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7 hacks for creating design systems

Design is one of the most integral components of things you see and take for granted every single day. Without design systems, everything would be bland and unexciting. Design systems consist of several different components that can be used and reused in a variety of combinations. As a result, they allow you to manage designs on a scale basis. Generally speaking, they have very clean visual styles within a specific user interface or UI. Overall, there are seven ways to hack design systems for your business.

Color

Color is a big thing in design systems, and it is important to ensure that the right color codes and shades are used in every design. Generally speaking, you want to include at least one to three primary colors within your scheme to represent your brand. Many designs also include a variety of tints and shades mixed with white or black, respectively, to give off a distinctive style.

Imagery

Every design system must have exceptional imagery. In order to have the right design to work, you must have a specific plan for your visual design and adhere to that. You should create a guideline for images and include a mix of icons and illustrations for your brand. Creating the right format depending on the theme is the best way to convey your imagery.

Typography

All design systems have two specific fonts. Successful typography within a design system includes one font for the headings and the body of text as well as another simple, mono type font for the code. There are only two fonts used so as to keep things simple so that you can draw the user’s attention. Using too many fonts is problematic due to the overuse of styles and will be confusing to your users. There may also be an issue of slower performance online when you use multiple fonts.

Sizing and Spacing

Sizing and spacing is important in design systems. You have to come up with the best overall look for your design, which means using the right size for images and type as well as appropriate spacing. Generally speaking, the best method for sizing and spacing is the four-based scale so your design can be used on all different size screens, including computers and mobile systems.

Patterns

Having a pattern library for your design is important as well. You can come up with a few options by taking the components of your UI and playing with everything to see what works the best.

Components

Components are parts of the UI that can be reused depending on your project. Things like buttons, links, modal forms and input fields are examples of components that can be reused within your web design.

Code and Implementation for Design

When using all the individual components that make up design systems as a cohesive unit, the developer is able to create better UI flow as a whole.

When you have all these components in place for your design system, you will have an overall better experience for all your users. Everything will be clear and concise, and you will be better able to convey your brand’s message to a broader audience, which will secure your success.

Read Next: 7 API testing tips for beginners

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The growing problem associated with adware and how to stay safe

Millions of computers all around the world are bombarded with advertisements every time users try to find something on the Internet. These devices become slower and sometimes freeze. If your computer shows such symptoms so, most likely, it is infected with adware.

What is adware?

Adware is a term that describes unwanted (and often harmful) software that displays ads on computers and mobile devices. Some experts call it – an adware virus or a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Such programs are usually installed without the user’s permission. Adware interferes with the user’s browsing experience and displays excessive amounts of pop-ups, banners, text link ads, and sometimes auto-plays video commercials. The goal of any adware is to generate income for its creator by displaying all those excessive ads.

Different types of adware

There are two main adware types. Classification is based on the penetration method:

  • Type 1 – adware penetrates the device together with freeware
  • Type 2 – adware penetrates the device via infected websites

Free programs that are massively available on the Internet are not completely free. They often come bundled with adware. To fund the development and distribution of free programs, their creators must monetize them by adding additional programs to the installation files. This type of adware is not really malicious, but it can be very annoying.

Adware is sometimes confused with spyware. The latter works, similarly, but it represents a separate program. Such malware also gets downloaded without user knowledge. Spyware tracks user’s browsing actions on the Internet to display targeted advertisements. This, of course, involves the collection of different (sometimes private) information about users.

The second type of adware is often associated with web browser hijacking. Infection happens when users visit an infected website that has malicious scripts resulting in unauthorized adware installation. Once infected users browse their favorite sites, they are actively shown ads. In this case, users think those advertisements come from the websites they are viewing at the moment, but actually ads are being shown as a result of the adware activity that was installed on the device.

Adware activities

People are so used to banners and various pop-ups when they browse certain sites that it is often hard for them to distinguish whether the device is infected with adware or not.

Below are several signs that indicate adware is installed:

  • Web browser’s home page has been changed without user’s permission
  • Advertisements appear where they ordinary should not be placed
  • Websites redirect visitors to unanticipated pages
  • The web page layout is displayed in a different way each time users visit the web page
  • The web browser is awfully slow and often malfunctions
  • Unwanted programs get installed automatically
  • New plugins, toolbars, or extensions appear without user consent
  • PC resource consumption (like CPU usage) is not steady and jumps all the time

How dangerous is adware?

Most adware pieces are more annoying than really dangerous. Annoying activities have mostly to do with a constant display of text ads, banners, and pop-ups that appear inside the browser window while users search for some information. Random pages or bookmarks may unexpectedly open. The computer begins to work slower, and more different malfunctions occur.

At the same time, there are some cases when adware collects the user’s data. In this scenario, the developer will try to sell the user’s ad profile that contains browsing history and includes IP address, performed searches, and visited websites.

How to prevent adware from infecting devices?

To stop adware from being installed, it is important to exercise caution when visiting web sites that look suspicious. Users should also be incredibly careful while downloading free software and download all programs only from trusted sources. While downloading freeware, the installation wizard may show small pre-checked checkboxes that indicate you agree to install additional “bundled” software. These pieces often represent the adware family.

When browsing the Internet, it is better not to click any ads, alerts, or notifications. For example, cyber crooks like to show alerts that say this PC is infected with serious viruses, and therefore an antivirus scan is strongly recommended. A lot of people fall victim to this cunning deception and unwittingly install adware.

In addition to the above tips, users should ensure that their operating system as well as all other software, are regularly updated. Non-updated software is vulnerable to many types of hacker attacks as malware may exploit their security holes.

Certain security settings that are available on Windows, Apple, and other devices can be enabled to protect users from downloading adware. One such precaution has to do with configuring the web browser to block all pop-ups. It is also particularly important to carefully check each file that gets download from the Internet, Online scanners like Virus Total may help here. The best antiviruses like AVG or Avast can also provide real-time web protection.

How to remove adware?

Those users that have adware installed on their devices, and they are tired of constantly closing pop-ups and tabs, especially on smartphones, where these things eat battery power, should take immediate action. It is recommended to use special antimalware solutions like Malwarebytes to get rid of adware.

About Author:
David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 17 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs Privacy-PC.com and MacSecurity.net projects that present expert opinions on contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, malware, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy, and white hat hacking. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with the recent focus on ransomware countermeasures.

Read Next: Ten things startups need to know about cybersecurity

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Top DevOps Services – Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM and Microsoft

In recent years, the many technological advancements and changing customer demands have drastically changed the way organizations operate. Organizations are now becoming more lean and agile. And to become agile, most of them are transforming by utilizing a combination of automation and DevOps approach.

So, what is DevOps? The term DevOps is strongly aligned with lean and agile concepts. This involves practices and tools that enhance the ability of an organization to deliver its services quickly and efficiently. It breaks the barriers between the IT department in an organization and enables more collaboration making the whole development and delivery process more effective and efficient.

Some other benefits of DevOps include:

  • Reduction in environment downtime by more than 70 percent
  • Reduction in time spent or coding by almost 70-80 percent
  • Reduction in development effort by 30 percent

With every passing day, more and more organizations see DevOps as their preferred software development model. According to Grand View Research, the coming years are going to be big for DevOps: Globally, the DevOps market size is expected to be worth $12.85 billion by 2025.  

Cloud computing forms the basis of DevOps tools available today and makes DevOps implementation part easier. It helps organizations by making every step of DevOps operation successful. Through cloud technology, apps can be easily developed and tested in multiple environments. This saves time, reduces cost, increases efficiency, and is more secure too. The best part is the fact that you pay for only what you use.

DevOps services of leading vendors

If you are someone looking for information about DevOps service on the cloud, then this article can help you. We have researched and shared information about the five best cloud service providers from the DevOps perspective: Alibaba Cloud vs AWS vs Google Cloud vs IBM vs Microsoft.

#1 Alibaba Cloud

DevOps Services
Source: Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud offers powerful DevOps services which can cover all life cycle of DevOps. Most of its tools and services support multi-cloud environment.

It provides some open source tools like Terraform, Ansible, Chef, and Packer to allow users to easily build their environment. With the support of Terraform and Packer, users can swiftly deploy their applications and infrastructure on Alibaba Cloud. Subsequently, Alibaba Cloud users can save time and focus on everyday business-critical needs.

Furthermore, Alibaba Cloud provides Cloud Container Service that supports the use of Kubernetes clusters to manage container applications in it. It provides some other features like service orchestration, service discovery, auto-scaling, and failure schedule.

There are other products such as Function Compute and ROS by Alibaba Cloud to support the DevOps lifecycle.

Main benefits of Alibaba Cloud DevOps services:

  • They cover all life cycles of DevOps and support multi-cloud.
  • There are wide varieties of open source tools and services that Alibaba Cloud provides. Hence, giving you more power to choose your own products as per your business requirements.
  • The automated O&M tools help users manage complex cloud infrastructure, quickly create images, and deploy applications on multi-cloud infrastructure.
  • Alibaba Cloud provides data protection from DDoS attacks for free.

Visit website: Alibaba Cloud

Also read: Database Migration Comparison: AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, IBM, Alibaba Cloud

#2 AWS

DevOps Services
Source: AWS

AWS (Amazon Web Services) offers a variety of tools aimed at supporting DevOps services practices in the cloud. Some of the core services provided by AWS for DevOps are CodeBuild, CodePipeline, and CodeDeploy. CodeBuild and CodeDeploy help users to automate the container’s delivery and deployment process.

AWS CodeBuild helps to automate the process of building code where it gets compiled, tested, and deployed. It makes sure that your copies of produced artifacts are maintained and stay secure. Then there is AWS Code Deploy that makes it simple for you to manage the builds and helps in instant patch and upgrade at once.

CodePipeline is a continuous delivery service that lets AWS users create a channel or pipeline where all the processes can be automated, required to release the software.

AWS also supports open-source tools like Chef, Puppet, Jenkins, and more.

Main benefits of AWS DevOps services:

  • It simplifies provisioning and infrastructure management and helps you deliver the services at high velocity.
  • It increases the efficiency of the overall software development lifecycle processes.
  • It gives you more control over who can access your resources through AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM).
  • You only pay for services as and when you use them.

Visit website: AWS

Also read: Load balancer comparison: Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM

#3 Google Cloud

Source: Google Cloud

The search giant also provides DevOps related tools and services. Google Cloud Platform manages the software development lifecycle by incorporating configuration management tools – Stackdriver Monitoring, Stackdriver debugger, Stackdriver Logging, and security scanner service (App Engine).

It also provides full cloud development solutions for platforms like Android Studio, Visual Studio, Eclipse, PowerShell, etc. Google Cloud offers management tools like Cloud Deployment Manager and Cloud Console.

Cloud Deployment Manager is an infrastructure deployment service that lets you completely focus on the development part as it automates the creation and management of Google Cloud Platform resources. DevOps team can describe the Deployment Manager about what their deployment should look like and they will apply the relevant tools and processes for you. Once the final procedure is created, it is further repeatable and scalable as required.

Cloud Console is a web-based interface that lets the DevOps team manage resources, monitor issues, reduce costs, and more.

Google Cloud also integrates with Jenkins on Container Engine which lets you manage containers and deploy resources when needed, making your pipeline more organized.

Main benefits of Google Cloud DevOps services:

  • It automates builds, test, and deployment operations.
  • It provides monitoring feature that accelerates the troubleshooting, and resumes the apps and services back to their correct state.
  • It has one of the largest computer networks.
  • It is secure and cost-efficient.

Visit website: Google Cloud

Also read: Top public cloud storage providers in 2020 (with comparison)

#4 IBM

Source: IBM

IBM introduced DevOps Insights as a set of DevOps services in the cloud. DevOps insights provides comprehensive insights of data across your DevOps tools to boost speed with quality and control. The DevOps Insights integrates with Jenkins, urban code, Travis CI, and many other open-source DevOps tools. It automatically monitors your deployment risks on the basis of test data that you publish.

IBM DevOps Insights can accept data from IBM, third party, or open-source tools. It also supports multi-cloud deployment. With Insights, you can access your apps and services’ status across all DevOps tools in your pipeline from a single dashboard. You can track how they are running, analyze, and yield valuable information as to which jobs are having problems while it runs, and which one is taking the longest time.

Further, you can troubleshoot the issue with your pipelines to increase your deployment velocity and get more control over the process.

Main benefits of IBM DevOps services:

  • It provides high speed with quality and control.
  • It has a better security model. It keeps your data encrypted when at rest or in transit and limits the data access to only those users who require it.
  • It automates the set-up process of the deployment pipeline.

Visit website: IBM Cloud

Also read: Cloud DNS management comparison: Alibaba, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft

#5 Microsoft

Source: Microsoft

Azure DevOps services involve continuous integration, continuous delivery, infrastructure as a code, monitoring tools, easy and automated provisioning, and configurations. It integrates with most leading DevOps tools in the market like Terraform, Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.

Azure DevOps comprises a wide range of services that cover the complete software development lifecycle. These are:

  • Azure Boards: Azure Boards is a web service that DevOps teams can use to manage their software projects. It offers features like customizable dashboards, native support for Scrum and Kanban, and integrated reporting. With this, you can also track your work quickly and easily.
  • Azure Pipelines: This is a cloud, CI/CD platform that supports containers or Kubernetes enabling you to build and test your code project automatically, quickly, and consistently.
  • Azure Repos: Use this set of tools to manage and track your code performance.
  • Azure Artifacts: It offers support for npm, Maven, Python, and NuGet package feeds from public and private sources.
  • Azure Test Plans: It offers rich and powerful solutions for planned manual testing, user acceptance testing, and exploratory testing.

Main benefits of Microsoft DevOps services:

  • They are globally available, reliable, and scalable. They also provide an SLA of 99.9% uptime.
  • You can use this to build, test, and deploy in any language to any cloud or on-premises.
  • Any size team can work on the same solution seamlessly.
  • Provides high security to your data.

 Visit website: Microsoft

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the concept of DevOps, its benefits, and how it fits in an organization’s software development lifecycle. We also have gone through and added information about major cloud service providers from a DevOps perspective.

Please help us improve this article by adding your suggestions in the comments section.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purpose only. Price, product and feature information are subject to change. This information has been sourced from the websites and relevant resources available in the public domain of the named vendors on 4 August 2020. DHN makes best endeavors to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date, however, it does not warrant or guarantee that anything written here is 100% accurate, timely, or relevant to the website visitors.

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How to use Python to scrape data effectively

When you hear terms like “Python coding”, “data science”, and “web scraping”, your mind might conjure up images of complex code being run by expert hackers. It’s actually far simpler than that. Thanks to how easy and intuitive Python is to learn, you can master the art of web scraping in a relatively short amount of time.

When getting into web scraping with Python, you might think it’s all about using RegEx, but it’s more about how you understand the data structure and layout of the website, much of which can be found in the CSS and HTML. So, if you have experience in HTML / CSS for website design, you’re halfway there.

This is because what you’re really doing with Python is telling it to display only the useful bits of information from a website’s HTML / CSS source code, depending on what type of information you need to extract.

There are a lot of scenarios where web scraping makes sense, such as:

  • Checking retail websites for discounts and promos or competing products.
  • Compiling trending topics from aggregation websites.
  • Scraping contact details of businesses and individuals.
  • Finding how many times a keyword is used on a page.

Getting ready to scrape

One of the first things you should do when planning to scrape is to analyze the target website. When getting into web scraping with Python, you might think it’s all about using RegEx, but it’s more about how you understand the data structure and layout of the website, much of which can be found in the CSS. Our basic tutorial below will cover some very simple HTML extraction, but you can learn a lot more in-depth stuff from this tutorial (bookmark it for reference).

For example, say you want to scrape the data from page headers, or buttons of different colors. These are things found in internal CSS, so analyzing the website’s architecture before you start spending a lot of time on your code will be very helpful.

Suggested Reading: Is Web Scraping Legal? : The Definitive Guide [2020 update]

Basic scraping tutorial with Beautiful Soup

To give an extremely basic example of scraping with Python, we’ll be grabbing the title from a website. It’s best to try this on your own website, even if you make a free WordPress blog or something.

You’ll need a few (free) packages for this, which are:

  • Requests
  • Beautiful Soup
  • LXML

You can install these easily with ‘pip install requests’,pip install beautifulsoup4’, and ‘pip install lxml’ on Windows, or ‘pip3 install x’’ on Mac. This should be followed by “import requests” and “import bs4” to get us started.

The reason we need these packages together is because Beautiful Soup cannot make requests by itself onto a webpage, so we need the Requests package along with it. LXML is a feature-rich library for processing XML/HTML in Python, so it’s also very useful to have.

Create an object with “res = requests.get(https://websitename.com’)

Now if you just type “res.text” it will display literally the entire contents of the webpage, kind of like what you would see if you clicked “View page source” in your browser. This isn’t really usable, so you need to extract the useful information from it, which is where Beautiful Soup comes in.

So, if you typed in your console:

soup = bs4.BeautifulSoul(res.text, ‘lxml’)

type(soup)

<class ‘bs4.BeautifulSoup’>

Hi = soup.select(‘title’)

So, what we did here was create a variable that instructs Beautiful Soup to extract the ‘title’ tags from the webpage’s source code. You could also pass on the anchor tag, for example, but it’s not a favorable strategy for extracting all of the links from a website.

So now if you simply type ‘hi’ in your console, it should output something like:

<title>Your website title here</title>

And so now it’s just a matter of experimenting and going through the data you extract in this manner, looking for patterns. For example, you could extract and display all of the header tags (H1, H2, H3) and find keywords being focused on, much faster than actually visiting the website in your browser and scrolling through the page yourself.

So, this is just an extremely basic example tutorial of what you can do with Python for scraping data. To go even deeper and get into the more complex stuff, you should experiment on your own website, and maybe take Python courses online that are specifically focused on web scraping.

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How COVID has impacted Asia and its road to recovery

Asia will forever be known as the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, which has spread rapidly across the globe and caused an estimated 583,892 deaths from 13,530,628 reported cases (as of July 16th).

This means that nations such as China and others in Asia were the first to implement and subsequently lift its lockdown measures, meaning that they’ve blazed something of a trail for others to follow in terms of socio-economic impact and recovery.

But how exactly has Covid-19 impacted on the Asia-Pacific region, and what does the road to recovery look like in the near and longer term.

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Asian Economy

Following the initial lockdown in Wuhan, China (where the outbreak first originated), it was thought that 80% of all local employees were impacted by the lockdown measures.

This has had a dramatic impact on businesses in Wuhan and indeed throughout China, as economic productivity stalled considerably throughout the first quarter. While this trend has gradually begun to reverse during the second quarter, it’s currently estimated that China’s total GDP will decline by approximately 8.5% by the end of 2020.

This is largely being underpinned by a vast reduction in consumer spending, as individual households have been hit particularly hard by job losses and business closures nationwide.

This trend has been replicated throughout the whole of Asia, thanks primarily to the level of supply chain reliance that exists between China and many neighbouring countries. In this respect, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia have been particularly affected, with the Asian region’s growth forecast for 2020 revised from 4.3% to just 3.8% since March.

Of course, the trend has also been exacerbated by the ascent of the Covid-19 outbreak into a truly global pandemic, with the production capacity in the world’s manufacturing capital having been negatively impacted by school closures and subsequent childcare issues.

This was also borne out by the outsourcing of production from China to nations such as Turkey, which took a huge chunk out of the economy in a short space of time.

The Long Road to Recovery

Fortunately, the road to recovery has already begun, and in this respect, the Asian market has been helped by its diverse range of growth markets.

For example, the decline in consumer spending impacted on travel and tourism particularly hard, while passenger volumes on Japanese trains declined by 50% during Q1 of 2020 alone. At the same time, Singapore and Asia remain prominent hubs for international supply chains, and this has impacted negatively on global exports and currency values.

However, other sectors have been far more resilient, particularly food (groceries), household services and IT, and this has allowed economies to refocus and remodel their efforts in a bid to optimise short-term growth.

For countries like Vietnam that rely on tourism, the government has also taken direct action by investing in local facilities and employment in a bid to drive a higher demand for domestic travel.

This type of proactive thinking, when allied with ongoing control measures such as wearing masks and promoting the importance of social distancing, can help Asia to continue its extended recovery from Covid-19 while simultaneously minimising the risk of further outbreaks.

About Author: Ed Smith

Read Next: 5 cloud computing trends for 2020 that will redefine cloud industry

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What is the Best Free Forum Platform in 2020?

If you are considering creating a forum, you want a platform that offers easy navigation, an attractive design, and exceptional performance. Like most people, you also want to choose one that is free. There is a wealth of open-source software to choose from, so how do you know which one will work best for your needs?

The first step is determining the type of forum you want to create. Do you want a bulletin board-style where users can post relevant content, or do you want to create a discussion forum to engage with others about the topics of interest? Discussion forums are the most popular forums, as they invite users to engage with each other. For a more in-depth guide on how to make a forum website, click the link.

The best platform for a discussion forum

Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is a free, professional, easy-to-use forum software that is designed to help users create an online community. You have complete control over the design and layout of the message board, and those on your forum can communicate freely with each other. The software is written in PHP, which is a scripting language designed for general purposes and forms the core of WordPress.

The features of SMF include:

  • Advanced user management options
  • Can support multiple languages simultaneously
  • Tracks new and old unread topics
  • SEO friendly
  • Mods can be automatically installed and uninstalled
  • Actions are IP locked, preventing ‘hammering.’ Hammering happens when a user attempts to connect to an unavailable FTP server with no time between attempts. Most sites have policies against hammering, requiring a specific interval between each effort to connect.
  • The ability to disable member registration at any time
  • Place the board in maintenance mode which allows only admins to log in
  • Require authentication via email by sending an authentication link
  • Tracking that includes traffic, new members, topics and hits per day
  • Communication via email or SMTP
  • Ban members who violate the terms of service by their email address, username, or IP address
  • An “insert quote” feature allowing users to quote from previous replies quickly

Why add a discussion forum to your website

Adding a discussion forum to your website can be a powerful tool to help build a stronger connection with your audience. In an interactive forum, you provide a space for users to communicate with each other and, in doing so, you learn about your target audience. It is a great way to determine what your audience cares about and identify products or content that is irrelevant.

You can also passively learn important marketing information such as:

  • The type of content or merchandise that gets the most traction
  • What time of day users on your site are most active?
  • The gender and age of your average user

A forum is a powerful tool for content marketing. Introducing anything from a blog post to a new product via the forum on your website gives you invaluable insight into what your audience is thinking. A forum gives you a more in-depth look at what matters to your audience and lets you create content or merchandise customized to their needs.

A forum also allows you to build a genuine relationship with your customers, which drives customer loyalty. A forum lets you provide a feeling of reciprocity to your audience, who likes to feel that they matter to the person, company, or brand they have taken the time to visit. Taking the time to create and manage a forum on your website is a small reward to visitors and will provide an incentive for them to return again and again.

It gives you a chance to speak openly about your brand and the person or people behind it in a personalized way. No matter how terrific your marketing is, there is little that can compare to speaking directly to your customers. A forum has the potential to become a powerful voice about your brand. Two-sided interaction is a unique experience for consumers, and a well-managed forum allows you to create a space where your audience feels as though they are being heard.

A forum is also a great place to share information about things of importance to you. If you have a blog about parenting, but also love to cook, you can create a recipe board on your forum that encourages readers to interact and share their favorite recipes. If your website is about your construction business, but you are also passionate about the environment, you can create a place in your forum to discuss environmental concerns.

Using your forum for multiple purposes can have an added advantage of driving traffic to your site from unexpected sources. You might also find that when someone needs a new roof, they visit the construction website where they have been spending time talking about their concerns over global warming.

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Scientific Thinking: Processes, methods, and approaches with reference to Deep Tech

One of the key drivers of economic growth nowadays is innovation, and it involves substantial investment in research and development (R&D). While general tech companies have made a global impact in improving the quality of life, deep tech startups are redefining the concept of innovation and are dubbed the ‘next wave of global disruptors’.

Deep tech startups are based on advanced scientific advances and high-tech engineering innovations. They have attracted unprecedented traction across all sectors and their impact is being felt everywhere.

From blockchain to advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advances in biotech and medicine (picture cancer-detecting devices and fake drug detectors), this tech has the potential to solve global pressing issues and change lives, for the better.

However, building a startup that thrives on deep tech requires a different playbook due to the nascent and complex nature of these technologies. In this post, we’ll discuss the steps and scientific processes involved in establishing and commercializing deep tech startups.

1. Discovery

Akin to the ideation stage in general tech startups, the discovery stage is what lays the foundation and basis for deep tech.

Discovery is all about identifying a need that cannot be solved by the existing technology. For example, a cancer research scientist might discover that a certain type of cancer cannot be treated with chemotherapy and conceptualize new ideas about tech that could solve the problem.

The discovery phase is an important part of the design thinking process and it aims to generate, develop, actualize, and communicate ideas. As fun as this stage may sound, it’s not without challenges.

For instance, the idea might be rejected on the basis of novelty. At times, cognitive bias might kick in, causing other parties to reject the idea even without further consultation. To overcome this, it’s great to stay clear of the goals and objectives of the tech in mind and take into account every variable that might affect the introduction of such technologies.

But the discovery process isn’t exclusive to deep tech startups. Many processes that require prior planning, such as the SQL server blocking, also starts with the discovery phase. In this context, discovery entails gaining an in-depth understanding of your data systems to build a migration plan. Likewise, discovery in deep tech startups entails identifying the key pain points and gathering market intelligence that will help to support your idea.

2. Advocacy & Screening

Advocacy and screening help to weigh the idea’s potential benefits and challenges. These two processes take place simultaneously and help to squash ideas that lack potential, which is easier than having them rejected by stakeholders solely on the basis of their novelty.

This phase is very important when assessing the potential of deep tech startups for two reasons:

(i) Funding

Deep tech startups require a significant amount of capital to develop and scale. A recent Hello Tomorrow survey published by BCG revealed that developing the first prototype in biotech on average costs around $1.3 million. While deep tech has far-reaching potential, many startups seek funding in the early research phase—long before the prototype is unveiled to customers, leaving investors with no KPIs with which they can evaluate the product’s market potential.

Additionally, deep tech lacks third-party standardization, which again makes it hard for investors to assess the risks or potential returns, since there are no comparable products in the market.

However, screening helps to ease the investor’s burden in many ways. Researchers in the Innovation: Management, Policy, and Practice study identified refinement as the core advantage of advocacy & screening. If the idea has potential, advocacy and screening can help to refine and enhance it, making it more attractive and understandable to investors.

(ii) Growth Capacity

Sometimes, researchers are stymied when approached by potential investors because they’re unclear about the growth potential of their projects. Advocacy and screening help to map out the project’s future prospects and all the needs that will be addressed.

3. Research and Development (R&D)

The R&D phase is what distinguishes deep tech startups from general tech companies.

This stage encompasses experimentation and testing and lots of money is spent on design and engineering. The amount of time dedicated to R&D varies from company to company though it’s significantly longer than the time needed to develop an innovation based on existing technology.

According to data from the deep tech startups surveyed by Hello Tomorrow, it takes 4 years to develop a technology in biotech. Some advanced technologies can take longer, to the tune of 50 years. For instance, it took decades to develop the underlying technology behind AI.

During research and development, multiple experiments are done to determine the product’s feasibility. At times, the development phase can lead to new ideas as more information is gathered, and many elements tested.

The development phase has changed dramatically over the years due to the advancement of technology which has led to the introduction of robust design and prototyping tools. For example, 3D printing and computer-aided design tools have revolutionized prototyping, making it an easy and straightforward process.

4. Commercialization

At the end of the R&D phase, comes commercialization, which is the process of bringing high-tech innovations to the market. Commercialization is not a straightforward process and can be broken down into several phases, which include:

  • Initial introduction
  • Training
  • Mass production
  • Distribution

As you move through each phase, you’ll receive customer feedback and may need to refine or improve the product to meet the customer needs.

However, the commercialization process is marred by many challenges. Besides funding and lack of third-party standardization, commercialization of deep tech faces many challenges some of which may hamper its widespread adoption

For instance, since the tech is new to the market, commercialization is often hampered by lack of matching business infrastructure and human talents. It can be difficult to educate the partners and even the public when you don’t have the right resources.

Moreover, humans by nature resist change, and it can be hard for people to embrace what they don’t understand. This explains why training is critical to the success of the commercialization phase and it can also be stymied by lack of skilled personnel.

In addition to marketing challenges, industrial and cultural barriers may also thwart commercialization of deep tech. If the tech results in environmental pollution or violates certain religious or cultural beliefs, it may be antagonized by the public.

Read Next: Voice and visual expansions are internet’s next step in search tech

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Articles Cybersecurity

Ten things startups need to know about cybersecurity

When starting and growing a business, fledgling entrepreneurs are usually overwhelmed with the day-to-day running of activities that they seldom consider their enterprise’s safety. Thus, most startups give little consideration in protecting their business from cybercriminals and do not factor in the cost of cybersecurity in their budget. Granted, there might be many pressing issues that demand time and finance at the onset of a business, however, cybersecurity should still be of utmost priority and integrated into every business’s plan and budget because one hack is all it takes to ruin a business.

With the rate of cybercriminals and cyberattacks rising steadily over the years, it is highly imperative for startups to not only employ the services of a cybersecurity firm but to be aware of the major causes and mistakes that make most businesses vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) : Acronis – Omdia Report

Here are 10 things every startup must know to safeguard their company.

1. Add cost of security to budget

Where most entrepreneurs get it wrong is at the budgeting and planning stage of their startup. They do not see security as a fundamental necessity in the early days. Consequently, they never factor in the cost of cybersecurity services when drafting the company’s budget. More often than not, this lack of foresight in security measures inadvertently makes most startups easy prey for cyber attackers.

2. Startups are not invulnerable

Most times, new founders like to nurse the notion that their startup’s relatively small size somehow makes them inconspicuous to hackers. However, what they fail to note is that big or small startup, hackers do not discriminate. Cyber attackers spread malicious malware using scripts that exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s system. If you are running a startup, do not make the mistake of leaving your business unprotected by harboring the notion that hackers are not concerned with new companies. Always ensure to protect your business against cyberthreats from the first day of launching.

3. Educate your employees

Cybercriminals exploit the ignorance of people to gain access to sensitive information. Granted, your employees are the backbone of your organization, but they are also the weakest link. It’s your responsibility to inform and educate your workers about the cunning devices of hackers and cybercriminals. The latest security protocols and information must be readily and speedily disseminated through calls, messages, and memos, to always keep your team security conscious. You can benefit from the advantages of using HughesNet Voice to communicate with members of your workforce wherever you are without having to worry about network interruptions and communications breakdown.

4. Beware of ransomware

If you have not heard of or experienced a ransomware attack before, you better guard yourself against it, so you don’t fall victim. Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts files on a mobile device or laptop. The malware prevents you from accessing your information except you pay a ransom, after which the hacker will provide you with a key to decrypt your files. Most hackers will charge anything from $500-$3,000 as ransom. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the hacker will provide the decrypting code, anyway. Always back up your company’s file on a secure server regularly so you can easily retrieve your files should you fall victim of ransomware.

5. Tighten your website’s security

Your website should have security features like SSL that encrypts sensitive information and prevents unauthorized access to your files. When you use an SSL certificate on your site, you can comfortably send and receive data using an encrypted connection. More importantly, if your company stores customers’ credentials online, an SSL will prevent hackers from gaining access to such sensitive files. Also, customers are more willing to trust a website with SSL security, so be sure to enable it on your site.

6. Be cautious of phishing

The easiest and most common way for your startup to fall prey to cyberattacks is through phishing. Phishing occurs when hackers create a similar webpage of a popular website and ask people for their login details. Once these hackers collect these passwords, they may steal sensitive information and sell them on the dark web. When running a startup, all workers should receive training to spot phishing attempts and never submit login details on any website.

7. Use two-way verification systems

Sometimes, hackers can discover passwords to your files when you or your employees submit such information on a phishing site. The best way to prevent unauthorized login is to use a two-way verification system that works by asking for a specially generated code after entering a password. This code could either be sent to you or a worker in charge.

8. Have varying levels of access

Not everyone is your company should have full access to complete information. The fewer the people that are privy to sensitive information, the lesser your susceptibility of being hacked. Ensure to place access restrictions on private files so that only employees with a specific clearance level can see or use such data.

9. Monitor your company’s data

Sharing information with third-party vendors is vital to build and grow your startup. Sometimes, this partnership with a third-party may come to a natural end with all access privileges logically revoked. Other times the end of partnership could be the departure of an employee. Incidentally, most startups make mistakes when they forget to cancel administrative rights and change existing passwords. Luckily, some cybersecurity firms can help you track and monitor your data, so you know who knows what and when.

10. Use security patches

Apart from phishing attacks, an unpatched machine still opens a startup to the possibility of hacking. Don’t use unpatched versions of any software, be it Flash or Java. In addition, always make sure all your security patches are updated continuously because hackers always create new programs and scripts to bypass major security systems.

Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) : Acronis – Omdia Report

Conclusion

A successful cyberattack on a company can prove detrimental to the growth of a company. Sometimes, it’s not the loss of finances, it’s the damaged reputation and recession in customers’ trust that spells doom for most startups. When it comes to cybersecurity, startups should understand that the cost of employing a cybersecurity firm is greater than the benefits. Also, startups need to cultivate a culture of security consciousness from top to bottom. Employees should know that hackers may exploit their ignorance and that protection against cyberattacks begins with them.

Read Next: Security is top most requested service customers want from MSPs: Acronis-Omdia report

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Articles

How to set up a poll on your WordPress website and not have issues with site speed?

So, you want to embark on a blogging adventure or on an adventure of creating your own website, but you’re wondering what’s necessary to do before starting those. Will you be able and will you know to lay a good foundation on which to build a successful and profitable blog and website later? We have good news at the very beginning – you’ll be able to! All you need is the right instructions so you don’t make some of the most common beginner’s mistakes.

Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge with those who cultivate the same affinities as you, to help them and inspire them to take the actions needed to achieve a certain result and to make money, of course. The decision to start your own blog can turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. On the other hand, making your own website will help you promote your brand and grow your business.

Why’s WordPress the best platform for blogging and making sites?

When you start your online appearance through a blog, you’re “pounded“ by many options of various blogging platforms, such as Wix, WordPress, GoDaddy, and many others. Each blogging platform has its advantages and disadvantages.

Many of these platforms are, moreover, free platforms, some from Google, but they come with many limitations, such as you don’t get the ability to make more advanced changes to your blog, Google can delete your blog at any time, etc. But when it comes to a WordPress blog with your host, you’re the real owner and it’s your responsibility to take care of it.

WordPress is a free open-source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) based on PHP scripting language and MySQL database, created in 2003. Since then, WordPress has grown and became the best blogging platform in the blogosphere. WordPress has great looks, performance, and security options that attract many bloggers to use it.

MySQL database, on which WordPress is running, is an integral part of many web hosting services. However, there are some hosts specialized in hosting for MySQL database management more so than others. These are MySQL hosting providers and plans who are reviewed and rated on this link. Features such as unlimited databases and phpMyAdmin for file management are essential for MySQL hosting to be of quality. So, keep an eye out for the above-mentioned features when opting for MySQL services.

Given that so many blogging platforms exist, what are the reasons to choose WordPress before others?

  • Plugins
  • Free and premium themes
  • Easy to update
  • Most professional bloggers use it
  • Security
  • Support
  • SEO advantages

As for websites based on this platform, the simplest answer to the question asked in a subtitle is – because of finances. As we already said, WordPress can be installed completely free of charge. Users are given the opportunity to start working on creating their own websites immediately after installing the software.

Keep in mind that WordPress is one of the easiest software to use and that it takes quite a little bit of time to create a website, whether you have experience or not. And really, there are many other reasons why it’s good to use WordPress as a CMS for your site.

If financial reasons aren’t enough, here are some more that go in favor of using WordPress, of which some coincide with the reasons to use it for a blog:

  • Unlimited use
  • Standalone software
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of themes and templates
  • Functionality
  • Harmonized standards
  • SEO
  • Large community of users

Why are WordPress polls important?

One of the ways to improve interaction with the visitors of your blog are surveys and online polls. If you decide to communicate with your audience like that, you can get feedback on different topics in a simple way – through only a few clicks from your audience.

Use surveys and polls to find out who’s reading you and who might be reading you – their age, gender, occupation, interests, etc. Invite them to get in touch with you, introduce themselves, and talk about what they like on your blog/site. Why did they decide to follow you? What types of posts are their favorites? What kind of content gives you credibility in their eyes?

Some online services, more precisely WordPress plugins, will make it a lot easier to receive the needed info. At the same time, polls and surveys attract more users and engage them longer on your website or blog. This user engagement is also good for your website’s/blog’s search engine rankings.

But how to choose the most suitable WordPress poll plugin for your site?

  • Its design and styling features should enable creating interactive polls.
  • They must load quickly and not impact the performance of your site.
  • Multiple options showing the results of the polls and surveys (graphs, charts, etc.) should be included.
  • It should allow you to display results on multiple pages.

Having said that, in this article we’ve picked the best of the best WordPress poll plugins for you that won’t slow down your site and chase your audience away.

Crowdsignal

For creating professional polls, Crowdsignal (formerly Polldaddy) is a great, perhaps the best solution. We’ll mention that such large conglomerates as Microsoft and the BBC are among the users of this platform.

Crowdsignal supports 15 ways and forms of creating questions, from the simplest to rather complex. You can also add videos, pictures, Google Maps, and other items to your questions. You get the opportunity to brand your polls, so there are plenty of options to improve functionality. The PC app helps you collect your answers online and have it statistically processed in detail, exported in PDF, Excel, and other formats.

One of the best features is that you edit the poll using the “drag and drop“ principle, as well as the ability to add media content. Crowdsignal supports HTML and CSS sections and ways of creating a poll. You can add your logo to the created poll, integrate it with WordPress, and use the app to collect answers even when you’re offline.

Crowdsignal platform exists in free (each poll can have a maximum of 10 questions and 100 offered answers) and premium (unlimited number of questions and up to 5,000 offered answers per poll) versions.

WPForms

It’s considered the best WordPress plugin in general, and also one of the most popular plugins for creating polls. WPForms may not be a free plugin, but it has one of the most comprehensive and easiest apps. Not only does it offer pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop interface, but it allows you to use conditional logic, input management, and other features that can help you generate leads.

The online polls can be displayed in your WordPress pages, posts, sidebars, and other areas that are widget-ready. Important: its polls shouldn’t affect the speed and performance of your website.

WPForms allows you to display the poll results in graphs and charts, and gives you access to embedded poll results across your WordPress site. These results can then get exported to PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets, and more.

While it has everything you can look for in terms of a poll, contact forms, and online registration forms, it’s not an ideal option for website owners who have tight budgets. You can use the “lite“ version without any limitations, but you won’t have access to the features that make WPForms special. To get the most out of this plugin, it’s best to wait until you start generating significant traffic.

Responsive Poll

This WordPress poll plugin falls into a group of several plugins for the purpose for which we’ve written in this article, that doesn’t have many things special but it’s worth mentioning it simply as a comparison with Crowdsignal and WPForms as the best ones. Responsive Poll is an online poll plugin that can be used to add simple and beautiful polls in WordPress, allowing you to create multiple polls and display them on the same page.

Responsive Poll has the option of adding multi-choice polls, polls start/end date, image + text choices, vivid results display, and customizing your poll designs. It comes with a free and paid version. The free version has limited features and you need to upgrade it to the premium plan to unlock all the options.

READ NEXT: How to Prepare Your Website for an Influx of Traffic

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Security is top most requested service customers want from MSPs: Acronis-Omdia report

Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection, announced the results of a new survey conducted by Omdia (formerly Ovum), which shows that the most requested service that customers want from managed service providers (MSPs) is security.

In the research report titled “Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs),” an Acronis-supported survey was conducted involving 263 that serve small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

Analyzing the results, MSPs showed an overwhelming demand for reliable security offerings: 97% of respondents indicated the importance of ensuring minimal data loss or corruption in the event of an attack, and 88% of the MSPs indicated the need for an ability to reduce the damage that cyberattacks can cause.

Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) : Acronis – Omdia Report

Chart 1: Top 3 Planned Areas of Security Improvements in the Next 12 Months

Areas of Security Improvements

In addition, 89% of respondents expressed the need to offer a service that goes beyond anti-virus, anti-ransomware, and firewalls.

Acronis Chief Cyber Officer Gaidar Magdanurov comments that the findings are in line with the feedback the company has received in the last few years.

“Service providers are looking to earn higher profit, avoid customer churn, and improve the ease of use of their technology stacks for their teams,” said Gaidar Magdanurov.

“In the survey, 84% of respondents confirmed that it is difficult to work with multiple vendors and suppliers for each aspect of the security stack. Instead of using multiple tools for backup, anti-virus, anti-malware, vulnerability assessments, URL filtering, patch management, etc., a single, integrated cyber protection solution would greatly improve their ability to efficiently provide better services to their clients. This is why we see rapid adoption of Acronis Cyber Protect by service providers from all over the world,” Gaidar added.

Related read: Enhancing on-premise solutions market in India: ZNet becomes a distributor of Acronis

Acronis Cyber Protect, one of Acronis’ latest offerings, provides a unique integration of backup with full-stack next-generation security and management tools. A single integrated solution simplifies day-to-day operations for service providers, increases the productivity of their technicians, and delivers much higher security and reliability for end customers, avoiding downtime and data loss that could lead to customer churn.

Chart 2: Top Business and Organizational Challenges Facing MSPs

Challenges Facing MSPs

Keeping costs down’ is a key concern for MSPs, according to the Omdia survey: 92% of respondents say acquiring the skills and expertise to deliver security services is a major business challenge because many available services are expensive and scarce.

COVID-19 continues to have a relentless grip on the world, resulting in the most challenging business environment we’ve seen since last decade’s Great Financial Crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s,” comments Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Omdia, and one of the lead authors of the report. “In these environments where organizations are facing a new threat that they are ill-prepared for, cybercriminals can only thrive. To combat this, MSPs and their clients must have the ability to implement the most appropriate solutions to deal with these increasingly sophisticated attacks.”

Chart 3: Top Technical Challenge MSPs Face

Technical Challenge MSPs Face

The challenge for MSPs is to understand the risk of continuing to use legacy solutions from multiple vendors to provide protection for their customers. The need for agile yet integrated solutions designed specifically for the MSP market is very high in these most challenging times.”

Acronis Cyber Protect, like all of Acronis’ solutions, is developed based on the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection — safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS). Cyber protection, which IDC calls the new IT discipline, addresses the need to combine data protection and cybersecurity, which have historically been treated as separate practices, to mitigate risk and meet the emerging challenges created by modern data use.

The Omdia survey also lists the top three areas MSPs feel are important with regards to backup and recovery: being able to automate the backup process; providing protection against ransomware; and backing up the most popular SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365.

More about Acronis Cyber Protect

Acronis Cyber Protect changes the game by giving MSPs a single solution to deliver backup, anti-malware, security, and endpoint management capabilities such as vulnerability assessments, URL filtering, and patch management.

These integrated capabilities create new opportunities for MSPs to deliver enhanced cybersecurity. With Acronis Cyber Protect, MSPs can proactively avoid cyberattacks, minimize downtime, ensure fast and easy recoveries, and automate the configuration of client protection to counter the latest cyberthreats.

The result is improved margins, better profitability, easier SLA compliance, greater performance, and decreased churn – all at a lower cost.

Understanding the Security and Data Backup Market for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) : Acronis – Omdia Report
Read next: Cybersecurity market in India to reach $3 billion by 2022: DSCI-PwC Report
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