Skip to content

Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

How Blockchain Technology Is Changing Finance

Blockchain is one disruptive tech that has come to revolutionize the financial sector. Popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are powered by blockchain. This is a shared digital ledger book that permanently records crypto transactions. A network of computers verifies blockchain transactions without any need for a central controller. And advanced cryptography is used to secure the data flowing through this network.  As of 2021, the combined value of crypto is over $1.8 trillion. It is no surprise that blockchain tech is changing finance, and discussed below are a few ways how.

Supply chain

Blockchain promises to transform supply chains and trade finance, creating exciting new opportunities for smart contracts. Existing supply chains are complicated and slow as they involve several parties, who often don’t trust one another. These call for intervention from central authorities such as banks and clearing houses to act as middlemen. With blockchain, smart contracts can be executed automatically, and titles transferred without the requirement for banks. Supply chains could be traced back to their sources. By cutting out middlemen, costs (fees) can be reduced.

Seamless payment

The world’s payment sector is big, yet it is not that efficient, secure, and fast. Money laundering often arises from financial transactions not being publicly traceable. Blockchain offers seamless payment solutions to boost international money transfer services. In recent years, top banks like Santander have started adopting blockchain tech to release payment apps and enable customers to make international payments 24/7. This is only the first step of the blockchain revolution – the technology will eventually allow banks to offer real-time payment services and reduce operational costs and human error.

Protection against fraud

As a decentralized digital ledger, the blockchain has no central authority. Once a transaction is recorded, it’s immutable. Distributed ledger technology allows the blockchain to allow each block to be recorded via a node, a computer, large server, or smartphone – there is no link between the nodes. The immutability of the blockchain means that it can log unchangeable records of all transactions, providing a high level of protection against fraud. When there is accountability and transparency in financial transactions, fraud can be checked.

Democratizes money management

The primary high-profile application of blockchain tech has been spearheaded by cryptocurrencies, allowing people to keep money without any bank account. Investors who trade cryptocurrencies often use digital wallets for securely storing crypto. Wallet holders use private keys to send and spend their coins; a public address makes it possible for you to receive crypto payments from others,

The owner of a private key is the only person who can access a crypto coin. Bitcoin and other blockchain-powered digital currencies provide freedom for people to own and manage their wealth. However, the risk of keeping money this way is that when you lose your private key, you can’t retrieve your funds.

When people completely take control of their finances, that could take a considerable toll on traditional banks. Blockchain impacts the fintech industry in diverse ways, but disrupting the conventional idea of banking institutions is one area that feels the most significant change.

Upgrading Graphic Cards: Compatibility

Are you a massive gamer or video editor looking to upgrade your hardware? Maybe the average CPU isn’t doing it for you anymore. Recognizing that you need to make an upgrade is helpful, but where do you start? Researching the next best thing can be overwhelming on top of what you already have to do. 

To save you the stress of research and uncertainty, let’s discuss the ideal hardware for higher-quality graphics that will better serve your needs. 

Graphics Card 

A graphics card, also known as a video card, is a graphic process unit (GPU) that advances the generation of videos, animations, and images. Everything you see on your screen can be attributed to your graphics card. A graphic card is a miniature version of a computer motherboard and while some individuals consider graphic cards as full processing units, they act as more of a segment that can be added onto a unit.

Types of Graphic Cards

There are two versions of graphic cards: a discrete GPU and an integrated GPU. A discrete GPU can act as an adaptable segment by easily putting it into one of your computer’s expansion slots, located on your motherboard. This is ideal for some users as you have the freedom to upgrade or replace your current graphics card with a new one. An integrated GPU is different compared to the discrete GPU because the graphics card is already installed in the motherboard. One disadvantage to an integrated graphics card is the quality of the graphics.

It performs fine for the typical user, but for gamers and professional graphic designers, the integrated GPU may not be ideal.

Graphics Card Compatibility      

A key component of a graphics card is its compatibility with your hardware. The last thing you want to do is purchase a graphics card that doesn’t work with your computer. One way you can confirm graphics card compatibility is by searching the PCI Express slot. If a graphics card is compatible, then that means that it will be able to work in some of the sockets available on the motherboard. 

Next up, you’ll want to see if the power supply unit (PSU) from your PC is compatible with the graphics card. Something to take note of is that graphics cards take a lot of power, so you’ll want to make sure that your PSU can support that amount of power. 

Measurements also play a role in compatibility. Most graphics cards have fans attached to them to maintain their temperature. What this means is that graphics cards are twice as large as a typical single card. Since some of the cards have a power socket included, add 30-40 mm to make sure that it’ll fit with your setup.      

An Upgrade For Your Lifestyle

Today’s graphics cards are advanced and can even stand in as a replacement for computers. In addition to improving the visual quality on your screen, it can also do complex calculations. Whether you’re a videographer, a professional photo editor, or a gamer, upgrading to a graphics card will make a huge difference in your life.

10 Smart Ways to Remain Relevant in Your Workplace

The workplace world is constantly changing, especially with the global digital transformation. Knowing how to future-proof your career is more important than ever as more jobs continue to become extinct due to their replacement with technology. Today, employers have higher expectations from their employees than they did in the past. When your employer is experiencing a problem, you want to be the one with the solution. Apart from delivering outstanding work, the other half of remaining relevant in your workplace is visibility. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or have been in the workplace for long, there’s fierce competition, but here’s how you can remain relevant.

Create a professional network

Work can keep you busy, but don’t let that hinder you from forming professional relationships in and out of the workplace. The more you know and establish professional relationships with people, the more you remain relevant. Expand your network by meeting the right people during events like fundraisers, banquets, trade shows, community service activities, or open houses, and form friendships. Through your network, you can be regarded as the reliable person to call, maybe not because you’re the best, but because you’re well-known in your field.

Brand yourself

Branding up helps you market yourself effectively. You must understand and communicate who you are and how you add value to an organization. Branding yourself is especially vital for individuals who work in marketing, sales, and public relations. The clients you interact with, whether individuals or organizations, need to value the strengths and skillsets you bring to the table. Once you’re clear on what you can offer and the problems you can solve, begin building your brand.

Be technologically evolved

The world is fast becoming a digital hub due to technological innovations, advancements, and internet connectivity. With more business being conducted online, being technologically evolved is essential to making yourself irreplaceable in today’s job market. When there’s a new technology, you must quickly learn how to navigate it and adapt to avoid falling behind the competition.

Advance your skills

With the workplace constantly changing, you must keep up by advancing your skills to suit the current needs. When you up your skills, you can stay ahead of the curb. Identify the weak areas that make you vulnerable in the workplace and establish ways to educate yourself and gain experience.

Attend seminars, training, and workshops offered by your organization, campus, or volunteer during your free time. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, you can advance by taking on a masters in cyber security online as you continue working. This way, you can climb the career ladder.

Familiarize with industry trends

To remain relevant in the workplace, you must know what goes on in your industry and when it happens. Look into the needs you should fulfill to avoid lagging and leaving gaps that put the competition ahead of your organization. Thanks to search engines and the web, it is easier than ever to acquire information regarding your industry. There are many blogs and articles from credible sites which you can take advantage of to keep up with the latest news and fulfill needs using your skills.

Be a great communicator

In every organization, communication will always be imperative.  Currently, the workplace is more globalized, with the workforce being distributed across different countries. With the online connectivity and ability to travel, you can work almost anywhere for any organization. As you may have to work with people from different cultural backgrounds, it is essential to understand the sensitivity that comes with it. Ensure you can communicate professionally, express yourself clearly, and respect authorities and hierarchies in the organization. You can learn how to be a better communicator by taking short courses or reading books.

Challenge yourself

Challenging yourself forces you to grow as an individual and professionally. In every workplace, employers are always searching for outgoing individuals who can take on challenging work. Being among them can help you to remain relevant. Challenge yourself by participating in projects or taking on assignments that require travel, even when traveling alone to new places. However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon your work or overwhelm yourself. When you have time, you can volunteer and lend your skills to benefit other groups working on different projects.

Be a leader

In every workplace, leadership is essential. Being one means taking on more responsibility and acquiring visibility. However, leadership is a skill you need to cultivate. You can do so by being quick to spot areas where you can contribute or help. When you’re a leader, other people look up to you for guidance; develop creativity, innovation, thinking, and problem-solving skills. One way you can build leadership skills is through challenging yourself and working with various people in different groups.

Stay social

 Social media has significantly impacted the business world. The majority of the population that is online is on various social media platforms. Social media is not for a particular generation; whether you’re a millennial, middle-aged, or in your sixties, being on relevant social networks, such as LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitter, can keep you relevant with the workplace. However, being present isn’t enough; use these platforms to engage with existing and potential clients, engage with them, and ensure your professionalism is visible on these platforms.

Focus on success

The success of your workplace should always come first. When you’re given a position at a company, use your skills to propel it to success. Your employment highly depends on your company’s success. If your skills and efforts are recognized and make your company more profitable, you’re likely to be an asset and end up achieving job security. Although you won’t earn a promotion or a higher salary immediately, build a reputation of being a problem solver and doer.The job market is ever-changing, and remaining relevant in your workplace is vital to attaining job security. Amid a recession, the competition is fierce than ever; one wrong move could render you jobless. Become irreplaceable by creating a professional network, focusing on success, becoming a leader, challenging yourself, and staying social. Improve productivity by advancing your skills and staying up to date with industry trends.

How to Improve Productivity at Your Office

Every business owner wants their organization to become as efficient as possible and to achieve maximum productivity. More output should equal increased profit, so when tasks are taking longer than expected and a backlog of work is building, it is crucial you take action to resolve the situation. 

It is essential to keep productivity levels high in today’s competitive business environment to ensure your business does not fall behind your competitors. But, knowing the best ways to maximize productivity for your business can be a challenge. Often, there is no single reason efficiency is slipping, but a combination of factors could be causing the issue. Here are some ways you can improve productivity in your office and see impressive results:

Improve Your Systems

To be productive, your team needs to be able to access the information they need to perform their role quickly. Wasting time searching for the correct information across numerous systems can be incredibly frustrating for your team members, not to mention time-consuming. Ensuring your systems are intuitive and efficient to use will make life easier for your team and also help them increase their productivity. If your current systems are slowing your business down, speaking to a Filemaker Developer is an excellent way to get databases that deliver the speed and usability your organization needs.

Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings that drag on and on without actually achieving anything are a common problem in many organizations. Research shows that 71% of senior managers find meetings unproductive and inefficient. If your team regularly schedules meetings that could have quickly been dealt with via email, it could be time to put an end to this. Meetings can be a significant drain on your time and are often unproductive. Of course, there will be times it is necessary to have a meeting. Still, only scheduling meetings when they are needed is a valuable way to save your organization some time and boost productivity. 

If a meeting is needed, it is crucial to ensure it is run efficiently to prevent it from taking longer than necessary and wasting time. Ensuring that only team members that need to participate are invited to the meeting is a good starting point. It is also beneficial to create a clear agenda for the meeting to ensure that it does not veer off-topic.

Create a Positive Company Culture
Encouraging a positive company culture has so many benefits for your organization. When your team feels valued, they are far more likely to be more productive. Encouraging your team to take their breaks rather than work through may seem like it would harm productivity, but it has the opposite effect. Taking a lunch break can help your team to increase their productivity levels. Encouraging your team members to take breaks will enable them to return to work refreshed, reduce their stress levels, and should also help to boost performance. So, creating a positive work environment and looking after your staff will ultimately benefit your business and your employees.

6 Cartoons That Are Worthy Of A Video Game Refresh

Cartoons and video games go hand in hand nowadays. If your child watches a particular cartoon then you can guarantee that they will go online and look for the games as well. But, will they be disappointed? Or will they be thrilled with the games available? 

There are modern cartoons whereby fantastic games are available. If your child looks for these games online then they are guaranteed to be happy. However, some of the other games available do not result in such excitement. 

This is because old school cartoons have produced games that have been left online and have not been updated or redone since. If you read on then you will discover six cartoons that deserve a video game redo. 

  1. Battletoads

Battletoads first came onto the scene when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was thriving in popularity. The game hoped to keep the hype surrounding the popular series going. But, Battletoads actually become highly popular in its own right. The difficulty surrounding the game actually enhanced this because it kept children wanting to play more in order to crack the levels. However, with the advancements in technology and the digital world, it is about time Battletoads had an upgrade. Platforms like Whitehat Jr can help you get started.

  1. PaRappa The Rapper

This cartoon game revolves around a concept seen in many other games – players have to hit buttons at the correct time so that they rap properly. What made this game so great is the rapping got the characters through some random and crazy situations. But, new games like this came on the market, and PaRappa The Rapper didn’t progress. 

  1. Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Everyone knows about Star Wars. The nine films have all had mass success, as have Star Wars as a whole – games, toys, and alike. However, TIE Fighter is one game that desperately needs a revamp. The game would do fantastically well today if updated. 

  1. Cool Boarders 2

Cool Boarders 2 is one of the most popular PlayStation One games. The snowboarding game offered an endless amount of fun. If the game was remade for modern day gaming platforms then it would be a hit. 

  1. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy as a whole is immensely popular. The series themselves have actually been successful on the commercial front as well as the critical front – and not many series can boast this. But unfortunately the Final Fantasy VII game definitely needs a revamp – games have progressed immensely from the ‘90s. 

  1. Tony Hawk Pro Skater

Any keen game player is assured to remember this game. Tony Hawk Pro Skater was even fun to those who don’t even like skateboarding in general. The game was simple yet the fun to be had was monumental. Learning tricks, gaining points, skating in different areas – the game has it all. It is definitely worthy of a modern day upgrade. If it was addictive years ago, then there is little doubt that it would not have the same impact today too. 

Does your child play any of these games? If so, then you will be in agreement that they deserve a redo? Hopefully we will see such cartoon games updated in the near future. But if not then there are some fantastic games to keep your child occupied until then.

4 Easy Ways to Promote Your Music Online

4 Easy Ways to Promote Your Music Online

The number of people exposed to your music directly influences the number of listeners you gain as a musician. Therefore, good promotion is essential to growing your brand as a music artist. But, with diverse ways to promote and market your music digitally, how do you decide on the best ways to reach a broader range of listeners? Consider these four ways to promote your music online. 

Personal music website

A personal music website leaves a better impression than providing social media profiles. It also shows more professionalism and seriousness about your craft. Unlike social media platforms, creating a music website leaves no limitation to your brand. You have control over every content hosted on the website. Your fans and enquirers would always find you at your official website address. A music website also facilitates the sale of music content and artist merchandise. This allows an artist to make more money by receiving support from fans directly. There are no restrictions to access databases. Hence you get to run promotional ads, announce new music, and host virtual shows and events on your music website. 

Twitter

Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms that allow real-time interactions. It is the best place to interact with your fans and connect with other artists and music industry professionals. Twitter’s interaction model has features like retweets, hashtags, likes, tagging, or mentioning that will enable you to optimize your interactions to a broader audience. Another tip to using Twitter for promoting music is using external links. The platform allows you to add external links to your tweets and interactions. For example, you can even promote links from your YouTube profile via Twitter. Finally, it enables paid marketing features like promoted tweets which allow content to reach different countries.

Spotify

Spotify is the best place to promote your music and grow your audience. The onset of streaming services that offer app monetization services to music artists has increasingly exposed millions of music catalogs to millions of music lovers worldwide. Spotify has many features like Spotify for Artists, Spotify Ad Studio, and Marquee campaigns that function uniquely to make music available to music lovers. For example, Spotify for Artists adds promotional value to your music and allows you to manage your audience statistics and artist profile for free. 

With Spotify, you can pitch upcoming releases to playlist editors and have your releases included in the editorial team’s playlist as a way of promoting your music. Getting any of your songs featured on a playlist gives it extraordinary reach and can propel your music career. Spotify also offers different marketing tools like Spotify Ad studio and Marquee Campaigns. Ad Studio is an easy way to create multimedia ads for free listeners. 

Music blogs

Music blogs are still essential in the modern music industry and aid in creating exposure. Popular music blogs have a more comprehensive range of audiences to make new fans of your music. Music blogs host interviews that disclose the work and personality of new artists. These interviews are great opportunities to get your craft out there as well as gain new fans. Research online music blogs and the music genres they may work with, read the submission guidelines of any blog compatible with your style or brand then go-ahead to pitch your content to the blogging website.