More and more employees today choose distant work without the need to leave home. According to statistical investigations, every third employee in Europe and the USA works remotely and the performance of remote workers is nearly 25% higher, than of those who have to visit the office every day.Among remote workers there are translators, journalists, programmers and IT-specialists. The specialist can either do one part of his job in the office and another at home or work only from home if necessary.The number of programs providing access to remote computing is rather broad today. One such system is Radmin (www.radmin.com), produced by Russian company Famatech (Moscow). Radmin has been on the market since 1999 and has a stable reputation of the fastest and the most secure tool for working and/or controlling a machine remotely. In the beginning of February, Famatech released its innovative Radmin 3.0 version, first to be compatible with Windows Vista and contains a great number of innovations including the DST(tm) video capture driver with a digital signature from Microsoft; voice and text chat; as well as being a Military-grade security system.Radmin is widely used in organizations with high security demands, such as Banks, Insurance Companies, and Military departments because of its reliable security standards. By means of modern encryption tools and authorization algorithms, such as Diffie-Hellman, the program can prevent malicious user's attempts to hack into the computer.Another remarkable realm of Radmin usage is the support of IT-infrastructure of various sizes. The work of an IT-specialist today means complex support of a growing number of computers. The basic task of one system administrator or IT-department is to effectively control the usage of software and hardware. Technical specialists have to solve users' problems and also teach them, how to work with programs.IT-specialists value Radmin for its ease-of-use, high speed of work, and reliable security standards. New voice and text chat systems, implemented in Radmin 3.0 allow system administrators to answer user's questions and see the status of remote computer.The remote control industry has great perspectives. The market of remote employees will continuously grow as more and more people prefer mobility and freedom to act. Office workers are no longer bound to their workplaces they can effectively do their duties from home or even from another continent. The implementation of Radmin in IT-infrastructures will help to remarkably reduce costs related to Tech Support, allow the IT-specialists to quickly answer the end users question without the need to visit his/her workplace, greater capability to cover after hours support needs, in addition to the flexibility to offer remote workers a greater quality of life and time to spend with their families.For more information about Radmin 3.0 please visit Famatech's web-site: www.famatech.com
There are many systems that can lock your software or document, allowing you to control access to that file. But the problem arises with assuming that this will stop all theft. A well thought out, thorough protection system can deter theft, but it cannot stop it 100%. An "unbreakable" protection system simply does not, and will never exist. If someone really wants your information, they can get it, even if it takes years of work. SO WHAT'S THE POINT? WHY USE ANY PROTECTION AT ALL? There is no 100% security guarantee in anything, but that's no reason to totally ignore protecting your intellectual property -- A thief can easily kick in your front door and rob your house, but you still lock the door. Locking the door is not 100% effective security, but we still do it. Why? Because it deters most potential theft and those who are more determined will have to work a bit to get in. WHO SHOULD USE PROTECTION? The big question here is, HOW VALUABLE IS YOUR INFORMATION TO YOU? Sensitive, proprietary or private information demands some sort of protection, otherwise transmitting over the net is not an option. If your information is not free, then it's obviously of some importance. So, how much damage would it do to you if it were made freely available? What type of impact would it have on your sales and could you (or would you) absorb that without thinking twice? Is a $14 Ebook worth paying for another service to protect it? Probably not, but it depends on the situation and target market. What about a $2,000 report? Does the price change the perspective? Businesses protect their property. If you believe your information or software to be of a unique or proprietary nature, you should protect that information using some means, no matter how small. Companies like Microsoft lose hundreds of millions of dollars due to software theft and fraud, yet they continue to implement protection measures in their software. I would guess that without any protection whatsoever the losses would be in the billions. WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT? Like I said, there is no 100% way to prevent every possible incident, but you can make it very difficult and less likely to happen. At best what you should hope is to provide just enough security to close obvious security flaws and discourage would-be thieves. But not so much security that it discourages honest users and customers. PROTECTION OPTIONS Here are some common protection schemes: No Protection: Just distribute your information and hope for the best. - Pros: No special process to access file which means less support issues. - Cons: File can be passed around, copied, distributed and/or sold without authorization from the owner. Can't prevent access after chargeback or refund. --- General Password Protection: Simply requiring a predetermined password to install or register the file. - Pros: Simple for customer or end user. - Cons: File and password can be passed around, copied, distributed and/or sold without authorization from the owner. Can't prevent access after chargeback or refund. --- PC-Unique Password Protection: Generates a unique password based on the user's computer. - Pros: Can't pass around the file since it is basically locked to one machine. - Cons: Requires an extra step for registration; Customer cannot move file to another PC; If their PC crashes they will need another unique password; Can't prevent access after chargeback or refund. --- Delayed Registration: This requires a user to enter a second registration number a specific number of days after they first register the file. For example, after 90 days of use, they must enter a new registration number that they receive from you. - Pros: It allows control over chargeback and refunds. The file will be disabled after the second registration period because you will not provide the second key to reactivate the file. - Cons: Requires an extra step for registration; A user can request refund or chargeback AFTER the second registration period. --- Post-Purchase Activation: Requires activation by online server. After user purchases they are entered into an online customer database. They then install and register the file by entering their name/email or some data. The server confirms the purchase and then activates the software.This method is become more and more common with big name software. - Pros: Can prevent unauthorized distribution of file since the file must be activated by the online server. - Cons: User must be online to register file; Can't move file to a different PC; Can't prevent access after chargeback or refund. --- Active Password Protection: Each time user attempts to access file it checks an online server to confirm the usage rights and permissions for the user. - Pros: Prevents distribution or copying of file; File Owner can revoke access to file after chargeback or refund; Access permissions can be changed and applied in real-time. - Cons: must be connected to the net to register and/or access file; User may not be able to move file to another PC; User registration can be somewhat cumbersome and difficult for some customers. --- EVALUATING PROTECTION SERVICES When looking to protect your digital information any protection system or service that you consider should have a few basic security bases covered. For software and executables: 1. When opening the file, a protection system must not save or copy an unprotected version of the file to the windows TEMP directory or anywhere on your PC for that matter. 2. The system should automatically prevent password sharing and access by unauthorized parties. This will prevent the document from being passed around or distributed illegally since it can't be opened unless you are authorized. 3. It should have some method to revoke or cancel access for refunded or fraudulent users. For PDF documents, providing adequate protection requires a bit more security as their are many more ways to obtain a protection free copy of the document. Any PDF protection system must cover the three bases above, as well as: * It must prevent emailing of file and exporting or extracting pages from file. * It must prevent copying file and text to the clipboard * It must prevent redistilling of the file and printing to PDF * It must prevent unlimited, uncontrolled printing of file * It must watermark all printed pages * If using Adobe Reader, the company providing the protection service must be an authorized Adobe DRM provider. WHAT ABOUT COST? IS IT WORTH IT? Is $300 a year too much to protect your copyrights? Definitely not. Protection costs money, but if your business is making money then it's a cost of doing business. Is it for you? I don't know. Selling a few low priced applications a month probably won't warrant any sort of protection, but if you generate a substantial income from your software or the information distributed is of a critical nature to your business, then you need to protect your intellectual "capital" at some level. FINAL THOUGHTS Personally, I believe that some level of protection should be implemented on any piece of software or document that is of any value to you. You should never mass distribute a file in an unprotected format. Otherwise you will be scrambling when you find someone misusing it... if you find them! It's easy to listen to those that say "don't worry about it" (a common reply to the document protection topic) until someone is actually stealing from you. Then all you can do is worry about it, but it's too late really. The damage is done. You can't take something back once it's out there unprotected. No amount of legal threatening is going to phase someone in Prague who just doesn't care about your copyrights.
Many businesses need to convert recorded voice to text and have long been looking for ways to do it quickly and inexpensively. Transcribing medical dictation is a prime example. Some years ago, when voice recognition software became commercially available, most people expected that the solution had finally arrived. Businesses looked forward to cutting down on transcription costs and everyone who hated typing looked forward to getting rid of their keyboard.Unfortunately, the reality turned out to be rather different. Voice-to-text technology has been a big let down so far. The fact is, "voice recognition software" is easily thrown off track by many different factors. If you dont speak clearly and distinctly, it may not give you the right output. If you try using it in a noisy place, it will fail more often than not. If you have an accent, it may not understand you. Even if you have a bad cold, youll find that the software may give incorrect results! In other words, voice recognition software works reasonably well under ideal, laboratory conditions, but not in a typical home or business setting! Healthcare professionals who attempted to use voice recognition technologies to eliminate transcription services found that they need to train the software to function well. That takes a long time and a lot of work. Most wound up continuing to outsource their medical transcription work. Of course, there are many other types of situations where transcription is needed. Examples include recordings of seminars, teleconferences, interviews and classes that need to be converted to text. In natural speech, people tend to use lots of aahs and umms as well as unnecessary phrases like you know. Current voice recognition technology is just not capable of filtering out such irrelevant sounds or words. In addition, people also string together several sentences using ands. The software cant break up such speech into meaningful sentences. Nor can it break up speech into meaningful paragraph units the way a transcriptionist can. And if the recording is filled with background noise, or if more than one person is talking at the same time, the software will not function reliably and consistently. Maybe sometime in the future someone will invent "voice recognition technology" that can handle all the above issues. Till then businesses will need to use "transcription services" , particularly for work like "medical transcription" , where accuracy is critical.
I visited the ruins of a Roman settlement, the other day that was set in a lovely valley in the middle of an island.The setting was idyllic, sheltered from the winds and not too far from the main market town, it seemed an ideal spot to farm and bring up a family.Its history was thoughtfully provided on signs around the ruins of a substantial dwelling, which had been expanded in Roman times to include a hot and cold bathroom and mosaic floors. All of this was very attractive and a considerable investment for the landowner. But the settlement was abandoned, and it occurred to me that there had to be a good reason since it was clear that someone had put a lot of effort and finance into their dream.I wondered if Vikings, who were known to be active in this area after the Romans left, had attacked it but there were no signs of charred brick work or the aftermath of battle.Looking around another sign revealed the problem. There had been more than one attempt to settle the area, but the land formed a natural point of drainage for the hills around, and successive buildings had each eventually succumbed to subsidence.I was left in no doubt that the buildings were of a good quality and that the builders were competent at construction, but clearly it had taken a few generations to work out that this was not a suitable site for construction. If we really wanted to settle this place now we would drive piles deep into the ground to overcome the subsidence.The point that this drove into my mind was that of developing software. It is all too often the case that Software development organizations and their customers make the same mistakes over again. If the foundations are shaky then there is no point in building, but with a little forethought someone will could solve the problem and provide a safe way of delivering a good foundation.The biggest mistake that organizations make is to rush to cut code before they understand the problem they are solving. That doesn't mean you have to be complacent and that sitting around in a few meetings will solve all your problems.What should be done is: -Ring fence what you know.Ring fence what you don't know.Make sure you are developing the right product. Build the software that you know will not change.Check that what you are building is what is wanted.Often the customer just doesn't know exactly what they want, so you need to involve them in the development process. The earlier they get to know the product then the more likely they are to buy into the solution.Having said all of that..Code should be built where it enhances the understanding of the problem both to the customer and the developer.