USB Memory Sticks – Advantages Over Disc Formats

download (17)USB sticks, or flash drives as they are also known, are becoming an ever more popular format for the transfer of data between businesses and also to for business promotion to potential customers. At the current time of creating of this article (March 2016), memory sticks that are capable of holding as much as 512 GB of data can be purchased easily on-line at a surprisingly low cost. Amazingly, a USB drive that will hold 1TB of data can also be obtained, but currently, these are expensive. The rate of technological advance will mean that the current high price will tumble over the next twelve months as order numbers grow and manufacturing costs are lowered due to bulk purchases.

A 512 GB USB stick can contain the same amount of information as over 20 regular Blu-ray DVD discs. The format may currently be a little more costly than the Blu-ray DVD discs but there is little to compare in terms of the convenience of the format as opposed to a pile of Blu-ray DVDs. The USB drive occupies little space and can be secured

Data Center, Server, Computer and Laptop Hard Drive Destruction

download (16)An extensive title, but it is all-encompassing none the less. In my 14 plus years of touching devices, I can say that I have seen and felt thousands of pieces of equipment. Though the scenarios in which I am working with the different types of equipment, and the clients certainly do vary. So what are some of the situations that allow for me to handle these various pieces of equipment? Good question, so here is my short list… data center relocations, A/V relocations, data center decommissioning, and green recycling projects.

I would attest that physical security in my field of work is number one, and my clients feel the same way. My thought is the people I work with are so aware (nervous) about chain of custody, CYA, and the end result being nothing less than exceptional. This is no matter the scope of work we are performing. I often find myself hearing clients expressing in a subtle way that they really want to know I care about their project, reputation, and it’s not just about hitting their wallets as hard and fast as

LI-FI – An Economical and Eco-Friendly Alternative

download (15)With the advances in technology, every day a new idea is being nurtured in some one’s mind that might change the way we function. One such ground breaking idea popped in the mind of a brilliant Professor in University of Edinburg, UK, Harald Haas back in 2003. His idea was to use Light Emitting Diodes as a medium to transfer data from one system to another. This topic became widely popular after his TED Talk in 2011.

Now, the question of the hour is what exactly is LI FI?

LI-FI is a short hand representation for Light Fidelity. Fidelity as per a dictionary is being faithful. As per its name, it can be safely said that this technology functions on light.

In simple terms, it is a possible alternate to Wi-Fi. While Wi-Fi uses radio signals wirelessly, LI-FI is the concept of using visible Light Spectrum.

Getting into details, LI-FI works with the LED lights that are turned into wireless transmitters. To receive data from these lights, we need a dongle of sorts, that acts like a modem. This dongle can be connected to a laptop or

A Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence For Normal People

download (14)Lately, artificial intelligence has been very much the hot topic in Silicon Valley and the broader tech scene. To those of us involved in that scene it feels like an incredible momentum is building around the topic, with all kinds of companies building A.I. into the core of their business. There has also been a rise in A.I.-related university courses which is seeing a wave of extremely bright new talent rolling into the employment market. But this is not a simple case of confirmation bias – interest in the topic has been on the rise since mid-2014.

The noise around the subject is only going to increase, and for the layman it is all very confusing. Depending on what you read, it’s easy to believe that we’re headed for an apocalyptic Skynet-style obliteration at the hands of cold, calculating supercomputers, or that we’re all going to live forever as purely digital entities in some kind of cloud-based artificial world. In other words, either The Terminator or The Matrix are imminently about to become disturbingly prophetic.

Should we be worried or excited? And what does it

What Is a QSA?

download (13)Since the formation of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards back in 2004, PCI DSS has setup its requirement for financial service providers and large merchants to use QSAs to carry out onsite assessments and to check on Compliance and security. QSA stands for Qualified Security Assessors; it is a designation awarded to individuals by the PCI Security Standards Council, whom it finds qualifying to execute consulting services and PCI assessments.

Recently, PCI DSS has expanded to take in its guidelines for training QSAs and some other advancement. Still QSAs and the services they provide do vary a lot. With assessors, the thoroughness, methodologies, technical skills and some other areas differ a lot.

The PCI DSS V2.0

The PCI DSS v2.0 released on 30th October includes number of classifications and further areas of guidance for assessments. The standard according to new version states that the first step of any PCI DSS assess is to describe the scope of assessment, by pointing out clear maps (locations and flows) of cardholder information within a system.

A lot of organizations are not aware about every single location where the card

Is PCI Compliance Expensive?

download (12)There are a couple of reasons on which cost of PCI DSS Compliant depends, which includes the type of your business, annual number of transactions, current IT infrastructure, and the existing credit/debit card network of processing and storing data.

Possible PCI Compliance Fees

According to estimations, the largest merchants of nation, categorized as Level 1 merchants (having more than 6 million transactions a year), spent $125,000 assessing the possible required PCI related work and an addition of $568,000 to meet the PCI requirements.

Reports state that level one 1 merchant, a national retailer having 210 stores, spent about $500,000 to become compliant. Furthermore, Level 2 merchants carrying out annual transactions in between 1 and 6 million may require spending $105,000 for assessment and an addition of $267,000 for compliance.

Level 3 merchants carrying out e commerce transactions between 20,000 to1, 000,000 are supposed to spend $44, 000 for assessing and $81, 000 more for compliance. The level 4 merchants handling e commerce transactions below 20,000 have different prices to pay for being compliant, which depends on the type of business.

Additional Costs

The costs of being PCI Compliant just

Should Everyone Become PCI Compliant?

download (11)In PCI Compliance, there is a lot more to your business than your website. If your business is dealing with credit card numbers over phone, or carries out face-to-face transactions, or holds up records of credit card number; then all of this has nothing to do with your website and it is really necessary for your business to meet up with PCI requirements. Well, now a question might come in your mind that does every business needs to be PCI Compliant; the answer to it has already been given above. In this article you will find answers to the question that trouble you with PCI requirements.

Should I Be Worried About PCI Compliance?

A business receiving payments through credit cards from customers needs to be PCI compliant, even if that business gets paid via credit card once in a year. The number of transactions doesn’t matter at all, even if your website is accepting third party services like PayPal or Google Checkout you are required to be PCI Compliant because it is your business that is accepting payments via credit cards and not your website.


The New Role of the CIO – Business Transformation Partner

download (10)It is becoming increasingly necessary for Industries and Organizations to improve Productivity, Reliability and keep pace with the ever increasing demands. Never before has there been such a pressure on Business-the Production and Engineering departments to keep up to these demands.

Business has no other choice but to identify “issues”, adapt “new technologies”, de-bottleneck and implement Engineering/Process IT Innovation drives wherever practical and possible.

Information Technology is not the business, it is an enabler. By enabling the business, the IT strategy, architecture and projects should be dictated by the larger Organization business strategy, architecture and programs. However, we often see a Disconnect between the IT and Business Strategy.

The IT strategy

The CIO or the Chief Information Officer can play the role of a partner and assist the Business team achieve their objectives.

IT is perceived as not providing value to the organization. Why is this?

Typically the CIO and the IT team’s role have been restricted to Implementation, ‘Support’ & ‘Maintenance‘ of Enterprise needs related to IT hardware and Software.

IT teams have in the past procured specific software and hardware, have got tied down by the lock in

Recycle Old Computers Thoughtfully to Prevent Bio-Hazards

download (9)Recycling of old computers and electronic gadgets is not only a matter of accruing profit, but also a clever stride to take, towards the creation of a cleaner world; free of e-wastes. The correct method of e-waste disposal task makes the entire difference.

Technologies and electronic gadgets become obsolete within no time and get vanished away from the market outpacing the speed of their emergence into our lives. The first generation of computers, for instance, provides a perfect example of such discovery of mankind that have gone through the ups and downs of ages to become one the most powerful electronic human-friendly device, the sixth generation of computers; a completely new version of computers that have accelerated the society to reach new heights. But the days are not so far when this wild progression, will cause this smart machine not to perform, but sit idle on the pages of history.

Here the most important question arises regarding about what needs to be done with these time-worn machines and computers. They cannot serve as alluring show-pieces neither can be stacked up to consume spaces inside the

Customers Get in Touch With New Innovation

download (8)No matter who you are or where you are, you are likely feeling the growth of touchscreen technology. Today, regular flyers typically go into check ins and flight info using self-serve stands and soar through airport check-in, skipping the otherwise long lines. Busy drivers may use automobile touchscreen systems to find instructions, control air temperature level and more. And business people who require interaction access at all times invest in sophisticated communication devices to stay in touch.

Whether it’s utilized by people visiting the ATM to get some quick money or casting a vote, touchscreen innovation is taking off, transforming everyday tasks into quick and convenient experiences.

The innovation appeals to all ages and in a variety of markets. Retail outlet store merchandisers are using touchscreen as a brand-new marketing technique to engage consumers while providing item info at the touch of a finger.

FOA Schwarz, for example, has actually installed 17-inch Planar touchscreens as part of a customer design center for the Custom Car Factory in its New York store. Using the Planar touchscreen stand, buyers can customize their own Hot Wheels car with unique

Using XAPI to Track and Enhance Training

download (1)Ever wanted to capture the whole learning experience of your user, but not sure where to start? In this article I will present on different ways that xAPI has benefited the learning experience and the learning ecosystem.

Enhance Compliance Training

This case study revealed a trying question that many enterprise training department heads face, “How do I provide effective, efficient, and engaging compliance training for… 243,000 employees and 3,934 different job titles?”

xAPI enables users to collect data from outside the traditional e-learning experiences in an LMS. As this case study proves, having a learning experience without entering an LMS is very beneficial.

Transition from Old to New

If you are tied to flash for legacy reasons, look to this case study that reveals how your enterprise can have a clear path toward a mobile solution. By integrating into their LMS, all xAPI data was converted to a SCORM object that could be reported. Eventually, you will be able to phase out SCORM reporting by relying on xAPI and directly querying the LRS for reporting needs.

By leveraging xAPI and a LRS (Learning Record Store), it allowed The Network

Do You Need PCI Compliance If You Use PayPal?

download (7)To know whether a PayPal user has to be PCI Compliant, first we should know, from where did the PCI DSS Compliance term initiated. PCI DSS Compliance is a number of requirements set up by major card brands to make the payment card data more secure and free from breaches, as well as to make the transaction process free from any trouble.

The five major card brands American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. International, combined their security requirements and brought the standards in existence on 2004. PCI DSS was built in order to adopt steady security measures worldwide.

PCI DSS requires every single merchant processing, transmitting, or storing payment card data to be PCI DSS Compliant. The requirements are necessary due to the great security they provide to company’s and customer’s information.

Why do PayPal users need to be PCI Compliant?

A customer shopping online needs to pay for the stuff he is purchasing. In order to pay customer goes and clicks on pay button and buys the stuff through his bank account, credit card or PayPal. In this case the

Where Do You Go to Get PCI Compliant?

download (6)PCI, also known as PCI DSS which stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is an industry that runs the standards and the measures of security of businesses that transmit, store, process, and accept credit card information. Organizations that are PCI Compliant don’t get much data breaches, which lead to exposure of cardholder data. If you own a business and it deals with credit card payments then you are required to meet the PCI DSS standards. You can become PCI compliant by asking your card brand to lead you through the process.

The PCI Security Standards Council is a group that studies the uprising PCI security issues and hence develops programs and standards to get hold of the reliability of payment card system.

Categories of PCI compliance

PCI Compliance is divided into six main categories:

· Access Control
· Data Protection
· Monitoring
· Secure Network
· Security Policy
· Vulnerability Management

Access Control

Put Access Control into practice. Limit the password access to your system, every employee should only have access to the password he needs for his job only. Explain them that it is best for

How Technology Advancements Has Its Impact on Us

download (5)The advancement of new technology has been taking place since the beginning of human history. From the invention of items like the spear and knives made out of rocks and sticks to aid in the capturing and killing of animals for food, to items like the first printing press and the computer. The question: are the impacts positive or negative?

Technology is a word used to collectively describe or portray the advancements, abilities,creations, undertakings, views, and knowledge of a singular group of persons: we as human-kind. The advancement in technology has been exceptionally fast in the 20th and 21st century. With electronic technology and machines being produced and improved all the time, it was very likely that along with the positive aspects of these new advancements, people would also consider the negative aspects and look to criticize new technology.

A Positive Side

As the old age states “NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION” i.e. necessities tend to spawn inventions and each invention is annexed with the need of betterment and transmogrification. Newer and newer advances are happening by the day. Technological change is in large part

Glossary of PCI Terms

download (4)Here is a glossary of terms associated with PCI.

Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV)

In order to be PCI Compliant, you will require a successful scan certificate from an Approved Scanning Vendor. An ASV will certify you that you are up to all the technical requirements. ASVs are enlisted by PCI SSC on the basis of their performance.

Audit log

It is the record of activities of system up to a certain date; but it should have enough details to track back sequence of events that go from the beginning of transaction to the end.

Card holder Data (CD)

Cardholder data contains full Primary Account Number (PAN). Cardholder data also contains the following information:

· Name of the Cardholder
· Expiration Date
· Service Code (optional)

Card holder Data Environment (CDE)

It is an environment containing all the processes and technology including the people that process, transmit or store customer cardholder information or authentication information. CDE also includes connected system components and virtualization technology like applications, servers etc.


The conversion of text into coded form is known as encryption. Only the people having the specific decrypting codes can get access to such data and

Biometric Attendance Machine Vs Manual Maintenance of Attendance

download (3)Organizations are exploring every possible way to increase their revenue and control their cost. Time attendance machines are used by all size of organizations to record when an employee starts and ends their work. And it will allow them to know for which department the work is performed or carried on by the employees. Apart from tracking when an employee is working, organizations can even track that when an employee is not working, that means it allow the organizations to track the meal and break times of an employee. A time attendance machine allows organizations to cut their labor cost, increase compliance and enhance overall control.

Based on the size and requirement different organizations uses different tools to record the attendance and other activities of their employees. Some organizations use Biometric Attendance Machine, Fingerprint Attendance Machine, and some organization follows Manual Maintenance of Attendance. Manual Maintenance of Attendance is suggested only for the organizations having fewer or very fewer employees.

Manual maintenance of attendance requires an efficient and skilled HR to log employee work hours and attendance. Under this system paper punch cards and punch

Is PCI a Law?

download (2)With the requirements set up by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), a lot of businesses scratch their heads and ask whether PCI is a law. The answer to this question is very short and simple no PCI Compliance is not a law.

Will PCI Compliance be a Law in Future?

To make the things more clear, let’s go in detail about this topic. At the moment it is not a federal law; but still there are some state laws that are in effect (while some might go in effect in future) to implement the requirements of PCI DSS. The story does not end here there is a big press on from the industry trade association and legislatures, to pass a federal law about breach and security notification.

Plastic Card Security Act

In 2007, “Plastic Card Security Act” was established in Minnesota which stated that if a company is breached and later on it is discovered that the company was storing prohibited PCI data like CVV codes, magnetic stripe, track data etc. then it is required to repay banks and other individuals costs linked

How Much Do PCI Companies Charge?

download (1)There is much more to being PCI compliant than just getting a PCI SAQ filled or going through a quarterly vulnerability scan successfully. There is a lot of work and resources required by the business to go through to make sure the customer credit card data is secured.

A lot of businesses get confused when it comes to setting up a budget for PCI compliance. Commonly the budget kept is too small that it becomes really difficult for IT departments and third parties to provide upgrading to the equipment and to meet the latest security standards; such actions makes the security at the risk of getting breached.

Dependence of Cost of PCI Compliance

The cost of PCI compliance totally depends on the number of transactions made per year. There are two types of businesses one that process more than 6 million MasterCard or Visa transactions each year. Then there are businesses that make less than 6 million MasterCard or Visa transactions per year.

Variables that affect the cost of PCI compliance

The cost you are giving for your PCI audit totally depends on the setup of your organization.

Camera Design Service Vendors Gearing Up for a New Phase With New Standards

downloadNot many companies are well versed with camera designs and their tweaks and hence few players are moving towards custom development of board cameras and smart vision sensors based on different processors. Also with the advent of several cameras and camera architectures, companies now have a strong base to build new products.

Some companies can design cameras to customer requirements in short timelines too.

The Challenges

Companies usually face the challenge of meeting hardware and software design specifications of the camera.

High definition images might have to be clicked at regular intervals, sometimes in a fraction of a second! Some companies now opt for drones that would house several cameras, and then try to stitch and synchronise the images simultaneously, so that the shots can be taken from all possible angles.

Also the core challenge here is to reduce the camera size since the product needs to be a marketable product that also needs to be considerably affordable.

For such a camera design, companies strike a balance with its hardware design, PCB design, Bootloader porting, and the efforts expended on Device drive modification, Camera app development and Testing procedures.


Digital Publishing: A Better Way to Read Magazines and Newspapers

downloadReading magazines is one of the most common hobbies among women in the age demographic of 18-49. Magazines are the second-highest circulated publications of the publishing industry, with newspapers being the first. Traditionally, magazines were bought from newsstands located at the corner of every city street. However, with a change in trends and digitization influencing most industries, digital newsstands are the new thing that the industry has to offer.

What is a Digital Newsstand?

A digital newsstand is the latest product of the recent developments in digital magazine publishing software. Several distribution platforms offer content in the form of magazines, newspapers, and journals, digitally which can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone. These are mostly available on a subscription basis, but a large variety of free content is also available.

With the advent of tablets with 10-inch screens, much like a magazine cover, the publication houses began adapting to a digital format rather than regular print. These digital newsstands were an instant success as they offered a richer reading experience with several interactive systems which made newspapers, magazines and journals more interesting. Digital publications also reduced