Opera became the first browser in the world when it integrated virtual private networking in the browser’s privacy and security settings. Used by more than 50 million desktop users in the world, Opera browser’s latest version is equipped to run with or without VPN on desktops and phones powered by Android or iOS mobile operating systems. Opera 40 has augmented user security options to offer private networking through the browser.

 

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The company had been beta testing its version of browser for past 6 months, and the new launch will be a shot in the arm for Internet security hawks, who would take this latest development as a step forward to controlling IP address spoofing and resultant frauds that happen with undue accuracy on a daily basis. The way Opera 40 works is that it will redirect the Internet traffic through one of its servers, and the user will actually surf the Internet using one of the IP addresses that belongs to Opera servers. The company has servers at five different locations to cater to VPN requests of users. Anybody who is trying to listen to the IP traffic originating from your desktop or phone will be unable to use the originating IP address for launching malicious security attacks.

 

Opera users can toggle on or toggle off the browser’s VPN feature. If they choose to use the VPN, they will be able to choose the geographic location that they connect to or they could let Opera choose the most optimal setting for the enhanced performance.

 

Opera is currently supported on Windows 7 through 10 and Mac-OS. All flavours of Linux also work well with Opera. The VPN feature comes for free to Opera 40 users.

Samsung started rolling out the latest software update to try and control the damage arising out of Note 7 battery issues. The Note 7 phone’s battery had exploded in at least 2 different cases in the United States, and fears around user safety had forced Samsung to issue a recall of the Note 7 phones. As part of a temporary fix, Samsung had promised that it would roll out a software update for the Note 7. This update would limit the charging on the phone to 60 percent of the total battery capacity.

As per some analysts’ estimates, upwards of 2.5 million handsets had been sold and of these less than 30% users have participated in the recall program of the company. There is a thinking amongst some analysts that people may be waiting for replacements to arrive, so that they could just get their faulty phones replaced. Some 500,000 phones have been shipped from Korea to be served as replacement phones for those users who exercise not to get a refund. These replacements should start arriving in the stores in a day or two.

The software update that has been developed by Samsung will also warn users whenever they try to charge the battery or whenever they bring on a phone from an off state. The warning message tells the users to visit the store and return the handset. Apart from this, the software update will also check the battery status and if it finds the battery in a good, reliable state then it will show a green battery icon on the screen. This is an indication that the battery of that particular phone is absolutely fine. Samsung has confirmed that not all Note 7 phones have faulty battery. However, if the user wants to return or replace the handset, the company will accept the request. For customers looking to get a refund, the company has already offered a refund of the amount paid to buy Note 7.

For more details about the latest status on the Note 7 recall, please have a look at the following video:

General Motors has unveiled Chevy Bolt, a 100% electric car, to take on Tesla Motors and its small electric car offering. Bolt’s concept was unveiled by General Motors in January 2015. And, the company has been quick to translate the concept into reality and present it to the public at an introductory price of $37,495 for the LT version. The price fits in nicely with the planned pricing scheme of General Motors because electric cars would get a Federal subsidy of $7,500 to make it a $29,995 price tag for the LT version.

Bolt’s price and mileage of 238 miles on a full charge are likely to offer strong inducements for people to move over from fossil fuels to electric car. With an average US driver not driving more than 40 miles a day, one charge on Chevy Bolt would see the week’s office commutes taken care of. The company also hopes to wrest control of the small electric car market from Tesla Motors, which is yet to bring out its own small car. In a way, General Motors beat Tesla Motors into creating a mass market electric car.

Chevy’s previous version of electric car, Chevy Volt has been selling in small numbers since 2011. Volt was a hybrid or duel fuel technology as it had a very limited mileage of around 43 miles on a full electric charge. This made is unsuitable for someone looking to use Volt as a primary commute, since the primary fuel of choice in Volt would have been gasoline. Interestingly, Bolt is likely to challenge Tesla and Nissan’s Leaf in an unequal measure. So, it would be pretty interesting to watch out for developments in the electric market space to see how companies innovate in a bid to take lead in electric car market share.

Below is a video that compares Chevy Bolt with Tesla’s proposed model and Nissan Leaf.

 

 

Oil prices have seen worse times, but this time the pressure on the commodity is too much. From the highs of $104 a barrel in 2014, oil prices touched lows of $28 a barrel. Though the prices recovered to $45 a barrel, most commodity experts are of the opinion that oil prices will continue to face downward pressure and are unlikely to see $60 levels any time soon. Some Saudi experts are of the opinion that the era of $100 barrel pricing is over and oil economies will need to adjust themselves with the new situation that affects all oil producing countries.

So, why are oil prices not able to rise. There are multiple reasons for the same. However, we believe that there are three major causes that are not letting oil move up. For one, the rising production of shale oil in the United States has implied that the US does not need to depend on oil producers for fulfilling its domestic oil demand. Reduction of oil prices can be considered as an attempt by the oil producing countries to price out the shale producers in the US and eventually make the entire shale industry unprofitable and unsustainable at these price levels. At $40 a barrel, a shale producer will not have much profit to match with the traditional oil producers. Unless the US Government supports the shale producers, the entire shale industry may face economic pressures and give up and cease production.

Then, there is sluggish demand that is emanating from China amidst fears that the Chinese economy is slowing down. Reduced demand from China leads to an increase in oil inventory levels across the world. Raised inventory is not good for any oil producing country, and is a direct consequence of low demand for oil. Lower demand for oil is causing pressure on oil prices.

 

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Lastly, oil producing countries are unable to come to an agreement in terms of controlling oil production and supply levels. In the past few months, many affected oil economies have tried to persuade the OPEC to cut back production in a bid to support the falling oil prices, but the Saudis have resisted any attempt to cut production. The OPEC wants non-OPEC countries like Russia to also participate in production cuts, and unless all the oil producers agree to a scheduled production cut, Saudi Arabia won’t budge from its stated position.

Countries like Kenya and Venezuala have had turbulent impact on their economies because of fall in oil prices. It remains to be seen if oil prices would ever go beyond $100 again, but for now these are tough times for oil producing countries.

I am not sure if you ever read a book titled ‘Think and Grow Rich’. If you did, then you know fully well as to what I am going to talk about. If you have not read it yet, the book basically talks about the power of belief system. Yes, your read it right. You would grow rich by virtue of your thinking and belief in riches and that one day you would earn those riches to become as rich as you want.

There are many spiritual practitioners as well as authors who have talked about this subject in the past. Umpteen books have been written on the subject and every believer talks about creating a thought process and a belief system that you will become rich, or very rich in the near foreseeable future. By continuously thinking about this fact, your mind is beginning to focus itself on a single thought of becoming rich. A constant focus on single thought results in creating a meditation type focus and concentration. Your body, your mind and your soul think in unison and create an environment around yourself that talks about becoming rich. By creating these thoughts, you are basically letting your mind work towards directing all its efforts in becoming rich and earning money to fulfill your life aspirations.

 

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Many people sit in complete silence and keep on thinking about becoming rich and then visualizing a life full of riches. They engage in this contemplative practice everyday. Some people sit for solitary contemplation early in the morning and others engage in two sittings of such contemplative meditation. Depending on a person’s overall spiritual growth, a person may spend 10 to 20 minutes in a session. During this time, all that you think about is being rich and creating a system wherein you visualize a life style that is full of richness in terms of money, happiness and physical well being.

Critics may dismiss this as an scientific approach to fixing life’s problems. But, the believers have wonder stories to talk about. It does not hurt to think and grow rich. Maybe, you should become positive about being rich.

A US based company has launched QR code based authentication scheme for young students in San Jose, California. Clever badge is a card that contains a unique QR code for each student of the elementary class. This unique QR code becomes an authentication scheme for the young student as he or she will not be required to remember any passwords to access different education apps that are available on the Clever platform.

The way this works is that each student is given a card that has a QR code. This code will form an access into the platform that contains hosted applications for education. Once a student is able to authenticate to the platform using the QR code, he or she will get access to all those apps that are essential to classroom learning. The QR code will need to be displayed against the web camera of a laptop, notebook computer or a chromebook to vet the credentials. Once authenticated, the teachers and the students enjoy uninterrupted access to the apps hosted on the Clever platform. In this entire process, password has been replaced by the QR code card.

The technology is currently being used in upwards of 4,500 schools and is likely to be embraced by more schools in the near foreseeable future. It has come to the aid of Kindergarten students who have problems in recognizing letters and numbers and hence are unable to remember passwords. Clever badges becomes a unique technology that has simplified education for students and teachers alike.

Have a look at an introductory video that explains the working of clever badges.

Protein is a vital lifeforce for us and consumption of requisite quantities of protein based food is important for good and robust health. Out there in the West, people generally consume a protein rich diet as they consume a lot of fish and meat. For vegetarian people, there are limited sources of protein. Over here, we will have a look at some of the best natural foods that could offer you protein supply for the entire day. One must try to focus on inculcating these protein sources in your everyday diet. Starting and then stopping protein rich diet is not a very good solution. For the record, the recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kg of your weight. So, if you are 100 Kgs in weight, you would need to consume 80 grams of protein every day.

Pulses or Dal are one of the biggest and easily available sources of protein. You must try to consume pulse of your choice at least once a day. In India, people generally include Dal in their daily diets. A small bowl of pulse would add part of your protein requirement of the day to your diet. Kidney beans is also rich protein source and consuming baked beans or cooked beans would help you take care of protein intake for the day.

 

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Soyabean is a protein rich source and consuming tofu will help in meeting with protein requirements for the day. Although tofu is pretty tasteless, it has higher protein composition in terms of calorie intake and hence you would notice that most nutritionists would always include tofu as part of dietary recommendations. You would do well to consult a physicist if you have any allergy to tofu. Similar to tofu, consuming soy milk is a good alternative to drinking normal milk as soy milk is lighter and has a better protein share than the dairy milk, be it the skimmed milk or the creamier alternative.

Chia seeds and quinoa seeds also offer high protein content and these could be easily added to your daily food intake. Some people spray chia seeds on top of the food to have it with the cooked food and ensure that the daily intake of protein is met. Chia seeds is a rich source of protein. Apart from these sources, you could also add green peas and chick peas as rich source of protein during the day.

 

Drinking lukewarm water seems to have a lot of advantages for your well being and health. While supporters of drinking warm water seem to vouch for the fact that it helps in losing weight, modern studies indicate that consuming warm water seems to speed up the metabolism in your body and eventually aids in weight control or proper weight management.

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In India, many people follow a traditional practice of drinking lukewarm water with honey first thing after waking up in the morning. Families have been following this custom since many years, and it appears that this ritual has been passed over from one generation of the family to another. If you ask them, they tell us about warm water causing calorie loss and helping them maintain their body weight effectively.

Warm water also cleanses your body of toxins and a continuous use of warm water for drinking will not only clear your digestive tract of any toxins, but it will also cause your face to look much more radiant.

Consuming warm water is known to help patients with acute constipation, and regular habit of combining lemon with warm water in the mornings would improve the efficiency of digestion.

Critics of warm water mention that there is no proof that drinking warm water would aid in weight loss and improve digestion. Whether consumption of warm water is a myth or a true fact would largely depend upon which side of the story you are on. If you are a supporter, you would continue to drink warm water for obvious benefits. And, if you fall on the other side, then there are no scientific reasons to drink warm water for losing weight, reducing constipation or improving your body’s metabolism rate.

Greece makes for a beautiful destination in Europe, and the one that is apt for budget travellers who are coming in from all parts of the world. Specifically, travelers from Asia are making a beeline for Greece on account of the marvelous spectacles on offer and also because Greece is one of those European destinations that are easier on the pocket. Why would anyone travel to Greece? There are so many reasons that it would be difficult to bring out the glory of Greece on a single page.

For instance, Greece is one of the few countries in this world that have a rich cultural heritage, beautiful architectural masterpiece buildings and it is, perhaps, one of those countries that can boast of a very deep philosophical history. The likes of Socrates and Pythagoras came from Greece. And, so did Alexander.

If you are traveling to Greece for the first time, there are multiple destinations that you could cover to make your trip a truly memorable affair. For a start, have a look at the video below and you will be blown away with the spectacles that await you in Greece.

Listing Greece for the first time is an opportunity to visit the Santorini beach and view the spectacle of sunset at the Santorini. Then, the Mount Olympus would beckon anyone for a trek round the treacherous path to the peak. The world renowned Acropolis in Athens is a historian’s delight. You would be left awestruck when you visit the Acropolis and acknowledge this architectural wonder that has stood ground for centuries of Greece’s history. Remember, Greece has one of the ancient civilizations in the world and hence you would see a lot of history and culture all across Athens and other parts of Greece.

A visit to the Rhodes islands would invite you to the historical background of this city. The ancient Colossus used to live in these islands, and even today they offer a refreshing view of the past.

Most travelers to Greece enjoy windsurfing at one of the many locations in Greece. A day with strong breeze would offer you an ideal opportunity to engage in windsurfing and enjoy the trip to Greece.

For many of us, homes are a lifetime possession and an asset that requires lifetime of savings to get one. Naturally, it is believed that a family stays in a home for upwards of 30 years during its lifetime. With time, the trends of home decoration change and so do the outdoor appearances. To keep your home ahead of the curve, most people renovate their home from time to time. On a conservative estimate, you can expect that average households would renovate their home at least once in five years. Such renovation may be limited to interiors of the home and invoice re-doing the furniture or the paint jobs.

Major renovation may be required to ensure structural integrity of the house remains intact and an aged property does not cause any sort of risk to the inhabitants of the home. Such major renovations may be needed once in 10 to 15 years, depending on the age of the house. Major renovation is a major expense, and unless you plan for it many years ahead of the actual renovation time, such a major renovation poses financial burden on the household income.

Were there a way to predict the exact time when a major renovation is needed, most households would have been able to take care of financial planning and adjusted their financial goals accordingly. In situations such as these, it is important that one must not overlook the major renovation for want of funds. Renovation loans, are generally, offered by Banking institutions and Non-banking financial institutions. Once you know the exact amount required to renovate your home, you may approach a Bank or a financial institution for requesting a loan against property. These loans are cheaper than the personal loans and hence offer you value for money interest re-payments. It is clear that you would need to have your property’s papers intact and in good shape because any financial institution will need to keep a collateral for lending loans for renovation. You could choose a compfortable payback period of 3 to 5 years and gradually pay off the renovation loan.

Here’s a quick three minute video that gives you tips about home renovation. Have a look.

 

Corporate fuel cards are special fuel cards that are specifically designed to fulfill custom fuel needs of a corporate company. Most corporate cards would be customized to cater to bulk fuel demands of the bulk hauliers and fleet operators.

For companies that are offering fleet services, corporate fuel cards are a suitable choice. Some of the major benefits attached to such a plan are the availability of bulk pricing deals. Substantial discounts to pump priced fuel are a part of custom pricing schemes. Such pricing mechanisms are a hallmark of corporate fuel cards. In some instances, the applicable pricing is cheaper by up to 3 pence a litre.

Adding to the advantage of custom discounted pricing, a corporate fuel card has a much better payment term cycle. If the company has a good credit history, a payment cycle of 4 weeks is not uncommon to avail. A customized payment cycle is a direct benefit for your business if it is eligible to apply for a corporate fuel card.

Finally, one of the major benefits of using a corporate fuel card would be ease by which you can claim VAT expenses on the fuel purchases. An HMRC VAT compliant invoice would ensure that the paid-up VAT charges can be reclaimed as a business expense. Having a corporate fuel card ensures that you receive VAT compliant invoice. Such an invoice will list out your fuel purchases for the billing cycle in complete and comprehensive detail. This will also give you granular details of a fuel transaction. Details such as quantity of fuel filled-up, the time of transaction are listed as part of the fuel transaction details on the invoice statements. VAT component of the fuel purchased is added as a separate line item and thus ensures that you are looking at a complete detailed fuel transaction record for all financial and legal purposes.

Getting a corporate fuel card could be a wise step forward for your company. Check out if your company is eligible for a custom corporate fuel card.

Oil has been falling since late last year and the crash of oil pricing has resulted in crash of oil economies. Notable amongst these are the economies of Venezuela and Nigeria. In spite of falling oil prices, the automotive industry does not seem to be enthused wee bit. Success of Tesla Motors and to some extent of the Nissan Leaf has catapulted the global automotive industry into putting research, new investments and efforts into developing a sustainable product offering that looks beyond the traditional fossil fuel based technology.

For one, there are environment concerns in terms of the adverse impact of carbon emissions out of fossil fuel based technology in the automobiles. Then there were concerns about availability of reserves of fossil fuels over the foreseeable future. Electric cars and electric automobiles came into picture on account of world’s resolve to make automobiles more environment friendly.

As of now, most automotive companies including Ford Motors, Tesla Motors, and Toyota Motors have invested huge sums in developing electric cars for the future. With a robust charging infrastructure, electric cars could come to be accepted as the de-facto commute standard in the developed economies. Infact, Nissan Motors, the developers of Leaf, believe that Europe would get rid of diesel cars soon as most European countries will encourage the use of electric cars.

At this point, electric cars are being accepted gradually with the US being the biggest electric car market of the world. As more countries move ahead towards creating a robust charging infrastructure comprising of charging stations across regional and national maps, the growth of electric cars would eventually supersede that of the traditional cars.

Infact, Bloomberg came out with a study that compares market share of oil driven cars and electric cars in the next ten years. I found this study very interesting and you may go through this short video of 3 minutes to understand how electric cars and electric automobiles will impact the oil economies in the coming times.

Another video below captures the growth of electric cars in the last few years. You would like to engage in a detailed study about the launch of electric cars and how it would change our lives for good. This video would provide insights about how electric cars and technology would change us for the good.

Not long ago, Apple Inc. was facing bleak times on the US stock market as falling revenue called upon analysts to question profit and revenue estimates for the technology giant. That was about 4 months back when Apple stock breached $100 mark and fell all the way down to lower nineties. Analysts remember that Apple stock was being dumped on an everyday basis and even the most committed investors were beginning to raise doubts. It was on a bright sunny day when Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway came along and picked boatloads of Apple’s stocks on the US stock market. That seemed like the turning point as the stock staged a smart recovery over the next few weeks to rise above the barrier of $100 and trade in a narrow range for weeks to come.

Early trade data suggests that Apple’s latest launch of iPhone 7 has been pretty well received and feedback from the retail stores in the US suggests that some sort of record sales may be expected or are in the offing. This has catapulted the Apple stock to rise and scale up by over 10 percent this week. As of now it is trading upwards of $111 on reports of robust sales numbers in the offing for the company.

Apple’s iPhone 7 comes with a whole new set of features with augmented camera. For more details about the product features, check out the Apple’s introductory sales video about the iPhone 7.

 

 

Amazon has launched its voice recognition cum voice activated little home automation device -Echo in the UK. Also called as Alexa, UK becomes the second country in the world to get to receive Echo as Amazon offers its flagship product for the first time in Europe. Germany would be second country that would get the Amazon Echo later in the autumn.

Amazon Echo is available for pre-order in the UK at £150, while Amazon prime customers will get a discount of £50 if they order it within the next 2 days. Amazon Echo is a small 360 degree box that has been programmed to perform a set of tasks upon being activated through a name call. The Echo gets activated whenever a user calls Amazon, Echo or Alexa. Upon being activated, Alexa becomes like a virtual assistant and performs a variety of tasks such as turning off the lights, ordering a pizza, dimming the lights, booking a taxi etc.

The Echo has a speaker and a microphone and its voice processor will process your commands. The UK version comes in two colours. Echo is now offered in white and black colours. You would remember that in the UK, Echo was launched in black. Interestingly, the UK version has been programmed to hear and act upon British accent. It has specifically been coded to recognize and spell out English thesaurus in British English.

For more details about how Alexa works, please have a look at the video below: