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  • Dec 13 / 2013
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Online Risks to Avoid this Holiday Season, Part II

Happy Friday NSquared readers!Christmas Lego Nerd


Welcome to Part II of Online Risks to Avoid this Holiday Season. You can check out Part I HERE.



“10 Online Risks to Avoid During the Holidays (Kiplinger)






6. Phony apps. Be wary of the apps you download on your phone or Facebook page. Researchers recently found that Android phones are vulnerable to text message phishing if users download infected apps (learn more). Even legitimate apps might ask permission for too much information. So read the list of permissions an app requests to make sure it’s not asking for information you don’t want to provide.




7. Fake Google results. If you do a Google search for a popular toy your kid wants for Christmas, for example, there’s a good chance that some of the results will be links to fake sites or images that have viruses or malware. That’s because scammers build sites based on popular search terms. When doing your holiday shopping online, stick with sites you know (see our 15 favorite sites for finding deals online).




8. Forced browsing. This advanced hacker technique is used to steal your passwords when you log into your accounts using a public Wi-Fi connection. So don’t check your accounts online at the coffee shop or other public Wi-Fi spot. Even if you’re just browsing the Web using a public Wi-Fi connection, though, you can put yourself at risk if you’ve set your browser to save the passwords to your accounts. Hackers can view your browsing history, go to sites you’ve visited and steal passwords without you knowing.





9. Wi-Fi sniffing. This technique allows hackers to see what you’re doing on your computer if you’re using a public Wi-Fi source. If you surf the Web on your smart phone, use your 3G (or 4G) network connection if you can because it is more secure than Wi-Fi. To protect your laptop from hackers, sign up for a personal virtual private network service, such as Private Internet Access to secure your computer’s Internet connection.





10. Digital profiling. Your digital profile is basically what you say about yourself on social media. And thieves can make use of this information. For example, you shouldn’t announce on Facebook that you’ll be out of town over the holidays. You put your home at risk of a break-in or of being used by criminals as a mailing address to ship illicit packages.”


(Image Credit: Flickr/ MinifigShop)


Lake Havasu City PC Repair Virus Removal



  • Aug 21 / 2013
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How These CEO’s Made it to the Top

ceoBig dreams of being a bigwig business owner? Check out mashable’s article below!


“How 12 Business Leaders Got to the C-Suite



Facebook‘s Sheryl Sandberg worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury. IBM‘s Virginia Rometty was president of her sorority. Virgin‘s Richard Branson didn’t fancy school.


We may not know what it’s like to be worth billions of dollars or be chosen as Fortune‘s #1 most powerful businesswoman, but we can certainly learn from these C-suiters’ paths to the top — and hey, at least dropping out of college doesn’t preclude you from immense success.


Check out the infographic below to learn what these 12 business movers and shakers did to get to the C-suite. What do you think of their paths, and how do they compare to yours? Tell us in the comments.




Path to the C- Suite



Mashable Infographic, images: Andrew Burton/Getty Images, Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Will Ollver/AFP/GettyImages, Kim White/Getty Images, Mario Tama/Getty Images, Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images, Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch, Jordan Naylor/WireImage, Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TIME, Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images, Kris Connor/Getty Images, and Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images




Contact us if you need IT consulting, a fresh website, or inbound marketing. If you want to be a bigwig, you’ve gotta get the word out. Until next time, stay classy NSquared readers!

  • Jul 12 / 2013
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Capture Scents with a Camera

scentography-camera-amy-radcliffe01Have you ever wished you could capture a scent and save it for later? We have. Well according to the article, Capture Your Favorite Scents on Camera, there is a camera that captures scents! Check it out below:









“Capture Your Favorite Scents on Camera









A freshly mowed lawn, lit charcoal and sunscreen are just a few summer smells that are as ephemeral as they are memorable. However, a new “smell camera” could help preserve these fragrances, not only in memory.



Created by designer Amy Radcliffe, Madeleine is an “analog odor camera” based off “Headspace Capture,” a technology developed for the perfume industry to analyze and recreate the odor compounds that surround various objects.



When a smell source is placed under the device’s glass cone, a pump extracts the smell via a plastic tube. After being drawn to Madeleine’s main unit, the smell goes through a resin trap which absorbs the particles so molecular information can be recorded.



That data is expressed in a graph-like formula, which essentially contains a fingerprint of the smell. In a special lab, that formula can then be inscribed on a bronze disk to artificially reproduce the smell. The smell can also be recreated in small vials.



Depending on the pungency of the scent being captured, the process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a full day.


Considering our sense of smell’s strong correlation to triggering memories, a device that can summon distinct scents could be a mind-altering phenomenon. The only question is: What smells would you want to recreate and capture? The smell of my grandfather’s garage, wet cedar after it rains and a freshly oiled baseball mitt are just a few I’d like to have at hand.









Contact us for all of your IT and inbound marketing needs. Now go take some snapshots of scents and have a great weekend!




  • Jul 08 / 2013
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Dog Days of Summer

funny-dog-face-water-sprinklersBonjour NSquared readers. We thought we’d start your week off with a funny comic portraying what life would be like if humans behaved like dogs.


You may be asking what this has to do with web design or inbound marketing…and folks, the answer is a big, fat NOTHING. But it’s awesome. And here at NSquared, awesome is just what we do.




“What If People Behaved Like Dogs?




There’s no shortage of people who think that animals are people, too, but let’s not forget that people are animals — and some are just dogs.



Leave it to our friends Nitrozac and Snaggy of The Joy of Tech to illustrate this point to us in their characteristically graphic manner.





Really, what if people exhibited classic dog behavior, taken to the extreme?



We can certainly think of lots of things we’d hope they wouldn’t do, but here’s a comic that shows you how a lot of that behavior would be downright goofy, or just plain fun.






Comic illustration provided by The Joy of Tech. Published with permission; all rights reserved.




Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs…and don’t forget to wipe your slobber off the Starbucks counter before you leave. Happy Monday!


  • Jul 05 / 2013
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American Inventions that Changed History

swivelFeeling patriotic this week? You will be when you read, 12 Badass American Inventions That Changed History, below:




“12 Badass American Inventions That Changed History




The United States of America has been pumping out badass technology since the 18th century. In honor of Independence Day and the land of opportunity’s 237th birthday, we’ve gathered a small sampling of some of the most important, iconic and overall awesome American inventions throughout history.

From rockets to Roombas, swivel chairs to Macintosh computers, these inventions are not only inspiring, but also show how far we’ve come since 1776.



1. The Transistor

In 1947, the first transistor was created at Bell Labs, and was about the size of your iPod classic. Transistors were a more efficient, compact and stable alternative to the large, hot and unreliable vacuum tube.

Without the invention of the transistor, every modern piece of electronic equipment would be impossible to create, making this tiny little semiconductor the father of all badass technology.



2. Voyager 1

For nearly 36 years, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has been traveling the far reaches of the solar system, taking pictures and transmitting data back to NASA. Voyager 1 is now approximately11.5 billion miles away from Earth and is expected to pass through the boundaries of our solar system within the decade.

Other inventions from 1977 that haven’t stood the test of time quite as gracefully as the Voyager include the Atari 2600 console and the Commodore PET.



3. The Saturn V Rocket



Standing roughly as tall as a 36-story building (60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty) and generating 7.6 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Saturn V rocket remains literally theheaviest thing that has ever flown.

That is, unless we discover the fossils of an obese pterodactyl.

Designed under the leadership of two German rocket scientists, the Saturn V first launched in 1967 and facilitated every single NASA Apollo mission to the moon.



4. The Cyclotron Atom-Smasher


The name “atom-smasher” alone nabs this American invention a spot on this list. Weighing in at approximately 220 tons, the cyclotron atom-smasher has been smashing atoms since 1932, when it was used as a source to create high-energy beams.

The cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator, currently used in particle beam cancer treatments, as shown in the video above.



5. The Swivel Chair



Thomas Jefferson is known for two things: being the father of democracy and being the inventor of the swivel chair. It’s unclear for which title he is more universally loved.

Granting the sitter the ability to accomplish a day’s work without standing or moving any of the key muscle groups, swivel chairs are time-tested tools of liberty and justice.



6. The Inflatable Tank


The inflatable tank, though no longer conventionally useful, was a major factor in the allied victory in World War II. The inflatable tanks were a tactical deception and — when coupled with amplified sounds of armored vehicles and infantry units — fooled enemies into believing allied forces to be much larger than they were, saving tens of thousands of lives in the process.



7. The Roomba

Before you laugh, consider this: The Roomba, created by American tech company iRobot in 2002, uses the same navigation algorithm as iRobot’s other line of autonomous vehicles — military grade bomb disposal units.

The fact that a tiny robot many use to cleanse their carpets of Cheeto dust is powered by the same system as a land-mine destruction bot gives the Roomba a noted spot on our list.

This GIF of Cat Shark riding one gives it a noted spot in our hearts as well:






When construction began in 1969 on the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), which was one of the world’s first digital communications networks, there were only a few powerful research computers scattered throughout the country. Researchers who weren’t living close to one of these computers were at a disadvantage. It’s kind of like when you and your brother used to have to share the house computer. Except instead of a house, imagine a distance of a few hundred miles, and instead of your brother, imagine all of the researchers in the entire nation.

A faster version of ARPANET was soon released, called the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), which eventually evolved into the place we go to today for Grumpy Catmemes and articles about Millennials.





9. The Curiosity Mars Rover


After completing its primary mission — to determine if Mars could have once supported life (it could have) — the Curiosity rover now gets to enjoy the sort of retirement fit for only the most famous robotic car: studying dirt samples in Mars’ Gale Crater for the next 20 years.





10. Sketchpad


Ivan Sutherland, then a doctoral student at MIT, created the program Sketchpad in 1963. The program is considered to be the father of modern computer-aided design (CAD), and a predecessor to graphical user interface — found in all computers, phones and MP3 players.

When writing about his invention, Sutherland said, “The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal.”

That sounds like the Matrix. America invented the Matrix.



11. The Macintosh 128K

This sleek, beige computing marvel was released to the public in 1984 for $2,495. If you can believe it, the amazing thing about the computer was its affordability — the hardware used to create similar graphic capabilities to the Macintosh was priced at around $10,000.

The “thin Mac” came with a one-bit black and white display and a convenient carrying handle, in case users wanted to take their computer to the beach or something.





12. 3D Printing


Quickly proving itself to be one of the most useful and controversial technologies of our time, stereolithography, or 3D printing, was invented by Chuck Hull, founder of 3D Systems. 3D printing seems to have endless potential, having already been used to produce body partsfood,surgical implants and, as the video shows above, weapons.”





Contact us for your IT needs and marketing. Keep the awesome inventing coming fellow Americans. Tootles!



  • Jul 03 / 2013
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Ring, Ring, Ring





Hey there NSquared readers. We stumbled across this article regarding cellphones and thought you may want to check it out. See, The Meteoric Rise of Cellphones in 1 Chart, below:






“The Meteoric Rise of Cellphones in 1 Chart




According to a new report released by the United Nations, the number of mobile phone subscriptions will reach a projected 6.8 billion by the end of 2013. That means that in only six months, there will be nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions in the world as there are people. (At present the global population is a little more than 7 billion.)

Cellphone usage worldwide

Image courtesy of United Nations






Ninety-one countries already had more cellphones than people in 2011. Latin America already has more than one cellphone per person; Macao and Hong Kong already have more than two cellphones per person. The growth in some emerging economies is eye-popping. In Kuwait, for example, mobile cellular subscriptions have more than quadrupled since 2008. That boosted the ratio of cellphones to people in the country from under 60 per 100 people, to over 200 per 100 people.



The rate of cellphone growth won’t continue to outpace population growth indefinitely. In fact, it has already started to taper. Fast-growing developing countries already account for over 77% of the world’s cellphone subscriptions. Subscription growth rates have slowed to the lowest levels ever — roughly 6% in developing countries and 4% in developed ones.



This article originally published at Quartz here






Give us a ring for your IT needs and inbound marketing!



  • Jul 01 / 2013
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Working From Home Requirements

workfromhomeHave you ever fantasized about waking up, getting your coffee, and going to work…down the hallway? Well you are not alone. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Check out, Do You Have What it Takes to Work From Home?, to see if making the switch is a realistic goal, or if you need to get used to commuting and the break room.






“Do You Have What it Takes to Work From Home?




Most of us, at some point, have fantasized about quitting that 9-to-5 office job to work from the comfort of a couch. I certainly did. After all, I was clocking in four hours daily commuting into work (and sometimes, sadly, it was closer to five). Although I loved my job, I hated the wasted time spent on the train.



So when the opportunity arose to work from home — and doing what I love for a company I respected — I jumped at the chance. I might have even danced the jig.



But, working from home proved to be way more challenging than I imagined. For one thing, it was so quiet. My cubicle at my previous job had been smack-dab in the center of the hallway, where people would stop and chat all day long. I got used to the chatter, the incessant ringing of phones, people slurping their soup — all of it. So, now, being at home (a home that’s surrounded by woods, mind you), the silence was deafening.



I quickly realized that it takes certain skills to work from home. And if you’re considering a telecommuting gig, too, here’s what I learned are the keys to success.





Laser Focus



Who can resist the dinging sound of a new email? You, that’s who, especially if you want to stay on task. And forget about signing into Facebook “just for a minute.” It’s easy to get distracted when you telecommute — unlikely distractions that just don’t exist at work abound at home. At the office, for example, you might visit the company kitchen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a cup of joe (because that’s what’s appropriate), but at home, you’re hitting the fridge every hour on the hour. Or more.



The way around this is to act like your home office is in the center of an actual office. That means, yes, taking a shower, getting dressed, and being presentable for your workday. Somehow, it switches your mindset, and being preparing to “go” to work (even if it’s just a stroll down the hallway) makes the transition easier. I also schedule specific times to check email, and when I get a Facebook alert, I refrain from logging in until lunch hour.





Mad Organizational Skills



At work, you had to keep your desk neat so that you looked organized — and sure, it’s always helpful to see the top of your desk. But at home, who cares if clutter collects around you?



Well, don’t fall into that trap (especially if video conference calls are part of your routine). While you might miss the building services team, who used to wipe down your crusty keyboard and empty your waste paper baskets every night, it’s ultimately up to you to keep your space spic and span so you can do your best work.



What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.





The Ability to Work Alone



When I started to work from home, I missed talking to people. A lot. But I soon found a friend. Every day, I would hear the UPS guy gunning his motor as he drove down my long driveway to deliver my packages. As soon as I would spot him, I’d fly out of the house and chat him up.



And now he leaves the packages by the curb.



Sure, the one big bonus of working from home is that it gets you away from the petty office politics and never-ending gossip. But once you’re in your home office — alone, every day — you might start to miss that collegial camaraderie.



Since the UPS incident, I’ve reached out more to colleagues via IM and will post cute pics of my new puppy for my colleagues to see on Yammer. And when we’re on deadline, we even (gasp!) talk on the phone. It’s helped tremendously to make the disconnect not feel so severe. It’s a good balance between having peace and quiet when you need it and much-needed interaction with others, too.





Excellent Communication Skills



When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just a green light on your GChat. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.



Also keep in mind that communication with a telecommuting team requires an extra layer of crystal-clear clarity. Since almost everything is done via email (and there are no facial or body clues to read), you’ll need to make sure that you mean what you, um, type. I’ve found that shorter, more succinct sentences go a lot farther than long-winded soliloquies.








Without the fear that your boss could walk in on you playing Candy Crush, your motivation can get foggy when you work from home. So while you might be tempted to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine or start working later than you’re scheduled to, you’ll need to keep yourself motivated.



How? Start by giving yourself daily, weekly, or even hourly goals. Once you start accomplishing them, you’ll feel productive and happy in your career — and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your own work-life balance.



Working from home can be the Holy Grail — but you have to know what you’re getting into. But if you do, and you make a plan to gain these skills, you can make working from home work for you, too.”






Contact us if you could use some IT help or inbound marketing. Have a super sensational Monday! Until next time, keep your laser focus on high heat NSquared readers.

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