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How Much Time Do You Spend on These Websites?

How Much Time Do You Spend on These Websites?

The Internet is massive. It’s simultaneously a never-ending shopping mall, the biggest library that you’ve ever seen, and movie theater. According to a study conducted by MIT, the average American now spends a full day of their week (24 hours) online...and that’s just an average. We all know people who are locked into the Internet from the moment they wake up and stay locked in until they go to sleep. Surprisingly, people only spend their time on a handful of the over 644 million websites that populate the Internet. Today we will take a look at the four most visited sites on the Internet and examine why users spend so much time visiting them.


Google.com
I don’t think anyone would be surprised to find out that Google was the most visited site on the Internet. As the most popular (and best) search engine on the web, it is the most useful site. After all, when you search for something on the Internet (whether you use Google.com or not), it’s referred to as “googling”. This just speaks to its transcendence in the consciousness of Internet users everywhere.

The Google homepage is extraordinarily simple with no advertisements and options to access Google-based products and services and provides a legendary ease of use. Simply type (or speak) your query in the Google bar and wham, you have results. In 2017, nearly 70 percent of all web searches were done using Google.com. Results pages give visitors a lot of options, and do have advertisements, but Google has made certain that the ad space they sell is qualified and is represented on the page much like the non-ad content, as to not distract the user. Some options they give visitors include search query results, access to media, access to contact information, access to immediate information (if available), and suggestions for other queries you may use to get the answers you want. Add it all up and Google has become the most visited site on the Internet because it brings a lot of value to each and every user.

YouTube.com
Consider for a moment that the video streaming service YouTube may just be human’s greatest resource. Who among us hasn’t gone onto YouTube to view a tutorial about something or other? People continuously seek knowledge and today’s person is much more comfortable taking their information in video form than they are through reading. YouTube is a website that shows you just how helpful people can be when they have information they are willing to share.

YouTube’s search engine is technically the second largest of its kind on the Internet, and if you think that figure is impressive, consider one more tidbit: at any given time, half of the Internet is viewing YouTube. Whether you are looking to be educated or entertained, YouTube is a one-stop shop.

For businesses it’s more a mixed bag. There is no doubt that the marketing opportunities provided by YouTube can be a great way to get your message out to potential customers, but the drains that YouTube can have on employee productivity are substantial. In fact, some businesses have suggested that they lose upwards of seven hours per week per employee (or about 18% of total productivity), so if you are going to allow your staff access to YouTube at work (which statistics show you should), make sure that you have a system in place that can work to limit employee access to training materials and other educational channels and not time-wasting channels.

Facebook.com
Over two billion people actively use Facebook. Today, it’s used to run events, sell products and services, and express opinions. Since so many people utilize the service, anything you need to do as far as virtual networking can be done using Facebook.

It has a lot of attractive integrated applications, but no single application has as big of an effect on the use of Facebook as Facebook Messenger. The messaging application sets Facebook apart from all other social networks as it integrates with most computing platforms to provide feature-rich text messaging to other people using the service. Beyond Messenger, there are countless other ways to connect with people on Facebook. Games, discussion groups, and much, much more make Facebook the go-to resource for social networking on the web.

Like YouTube, Facebook can be a big drain on productivity. One study found that Facebook costs U.S.-based businesses upwards of $28 billion a year. That’s about 1.5 percent of all potential productivity lost to political memes, friend's statuses, and event planning, so be sure to monitor your network for Facebook usage and limit it as necessary.

Reddit.com
Reddit is the largest online forum website and has made it up to the top four because of the amount of time people spend on it. As the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet”, it has become the site where people spend the most time. There is no other website that has the combination of controversy, information, entertainment, and potential distraction that Reddit has. There are literally thousands of different topics being discussed in forums, called subreddits. Any hobby, platform, opinion, or fact probably has its own subreddit. Since users can search through them, and quickly become engaged, time can melt away pretty quickly.

Of all the sites that a business should consider blocking, Reddit has to be at the top. By allowing it to be accessed by your staff, there is a distinct possibility that you are just tossing money down the drain. So, while it is extremely useful for anyone that wants to learn or discuss variables about issues that are relevant today, Reddit is most certainly an enemy of productivity.

Everyone knows that the Internet is a great resource, but it can also be a huge waste of an organization time--and that is a resource you can’t get back. For more information about instituting a content filter to ensure that your staff is focused on the things they should be while at work call Infradapt today at 800.394.2301.

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You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

You Deserve a Better Way to Manage Your Business Documents

A file cabinet might seem like it’s necessary for operations, but it’s actually not as useful as it used to be in the past. This is primarily due to the implementation of new solutions such as the document management system. By taking advantage of a new digital storage system for your business’ documents, you can optimize operations and ditch that filing cabinet for good.


What is a Document Management System?
In short, a document management system is a software that allows you to scan all of your paper files that have accumulated over the years and store them in a secure digital database. Better yet, this database is accessible from anywhere, as long as the user has permissions to access it. You can think of it as one big electronic filing cabinet. Since it’s hosted in the cloud or on your in-house infrastructure, you can integrate a document management system in whatever way best suits your organization’s needs.

Why You Might Want One
Imagine an office without filing cabinets, paper files, or printing costs. Any room that is being used to hold these bulky objects and any loose paper files can be freed up for other uses. Imagine never having to dig through countless files just to find one particular document again. Any documents you might need can be found just by going to your document management system via your smartphone or desktop. This makes for much more efficient use of your available resources as a whole.

Going Paperless
It’s easier to search for a digital file than it is to dig through a physical file folder. If you go paperless, this is one of the many benefits that you receive from a digital file storage system. Since you’re going paperless, you’ll be spending less on ink, paper, and printer maintenance--all of which totals up to a considerable cost. Since you can save time on accessing, editing, and saving documents, you’ll see improvements in productivity.

Let’s imagine that your organization is hit by a crippling disaster. It wipes out all of your filing cabinets and internal infrastructure. If you keep your document management system in the cloud, all of these files will be saved from the destruction. This keeps your data backed up in a secure location where it can be restored at a later date.

Perhaps one of the most notable ways your organization benefits from paperless technology is that you reduce your carbon footprint. If you waste a lot of paper, you contribute to a lot of environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, and deforestation. The United States alone wastes four million tons of office paper every year, so you can do your part to keep the environment clean by going paperless.

Does your business need help implementing such a solution? Infradapt can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 800.394.2301.

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Sports Are a Training Ground for Smart Technology

Sports Are a Training Ground for Smart Technology

Smart technology and the whole Internet of Things revolution has been underway now for some time. One vertical market that has embraced this shift was that of sports and fitness. Of course, you’ve heard of (and possibly own) a fitness band that is designed to track your steps, your vitals, and some other things to allow you to be the best version of yourself. This technology has been around for years and, while useful, isn’t transforming the face of sports like the technology you are seeing being introduced today. Today, we’ll take a look at how the IoT is transforming the sporting world.


The Games
Sports are important throughout the world. With so many people claiming to be sports fans, and so much money spent on viewing sporting events annually, it stands to reason that one of the biggest technology trends in history hit the sports world (and athletics as a whole). To this point the Internet of Things has been a conceptual strategy in some industries. Not in sports, where athletes, teams, and leagues are using sensors and smart products to help quantify and track elements of an athlete's performance, while using the immense amount of data that’s produced to formulate plans to make sports safer. The analysis of this data has become big business, and is, in some cases, transforming the games themselves

The National Pastime
One example is happening in baseball. Several years ago, the use of data began to change the way teams value players. Called sabermetrics, it took all the raw data that was collected from the game (and there is an awful large amount of data in every game), plugged it into algorithms that were uses to compare every player to every other player. This provided a map of how to put together a winning team for fewer dollars. Later named “Moneyball”, the strategy began to make its way through the major leagues, into the minor leagues, and beyond. With so much impetus put on the numbers, a lot of teams started finding new algorithmic approaches to try to get an advantage.

When the IoT was in its infancy, the shift toward analysis has only quickened the pace of innovations. Today, so much raw data is taken from a baseball game that all 30 major league teams have come to employ huge analytic departments to sort through and quantify the data. This has not just been used to determine the acquisition (and value) of players, it has been used to determine lineup configuration, defense configuration, pitcher effectiveness, and all in the name of situational advantage.

Once general managers, managers, and players knew what they were looking for, they began to use the newest technologies to track specific parts of a player performance. One way that IoT is working to improve player performance is by introducing technologies like SwingTracker that attaches to the bat and captures a player’s swing in 10,000 separate data points per second, and the mThrow wearable sleeve that pitchers can wear on their arms to measure pitching mechanics. Since millions of dollars are spent on contracts for players, teams are trying to be as diligent as possible as to not waste available capital. Beyond the dollars and cents, these IoT wearables not only help athletes fine-tune their craft, they do it in a way that helps them avoid injury.

Other major sporting leagues including the NFL, MLS, Premier League, NHL, NBA, and PGA all have incorporated IoT devices into the training and reporting strategies trying to both enhance the quality of their product while protecting (as much as they can) their resources (their players).

The Athletes
For the athletes themselves, the IoT has a myriad of potential uses. Today there are smart clothes, including socks, shoes, fabrics, and more designed to help the track and improve performance. Here are some examples of IoT devices that are helping individuals excel in their athletic endeavors:

  • The connected basketball - Ball handling and shooting are two of the most important offensive skills for a basketball player and there are now basketballs on the on the market that can help you improve your ball handling and shooting by incorporating sensors into the ball itself. The corresponding app presents you options to measure your dribbling and shooting.
  • The connected hockey stick - Using tape sensors, a hockey stick can help players measure their shot speed, their blade angle, and a player’s stick work.
  • The connected golf club - Golf has, somewhat ironically, been the one sport that has embraced technology most over the past 50 years. So, it is not really a big surprise that the IoT has already found its way into both clubs, and their grips. Today, there are many options for the tech-savvy golfer to improve their game using IoT technology.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for football - By sticking an RFID sensor in a player’s shoulder pad, coaches can now see where the location of a player, the speed, and the direction they’re going. This allows them to put together smarter game plans and improve team performance.

The Internet of Things is changing the world we live in, and it’s not happening slowly. Have you started using IoT-connected devices? Tell us about your IoT experiences today in the comments section below.

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Is USB Type-C the Answer for Fast Data Transfer?

Is USB Type-C the Answer for Fast Data Transfer?

You might use USB every day for your general technology needs, but do you know the difference between the various kinds of USB? This week’s tech term is dedicated to investigating the different types of Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, including its history, development, and uses.


The Origins of USB
First developed and implemented in 1996, the USB cable was created with the purpose of connecting devices to a computer in mind. A total of seven leaders in the computing and communications industry--Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, and Nortel--wanted to create a simple solution that could allow several different kinds of devices to connect to a PC.

Essentially, an early USB connection provided a data transfer of about 1.5 Mbps to 12 Mps. While this isn’t as fast as today’s standards, it was quite remarkable for the time. The first major release of USB technology was in September 1998, and it provided users with a 12 Mbps transfer rate on high-speed devices. Apple’s own iMac computer was actually one of the first devices to come with USB built into it, and it success played a major role in the commercialization and popularity of USB. The original USB came in two different connector types: type A, or standard USB, and type B, the more squared-off connector.

Innovations of USB
In August of 2000, USB 2.0 was released. The increase in data transfer was substantial at about 280 Mbps. Additionally, the first mini-USB (types A and B) were also developed. Furthermore, USB 2.0 introduced a new integrated battery charging feature, as well as fast data transfer from the emerging smartphone market. USB 3.0, introduced in November 2008, achieved an impressive 5.0 Gbs transfer rate, and the next decade would only further enhance this. September 2017 brought about the Type-C connector and USB 3.2, resulting in a transfer of around 20 Gbps.

USB Type-C
The USB Type-C uses a 24-pin USB connector system. You can identify it by looking for its rotational-symmetrical connector. We think that this is not just the most identifiable feature, but its most important as well. Nowadays, there is no wrong way to plug in your USB cable. In terms of size, the USB-C connector is larger than the micro-B connector. Just like the typical USB wire, one end has a type-A or type-B connection, while the other end has the new type-C connector.

For your reference, here are three of the best new features for USB Type-C:

  1. It’s designed to be easier to plug in since there is no discernible way that the dongle has to be entered into the device.
  2. Data transfer and power capability are basically twice what they were with USB 3.1.
  3. It’s designed to become a future-proof option for data and power transfer for mobile devices.

Unfortunately, not all devices support one cable, but maybe in the future this will become the new standard. For more information about new developments and the latest technology, subscribe to our blog.

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Save the Date: Microsoft Products End of Life

Save the Date: Microsoft Products End of Life

There are one of two reactions every person gets when they get a save-the-date card in the mail. They either are excited for an event or they realize that the event is going to cost them money. For today’s blog, we give you our version of save the date as some of the most widely used Microsoft products in recent memory are coming up on their end of support date, and for some businesses, this save-the-date might be bad news.

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Know Your Tech: Cache

Know Your Tech: Cache

If you hang out around technology professionals for any period of time, chances are that you’ve heard the word “cache” used before. The word, pronounced cash, is usually heard in the phrase, “clear the cache,” but if you don’t know what this phrase means, how can you benefit from it? Since this week’s tech term is “cache,” let’s get into the details.

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Where You May be Seeing More AI Soon

Where You May be Seeing More AI Soon

The notion of artificial intelligence has played out in fiction, on the silver screen, and on the small screen for decades. Instead of having sentient cyborgs that enslave humanity, people are using A.I for our benefit. Today, we take a look at the A.I. of 2018 and how your business can leverage it for your benefit.


What is Artificial Intelligence
Today’s world is filled with data. All the experiences and thoughts humans have produced over centuries have provided somewhat of a record of what is expected from A.I. After all, if humans are going to replace workers with machines, ensuring they can do the jobs as (or more) efficiently is going to be important. For now, however, A.I. is being utilized in conjunction with people--trying to make our world better by making the applications and services we depend on more intuitive and efficient.

At one time there were the American Titans of Industry. Today we have Titans of Technology, and not one of them isn’t completely fascinated by the practical applications that artificial intelligence (in some fashion) can have for humanity. The thing standing in the way from all this glorious A.I.-fueled innovation, of course, is humanity. It seems every so often there is a report that is written suggesting that millions of workers can now be replaced with machines, and in the interest of shareholder profits, any business that has been able to leverage A.I. and increase its profitability has gone ahead and done so, often against public sentiment.

One study predicted that 47 percent of all jobs could be automated by 2033. That’s only 15 years off. If you’re looking for some current statistics, another report found in 2016 that up to nine percent of all workers are now unnecessary. Yet another suggested that 800+ of the largest businesses in the world, will cut between four and seven percent of their workforce and replace them with more efficient and less costly artificially intelligent machines.

How Your Business Could Use A.I.
You use A.I. every day without even thinking about it. Every time you use Google. Every time you use Uber or Lyft. Every time your email sends an incoming email to spam. Even as people all look forward to an inevitable permanent vacation as a result of A.I., it can be extraordinarily useful for the smaller business. Here are three ways even the smallest of businesses can take advantage of the growing A.I. market.

  • Operations - For small manufacturers or service providers many of the often-redundant parts of the job can now be automated. Since an A.I.-fueled ERP or CRM platform adjusts to the data you enter into it, it increases the level of automation that you can use to make your business more efficient.
  • Marketing - Small businesses rely on very targeted marketing campaigns, and by utilizing A.I.-driven marketing platforms, companies can reduce their marketing costs and target the audience most likely to purchase their products and services.
  • Customer Service - Customer service representatives have a tendency to flame out fairly quickly and actually deteriorate a company’s relationships with its customers. By using A.I. to automate a big portion of the customer service load, customers will get better support, and will tend to become repeat customers.

How has your business been able to utilize artificial intelligence? Do you foresee using A.I. in any capacity going forward? Leave your thoughts below and return to our blog for more great technology-related information.

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Technology Addiction is a Very Real, Very Scary Thing

Technology Addiction is a Very Real, Very Scary Thing

Technology has become essential to workplace functionality and personal productivity, but while the long hours spent glued to our tech during the workday are a necessity, the time we spend at home with our personal devices is definitely voluntary. However, more and more people - children especially - are finding it harder to let their devices power down.


This is the hallmark of technology addiction, or Internet addiction disorder (IAD). While it isn’t yet officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), IAD caught the attention of health professionals in the 1990s and 2013 saw the addition of Internet Use Gaming Disorder to the DSM-5.

What Makes IAD a Problem
Many of the features and trends that are widely taken for granted in applications today - autoplay, in-app purchases, and even notifications - are actually undermining our self-control. Instead of being able to set down the device and move on to something else, these tactics have made it so that we feel compelled to compulsively check these devices.

After all, you never know what you may miss if you don’t check right now.

Of course, needing to use technology for work and being addicted to technology are two very different things, but that doesn’t change the fact that children and adults alike have increasingly presented the warning signs of this addiction in their personal lives. That’s right - as much as the attachment to technology has stereotypically been framed as a young person’s problem, it can affect adults just as easily.

In a poll, 66 percent of parents felt that their teens were investing too much time into using their mobile device. No real surprise there, right? However, the same poll measured that 54 percent of children believed that their parents were checking their own devices too frequently as well.

Symptoms of IAD
IAD has a few warning signs and symptoms that present themselves in the behavior and mood of the person affected. Repeatedly checking for incoming text messages or updates and excessive social media use are common behaviors to keep an eye out for in your loved ones, and possibly in yourself.

Those afflicted with IAD also frequently feel euphoric while using their technology, and when they aren’t, often feel restless. IAD sufferers are prone to social withdrawal and experience diminished interest in activities not centered around a gadget. Some schools have even implemented technology fasts, where students have gone without their precious devices for a week. Teachers have noted that these students often exhibit physical symptoms of anxiety while their devices aren’t accessible. Students will reach for a device that isn’t there, all the while shaking and sweating.

How to Reduce Addictive Tactics
Above, we mentioned how many modern applications have features that encourage this kind of pervasive presence and dependence. To avoid these affects, it is probably best that these features are deactivated for non-essential applications.

Notifications are some of the biggest culprits of encouraging persistent use, so if the information isn’t essential to your professional or personal life, you don’t need an app trying to get your attention. Ask yourself: do you really need to be informed that your energy has been refilled in that mobile game you play more than you should? At the very least, using the mute notifications feature will help keep your attention from being pulled away when it shouldn’t be.

Many of the same apps that spam you with notifications are also the ones that encourage users to make those tempting in-app purchases that give the user an edge, or more frequently, extend the amount of time you can use the app before you have to wait again. This is most common in the free versions of these applications, so if you insist on using the app, it is more economical in the long run to just bite the bullet and pay for the app itself.

What piece of technology can you not bear to be without? Share it with us in the comments.

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