REPOST: 200,000 infected computers, and that counts as lucky

The recent series of “ransomware” cyberattacks are putting the world in turmoil, and thousands of businesses and government agencies in over 150 countries have been greatly affected. More on this issue from this article on the Boston Globe:

People looked at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo on Monday. Shares were higher in early trading in Asia, despite worries of disruptions from the “WannaCry” ransomware cyberattack over the weekend. | KOJI SASAHARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Since Friday, more than 200,000 computers worldwide have been rendered inoperable by the aptly named “WannaCry” cyberattack. And it could have been a lot worse.

The malware attacked corporations and government agencies across Europe and Asia, affecting patient care in Britain’s National Health Service, Chinese ATMs, Russian government computers, and several car manufacturing plants.

But had it not been for a fast-acting researcher — and a critical flaw in the malware itself — companies everywhere might have opened their doors Monday morning to discover rooms full of unusable computers, all flashing the same terrible message “Oops your files have been encrypted! . . . send $300 worth of bitcoin.”

It could still happen tomorrow, or in the days after. Already, more pernicious versions of WannaCry have been released into the wild. Meanwhile, blame has been aimed in multiple directions: at users, for not applying a patch Microsoft has made available that could have thwarted the attack; at Microsoft itself, for failing to create timely patches for older but still-common operating systems like Windows XP; and most pointedly at the US National Security Agency, which has known about this particular vulnerability for some time — but kept it secret so that agents could use it for their own surveillance needs.

Continue reading HERE.

Five straight-out-of-Sci-Fi reasons why Japan is leading the robotics industry

Imagine a world where man and robots work together to achieve simple to monumental goals with great accuracy and efficiency. What will life be like?

Many people believe that the advancements in robotics will introduce a totally different world in the future. However, for Japan, with their innovations in technology, the future is here and now. Here are the amazing reasons why Japan is leading the robotics industry:

  1. The mechanical tour guide.

The country is a popular travel destination not only for its food but also for the rich culture that every region has to offer. However, language barriers remain a problem especially when going to places where not everyone speaks English – until RoBoHon, came into the picture.

RoBoHon is the world’s first robotic mobile phone and can serve as a virtual tour guide aside from having the typical functions that you can find in a smartphone.

  1. Japan’s mecha-built warrior.

A great news for all testosterone-pumping mecha-tech fans came in just last year when Japan promised the most awesome battle that the world will ever see: a Giant Robot Duel between Suidobashi Heavy Industries and MegaBots, an American robotics company.

 

  1. Robotic teammates.

This robotic volley player helps out the Japanese volleyball national team in their training drills, simulating blockers of an opposing team. The robots’ structure consists of pair of hands and a movable torso.

  1. Robot-run hotel.

A hotel in Tokyo offers a sci-fi like experience with its robot-run accommodation, giving guests a glimpse of an automated future. Imagine being greeted by a robotic dinosaur receptionist and asking assistance from a robotic hotel staff.

  1. Robots for the elderly.

As a response to Japan’s graying population, a company is planning to mass produce robots developed as a walk assist system that will help elderly people to stay mobile through a pair of “robotic legs”.

Experts predict that the robotics industry could boom into a $135-billion dollar business (in terms of spending) before the end of the decade. This is probably one of the reasons why tech-driven exchange-traded funds have been gaining momentum in recent years. The industry can significantly transform economic structures, disrupt existing business models, and nurture current and future growth opportunities for those well-positioned to participate.

Irreparable damage: How piracy is jeopardizing the film and TV industries

With the advent of the Internet, it has now become easier more than ever to share documents and files to people across the globe. They can send heaps upon piles of documents across oceans without spending a single cent. Not only has it given people a lot of flexibility but also some much needed convenience. However, such set-up also made it easier for people to illegally distribute intellectual properties. Individuals are now videotaping movies inside theaters. Once they have their own copy, they distribute it to no ends.

 

Image source: thesun.ie

 

Take the Expendables 3 for example. A DVD-rip was released online weeks ahead of its schedule. At best, it was estimated that the movie was downloaded 2.1 million times. Looking at the numbers, the production team could have significantly upped their revenues if those individuals paid a visit to the movie houses. The same dilemma is faced by popular TV shows, including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orange is the New Black. Simply put, the industry is losing money.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) also cried foul due to piracy back in 2005. In order to investigate their claim, De Vany and Walls developed a methodology wherein they could accurately measure if there was a positive correlation between online releases and theater visits. It included measuring online piracy activity with that of box office profits for a total of 14 weeks. They were able to find out that a movie which raked in $61 million lost $40 million to pirates. That is a 40 percent setback which cannot be ignored.

 

Image source: allafrica.com

 

If the $10 billion movie industry is losing 40 percent annually due to piracy, it roughly translates to $3-4 billion down the drain, and that is a very big problem. TV networks also lose a sizable slice of their audience due to piracy, which consequently jeopardizes their potential for higher revenues from advertisers. For subscription-based providers like HBO and Netflix, the loss of exclusivity of original programming (due to piracy) could potentially impact the growth their subscriber base.

REPOST: Seeing the future: Exploring exponential technology

Tremendous achievements in technology is making it even more possible for certain resources to be used without limits and at increasingly lower prices. Here’s an article on Live Mint for a better look at this matter:

The pace at which technology is advancing is resulting in doubling of capabilities, often at the same or reduced cost, paving the way for digitization, democratization and disruption.

Exponential improvements in our ability to capture, store, distribute and utilize solar energy could make energy so abundant that it is non-limiting and ‘free’. | Photo: Bloomberg

 

In the world we live in, some technologies are advancing at a breakneck pace, or exponentially. This means that capabilities are doubling or more with every step, often at the same or reduced cost, leading to digitization, democratization and disruption.

This has been most evident with Moore’s law in semiconductors (with the transistor density on silicon doubling every 18 months) over two decades, which led to miniaturization and cost efficiencies for electronics. But, it is not limited to this.

We have seen similar trends in wireless spectral efficiency and bandwidth doubling every 30 months (Cooper’s law) and an exponential trend in the scale and cost of data storage media like hard drives (Kryder’s law).

Swanson’s law talks about a 20% drop in price of solar photovoltaic modules for every doubling of cumulative shipped volume.

These examples are all around us.

However, the impact and speed of change is probably most visible in what we carry around daily in our pockets and purses—our smartphones. They enable us to routinely do things that even just a few years ago required a completely different approach.

Think of how many more pictures you take and how quickly you share them with others.

Think of WhatsApp, Facebook, Ola/Uber, Amazon/Flipkart, Paytm or BookMyShow. These technologies not only digitize and democratize services and products, but also (sometimes in a matter of months) disrupt established industries that have stood for decades.

 

Continue reading HERE.

Local vs Cloud Based Bookkeeping Solutions

Bookkeeping and accounting services are essential for established businesses as well as new start-ups who want to hit the ground running and not run into problems with their books or finances. Whether you’re a small home based business or a technology firm hiring tons of people upfront there are regulations and financial rules you need to be aware of that can both save you money and keep you out of hot water with the relevant authorities.

Hiring a local accountant to deal with your bookkeeping needs on a monthly basis is not only an affordable, but also flexible solution that can keep you focused on expanding your business, serving your customers and getting the needed revenue through the door. What type of services would a local Ottawa bookkeeper provide? Quarterly HST filings, accounts payable, accounts receivable and even monthly payroll deductions can all be accomplished in a totally hands off manner each month, reducing your paperwork obligations and keeping your financials in order so you don’t fall behind.

Hiring a Local Ottawa Bookkeeper – What To Know

Having a bookkeeper or Ottawa accounting service retained for monthly service also has the benefit of ongoing support. Often times you’ll be thinking of expanding your business and have questions regarding the financial implications – tax write offs, HST deductions etc. Having an accountant on hand can be really helpful since they can answer these questions and help you make the most educated decision possible. Additionally, if your bookkeeper has been handling your monthly needs and keeping all relevant statements organized it will expedite your annual corporate tax return which they may be able to complete for you as well.

Choosing the right bookkeeping service here in Ottawa is important and you should know exactly what you need done on a monthly basis before getting a quote. There are tons of online options like FreshBooks and Bench offer comprehensive online platforms with phone support, however many business owners prefer the benefits of having a local source for Ontario specific tax knowledge. Prices are also very competitive for industry specific bookkeeping packages and depending on your needs, features can be added or removed to make it more customized.

Whether you are considering an online option, or you want a dedicated bookkeeper here in Ottawa getting your books handled early on in the life of your business is essential to its survival.

Major Advantages of Offshore Investing

If you are an individual or a company looking forward to setup or expand your business for making more profits and saving on taxes, then doing it offshore is a great option for you. Listed below are the advantages of offshore investing.

Reducing taxes

This is the most important or the greatest advantage of getting a business registered in a new country. There are several places or countries where tax obligations are very low for non-residents. In some countries, non-resident companies are even tax-exempt. Thus, you can easily establish your business at such locations by taking proper advice from an offshore business services provider or taxation expert. An experienced professional can guide you about the complicated corporate tax matters and ensures that no legal conflicts occur while setting up your business offshore.

 

Offshore Investing 

Protecting assets color

Your future liabilities are highly protected when the assets are placed in offshore legal structures. There is effective screening of your finances when you put your money in establishing an offshore company. There is a good protection of your intellectual property, as well as investments in real estate. Many companies actually help you manage your assets, like this one- https://www.lom.com/offshore-bank-accounts

Having ease of setup, reduced administration

Setting up an offshore company is usually a simpler and faster task than establishing an onshore one. The legal obligation for the presence of officers and directors is also not there at times. Thus, it is convenient to go for reduced administration. You can also cut down the time taken for staffing the operations if you wish to go without an office, as that is also a possibility.

Decreasing costs, investment

There would be a minimal investment required to setup a business offshore as compared to starting your work onshore. In fact, some countries have no minimal requirements for capital investments. Additionally, you may find that it is not only easy to get your business registered at these places but also cost-effective. Your business operations would also be quite cheaper as compared to your own country. There can be significant savings made by cutting down on office operations. Many of the offshore companies opt to go for virtual offices in order to receive huge cost savings. You would also have low maintenance fee for an offshore company as compared to an onshore setup.

Gaining confidentiality

In certain countries, you do not have to disclose information. It does not mean that there are no regulations of money laundering. These countries have anti-money laundering legislations that non-residents have to respect.

Summary

With proper planning, an offshore investment can become a tax-efficient alternative for business persons who are willing to operate internationally. With many countries attracting foreign investors, there are wide-ranging offshore investing opportunities for entrepreneurs.

For more information on the topics discussed in this post, visit these pages:

investopedia Pros and cons of offshore investing

LOM offshore brokerage

LOM money market accounts

Finding The Perfect Calgary Homes For Sale

Searching for a house or rather house hunting is not an easy task and can be really boring because sometimes you have too many houses that pleases the eyes but in the end you have to choose one of them and of course the only one that you feel is perfect for you and you are comfortable with. There are many factors to consider when looking for a house such as infrastructure , schools , hospitals and many more. The location of the house really matters. Real estate has made it easier to get a home of your choice when you list the details of what you need.

View from the park

 

Calgary is a city in Alberta province in Canada situated on the banks of Elbow and Bow river in the south. It is the largest city in Alberta and the nature of the place is just awesome including hills and ranges. Living in Calgary would be a good thing due to the city’s rapid growth and its stable economy.

These are the advantages of buying a house in Calgary:

 

>Infrastructure

Good roads are guaranteed

 

>Security

this is of paramount importance when you are searching for a house and Calgary being such a big city you can be sure security is at its best.

 

>Physical features

Every one needs to live in a cool,silent place where they can enjoy fresh air and water and this is exactly what you get in the Calgary homes for sale.

 

>Tourist attraction

with the rocky mountains of Calgary, any tourist who loves adventure would definitely enjoy staying there.

Having listed these factors it is clear that you can not go wrong in getting your dream house in Calgary.Calgary real estate can assist you to get the best house of your choice.

Real Estate Investing in Today’s Age

Of late, real estate investment has been on the rise; in the past a half decade to be precise. It has evolved to become one of the most popular investment strategy to most investors. This field has plenty of opportunities and it is quite easy for one to make big gains within a short time. However, owning and buying real estate can be a bit more complicated compared to stock or bonds investment. Investing in real estate involves a lot of purchases, proper management, ownership, rental and/or sale of real estate with an intension of making profits. It is characterized by limited liquidity, intensive capital and dependent on high cash flow. Failure to clearly understand these factors can make it very risky investment.

The major source of failure in real estate is due to negative cash flows for a prolonged period of time that might not be sustainable. Often, the investor is forced to resell his/her property at a loss or sometimes get into insolvency. Another reason for failure in real estate investment is flipping. In most cases, the investor is forced to get a loan in order to invest in real estate. This can be a risk to the business especially if you want to repay off your debts early before the business can maintain sufficient liquidity and enough cash to take it through recessions. A competent real estate investor should be able to overcome this risk.

Real Estate InvestmentsCreative Commons License 

Today, most experts believe that real estate investment is among the top ways of safely investing your money. It has plenty of creative and quite profitable options. The most basic thing for beginners is to acquire enough start-up investment capital as well as getting training in real estate investment. The best tip that can set you fast in this area is being able to identify or target motivated sellers. These are individuals who want to sell their property quickly. With the right target, you can acquire a home for a very cheap price compared to market price, this could amount to instant profits.

When to Hire a Locksmith For Your Real Estate Project

A locksmith is a professional who deals with installing and repairing locks. There are many companies providing these services for both commercial and residential areas and property. But when is it time to hire the services of a locksmith and why? The simple answer to this is as soon as you own any lock! Whether it is your first car, a house or a business premise, getting a trusted partner to take care of your locks is inevitable.

Though many people tend to only seek the services of locksmith when stuck or during emergencies, this is not all locksmiths do. Their services are important in many instances. For instance, on moving in to a new hose, they are the first group of people that you need to contact. You never really know who had a copy of the keys and anything could happen so it is better safe than sorry. A great locksmith will get all your locks changed and hand you the keys at an affordable price. The same applies when moving in to a new business premise. The installation of locks is however not the end of a person’s relationship with a locksmith. When need be to repair locks, replace old ones or increase the security levels of a premise locksmith services must be sought.

Many locksmith companies provide auto locksmith services. These deal with the locks found in cars starting from the doors to the ignition. Regardless of what type of car it is, locksmith services are a must in maintaining the locks in good condition and replacing lost keys or broken locks. Whether it is a small personal automobile, a family SUV or a huge track for transporting goods or whatever type of car, locksmith services are a must.

So, who is the best locksmith to hire? Affordability is the number one consideration alongside the quality of services provided. A 24-hour available locksmith is best so you are assured of getting the much help you may needed with your locks at any time.

Two examples of locksmiths:

http://www.emergencylocksmithbath.co.uk/

http://www.emergencylocksmithbristol.net/