There are lots of desktops to choose from, but the HP TouchSmart 600-1370 All-in-One Desktop is one of the special ones. Well, the name tells you the main ways that this computer is different. It has an all-in-one design that is compact, and it uses leading edge touchscreen technology. All of the main features will be discussed in this article because there is a lot more to this HP desktop. For many years HP have produced some of the best looking desktops on the market usually at a very affordable price and I think this is no exception.
First of all, if you are an avid picture taker, and like to edit your images before sending them to people you know, the HP TouchSmart 600-1370 All-in-One Desktop can help you do this. Want to transfer your digital images from your camera to your computer without cables? No problem! You can do this with the 6-in-1 Digital Media Reader built right in. Anyone that uses standard cables to connect their camcorder or camera to their PC will really appreciate this feature when uploading videos and photos and streaming TV. It is easy to combine your images into a slideshow with the touchscreen. You can even add audio! You will no longer have a problem organizing your photos, or making albums. Just drag your media using the TouchSmart technology, and organizing and sharing will be done in seconds.
Another great aspect of the HP TouchSmart 600-1370 All-in-One Desktop is the enormous touchscreen that comes with the PC. Do you like vibrant colors on your computer screen? The HD 1080p LCD Display is designed to display colors and images in crystal-clear clarity – see here. Very different from a smartphone or a notebook computer, this 23″ screen is something that you will really enjoy watching movies on or just surfing the web. Even though it will take a little bit of time, you will get used to using your finger instead of a mouse to do everything with your new touchscreen. The large screen, combined with the touchscreen technology makes this desktop quite enjoyable to use for entertainment and socializing. I’ve streamed some shows in 4k from the BBC iPlayer service and it looked wonderful. Remember you’ll need a fast internet connection to cope with this too.
Being able to have fun using the touchscreen, and the user friendly design are the primary differences with the HP TouchSmart 600-1370 All-in-One Desktop. It takes up a lot less space than a normal desktop, and the streamlined look is very attractive. You can move the screen 180 degrees and tilt it either backwards or forwards. The only slight criticism is that the screen is not always sensitive enough for some operations. Clicking and selecting blocks of code from my new proxy configuration which I was setting up in text file was kind of difficult.
For your own comfort, it can be put at just the right angle. In the case that you want it mounted on a wall, the base can be removed. If this is what you want to do, then separately, the adapter and bracket will have to be bought. The webcam can even be adjusted and tilted to whatever position you would like for it to be in. Desktops are typical for not being easy to customize, but it is easy with the design of the HP TouchSmart computers. This computer, the HP TouchSmart 600-1370 All-in-One Desktop, is an excellent desktop, free from all of the constraints that a computer usually has, lacking the wires and cables that most computers always need. It is really up to you to make a decision as to whether or not you need this computer. Despite its drawbacks (the price), this might be what you’re looking for.
For years we’ve heard that computer skills are an invaluable asset to any CV. It’s fair to say that it’s probably one of the most asked questions in interviews too, after all computers impact all areas of our lives to some extent. Even if a job doesn’t directly involve computers, any company values these skills because they’re aware of how useful they can be. Small businesses without specialized IT departments are usually especially glad to have employees who can use computers.
However, knowing how to use computers are not only a valuable skill in building a career – they have even more value than that. The simple fact is that computer skills are also invaluable for anyone wanting to work for themselves. The number of self employed computer programmers, IT technicians or network support engineers has never been higher. Whether they’re working directly with businesses or through service contract companies, literally millions of people now can class themselves as self employed simply due to their computer skills. The Internet has enabled millions of people in all sorts of areas to utilize their computer skills to develop new businesses or careers.
It goes further than this though, you don’t even need to work in the technology area directly to leverage your computer skills. Many people in all sorts of areas are using the web to boost their ‘real world’ businesses. In a little village near where I live, a mobile green grocer has developed a brand new web site, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. All of these he uses very effectively to promote his business and his latest offers to customers around the area. He has even launched a milk delivery service directly on the response he received from a couple of adverts on Facebook. Thought that the days of milk delivery where gone ? Well think again as the response was huge largely fuelled by the lower environmental impact of receiving milk in reusable glass bottles!
The new opportunities are everywhere and you often only need a modicum of technology skills to get started. When I was on holiday I met someone who’s retired and set up a business selling solutions to access UK TV stations. He was set up to retire, discovered he couldn’t watch Coronation Street on ITV player and Match of the Day when in Lanzarote, then proceeded to market the solution he discovered – it’s here if you want to see. He’s doing very well and can still enjoy his soaps online.
The fact is that perhaps more and anything learning about computers can open new doors and create opportunities. It’s like learning a new language suddenly options open up that perhaps weren’t there before. As a supplement to your existing skills set or specialization, there’s very little that can compare. For those with entrepreneurial aspirations having the skills to leverage the internet and social media can be the difference between success and failure.
Digital skills can easily be obtained, most schools and colleges offer a variety of technology courses. Of course you can even learn them online now, with many offering online equivalents of their normal courses too. You can bypass blocks by using high speed VPNs – try here, if available which can also be used to access content in different countries anonymously.
Of all the skills you need to develop in your business career, few if any will be as important as your creative abilities in bringing new ideas to the table. Business is all about growth and expansion and to do that, a constant flow of creative ideas needs to be sought and the person that can do that will be sure to excel in their line of work. The problem is that it’s one of many skills that doesn’t fit into a traditional education. Too some extent it’s a skill which comes with experience, however there’s no doubt that some people are much better in this area than others.
These sort of soft, creative skills are valuable to any organisation but are traditionally more valued in some than others. The internet and technology is changing all this though and businesses which don’t embrace change and development are unlikely to survive in the long run, But how can a person develop an ability in themselves that is not taught in schools or generally perceived to even be a skill at all?
The way to so this is not really so different from the development of any other skill whether it be physical or mental in nature. For example, if you need to be a better athlete and compete for the top achievements, you need to train hard and regularly and push your body to its limits.
Similarly, if you want to achieve a tough intellectual goal or aim for a high educational qualification, you have to learn all you need to know and then study hard so all the information is crammed into your memory for you to recall at will. You can’t get this by sitting around watching TV, real learning comes from proper studies.
Well, you can go about nurturing your creative talents in a similar way by practicing coming up with new ideas and repeating that procedure regularly and often, which is a broad subject covered amply at axcp.org. What you are essentially doing is re-wiring your brain to use its creative faculties, which are things we all possess but few use to their fullest capabilities.
If you find at first you are simply stumped to come up with even one simple idea, the trick is not to give up at the first hurdle, but keep trying until you succeed. As long as you go at the task with the sure belief that you can manifest ideas, they will come while you remain calm and don’t let yourself get stressed over it. Nowadays there’s always a way to find inspiration and ideas for virtually any concept – it’s called the internet. Indeed many marketing firms use the web in creative ways to find new concepts and ideas. One of them involves scraping data and ideas by using proxies to hide their real location and browse from the perspective of someone located in another country.
The ability to relax and remain calm is a secondary trait that will stand you in good stead when you are trying to come up with ideas and insights that can overcome problems. When you are stressed and uptight, the creative part of your mind gets locked out and the flow of imagination dwindles to nothing. But as soon as you relax, that flow is restarted and you might just surprise yourself at what you can come up with.
The most creative employees are a company’s greatest asset as it is their insights and good ideas that can lift the company to new heights in whatever area of business it happens to occupy. Being one of those people can being greater rewards that you might imagine.
When you logon to your computer and start browsing the internet, there’s a feeling that you’ve some element of privacy. After all you’re probably on your own computer, tablet or phone using your own internet connection in the privacy of your own home. There’s a tendency to believe that whatever you do or say online is not really linked directly to you as an individual. It’s part of the reason why many people seem to have complete personality changes online, an expectation that you can say or do anything without consequences.
Although twenty years ago, this was probably true to some extent – it certainly isn’t now. The news in the UK are frequently filled with stories and reports of legal cases concerning blogs, tweets and comments made online. It seems that many people make these remarks often under the misapprehension that they are made under the cover of anonymity. However the idea that you can do anything online anonymously is fairly far from the truth. Only this week a blogger in Singapore was fined $100,000 for reposting an article on Facebook with allegations about the Prime Minister – Singapore blogger ordered to pay nearly US$100,000 damages to PM for Facebook post | Singapore | The Guardian.
Facebook is of course probably the last place you want to hang out if you’re looking for any level of anonymity. The platform is one of few that is based on people using their true identities when using it. There’s plenty who don’t of course but it’s normally a simple case to work out who’s said who especially if they have any level of interaction with other users and friends.
This of course becomes very obvious when the individuals find themselves in court or in the media, however many young people still seem to fail to learn this lesson. The reality is that just as in real life, anything you say online is ultimately traceable to an individual – sure it can take some effort and there can be some exceptions. But overall it is important to act online in a similar way as you would act in real life.
The reason is that everyone who connects to the internet is assigned an IP address which is linked to the device they are using. If you access to the internet at home, then tracing this IP address is a trivial matter – it is linked directly to your name and address via your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Tracking any web visit, email or message sent whilst using your home computer is very straight forward indeed.
Even messages sent from an unmanaged internet connection using a smart phone or tablet can usually be traced. This is normally not directly through the internet address you’re using at the time but through connections related to those accounts. So is it possible to have any anonymity at all online?
Well it is possible, although it does take some effort and it involves using something called a proxy or VPN to hide the origin of your internet connection. have a look at this video for example. It enables you to hide your location by routing through an intermediate server.
This is a similar method lots of people use to bypass the other tracking technology used online – geo-targeting. This technology filters and blocks based on your physical location, it’s commonly used by media sites to restrict access to their domestic markets. However millions of people use it to access TV sites when they’re outside the correct area. Most UK expats for instance have been using them for decades to access UK television online like the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. It should be noted though that these companies do try and stop these workaround, you can read about these measure in this article – How the BBC Tries to Block Your VPNs
As you can see it is possible to make it very difficult indeed to track people online, but without taking these steps you should presume that everything you do can in fact be traced back to an individual. Of course the debate on anonymity/privacy online is often quite a heated one with strong arguments on each side. Using proxies and VPNs like these though has become almost automatic for many of us who want to keep our online world private.
Some people think that everything should be attributable to an individual indeed social networking sites like Facebook insist on people using real names to interact. Others point to the potential for abuse of this sort of data, and with the Snowden revelations which showed how the various security services routinely track and harvest our data – it’s difficult to argue with this.
Whichever side of the debate you side with, one things for sure – young people should be aware of the fact that they have a digital identity and it can usually be linked with there real life. It is probably not appropriate to encourage the use of all these tools which hide and anonymize your connection without stressing their responsibilities.
Have you noticed the increasing number of websites that are becoming inaccessible? Once upon a time you could click on pretty much any YouTube video but nowadays so many are country restricted i.e. you can only watch from specific countries. I was trying to watch a movie clip the other day and I got this message. It was a YouTube video from Channel 4 the British TV channel. Which is odd really as this happened from the UK and I could access all of the actual Channel 4 site and the thousands of programmes on it (including where the clip was from).
I see it more and more, sometimes with more information but very rarely. The reason is normally due to licensing issues or restrictions, the technology used to block you is called Geotargeting. The restrictions are based on your IP address – many web sites now look up your location from this. Sometimes it’s for good things perhaps to customise your experience of their site. All the search engines for example will customize your results to your actual location. So if you just search for ‘plumber’ you’ll get results of local plumbers not from the other side of the world.
The problem is that there seem to be far, far more restrictions than there are benefits to this technology. I watch a lot of shows on Channel 4 and love this one in particular – Escape to the Chateau which is broadcast on Channel 4 live and through their website for free. However as soon as you step outside the United Kingdom our old friend geo-targeting will block access to not only Channel 4 but all the other UK TV sites too.
For example try and watch something on Hulu when not in the USA and you’ll get blocked, watch the BBC Iplayer outside the UK and the same thing happens. More and more sites are doing this – literally thousands of different websites will only allow you to watch certain things on their sites depending on your location. Sometimes the lookup gets things wrong, this is because the database which lists all the IP addresses and their locations doesn’t always get updated. I’ve often managed to watch UK shows from a French hotel because my IP address is incorrectly listed as British. However this is all a bit haphazard and you certainly can’t rely on this happening.
To ensure you can watch what you like you need to start using VPNs or proxies to obscure your location. These middle man servers present their own IP address to the web servers when you connect. Therefore if you select an elite proxy or VPN in the appropriate country you should be fine to access the sites.
The service I use has lots of servers in different countries in order to make this more accessible. For example the above site is watchable from Switzerland despite being blocked in the UK. Connect via a Swiss server and you can watch the above video with out a problem. If you want to watch the BBC or Channel 4 then you need a UK server, for Hulu or NBC then select a US one and so on.
There can be some restrictions and issues with using this technology primarily because the media sites try and block their use. Some sites are better than others at achieving this, the BBC was quite relaxed until recently when it started blocking a lot of VPNs. There are plenty that work though and you should always check before investing in a long term subscription to see if it works properly with the stations you need.
When you get the right VPN though, you’ll wonder how you lived without them. They open up literally thousands of great sites from all over the world. Most of the best VPNs come with subscriptions that cover lots of countries so don’t restrict your viewing. I recently used a VPN to watch the Test Match cricket on Indian TV then switched to watch Match of the Day on BBC later all from a US based computer.
Blocked and filtered, monitored and restricted – this is the reality of the internet today. Ever clicked on a particularly funny looking video to be greeted by the message – ’we’re sorry that video is not available in your area’. Perhaps you’ve tried to watch the latest episode of that TV programme while on holiday. Maybe you’ve simply tried to place a bet while travelling using your online betting account. There’s a very good chance that none of these will work simply because of your physical location.
When did the internet change like this? It was once open to all, it didn’t matter if you were in a cyber cafe in Karachi, an Airport in Harare or sitting in a Starbucks in London – we all saw the same online, we were all equal. But that’s not the case any more – commercial interests, government filters and restrictive licensing meant that whatever you see online is highly dependent on where you live. Much of it is promoted as improving the user experience, while that’s partly true the majority is simply to boost profits or to control what we see online.
Mostly it’s geo-targeting that’s to blame, a website will check which country your IP address is from before deciding on what you can see. If you don’t believe me check out any media site in a country apart from yours – Non US residents try and watch something on ABC or Hulu, or if you’re in the US go and try to watch something on the BBC iPlayer website. Put simply it won’t work simply because the internet is now layered in Tiers and not all open to all. Media sites like these are a great example, virtually every single one works perfectly when you’re in a specific location (usually the domestic market). However as soon as you travel, then they’ll stop working. These huge international barriers being placed on something where location really shouldn’t matter.
We’ve mentioned some benefits and they’re definitely are a few. Search engines for example will tailor your results to match your location. So if you search for electricians you’ll get results located in the same area as you. Search for film times and you’ll see them matched to cinemas in your local area too. All this is useful in most cases but the blocks and filters are much more pervasive than these.
It doesn’t seem right that your physical location should be so important on a global communications network like the internet. Some people are seriously disadvantaged by their location with access to many important internet sites like PayPal and eBay restricted based on their location.
As always though there are work arounds, mainly in the various technologies that can be used to bypass these blocks. The vast majority of these sites determine your location using the IP address of your computer. Now although you can’t change this, you can hide it to a certain extent. By connecting through an intermediary server you can hide your real location and use that of the server. These are called proxy servers which you can gain access to through many different locations. You can use a BBC Iplayer proxy or a VPN to access Hulu and Pandora and it doesn’t really matter where you are – read this. In fact for internet surfers in most developed countries, a subscription to one of these services is becoming a necessity.
Many services offer access to servers across the world meaning whenever you get blocked you can simply select the appropriate server and you’re back in business. But of course this has meant that slowly the internet is becoming accessible to some and inaccessible to others. If you can afford one of these subscriptions you’ll be fine but others will have to live with the handicaps. It’s not really how the internet used to be and I suspect it’s not how most of us wanted it to be!