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Windows 8 is almost here! Are you ready? Thinking of upgrading? What if something goes wrong?

Windows 8 is almost here! Are you ready? Thinking of upgrading? What if something goes wrong? | Social Media and other tech news! |

Ready for Windows 8? Here’s how to make the transition.

Be Prepared

No matter how good your precautions, operating system upgrades can go horribly wrong. Some important program or file won't work in the new environment. Maybe you just don't like the new interface. Whatever the reason, you need a way to go back to where you were before.

Genie Backup Manager supports Disaster Recovery that will offer an easy dependable way to recover your system in case of failure during the upgrade since it restores your Windows, Program Files, Documents and Settings and System State.

To create a DR Job:

Install Genie Backup Manager
Run Disaster Recovery Wizard
Create DR Bootable Disc
Create DR Job

Make the Move

You will want to keep a few of the applications and personal data, files and folders to move to the new Operating System. This means creating a backup of all your data to an external drive assuming you know where they are and where they should be restore to.

Genie Backup Manager can help the migration simple with a backup plan that includes protecting your applications, music files, photos, emails and files. And what’s more important is that Genie Backup Manager will; on its own, know where to restore all these files to their new locations in Windows 8.

To create a comprehensive backup:
Install Genie Backup Manager
Run Backup Wizard
Select Backup Location (preferably an external drive with sufficient space)
Select your data from ‘My Profile’ ‘My Folders’ and ‘My Plugins’
Install Windows 8 and all your applications including Genie Backup Manager
Restore your backup

**Genie Backup Manager will:

Restore your desktop, documents, playlists, application settings, and photos to their locations all on its own even though their location has changed in Windows 8.
Automatically create a new MS Outlook profile and restore your email, calendar and settings without the need to reconfigure anything.
Offer the user the option to restore files and folders to alternative locations of the ‘My Folders’ drive letters have changed.
Automatically restore Windows Mail (Vista) to Windows Live Mail and Windows Contacts.

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Zoolz | Can I trust the cloud? – Part 1

Zoolz | Can I trust the cloud? – Part 1 | Social Media and other tech news! |
Amanda Stephan's insight:

With the new year arising we might want to think that we have evolved in ways that security breaches are almost if not completely eliminated, right? Well sadly, the answer is wrong, 2012 was just around the corner with hacks on twitter, dropbox, and even the cloud giant Google was submerged in a casual attack. With all the security breaches out there, the question that comes to our mind is: can I trust the cloud?

The answer comes in with going with the right cloud provider with the right set of features and also take a part in securing your data. With the correct cloud service and proper precautions and procedures, your data can be invulnerable of security breaches. In this blog we will give you tips and tricks on how you can enhance your cloud security by using Zoolz Cloud Backup.

1. Use Client side encryption

The utmost important feature you should be looking for when choosing a cloud solution is client side encryption where you specify the encryption key. This means that your files will be processed with zero knowledge and even if the company was held at gunpoint to release your data it will still be in its encrypted form. To set your own encryption password, go to the Backup settings page, during your first backup configuration and change the security option to Use my own password.

There are plenty of cloud services that do not offer zero knowledge encryption. To test if the service does provide it, there should not be “a forget password” or “reset password” option and you should not be able to recover your encrypted data with the new password. With Zoolz, if you lose your encryption key, you will not be able to restore or access your data, so it is highly recommended that you store your key in a safe or safe deposit box written on paper and not on your computer.

Zoolz uses 256-AES military grade encryption, so if the hacker decides that they will attempt to brute force the encryption will require a computer that costs more than $1.25 billion and to will take astronomically larger than 1.3 quadrillion years to break.

It is also worth mentioning that Zoolz also transfers your data to the cloud using SSL and encrypts it on the server using 256-AES encryption, so if you choose to use Zoolz internal encryption, your data is pretty safe too.

2. Use different passwords

To access your account you must provide Zoolz with a password and it is highly recommended that it is different than your encryption password.

However, it is worth noting that Zoolz saves an irreversible hash of your password and not your actual password and that is what is sent to our databases to verify that you are the account holder. So even if the hacker managed to access our securely encrypted databases, they will only have the hash of your password and not the actual password and feeding that into the login page results in an invalid password.

Another good tip is to save both your encryption password and sign in password in two different locations, so if your computer got stolen at least your encryption password is not on it, assuming you took our advice in writing that one on a paper and storing it in a safe.

3. Don’t use the Stay logged in feature when logging in on a mobile or public computer
If you are using a public computer or you are rarely accessing your Zoolz data, uncheck the stay logged in feature to ensure that even if you forgot to logout on a public computer, or your laptop got stolen, your account will not be compromised.

Remember these important tips and your data will be stored securely on the cloud and you will not have to worry about losing your important data again.

In part 2 we will give you tips on how to securely share files and more, so stay tuned and for more information about Zoolz security, check out our white paper



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Google celebrates The Enchantress of Numbers « Official Genie9 Blog

Google celebrates The Enchantress of Numbers « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
It might come as a surprise to some to know that the first computer programmer that has paved the way for the evolution of laptops, computers and tablets was actually a female mathematician; Ada Lovelace. Today, Google celebrates her 197th birth anniversary with a special doodle that showcases Ada writing the pioneering computer program using a quill pen while she sits at a desk and the paper scroll containing her algorithm spins in the shape of the letters of the Google logo.

Ada King, the countess of Lovelace, was the daughter of the reputable poet Lord Byron. Her father was expecting her to be a “glorious” baby boy was thus somewhat disappointed, and her parents soon separated after her birth.

Ada, originally named Augusta, was raised by her aristocratic mother, who had set her mind on distancing her daughter from anything related to poetry and thus decided to educate her little one in mathematics from a very early age. Her mother hit the right note, for as it turns out, Lovelice had an incredible affinity to the subject, and while she was educated at home by tutors, her mathematical skills were further cultivated by Augustus De Morgan, the first professor of mathematics at the University of London, who helped her in advanced studies.

Her affiliation with Charles Babbage, founder of the computer, commenced when she translated an article by Italian mathematician and engineer Luigi Federico on Babbage’s proposed Analytical Engine. Yet, Ada being as enthusiastic as she was, she not only translated the work but added her own personal notes that were extensive; 3 times longer than the actual paper and are now recognized as containing the first computer algorithm. Charles was so impressed with Ada that he called her the “Enchantress of Numbers”.


Ada Lovelace passed away at an early age of 36 on November 27, 1852 due to uterine cancer.

Even though there has been some controversy over the extent of Lovelace’s contribution to the evolution of computing, the computer language Ada is named in honor and a medal is awarded in her name by the British Computer Society.

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The Best Time To Tweet [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Best Time To Tweet [INFOGRAPHIC] | Social Media and other tech news! |
One thing that has always drawn me to online business is the access to data it gives you, that you can then use to help make business decisions.
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5 Cool Must Have Gadgets « Official Genie9 Blog

5 Cool Must Have Gadgets « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |

Even if you are fully loaded with latest tech offerings, there are still plenty of really cool gadgets that have recently been released to tempt us into parting with our money for the latest must-have item. Here are some of the latest ideas for you to consider.



The Sphero is a clever little gadget that might seem like a normal ball at first glance, lacking any buttons or interactivity of any kind, but the moment you infuse it with kinetic energy, it will start to glow. Place it on the ground and start a free app on your apple or android device, where the Sphero will then adhere to your commands sent via the device. Basically, you now have a remote controlled ball robot.
Check this video to find out more about Sphero’s specs.

Price: $130



World’s first smart speaker, this impressive wireless speaker pairs with a number of electronic devices, such as your tablet devices, Smartphone, Mac or PC. Using Bluetooth technology, Jambox speaker streams your favorite music, or can act as your personal home theatre speaker system for movies or television shows right from your tablet. It has a great design, delivers stunning hi-fi audio and it’s loud with an output capacity of 85 decibels.

Price: $199


SmartShopper 301

SmartShopper is a voice recognition grocery list organizer. It Records, organizes and prints your grocery list to simplify shopping. The interface is fun to use and easy to master, just push the record button, say the name of the item you want to add to the list, and SmartShopper does the rest. There are over 2,500 items in SmartShopper’s library, allows for the manual entry of specific objects it doesn’t include. SmartShopper automatically organizes your list into categories, making visits to the store more efficient.

Price : $149.95


Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scales

The ordinary bathroom scale has been turned into something different after being infused with modern day technology. Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scales will feature a digital display, measuring your exact weight. While doing so, it will also send a safe electrical pulse through your body to measure body impedance, giving you accurate data on your body’s fat and lean mass. The Aria takes the data recorded and transmits them via WiFi to the Fitbit website to track your progress, you can also access the information through your iOS, android or windows app.

Price: $99.95



If you’re forgetful and tend to misplace things, the BiKN is a brilliant gadget that helps you locate items within a short range. It’s a combination iPhone case, app and series of tags for tracking. By downloading the BiKN app from the App Store, the user can conveniently find the tagged objects within several hundred feet.

Price: $100-120

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Google Maps gets 10,000 indoor locations, venue owners urged to upload

Google Maps gets 10,000 indoor locations, venue owners urged to upload | Social Media and other tech news! |
While Apple’s latest iOS Maps offering is languishing with precision errors, messed up aerial images and a general disdain among the mobile community, Google is continuing to innovate and improve on its own Maps application. The latest update: 10,000 new indoor locations for your desktop viewing pleasure.

Google Maps has updated its desktop offering with 10,000 new indoor locations, mostly done through establishment floor plans. Access to this information is seamless. Users just need to zoom in on an establishment and can then see a detailed floor plan, with labels appropriate to the establishment.

For instance, zoom in on an airport and you can see the location of the gates. Zoom in on a shopping mall, and the establishments will appear, including retail stores, restrooms and even ATMs. A few key points to note:

Google has a big mapping community. The crowd-sourced effort works in conjunction with Google’s own acquisition of GIS data. As such, we can expect more and more establishments to upload their information to make it easier for patrons to browse and navigate.
Android usually gets first dibs on whatever improvements Google has to offer, and so the indoor navigation functionality has been available on the platform for some time now. Expect more hair-pulling from iOS Maps users who get frustrated with the slow speed and lack of detail on Maps (I know! I have it on my iPhone and I want to rip it straight out of the touchscreen).
The locations are limited as of now, with support for Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S. More locations will be added soon, and submissions from other countries will greatly help in this effort.
While indoor locations are more useful when accessed from mobile devices, this can still be useful when planning a trip to the mall, museum, library, train station, airport, or any place of interest. If you’re planning to go gadget shopping at brick-and-mortar stores this Cyber Monday, then you might want to check out store layouts before you go, and then use Google Maps on your Android device to help find the establishments when you’re actually in the area.

If you’re a store or establishment owner, you might want to submit your floor plans to Google, which can help encourage people with their virtual exploration.

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YouTube: Get ready to rumble, Round two « Official Genie9 Blog

YouTube: Get ready to rumble, Round two « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since YouTube rolled out its redesigned channels’ strategy in a bid to alleviate more professional and authentic content on the viral site that is heading towards a more TV-like trail. Of course the $100 million investment made the transition all the merrier.

Heading towards the TV trail means taking the same marketing steps; YouTube shall not renew all of last year’s programs. Only 30 to 40% of its 100 partners will enjoy the freshly brewed second round of funds.
Unlike the first round that seemed to take an arbitrary approach, with YouTube taking on a vast range of promising producers as well as notions. A year later proves that YouTube is wiser with a more objective vision; looking for more than just a celebrity name, but rather a successful channel who puts as much efforts into building the audience as creating original content.

Last year’s line-up of professional channels included celebrities and entertainers ranging from Madonna, Jay-Z, Deepak Chopra, Tony Hawk and Rainn Wilson. Yet, it turned out that it is not enough for a channel to be backed up by a celebrity to bring in sufficient revenue.

There are still a few weeks before YouTube actually contacts the lucky partners that will make the cut for this year, and no precise details have been granted as to shed some light on how much channel owners ought to expect. Speculations say that the funds will be around $1-5 million.

Don’t get too excited now and heading off to make your own channel; the money is not a free pass to the luxury life, it’s simply an upfront payment of one year of advertising revenues. The money ought to be earned back by each producer through ads that are attached to their content before any additional revenue can be earned. To exemplify it a bit further; $1 million comes in at around 50 million views on a $20 CPM (cost per mil/thousand) – quite high risks.

If you’re more statistical, let’s talk a bit more about numbers. YouTube proclaims that its top 25 channels have an average of more than a million views per week, while the top 33 have more than 100,000 subscribers- each of whom is more prone to visit the channel, browse through its content and hence make advertising dollars.

October also saw the service’s global expansion; with the scheduled launch in the UK, Germany and France in the upcoming months.

Even though YouTube is undoubtedly affecting TV ad budgets, it certainly is still in its infant stages; TV viewers watch more in one day (4 hours, 38 minutes) than YouTube viewers watch in a month.

“We’ve had some really great response from the advertiser community. As we continue to talk to advertisers and marketers, there’s a real sense that they’re looking at YouTube differently,” Jamie Byrne- YouTube’s director of content strategy- says. “But as we look at this initiative, we are taking the long view here. It’s not necessarily about immediate results.”


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Remember, Remember, the 5th of November « Official Genie9 Blog

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
Well, it is indeed that day again when Anonymous announce their hacking marathon on the globally marked day of protest, or better yet, Guy Fawkes Day.
Following in the footsteps of Anonymous’ October 20th protest, Monday’s revolt will be addressing surveillance and surveillance systems such as TrapWire and INDECT.

Trapwire and INDECT antagonists view such surveillance systems as direct breaches of privacy as well as numerous civil freedoms, and if they were to be invoked, they’d most certainly lead to human rights trespass.

Even though it might still be early in many parts of the day, Anonymous’ multiple Twitter accounts have already announced the distortions for the day; leaking user and employee account information on accounts from PayPal, Symantec, Australian government to name but a few. Updates from this protest can be easily tracked on and shared on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pastebin.

In case you were wondering about the full list of websites that would be hacked today, here are the ones that are announced thus far by the hacktivists:
1. ImageShack and PayPal
2. Ascension Australia
4. Lady Gaga’s Fansite
5. Saturday Night Live website
6. Arcelor Mittal (Australian steel and mining company)
7. GiftNow ( homeware website)
8. The Greek City website
9. The Ghana Consulate website
10. VMware ESX Server Kernel source code

As you have probably concluded from the list above, or from your own Anonymous watch, Anonymous Australia is definitely the most efficacious at this moment.

Another press release has just been broadcasted via Pastebin, declaring a reenactment of “V For Vendetta” protest at The Houses of Parliament, taking place in London at 8PM.

Canadian protestors are most certainly at distress right now over sporting their Guy Fawkes masks or ditching them, why you ask? Well, because just last week, a bill that bans people from hiding their faces during protests was approved by Canada’s House of Commons.

We’re on the watch for this hacking fiasco and will keep you posted once updates are available. Be safe and be alert!

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Top 10 Apps of the week! « Official Genie9 Blog

Top 10 Apps of the week! « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |

Another week, another fantastic list lined up for you. This week’s edition comprises anti-theft apps, entertaining games that will pave the way for a fabulous weekend, handy organizing apps, filtering apps for our photographic genuses and a “Throw Back Thursday” special. Let us know what your thoughts are and enjoy!


1. GO Launcher EX

If you are an Android user and fed up with the native home launcher, you must get GO Launcher EX. It is a superb home screen replacement app with a huge number of themes available to download which allows you to customise the appearance of your home screens.


2. Cozi 

Organization requires three separate tools: a calendar, a to-do list, and a shopping list. They are all needed in our everyday life and it’d be nice if they all worked together in tandem, and worked for the whole family. Cozi has all of these tools in one convenient app.


3. Ruzzle

If you like playing word games then you need to join over 3 million players and try Ruzzle! It is a gorgeous, competitive and fast-paced word game where you take on friends or strangers over three rounds of word-finding action.


4. Via.Me

So you love to take photos? Big fan of applying filters or vignette before tossing on Instagram or Facebook? You might appreciate this new Android app which lets you do just that, but also to also share audio and video.


5. Appreciate: Apps with Friends

Appreciate Apps with Friends is a gorgeously slick and easy-to-use app recommendation tool. Presented in a smooth user interface and lots of ways to find apps that are of interest to you, it also includes a strong social element which lets you add friends and follow their favourite apps and games.


6. Prey Anti-Theft

Prey Anti-Theft lets you track and find your lost or stolen phone. To activate it, you have to navigate to the Prey website and mark your phone as “missing.” You can then see where your phone is, its IP, and other useful information. You can then remotely lock the phone, sound an alarm, and put a message up on the screen.


7. AreYouThereYet

AreYouThereYet is an app that automatically sends a predefined text message to folks in your contacts of your choosing based on when you reach a certain location(s). Great for travelers auto- alerting family members they’ve arrived or to tell your wife/hubby you’ve made it home.


8. Hatchi

Tamagotchi -Let’s admit it, most of us have probably had one of these at one point or another. Hatchi promises to match the experience of your very first virtual pet with its new app. You hatch a little monster, and then feed, bathe, play, and teach it. As the hours tick by, it grows and evolves into something of your creation.


9. G Cloud Backup

With over 70 million smartphones getting lost every single year and only 7% being actually recovered, we ought to immediately think of a way to protect ourselves and our digital life. For everyone who has coveted the simplicity of the iCloud, the backup software for iOS, here is an app for Android that is not only an equivalent, but as stated by one of the users: it puts the “Smart” in Smartphones.


10. Devil’s Attorney

Devil’s Attorney is a turn-based strategy game set in the 80’s where you play as Max McMann, a defense attorney that’s high on charm but low on moral fiber. Your objective is to free all of your clients and use the money you earn to buy accessories and new furniture for your apartment; boosting your ego and unlocking new courtroom skills in the process.

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Finger swiping passwords instead of passcodes? « Official Genie9 Blog

Finger swiping passwords instead of passcodes? « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
Apple enthusiasts probably already have their dates set for October 23rd, 10 am PST, San Jose. As the invitations state: “We’ve got a little more to show you”, indicating the rumored iPad mini release. We thought instead of covering a load of prospected features, we’d cover something a bit more interesting yet still iPad related.

Take a minute, meditate and imagine holding your hand open, touching your fingertips to the iPad’s surface, then drawing your fingers together until they meet in the center. Why would you do that you ask? Well, it might be a new method of unlocking your beloved iPad! Yes, according to a new iPad app developed by Napa computer science student Sae-Bae, the new app can analyze the method implemented to perform the gesture; the speed of the swipe, the angles between each fingertip, and then decided to let her use the tablet. If all of these are in cohesion, then a yellow smiley face turns up stating that you could access the app.

The new app is even more intelligent that one might think; if you thought of simply dragging your fingers along the same lines so as to gain access then you are mistaken. Even if two people do have similar hand sizes and speed, the paths will undoubtedly feel unnatural hence resulting in a green frowning face indicating you are locked out.

Sae-Bae, the doctorial student at the Polytechnic institute of New York University, after conducting two recent studies, has come to the resolution has apps like these could be considered as more secure, easier to memorize and more playful alternatives to passcodes as well as passwords. Even though Sae-Bae’s work is still in its infant stages, her adviser and her, dream of a future where gestures and swipes will prove to be a better crafter alternative tailor made for the touch screen age.

Explain to me; how does this work?

Individuals differ in the way they pinch, swipe and even turn, as Sae-Bae explains, so even if someone wanted to copy your gesture, they wouldn’t be able to due to the reasons aforementioned plus add to that the different fingertip distances and speed of swiping.

Another interesting finding was presented by Sae-Bae in May at an Association for Computing Machinery conference. For that particular study, Sae-Bae brought in volunteers who had to make 22 gestures on an iPad and then rate which was the most fun to make. Surprisingly, the most fun ones turned out to be the most secure as well; a finding that is quite the opposite of what happens when compared to text passwords.

Though these series of studies and findings are very interesting, the future is still a little hazy and a lot more test ought to be done. First of which is researching the difficulty of remembering the gestures that one chooses as a replacement to the passcode. What benefit would all of this be if we cannot actually remember what gesture we set?

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Twitter and Vine; a good combo? « Official Genie9 Blog

Twitter and Vine; a good combo? « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
n a venture that is parallel with the microblogging social network’s present business vision, Twitter is allegedly building its very own video service, as reported by AllthingD.

The social network is always searching for ways to maximize profit via official portals, and according to sources, a video solution is rumored to follow the photo-hosting service that arrived back in June 2011. Similarly to the latter, the in-house video service shall allow its users to upload video clips directly to Twitter instead of using third-party services such as yFrog, TwitVid, Mobypicture, or Vodpod.

Twitter, of course, does not expect people to be jumping at their feet and start virally using its native solution for all the videos they’ve got to share; it comprehends that the majority will still post links using the likes of YouTube, Hulu and Vimeo.

This move, of buying the New York-based video sharing company Vine is certainly consistent with Twitter’s bid to be more of “a steady experience”.

Surprisingly, Vine has not fully launched yet. It proclaims on its landing page:
“Vine is the best way to capture and share video on your iPhone. No editing. No rendering. No post-production. Video has never been this fun.”
Quora users who’ve tested the iPhone app discovered it allows people to create a 6-second video clip. This clip loops, as expected from an animated gif, yet with sound. To better state it, Jack Dorsey’s wishes have been answered:

" I wish you could hear the music.."



Even though it’s still hazy as to when Vine’s product will be fully launched, Twitter seems to be just as interested in the startup’s originating team, Dominik Hofmann and Colin Kroll, both of whom used to work at JetSetter.

The app itself, interestingly enough, has the admiration of early adopters, from the likes of Kevin Rose to MG Siegler, who have already shared Vine videos on Twitter. Investors include David Tisch, RRE and High Line Venture Partners.

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Zoolz a new cloud service | Simo Blog

Zoolz a new cloud service | Simo Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
Zoolz is a new cloud service that has interesting features like Cold Storage, an extremely low cost storage that builds on the Amazon Glacier
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Still stuck in the stone age? Here’s why you should drop Internet Explorer forever! « Official Genie9 Blog

Still stuck in the stone age? Here’s why you should drop Internet Explorer forever! « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
With all the latest technological enhancements, one might easily think we live in a world much similar to what “Minority Report” had predicted. However, despite all these incredibly high-tech software, security flaws remain imminent especially when it comes to operating systems and apps.

Even the “Tom Cruise” of developers is not perfect, and thus bugs do occur. Yet it is the developer’s reaction that sets the tone for the public’s response to such inconveniences; if a promise for a fix is sent and delivered on time, all is forgiven. Unfortunately, this will not be the case with Microsoft’s major glitch that was found in Internet Explorer.

We know what you’re thinking: “Who on earth is still using IE anyways?” well, you might be surprised but some actually still do and it’s very unfortunate for them; it turns out that there’s a bug that tracks mouse movement and certain key presses ( even when IE is minimized, or the tab is in the background).

This security defect harms all versions of Internet Explorer from version 6 all through 10, and a web analytics company was quick to inform Microsoft back in October. Despite Microsoft’s recognition of the matter, it does not intend to fix it any time soon. This constitutes an issue, not just because of the apparent privacy concerns, yet also for security matters. A multitude of people use software keyboards on their screen just for the sake of keeping their passwords safe from keyloggers. Yet, with this glitch, exploitative people can record the mouse movements used for entering a password just by having a web page loaded in the background.
Microsoft itself promotes the security benefits of using mice-based password system with its picture password feature in the new Windows 8. My oh my!

Here is a demo that clearly shows how one could map cursor movements. The video also indicates how some basic analysis of mouse movement can be exploited to collect private data such as passwords or phone digits. What’s even more frightening is the revelation that at least 2 ad analytics companies are already implementing this to track users; if you were not irritated towards advertisers tracking you before, then you should be now!
The website that unveiled this bug has posted a challenge just for kicks for people to attempt to analyze mouse movement. The leader board clearly shows that it requires less than half an hour for one to break down what was being typed on a software keyboard. Very scary indeed!

So, what to do now? You have two options: either switch to Chrome or Firefox, or if you’re a diehard Microsoft fan then you ought to turn off JavaScript in IE. While this does cripple the usefulness of the majority of modern websites, Microsoft leaves us no other option. So until it steps up and fixes it, don’t use IE with JavaScript turned on, and be safe!

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Zoolz Review: Backup Files to Cloud Storage on Amazon Glacier & S3 | Technostarry

Zoolz Review: Backup Files to Cloud Storage on Amazon Glacier & S3 | Technostarry | Social Media and other tech news! |
Zoolz introduced Cold Storage, a data-archiving and backup service based on Amazon Glacier Technology, making it the cheapest storage service...
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11 social media tips to go from zero to hero

11 social media tips to go from zero to hero | Social Media and other tech news! |
While going from zero to hero won't happen overnight, I’ve put together some tips to help you succeed in your quest for social media excellence. Onward!

Via Khaled El Ahmad
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Zoolz | Introducing Zoolz 2.0; it’s time to refrigerate your data!

We all know how an iceberg brought down the famous Titanic, but have you ever imagined that an icicle would save our corporate existence?

Yes, we know that the mere mention of ice on such wintery days makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea. But, if you’re a corporate professional, SMB or even a large business, this is definitely not what you ought to be doing.

It’s 2012, and if you’re not on the cloud, then you might as well be living in Jurassic Park with handwritten notes that are kept safely locked away in the town’s library. Coming back to the future, where the skies are cloudy and the data is safe and no file is left behind, it might get puzzling to choose the right cloud that has that silver lining that you require; some are too expensive, some too complex to comprehend while others are simply impractical. So, should you opt for a sky without a cloud in sight? Of course, unless that cloud is Zoolz!

Zoolz is proud to announce it is the very first service that employs amazon’s glacier technology with the introduction of Cold Storage. Don’t get petrified; we are not talking about refrigerated meat, we are talking about technology that is supremely user-friendly, durable and most of all ideal for archival backup purposes. Yes, in case you were wondering; businesses can enjoy complete user management systems through which they can configure, manage and deploy to thousands of computers and servers in just 5 minutes.

You can now wave goodbye to the old fashioned tapes that are so cost inefficient, environmentally unhealthy and unpractical; no more wondering “what is this file that’s just been backed up?” because now you can enjoy instant data view, image preview and even search to assess and restore archived data with complete ease.

Big data has a big place in our heart; long gone are the days when you had to dig deep into your pockets to pay for costly storage, paying in advance for “potential business expansion” or having to pay unreasonable amounts of money for data that you hardly ever accessed.

So, choose flexibility over rigidness, comfort over pain, because with Zoolz there’s nothing to lose yet so much to gain!

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Windows 8 is : …. « Official Genie9 Blog

Windows 8 is : …. « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
We’ve all seen the funny posts comparing Google and Bing to women because of their suggested searches, but the fact is that they both are a running meme, and it’s good they are; these proposed searches give out a clear indication of the consumers’ disposition and gauge their responses when to comes to selected products. This can be intriguing, or humiliating, but mostly it is both.

Here is the evidence that needs no interpreter to comprehend. We’ve conducted a little research just a few moments ago using an Incognito Chrome window (which means in plain English, that no user was logged in to either Google or Bing). Here’s a screenshot telling us “what Windows 8 is”:

So, this means that Google users are giving a clear mark to Windows 8 and not a very good one; 1 out of 4. While we’re not sure how just of a metric this actually is, we’ll move on to see what Bing users have to say.

Bing users showed they had more to say, with 8 results popping up. However, the ratio was surprisingly still the same; 2 favorable results out of 8. Hence, scoring the same 25% rate that Google scored. To make it all the worse, the mockeries are specific while the compliments are generic. “Confusing” and “ugly” are a lot more on the dot that “awesome” and “great”.

It’s certainly entertaining to shed light on how Microsoft’s very own search engine advocates searches that so clearly condemn the company’s essential product, however, we cannot deny that Bing and Google are indeed the pivotal search engine in the west if not in the whole world. So, if this is what people are researching, then the company most certainly has its work cut out for it when it comes to elevate people’s comprehension of its aspiring new software.

With the initial daunting sales results out already, the time is now for Microsoft to choose a story for such disappointing results and stick to it.

In case you were wondering about the Windows 7 search results, we got you covered with two snapshots, here you go:


So, what seems to be the dispute? It seems that an issue in Windows 7 can indicate if a user’s copy of Window is genuine or simply fraudulent. If you’re intrigued to read more on the topic, Microsoft has a help page on the matter.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found any interesting Window 7 search results; for most of them are merely operational while those of Windows 8 indicated inquiries related to novelty. Of course, this came as no surprise.

So, while all of this might be amusing, the bottom line is that one ought to always have their back (up) for any unfortunate event when migrating or upgrading. Our recommendation would be Genie Backup Manager, since GBM supports Disaster Recovery and thus offers an easy dependable way to recover your system in all the worst case scenarios.

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The most important 50$ you’ll spend as a photographer.

The most important 50$ you’ll spend as a photographer. | Social Media and other tech news! |
This a post inspired by real life events. I’m amazed as to how this is still happening regularly in 2012. It’s the friggin’ cloud storage age for chrissake!

Yesterday a post popped up in my facebook news feed about a friend of mine whose drives failed due to an electrical peak. His whole workstation was fried within seconds. His photographic career of the last 2 years vanished, within seconds.

The digital age brought us a lot of good stuff. High ISO, The ability to take 1000 pictures with 1 memory card instead of a mountain of filmrolls, but it also brought a vulnerability in the game. As digital tog’s your whole body of work is stored on these little flimsy drives. Things that are known to fail. They do. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of when.

Backup is crucial. Before you go spend another dime on a kick-ass lens, or flash, think about the most important piece of kit in your world. Your drives. Redundancy is key. There are a shitload of different backup software suites available out there. It can be quite overwhelming, it really can. I took quite some time analyzing every software, compare it with my needs, and see what stuck to the wall.

Finally came out at Genie9 Timeline Pro 2012. These guys know what they’re doing. If the like of Columbia University, Philips and Old Mutual rely on you for the whole of their international backup solutions, you know you’re doing something right.


Again, this might not be THE best software solution in the world, but it certainly works for me. It’s brilliant because it doesn’t require me to do anything. I’m human, I sometimes forget if I backup up this and that file, and when the shit hits the fan, I want no doubt possible.

Genie Timeline Pro 2012 is a piece of cake to set up. You can choose between two ways of operating. You can either let Genie backup your files by ‘category’ which means you can let it backup all audio, video, flash, whatever files. It’ll scan your computer, and every file that responds to the call will be backed up.


You can also specify certain directories to monitor, and backup. This is where I live. The file structure on my workstation is so that There are 3 main folders (Photo, Video & Software). Each file folder contains all the jobs I did in substructure directories. Genie will then backup all those files for the first time. This will take a while at first, but all backups do.

But here the brilliance comes in for photographers. The main problem I was facing was that if I worked on a job afterwards again, the .xmp’s would’ve changed, I had to go and select the files I worked on, back up those .xmp’s and so on. It’s endless, and it leaves a great margin for error.


Once the inital backup is done, EVERY time a single file (as in e.g. an .xmp) is changed even slightly, Genie records that is has been changed, and once that filed is saved (after you are done working on it) Genie will automatically back it up. It monitors the folders you’ve chosed constantly to see if anything changed.


If disaster strikes, and a drive crashes, you just ‘restore’ it from timeline. Now, even though it’s a fantastic piece of software, it’s not capable of magic. Here is where redundancy comes in. If you have 1 backup drive and that drive fails, Genie is not going to be able to restore the files out of thin air. For the sake of example, I’ll give my backup strategy.

My workstation has 5 drives in it. I’ve got 1 boot drive SSD that only stores my operating system. Then I’ve got one 1TB drive that contains my working files, this is everything unrelated to photography, spotify cache etc… Nothing important. Then I’ve got one 3TB drive that contains all my photos. I Have two 3 TB drives that serve as a RAID 1 backup of the main drive containing the photos. Externally, there is a LaCie 3x2TB Quadra NAS that has mirrors of the 2 backup drives in the workstation. This is unplugged each night (to avoid having an electrical surge blowing the whole thing up). Genie mirrors the content of the first 3TB HD onto the 2 internal backup drives, and onto the Lacie external drive.

This means that at any given time I’ve got 4 copies of a file. The chance of 1 drive failing is high. The chance of all drives failing at once is next to nihil,so I can sleep on both my ears.


What’s even cooler is that Genie9 have developped an iOs app that lets you monitor your backup situation from a distance, from you iPhone or iPad. Again, they didn’t NEED to do this, but they went the extra mile and it sure feels better.


The final thing I’d like to touch on is price. Photography is expensive. Lenses can cost up to 1000′s of dollars, so we don’t wanna splurge on backup software. Well the good news is that this isn’t expensive. The Pro version will set you back a whopping 50$. Seriously, it must be one of the cheapest software suites capable of doing what it does for that price.

Note : I am in no way sponsored by Genie9. I just think it’s a fantastic piece of software, and it should be known!


(don’t be the dumbass caught with his pants down his ankles and has no backup)

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Mind over matter; use mind-computing on your iPad! « Official Genie9 Blog

Mind over matter; use mind-computing on your iPad! « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
InteraXon wants to get into our brains and get in on all the juicy details that go on there; well, maybe not all the details just certain signals they need to transform into actual data that benefit developers in creating new apps that you can control with your mind.

A little too Star Trek for your taste? Well, we thought so too until we comprehended the technology behind it. Apparently our neurons, the brain cells, have happy feet and like to keep on dancing with electrical potentials that spark, dwindle and drift. If these little neurons dance on their own, then they are very quiet, however if thousands or better yet millions join in on the performance in harmony, then the generated noise can be loud enough for sensors to detect. The humongous neuronal dance parties are yes you guessed it brain rave, ops no, they’re brain waves!

Day or night, awake or asleep; these waves of activity are generated by our brains every moment of our life. This is not new, for scientists have been implementing this technology for over a century, calling it EEG (electroencephalography).

Ostensibly, researchers have concluded that different mental states result in different wave patterns; relaxed states result in gentle, slow-moving alpha wave, while immense concentration results in generating quick jagged beta waves.

InteraXon employs this in their attempts to produce a refined new technology; their latest is a wearable headband called the Muse that works on algorithms that detect these subtle changes in our brain and then showcases them in real time.

All this sounds like rainbows and butterflies doesn’t it? Well, given that the technology can transcend to the point where it’s both compatible for both the developers and users alike. Nevertheless, users will have to undergo a learning procedure, so that “signaling” with their brain becomes second nature.

The company’s target is to raise $150.000 through IndieGoGo, a crowd financing website, through auctioning its head units at a discount rate. First ones to jump on the sci-fi ship will enjoy a preorder rate that will ship for $135, while the price will go up to $200 as a final retail price tag.

Apple made the touch mainstream, Microsoft made voice and motion control conventional with Kinect. What’s next? Squinting until you unlock your screen!

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Windows 8; don’t panic, here’s what you need! « Official Genie9 Blog

Windows 8; don’t panic, here’s what you need! « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
The highly anticipated Windows 8 will be soon available for the public to enjoy; the enthusiasts probably already have their dates marked for the 25th of October when thousand of systems will be upgraded.

While there are a lot of people who are going to kill two birds with one stone by taking this opportunity to purchase a brand new PC with Windows 8 preinstalled, the larger percentage of users will prefer to take the upgrade route.

With Microsoft shutting down support for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 starting April 4, 2014 the upgrade will be mandatory for a significant number of users and organizations. Why is it mandatory you ask? Well, Microsoft itself explains that continuing to run on the soon to be obsolete versions has a lot of disadvantages. The two major ones are security & compliance risks and the lack of independent software vendor (ISV) & hardware manufacturers’ support. What we mean by security risks is that running on such unsupported environments may lead to control failure which will ultimately lead to (if an organization is involved) the suspension of certifications or even worse case scenarios. The lack of ISV is quite self-explanatory; software vendors are unlikely to provide support on new versions of application for Windows XP even starting this year, and PC hardware manufacturers will stop the support for their new PC models.

So what to do?
First and foremost is ensuring you have all your data backed up. Yes, we know that backing up your data is not usually the most fun of all tasks, and many PC users tend to neglect it, never the less it’s far more important than you think. Backups prove to be invaluable in a number of events, mainly when hard drives fail, a disaster in computing occurs, and in the more relatable case, when upgrading to a newer operating system.

If the sole thought of back up makes you cringe, immediately think of your important pictures, videos and documents and remind yourself that it’s always worth the while to save those.
So contain your upgrade enthusiasm and take the time to consider the best backup solution to save you from any malfunctions that might occur in the middle of an upgrade.
Our recommendation for a smooth transition would be to use Genie Backup Manager; GBM supports Disaster Recovery and thus offers an easy dependable way to recover your system in case of failure during the upgrade since it restores your Windows, Program Files, Documents and Settings and System State.

The backup is so simple and versatile at the same time; if you don’t like the hassle of going out and buying a new hard drive, you can simply pick up any CD and kick start the backup procedure. If you’re more of an online person, then you can always select the cloud option using the highly secure Amazon S3 cloud service provided.

Above all, make sure your hardware match the minimum requirements for the upgrade. To simplify it for you, here they are:
• Processor: 1GHz CPU or faster
• RAM: 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
• Disk space: 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
• Graphics: DirectX 9-capable video card with WDDM driver

Stay tunes for more similar posts that will ensure a smooth Windows 8 transition.

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The Xbox Music; hit or miss? « Official Genie9 Blog

The Xbox Music; hit or miss? « Official Genie9 Blog | Social Media and other tech news! |
Let’s be frank, Zune from Microsoft is a horribly implemented joke; The Simpsons had a kick out of it just last week. Despite the ton of good press earned by many Zune products, it gained the reputation of being the “copy cat product no one actually wants”. Microsoft has decided to terminate the failed product and service all together and decided to replace it with the Xbox Music. The launch of the new service is set to be on Tuesday on Xbox 360 before landing on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices later this month once Microsoft’s new operating system is released.

Here’s a little more inside to the new service:

Xbox Music & Zune are not the same, but the former is a chip of the latter:
The new product shares the 30-million catalog of music and videos from the still-on going Zune service.

Here are some of the main features to look out for in the new Xbox Music:
1. Smart DJ: a swift and dynamic method to achieve a more personalized artist-based internet radio, discover new favorites and create ultimate playlists through launching instant mixes based on your preferences.

2. Xbox Music Pass: an unlimited access (including offline access that is) to the songs and artists of your choice is dropping from the $15 a month at Zune to a $10 a month. Yet, the “get 10 free songs per month to own forever” part is gone forever.

3. Xbox Music Store: a marketplace that is said to give you the chance to purchase either a single track or entire albums, just as you can do on iTunes or other popular music stores. Costs shall be comprehensive with the major stores, with most tracks costing $1.29 with discounts of whole albums. The store will be available in the same 22 markets as the Xbox Music Pass service.

4. Exclusivity: Xbox Music shall be the default music app appearing prominently on every Windows 8 PC Start screen. It’s certainly a Modern UI app, meaning it does not run on the traditional desktop and is exclusively built for touch. Meaning it is available for Windows 8, Windows RT tablet/ PC, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox of course. Microsoft promised that iOS & Android versions’ timeframe is “within the first year”, though support for other systems is a little hazy.

5. Social integration: if you’ve caught the social bug and crave immediate integration with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, to name but the major, well then you’ll have to hold on a bit. At launch, Xbox Music will be “anti-social”, with no direct integration with any social networks what so ever. However, you can always use the Share Charm on Windows 8.

6. Cloud Storage: This feature is set to be available by next year, as well as a scan-and-match feature; giving you the ability to scan your local system for music files that you own, match them to the store, and then mark them as “owned” for streaming to other devices (as long as they’re available as stream-able songs in the service). This is quite reminiscing of the iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player.

To further explain this feature; if you’re using a Windows 8 PC, then Scan & Match will find all the music in your “My Music” folder, which includes DRM-free iTunes AAC files, which the software can play quite well. From then on, you can see all those files on your other devices and choose to stream or download them. On the Xbox however, your only option would be to stream, yet almost all your music will be available.

To wrap things up, if Microsoft truly intends to make a smash hit out of the Xbox Music, it ought to enable broad support outside its own ecosystem; thinking outside computers and mobile devices reaching out to media-streaming products and so on. If Microsoft does continue to add value to the new Xbox Music while also amplifying its reach, then this music service will soon turn up to be the one to beat.

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