Social media has changed the way we travel

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When it comes to understanding how we experience travel, and how it in turn impacts us, it is fair to say that each of us have our own understanding of its vast expanses. We are lucky to call Earth home, and this is a notion that, more and more lately, is becoming abundantly clear to us. The best way to get to know this incredible planet, is by travelling it. As has been said before, adventure is in the pocket of the traveller, and that has never been truer than it is now. Travel has always been a wondrous adventure, and it has long called to all of us in our own way. While many of us experience travel from a unique perspective, there are also those that adhere to the broad viewpoints (at least, before they experience a destination for themselves). We thought we had travel all figured out. And then along came technological advancement, to prove yet again that just when we think we have reached a peak, technology can – and does – somehow reach higher.

Technology has changed the entire world. The modern world as we know it is one that is paved with digital intentions, and we are the masters, the creators of this world. If not for our stubborn insistence, we would not have the modern world that we do today. From the way that we work and the way we experience life at home, to the way we learn and even the way we travel, technological advancement has been an empowering ideal that has long been impacting us and the world that we have come to know and love over the centuries. We are a unique species in many ways, but it is our own self-interest and determination to push forward our own progression that is most prominent in this digital era. The way of the modern world is pivoted towards continuing to enhance all aspects of modern (and future) life, and travel is one of the most deeply impacted aspects of life, of all.

There have been many technological advancements that have changed the way we approach and experience travel, but perhaps the most influential of them all on a wide scale is social media. This is a virtual network of platforms that were designed to connect people in their social circles, in ways that allowed them to continue smooth, fluent communication from across oceans. Over time, people became more and more obsessed. By the time Instagram arrived, society was collectively hooked on social media. Instagram introduced a new way of sharing (yet again) that encompassed aesthetic programming and ideal photos and footage. This aesthetic promoted individuals sharing only what they wanted to, and travel has always been one of the most common trends the world over. So, travel quickly became a key hashtag on the social media platform. Today, the hashtag #travel has over eighty-four million posts on Instagram alone, and it is a number that continues to consistently climb by the second.

We all lust after travel and lifestyles that promote travelling to the core. From the urge to get out of the classroom on a beautiful day, to the steps getting onto a plane to somewhere exciting and new, travel evokes a sense of excitement and wonder in all of us. Now, as we stand amid a social media revolution that we are all positively obsessed with, we are more drawn to travel. Every time you look at your newsfeed on any social media account, or respond to a notification, you are bound to see someone you know (or even people you do not know, just follow online as if they are long-lost friends) travelling and experiencing somewhere exciting and new. So, people take screenshots of these travel posts, and they make new buck lists with the whole new world of exploration they have, right on their device screens. It is the new norm of travel, and it is one that is continuously evolving all the time, in all the best and brightest ways possible.

The world of travel is one that is constantly proving to us just how special and wondrous the world around us is. We are always endeavouring to see more of the world that is largely mapped out around us, that quite literally immerses us all. Humanity has spent generations exploring and adventuring around the world, and we thought that we had it all figured out. However, over time, what has become more and more obvious in recent times, is that while our peak may have been nearing possible completion, technology can always take us further. While technological advancement has changed the face of travel in many different ways, perhaps the most widely acclaimed is that of social media. Social media has given the world a new, unlimited perspective on travel, and it is one that is constantly elevating and updating. In short, social media has changed the way we travel, and it will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future (if not always). This is just the start, and it is sure to be a wild ride.

Strong home design today centres on a flowing atmosphere

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We want the spaces that we invest in and spend our time in to mimic what we love in life. This is a fact. So, when it comes to bringing in strong design strategies into the home, it pays to know exactly what the most effective and prominent home design strategy is. When it comes to understanding and orchestrating the perfect home designs in this modern era, it is all about creating spaces that feel comfortable, calming, warm, and inviting. Nobody wants to be in a space that feels boxed in, fractured, and out of sync with the rest of the property. So, it stands to reason that flowing home design strategies are most important, but why is that?

Understanding why a cohesive atmosphere is important

The modern home is all about creating a cohesive atmosphere throughout the property. This is a broad term, so it is important to understand exactly what is meant here before moving on. A cohesive atmosphere refers of course to the overall feel of the home, but more than that it is about creating an overarching design to the spaces inside the home that feel like they flow, rather than box people in. In essence, cohesive atmosphere is about knowing how to make the most of a space so that it does not feel like a cage. Nobody wants to live in a cage, and so it is important to avoid home design tactics that could embody that feel (think sharp edges and small, boxed in rooms).

Bringing in flowing home design strategies to elevate the living spaces

Home design today centres around flowing movements in the living spaces. What this means, is that it is important to incorporate sweeping construction models and organically styled and shaped furniture and features. These elevate the living spaces and allow for a strong sense of flow overall. Examples of this include minimalistic colour pallets with splashes of colour for emphasis, naturally-shaped furniture (think circular shapes, curving patterns, anything that does not appropriate a sharp edge). Using these types of home design trends in alignment with one another allows the living spaces to come to life in unique ways, while making them feel comfortable, familiar, and warm.

Using flowing home design tactics to bring the property together

The power in flowing home design strategies is that they work magic in not only bringing spaces together as individual rooms, but successfully bringing the entire property together as a collective space. It is easy to master the art of effective home design in one space, but it is more challenging to bring each room together in a collective representation of the entire property. For this reason, it is fundamentally important to map out your inspiration boards and the like for each space, pull them together on one giant board, and ensure that they each are unique in themselves, while working together to represent a flowing home design from the front to the back, and in between. 

People Power and Policy – The Importance of Crowdsourcing in Public Sector Innovation

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To respond efficiently to the needs of citizens, public sector organizations must constantly innovate on multiple fronts. However, factors such as limited resources, restrictive governmental regulations, and a rapidly changing technological landscape, can impede this process. What’s more, depending purely on traditional think tanks and census-taking methods is no longer a viable way to acquire the insights required to hone innovation. A more receptive, adaptive, and broad-ranging method is required to gather impactful insights and establish effective policy. This is why crowdsourcing is increasingly being deployed by public sector organizations throughout the world.

Channelling the Wisdom of the Masses: The Power of Crowdsourcing in Action

Leveraging crowdsourcing for public projects is not a new practice. As far back as 1849, Joseph Henry – the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institute – recruited 150 volunteers to observe storm activities across the USA. The research he acquired helped lay the foundations of the national weather service. Over the decades, with the rise of digital technology, the opportunities for public sector organizations to leverage the enormous potential of crowdsourcing has grown dramatically. 

A great case in point is provided by the city of Santa Cruz, California. Dealing with the hurdles of the recent recession, a budget deficit, and increasing public works deficiencies, the city adopted a bold crowdsourcing strategy. Members of the public would be able to analyze the city’s expenses, contribute opinions for where savings could be made, as well as lodge ideas for new public initiatives. The volunteers could also rate and comment on the suggestions put forward by other participants. As a result of this initiative, Santa Cruz was able to utilize the input of 10% of its citizenry to resolve a budget shortfall of almost ten million dollars. 

Capturing Creativity: How Idea Management Software Can Take Crowdsourcing to a New Paradigm

The enormous success of the Santa Cruz initiative would not have been possible without one key ingredient – the use of an online platform where new ideas could be assessed and developed. Idea management software can support a crowdsourcing campaign in a variety of ways. It enables ideas to be submitted, collaborated on, and upvoted in a secure, monitored environment. The ideas with the most potential can then be assessed according to key criteria (budget, resources, etc) so they can be implemented with greater certainty. 

Aside from having the potential to channel ingenuity to the government sector, innovation management software can also be used to improve government-citizen relations – that is, let the people know that their opinions matter. Major innovation management software providers offer brainstorming and gamification features, allowing project managers to incentivize citizen participation in government innovation initiatives. 

Crowdsourcing and the Future of Public Sector Innovation

According to a global study by Accenture, 60% of citizens believe that the private sector is more innovative than the public, and 70% want government leaders to innovate more. With new crowdsourcing technologies, public sector organizations can respond to this demand in a way that both reflects the will of the people and makes use of their talents. To quote Kathleen Sebelius, former United States Secretary of Human Services, “a healthy state encourages many voices – and lots of listening.”

Better Education is the Key to Our Digital Defense Problem

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The past several years have brought many changes to the educational and political landscape, but none are potentially so severe and world-changing as the comeback of internet espionage and digital warfare.

The vulnerabilities faced in today’s cybersecurity

Just within the past five years, cyber-attacks have had a massive impact on international and local affairs, including everything from independent hackers demanding ransoms from entire cities for the return of their municipal data to governments attacking other governments, spreading propaganda, and stealing political information through the use of phishing attacks and the like. It’s an uncomfortable truth but increasing amounts of almost cold-war style proxy battles are being fought in the digital realm, and many are beginning to agree that the solution lies within the hands of higher education institutions.

Education rushing to fill the gap calling for professionals

Many are already beginning to respond to the growing need for trained and educated cyber security professionals, offering cyber security courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Many experts and educational professionals are arguing that the only way to bolster national security in the digital realm is to focus more intensely on training and education, starting from the youngest ages possible.

For instance, in the United Kingdom, experts are talking about a proverbial “army of cyber kids,” thanks to a newly formed national program that intends to find and recruit young talent for the purpose of training these kids to be cyber security experts. Children are recruited around the ages of 14 to 18, then trained in a series of programs and educated about the possibilities of future employment in the field of cyber security. The aim is to build up a force of educated young people who can enter the field and bolster the industry, which at the moment is lacking in both quality and quantity of workers. 

The criticism faced by academic institutions

The focus on education has its detractors, however. Despite the fact that the number of jobs in the cyber security industry with no employees to fill them is expected to reach close to 2 million within the next few years, critics of the proposed expansions in the educational system to cater to cyber security needs point out that the overwhelming majority of current cyber security experts are, in fact, self taught. However, whether this is a result of a lack of opportunities for formal schooling in the discipline or for some other reason are still unclear. In any case, even the most fervent opposition presented by these critics is rather timid when all things are considered, and even they admit that a stronger focus on educational curricula focusing on cyber security would be beneficial for everyone.

Security risks start from the education system

In the meantime, the arguments for strengthening and funding a dedicated cyber security curriculum, along with attacks on various entities both public and private, have been increasing. Ironically, the education sector itself is a particularly vulnerable target for aspiring hackers looking for treasure troves of data to sell on the open market. The reasons are fairly simple: universities and colleges tend to have fairly relaxed cyber security protocols compared with similar targets like government institutions and hospitals, and universities store an incredible amount of data about their students, from social security numbers to home addresses, phone numbers, payment information, and even medical records obtained through the university clinics that are so common on today’s campuses. In 2014 alone, almost one million individual records were stolen from hacked university databases.

The value of data continues to fuel the hacking problem

Student information isn’t the only thing of value that can be obtained through hacks like these. The Equifax breach comes immediately to mind, whereby millions of Americans’ personal information was stolen and is likely still floating around, being sold back and forth. Universities are a massive target, however, and the more money there is in the university system, the more potential hackers stand to gain. Universities field millions of hacking attempts on a weekly basis, and potential targets (other than confidential student information) could range from test and homework answers to potentially sensitive research information.

Since the revelations that Russia had interfered in an election in the United States by providing hacked emails to a pseudo-journalism outlet called wikileaks, cyber security has become a much bigger focus of educational spending and discussions, while politicians grill the leaders of the tech industry on what they see as their role in the defense (or lack thereof) of critical institutions and demographics in the population. The hacked emails were obtained via phishing attacks that exploited human, rather than technical, weaknesses, impersonating official correspondence and tricking the target into clicking a link leading to malicious code.

It’s for that reason that many experts are targeting people who do not intend to be experts in the field, trying to form a base of general educational curricula that can be delivered as more of a life skill or as part of a continuing education program than a higher-level graduate or undergraduate degree focus.

How Crypto Currency is Changing FinTech

bitcoin-blockchain-jpmorgan-cryptoIn recent years, Financial Technology Companies have disrupted the traditionally slow and cumbersome financial system. From innovative money transfer processes to the increasing prevalence of mobile phone payments; FinTech companies have revolutionized how we handle financial transactions. This is why $11.8 Billion was invested in FinTech companies in 2018 alone. 

In the same breath, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have also had a profound effect on the FinTech sector. In particular, cryptocurrencies have disrupted how people transfer funds, make purchases and raise money. This means that blockchain technologies have profoundly influenced the FinTech sector, and you can expect to see new trends arising from this space soon. For example, commercial banks, credit card companies, and loan providers are adjusting their business models to adapt to the new wave of cryptocurrencies.

But how exactly is blockchain changing the FinTech sector? Read on to find out.

Using cryptocurrencies in daily bank transactions 

Many commercial and central banks are exploring the possibility of introducing their own cryptocurrencies into the blockchain system. Owing to the success of BitCoin, banks can see the benefits of having a stable, non-influenced, and secure cryptocurrency in the market. Indeed, cryptocurrencies are cheaper to manage, have lower transaction costs, and result in more streamlined transactions. Furthermore, these currencies will give financial institutions full control over their monetary policies and financial regulation practices.  

Recently, JPMorgan launched a new cryptocurrency called the JPM Coin. It’s intended to settle payments instantaneously between clients in a low cost, secure, and efficient manner. As more banks continue to explore cryptocurrency options, users can expect to spend less on banking transactions while having more access to FinTech services. The distributed ledger system of cryptocurrencies also makes it easier for people without bank accounts to access financial services using alternative channels (such as mobile phones). 

Verifying the identity of persons

Every year, FinTech companies spend millions of dollars on developing systems that can detect and prevent fraud. Top of the list is identity theft and money laundering, where people still manage to bypass security frameworks and infiltrate loan, investment, and other sensitive financial transactions.

The good news is that cryptocurrencies can be used to enhance transaction security by verifying a person’s identity. Indeed, cryptocurrencies that use a distributed ledger provide a detailed trail of how transactions occurred during a specific period. Any party cannot modify this distributed ledger, and thus will provide evidence of the identity, background, and nature of each transaction.   

Using cryptocurrency for efficient money transfer

A large portion of the FinTech sector is devoted to making money transfer more efficient across the world. By using cryptocurrencies, cross border payments can be streamlined to become cheaper, faster, and safer. Current money transfer processes are bogged down by physical currencies, cumbersome bank procedures, and complex exchange rates. 

By using cryptocurrencies as the primary means of money transfer, financial institutions will be able to save on costs while moving funds more efficiently. 

Increasing the availability of credit 

Just when the financial sector is choking up loans and the smooth flow of credit, cryptocurrencies are increasing accessibility to loans and other similar services. Blockchain technology makes it easier and cheaper for financial institutions to avail credit to customers at competitive rates.

How so? First off, a distributed ledger makes borrowing and repayment more secure. This reduces the prevalence of fraud, and financial institutions are more likely to get their money back (plus interest) after extending credit to a customer. And because the entire process is streamlined and efficient due to cryptocurrencies, banks and other creditors will have an easier time expanding their loan portfolios. 

Shifting payments to mobile phone platforms

Accessibility to FinTech services has long been a challenge for millions of people around the world. Cryptocurrencies are making access to digital payments, money transfer, banking, and other similar services more accessible. By bringing FinTech to mobile phones, cryptocurrencies can be used to pay bills, transfer money, access loans, and even purchase insurance. All these transactions can be done safely- thanks to the distributed ledger.

The accessibility of FinTech on mobile phones is also made possible via cryptocurrencies. This is because users don’t need to own a bank account, carry around physical notes/coins, or go to a specific location (such as an ATM) whenever they need to make a financial transaction.  

SOX compliance and cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrencies continue to disrupt the FinTech industry, the need for regulation and monitoring is at an all-time high. Indeed, financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies will need to be checked for compliance with SOX reporting standards.

SOX was initially implemented to control how financial reporting is done, especially with regards to assets, expenses, auditing, and management oversight. With cryptocurrencies and blockchain becoming more prominent, FinTech companies will need to develop a compliance model that falls in line with accounting and auditing best practices- particularly when it comes to recording crypto currency-related transactions.   

Technology is disrupting global airports more and more

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Technological advancement and rapid digitalisation are two of the most profound innovations in the modern world. Through these two modern marvels, practically every aspect, every industry in the modern world has been fundamentally changed in some way. Consider the technological innovations revolutionising airports around the globe, for example. Any type of technology is designed and acutely aimed at providing viable and ongoing solutions to problems. In the case of airports, the problems lie in making the process from check in to boarding more convenient and efficient for travellers. Of course, there are always innovations that could make the entire airport experience smoother, but the one issue that comes up time and again is the issue of check in lines and boarding processes. This is not an issue that is limited to specific airports, either. It is an issue that is found in practically every airport in the world, and it is one that causes significant drama every time someone checks in and gets ready to board their flight (so, essentially, it is forever happening in an ongoing cycle).

Airport technology has been present for quite some time now, but never has this level of technological influence been felt in the industry before. For a while now, travellers have been able to check in online 24-48 hours prior to their flight taking off. This seems, to the untrained eye, like a victory. It should make the process faster. And sure, perhaps it does make it a little faster, but when one considers the fact that travellers still must go through those same check-in lines to check in their baggage, the time saved is miniscule, if anything at all. Couple this with the fact that while most airlines do in fact have separate check-in sections in airports (and especially in international airports), it is rare that all of them are open to accommodate and check-in travellers faster. While as many as ten check-in desks are there, only one or two, maybe even three or four on a good day, even have anyone there to help travellers check in their luggage and get through to customs successfully.

This is of course an issue. Understandably, airports cannot pay up to ten clerks, for multiple airlines, to be manning the service check-in desks 24/7. So, that is that, right? There is not much more that can be done? Wrong. So, what is the solution? Many people believe that the solution lies in technological automation. There has been a rising interest in automating the check-in process even more than it currently is. At the present time, travellers can often print out their airline tickets and baggage tags themselves. And then, if they have baggage (which, let’s face it, most people on an international flight do), they still must go through the check-in process to have their luggage processed. What many have suggested is getting rid of all but one or two service check-in desks, and turning the rest of them into self-service baggage check-in – even splitting each desk space to create two self-service counters. This would potentially speed up the process, cutting waiting times in half.

What this means is obviously a faster, more efficient process and happier travellers. The other important thing to note is also that a technological reconfiguration like this genuinely takes time to perfect. As is the case with any innovation, any new branch of technology, there will be a process of inevitable trial and error before the system is entirely smooth and efficient to a T. It is important that travellers can understand that this is normal, and bumps in the technology in its initial stages does not warrant panic, or a call for them to reverse the tech and take it back to human-run systems. Quite simply, these things take time. The technologically-driven revitalisation of global airports the world over is costing billions globally, but it is well worth it. From the IAD parking at Dulles International Airport, Washington, to the beginnings of automated self-service check-in desks being considered in airports around the world (and everything in between, for that matter), technological absolution is changing everything, in all the best and brightest ways possible.

When it comes to using digitalisation and technological advancement to advance and enhance amid an ongoing abundance of innovations that have changed our entire lives. Even the airports that help us get from point A to point B have experienced their fair share of transformation – and they continue to do so, as we head further and further into the digital age that we have comfortably created on an ongoing basis throughout recent history. For airports specifically, technological advancement and rapid digitalisation come in the form of revolutionising and advancing the convenience and efficiency of the check in and boarding processes that travellers go through as they prepare for their upcoming flights. There are many other instances in which technological advancement and rapid digitalisation are impacting airports and the flight industry in all the right ways, but the instances with check in and boarding processes are the most instrumental of them all. What seems like a rocky beginning now is set to become a much smoother process in due time.

The worldwide web and its impact on economic growth

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Not unlike practically every innovation the world has experienced, the technological advancements that we are seeing come to vivid life every single day are proof that we have become positively obsessed with our own progression as a species. As this realisation dawns on the world, it becomes exceedingly obvious that the introduction and constantly ongoing advancement of a technological innovation like the worldwide web is ever-exciting. In fact, if technologies are the prominent force in a surging new era, then the internet is the most powerful technological advancement the world has ever seen. Even so, the nagging question that refuses to budge, to back down, is how much impact the internet has truly had on economic growth throughout its relatively short existence thus far. While there have been some concerns surrounding the genuine impact the worldwide web has on economic growth, the reality is that the internet has had one of the most profound (if not the most profound) impacts on the economy and its evolution. But how?

The internet’s influence on global economic growth has been steady since the dawn of its inception, having recently kicked into high gear to establish a stronger standing point. Thanks to the internet, there is a whole new world of opportunities out there awaiting to be brought to thriving life. The internet has had an astounding impact on the evolution of our recent history. The internet has changed the way we work, socialise, create, share information and important data, organise, and travel. Practically every facet of life as we know it has been, without a doubt, fundamentally and profoundly transformed by the rise and continuous growth of the internet, and the economy is no exception. The worldwide web was a technological innovation that was special, right from the very first moment of its introduction to the world. At the initial time of its first steps in the world, it was thought by many that the internet would be but a passing phase, with no lasting impact or ability to move beyond the reputation of a niche concept.

This preconceived notion was quickly and swiftly proven definitively wrong. The internet gave the world a very real sense of instantaneous global connection that has opened doorways and windows to new possibilities, not only professionally but personally as well. The internet has opened a whole new can of worms for economic growth. Thanks to the rise of the internet, there is an entirely new frontier in the world of business. As consumer interest becomes exceedingly focused on the online market created by the internet, businesses are expanding at unprecedented rates. This has created more jobs, giving the economy a solid boost when it comes to professional progression and a healthy economy as far as financial standing and career evolution goes. More and more people are going to work driven to succeed by their passion for said work, and the internet has made it possible for practically any individual to have access to any career trajectory, so long as they are willing to do the work to get there.

Additionally, the internet is the single largest advertising platform and strategy. From the marketing tactics to steer users towards the best and most easily accessible local cables, to entire empires advertising their entire companies online, the internet has given businesses the world over an equal platform that spans the globe. This type of unstoppable worldwide exposure gives businesses the chance to drawn in more consumers – something that, prior to the internet, was not nearly as easily achieved. Economic growth has been given a significant (and ongoing, for that matter) boost, thanks to the internet giving businesses and consumers alike a global opportunity and platform to definitively lean into their respective positions in the marketplace; consumers, as the eager buyers, and businesses, as the exhilarating and rousing bridges for both the creation of more jobs and the more global platform for connectivity and engagement (both key contributing factors towards a stronger economic future). Through the internet, everything from medical discoveries to the latest event in one’s social circle, can be (and often is) executed largely online, making us more connected and capable than ever – a strong positive for the continuous growth of the global economy moving forward.

Of all the technological innovations that have had a significant impact on the world, the internet is arguably the most influential of them all. Hailed as the leading global technological innovation, the internet has proven its value time and again – and continues to do so with every passing day. Just as every innovation to roll out into the world’s eyesight, the internet has not come without its challenges, but even in the face of these challenges the internet has continued to go from strength to strength, changing the world – and improving economic growth in the process – from the inside out. There is quite a lot to be said about the immense power the internet holds, and all that it makes possible, and that is that global economic growth and ongoing evolution would not be nearly as fruitful as it is today, thanks in no small part to the internet. We have only just scratched the surface with what the internet can do for economic growth, but even so, the promise is exhilarating and thrilling.

The Ever-Changing Landscape of IT and Software Development

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Technology is changing life as we know it. As machines learn to drive and fly, clean and organize, talk and provide information, they will become an integral part of our lives. Information Technology (IT) and software development are at the heart of this change.

This article provides a brief review of IT and software development and the evolution of software development. Read on to learn how the ever-changing landscape of IT and software development influences and interacts with technological change during the digital revolution.

What Is Information Technology?

The field of Information Technology (IT) uses systems for the storage, retrieval, manipulation, and transmission of information. IT systems are commonly used as subsets of information, telecommunication, and computers.

The term IT encompasses all the mechanisms involved in the operation of a system, and can refer to any of the following components:

  • Hardware—the physical components of the system
  • Software—the digital operating information of the system
  • Peripheral equipment—physical devices that add functionality to the system
  • Electronics—the chips and transistors that allow systems to make simple decisions
  • Semiconductors—contain multiple electronic components that speed up the system’s processes
  • Internet—the global network that enables information exchange via the Internet protocol
  • Telecom equipment—hardware devices that enable information exchange over large distances

What Is Software Development?

The software is the state contained in the neurons within the brain, plus the instincts that are encoded into our DNA. Software controls the processes and functions of the components that make up the computer.

The field of software development covers the processes of creating software components, and can include any of the following stages:

  • Idea—creating the core function of the software and identifying the targeted audience.
  • Research—acquiring relevant information about the market and users. The analysis of the information will determine whether you should go through with the project.
  • Specs—creating a detailed document that contains the guidelines for the desired outcome of the project. The Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document helps guide contributors such as project developers, engineers, and designers. These individuals work together to create the software.  
  • Design—a detailed plan that guides the implementation of the SRS. If the specs refer to the ‘what’ of your project, the design outlines the ‘how’.
  • Programming—this is the practical stage of the process, which involves writing the software.
  • Documenting—To keep track of all the information generated through the process, developers create documentation for each project. The documents contain vital information about the software components. This information is used to ensure the software remains up to date. .
  • Testing—this is when you examine the viability of your software—is it doing what it’s meant to do? You can test your software during any stage of the development process to ensure that the final product is as error-free as possible.
  • Debugging—you tested your software and found that it contains errors. It’s time to fix and remove the bugs you identified. You might like to run another test afterward to ensure that you identified all the bugs. It’s usually easier to debug software before deployment.
  • Modification—if the final software doesn’t seem to meet the client expectations, the developer will be asked to modify the software. These are usually small changes that can be executed quickly.
  • Re-engineering—this process involves making substantial changes to the structure and design of the software. It can happen if a client is disappointed with the final version of the software. Alternatively, a software owner might decide to hire a different developer to make improvements to the existing software.
  • Maintenance—allows developers to correct errors or faults in the software after deployment. Although the software is live it still needs continuous care. Maintainance is usually done through the regular deployment of software updates.

While all of these components of software development are important, you can choose which processes are relevant for your project. You may also opt to run several processes simultaneously.

The Evolution of Software Development

In the 1950s, structured programming was born. Consumerism was booming, capitalism was expanding, and large conglomerates wanted to improve their business processes. To improve the computing processes of that time, developers created a structure of selection and repetition that improved the clarity and quality of the software.

The structured programming paradigm soon evolved into the waterfall methodology of software development. The waterfall breaks down the software development process into cyclical stages in which one step of the development builds on the next. The waterfall methodology usually starts with a requirement from the client, then proceeds to the design, implementation, verification, and ends with maintenance. There’s a clear beginning and ending to each project, which allows for a well-ordered structure of development processes.

Since the introduction of the waterfall methodology in the 1960s, many more paradigms have been developed. Yet waterfall development remained popular for years to come. Until, the 1990s when agile methods, such as Scrum and Crystal, emerged. Developers wanted to improve the development process and find an alternative to the strict waterfall paradigm.

The agile software development manifesto was written in 2001, introducing a paradigm that focuses on dynamic, continuous, and user-centric processes. Collaboration and people became the center of software development. The long and tedious planning involved in the waterfall process was replaced with quick software production.

Once the agile methodology replaced the clear structure of the waterfall, more development paradigms emerged. As inventors, developers, and computer science professionals worked side by side, their collaborative efforts gave birth to a flood of new and improved technologies.

Technological Change During the Digital Revolution

In the 20th century, Technological Change (TC) has given rise to the digital revolution. The process of technological invention and its distribution became quicker than ever. Software was no longer seen as a strictly commercial product, but also as an open source codebase. When software became available for public use, developers were no longer forced to write software from scratch.

Unfortunately, even as technology improved, it is never entirely secure. For example, while open source provides developers with ready-to-use modular components, it also opens the door to attacks. Developers and cybersecurity experts need to use vulnerabilities databases such as the NVD (National Vulnerability Database) and its CVSS v3 scores, as well as more advanced threat intelligence solutions, to keep track of all them.

As threats become more sophisticated, the process of software development becomes interchangeable with cybersecurity and IT. When threats come from any direction, everyone involved with the creation and maintenance of a piece of technology needs to join forces. Especially in a time in where technology touches almost every aspect of our lives.

New technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain disrupt entire industries as they make their way into our homes and our lives. The smarter your home, the more its operating tech knows about you. Do you know who listens on the other side of your smart coffee machine? Who maintains the intelligent device that keeps track of every step you take?

Nowadays, everyone retains data on everyone. From 500 future companies, Internet and cellular service providers, the government, and the guy you sent a file to via Dropbox. In the age of big data, software serves as the conductor and the channel through which information is distributed. A machine is powerless without its software. Therefore, software is at the heart of continuous technological change.

In a time when technology is used to crack human DNA and enhance human capabilities, there’s no telling where development will take us next. The landscape is ever-changing and the new best thing is only a few pieces of code away.

How Individual Influencers Have Managed to Make a Living from Instagram

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Over the course of the last few years, social media platforms have drastically changed how companies can market their product or service. However, it is not just businesses that have learned how to target users and to create a community that manages to pay the bills. The rise of the influencer has created a new set of opportunities and headaches for those navigating the social media platform. From simply a way to share photos with family and friends, it is now possible to make a living from engaging with followers and working with brands.

Much of this has to do with the fact that the platform itself has gone through a number of changes within the past few years. After being acquired by Facebook in 2012, the platform has transformed into a way to make documenting your lifestyle a full-time job. Advertising is now available as an option for individual creators as well as businesses, and you don’t have to have a social media manager in order to develop a following that attracts the attention of brands who want to partner together.

This began when brands began to reach out to celebrities who already had a decent following because of their public status. These figures could be paid for promoting a certain product or service, and companies would hope that a celebrity endorsement would be enough to direct buyers to their site. Over time, celebrities were not the only people who were contacted for these partnerships, and those with a large following could also make money while promoting a brand. It also extended to those who had built a following on their own, either from exceptional photography, or personality-driven posts.

The rise of the Instagram influencer has made the switch from publications and companies controlling the content that people see to individuals having more “influence” than traditional media. While a company might have the same amount of followers, there is no guarantee that they will be able to sell a product more effectively than an individual, who might have more of a personal connection with their followers. While various companies might work with individuals with a specific amount of people following their account, or they might choose influencers who have a type of audience that targets their product or service.

Some influencers have even managed to make a living from working with companies on campaigns. Lifestyle, travel, and fitness influencers can charge businesses to promote products on their channels, and it is not uncommon to see sponsored posts coming from the most successful influencers. Because it is such a new industry, there are not always clear guidelines on how much influencers can make from posts, but it is suggested that influencers with a following of over 150k might make as much as $2000 a post. This also depends if they have agreed include products within their stories or IGTV accounts, as well.

Inevitably, this has led to companies and individuals looking to see how they can promote themselves better on Instagram. They might choose to purchase third-party applications in order to better manage posts or to analyze analytics. Some have even chosen to buy Instagram followers as a way capitalize on this new market. Even by appearing as though a company or influencer might have a large audience, they can attract new people by looking as though they already have a solid following. While this has been debated by the social media site if it should be allowed or not, brands and influencers are finding it hard to compete without being able to use some additional tools.

An Instagram following as led several people to move beyond the platform, and it is not uncommon to see these individuals create blogs, videos, obtain book deals, or even move into true celebrity simply by personality. This has been the case for figures such as Cardi B, who now makes a living touring as a rapper. While it is a very small segment of people who manage to rise above the platform into actual fame, the possibility does exist. This has not only added to the number of people who have joined Instagram, but also those who are looking to use it as a way to create income.

This has made the platform even more crowded for potential want-to-be influencers, who are finding it more difficult than ever to compete with established brands. This is only likely to become more of a challenge in the future as more accounts start to succeed and there is a smaller piece of the Instagram pie to take part of. Nonetheless, Instagram has established a new norm of curated content that directly addresses customers and allows for engagement in a way that other platforms do not.

Why everyone should be actively making use of cybersecurity efforts

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The world that we live in is positively immersed in and surrounded by digitalisation and technological advancement. We have created this world to be exactly what we intended it to be, and so it is. There is practically nothing that exists in this modern world that would, if we did not want it to be here. We are the masters of our universe, and it is something that becomes more and more important to take effective control of as time goes on. Widespread technological influence and digitalisation are innovations that have effectively propelled our world right into the digital era that we are now so inherently familiar with. The more that technologies become available to us, the more we are inclined to make use of them, to the point of no return sometimes. Further, the more time that we spend online, the more information we are offloading into the digital landscape, and that can be a security problem. Today, it is more important than ever to actively and consistently safeguard one’s privacy and security online.

Cybersecurity is more important a fundamental pillar of society than it has ever been. When people hear this, they generally disregard it, saying that they know how to protect themselves and that they always have. Others simply ignore the advice. But the people who are aware and willing to ensure their own protection and preservation in this digital age and beyond, are the ones who are truly protected – and who are the smartest for having had the forethought to do so. Consider the number of times a day that you log into your usual websites, or even visit the worldwide web. Now consider how long you spend online. And finally, think about how often you are entering letters and numbers off the keyboard on your device. Over time, all these sessions browsing online, all these seldom-considered typed movements in the digital landscape, accumulate to create a wealth of information that sits online and becomes more at-risk the longer and more expansive it becomes.

There are various cybersecurity networks that an individual or a business can use to safeguard themselves against online threats. A VPN (virtual private network), for example, is an effective way to essentially create a cloak of invisibility around one’s activity and roaming online. Similarly, anti-malware software works its magic by creating a virtual barrier of sorts around your device to protect it and alert you when threats and risks present themselves on your device. On and on the elevations go. Cybersecurity is more instrumental than ever, because we are spending more time than ever online. The reality is that cybersecurity is just as important for individuals as it is for entire industries, if not more so. Individuals have just as much to lose (if not more, arguably) than whole companies. Cybersecurity is so important, because without it there is no barrier, no cloak of invisibility, to secure privacy and protection online and for the party involved in the online activity. We simply cannot afford to be casual about cybersecurity anymore, the risks are too great now. In fact, they have been for a while.

Ensuring one’s privacy and security in the online stratosphere becomes more and more important the more often that they spend time online, because the nature of supply and demand is that the more information there is out there, the higher the potential risk of privacy and security threats effectively becoming disruptions. Sometimes, these disruptions are relatively harmless, but there are instances (and unfortunately, they are instances that are becoming more and more common as time goes on) where online threats become dangerous, threatening and stealing and all other manner of negative responses. The simple fact is that not everyone in the world is decent and kind and good, and the continuous advancement and expansion of the online stratosphere means that there is more opportunity than ever for undesirable parties to take advantage of the ever-growing wealth of information available online. Cybersecurity is no longer a niche bonus, but a necessity for everyone that spends time online.

We live in a world of our own creation. This is a world that is inherently immersed in feats of digitalisation and rapid technological advancement. It is an intriguing era, and one that we are all positively immersed in. The digital age is well and truly here, with technological innovations like the worldwide web and social media driving the era ever-forward. In a world where the average individual spends more time than ever online, it is more important than ever that we all take a step back and actively and consistently pursue cybersecurity measures. Never has there been an era that is as digitally immersive or entirely encapsulating, as this, here, today. In times past, people have not spent nearly enough time seriously considering the impact that their approach to their own privacy and security has on their own privacy and security. Therefore, cybersecurity measures are so fundamentally important, and why they will continue to be so moving forward. This is the digital age, and we must do our part to ensure our own protection and preservation here and now, and going into the future.