Would You Take Advice From a Robot?

Recently I visited a wholesale nursery where the planting operations had been taken over by robots. It saves time, money and helps with scarce labour resources.

In my industry, robo-solutions are becoming more popular too. You may have seen ads for providers of low-cost, automated investment advice called “robo-advisors.” They are main stream in the US and on their way to Australia.

Answer a few questions online, plug in your login information, and boom! You have an investment allocation according to your age and risk tolerance. For some investors, this is perfectly appropriate. Their situation may be fairly simple and they don’t need (or want to pay for) more complex or ongoing advice. The solution is OK for a small single-account portfolio.

But not all financial decisions can be made with if-then statements or rules that a computer program can follow. Life is hard to automate. Some months you take home less and spend more. Sometimes, things need repair or you go on a vacation. Perhaps a job changes, retirement plans change-and all of this impacts your savings, investment and retirement plan. It’s hard to imagine a website or app managing all of these scenarios because the issue is not purely numbers-it encompasses human behaviour, random chance and the hard numbers of cash flow and taxes.

On the other hand, some things are purely numbers. Take portfolio rebalancing, for example-it just makes sense to use technology to speed up the task of selling and buying when your investments drift out of balance from your target allocation. Yet even when the numbers are cut-and-dried, it helps to have a human touch to override the rules when necessary-for example, if certain investments are attractively priced, it might make sense to buy “on sale,” even if the allocation is not exact. A human manager ensures the outcome occurs as intended-and that it occurs at all. (Most individual investors do not rebalance. They don’t like selling off some winners and buy the losers, even if it is in line with their long-term goals!)

There is no question that automated apps and robo-solutions are huge drivers of innovation and cost-cutting in all industries, not just finance. It makes sense to use the best tools available for the job, like the nursery that can do the job better than a person. The same goes for your hard-earned money. Advisors should use the latest technology, but technology alone isn’t enough. A person is still needed to guide the operation, and provide advice to the “client” based on years of training and expertise.

I’ve seen several articles in industry magazines about the “robo threat” to advisors. But if an advisor’s only value is performing transactions that can be done by a bunch of ones and zeros, they are not earning their fee. Rather than seeing robo-solutions as a threat I see a huge advantage. We let humans do what humans are good at-connecting on a personal level, and using our expertise to help meet complex challenges.

Robert Rushford: Rushford Matheson Advisory
Business Advisory is more than steering companies through the rough patches. Robert and his team of professional advisers work with businesses to ensure they understand tax implications, audit processes, legal ramifications and the importance of structuring their company in accordance with all the rules and regulations surrounding modern business practices.

Afterlife Bots – A Dead Man’s Petition

No, neither am I a Ted-famous Tech geek spiritual guru nor am I in contact with the afterlife. I am just fascinated by the buzzwords “Machine Learning” and “AI” and a little overwhelmed by the number of articles mentioning those words on my news feed.

I remember reading a line in a news article that “Bots are getting better at imitating humans”. Why not hire one and decrease workload by 50%. Well, I suppose we are working towards it.

Google recently announced that their AI-enabled assistant (with 6 voices) can book a hair-cut appointment seamlessly (Well I want a shave as well, and I want it to go and do grocery shopping handpicking the freshest tomatoes from the lot).

Jokes apart: kudos to the team of brilliant scientists, engineers, and others who are working day and night to make this happen.

Coming back to my original story.

Let’s start with Human life (and relationships) – Data Gathering

“Quite a digital world”. We are capturing and storing our personal life events as much as we can digitally (Thanks to social media, external hard disks, and pen-drives). Why not store our entire life in a 1000 Petabyte storage device. Capture every second – actions, events, habits, decisions, etc. Imagine if we can see and experience our parents’ childhood or see “What all Mahatma Gandhi did in his entire life”. Interesting right?

We all know how quickly robotics, machine learning, and AI are evolving.

What if we combine robotics, machine learning, and human life data? Can we create a human replica bot which would respond similarly, make decisions similarly, have similar habits basis the 1000 Petabyte data fed. All in all, can that bot be my replacement after my death?. Can it be my AFTER-LIFE BOT?

Literally, nothing can replace a dead human being. I was not fortunate to see my grandfather or meet him. But will my great grand/grandkids know about me? The answer is I do not know. We all are striving hard to leave a legacy behind us. Why not use robots and machine intelligence to duplicate ourselves. We do have ample amount of data to feed ~79 years (average age of human being) or ~2 Billion moments. Don’t you want your great grandkids to remember you after you are gone?

Top Ways to Prevent Data Loss

Data loss is crippling for any business, especially in the age of big data where companies rely on digital information to refine their marketing, contact prospects, and process transactions. Reducing the chances for data loss is a vital part of a data management strategy.

The first goal should be to prevent data loss from occurring in the first place. There are many reasons which could lead to data loss. A few of them are listed below:

1) Hard drive failures

2) Accidental deletions (user error)

3) Computer viruses and malware infections

4) Laptop theft

5) Power failures

6) Damage due to spilled coffee or water; Etc.

However, if a loss does occur, then there are several best practices you can implement to boost your odds of recovery.

Secondly, don’t put all your storage eggs in the cloud basket. The cloud is vital for cost-effective storage, but it does have some pitfalls that shouldn’t be ignored. Many examples of data loss have occurred from an employee simply dropping their computer or hard drive, so talk to staff members about best practices. SD cards are much more fragile and should never be used as a form of longer-term storage.

Here’s a look at top ways you can protect your data from loss and unauthorized access.

Back up early and often

The single most important step in protecting your data from loss is to back it up regularly. How often should you back up? That depends-how much data can you afford to lose if your system crashes completely? A week’s work? A day’s work? An hour’s work?

You can use the backup utility built into Windows (ntbackup.exe) to perform basic backups. You can use Wizard Mode to simplify the process of creating and restoring backups or you can configure the backup settings manually and you can schedule backup jobs to be performed automatically.

There are also numerous third-party backup programs that can offer more sophisticated options. Whatever program you use, it’s important to store a copy of your backup offsite in case of fire, tornado, or other natural disaster that can destroy your backup tapes or discs along with the original data.

Diversify your backups

You always want more than one backup system. The general rule is 3-2-1. You should have 3 backups of anything that’s very important. They should be backed up in at least two different formats, such as in the cloud and on a hard drive. There should always be an off-site backup in the event that there is damage to your physical office.

Use file-level and share-level security

To keep others out of your data, the first step is to set permissions on the data files and folders. If you have data in network shares, you can set share permissions to control what user accounts can and cannot access the files across the network. With Windows 2000/XP, this is done by clicking the Permissions button on the Sharing tab of the file’s or folder’s properties sheet.

However, these share-level permissions won’t apply to someone who is using the local computer on which the data is stored. If you share the computer with someone else, you’ll have to use file-level permissions (also called NTFS permissions, because they’re available only for files/folders stored on NTFS-formatted partitions). File-level permissions are set using the Security tab on the properties sheet and are much more granular than share-level permissions.

In both cases, you can set permissions for either user accounts or groups, and you can allow or deny various levels of access from read-only to full control.

Password-protect documents

Many productivity applications, such as Microsoft Office applications and Adobe Acrobat, will allow you to set passwords on individual documents. To open the document, you must enter the password. To password-protect a document in Microsoft Word 2003, go to Tools | Options and click the Security tab. You can require a password to open the file and/or to make changes to it. You can also set the type of encryption to be used.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s password protection is relatively easy to crack. There are programs on the market designed to recover Office passwords, such as Elcomsoft’s Advanced Office Password Recovery (AOPR). This type of password protection, like a standard (non-deadbolt) lock on a door, will deter casual would-be intruders but can be fairly easily circumvented by a determined intruder with the right tools.

You can also use zipping software such as WinZip or PKZip to compress and encrypt documents.

Use EFS encryption

Windows 2000, XP Pro, and Server 2003 support the Encrypting File System (EFS). You can use this built-in certificate-based encryption method to protect individual files and folders stored on NTFS-formatted partitions. Encrypting a file or folder is as easy as selecting a check box; just click the Advanced button on the General tab of its properties sheet. Note that you can’t use EFS encryption and NTFS compression at the same time.

EFS uses a combination of asymmetric and symmetric encryption, for both security and performance. To encrypt files with EFS, a user must have an EFS certificate, which can be issued by a Windows certification authority or self-signed if there is no CA on the network. EFS files can be opened by the user whose account encrypted them or by a designated recovery agent. With Windows XP/2003, but not Windows 2000, you can also designate other user accounts that are authorized to access your EFS-encrypted files.

Note that EFS is for protecting data on the disk. If you send an EFS file across the network and someone uses a sniffer to capture the data packets, they’ll be able to read the data in the files.

Use disk encryption

There are many third-party products available that will allow you to encrypt an entire disk. Whole disk encryption locks down the entire contents of a disk drive/partition and is transparent to the user. Data is automatically encrypted when it’s written to the hard disk and automatically decrypted before being loaded into memory. Some of these programs can create invisible containers inside a partition that act like a hidden disk within a disk. Other users see only the data in the “outer” disk.

Disk encryption products can be used to encrypt removable USB drives, flash drives, etc. Some allow creation of a master password along with secondary passwords with lower rights you can give to other users. Examples include PGP Whole Disk Encryption and DriveCrypt, among many others.

Make use of a public key infrastructure

A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system for managing public/private key pairs and digital certificates. Because keys and certificates are issued by a trusted third party (a certification authority, either an internal one installed on a certificate server on your network or a public one, such as Verisign), certificate-based security is stronger.

You can protect data you want to share with someone else by encrypting it with the public key of its intended recipient, which is available to anyone. The only person who will be able to decrypt it is the holder of the private key that corresponds to that public key.

Hide data with steganography

You can use a steganography program to hide data inside other data. For example, you could hide a text message within a.JPG graphics file or an MP3 music file, or even inside another text file (although the latter is difficult because text files don’t contain much redundant data that can be replaced with the hidden message). Steganography does not encrypt the message, so it’s often used in conjunction with encryption software. The data is encrypted first and then hidden inside another file with the steganography software.

Some steganographic techniques require the exchange of a secret key and others use public/private key cryptography. A popular example of steganography software is StegoMagic, a freeware download that will encrypt messages and hide them in.TXT,.WAV, or.BMP files.

Protect data in transit with IP security

Your data can be captured while it’s traveling over the network by a hacker with sniffer software (also called network monitoring or protocol analysis software). To protect your data when it’s in transit, you can use Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)-but both the sending and receiving systems have to support it. Windows 2000 and later Microsoft operating systems have built-in support for IPsec. Applications don’t have to be aware of IPsec because it operates at a lower level of the networking model. Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is the protocol IPsec uses to encrypt data for confidentiality. It can operate in tunnel mode, for gateway-to-gateway protection, or in transport mode, for end-to-end protection. To use IPsec in Windows, you have to create an IPsec policy and choose the authentication method and IP filters it will use. IPsec settings are configured through the properties sheet for the TCP/IP protocol, on the Options tab of Advanced TCP/IP Settings.

Secure wireless transmissions

Data that you send over a wireless network is even more subject to interception than that sent over an Ethernet network. Hackers don’t need physical access to the network or its devices; anyone with a wireless-enabled portable computer and a high gain antenna can capture data and/or get into the network and access data stored there if the wireless access point isn’t configured securely.

You should send or store data only on wireless networks that use encryption, preferably Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which is stronger than Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP).

Use rights management to retain control

If you need to send data to others but are worried about protecting it once it leaves your own system, you can use Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) to control what the recipients are able to do with it. For instance, you can set rights so that the recipient can read the Word document you sent but can’t change, copy, or save it. You can prevent recipients from forwarding e-mail messages you send them and you can even set documents or messages to expire on a certain date/time so that the recipient can no longer access them after that time.

To use RMS, you need a Windows Server 2003 server configured as an RMS server. Users need client software or an Internet Explorer add-in to access the RMS-protected documents. Users who are assigned rights also need to download a certificate from the RMS server.

8 Clever Digital Gadgets to Have in 2018

Once upon a time, being in your car used to be a solitary act. Today, there are literally thousands of onboard gadgets that you can use to not only make your drive easier, but more enjoyable as well. Whether you’re looking to stay connected, improve your visibility or run onboard diagnostics, there are tons of nifty gadgets at your disposal. In this article we take a look at some of the most pragmatic and adventurous gadgets available on the market today.

1. Dash Cam

In terms of pragmatic gadgets, there’s none more useful than the dashcam. A dashcam can be used to record your everyday journey, which is useful not only if you’re taking a scenic route, but if you get into an accident as well. Models like the Nextbase Dash Cam 212 and the Apachie G30 Dual Dash offer an affordable way to keep you legally protected and to help capture some killer footage as well.

2. Bluetooth

If you’ve ever used a smartphone then a Bluetooth kit for your car is one of the soundest gadget investments you’ll ever make. Bluetooth kit’s made by companies like Belkin allow you to connect your phone with your car and interact with your contacts hands free. This means next time you get a call you’ll be able to answer without having to miss the call, or pull over to the side of the road!

3. GPS Tracker

Mobile GPS systems are perhaps the most common gadgets found in modern vehicles. Everyday millions of commuters use GPS to navigate their way to work, but not as many use GPS trackers. A GPS tracker can be connected to your smartphone to keep you aware of your vehicle’s location. Companies like Spy Tec offer affordable trackers to help you make sure your car isn’t stolen!

4. Mobile Wifi Hotspot

If you’re a 4G data fiend then this next gadget is perfect for you. A mobile WiFi hotspot box will allow you to transfer your car into a mobile router! Entry-level models. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to pay for data on a monthly basis so check to see how expensive your provider is before purchasing.

5. Rearview Camera

A rearview camera is one of the best purchases if you want to improve your maneuverability on the road. With this gadget, you can mount a camera over your rear license plate, which will then stream live footage straight to your phone. This way you can check what’s behind you without craning your neck!

6. USB Car Charger

Keeping your phone charged over long drives can be a nightmare at times, but with a USB car charger you can keep your phone charged even if you don’t have a USB port in your vehicle.

7. Smart Car Adapter

When it comes to maintenance there’s few gadgets that can match a smart car adapter. A smart car adapter is a machine that can be plugged into your car to generate data about your vehicle. Apps like Automatic can be used to run diagnostics and check for problems with your car. Likewise the CarLock Cloud adapter will notify your contacts if you get into an accident! Smart car adapters are one of the best ways to interact with your vehicle whilst driving.

8. Mobile Apps

Lastly, there are a ton of mobile apps out there for drivers to use, listen to, and interact with, on the go. If you want to use your phone as a GPS, Google Maps is a great place to start, but that’s not all. You can also use nifty apps like Openbay to collect quotes from garages in your area in the event you breakdown. Likewise, apps like Fuelly allow users to track their fuel consumption and overall fuel economy.

The Types of External Hard Drives

Generally, the portable drive have been classified into two types which include

Solid state drives (SSD ) – like memory chip SSD has an array of semiconductor organized as a hard drive using integrated circuits rather than optical or storage media.
It is a type of memory called flash card which is similar to RAM but unlike RAM SSD remain even when it loses power it uses electrical grid to quickly send and receive data.
Hard disk drives (HDD ) – a traditional HDD contains spinning head to read/write head called actuator. It has magnetic storage device or platters coated with magnetic material.
It is a non-volatile hardware device that permanently stores and retrieves data on to a computer.

The best external hard drives are available in the market to provide convenience We have a long list of best Computer Drive available for your PC or MAC Buffalo Mini Station Extreme NFC- capacity of 2 TB

Western Digital My Passport 4TB
Adata SD700 External SSD
WD My Book Duo 16TB
OWC Thunder Bay 4 Mini
Seagate Innov8 8TB
Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive 5TB
Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
LaCie iStorage diskAshur 2TB
Porsche Design Mobile Drive 4TB

These are the best portable drives available in the market to save you from losing data or carrying heavy laptops or device for the data. These are enough to store all your files permanently with space available up to 4 Terabytes, affordable, fast and the best for the security.

The external hard drive is available in different sizes.

The size of the computer drive will depend on the how much data you have.

Everything that is saved from the hard drive is measured in terms of its size text is small, pictures are larger and video are even bigger in size.

The computer drive is like a scale, it doesn’t know the difference between the things it only knows the size of the data that is being saved from it which is not measured in kilograms but instead it comes in kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes.

The external hard drive has become the need for the huge storage of data.

The external hard drives are being used for the purpose of storing large amount of data which you can carry easily anywhere it can be your years of office work, music collection or movies. These drives are best for the storage. So you can save your computer from slowing down by being packed up by the huge amount of data. The list mentioned above has the best portable drives which are easily available for you to use and become tension free of the best performance of the hard drive.