Depending on how you want to use your VPN, you should check the accessible countries and the number of servers. Indeed, some VPNs do not have many servers, but are present all over the world, while others have many servers, but grouped in a few countries.
If your goal is to download only from American sites, then you need a lot of servers in the USA, and you also need to find out about download options or transfer speed. Some VPNs are excellent for keeping anonymity, but they limit the number of GBs you can transfer each month.
Here are some website you can start following if you need to dig deeper into this topic and become a VPN expert:
or even https://www.tackk.com/vpn.html
OBDs are electronic devices that can be connected to an OBD port built into your car. These were initially used by mechanics and inspectors to analyze all that has been happening in a car’s hood. This included such information as for engine speed and its overall performance, fuel efficiency, temperature, air flow rate, codes for various engine malfunctions and so on. In this way, the OBD gave real time information of everything that went on when a car engine was on, and all cars (in the US) since 1996 have been manufactured with the necessary provisions for installing an OBD.
With the advent of the OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics Generation Two) and its superiors functions and options, every driver can keep track of their favorite machine’s health and use it to its optimum potential. It would let you know exactly why your engine check light is on using codes that refer to your car’s powertrain, computer, chassis, and body. The values that it monitors can also be coupled to your smartphone’s GPS and accelerometers to obtain a holistic real-time view of your car’s performance and your driving skills. Also, its installation and usage are so easy that anyone can do it!
As seen in previous articles, OBD II devices of today mostly use Bluetooth and can be synced to your smartphone. Though the compatibility of your OBD II device, your smartphone, and the software required may vary according to the make and model of your car, clear instructions can be easily obtained from the OBD II’s instruction manual as well as from online sources. After choosing an OBD II according to the kind of functions you need the most, compatibility can be easily cross-checked.
The first step in the installation process is to locate the OBD port. It will most likely be under the steering wheel, under the dashboard or around the gear box. Sometimes, it may be hidden under some flap.
The second step is to insert your OBD II device into the 16-pin port simply. Installation cannot start until the car engine is turned on (thus turning on the motor vehicle computer system) and before you begin, note that some OBD tools must be installed on your phone and this can be done through your phone’s wireless system. You can also install smartphone apps according to extra services you may need. For example, to monitor your engine’s torque (assuming it cannot be done through the OBD’s software), install an app that caters to that facility.
The third step is to turn on your car. Once the engine has started, wait a minute for the OBD II device to finish setting up. Then, turn on your smartphone’s Bluetooth, find your OBD II device, and pair with it. There will be a Bluetooth pairing code (four-digit) that acts as a password.
If the OBD device does not use Bluetooth, you would instead have an interface which gives instructions on OBD scan tool installation. This stage would vary according to the OBD II device you use, and its compatible software would provide clear guidance on what you must do to install it.
The final step is to allow the device software to run and set up. Now, your OBD II device will be paired with your smartphone, and you can check the status of your car. Once installed, the device and your smartphone will be able to pair right away every time you use your car.
And one last thing that you need to remember is to remove your OBD II device whenever you give your car for servicing. It is in no way a must, but it is the safer thing to do.
Diagnostic Apps and Systems
Several diagnostic apps are available on the market than can be installed on your smartphone to improve your OBD II experience. One of the most popular of these is DevToaster’s Rev for iPhones. This Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award winner (2009) displays your real-time car performance on a map. You can monitor your efficiency through graphs of your acceleration, braking forces and g-forces.
Other popular apps and devices that are on par with the Dev Toaster Rev iPhone and OBD II system include PLX Kiwi Drive Green, VoyagerDash, and OBDroid.
As for OBD II devices themselves, some popular products available on the market are BAFX Bluetooth OBD II Scan Tool, Panlong Bluetooth OBD II Car Diagnostic Scanner, and iAutomobil OBD II Scanner.
More than a month after Amazon’s thundering abandonment of its famous New York HQ2, Jeff Bezos’ group will expand to the Texas capital Austin. According to the Austin Statesman, the e-commerce giant will create nearly 800 jobs in its technology hub in the city. The new positions, which are expected to focus on software and hardware engineering, scientific research and cloud computing, will be added to the more than 6,600 jobs created by Amazon.
A thousand of these positions have been created over the past four years, said Tery Leeper, general manager of Amazon’s Tech Hub in Austin. He also assured that Amazon’s plan to expand its operations in Austin had been underway for several years and was not influenced by the cancellation of its HQ2 in New York in mid-February. It should be noted that the Texas capital was on the shortlist of 20 potential cities for the group’s second headquarters, before being ruled out for the (temporary) benefit of New York, and Arlington, Virginia. The group should not benefit from any financial advantages for this extension, one of the points of tension that derailed the New York case.
Festival Tech, Silicon Hills
Austin maintains its image as an American Tech hub with the South by South West, its annual festival that has been mixing music, cinema, and technology since 1987. The 2018 edition brought together a total of nearly 309,000 people. An event that has undoubtedly contributed over the years to the establishment in the city of companies such as Facebook, Google, Samsung, Dell, Walmart or Comcast, which have opened main offices or technology hubs. Silicon Hills, the technology cluster of companies in the Austin metropolitan area, also hosts offices of Advanced Micro Devices, ARM Holdings, Cisco, eBay, ESO, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Silicon Labs, Texas Instruments, Oracle Corporation, and VMWare.
There is no doubt that Amazon is looking to take advantage of the city’s technological dynamics. Its Tech Hub in Austin is one of the group’s 17 North American Tech Hubs, a network of development centers also located in Seattle and Virginia. To support these new jobs in the Texas capital, Amazon will expand into new 44,000 square meter offices that should be completed by 2020.
“A solid pool of technical talent.”
Mr. Leeper highlighted “a strong pool of technical talent” in Austin, as well as a “dynamic quality of life” and a “vibrant city.” The city’s population, which also hosts the headquarters of Whole Foods Market, an organic supermarket chain acquired by Amazon in 2017 for $13.7 billion, is gradually approaching the million mark. But its metropolitan region, which includes five counties, has more than two million.
Amazon’s decision to expand to Austin reflects the growing appeal of technology companies to the Texas capital. In December, Apple announced a $1 billion investment to open a new campus in Austin. It should house 5,000 initial employees and will eventually be able to accommodate up to 15,000 employees. The site, located almost one kilometer from the existing apple brand premises in the city, is also intended for engineering centers, but also R&D, finance, sales and customer relations. Apple, which has been present in the town since 1992, had until then employed 7,000 people there. In 2016, the Cupertino firm opened its Parmer Campus there, with an investment of $282.5 million.
Defined as one of Google’s “greatest failures” by the Wall Street Journal, mocked by a large part of the American media, the Google+ social network will definitively close at the beginning of April for individuals, after the announcement of a second data leak involving more than 50 million users in December 2018. Launched in 2011 to compete with Facebook’s irresistible rise and ensure Google’s control over user data in addition to simple search, Google+ failure tells us a lot about how social networks work.
A social network not designed for mobile phones
Google+’s mistake: not having developed a platform designed for mobile. This logic was the opposite of that of WeChat, whose initial objective was to “create a purely mobile instant messaging system,” according to Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent. From mobile-first to mobile-only. An excellent intuition gave the Chinese market’s appetite for mobile phones, which is now spreading to Western countries. And now what? While social networks are mainly mobile, they converge on conversational-first. Mark Zuckerberg’s March 7, 2019, statement reflected it on Facebook’s shift: “Today, we are already seeing that private messaging, ephemeral stories and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication. The firm wants to aggregate the messaging from Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp into a single, secure messaging system. The creation of a complete ecosystem entering through messaging, inspired by WeChat, is gradually being unveiled.
Network effects can be misleading
Google thought it had its users in its pocket and easily attracted a substantial number of them to Google+ thanks to its 500 million user base, which it merely wanted to rotate from Gmail, Youtube, etc. Due to the effects of mandatory networks, the critical mass would quickly be reached, allowing the platform to be scaled up. However, the Mountain View firm has forgotten the effects of networks that were already working on Facebook. At that time, Facebook already had nearly 800 million users and allowed developers to connect their websites to the platform through Facebook Connect. Users have no interest in duplicating the same use on another platform, and the costs of psychological transfers are dissuasive. If Google managed to switch 90 million users very quickly to the Google+ network, it did not take off. Three years later, the results are relentless: 90% of users spend less than 5 seconds on Google+. Beyond the number, on a social network, commitment takes precedence. Nothing worse than a ghost platform: word of mouth triggers a negative virality on the product.
Any social network must serve a specific purpose
“Vic was that little bug in Larry’s ear that kept saying, “Facebook is going to kill us,” says a former Google executive about the Google+ architecture. “He probably managed to scare Larry into action. And that’s it: Google+ was born.” Google has therefore developed this network as a copy of Facebook to compete with it, not to meet market demand. A network that had no more attractive value proposition than Facebook or differentiating to attract users. If users “multihoming” by using several platforms for the same service, each social network has a specific use: Facebook as a digital identity to exchange with a relatively close network, Twitter as an information and opinion sharing network, LinkedIn as a professional network or Instagram to create and be inspired.
Tonnes of smart gadgets are out there – and the best part about these gadgets is that there’s something for everyone! And although these gadgets may be slightly expensive, the host of benefits they come up with easily compensates for the price you’ve paid! So what are the smart devices for students? There are so many super cool gadgets to make your student life easier – so read on!
Evernote moleskin Smart notebook:
How about converting your handwritten notes into the digital form? Is it even possible, you may ask – yes it is! Evernote has come with this cool notebook which allows you to convert and store your handwritten notes into the digital form. The technology in this smart book will enable you to move from paper to pixels quickly – and you can do everything with these notes – share, post stickers on the important ones – just like you would do with the hardcopy of your notes!
Well, you’ll no doubt be that smart student who carries around all the tech-in vogue with him everywhere – but what about charging these devices? We’re all aware of how our gadgets get drained out when we continuously use them – and the charging backpack is the ultimate solution for this ever-plaguing issue! This charging backpack has a battery cum backpack on the move, equipped with three USB ports and also six separate storage compartments to keep your devices and other stuff in the bag neat and organized!
The hectic student life takes a lot out of you – and although you’re young energetic and all of that, you tend to neglect your health no matter what. So how about investing in a FitBit that will help you keep a tab on your daily physical activity and also your sleep schedule? After all, taking care of yourself is more important than anything else, isn’t it?
Pivot Power Surge Protector:
Pivot! Pivot! That’s the specialty of this bendy plug-in device which allows you to charge six devices at a time. Its structure is so beautifully crafted that not even a single plug point is wasted and used to the optimum. With six plug-ins and a wire extension of five feet, this a must for you to keep those numerous gadgets you carry around charged always. Also, a great help for your group of friends too!
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and make these smart purchases!
In nuclear families these days, parenting can indeed take a toll on young parents – they have no help, and this is coupled with hectic schedules and work-life pressure. And no matter how hard you try, your child does get neglected, and this makes you worried. But in this smart age, you do not need to worry at all. Numerous gadgets are available out there to make parenting easier for you – let’s have a look:
There are tonnes of companies out there which have come out with this super-efficient smart gadget – which helps you keep a tab on all your baby’s moves without actually being with your child is probably the best smart device out there! Especially if you’ve just got back to work after your maternity leave, this is a must-have device for the new mommy who we know will surely be worried about what her little one is doing back home! Choose the right one and you’re all set!
Fisher Price Starlight Revolve Swing with Smart Connect:
If you want an all-in-one entertainer for your child – this Swing is just the best! It moves in swings, circles – it does everything you would do to appease your child and put him to sleep. And hey, it doesn’t end here – you even have a light show that will definitely amuse your little one! And what’s even better is that you even have a set of 16 songs to soothe your child and take him into the world of fantasy and dreams! Plus, you can control the device with a remote which is in your hand – indeed a cherry on the cake!
Braun No Touch Forehead Thermometer:
Little ones falling sick is pretty common – and that really keeps you on your toes as kids have to be tended to more as their immunity levels are low. So what do you do? Use that same old traditional thermometer to keep a tab on your child’s temperature levels? Why would you do that when you Braun have come up with a new No Touch Forehead Thermometer with which you can check your child’s temperature without actually touching the sleeping child. All you have to do is hold the thermometer two inches over your child and the smart sensors in the device will detect the temperature and give you accurate results too!
So, smart parents out there, are you ready to make smart choices for smart parenting?