Calendar issues since 45 BC

time

Around 45 BC, much of the world was using the Julian calendar to record time. Interestingly, the first day of the year was March 25. And as we know because of our current leap years where we add an extra day every 4 years, that is because each year is 365 days and 6 hours long. Due to this issue, Pope Gregory XIII decided in 1582 that the Julian calendar wasn’t accurate enough. The days were just a bit too long and they were noticing the seasons were arriving a bit earlier each year. The solution was to create the Gregorian calendar. This is the calendar officially used by most of the world today. Included with this new calendar is starting the year on January 1st instead of March 25th. He also had everyone jump 10 ahead in the calendar to make-up for all the days “lost” on the prior Julian calendar.

NVMe, super-fast data storage

storage

One of the main bottlenecks in a computer is the speed of your storage device (hard drive). The main defacto technology is SATA (Serial ATA) however SSD (Solid State Drive) are becoming the norm for many computing device. However there was a ceiling reached which was an impasse. SATAs hit 600 Gbps and the 12 Gbps SAS SSDs seem to max around 1.5 Gbps. SSDs have the capability of behaving more like extremely fast computer member than the relatively slow storage drives.

Video cards took advantage early on of a faster bus technology called PCIe (PCI Express). Manufacturers took advantage of this to have enough pipe for today’s fastest SSD drives. We are now seeing NVMe (NVM Express – Non-Volatile Memory) as an emerging new standard for accessing PCIe-based SSD storage drives. This outperforms SATA SSDs by 4.5 times in reads and about 2.5 times in writes. For comparison, an NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 drive is rated at roughly 32 Gbps.

Either you have an intense workload running CAD, engineering simulations, huge video files or heavy data analysis, or maybe you’re a gamer or someone who gets impatient waiting the extra (milli)seconds it takes to load something. You can even find NVMe drives in consumer laptops such as the latest MacBook Pros. Prices for NVMe drives are getting reasonable, something for your wishlist.

World’s first consumer deca-core processor – Intel i7-6950X

Processor

This is huge! Desktops are getting the next big leap in processing power with Intel’s Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E processor which has 10 3.5 GHz cores (20 with HyperThreading). It’s been a couple years since we’ve had such a breakthrough. This was accomplished by shrinking the transistors again, now only a tiny 14 nm. Human hair is 0.017 to 0.18 mm thick… there are 1 million nanometers (nm) in a millimeter (mm). Unfortunately new emerging technology has a price, this processor is coming in around $1,500. Ouch. But wait a year and it should be affordable for people interested in beefing up their HEDTs (high-end desktops).

Google Website Testing

SEO

Everyone wants their website to be on the first page of Google search results. It’s a very difficult thing to achieve and search engine optimization (SEO) has become an important online science, though unfortunately many employ smoke and mirror tactics as they don’t understand it.

Google has daily minor updates to its search algorithm with major updates occurring several times a year. One of the latest major factors announced was regarding how mobile-friendly your website is.

There are many testing tools out there. A recent new one added to the mix is (which is free):

https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

Preparing your online social legacy

share

We caution our children about the digital paper trails we leave. We need to be aware of what gets posted online, who can see it, and how things can be easily taken out of context. Another problem that is starting to manifest itself is our online legacy. What happens to our social media accounts when we pass away? Can our family access them or are they simply online forever stuck in limbo?

Automation apps and devices that can make your daily life easier

Gears

Smartphones and tablets, along with the near-endless selection of apps, often seem like nothing more than time-consuming distractions. According to a study conducted by British psychologists, most people spend an average of five hours a day using their smartphones – that’s roughly one-third of a person’s total waking hours. Crazy, who are these people?! Lol!

While this may seem like the current direction for humanity (Wall-E?), we can always take a look at the bright side. There’s also a growing number of apps and devices that help you use technology to save time, instead of wasting it.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

Important facts about encryption on smartphones

phone security tips

With recent security and privacy issues resulting from the San Bernardino iPhone dispute, it’s a good time to learn more about encryption.

What is encryption?

Basically encryption is a method used to secure information stored on any electronic device. This includes data such as text messages, photos, emails, and documents on smartphones.

When data is “encrypted,” it means it’s in a scrambled format, which makes it unreadable for computers or people without a key (such as a PIN code or passphrase) to the device.

It’s actually more complex than simply requiring a PIN code – Apple for example, requires several pieces of information in order to access data within the device. In addition to a PIN code or a fingerprint required from the user, there is also a key embedded in the device’s processor (secure enclave), which is unknown to anyone.