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Boost Your LinkedIn Profile

10 tips to double your LinkedIn connections:

Sometimes the simplest tactics are forgotten that can make a big difference over time. With the majority of users having less than 500 connections these tips will provide the guidelines to take it beyond the 1,000 barrier.

  1. Update your status daily. This could include posting your latest blog post, sharing an interesting Slideshare presentation or an article that is of value to your industry and niche

  2. Participate in (or start) a LinkedIn group discussion weekly

  3. Follow influencers and ask or answer questions on their posts

  4. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and focus on 3-5 of these and stay active on each one

  5. Send one new invite daily and personalize it. Don’t use the standard default invite request

  6. Prominently display your contact information so you make it easy for people to contact you

  7. Endorse people you know for their skills with no expectation of reciprocation

  8. Promote your LinkedIn profile. Include it on your card, place it in your email signature and on your website/blog

  9. Tweet your LinkedIn updates to Twitter.

  10. Include links to your blog and website in your LinkedIn profile. This will help you build credibility by displaying your full online presence.


Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Holiday App To Save You $$$

A new app from Savings.com called PriceJump does just that. It helps shoppers cover all their bases by scanning local stores and 5,000 online retailers in real time to get the best price.

After downloading the app (only available on the iPhone for now), users can scan a bar code and instantly find the best price for that item. The result will display the best local and online price and also Amazon's.

Amazon doesn't always win. This summer, PriceJump launched a website that tracked Amazon prices and found that the site offered the best deals 51% of the time.

On items that cost more than $100, PriceJump found lower prices than Amazon 70% of the time.

But hunting for deals could save people a lot of money, particularly during the holiday season. Savings.com found that many popular holiday gifts wildly fluctuate in price during the last three months of the year.

One Disney doll (Elsa, of course), was available on Amazon for $14.99 on Oct. 17 and shot up to $20.39 on Oct. 18. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart and Target both offered the same doll for $12.79.

Savings.com also found that Microsoft's Surface tablet was being simultaneously being offered for $336 from one retailer and $524 from another.

But buyer beware: Just because the PriceJump app found a better deal doesn't mean it's worth buying it all the time.

For instance, if you're a subscriber to Amazon Prime, two-day shipping is included and that might not be the case at many other online stores or shipping might cost a bundle.

Or the store that has a better deal might be out of stock (The PriceJump app gives you phone numbers so you can call to check before you make that trip).

While it doesn't provide all the answers, PriceJump does take some of the guesswork out of the shopping experience and helps shoppers save.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

SSL

Users often associate shopping online as a relatively safe method of shopping as long as there is a lock on the browser stating that the website is secured by SSL. But what users often do not know is what that really means and why it is important.

If you have ever been to a website and looking to purchase an item or at least seen the lock in the browsers URL it most likely is a safe and trusted website. But have you ever been to a website that was not secured by a SSL certificate, and come across a message similar to this.
What this message is telling you is that this website is running over a secure connection that does not have a security certificate, or SSL, and is warning you that the site may be unsafe. Now let’s look at what the browser should look like if it is safe.

How does SSL work? SSL works by establishing an encrypted connection with the server in which you are connecting to. This allows you to put in important information such as Social security Numbers, Credit/Debit cards, and login details into the website without fear of this information being sent across the internet in plain text for anyone to read. It is able to do this by using a public, private, and session keys that works together to encrypt the data between the web server and the end user. So now when the user connects to a website such as eBay to log into the account, the computer will connect to the server and request what is called an SSL handshake, now when the user goes to login the data is encrypted with the public key and sent to the server, where it can only be decrypted by the servers private key, and vise versa. One of the most important parts of the SSL is that the web server is verified by a third party to be safe to trust, and they say who they really are. If you were to click on the green lock you will be presented with the SSL details of the website, and who verifies that the website is safe.

So as you can see, before you ever try and purchase something on the internet, please verify that the website is secure before proceeding to enter any private information. By just simply being cautious can save you a lot of time, and headache of possibly having your identity or private information stolen.

Tracy Hazelton
System Technologist
StormsEdge Technology

Disaster Relief & Technology

When the British government delivered emergency aid to people fleeing Islamic militants in northern Iraq last month, one of its primary concerns was how the refugees might charge their mobile phones.

Alongside tents and drinking water, planes dropped more than 1,000 solar-powered lanterns attached to chargers for all types of mobile handsets to the stranded members of the Yazidi religious community below.

It is the first time the lanterns have been airdropped in such a relief effort, but humanitarian workers say it is part of growing efforts to develop technology designed to make a difference in disaster zones.

More than 1,000 Sunlite solar powered lanterns and phone chargers were airdropped in northern Iraq

In 2010, Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen, a computer systems researcher at Flinders University in Australia, was driving to work in his car when he first heard radio reports of the devastation of the Haiti earthquake, more than 10,000 miles away.

With roads blocked, infrastructure reduced to rubble and mobile networks down, he realised something needed to be done, and quickly.

"You typically have about three days to restore the communications before the bad people realise the good people aren't in control any more," he says.

His solution was to develop the technology that allows mobile phones to communicate directly with each other even where there is no network coverage, or when mobile masts have been knocked out of action - a system known as "mesh networking".

His Serval Project work means users can send text messages, make calls and send files to other users nearby, creating a mobile network through a web of users.

It is just one example of the dozens of technologies developed in the wake of Haiti to help relief efforts in disaster zones.

"There's plenty of technology for rich white men," Dr Gardner-Stephen says. "It's the rest of the world that we need to help."

Haiti impact

Another project born out of the Haiti disaster was the Trilogy Emergency Relief Application (Tera), a mass text messaging programme now being rolled out by the Red Cross in 40 countries around the world.

Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen is part of a growing band of researchers working on technological solutions for disaster relief efforts

It allows aid workers to navigate a disaster-hit country from a computer screen, identify all the mobile phones being used in a given area, and blast them all with urgent 140-character updates with a click of a button.

It was first developed in Haiti with the help of local mobile network operators, allowing messages with advice on water sanitation and medical aid to be distributed to millions of people across the Caribbean country.

"I don't know of any other means of communication where you could reach that many people, that quickly and that directly," says Sharon Reader, a communications adviser for the International Red Cross currently working on setting up the Tera system in east Africa.

"It's not like the radio when someone has to be switched on and listening. It's a buzz in their pocket and they're going to be able to see that information immediately."

She says the sheer volume of mobile phones now sold in developing countries makes text messaging the ideal way to communicate.

Global mobile subscriptions are expected to reach $7 billion this year according to the UN, with developing countries in Africa and Asia seeing the fastest growth.

The Tera system allows aid workers to text millions of mobile users with a click of a button

Check out the full article HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Pocket Doctor

“Lifelogging” is more than just counting steps. More tech firms are trying to predict your health using data from devices like Fitbits.

Fitbit was just the start. As lifelogging and wearable computing take off, the biggest technology companies are gathering data that will let them forecast our medical future.

In recent months Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft have all announced apps and devices that monitor health and activity. They differ in looks and cost, but they have one thing in common: the data they gather can be used to predict the health of the person wearing them.

The latest to join the party is Vida, a start-up that launched last week. Their app works with Apple's HealthKit to pull together data from lifelogging devices such as Fitbits and create a picture of an individual's health. For $15 a week, subscribers get regular in-app sessions with a team of coaches including nutritionists and nurses, without the expense of regular real-world doctor visits.

It is aimed at people with chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease, which account for 75 per cent of healthcare spending in the US. The app will also be able to suggest clinical trials to people who may benefit.

"We're at the beginning of an age of interrogation of the human being in real time, under real-world conditions," says Dennis Ausiello, chief of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Ausiello runs the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH), a partnership between MIT and Massachusetts General. Its goal is to develop tools that continuously monitor people to get a better understanding of how certain conditions affect us.

For more on these interensting innovations, check out the full article HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Amazon.com In All It's Wonder

Amazon.com is well-known for its Kindle, lightning fast shipping, and selling virtually anything online.

The e-tailer's revenue totaled $61 billion in 2012 and it currently sits at No.5 on ComScore's list of top 2,000 domains on the web.

But did you know that the massive website started in founder Jeff Bezos' garage? Or that Amazon's operation has become so massive that it's warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens?

Take a look at some other mind-blowing facts we found:

  • Amazon.com was almost called "Cadabra" as in "Abracadabra". That idea was struck down because CEO Jeff Bezos' lawyer misheard the word as "cadaver".
  • Bezos chose Amazon.com for two reasons: one, to suggest scale (Amazon.com launched with the tagline "Earth's biggest book store") and two, back then website listings were often alphabetical.
  • The first book Amazon.com ever sold was from Bezos' garage in July 1995. The book was Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought
  • Amazon's current logo was designed to depict a smile that goes from A to Z. "This signifies that the company is willing to deliver everything to everyone, anywhere in the world.
  • Last year, when Amazon's site went down for 49 minutes the company missed sales of nearly $5.7 million.
For more interesting fact, click HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

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