Friday, February 27, 2015

10 Best Things About Working For Apple!

  The most valuable tech company, Apple, is one of the most challenging places to work. All best minds in the industry work at Apple. You are always surrounded by geniuses and there is always the pressure to perform at the top of your team. Apple also has a stressful work environment. Despite of all the constant work, Apple employees are still satisfied with their job.
apple, employees, best workplace, apple culture, apple work environment, apple smart people, apple impact, apple flexible work positions, apple salary compensation, apple HQ, apple cupertino, apple freebies, apple part time workers.

The company has best reviews and ranking on Glassdoor. Some posts by Apple employees on Quora also suggest that Apple treats its employees really well. Here are ten reasons why Apple employees love their workplace and culture.

1. Big Impact: 

The biggest part about working at Apple is its products. Apple’s products are most talked about all over the world. One of the former Apple employees has written on Glassdoor that, creating innovative products and taking part in developing new product categories are most rewarding things about working for Apple. Another current Apple engineer says, "This is a great opportunity to work with some really fantastic, dedicated people, who genuinely want to use technology to make the world a better place.”

2. Smart People: 

Apple hires very smart people. Steve Jobs was always concerned about hiring only A-level staff in all departments of the company. All current and past employees have always appreciated working with really really smart people. All reviews on Glassdoor indicate the amazing work culture of Apple. Everything at Apple is about teamwork.

3. Lifelong Friends: 

Apple has a great work culture. The teamwork has played key role in the company’s success. Apple employees always appreciate the company’s welcoming work culture. A former Apple employee has written on Quora, “Apple has amazing sense of belonging and community.” This community is ever lasting. Apple employees are great friends with each other.

4. Mature Work Environment: 

An anonymous Quora user says, “Apple has older demographic of working. Most people in the company are in their 30s or 40s. They have tons of experience that they bring to the workplace.” There are no nerf guns or slackers in Apple.” Apple has much more mature work environment than other tech companies.

5. Salaries: 

Many employees on Glassdoor have cited compensation as the main benefit of working at Apple. Overall salary and other benefits offered by Apple are great. According to data on PayScale, an average software engineer at Apple makes $76,000 per year. Most employees at Apple have salary package more than $100,000 per year.

6. Part-time Workers: 

Workers at Apple’s retail division have comparatively less salaries than engineers and core team. But yet, many of them have praised Apple for providing benefits even if they work part time. There are many part-time Apple employees who are happy with the benefits that Apple offers them.

7. Flexible Positions: 

Apple encourages employees to try different job roles in the company. Apple employees love the flexible job positions. There is plenty of room to move internally within the company. Specially Apple’s retail positions are very flexible. Employees can change their position within the company or even to a different Apple retail location.

8. Discounts: 

Apple products are expensive. Apple employees get impressive discounts on all Apple products. Many Apple employees on Quora and various other social networking sites have claimed that discounts in Apple are amazing. Apple also offers discount on stock to employees.

9. Free Apples: 

This is a funny part. Apple represents Apple fruit and hence, Apple offers free apples to its workers. Few current Apple employees in Cupertino are quite enthusiast about the fact that company supplies free apples to its workers.

10. Commuting: 

Apple makes commuting very easy for its employees. Apple has its own shuttle service that transports employees from Bay Area to Apple’s HQ in Cupertino. Apple employees have given high rating to this shuttle service. Apple also offers good amount of stipend to those who travel by other public transport medium. 

6 Killer Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

Network monitoring is necessary to ensure that the network always runs in a hassle-free manner. There are several open source network monitoring tools which are capable of excellent functioning and perform the basic tasks like checking for host availability and measuring bandwidth usage at their best. Here are the best six out of them:
Network monitoring, Network monitoring tools, open source, Open Source Network Monitoring Tools, Killer Open Source Network Monitoring Tools, 6 Killer Open Source Network Monitoring Tools

1. Zabbix

Zabbix is easy to install, has an intuitive user interface and sufficient granularity to perform network monitoring tasks. Zabbix is completely open source without any paid Enterprise version. Its source code is open and available which makes it most attractive to small as well as large enterprises. Zabbix doesn't offer a commercial version though. It has commercial support contracts in different levels from Bronze to Enterprise.

2. Cacti

It's an extensive performance graphing and trending tool which is used to track any monitored metric which is possible to get plotted on a graph. If it's possible to monitor disk utilisation and fan speeds in a power supply, then Cacti can track it and make the data quickly available.

3. Observium

This command-line powered product is based on Linux and it features a web-based monitoring interface. It's licensed under QPL Open Source license and it's available in both community and professional editions. RRDTool is used for buffer storage and graphing capabilities. It also supports auto-discovery of devices from servers and switches to printers and power devices. It has a nice user interface with modern features and good on-screen reporting but it has no direct export or reporting capabilities. It also doesn't allow adding devices by using IP address only.

4. Nagios

Nazios is one of the old guards of system and network monitoring. It's quite fast, reliable and extremely customisable. It's definitely a challenge for newcomers and it also has a complex configuration. But Nagios somewhat lacks in power and reliability sometimes.

5. Icinga

It also has a complex configuration and it has a modular design which allows the user selecting the core server, preferred GUI and add any desired plug-ins like reporting and graphing tools. The basic server can be installed using two simple commands. It also offers a simple online documentation. It has a modern interactive Web GUI, rich features and granular configuration options.

6. NeDi

It's a great solution for tracking devices across a network. It works through a network infrastructure and catalogues devices. It also keeps track of everything it discovers and provides current location of any device. It's mostly used to locate stolen and lost devices and it can also display known and discovered connections on a map. 

6 Games For Chromecast Which Are Great Fun To Be Played On An Android TV

Chromecast is not the first device for gaming on TV but for select games Chromecast is an excellent option. There are several games which can be played the best with the help of Chromecast. Here is a list of six such games which are well-suited to play with help of the Chromecast on Android TV. All these games can be played along with the family and groups.
Chromecast, games for Chromecast, games for Android TV, Android TV, 6 Games For Chromecast, 6 best Games For Chromecast,  6 best Games For Chromecast to be played on Android TV

1. Big Web Quiz

This game is exclusively built for the Chromecast. It's designed for a get together to play with a group. Each player can select answers on their phone in response to the questions which are broadcast on the screen. The questions are mostly related to pop culture and entertainment.

2. Scrabble Blitz

It's an adaptation of word-making game and it's quite fast-paced too. Players are supposed to create as many words as possible from the block of letters. Shaking a phone comes up with a new batch of blocks. As a play off of the traditional board game some letters will have double letter or word point value if they are used during gameplay.

3. MathDuel

If you are bored with the card games, then go for some mathematics. Math Duel will be loved most by those gamers who love solving mathematical problems and mainly mental maths. The questions don't require any difficult calculation and it's all about how one can answer the fastest possible. This game can be played by maximum four people and who has a total of 1000 points is the winner. The game uses Material Design which means it has thin fonts, bright colours and shard colours just like a Lollipop device.

4. Connect 4 Quads

It's a well-configured game to play on Chromecast. It can also be played by four people who can use their phones to drop the virtual checker pieces into the virtual game structure. Gestures can be used to swipe, rotate and direct pieces into specific slots on the gameboard. This game can be played solo too. It's quite smooth to play and also quite popular.

5. Emoji Party

Emoji is best game for a party. Emoji lets you guess movie titles and sometimes movies titles have to be guessed from cartoon characters too. It's great fun and it's also competitive enough as it lets you show cards to other players if they are slow in progress.

6. Alien Invaders

This is a knockoff of Space Invaders and it's great fun too. You can control the spaceship with your phone, move it to the left and right and use the middle button to blast the aliens. The early rounds of the game are very easy but when round 10 comes nearer the aliens become stronger with their defence. You can create the best defence with as many players as possible at your end to form a more powerful front line.

Courtesy: IT World 

5 Projects To Speed Up Python's Performance

Python programming language is considered as somewhat old-fashioned by many in comparison to C, Java and JavaScript. But that doesn't mean parties ditch Python as it has so many good things to think about. Instead there are some projects which can give the programming language a huge performance boost. There are two options to run Python faster on the same hardware – one is to create a replacement for the default runtime of the language and the other is to rewrite existing Python code for speed optimisations. Here are five projects which have the potential to raise the bar of Python's performance.
Python, Python programming language, Python's performance boost, projects for  Python's performance boost, 5  projects for  Python's performance boost, 5 Projects To Speed Up Python's Performance

1. PyPy

PyPy is one of the most visible options for CPython's replacement. It can also become the default one as it's highly compatible with the existing code of Python. PyPy uses just-in-time (JIT) compilation which is used by Google Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine too. PyPy 2.5, the latest version, has some more performance improvements like better support for some common libraries which are useful in boosting Python performance like NumPy. If anyone is using Python 3.x, then PyPy3 is compatible.

2. Pyston

It's a Dropbox-sponsored project which uses LLVM compiler infrastructure to speed up Python with JIT compilation. Pyston is in its early stages and supports a limited subset of Python's features. It boosts performance of some key benchmarks of the language to a certain level. Pyston will soon be ready for remote production too.

3. Nuitka

It removes Python runtime completely and finds out ways to transpile Python code to languages which can run natively at high speed. It converts Python to C++ code. As it still depends on the existing Python runtimes, its portability is limited but conversion assures speed optimisation. Nuitka is aimed to interface Python directly with C code which will boost its speed.

4. Cython

C extensions for Python or Cython is Python's superset and a version which compiles with C and interfaces with C/C++ code. It writes C extensions for Python. The only drawback is that it's not actually writing Python, else porting code which cannot be automatic completely. Cython has great advantages in relation to speed optimisations. Numerous scientific packages for Python, like scikit-learn are drawn on Cython features so that the functions are fast enough.

5. Numba

Numba is a combination of Nuitka and Cython. From Cython it takes the concept of how to speed up parts of the language like CPU-bound math which is done by LLVM. Numba's compiled functions can be specified with a decorator and Numba works in association with NumPy so that the functions are found faster. But Numba doesn't perform JITing.

According to Python creator Guido van Rossum, Python's performance issues can be traced to improper use of the language. NumPy can help in making CPU-heavy processing better via multiprocessing extensions. It can also make calls to the external C code by avoiding the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). There is no viable replacement for GIL in Python though.

Courtesy: Java World 

5 Topmost Data Protection Trends In 2015

 Due to the recent high-profile hacks across the world, data protection is the buzzword in the technology industry. In the data center level, there are three main data protection domains which will be in highest focus throughout 2015 – data loss prevention (DLP), storage system recovery and data security. Let's take a look at the major data protection trends in all these domains and beyond them too:
Hacking, cyber security, data protection, data protection trends,  data protection trends in 2015, data center,  data loss prevention (DLP), storage system recovery, data security, Big Data, surveillance community, drones

1. Data Loss Prevention: 

Data loss prevention means protecting data from getting lost. Cloud is a vital option in this architecture which is chiefly dependent on backup and recovery services. Cloud has grown a lot from early times when backup vendors used new code to backup applications and the cloud was being treated as just another target by the cyber criminals.

Backup and recovery trends: The speed of backup, rapid recovery and application optimisation are important components on a whole. Performance improvements have also made cloud services more powerful and there are several vendors which specialise in protecting and recovering data sets in the cloud.

File syncing and sharing: This facility is not limited to mobile files but mobile data is definitely a strong driving force in developing and managing repositories. Edge data protection mimics mobile content to a central repository for improved control, compliance and faster recovery. Edge protection is an emerging trend in data protection.

Cloud-based data protection: This kind of data protection grows along with IT sector's credibility and enhanced WAN acceleration. Cloud backup is a very simple operation and it's quite advanced too to create a virtual data center in the cloud by copying virtual server images and production data. There are several products which are optimised for virtualisation of the cloud.

2. Big Data: 

Big Data is growing more important in context of personalisation of advertising which is expected to expand further in 2015. Big Data allows availability of a wider range of data collected across smartphones, apps, social networking and connected devices for targeted advertising campaigns. Though Big Data developments can be highly beneficial to the society, there is also necessity to minimise the risks associated with the use of Big Data. There are certain cautions which need to be taken to use Big Data like limiting collection and retention of data, maintaining transparency, carrying out privacy impact assessments etc.

3. Surveillance society: 

Evolution of CCTV surveillance includes new and more intrusive tools. Some of the tools are Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), body worn video (BWV) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Special observation is being conducted into civilian use of drones as specific licensing or registration need to be introduced and data protection laws need to change urgently.

4. Storage system recovery: 

Data storage needs to be protected at the best and it's one more important data protection trend in 2015. The newer RAID architectures take advantage of flash's high performance and they avoid standard RAID overhead and wear on SSDs. There are RAID alternatives like XtremlO Data Protection which uses wide striping and N+2 architecture. There is another alternatives called Pure Storage and Violin Memory.

5. Data security: 

For consumer-level security the biggest concerns are privacy issues and identity theft. These issues are categorised under data center security. Stored data is always increasing and security measures are always finding threats from hackers. The recent Sony hack brought careless password usage into the limelight which is actually a common problem among the user community. Hence two-factor authentication is a growing trend now. The main technique is to check passwords against IP addresses and the most secure options are when a combination is created of password with physical objects and biometrics. Encryption trends are also on continuous growth which mostly occur around stronger data-at-rest encryption in the cloud as well as on the premise. The two-factor encryption keys are mostly recommended. Encryption control is also getting automated which means human intervention will no more be required in this architecture. 

Flash drives in mobile devices to become faster with new standard

Flash drives in mobile devices are set to become faster and secure with a new standard approved by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association.
The new standard, eMMC version 5.1, will lay the groundwork for new mobile storage that will provide faster access to data. Flash drives based on eMMC 5.1 will be able to handle 4K streaming and more data-intensive tasks.
Users are storing more multimedia and data files locally, and the need for faster storage has also increased with mobile devices handling more resource-heavy applications. Smartphones and tablets in some cases are replacing PCs as people's main computing devices.
Samsung has started making 64GB, 32GB and 16GB drives based on the new standard. The company is already shipping units to customers, but has not said whether those drives will be used in the Galaxy S6 smartphone, which will be announced early next month at the Mobile World Congress trade show.
Samsung's 64GB eMMC 5.1 will deliver a random read performance of 11,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second) and write performance of 13,000 IOPS, compared to a rough performance of 7,000 IOPS for 64GB drives based on the previous eMMC 5.0 standard. The random read and write speeds are seven times and 26 times faster, respectively, than Micro-SD cards, which are generally slotted inside mobile devices.
The speed improvements comes through some cache and data-streaming improvements.
The new standard could also make flash drives more secure. A new protocol called Secure Write Protection ensures only specific entities are able to access files and lock or unlock storage.
Beyond mobile devices, eMMC drives are also used in cameras, e-readers, printers and other consumer electronics.
A faster eMMC standard was long overdue, with the last refresh coming in October 2013. But, ironically, the standard already has a successor, as momentum grows behind the faster Universal Flash Storage 2.0 standard, which is ready now and was also developed by JEDEC. UFS is designed mainly for high-capacity flash drives in mobile devices, and is becoming relevant as the storage requirements of mobile users grows. Toshiba and Samsung, which back the eMMC standard, have been developing UFS storage in parallel.
Although eMMC 5.1 will eventually be replaced by UFS 2.0 in mobile devices needing more storage, it may live on in low-storage devices like e-readers.

5 Chromebook tips and tricks to fine-tune your productivity

While Chrome OS started life as a simple, stripped-down browser and little else, Google's operating system now has tons of tools, tweaks, and customizations that let you tailor your Chromebook to your specific workflow needs.
Just like Windows or OS X, Google's built additional functionality into Chrome OS's app launcher, the taskbar-like shelf, window sizing, and other functions to help you stay productive. These tips will show you how to make the most of those tools and start getting stuff done on your Chromebook.
Let's dig in!

Arrange your shelf

The shelf has many of the features you may know from the Windows taskbar. You can even relocate it to the left or right side of the screen, though not the top. Just right-click it and choose your desired location.
chromebook shelf
Move the shelf to the left or right side of the screen.
The Chrome OS shelf also gives you some flexibility in how you launch apps. You can right-click an app and select to open it by default as a window, pinned tab, or full screen. For example, I tell Google Play Music to launch in a separate window so it acts like a standalone music application, such as Spotify or iTunes on other operating systems. Doing the same with Gmail and the Google Drive productivity suite can help those feel like discrete desktop apps, especially if you activate their offline capabilities.

Customize the app launcher

Exerting order on the randomness of the Chrome OS app launcher can also streamline your workflow. Customize the app arrangement in the launcher by clicking and holding on an app and then moving it. 
chrome app launcher
Group similar apps into a folder, just as you would do on an iPhone or Android device.
You can also move around the icons and bundle them together in folders, just as you would on an Android device or iPhone. If there are several different apps that you use from the launcher instead of the shelf, this is a great way to find them faster. Don’t forget, however, you can also hit the Search button (where the caps lock would be on a PC or Mac) and start typing the name of the app for another rapid way to launch your next task.

Focus on your task by going full-screen

With a couple of tweaks you can focus on one task, such as writing in a Google Doc or Office Online file. For writing, I like to auto-hide the shelf and set the tab in full-screen so I can just focus on what I'm working on. (Press the Immersive mode button, or F4, to entire full screen mode on a Chromebook.)
chrome full screen
Writing a Google Doc is one of many uses for going full-screen with a Chrome app.
In Immersive mode, additional tabs are represented by horizontal bars along the top of the screen. Your shelf is represented by similar bars, so you can still switch between apps in Immersive mode if you don't feel like using one of the manyChrome keyboard shortcuts.

Snap windows on the left & right

Just like the Windows Snap feature that came out in Windows 7, you can dock two separate windows on the left and right sides of the screen for multitasking. It’s great if you’re editing spreadsheets, for instance, as you can update the spreadsheet on one side of the screen and view source data on the other side. You can also assign different browser tabs to each half of the screen.
chrome window snap
Just like in Windows, you can dock two windows side by side.
To snap a window to the left or right side of your Chromebook's display, click and hold the title bar or tab, then simply drag it to the left or right edge of the screen. 

Search Gmail and Google Drive right from the omnibox

If you’re searching Gmail or Google Drive often—hey, you are using a Chromebook after all—then this little trick will make you quicker. You can search these items right from the Chrome browser's Omnibox.
chrome search gmail
Search your Gmail right from the Omnibar. 
Doing so requires some setup, however. Click the browser's options menu, then head to Settings > Manage search engines. Scroll to the bottom of the Other search engines box (pictured below). Then add Gmail in the Add a new search engine box at the bottom, type Gmail as the keyword, and the following URL:
Follow the same procedure for Google Drive, using Drive (or whatever you'd like) as the keyword and following as the URL:
Once you do this, you won’t need to navigate to these specific apps to search for any of the items. All you'll need to do is type either Gmail or Drive into the browser Omnibox, press Tab, then type in a search term and press Enter. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it's insanely quick in practice.
Notice all the "Other search engines" already loaded into Chrome's "Manage search engines" setting. You can perform the same steps to search within those sites, or add any site you'd like to quick-search using similar steps to those above.
chrome search engines
Add a custom search engine in the Chrome OS settings.
It's this sort of extendability that makes Chromebooks strong enough to serve as your main computer, especially if you've embraced the wider Google ecosystem. Once you've mastered these steps, be sure to check out PCWorld's Chromebook power user tips and our guide to powerful websites that will make you forget about desktop software for even more tools and tricks that will help you squeeze the most out of your Chromebook.
This story, "5 Chromebook tips and tricks to fine-tune your productivity" was originally published by PCWorld.