Tag Archives: Technology

Chatbots and AI -are they dangerous?

In order to better serve customers, businesses are increasingly reliant on Artificial Intelligence (AI). These computerised systems collect information about customers, and then try and apply it to solving business problems.

AI is proving to be particularly helpful in the area of customer service. By monitoring conversations with customers, AI systems begin to detect patterns of behaviour that can be used to predict questions or problems in advance. Customer service agents can use these insights to “fix” issues more quickly, and to deliver a better quality of service to clients.

AI and chatbots – a match made in customer service heaven

Online retailers are also looking for ways to improve the shopping experience by making it easier for customers to access the information they need. Many are now using “chatbots” – automated systems that can answer questions in a text chat window on the website.

Initially chatbots are pretty dumb – they can only answer specific questions, which have to be worded exactly right or the system doesn’t understand. But when backed by AI, the system becomes much cleverer.

AI can be used to “learn” how customers think, and to answer vague questions. The more the system learns, the more questions it can answer, more quickly.

Good technology can be misused

Unfortunately AI and chatbots can be used for evil too. Because AI Is specifically designed to better understand us as individuals, it is an ideal tool for identity thieves. The more they know about you, the easier it is to impersonate you.

As a result, shoppers need to be extremely careful about the websites that they visit, and the systems they interact with. Talking with a malicious chatbot could be as dangerous as entering your credit card details into a phishing website.

As AI matures and becomes cheaper to operate, we expect to see more examples of criminals misusing the technology to commit more identity fraud-based crimes. Over time, these systems may even be able to pull together data from multiple sources, like your Facebook profile, as well as using information supplied to fake chatbots.

The more information the AI can access, the more detailed a picture hackers can build of you, your preferences and interests. Which means that when they do try and exploit your data, their efforts will be much more convincing – and likely to succeed.

How to protect against fake AI and chatbots

To help stay aware of these dangers, and to prevent being tricked my malicious AI and chatbots, you should install a robust anti malware toolkit like Panda Gold Protection. Not only will this help keep your computers virus free, but it will also alert you whenever you visit a dangerous site – or even block access completely.

Take a step towards protecting yourself today by downloading a free trial of Panda Security – you won’t regret it.

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Quantum computing: What is it?

In the 1980s and 1990s, science fiction movies were obsessed with super computers and the way they would change the world. These days, super computers are relatively common, so instead we hear about “quantum computers”.

Back in 2015, IBM announced that they had managed to turn theory into reality as they unveiled their first working quantum computer. For IT geeks the news was very exciting – but what does it mean for home computer users?

What is a quantum computer?

Before trying to explain quantum computers, it helps to understand how a traditional computer – like your PC or Mac – handles information. Known as “classical” computers, these devices use long strings of “bits” to represent data. A bit can have one of two values: 0 or 1.

Everything on your computer – documents, pictures, emails and videos – are made up of very long strings of 1s and 0s. On a traditional computer hard drive, the bits are made by altering the polarity of tiny magnetic particles on the disk.

A quantum computer is very different. Instead of using bits, they use “qubits”. Qubits are stored by altering the behaviour of tiny particles like electrons or photons. More importantly, qubits are capable of representing more than just a 1 or a 0 – instead they can store 0, 1 or a “superposition” of many different numbers at once.

Using qubits, it becomes possible to carry out a “arbitrary reversible classical computation” on all those numbers simultaneously; a classical computer can only complete one calculation at a time. As a result, quantum computers are (in theory) much faster at completing complex calculations than even the fastest super computer.

If that sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Explaining a quantum computer is extremely difficult because they rely on advanced physics to carry out complex calculations. Even quantum physicists struggle to properly explain how quantum computers work.

Why do quantum computers matter?

The amount of data being created every day is phenomenal – and current computers will not be able to keep pace for much longer. Modern super computers are still too slow to perform some of the most important scientific tasks like testing the effects of new medicines at the molecular level.

With the ability to perform very complicated calculations more quickly, or to even model those drugs at the molecular level, quantum computers provide a much needed performance boost. Most data scientists agree that quantum computers are our best chance to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.

Will you ever own a quantum computer?

Because of their complexity, quantum computers are extremely expensive. If the technology proves to be valuable, we should see that cost fall as more computer manufacturers get on board.

The reality is that the average home user won’t need the power provided by quantum computing. Or be able to afford the electricity bill for running a device that manipulates photons and electrons to store and manipulate data!

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What will 2018 bring to the world of cryptocurrencies?

With the vast amounts of people suddenly becoming millionaires, the chances of you not hearing about Bitcoin are almost nil. The success stories are all over the internet. Even the already rich rap-star 50 Cent added his name to the ever-growing list of Bitcoin millionaires. He claims that over the last few years he has been sitting on a “forgotten” fortune of 700 virtual coins that he made selling his album back in 2014. Is he a smart investor or a lucky guy? No one knows, but the truth is that he is now worth $7 million more than last year. Cheers, 50 Cent, this is what we call a flying start to the new year!

In 2017 Bitcoin managed to become so popular that it is an absolute rarity to live in the western world and not to have at least one friend or a relative who is somehow engaged in cryptocurrency trading. User-friendly virtual money exchanges such as Coinbase started gaining speed making the purchase of cryptocurrency as easy as requesting an Uber ride. People who wanted to invest no longer had to wire money to exchange sites but use a simple app to purchase some of the crypto-gold with a credit card. Last year was also the year that saw Bitcoin increase its value 20 times and become the 6th most valuable currency in the world.

While Bitcoin’s price kept surging, there were a ton of leading economists such as Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who said the crypto-world might be doomed. Jamie called it a fraud and Warren kept warning everyone that the craze over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies won’t end well. Even Jordan Belfort, also known as the real Wolf of Wall Street and the man who predicted the 2008 financial crisis, called Bitcoin a “huge danger.” Things are never perfect, Bitcoin lost half of its gains but still managed to close 2017 about ten times more valuable than it started it.

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt, 2017 was the year of Bitcoin! Over the last 13 months, Bitcoin has been a subject of enormous attention and is rapidly changing the landscape of the financial world boldly paving the way for other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero, and Zcash. While Bitcoin was the primary currency making the news, it’s contenders had a good year too as almost all of them registered even better growth percentages than Bitcoin.

What about 2018?

High volatility and the lack of understanding have been scaring many investors away from the crypto-world. While governments are trying to regulate the market, it still feels like it is the wild west. Exchanges have been prone to hacks, investors have been afraid to jump in due to the lack of regulations and regular folks have been avoiding the crypto-world because of the lack of non-user friendly crypto exchanges. However, things are changing – governments from all over the world are starting to realize that instead of fighting the new currencies, they can tax the transactions and get their piece of the pie. New and stricter laws are making Initial Coin Offerings more and more transparent and regulated, and in 2018 exchanges in the US will most likely be forced to report every account trading more than $20k to the IRS. Exchanges are continually trying to increase security, and there are user-friendly exchanges like Coinbase who are allowing everyday people to participate. Cryptocurrencies will continue to be part of our lives in 2018.

What is the future of cryptocurrencies?

In 2018 we will see more and more governments trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, we will witness the creations of more altcoins, and we will see how Bitcoin’s main competitors Ethereum; Monero; ZCash; and Ripple, try to take a shot at Bitcoin. The new 2018 may be the year that will see Bitcoin being taken down from its throne. This wouldn’t be a first for the tech world – Nokia’s Symbian was the primary modern mobile OS, but later it got overshadowed by better mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS. This might be the case with Bitcoin too. The time will show!

On the other hand, Bitcoin has been known as the gold of the cryptocurrencies. It may stick around, but it won’t be the game-changer technology that will transform the financial world. The cashier at Stater Brothers won’t be happy if you try to pay for the groceries with gold bullions – you will most likely be asked to use a credit card or cash instead. This is what is happening with Bitcoin. Stripe, one of the first firms to help users do financial transactions with Bitcoin, recently announced that they would be stopping the support of Bitcoin payments saying the fees are too high. And people do not blame them for their decision, Bitcoin transaction fees can easily reach amounts of $20+, while transactions with currencies such as Ethereum and Ripple only cost a few bucks.

While governments are desperately racing each other to find ways to regulate the decentralized virtual currencies, they are also exploring opportunities of creating their national cryptocurrencies too. So the next groundbreaking virtual money might have not even been invented yet. The masses are more likely to support a government-backed cryptocurrency than the ones associated with the dark web that we see now.

If you are thinking of entering the world of crypto, or you are already in, you have to bear in mind that it is an extremely risky investment and there is no insurance for your assets. Hackers are lurking around so securing your digital wallet should be a high priority. Always make sure you have antivirus software on all your devices. Having another layer of security can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your digital coins. It only takes seconds for hackers to send your virtual money away from your wallet, and once it leaves your digital portfolio, there is no way of getting it back. Be prepared!

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Panda Security named a Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms

Panda Security was named a Visionary in the Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms1.

Panda Security as a Visionary

The report’s evaluation is based on their completeness of vision and their ability to execute.

According to Gartner, “Visionaries deliver in the leading-edge features — such as cloud management, managed features and services, enhanced detection or protection capabilities, and strong incident response workflows — that will be significant in the next generation of products, and will give buyers early access to improved security and management. Visionaries can affect the course of technological developments in the market, but they haven’t yet demonstrated consistent execution. Clients pick Visionaries for best-of-breed features.”

We feel that Gartner has recognized our products unique value proposition and encourage you to view a complimentary copy of the full report.

According to the report, “In the past 12 months, EPP solutions have continued on track to consume features from the EDR market, and some of the traditionally pure-play EDR vendors have continued to bolster their solutions with protection capabilities more often found in EPP. This trend of playing catch-up from two directions has resulted in a slew of vendors with similar capabilities and with little to differentiate themselves. Those that do differentiate do so with managed features backed by automation and human analysts; a focus on cloud-first management and reporting, and improving the operational side of IT with a focus on vulnerability protection and reporting; and, most importantly, pushing full-stack protection for EPP and EDR use cases to organizations of all sizes.”

Adaptive Defense is the only solution available on the market that offers the full protection of a traditional antivirus, white listing, and protection against advanced threats all in one.

As stated in the Gartner research report, “Predicts 2018: Security Solutions”2: “By 2019, 45% of enterprises will manage data loss by leveraging CASBs and using encryption and EDRM techniques.”

“Panda Security is honored to be recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms as we strive to keep our customers protected against malware and non-malware attacks and turn endpoint activity data into insights and actionable intelligence. We believe this recognition is a proof of our success in achieving our mission and we look forward to bringing new innovative solutions and services in the space of advanced threat prevention, detection, investigation and threat response to Panda Security’s and our Channel Partners’ portfolio.”

– Juan Santamaria Uriarte, CEO, Panda Security

Read a complimentary copy of the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platform

Panda Security’s Cloud-Based Solution for Organizations

Panda Adaptive Defense 360 is Panda Security’s cloud-based solution that provides, in a single lightweight agent, the highest level of Endpoint preventive Protection, Detection and Response, reducing drastically the exposure surface to any kind of malware and non-malware attacks.

Its EDR capabilities are achieved thanks to the complete behavior visibility of all endpoints, users, files, processes, registries, memories and networks. On top of these EDR capabilities, Panda Adaptive Defense 360 provides two unique, out-of-the-box services:

  1. The 100% Attestation Service that provides the highest level of prevention ever, simply by allowing to run only those applications validated in real time by Panda without delegating the responsibility to administrators.
  2. And the Threat Hunting and Investigation Service that detects, contains and responds to any threats that were able to bypass other security controls.

All this takes place on Panda Adaptive Defense’s Cloud Platform that allows a seamless deployment and management on all endpoints inside and outside the network from a single console while reducing the total cost of setup and running.

According to Gartner in its research report, “Redefining Endpoint Protection for 2017 and 2018”3, “Organizations should pay particular attention to solutions that include managed services (or perhaps more accurately described as “managed features”) like threat hunting or file classification — those that reduce the administrative workload by automation and orchestration, and those that focus on lowering the knowledge and skills barrier through built-in contextualized threat hunting assistants, guided response tools and easy-to-understand-and-use user interfaces.”

Panda Security has been independently tested, with other EPP vendors, by AV-Comparatives with a consistent 100% detection rate during the last 6 months in a row.


1 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, Ian McShane Eric Ouellet Avivah Litan Prateek Bhajanka, 24 January 2018.

2 Gartner, “Predicts 2018: Security Solutions”, Dale Gardner, Deborah Kish, Avivah Litan, Lawrence Pingree and Eric Ahlm, 15 November 2017.

3 Gartner, “Redefining Endpoint Protection for 2017 and 2018,” Ian McShane, Peter Firstbrook, Eric Ouellet, 29 September 2017.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Is the DMV going to scan your face on your next field visit?

Back in 2017, we reported that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are implementing a face recognition technology on some international US airports that scans the faces of everyone, including US citizens, boarding outbound international flights. Now, starting October 1st, 2020, every US resident wanting to hop on a flight (even the domestic ones) will have to present a passport or any other REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card.

What is REAL ID?

After 9/11, the Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005, which states that each person applying for a driver license or identification card will have to go through mandatory facial image capture compliant with the REAL ID requirements. Government agencies say this is significant step forward in the battle against crime, illegal immigration, and terrorism as the new images will be compatible for facial recognition searches. Every person getting a license or government identification card will have to provide multiple documents and forms of identification, i.e., SSN card, mortgage statement, birth certificate, passport or permanent residence card, etc. Digital copies of each document will be stored in each state’s DMV database and be possibly attached to people’s new government profiles.

While the bill passed 13 years ago, privacy, operational, and cost concerns have been making multiple states oppose the decision, many saying that this is just DHS’ way to make DMV build them a national ID database. Even strong opponents of illegal immigration have been publicly opposing the bill. Mitchell Seabaugh, a former Republican member of the Georgia State Senate, publicly called REAL ID “a slap in the face of the states.” Back in 2005, Rep. Ron Paul said that “any state that opts out will automatically make nonpersons out of its citizens. They will not be able to fly or to take a train.” This statement is not far from the reality – as of October 1st, 2020, a passport or the new REAL ID equipped driver licenses and government IDs will be required for US residents who want to enter certain federal facilities and military bases or are wanting to board federally regulated aircrafts (including domestic flights).

The new law has slowly been rolling out in multiple states through the US. New York state’s DMV began issuing REAL ID compliant driver licenses last year, and California’s DMV announced that as of January 22nd, they have started issuing REAL ID drivers licenses too. While the DHS has been denying the notion that they are building a national ID system, they admit that the future use of the new credential by third parties will ultimately determine whether the REAL ID credential will become a national ID and whether further protections from Congress may have to be warranted.

While the REAL ID technology is not known to scan your face but just picture it, its introduction to the US is almost matching with the timing of the facial scanning boom that we are currently experiencing. Facial recognition is one of the leading selling features of Apple’s most expensive cell phone. Facial recognition will be used by marketers too. Also, just a few weeks ago Washington Post quoted a report from the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University’s law school suggesting DHS might be prone to legal battles because if their face scanning practices.

According to the report mentioned by Washington Post, DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights, but DHS has been doing it anyway. Washington Post quoted Jennifer Gabris, a CPB spokesperson, saying that “the agency takes its privacy obligations seriously, and that U.S. citizens can currently opt out of the facial scanning process”.

Passport-like REAL ID technology is being implemented in the some of the largest states, and in less than three years a REAL ID-compliant form of identification will be compulsory even for domestic air travel. Do you think the next step will be a mandatory face scanning? Are we entering a new era of surveillance and is the outdated SSN credential going to be replaced by REAL ID? Is the US government preparing to create a one-for-all database by launching services such as https://login.gov/? No one knows for sure. What we see is that the government agencies are collecting all sorts of data that one day may leak; be merged into one; or shared with third parties for monetary gain.

Regulating the information will be challenging and keeping so much sensitive data under one roof would put enormous pressure on government agencies. Government databases will be a target not only for hackers but also for foreign states. Protecting your personal information has never been more critical as leaks containing sensitive data of millions of people are not uncommon these days.

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Do I need Antivirus for Windows 10?

Whether you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10 or you’re thinking about it, a good question to ask is, “Do I need antivirus software?”. Well, technically, no. Microsoft has Windows Defender, a legitimate antivirus protection plan already built into Windows 10.

However, not all antivirus software are the same. Windows 10 users should examine recent comparison studies that show where Defender lacks effectiveness before settling for Microsoft’s default antivirus option. 

An AV Comparatives 2017 study shows Windows Defender falls behind other antivirus software in protection, usability, and performance. Defender also lacks consumer-friendly features that are growing in popularity — like password managers and a built-in virtual private network (VPN).

Overall Protection: Defender Falls Behind Other Software

Any antivirus software needs a good protection rating. Detecting and eliminating malware threats is the primary consideration. Be aware of future trends in malware attacks and choose antivirus software based on its ability to defend against growing threats such as zero-day attacks and ransomware.  

The AV Comparatives study tested 17 major antivirus software brands and ran from July to November 2017. Defender received an overall protection rating of 99.5%, falling behind seven other cybersecurity software.

Another 2017 study by the IT-Security Institute showed Defender falling behind other antivirus software in preventing zero-day malware attacks. Zero-day attacks happen the same day developers discover a security vulnerability, and they’re growing in popularity among cybercriminals.


The IT-Security Institute’s test results (for July and August) showed Defender as only 97.0% effective against zero-day malware attacks, 2.5% below the industry average. The difference may seem small, but the stakes are high for zero-day attacks. It only takes one ransomware or botnet attack to hijack your computer or steal your identity.  

Defender causes usability problems

All antivirus software impacts how you use your computer because it scans all of the websites, files, and other software your system interacts with. With antivirus software, consumers want the most protection with the least interference. Compared to other antivirus products, Defender struggles to stay out of your way.

False positives

When antivirus software scans files and websites for potential threats, they can mistakenly flag some as dangerous. These “false positives” can get really annoying because they block access to safe websites or stop the installation of legitimate software. These issues can slow you down and are distracting.

The AV Comparatives study (below) found Defender had a higher false positive rate compared to the majority of major antivirus software packages.

Defender struggles particularly with flagging legitimate software as malware. The IT-Security Institute’s tests showed Defender having a higher than average rate of false detections for safe software. Users who want to get around this issue by lowering Defender’s protection settings become more vulnerable to real malware attacks.

Defender’s performance

All antivirus software slows down your computer at least a little. After all, it takes computing power to scan all of the bits of information running through your computer’s processor, but a bulky or inefficient antivirus package can mean slower website loads, crawling status bars, and sluggish software launches.

The IT-Security Institute’s test results (above) showed Defender scoring below industry average for standard software application launches and frequently used applications. Its performance score was 4.5 out of 6.0.

Defender will make your favorite programs run slower when you use your computer at home. If you own a business, your employees will be slowed down too. Overly burdensome antivirus software coupled with outdated computers means a loss of worker productivity and revenue.

The Problem with Standard Antivirus Protection

Fans of Defender point out that  it comes standard with Windows 10, which means no extra software to download and install onto your computer. Pre-installed standard software is convenient from a usability perspective, but it also leaves you more vulnerable to attack.

Cyberthieves make Defender a priority one target because it works the same for every computer. Any standard way to doing anything makes it easier to predict and circumvent. Defender is no exception. Hackers make sure they’re malware designs can avoid Defender’s basic detection and take advantage of its vulnerabilities. Less standard antivirus software take unique approaches to finding and eliminating viruses—approaches difficult to predict.

To protect yourself, your family, and your devices, you need the best free antivirus protection available. While some users may still see Defender as a viable option based upon their specific needs, they’re trading convenience for effectiveness — a luxury with personal and financial costs that increase every year.

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Why is technology leaving older people behind?

Advances in medical health treatments and public health programs are helping people live longer than ever before. The generation born after World War II, known as “baby boomers”, now makes up a significant portion of the world population.

In some countries, like the UK, estimates suggest that the baby boomer generation is growing faster than new babies are being born. In the USA, 45% of the population is aged 50 or over. Which means that the average age of the population is steadily increasing.

This is important because there is a common misperception that older people struggle with technology. As a result, most new technology developments are targeted at younger customers.

Why older people don’t use new technology

The reality is that given the right training, older people are perfectly capable of using new technology. The surge in Facebook sign-ups by the over-50s is clear evidence of older people adopting a product that many assume they could not use.

The difference between technology use by the young and old has a relatively simple explanation; almost all new technology is designed for use by younger people. Designers and manufacturers are deliberately ignoring the over-50s when creating new products and services. Quite logically, older people choose not to use products that have nothing to offer them.

Manufacturers are missing a big opportunity

By targeting products at younger people, businesses are actually reducing their potential customer base by almost half. Where products have been designed for older users first, manufacturers have seen sales increase across all age groups.

Take the motion detection system designed by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which is specifically designed to “see” when older people have had a fall in their homes. Using wireless signals, the system can monitor a person’s movement in their home, and alert friends and family if they fall over.

This technology is aimed at the elderly, but it has applications in other areas that benefit everyone, like burglar alarms or nanny cams. Again, the issue is not that old people won’t use technology, but that technology explicitly ignores them.

Helping older relatives online

Going back to the example of Facebook, older people have discovered it is a great tool for staying connected to their friends and family. Social networks give them a glimpse of people they don’t see as often as they would like.

As the baby boomer generation “catches up” (and manufacturers begin to create services better suited to their needs), we should expect to see them using more technology every day. But just as they need help to get started, most older people will also need advice about how to use technology and websites safely.

To make the process of training older people in cybersecurity easier, Panda Security has put together a handy guide here – How to protect the elderly online. And you can start protecting them now by installing a free trial of Panda Antivirus Protection on their computer today.

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Are VPN services only for hackers and tech junkies?

What Is a VPN, and Why Would I Need One?

You may have heard about VPN services that allow you to have an extra layer of security; access geographically restricted content; hide your traffic from your internet service provider and hide your location and browsing habits from the rest of the world. Your employer might be the one requesting you to use one when you are away from your office, but you still need safe access to your company servers.

Channeling your traffic through a VPN encrypts the outgoing traffic of your device making sure your online presence is anonymous to your ISP, employer, marketers, government, and anyone interested in your online behavior. All they see is that your traffic is going to a specific VPN hub and nothing else.

The flexibility and the anonymity that such VPN services provide make them an excellent tool for hackers who do not want to leave any traits that could potentially reveal their identity. Being a skilled hacker is not about cracking a system, but making sure that once you do, you do not leave traits that can lead back to you.

While hackers and tech junkies are known to use VPNs for the many reasons, there are a whole lot of regular folks from all over the world who enjoy the benefits of VPN.

So who are they and why they do it?

Security conscious people

Security-conscious travelers never connect to public WiFi networks unprotected. Hackers, or the admins of such networks, could be monitoring them. Instead, they connect to VPN that encrypts all incoming and outgoing traffic from their connected device. This is one of the ways that guarantees you that the admin, nor skilled hackers, will be spying, and possibly even recording, the data that goes through the router.

Bargain hunters

Grabbing an airline ticket at a lower price has never been easier. Sometimes there are significant price differences for flights that are offered to the US buyers when compared to British for example. While the currency exchange may add up, when you are looking for affordable plane tickets, it is always a good idea to check the fares from multiple locations so you can make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Travelers

There is nothing more frustrating than being in a hotel on the other side of the world and not being able to watch your favorite TV show due to geographical restrictions. And if paying $30 for a pay per view movie does not sound appealing, you can use VPN to access your Netflix account and play your desired content on your laptop from the comfort of your hotel bed.

Dissidents and people who want to communicate with people living in the free world

While here in the US, freedom of speech is a human right, this is not always the case in some foreign states such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Using VPN allows people from such countries to access content that is usually prohibited. Staying in touch with relatives living abroad could also be a challenge from time to time. If Facebook is your preferred way of communication, VPN may be your only solution for accessing it while in China.

Bored employees

The last thing you want is letting your employer know that over the last few days you’ve been spending all your mornings looking for new shoes on Amazon. Access to social media websites at work is also a distant dream for many employees. Using VPN service could let you bypass the restrictions and let you safely check out your Facebook feed from the comfort of your office PC or Mac. While it is understandable that employers want you to work all the time, sometimes people want their freedom, and having access to VPN might be the solution.

VPN is not only for hackers and technology-savvy people.

There are all sorts of people who use it, and the global usage is not showing any signs of slowing down. However, using VPN comes with some risks and not all VPNs are equal. While you might be anonymous when using VPN, you might want to make sure that you are aware of the risks, especially if you need to visit sketchy websites. Check out our suggestions for safe use of VPN.

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Are The Christmas Elves Going to Lose Their Jobs Soon?

The predictions are that in a few years the e-sales in the US alone may top the mesmerizing $600 billion mark. The economy is growing, people have longer and healthier lives, and online shopping has become as easy as Sunday morning. The odds are that demand is not going to slow down and the number will continue to grow in the years to come.

Etailers such as Amazon are starting to use the help of robots in order to cope with the demand and keep the prices reasonable. It may sound like science-fiction, but sometimes, when you finally hit the buy button on Amazon, you make a hardworking robot buzz around a warehouse that is sometimes located hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of miles away from you. While there is nothing wrong with online shopping the odds are that Santa’s little helpers may soon have to start considering a career change. While this may cause a few waves of economic turbulence, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

As we recently discussed, robots could sometimes be evil, but this is not the case with the ones that prepare your online orders. In fact, they could sometimes be considered as a better solution when compared to human co-workers – warehouse robots are proving to be significantly cheaper and deliver better ROI. Lower handling costs have a direct impact on the prices that you pay for the goods that you purchase online. It is true that automation could be considered as the most significant nemesis of low skilled workers, but historically things have proven always to turn out well. For example, back in the 1700s in the US, about 90% of the people were employed in the agriculture sector. This number is now around 1.5%. Technology advancements are here to make people’s lives easier.

Where do robots fall short?

While humans are not perfect, neither are the machines. Automation and AI will be playing a significant part of the future of humanity. While engineers are striving to make machines as autonomous as possible, the type of robots used in modern day warehouses are not ready to fully take over the shipping and handling jobs. Apart from the fact that they will always require maintenance, robots are not yet good handlers. Nothing can compare to a real human finalizing an order. So even though that the engineers will eventually find a reasonably priced solution for this problem, robots are not yet ready to entirely replace the humans.

Who else will be affected?

Researchers say that advanced countries will be the ones that will be most impacted by the advances in the automation and AI fields. People employed in the logistics and transportation industry will take the biggest hit. Low-skilled food workers may also want to reconsider their careers as things are not looking bright there either. While this is terrible news for people in these industries, it is good news for everyone else as automation will most likely decrease the expenses of the average people. But hey, technology helps people – mining cryptocurrency sounds much more appealing than mining coal – welcome to the 21st century.

Emerging technologies are here to stay, and we are pretty sure that Santa will find a way for the Christmas elves to remain as part of the process. Perhaps automation will allow them to be home with their families instead – it must be exhausting to work every Christmas tirelessly!

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