InsightsMartechProductsSaaS

5 Apps to Help You Make Money

There are apps for entertaining you and apps to help you be more productive. Certainly, there must be mobile apps for helping you make money… right? We decided to look, and here’s what we found:

Money App

Yes, that’s what it’s called: “Money App.” This is an Android and iOS market research app which rewards its users for completing tasks such as playing games, offering opinions, testing services, mystery shopping, using free trials, and checking store displays. Using your PayPal account, you can redeem your money after completing tasks. This app is convenient as the user can redeem their rewards and get paid within two or three working days, which is rare in market research apps that tend to pay monthly and sometimes never even pay at all. On both iTunes and Google Play, the app scores 4.8 out of 5. Quite decent for being a couch potato.

iPoll

Like Money App, iPoll is another task-based app to help you make money while you’re waiting on the bus. It’s an Android and iOS market research app that rewards its users through completing retail missions, writing down diaries (for example, your meat consumption over a week), and taking market surveys.

Once registered, you are required to input basic information like your consumer habits and preferences, to determine your availability for tasks. You are then alerted when there are new available missions based on location and preferences. This market research app is unique in the sense that it is customized so that missions and tasks given to you are suited to you and could, at times, be enjoyable. On Google Play, it is rated 3.1, and on iTunes, it is rated 4 out of 5. Users enjoy the lack of glitches selection of topics. Rewards can be redeemed as gift cards or cash, which can be acquired through PayPal.

Foap

But what if you don’t want to take surveys for pennies? Foap is an Android and iOS money-making app that allows photographers to make extra money by selling smartphone-taken photos. It is a platform for marketing and advertising agencies and brands to search and buy images from Foap’s registry.

After registering for your account, you can upload your tagged photos (high-quality). The photos’ visibility will be higher if the rating is high. The registered community is responsible for rating photos. Each image earns you $5, but a photo can get as much as $100. Some agencies and brands sometimes hand out “missions” where they require specific images or, in recent times, even videos. The app is highly rated on both Google Play, where it is rated 3.8 out of 5, and iTunes, where it is rated 4.3 out of 5.

Helium 10

But what if you already have a way to make money online? If you’re an Amazon seller, the Helium 10 Chrome extension gives you an advantage over your competitors. This powerful extension includes a profitability calculator, an ASIN grabber, a review insights tool, quick-views of inventory levels, and more. We mention it in this list because there is a streamlined mobile app version for Helium 10 subscribers. The app version provides you with charts and sales trends at a glance, deep-dive product research tools, order monitoring, and suspicious activity alerts. You can get a great understanding of what is going on with your Amazon selling business just by looking at your phone. The Helium 10 mobile app is available on both Android and iOS.

Fluid Market

Our last choice for a mobile app that helps you make money is called Fluid Market. Many people have cars that they do not use often, and other people do not have cars at all. Fluid taps into this business opportunity by allowing someone to rent out their SUV, car, pickup truck, box truck, or cargo van by the week, day, or hour. The folks at Fluid claim that renting out your truck could make you up to $24,000. Tools such as hedge hammers, saws, and drills can also be rented. It is convenient for both parties in the car rental system. Users enjoy using the app. On iTunes, it is rated 4.5 out of 5, and on Android, it is rated 3.5 out of 5.

Top 5 Digital payment trends for 2021
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Top 5 Digital payment trends for 2021

In the last decade, technology has been gaining more and more influence on most aspects of our life. That includes shopping and making payments. The biggest shopping day of the year is Black Friday, and at first mention, the mind goes straight to long lines and large crowds at the mall. But, as it turns out, most buyers turn to online shopping instead of actually visiting the store.

Last year’s Black Friday broke all records when it comes to online spendings. Adobe’s analytics published that consumers spent $7.4 billion online. Yes, that’s billion with a B. And we don’t see that number going down with the pandemic and everything going on in 2020.

Because of how people handle it, and how quickly it exchanges hands, cash was always a potential vector of transmissible diseases. With COVID-19 still going on, the popularity of paper money is likely going to take a hit. What are the alternatives? If you aren’t familiar with other choices except for cash or credit card, this is the article for you. We are going to inform you about the best digital payments for 2021.

EMV Chips Turn Cards Into Smart Cards

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, but is most often referred to as a credit card with a smart chip. It uses the smart chip for storage of the data that is needed to process the transaction, unlike a mag stripe used by older credit cards.

EMV’s increased security is the reason more and more cards have chips nowadays. Unlike the mag stripe, which was a lot easier to clone, the chip is tamper-proof, thus making the card almost impossible to duplicate. Furthermore, EMV cards use a unique code for every payment, your bank then uses the code for the transaction, and once it’s used, it can never be used again.

Another plus for the use of EMV is the possibility of a contactless transaction. You can just tap the POS terminal, or even wave the card in front of it to make a payment. It allows you to use the card without putting in the pin. Contactless is the way to go in 2020.

You Might Be Using EChecks Already

If you went to the gym for a while, chances are, you used an electronic check without even knowing it. Most people do. Gym memberships are considered automatic payments, but in fact, they are fulfilled via eChecks.

By using eChecks, you only spend time when you agree on the terms for the first time, everything else is automatic. That’s the biggest advantage of electronic checks, significant time gets saved by both the client and the supplier, everything is done electronically. This type of online payment takes the agreed sum of money out of the payer’s account and transfers it to an overarching network, which deposits it to the payee’s account. 

Have you ever thought that you’ll be able to forget about your bills and not even think about the due dates, but everything still gets paid on time? EChecks make that possible!

Home Assistants Can Do All the Work

In 2014, Amazon came up with the first smart speaker, and a few years later, Google Home and Apple presented their home assistants as well. Since then, smart speakers have been helping people with their everyday tasks. Unfortunately, most users still don’t believe in the safety of their information with home assistants, so they mostly rely on them for tasks with less risk.

Statistically, 82% of all consumers use smart speakers for seeking information, checking the weather, and making appointments, while only 28% dare to send money or make payments. The percentage is significantly lower due to security reasons most users have, but the future of smart speakers is still bright.

With big names like Amazon, Google, and Apple investing in developing safer home assistants, we can assume that the future of smart speakers is secured. Also, Business Insider estimates that the usage of virtual assistants will unquestionably grow in the next few years.

Mobile Wallets Are Convenient

A mobile wallet is exactly what it sounds like, a wallet on your phone. What better way to lower the clutter you carry around in your pockets than to combine a phone and a wallet in one thing. That’s why the number of mobile wallet users is growing consistently.

Big companies like Samsung, Apple, and Google already have their applications that are used as a wallet, so we can expect others to follow with similar apps in the future. The possibility of just tapping your phone to make a payment makes the use of a mobile wallet practical, which a lot of buyers are looking for these days. Also, the app can store your loyalty cards, credit cards, and multiple companies can work together to make the experience extra convenient for you.

Use Your Fingerprint to Make a Payment via Biometric Authentication

This way of payment makes you realize that we live in the technological future. Biometric authentication uses a person’s biological and structural characteristics to verify who is trying to make a transaction. This includes methods like fingerprint scanning, facial and iris recognition, or even heartbeat analysis or vein mapping.

The main goals of all the transactions that are being invested in currently are security and fraud protection. It’s hard to find something more secure than bio authentication, and that’s why we’ll see more of it shortly. Stats suggest that by the year 2021, more than 18 billion biometric transactions will be completed, every year.

Insights

How to optimize your sales process for more leads

Lead generation has always been a challenging task because of its complexity.

 

Having in mind that businesses don’t exist without their customers, it is not surprising that whole teams and departments work for the same goal – finding more and more qualified leads.

 

As you already know, the sales process involves not only the bottom of the sales funnel, but also creating products or services themselves, and even a number of steps that come before that, like creating a target audience.

 

It is important to optimize your sales process because you don’t want your potential buyers to lose their interest.

 

To prevent this, here are the most important techniques for achieving an optimized and successful sales process.

 

1. Identify your target audience

 

The importance of choosing the right target group is huge. Your target audience will actually influence everything else you do.

 

When you really know who you are addressing, you get a very good start for everything else you intend to do.

 

Even if you have already started with other steps such as product presentation, selection of sales channels, and so on, and you have not defined the target group clearly enough, go back to it and afterwards change everything else accordingly.

 

This is the initial and key step in creating an optimized sales process.

 

In order to make it easier to form a target group, imagine an ideal buyer persona – a representative of your customers.

 

Make a set of questions and start researching. Based on that, you will create your perfect customer and you will know who you are addressing and trying to convert.

 

In order to achieve that, the best way is to use the chatbots, integrated with a well-designed knowledge base software. Intelligent chatbots can identify patterns and respond appropriately, meanwhile collecting valuable information about your potential customers.

 

After determining the gender, age, location, and other basic characteristics, move on to more complex questions such as what interests your ideal customer, how he spends his free time, what he spends the most money on, and similar.

 

Keep in mind that you can have two types of customers:       

 

  • Primary target audience
  • Secondary target audience

 

Let’s explain that using an example so that it doesn’t confuse you.

 

For example, let’s say you sell women’s jewellery.

 

The primary target group would certainly consist of women, aged, for example, 20-50 years, of average or higher purchasing power.

 

The secondary target group would consist of males who want to surprise their better halves with a gift for a birthday, anniversary, or similar.

 

Therefore, you will also create duplicate content to address both target groups, and the content you create will depend on who you are addressing at the time.

 

Everything you learn about the ideal customer will help you find out exactly how to address your target audience and it will also help you create quality content.

 

2. Distribute quality content

 

Your content is a crucial part of the sales process. It presents the product or service you want to sell.

 

To retain the attention of potential customers, your content must meet at least one of the following purposes:

 

  • To educate
  • To entertain
  • To inform
  • To solve a problem

 

Ideally, quality content combines two, or even all of these categories.

 

Content that intrigues and affects the interest spheres of a certain target group is also the one that retains your leads and guides them further through the sales funnel.

 

To interest and retain people, try to combine multiple types of content including textual content, visuals, videos, infographics, tables, and similar.

 

Of course, everything you create should be in line with your product or service.

 

Sometimes the content alone will not be enough to encourage the purchase, but there is a solution for that as well.

 

3. Implement adequate pop-ups

 

Pop-ups are a great solution to optimize your sales process and increase conversions.

 

Engaging pop-ups need to have:

 

  • Visually appealing design
  • Catchy copy
  • Right context
  • Irresistible offer
  • CTA

 

It may seem like they can require a lot of time, but today you can use tools that can help you to create this kind of window in just a couple of minutes.

 

These five basic elements are crucial for an effective pop-up window.

 

 

Source: Convince&convert

 

In the example above, we can see how these elements’ full potential was actually used.

 

The design is simple, but effective and tailored to the target group’s needs. There is not a lot of persuasion or excessive effects here, because the people who came to the website already know what to expect, and the offer itself is just a continuation of the content presented on the website.

 

Although the goal here is not direct sales, the email popup campaign is an extremely important part of nurturing leads, which will be discussed more in a minute.

You need to create a certain pop-up depending on what you offer and what goal you want to achieve.

 

Still, if you want to encourage your leads to purchase immediately, you can offer some benefit that will encourage them to make a purchase as quickly as possible.

 

 

Free shipping, discounts, or flash sales are all old but still really good practices.

 

Perhaps one of the most important advantages of pop-ups is the possibility of using exit-intent technology.

 

As its name says, exit-intent pop-ups are windows that appear when a visitor tries to exit your website.

 

At the same time as this intent appears, it triggers a window that presents your best offer and keeps potential customers on your website page.

 

 

Source: QuickSprout

 

With a simple but powerful word ‘WAIT!’, QuickSprout pop-up grabs the attention of a visitor and creates a surprise effect.

 

This example also includes a human element which increases the possibility of the brand gaining the target audience’s trust.

 

It is important to make as many interesting offers as possible because it is your last chance to keep your leads and convert them into customers.

 

4. Create an e-mail campaign

 

E-mail campaigns are a perfect way to nurture your leads.

 

“ By having your customers’ contacts, you are able to spread awareness about your brand and maintain communication with your leads. “— says Dhaval Sarvaiya, co-founder at Intelivita.

 

Even those leads that are cold may become interested in your business more and more if you share valuable content with them through e-mails.

 

Not just that you can share valuable information and announcements, but you can also offer discounts and special offers with personalized messages.

 

A personal touch can have a great impact on your potential customers and show them that you really care about them.

 

But how can you invite people to become your newsletter subscribers?

 

Besides the regular contact form that is part of your website, you can implement pop-ups with a short form that will include a field for an e-mail address and a CTA button.

 

 

Source: Contently

 

This example shows how to use a pop-up for newsletter campaigns in your advance.

 

An interesting design catches attention and effective copy intrigues the target group and makes them want to leave their addresses and find out what Contently can offer them.

 

5. Measure and analyze results

 

If you don’t track and measure your results, you will not have the right insights on how your business is progressing.

 

Track your conversion rates, ROI, number of e-mail subscribers and sales, and find out if you are on the right path or is it time to change something.

 

Based on your business, determine your most important and less important KPIs.

 

Compare your results on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.

 

It is a good practice to monitor the tactics of your competitors, too.

 

By analyzing their strategies, you can get some new and fresh ideas and implement them later on into your business strategy.

 

You can use basic tools such as an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your important KPIs. Use a simple excel test to assess the skills of your marketing team, to address the skill-gap.

 

6. Identify sales funnel leaks

 

Since the sales funnel is made up of different stages of the sales process, leads will leak through different stages of the sales funnel.

 

It is inevitable that a number of people who have entered the sales funnel will, in the same way, come out of it.

 

Take, for example, an advertising campaign on Facebook.

 

Your ad will reach a certain number of people, but a slightly smaller number of people will click on the link too, visit your page, website, and similar.

 

From this second group, a certain percentage of people will buy your product or service.

 

Not all leads will buy what you offer, at least not right away, but it is up to you to increase that number as much as possible and achieve the highest possible conversion rates.

 

By tracking the results of the campaign, you will notice if there is a major leak from the sales funnel.

 

If that’s the case, it’s time to revise the entire campaign you created.         

 

The reasons why a small number of people reach the bottom of the funnel, in this case the purchase, can be different.

 

Just some of them are:

 

  • Too wide or too narrow target group
  • Low-quality visuals
  • Confusing copy
  • Broken links
  • Unmatched ability of ads and offers

 

As we have already said, you must always keep in mind the ideal customer and create everything in accordance with his expectations and needs.

 

Once you identify the problems, you will be able to prevent leaks from the sales funnel and optimize the entire sales process.

 

The bottom line

 

Although creating and optimizing the sales process may seem complicated, after you use the first piece of advice from this list – identifying the target group, it will be much easier for you to fix all the other items.

 

The appropriate target group is the main guideline for optimization.

 

The better you understand and know it, the easier it will be for you to build a powerful strategy that will lead to more sales.

 

Regularly analyze and update your sales process to achieve long-term goals and to keep your business growing.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechProductsSaaS

Top Technologies Driving Laboratory Efficiency and Accuracy Forward

For decades, clinical laboratories have played a significant role in advancing patient care within the nation’s healthcare system. Through effective testing processes, clinical laboratorians generate accurate results that support doctors and other medical experts in making appropriate diagnoses and treatment plans for their patients. As new diseases, strains, and the global spread of life-threatening illnesses increase, rapid testing and diagnosis become more apparent.

Laboratories around the world have stepped up to the challenge by adopting technologies that enable them to work more efficiently to support the growing demand for improved diagnostics and patient care. Continue reading to learn more about technological trends in clinical laboratories.

Cloud Technology

The adoption of cloud technology in clinical laboratories has worked to streamline lab processes, create controlled environments, and disseminate information in real-time. Advanced lab equipment comes with features that automatically record testing data and store it in the cloud allowing technicians, scientists, and other associated parties to access pertinent medical information quickly. 

Assisting scientists and technicians in maintaining a controlled environment, the integration of cloud technology in advanced lab equipment immediately alerts teams when issues arise in the testing or experimental stages. Such alerts provide teams with the support they need to accurately monitor and adjust processes as necessary to generate accurate results. 

Lastly, cloud technology features allow scientists to share information in real-time with project contributors from virtually anywhere. The data can be accessed remotely, making it easier to collaborate with other employees and laboratories for improved productivity. 

Improved Equipment Designs

New technologies have enabled designers to create more efficient lab equipment compact in size with advanced capabilities for more efficient lab and testing processes. Microfluidic cell sorting, for example, can be done on a compact system, performing various functions, and helps to eliminate the need for traditional flow cytometry lab setups with simple, easy to use technology. Such innovations save laboratories money, time, and space.

Automation

The use of lab equipment to automate testing and experimental processes have been an ongoing practice for most clinical labs. As technology continues to advance, current equipment designs include features and automation tools that save time and improve efficiency in laboratory processes. The use of automation in laboratories reduces the need for manual tasks previously performed by lab technicians eliminating many daunting and repetitive steps in experimental studies resulting in authentic results in record time. Scientists and technicians are now able to focus their attention on critically analyzing data. 

Sustainability

As the general public becomes increasingly concerned about the environment, industries across the board have taken great strides to do their part to reduce their carbon footprint. Realizing the extensive amount of energy used to operate labs, scientists and lab workers have begun utilizing resources that support a more eco-friendly and sustainable work environment

Many laboratories reduced their carbon footprint by improving their recycling efforts by properly and safely disposing of used supplies, equipment, and containers. Consequently, in purchasing recycled materials for experiments, testing, and lab processes, laboratories have also been able to save a significant amount of money. 

A new concept, referred to as open labs have also become an increasingly popular method for laboratories looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With technological resources like compact equipment, cloud technology, and automation features, sharing space, equipment, and data amongst other labs cuts down on waste while saving money. 

The investment in more efficient lab equipment has also improved sustainability within the industry. Newer models require less energy to operate without compromising the accuracy of results. 
At a time when the world is in the middle of what could be the worst threat to public health in history, clinical laboratories are needed in the fight. From increased testing and rapid results to the development of vaccinations and treatment options, scientists and lab techs around the world will ultimately save humanity. As such, laboratories need to continue to adopt technology trends such as those described above to deliver the most accurate results as quickly as possible.

DevelopmentInsightsSaaS

How to Compare Server Hosts for Enterprise Companies

Understanding the differences in the types of server hosts can help enterprise companies to know how to best proceed. People have many hosting opportunities, and they should understand what each one offers and how it will have an impact on their website. People should choose their hosts carefully. Every company has different needs for capacity, usage, and security, so you’ll need to analyze your needs and the feature of different hosting solutions to ensure you are set up for current needs and future growth.

What Features Should an Enterprise Company Have?

First, it should have security because a hosting company offers nothing to an enterprise if it can’t protect its data and confidential information. This will keep your data protected. You should look for a hosting company that uses a multi-layered approach because in this way, even if cyber criminals can get through the first layer of security, they will have to break multiple layers to get inside.

A good hosting company should also offer good support 365 days a year, 7 days a week, and 24 hours a day. If they can’t provide solid support all the time and your website goes down, it can mean a huge loss in business especially if the web host isn’t providing you with the much-needed guidance. In this way, too, you never have to waste your time on IT issues.

Pros/Cons of Server Hosts

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of dedicated server hosts to better understand them:

Pros

  • Higher security
  • Faster speeds and upload time
  • Extra storage options
  • Total control over the server
  • Run the software and utilities that you want

Cons

  • More expensive than shared hosting
  • Harder to do problem resolution and diagnostics
  • Prior knowledge required to administer the server

Why Do Enterprise Companies Need Server Hosts?

Having a dependable server cluster is essential to continuing your business. You want to continue to operate successfully, and this is one of the best ways that you can continue without interruption. When you have a strong and depend on a server cluster, they can ensure that your website stays online so that you never have problems with getting a steady stream of business. As businesses continue to grow into a full-blown enterprise, the needs grow for bandwidth, customer service, CPU, and security, and they have to stay proactive. Don’t let yourself fall behind.

Security Benefits for Enterprise Companies

The bigger you get, the larger of a target that you will have painted on your back. More and more cyber criminals will become aware of your presence, and if they see you as easy meat, they will take what they can from your hard work. A good server cluster will give you the additional security that is required of enterprise businesses and make it that much harder for hackers to do what they will with your company. Don’t give anyone the key to your business. Joe Joe Oesterling, Chief Technology Officer at Liquid Web describes one server cluster environment as, “private cloud hosting solution is a single-tenant environment. A single organization can take advantage of a cluster of servers in a private cloud environment and use the combined resources to fit their needs.”

With each hosting plan, you should also take the time to understand the limitations of each one. In this way, you can figure out what hosting plan will serve your needs best.

InsightsMartech

Key Practices for Successful ERP Implementation

Enterprise Resource Planning platforms have gone way far from just nice to have technology to a necessity for building a strong organization.

And the reason accounting for the same is streamlined and well-managed operations that were earlier complex to operate without the advanced ERP systems.

Emerging companies are realizing the need for the software and implementing the smart solutions that can help them make objective-oriented business decisions.

But, little do we know that, with endless benefits of ERP, comes a list of complexities too if the implementation is not done properly.

By, failure in the implementation, we mean the situations where either the software is not utilized to the best of efficiency, or the software itself is not suited for the company, or where your resources are not able to operate the software well, or more…

All these factors hinder the efficiency and smooth working of the software, which in turn hamper the regular workflow of the organization too.

If you are planning to install your best-fit ERP in your organization, then this blog is an important piece of advice for you. Read it through and help yourselves in avoiding the possible mistakes that are common during the implementation of the ERP system.

Let’s begin with successful strategies:

1. Engage the Right Resources in the Project

This factor has a direct relation with the suitability of the software. Say for instance, if you engage just the C-suit people to find the suitable ERP system, they are going to focus on the level of stats it prepares and the user interface so as to understand the reports that come to them for making critical business decisions.

However, there are chances that they might overlook the required functionality of the system. Only an employee, who handles the daily tasks at the office, knows the pain points and the flaws in the business processes that need to be corrected.

Thus, the idea of finding out the best-fit ERP should be a joint decision and not just an individual person’s choice. It helps to build a proper system, which reduces over lapsing and any other faults which can become troublesome in the near future.

2. Dedicate Quality Time to the Project

ERP involves huge investment for an organization and thus, while selecting the software, you should invest your quality time in researching for the best-suited ERP solution. Take into accounts key factors related to the needs and requirements of the industry time, the modules that ERP is offering, pricing model and the availability of the subscription, the services come in package with the same, etc.

3. Build Opportunities for Innovation in the Workspace

Implementing software means opening the door of the innovation. Thus, while you keep the door open for opportunities, keep your mind open to implementing the changing in the workspace. These could be anything related to the assigning the dedicated roles related to the project management, deploying online trainings, hiring intelligent resources for meaningful tasks and cutting off the paperwork from the organization.

4. Prep-up the Data in Advance

The key to migrate the critical business information is start preparing for the backups and the data for the migration well in advance rather than leaving the same for the last minute. Only a strategic data migration process would lead to a data-rich organization in future.

Having known so much about the right way to implement the software, when are you planning to get your suitable ERP software with required ERP modules at your place? Check out the globally accepted ERP software that is a perfect fit to almost all industry types, SAP B1to match your requirements go ahead following the above steps and you’ll be able to establish an insight-rich organization.

DevelopmentInsightsSaaS

5 Apps to Help with Children Homeschooling

Even before stay-at-home policies and social distancing, the paradigm of modern education was changing. The rise in popularity of the flipped classroom was seen as an opportunity for children to be more involved in their education at home, giving parents the chance to be a part of that process.

Services like Google Classroom, Moodle, and Edmodo have been growing in popularity as schools keep moving towards the notion of the flexible classroom. That is, a class shouldn’t be bound to a physical place nor a specific time but rather be part of a continuous process that can happen anyplace and anytime.

Other schools have hired the services of software development companies, like BairesDev, to make proprietary apps for parents and kids alike. The perks of having an app custom-made to help a school schedule classes, share information, keep track of grades, and keep parents informed are too many to summarize in a single article.

It’s a well-known fact that flexible classrooms with the help of parents can be extremely nourishing to a children’s education. Not only are you spending time with your kid, but you are giving them the personal support that a teacher with dozens of students might not be able to give them.

Having said that, we know that partial or full-time homeschooling is very demanding, especially for parents who are just getting on the homeschooling train. Fortunately, there are hundreds of apps out there designed to help you and your kid get the best out of homeschooling. These are 5 apps that will help you and your kid study from home. 

Khan Academy

Perks

  • Free
  • Hundreds of courses
  • Shares projects with companies like Google and Pixar

Khan academy is almost a no-brainer in this list. It began in 2008 as a non-profit organization and has steadily become one of the leading projects in homeschooling, offering hundreds of classes for kids of all ages.

Every class is based on the K12 curriculum and uses a fairly straightforward process. The student first watches a YouTube video that teaches about a certain subject and then goes to the app or website for supplementary material such as practice exercises or skill tracking. 

Khan academy is not a substitute for actual schooling, but as an additional tool for your kid to complement their regular classes, it’s an invaluable asset.

Evernote

Perks

  • Basic accounts are free to use
  • Available in all platforms
  • Cloud-based saves

Yes, we are kind of cheating by putting Evernote on this list, but hear us out. It’s one of the best multi-platform cloud-based note-taking apps on the market. Your kid can take notes on a Windows PC and then check them out on their iPad, iPhone, or Android device at any time. 

What truly elevates Evernote from other note-taking apps is its versatility. With the web clipper, you can take snapshots of web pages and put them directly in your notes, you can upload images, scan documents, save and search PDFs, and it can even read handwriting if you want to save your handwritten notes.  

The only downside is that free accounts have limited storage, so you might have to end up deleting your old notes after a while.

Mathboard

Perks

  • Intuitive
  • Available in all platforms
  • For kindergarteners to middle schoolers

Mathboard is the app we wished we had back when we were children. This highly customizable teaching tool is perfect to teach math skills to children of all ages. At its most basic, Mathboard is a problem-solving book, but once you scratch below the surface, it’s one of the most amicable ways to learn math.

Mathboard stimulates creative thinking by providing multiple answer styles and a scratchboard area where the student can try to solve the problem by hand. Its best feature is the Problem Solver option, which helps your kid whenever they are stuck on a difficult problem by displaying a step-by-step solution, thus teaching the student how to solve it.

Edplus

Perks

  • Fun interface
  • Continuously expanding
  • Tik-Tok like videos to keep students engaged

Edplus is half a learning tool and half a quiz app. Such a mischievous approach tempts students into engaging by creating that “just one more reward” feel. You begin with some basic questions to farm coins which you can then use to unlock other subjects. The more you answer the more quizzes you have access to.

Edplus has quizzes about language, science, math, religion, hobbies, and weird but interesting subjects that should keep your kid stuck to their screen learning in a fun way.

Rivet

Perks

  • AI-based tools
  • Hundreds of books
  • Gamified activities

How can books stay relevant in a world where everything is trying to win over our attention? By becoming even more interesting than they already are. With a library of over 3000 books, Rivet has a book for every kid out there. 

Rivet is an enhanced-reading app, specifically aimed at teaching kids how to read as well as helping them develop a love for books. It’s simple to use, and it has a lot of functionalities for both teachers and parents to help kids with their learning.

One of Rivet’s strongest features is that it has activities, games, and other tools to enhance the students reading experience, as well as a learning tool that helps them learn new words and pronunciations. And the page tracking feature is perfect to keep track of the progress of your children. 

And there you have them. 5 apps that will help you homeschool your kids, each with a different approach. While you may benefit from using any of them, combining them can provide you with the best results. Be sure to try them!

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How to Set up a Print Server on Linux

After years of working as a support technician, I can tell you one of the most frustrating pieces of technology out there is the printer. When they work, they are an indispensable tool in the office. When they don’t work (as it often happens), they are a never-ending point of frustration.

This is especially true when your printer is attached to a Windows machine that can cause any number of problems, without rhyme or reason. Getting that shared printer back up and running can take some time. Or you might wind up having to call in support. 
To make matters worse, printer problems don’t just plague end users. This almost universal bone of contention causes problems for every level of the user, even all the way up to JavaScript developers, like those at BairesDev.

Fortunately, there’s a way for your business to avoid the headaches brought about by sharing printers from desktop machines. That solution is to deploy a Linux printer server. Once you have such a server up and running, you’ll find it will serve you without fail (so long as the hardware and your network don’t become a problem).

Outside of reliability, the fact that you’ll be using open source means the only cost for you is the hardware. 

Requirements

First off, you need to have a printer that supports Linux. At one point in time, this was a challenge that caused many users to avoid the Linux print server. But that’s all in the past. Today, it’s fairly easy to have a Linux printer. To find out what printers are supported by Linux, check out the OpenPrinting site

With your supported printer at the ready, you’ll need to make sure it’s connected to your Linux server. 

You’ll also need to have a Linux server available. I’ll be demonstrating with Ubuntu Server 18.04, as that’s one of the most user-friendly Linux server distributions on the market. Do note, however, that Ubuntu Server 18.04 installs without a GUI, so you’ll be working from the command line.

Finally, you’ll need a user with sudo privileges.

And that it’s. Let’s get to work.

Installing the CUPS printer server software

The first thing to take care of is the installation of the CUPS printer server software. CUPS stands for Common Unix Printer Server and has been around for some time. 

To install CUPS, log into your Ubuntu server and issue the command:

sudo apt-get install cups -y

Once the installation completes, you’ll need to start the CUPS daemon and configure it to start at boot (otherwise you’ll have to start it manually anytime the server goes down). To start the CUPS daemon, issue the command:

sudo systemctl start cups

 To enable the CUPS daemon at boot, issue the command:

sudo systemctl enable cups

Configuring CUPS

With CUPS installed, it’s time to configure it. Only a few quick changes need to be made within the configuration file. To open that file for editing, issue the command:

sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

The first change you need to make is the line:

Browsing Off

Change that to:

Browsing On

Next, you need to configure CUPS so that the web-based manager is accessible from within your Local Area Network (LAN). Look for the line:

Listen localhost:631

Change that line to:

Port 631

For our next trick, you’ll have to make sure that CUPS is listening on all network interfaces. Look for the following section:

<Location />

  Order allow, deny

</Location>

Change that to:

<Location />

  Order allow, deny

  Allow @LOCAL

</Location>

Finally, you’ll want to add access to the CUPS web-based admin console. Look for the section:

<Location /admin>

  Order allow, deny

</Location>

Change that to:

<Location /admin>

  AuthType Default

  Require valid-user

  Order allow, deny

  Allow @LOCAL

</Location>

If you do opt to make the web-based admin console available, you might want to lock it down to allow only a specific user. To do this, you would change the line:

Require valid-user

to

Require user @SYSTEM

Save and close the cupsd.conf file. Restart the CUPS daemon with the command:

sudo systemctl restart cups

If you opted to lock down the admin console to a specific user, you’ll want to create that user with the command:

sudo useradd -g lpadmin cupsadmin

Set the new user’s password with the command:

sudo passwd cupsadmin

With that configuration, you can point a browser to https://SERVERIP/admin (where SERVERIP is the IP address of the machine hosting CUPS). You will be prompted to log in with the cupsadmin user and the password you set above.

Share the printer via Bonjour and IPP protocols

You’ll want to make sure your printer is visible to your LAN via Bonjour (for macOS desktops) and IPP (for most other desktops). To make this work, you’ll need to install the avahi daemon with the command:

sudo apt install avahi-daemon -y

Once installed, start and enable the daemon with the commands:

sudo systemctl start avahi-daemon

sudo systemctl enable avahi-daemon

Open the firewall

If you happen to have the UFW firewall enabled on the Server, allow Bonjour and IPP printer traffic through with the command:

sudo ufw all 5353/udp

Connecting your printer

At this point, everything is ready for desktops to connect. How you connect the desktop to the printer server will depend on which desktop you are using. For example, with Pop!_OS Linux, I can go to Settings > Printers, and (as long as the necessary drivers are installed) the new printer will automatically appear (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Our printer on the CUPS printer server is now available for connection.

Conclusion

And that’s all there is to set up a reliable Linux printer server. The only hiccup you will run across is if you have entities outside of your LAN (such as third-party JavaScript development companies). To allow those groups to use the printers connected to the server, you’ll need to employ a VPN. Otherwise, your printer server is ready and should serve you without fail.

Martech

Business Intelligence in Digital Marketing to Understand the Latest Trends

Business intelligence (BI) helps in data collection and analysis. It can seamlessly process a large amount of data and generate analytical output. BI provides market insights for enabling an organization to make timely strategic decisions.  It, therefore, helps in improving operational efficiencies. 

In the current world of digitalization, digital marketing promotes a business through an online medium. It supports an organization to reach out to its potential customers digitally. Various methods of digital marketing include content marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, etc. 

Using businesintelligence in digital marketing helps collect consumer data to understand consumer trends and behaviors better. It helps in meeting the varying customer expectations while translating the marketing efforts into new sales and loyal consumers. 

You can streamline the marketing efforts and expand your reach in the market, creating better brand visibility. Business intelligence can surely help in understanding the latest trend, as illustrated below: 

Understanding the Behavioral Changes  

The social media platform is a key place for understanding consumer preferences. Digital marketing helps an organization connect with existing and potential customers on various social media platforms. 

The customers typically express themselves by liking or disliking a particular post, uploading comments or feedback, and forwarding or tagging somebody in a post. This gives voluminous information, which can be of great help in formulating advertising strategies. 

Business intelligence can support collecting and analyzing data to derive an understanding of current and expected trends, customer sentiments towards a particular product, his or her expectations, and the anticipated response to a product launch. Business intelligence in digital marketing helps track customer trends, which, in turn, facilitates an organization to create or alter its marketing tactics.   

Working without Assumptions

The current technological advancement leaves no room for assumptions. With business intelligence, you can derive the reason behind the fluctuating online traffic. You will be able to understand the cause of change in consumer acceptance towards your product, which helps in devising remedial strategies. Moreover, the effect of each marketing campaign on the top line can be tracked and scrutinized. 

Business intelligence gives detailed reviews like the quantum of new sales, customer type, age group, and geographies contributing to increased transactions. The benefits of a promotion campaign can be easily quantified and justified.  

On-Time Analysis 

Consumer preferences have always been subject to change as they are influenced by various factors, such as reviews and feedback posted by other customers. With the ease of accessibility to social media, a consumer carries out some basic research before purchasing any product. 

Hence, data gathered from the online platform lacks stability as it is prone to constant change. 

It becomes essential to have real-time data for timely review and revision of the marketing policies. The organizations can thus review the analytics of its products and decide on the social media platform requiring more attention, which also helps in a better allocation of the advertising budget. 

An organization can thus review and know the response to its marketing campaigns on all social media platforms. 

Emailing the Trend Setter  

An organization can use e-mails more effectively. With the help of business intelligence, a company can examine and know about personalized customer behavior such as the kind of product that the individual is looking out for, the type of content that can grab his attention, etc. 

Moreover, it determines the perfect time for releasing the e-mailers to deliver the needed information with customer delight. Thus e-mails, when used efficiently, can help in connecting with a potential client at the correct time.  

Right Product at the Right Time and Best Price

You may predict how the customer may respond based on the analysis of huge historical data gathered from multiple sources. It is essential to know about the current customer requirements and expectations. 

Understanding the value of money from the client’s perspective also helps in offering competitive pricing. You can retain the existing customers by catering to their demands and needs in the best ways.  

Further, real-time knowledge of customer sentiments helps an organization create discount models and other freebie schemes. This facilitates the onboarding of new customers while winning their loyalty towards the product. 

Digital marketing is the best tool to reach a larger clientele base. Business intelligence helps in having a more structured approach towards targeting the right set of customers through a timely response to the ever-changing demands. Combining both can render excellent results for your marketing and branding strategies.

Using business intelligence in digital marketing, an organization can understand the latest trends and make suitable marketing strategies for expanding its customer base.

DevelopmentInsightsProducts

Explaining why Fintech Industry Needs Blockchain with Use Cases

Blockchain technology has emerged as one of the most popular data technologies that revolutionized the way data is stored, protected, and shared in modern organizations. This decentralized data management system uses complex cryptographic protection and stores data in decentralized blocks to prevent all kinds of tampering efforts. Blockchain follows a ‘write-only’ protocol that allows only adding data and disallows any changes, deleting or tampering data. 

 

Since the fintech industry is highly data-driven and data security plays a key role in the fintech apps’ success, Blockchain has become widely popular for solving many data security concerns of banking and financial firms. As CTO of Cerdonis Technologies LLC, Paul Osborne pointed out, “Emerging economies with an increasing volume of banking and non-banking investment and transactions are direct beneficiaries of Blockchain.”

 

Here are some of the credible use cases of Blockchain in the fintech sector. 

 

Blockchain-Powered Global Payments

 

 

The principal reason for the blockchain-powered payments to be tremendously secure is the personal cryptocurrency keys that every user can use for carrying out transactions. Moreover, Blockchain coming with a ‘write-only’ protocol doesn’t allow overwriting the transactions, and any changes brought to the transactions can only be facilitated with everyone’s consent. Any change is shared and distributed across the network in actual time to make sure that all the participants remain completely informed. 

 

Blockchain allows registering and evaluating every transaction so that there can be no scope of tampering transaction data. No wonder, leading Fintech companies around the world are increasingly embracing Blockchain for safeguarding payment. The best thing about Blockchain is that no longer global payments involving multiple currencies need traditional money transfer solutions.

 

Peer to Peer (P2P) Payments

 

A bulk portion of the international transactions belongs to the Peer to Peer (P2P) category involving considerable amounts of transaction fees for sending and receiving money. Apart from being exposed to risks from third-party platforms, such transactions end up adding more transaction costs that individuals and small businesses need to bear. 

 

Apart from the huge additional transaction cost that people and businesses need to bear around the world, the traditional international P2P payments also get delayed at various instances. Blockchain can offer a comprehensive and conclusive solution to all these and can ensure more streamlined transactions involving less cost. No wonder cryptocurrency-based money transfers are already becoming popular, and several players emerged in this sector, OkCoin, BitPesa, Ripple, Sentbe, etc. 

 

Reducing the Risks of Stock Market Manipulation 

 

Investors in various parts of the world are also relying more on advanced technologies for decision making. Blockchain is increasingly becoming a great technology choice in the equity investment segment for streamlining investments, improving efficiencies, and extending the market reach. 

 

Apart from helping with enhanced efficiency, Blockchain is also reducing the dark manipulations that big players in the stock market often practice. Lowering transaction costs is another major benefit of using Blockchain for the stock market. 

 

Credit Scoring and Rating 

 

Credit scoring and rating is an integral part of the evaluation of people’s creditworthiness. These days thanks to Blockchain, Fintech companies can even carry out such evaluating processes for populations still not covered under banking credit products. While evaluating precise credit scores is crucial to safeguard banking and non-banking credits from non-payment risks, Blockchain-based credit scoring can be used to make such scoring and rating more accurate.  

 

Maintaining Regulatory Compliance 

 

 

In the financial industry, the need for regulatory compliance plays a key role, and this is where Blockchain can play a great role. FinTech companies are facilitating regulatory compliance by using the latest technologies like Blockchain. Thanks to blockchain technology and its completely tamper-proof way of safeguarding data across distributed networks, it can play a great role in helping banks and financial institutions to remain in sync with industry regulations while dealing with the regulatory complexities efficiently.  

 

By maintaining multiple copies of transactions that constantly get evaluated, Blockchain based compliance platforms literally make it impossible for the firms to breach compliance. 

 

Minimizing the Identity Theft 

 

For the past several years, issues corresponding to identity theft and digital frauds are steadily increasing in the financial sector. This is why know-your-customer processes and anti-money laundering measures have become important for the banking and financial sectors. On the other hand, banks and financial firms still rely heavily on paperwork. Paper-based customer documents are finding it difficult to compete with digitally equipped banks and firms in terms of efficiency and data risk. This is where the role of Blockchain technology became important. 

 

By implementing a blockchain-based system, the fintech companies can streamline the entire process in which the customer has to evaluate their identity just once. The entire process of identity verification can be completely tamper-proof and free of a security risk as several blocks of data across the network will store the same document, and any change will be shared and distributed across the network in real-time. 

 

Blockchain-Based Reward and Loyalty Systems 

 

Besides securing data and streamlining processes in fintech firms, blockchain technology can also play a crucial role in making the customer rewards and loyalty systems more streamlined. Thanks to blockchain technology, businesses can utilize a multitude of less expensive loyalty programs and customize them as per different customer needs and preferences. Most importantly, Blockchain allows tracking the impact and traction of each and every reward program separately. 

 

Conclusion

 

Blockchain has started to play a key role in the scheme of things for all financial firms. From security to streamlining processes to data transfer and sharing, Blockchain’s huge positive impact in the Fintech industry is likely to continue in the years to come.