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Don’t set Goals, Try this instead

Shane Davis : July 13, 2015 5:18 pm : Blog, Inspiration

Setting_Career_GoalsWe all have things that we want to achieve in our lives. Getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.

For most of us, the path to those things starts by setting a specific and actionable goal. What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things. It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

The Difference between Goals and Systems

What’s the difference between goals and systems?

If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.

If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.

If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

 

Now for the really interesting question:

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results?

For example, if you were a basketball coach and you ignored your goal to win a championship and focused only on what your team does at practice each day, would you still get results? I think you would.

Let’s talk about three more reasons why you should focus on systems instead of goals.

1.     Goals reduce your current happiness.

When you are working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

The problem with this mindset is that you’re teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be successful.” Instead commit to a process, not a goal.

Choosing a goal puts a huge burden on your shoulders. But we do this to ourselves all the time. We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.

When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.

2.     Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress.

You might think your goal will keep you motivated over the long-term, but that’s not always true.

Think about someone training for a half-marathon. Many people will work hard for months, but as soon as they finish the race, they stop training. Their goal was to finish the half-marathon and now that they have completed it, that goal is no longer there to motivate them. When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it?

This can create a type of “yo-yo effect” where people go back and forth from working on a goal to not working on one. This type of cycle makes it difficult to build upon your progress for the long-term. Instead let go of the need for immediate results.

I was working out at the gym last week and I was cycling. I hit somewhere around mile 45 and I felt a twinge in my knee. It wasn’t painful, just a sign of fatigue near the end of my workout. For a minute or two, I thought about going further. Then, I reminded myself that I plan to do this for the rest of my life and decided to call it a day.

In a situation like the one above, a goal-based mentality will tell you to finish the workout and reach your goal. After all, if you set a goal and you don’t reach it, then you feel like a failure.

But with a systems-based mentality, I had no trouble moving on. Systems-based thinking is never about hitting a particular number, it’s about sticking to the process and not missing workouts.

Of course, I know that if I never miss a workout, then I will be able to ride further in the long-run. And that’s why systems are more valuable than goals. Goals are about the short-term result. Systems are about the long-term process. In the end, process always wins.

3.     Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over.

You cannot predict the future (shocking isn’t it!)

Every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way. Instead let build feedback loops.

Feedback loops are important for building good systems because they allow you to keep track of many different pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments.

Fall In Love with Systems

goals

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I have found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what will make the difference.

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25 Tech Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Shane Davis : July 8, 2015 5:31 pm : Blog, Business

business_tech From acronyms ranging from ERP to POS, the verbiage of business can be hard to decipher. Here are 25 terms every small business owner needs to know:

Server hosting

Servers are devices that support a company’s computer and Internet networks. Servers are typically owned by Internet service providers (ISPs), who lease out server space in addition to providing customers with Internet connectivity.

ISPs “host” a company’s information — its website, email, data, etc. — on their servers. Some servers are located in ISP data centers, while others are leased directly to businesses.

Businesses that don’t have the in-house technical support necessary to maintain a server typically rent space on a remote server or use a managed hosting service. Managed hosting services provide businesses with their own servers and also provide full-time technical support.

Other businesses also lease their servers from ISPs, but without the extra help. Having a dedicated server, as this is known, is cheaper than managed hosting services, but it’s only feasible for companies that possess technical expertise.

 

Data center

A data center is a facility that houses computer and data storage systems, including servers. Many data centers are owned by ISPs or large companies, like Google or Amazon.

 

Cloud hosting

Companies that don’t lease servers may instead pay for their data to be stored on virtual servers. These servers are said to be based in the cloud if they can be accessed with only an Internet connection.

Businesses typically access cloud-based servers through a software interface specific to their cloud hosting service provider.

 

Web hosting

Web hosting, or website hosting, is a specific kind of server hosting service. Single-page websites typically don’t need to use a Web hosting service, but more complex sites require such services to be able to edit content, enable forums or provide a secure e-commerce platform.

 

CMS

Content management systems (CMSs) are used to manage the content of a website. They usually include a Web-based publishing feature, which allows for editing and formatting of content without the use of Web coding language, like HTML. Many CMSs also feature one-to-one marketing tools that enable targeted advertising.

 

E-commerce

E-commerce is short for electronic commerce, or business that is conducted by transferring data electronically over the Internet. E-commerce is popular in part because of the widespread use of PCs and mobile devices.

 

Linux hosting

Linux is an open-source operating system that can be installed on Web hosting servers. Many servers run Microsoft operating systems, but some businesses believe that Linux is a more secure and reliable option and prefer to choose a Web hosting service that runs Linux.

 

Virtual merchant

A virtual merchant is a merchant that uses a website as a platform for selling goods and services. Virtual merchants engage in e-commerce, accepting electronic payments from customers online. Some virtual merchants also maintain brick-and-mortar retail stores.

 

Cloud backup

Data backed up in the cloud is transferred from a business to the data storage provider’s servers over the Internet. Cloud backup, also called online backup, can be set up to occur automatically, making it a convenient data storage option.

It’s also an affordable service because it does not require the use of any additional hardware on the part of the business.

 

Email marketing

Email marketing is the promotion of products and services via email. Businesses can get creative with their emails by including images, videos and other exciting content that customers will be more likely to read.

 

POS

A point of sale (POS), or checkout, is the place in a retail establishment or virtual store where transactions are completed. Customers can usually pay at a POS with cash, credit or debit cards and increasingly, their smartphones. Most POS systems also include tools for tracking inventory and sales volume.

 

Merchant account

Merchant accounts are agreements with banking institutions necessary for businesses accepting credit and debit card transactions. In exchange for converting credit card payments into cash, banks charge merchants interchange fee as well as other fees.

 

Mobile application development

Mobile applications are popular with both businesses and consumers. The process of creating apps that can be used on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, is known as mobile application development.

Businesses in need of a mobile app can have one developed for them by a professional app developer or use app-building tools to develop their own mobile apps.

 

Custom software development

Some businesses require custom, or tailor-made, software for their daily operations. Instead of using mass-produced software packages, such businesses use programs created by software development companies or in-house software development groups.

 

ERP software

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software allows a company to manage various aspects of a business — such as accounting, inventory and human relations — in one place. Companies purchase the enterprise software modules that are relevant to their business and use the ERP software to view all the data collected by these modules in a uniform manner.

 

Project management software

Project management software lets companies plan how to best complete a project in an organized, efficient way. This allows them to come up with accurate estimates and bids before beginning a project. Most project management software includes modules for scheduling, estimating, budgeting and resource allocation.

 

SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS), or “software on demand,” is a term associated with cloud computing. SaaS is a way of delivering business software via the Internet. SaaS usually can be paid for on a monthly basis, making it more affordable than other software options.

Many business management software packages, such as project management software, are now also available in SaaS form.

 

Business intelligence software

Business intelligence (BI) is the information a business collects about itself and can include a very broad swath of information, which is why businesses often need business intelligence software.

Business intelligence software lets companies keep all their BI data in one place so that it is easier to access and analyze.

 

Contract management software

Many businesses operate on the basis of contracts made with customers, vendors and employees. Contract management software helps businesses keep track of all aspects of their contracts, from initial negotiations to monthly billings.

 

Performance management software

Human resources professionals often rely on performance management software to keep track of employee performance. Large amounts of data can be organized and analyzed more efficiently with the use of this software.

 

Practice management software

Practice management software is used in medical offices and is designed to process day-to-day operations, such as billing data and insurance payer information, appointment scheduling and, in some cases, electronic medical records.

 

Customer management software

Customer management is the term used for the way a business collects and manages data about its clients. Companies use customer management software to keep track of all the information they collect on clients, such as service calls made or previous products purchased. This helps them close future deals and grow relationships with customers.

 

Learning management system

Learning management systems are used by businesses training employees. Such systems help human resource departments plan, implement and assess the training process.

Video conferencing, discussion forums and other interactive features are usually included within a learning management system’s software.

 

Document management

Document management refers to the system of creating, sharing, organizing and storing documents within an organization. Document management software can be used to help facilitate the document management process.

 

Managed services

technology_terms

Many day-to-day business activities can be outsourced as a means of cutting costs and increasing overall efficiency within a company.

Such a practice is known as managed services. Human relations activities and information technology activities are two common areas of expertise often subjected to this practice.

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Our Spam Filtering Service with Office 365 – the perfect match!

Shane Davis : July 7, 2015 5:16 pm : Blog, Security

office 365 cloud Office 365 in the cloud has some great advantages. Microsoft manages the software updates, anti-spam, and email filtering making it easier for the IT support services. You can collaborate in real time using different mobile devices and PCs.

According to Adallom’s annual Cloud Usage Risk Report, Box, Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Apps constitute the majority of cloud applications in use today. It is inevitable that the move to the cloud will continue. Licensing for the upcoming Windows 10 enterprise will be per-user instead of per-device. This will spur the use of virtual desktop integration (VDI), where your computer will reside not on your desk, but in the cloud.

But, let’s face it, moving applications and data to cloud services exposes them to a larger variety of malware. As a result, many clients implement our spam filtering services in conjunction with Office 365 to improve security and block more spam and malware.

Email security for Office 365

Office 365 comes in a variety of flavors. Only the Enterprise versions offer beefed-up security. Office 365 mail security gateways provide some protection, but our spam filtering services is more effective in blocking spam. It blocks over 99.9% of spam with a false positive rate of less than 0.03%. Apex IT Solutions spam filtering service provides double antivirus engines, Kaspersky Lab and Clam AV, to protect against malware.

Apex IT Solutions can process both inbound and outbound email:

You can specify our services as the inbound mail gateway. We filters out spam and viruses, and then passes the mail on to the Office 365 mail servers.

You can also choose Apex IT Solutions as the outbound mail gateway. All outgoing mail sent via your Office 365 account is filtered before forwarding it to the recipient.

We offers additional control for outbound mail that is not available in Office 365. For example, Apex IT ensures that your e-mail domains are not used by spambots. This is important because internet service providers block email from addresses that generate spam. What would happen to your business if you could not communicate with your clients (and vice versa)?

Dedicated mail filtering

As you know, the threat landscape is constantly evolving with new threats emerging every day. Our service offers protection from the most current threats. Moreover, for our service mail filtering is not just another option on a long list services; it is there core offering. This focus results in a higher overall catch rate and protection rate than clients experience from vendors who are trying to be “all things to all people”.

Administrators can configure settings for the entire company, but also users can fine-tune filters. No two businesses are the same; mails that one company may regard as legitimate e-mail another company may regard as spam. Our services advanced features such as Advanced Content Control filter enable our engineers to apply a specific rule set to your mail flow. You see the mails you need to see and not the ones you don’t!  This level of customization is not available on in Office 365 standard filtering.

Data Loss Prevention for email and files

Only the most expensive version of Office 365, Enterprise E3, offers data loss prevention for email and files. But business continuity is a concern for businesses of all sizes. SpamTitan Private Cloud infrastructure provides back up for your mail server. Our service maintains a 2-node private cluster to process mail; if one node fails, the other node takes over to continue processing email. Furthermore, each node is located in a different data center, offering optimal back up. Our service also uses Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL), requiring identification upon connecting to the network, before any data is exchanged.

Spam filtering complements Office 365 features

This article outlines some reasons that companies use our spam filtering service along with an Office 365 subscription, among them:

  • A greater level of protection.
  • A higher spam catch rate.
  • A greater level of customization/granularity.
  • Better outbound mail controls.
  • Business continuity.

spam filtering

Contact us today to see how we can meet your unique business needs, and further secure your Office 365 environment.

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Sliden’Joys seeks to give you more portable screens

Shane Davis : July 6, 2015 6:17 pm : Blog, New Tech

slidenjoy_extra_laptop_screens3We have seen a number of efforts to give mobile workers extra screen real estate over the years, from laptops with double displays to tablet-like external panels. But such examples can add significant substance and weight to a laptop bag. A Belgian startup is seeking funding through Kickstarter with Sliden’Joy, a device that can add one or two 13, 15 or 17-in full HD, thin and lightweight screens to your laptop even when you’re on the go.

The displays, which work for both Mac and Windows OS, can rotate freely by up to 180 degrees thanks to aluminum hinges, doubling or tripling the virtual real estate for work, business meetings, media editing or more immersive gaming.

Users can set up the Sliden’Joy by magnetically attaching it to the back of their laptop screen, sliding out the extra monitor(s) and connecting the device to their laptop via either a single USB 3.0 or two USB 2.0 ports.

Startup co-founder Charlee Jeunehomme says that, while the company’s prototype is fully functioning, hinges and other components are still in the works  which is why the pictures of the device currently feature 3D-printed (rather than aluminum) hinges and other temporary components.

slidenjoy_extra_laptop_screens

The final weight and thickness will depend on the production components and the finishing chosen, but Jeunehomme says that the prototype is just about 0.65 inches thick for the two extra screens version, and could get even thinner in the production version.

A Sliden’Joy Kickstarter campaign is set to start on July 6th 2015. The device will initially be made available in three sizes of 13, 15 and 17 diagonal inches, with more planned to follow. Jeunehomme says that backers can expect pledge levels to be the same for every size and start at $221 for the one extra screen version and $332 for the two extra screens version. A choice of finishes including wood, carbon, leather and alcantara will also be offered, though some finishes could have additional costs.

 

slidenjoy_extra_laptop_screens_2

If everything goes to plan, the startup will begin delivering the product to backers in 2016 time. The founders told us they are confident that they will be able to deliver by Christmas.

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Microsoft Office apps finally free for Android

Shane Davis : July 3, 2015 5:26 pm : Blog, Software

Don’t own an iPhone or Windows Phone, but rely on Microsoft’s Office for writing, building presentations and crunching numbers? No problem.

Microsoft’s esteemed suite of applications, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, has finally made its way onto smartphones powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Best of all, the apps, like their counterparts on Android tablets and devices running Apple’s iOS operating system, are free to download.

Microsoft first made its Office suite available for Android tablets in February 2015 and announced a preview of the smartphone versions in May. The apps look and work much like the software designed for Apple’s iPads and iPhones, meaning you can edit Word documents and wirelessly run PowerPoint presentations from your phone. Unlocking more mobile features and using the software’s desktop versions requires an annual subscription to Office 365.

The world’s largest software maker hopes people will pay the fee for Office 365 so they can use the cloud versions of Outlook, Word and PowerPoint on their Macs or PCs. That’s become especially attractive as employees shift activities between their corporate and personal devices.

The goal of these apps is to make sure that as people think about working, creating and doing, they think of Office as the default according to Microsoft’s project manager. This is the culmination of a nearly 18-month journey since Microsoft first offered Office for iPad transforming Office from a software suite into a platform that would work across devices.

The Microsoft team want corporate customers to stop thinking of Office and Windows software as products they buy with onetime licenses. The company is following the lead of others in the industry, such as Adobe Systems, Oracle and Salesforce.com, which are pushing customers to pay annual subscriptions for applications, storage and other services in the cloud.

Microsoft’s cloud business currently accounts for $6.3 billion a year, or about 5 percent of total revenue. They hope the business will deliver about $20 billion in sales by 2018.

office_android

The mobile versions of Office for both iOS and Android have been downloaded more than 100 million times since June of 2013. To up that number, the company is partnering with more than 30 device makers, including Samsung, Dell and LG to preinstall Office and its Skype video-calling software on Android devices.

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7 Common iOS problems and how to fix them

Shane Davis : July 2, 2015 5:30 pm : Blog, Mobile

Battery drainproblems_with_ios

Poor battery life is a problem every user must deal with. Disabling background apps from refreshing, changing location services and removing faulty apps can greatly improve battery life.

The Background App Refresh option can be turned off by going to Settings, clicking on General and selecting Background App Refresh. You can choose to disable the feature all together, although you may be better off just turning it off for the apps that don’t need to be refreshed as frequently.

Next, head to Settings, click on Privacy and select Location Services. Scroll down and choose System Services. While some of these options are designed to improve your experience, some can actually dramatically drain your battery life. I recommend disable Location-Based Ads, Popular Near Me and the Frequent Locations feature.

You can also head to General > Usage > Battery Usage to see which apps are taking the biggest toll on your battery life.

Frozen or slow user interface

Is your iPhone or iPad running slowly or poorly? Go to Settings, select General, click on Usage, followed by Manage Storage.

Devices typically begin to slow down as their internal storage fills up. If you have a lot of unused apps or old photos, delete them or move them to the cloud. An iOS app can be deleted with a long press on the home screen.

I also recommend disabling the parallax wallpaper — it’s the feature that makes it seem like the background on the home screen is moving when you tilt the phone. To disable it, click on General in the settings menu, followed by Accessibility and turn on the Reduce Motion option.

Connectivity issues

If you are having a problem connecting to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or your cellular network, enable Airplane mode for 30 seconds, toggle it off and try connecting again. Sometimes simply toggling the specific connection can also solve the problem.

Still having issues? Try repairing or setting up your Bluetooth device or Wi-Fi network again. Go to Settings, click on General, select Reset, followed by Reset Network Settings.

Failed text messages

Having trouble with iMessage or test messages? Ensure you are connected to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or cellular, click the red exclamation point next to the message, and click the “try again” option.

If the problem continues, try force restarting your device by holding the Home and Power buttons.

Syncing problems

Syncing problems can be frustrating. Before we begin to troubleshoot, ensure that you are connected to the Internet via either Wi-Fi or cellular. You should then test to make sure your connection is working. Try opening the Facebook app or go to Google.com on your device’s Web browser.

If the Internet is working and you are still having problems syncing, make sure you are on the latest version of iOS. To check and see if there is a software update available, head to Settings, click on General and select Software Update.

If syncing problems continue, try removing the specific account from your device and adding it again. Many of your accounts can be accessed in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars option in the device’s settings menu.

App crashes

If there is an update available for your iPhone or iPad, accept and install it. You can check for software updates by going to Settings, clicking on General and selecting Software Update.

You should also keep your apps up-to-date in the App Store. An easier way to ensure that apps are always up to date is to turn on Automatic Updates. This can be done by going to Settings, clicking on iTunes & App Store and toggling the Updates switch to on.

If an app is unresponsive or has crashed, you should double-tap the Home button, swipe the specific app away and try reopening it.

Unresponsive screen

iphone_background

You may want to throw your phone against the wall when it begins to malfunction, but there isn’t a need to panic. Most problems are fixed with a simple restart.

If your phone has completely locked up, press and hold the power button and Home key at the same time until you see the Apple logo. This will reboot your device.

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How To: Take a screenshot

Shane Davis : July 1, 2015 9:20 pm : Blog, How To

Screenshots are a quick and efficient way to take a JPG snapshot of an application window or your entire display in seconds without the need to download any external software. Maybe you need to capture a scene from a video, email an image to a friend, or sharing your error message to tech support. Whatever your reason is the solution is only a couple of keyboard clicks away.

 

Using the default keyboard shortcuts

PrtScrnTaking a screenshot on Windows is one of the easiest tasks possible, regardless of which version of the operating system you’re running. There are only a few steps – assuming you haven’t fiddled with the innate keyboard controls – and you should already have access to all the image-editing software you need.

Step 1: Capture the image: Assuming the area you want to capture is displayed on your screen, press the Print Screen button typically located in the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard to capture a screenshot of your entire display. Alternatively, press Alt + Print Screen to simply capture a screenshot of the active window. Keep in mind there will be no noise or any other indication the screenshot was taken, but the resulting image will be saved as a PNG file to your clipboard. If using Windows 8 or Windows 10, simply click the Windows Key + Print Screen to automatically save a full-screen screenshot within the Screenshots folder of your picture directory.

Step 2: Open Paint: Click the Start menu, navigate to the Accessories folder (in Windows 10, the folder is called Windows Accessories instead) and click Paint from the list of native Microsoft software. The icon depicts a painting palette with a brush on the right-hand side, but it will vary slightly depending on your operating system. Alternatively, search and open the program from the Windows search bar. On Windows 8, press the Windows key to open the start screen. Afterward, click the down arrow in the bottom left, press Ctrl + Tab, or swipe downward from the center of the display to access the Apps View. From there, select Paint.

Step 3: Paste the screenshot: Once open, click the Paste button in the upper left-hand corner of the program, choose Edit then Paste, or press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste your screenshot. Again, the exact navigation and wordage will vary slightly from OS to OS, but the keyboard shortcut will remain the same.

Step 4: Save the screenshot: Perform any edits you want, such as cropping the image to a specified area, and click the main File option in the top-left corner. Afterward, select Save as, title the new file, choose a save location, and select your desired file format from the drop-down menu. For most purposes, JPG will do fine, but a variety of other formats are available to choose from such as PNG, BMP, GIF, and others. Click the gray Save button in the bottom right-hand corner when finished.

Using the Snipping Tool

The built-in screen capture utility in Windows is great, but it’s not the most robust or versatile when it comes to saving a snapshot of your screen. The Snipping Tool is another built-in Windows utility that has allowed users to better define and capture portions of their desktop display as a screenshot since the introduction of the program in Windows Vista. Aside from taking a screenshot of the entire screen and active window, the tool allows free-form outlines and rectangular screenshots for a more adjustable selection, as well as built-in annotation and sharing options. Snipping Tool Navigation

Step 1: Open the Snipping Tool: Click the Start menu, navigate to the Accessories folder (in Windows 10, the folder is called Windows Accessories instead) and select Snipping Tool from the list of native Microsoft software. The icon depicts a pair of blue scissors with two white ovals beneath. Alternatively, search and open the program from the Windows search bar. If using Windows 8, click the down arrow in the bottom left, press Ctrl + Tab, or swipe downward from the center of the display to access the Apps View. From there, select the Snipping Tool.

Snipping_pic

Step 2: Choose the snip type: Once open, click the down arrow to the right of New in the upper left-hand corner of the program window and select your desired snipping type from the list of drop-down options. The free-form snip allows you to draw irregular shapes, the rectangular snip specified-sized rectangles, the window snip the active window, and the full-screen snip the entire screen.

Step 3: Define the selection: Use your mouse or trackpad to manually define your screen-capture selection. Obviously, the full-screen snip and window-snip don’t provide a ton of leeway in terms of versatility and selection choice, but the latter will still require you to choose the appropriate window before continuing.

Step 4: Save the screenshot: Perform any edits you want, such as highlights or annotations, and click the main File option in the top-left corner. Afterward, select Save As, title the new file, choose a save location, and select your desired file format from the drop-down menu. If your screenshot includes text, you’ll notice increased clarity if you save in the .png file format, but you can check out our guide to different image formats to help you choose the best one for each case. If you prefer, you can click the envelope icon to directly email the screenshot as an attachment. Click the gray save button in the bottom-right corner when finished.

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6 Mindsets that will radically improve your business

Shane Davis : June 29, 2015 4:55 pm : Blog, Inspiration

effective_leadership Success is something all career-driven individuals aspire to yet many never get there at least at the levels desired. Why are some business people successful and others not? It has everything to do with habits, beliefs, passion, flexibility and attitude.

Often there’s nothing really different between one entrepreneur and another in terms of ability, as each person can do whatever he or she wants. What it all comes down to having the frame of mind to set practical habits and keep a balance between attachment and commitment and letting things happen. Here are 6 mindsets for success:

Choose courage over fear

To be successful, you have to have courage. To become courageous, do courageous things. Much of being successful is about going beyond what you think you’re capable of — venturing into the unknown. Whether you fail or succeed, you will learn and grow. Growth, in and of itself, means attaining a level of success whether it came from success or failure.

Believe in yourself

Attitude is everything. A negative attitude decreases success and a positive attitude creates success. Without that belief in yourself, you will lack a path to success. Success is something that is created. It’s not something that merely happens.

When you firmly believe in yourself, you can achieve virtually anything. It’s within this belief that you’ll find the power to create the resilience and fortitude needed to keep going when things get tough.

Choose good company

Whom you surround yourself with is among the most important choices you’ll make as you climb up the business ladder. Negativity is contagious and if work groups, especially bosses, are negative, there will be a ceiling to your success.

To reach the goals you want, be willing to change bosses if necessary. Or if you’re the boss, rid your team of toxic people immediately. It only takes one toxic person to destroy the morale of an entire operation. Additionally, when you surround yourself with other successful, goal-oriented individuals, you can learn from them and take on some of their habits to add to your own as you proceed along your road to success.

Have a purpose and a vision

Visualization is powerful because actions follow thoughts. A great technique for nurturing your vision and purpose is to make your goals visual. Some people use vision boards and others set goals identifying specific dates for their achievement. Whatever works best is a matter for the individual to figure out.

I believe that anything that’s written down is more likely to be achieved than visions kept only in the head. When you make your purpose visual, you make it real. When you keep them in your mind, they remain wishes.

Accept the challenge

There are few easy paths up a mountain and often they’re hard to find. Challenges will be an essential piece in any type of success in business.

Challenges are what creates your growth along the journey. Each challenge hindering your path provides you with the chance to create a more defined direction toward attaining your dream vendors, customers, managers, employees and numbers. For this reason, be thankful for each challenge. Each one is a compass directing you toward new business leads, circumstances and opportunities.

Be discerning

Discernment creates success. You must think deeply and wisely about the bigger picture and what it is you need for each step along the way to continue articulating and executing your business goals.

leaders

Mindfulness means being aware of all angles and staying sharply in touch with the present so that you do not have to clean up mistakes in the future.

 

Be astute when it comes to group dynamics: which person is the best at what job, which customers or deals will take you the furthest and what it is that each moment is calling on you to do or change to be the most efficient. That is how selectivity offers you the pursuit of success.

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Extending your phone, tablet, or laptop battery life while on the move

Shane Davis : June 26, 2015 5:30 pm : Blog, Portable

everpurseMaking sure you have enough power for your gadgets when you are on the move is a constant headache. As the number of devices we all carry has expanded, so has our consumption of power. Batteries are no longer the only way to carry the power you need to keep your devices working all day every day.

When working on the move the importance of a reliable and plentiful supply of power is even more important. However, keeping phones, tablets and your notebook PC charged and working is only the tip of the iceberg. Today it’s possible to create a mobile office that doesn’t need a mains power socket to deliver truly off-grid working.

Battery packs

Basically, when creating portable power sources you have two choices: you can carry battery packs, or generate the power you need, when you need it. The number of portable battery packs is bewildering. These packs need to be small and compact, yet offer enough juice to make carrying them justified. Not all battery packs are made equal, which is where a bit of battery education can come in handy when choosing the right one for your needs.

All batteries have a mAh (milliamp hours) rating, which indicates how much power the battery can deliver for an hour. For instance, a 1000mAh rated battery can deliver that level of power for one hour of use. The practical upshot is that the higher the mAh number, the longer the battery will last. To work out how long a battery lasts for you simply divide the device’s power usage by the mAh rating of the battery pack, and that figure is how many hours of power it can give you.

In addition you will also see battery packs and chargers rated at 1A or 2A – this shows their capacity in Amps. Most smartphones charge at 1A, with tablets using 2A. If you are going to charge these devices with a third-party charger, it’s worth checking the rating to ensure you get the same charging performance as you have experienced with their dedicated chargers.

The selection of battery packs is wide-ranging indeed. However, not all battery packs are the same, so it’s important to match your needs to the right battery. When choosing the right battery pack, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Which devices do you need to power?
  • How long will you be away from mains power?
  • What kind of recharging connector do they use?
  • Are the weight and dimensions of the battery pack important?
  • How much power do you need to carry?

At the heavy-duty end of the battery pack market is the EC Technology 2nd Gen Deluxe 22400mAh, and it offers masses of battery power, but it’s heavy. Or the Zendure A8 Pro offers 24000mAh in a 4cm enclosure which ways much less.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Onaji Pawa Card that measures a slim 92 x 58 x 4.9mm and weighs just 32 grams with a 500mAh battery. The Olixar enCharge boasts a slightly chunkier 2000mAh battery at 58 grams – and the Veho Pebble Smartstick offers 3000mAh charging in a pack weighing 80 grams.

Battery packs are also being built into all manner of objects. Some of the most useful for business users and individuals that want something a bit different are bags. Phorce is a great example – the Pro version offers 26000mAh battery capacity with all the connectivity you’ll ever need. However, the bag is costly at a $700. The Everpurse uses wireless charging to recharge a built-in battery.

Of course making sure you have enough power for your phone, laptop or tablet is your priority, but there are a number of peripherals that can also be powered without access to a mains supply.

When you need to print on the move Canon offers the Pixma iP100, a compact inkjet printer that runs completely off battery power. The HP Officejet H470b is a compact printer that can run from mains, battery or USB.

Scanning on the move is also now possible with a number of battery operated units available including the Doxie that have built-in memory and Wi-Fi allowing connection to any device. VuPoint Solutions also have a range of ‘wand’ scanners if you want a unit that is ultraportable.

Make your own power

Charging a battery pack is a road warrior’s first instinct, but what if you could generate your own power and really go off-grid? Renewable power in our context means solar.

Today there are a number of products that can offer a level of power security if you will be away from mains power for lengthy periods of time. Or if you want to do your bit to protect the environment, solar charging is the way to go.

There are also a number of solar charging cases for your phone. Good examples include Juse, WakaWaka, and XD Design has a number of models to choose from including a compact unit that sticks to a window.

Folding solar panels have also been available for some years. SunJack is a good example, as is Powermonkey from Powertraveller. But if you want to get serious about generating your own power, the Expedition from Powertraveller is the ultimate in self-generating power sources, but it’ll cost you about $700.

When you need to carry a load of stuff and keep it all charged, the TyIt Energi backpack is ideal. Voltaic Systems have also been supplying backpacks with built-in solar panels for years.

In addition to the usual suspects, there are also a number of more exotic ways to generate power when on the move – the hydrogen fuel cell has been promised as a power source pretty much since the arrival of portable devices. But today this promise has been largely realized. The myFC is an ultraportable fuel cell that is designed to be as convenient as your smartphone. The MiniPak is also a handy unit. All you do to generate power is insert a Hydrostik hydrogen cartridge into the main unit to charge using USB.

portable_battery_powerWhat is clear is that our appetite for power shows no signs of fading. There are, however, several technologies that together can deliver all the power you need when on the move. Whether it’s to stay connected with friends or family, or to work in remote locations, portable power is readily available. And with new battery technologies just around the corner, the days of running out of power at the most inopportune moment will become a thing of the past.

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How the EU legislation will impact data processing in the cloud

Shane Davis : June 25, 2015 5:24 pm : Blog, Cloud Services

EU_flagLast week, the European Union agreed on proposed Data Protection Regulations that potentially impact all organizations that either use or process the personal data of EU citizens. There will now be further discussions before these become law, but for the first time these will be regulations, rather than policy; which mean that different EU member states will have little room for interpretation in how they are applied.

This has implications for IT service providers, SaaS providers or cloud providers, and for their customers. Under the current policy, third-party organizations who store data on behalf of others, have limited responsibilities as “processors” rather than “controllers” of data. But under the new proposals, individuals will be able to seek legal compensation against any organization they believe has misused their data and against any third-party that processed that data. In addition the EU may be able to fine those who breach the regulations, with a maximum possible fine of two percent of their global turnover.

In practice this will mean that the safeguarding of personal data will become even more important; and that organizations will have cover their diligence into investigation of the controls and processes deployed by any third party they trust to process data on their behalf. Businesses must now implement “privacy by design”; how this will work in practice is still being debated, but with increasing amounts of sensitive data being available online, companies will be expected to be more aware of and better able to implement privacy into their IT platforms and into any outsource relationships.

Larger processors of data will need to appoint a Data Protection Officer and they will need to evidence transparent processes that deal with:

  • Controls to mitigate risks
  • Data security breach and communication around such incidents
  • Impact and risk assessment around the use of personal data
  • Staff training and awareness
  • The deletion of personal data or “Right to be Forgotten”

data_protection

In turn this means that businesses engaging with service providers should determine that these

Appropriate tools to ensure the physical and sound security of their data; ranging from secure data centers with appropriate access controls, through to consistent controls like firewalls, web application firewalls, intrusion detection or file integrity monitoringpartners have:

  • Processes that control access to and management of data; for example secured logical access to networks or devices, or best practices around server image hardening and patching
  • Processes and tools that facilitate audit and investigation; for example the review and storage of device logging data; transparent monitoring and reporting; or the willingness to allow a 3rd party audit of systems and processes
  • Processes and tools for the identification and erasure of records, including secure destruction of storage and backup media
  • A demonstrable commitment to staff training and culture of data security.
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