The Top 10 Cities to Launch a Startup in 2016

Recent research might surprise you concerning what cities are the top locations for launching a business this year. A new report by personal finance website, WalletHub, evaluated the 150 most populated cities in the U.S; the data was derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Venture Capital Association.

According to Inc. reporter Zoë Henry, “The study ranked urban centers–excluding the larger metro areas–using three factors: local business environment (length of the average workweek, revenue growth, industry variety), access to resources (financing and the amount of venture capital investment made per capita), and costs (office space affordability, labor costs, corporate taxes, and cost of living).”

Believe it or not, California and New York did not rank well for new businesses. Out of the two states, Los Angeles comes in at No. 48. Buffalo, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; and New York City, N.Y. rank at Nos. 31, 35 and 89, respectively.

Why? According to analysts, the cost of living in New York and California has skyrocketed, making them extremely prohibitive for new companies. In fact, San Francisco is tied with Washington, D.C. and New York City for the most expensive office space in the U.S. In addition, Fremont, Irvine and San Jose suffer from the highest labor costs.

According to WalletHub the top 10 cities for launching a business in 2016 are:

  1. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  3. Oklahoma City
  4. Lincoln, Nebraska
  5. Louis
  6. Salt Lake City
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina
  8. Springfield, Missouri
  9. Tulsa
  10. Amarillo, Texas

According to the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and professor of management systems at Ohio University’s college of business, “Being in the right city can really matter…look for a city that is creative, energetic, and livable—the talent you will need to recruit wants to live in those types of places.”

When considering where to start up, you should first consider the industry in which you plan to operate in. For example, ask yourself, what resources will I need access to? Consider Nashville for health care startups. Recently, Nashville has experienced a huge surge in health care technology, which benefits startups who can do business with established players like Hospital Corporation of American, HealthStream and Amsurg.

Trying to secure funding for a startup is no small task. The majority of traditional lending sources will shy away from startups, categorizing them as “high risk”. Thankfully, alternative lenders – like First American Merchant – offer high risk business loans for those that otherwise struggle to secure the working capital they need. As you search for the best location for your startup, don’t forget to also consider what funding option best fits your business’ unique needs.

Benefits of Managed Services

dsNeglected or overlooked IT maintenance tasks can lead to potentially devastating business consequences, and hence the need for proactive network maintenance should be acknowledged. Service calls to IT contractors or IT infrastructure consultants take up to three times longer to diagnose the issue when compared to networks that are under an IT Managed Services contract. This increases the costs of repairs considerably – not to mention that the repairs could have been avoided had there been a contract with a professional IT Services Partner.

Remote management services ensure that most of the maintenance tasks are performed well in time with no impact on the company’s workflow. Relying on the services of an experienced IT Services Partner can help an organisation manage preventive maintenance requirements of critical technology resources. Given below are some benefits of managed services:


A professional and reliable partner can help eliminate data recovery costs and expensive repairs by addressing problems before they pose huge network blockades. Moreover, managed services cost much less when compared to hiring an in-house IT team. Most Service Providers charge a fixed monthly fee for performing regular maintenance, including but not limited to data backups, security patches, virus protection updates, firewall protection updates and network performance maintenance.

Faster support

The best part of having an IT Services partner is that the received support is very fast. An efficient partner can diagnose and repair most issues using remote management tools, saving time as well as money.

Optimal performance

A professional IT Services partner performs regular preventative maintenance, thus ensuring that the performance is optimum with fewer network issues and less downtime.

Budget predictability

Most IT services come with a fixed cost which makes it easier to estimate your IT budget for the contracted period, especially as you do not need to spend exorbitantly on addressing random IT roadblocks.

Improved data integrity

When an organisation invests in reactive maintenance and repairs, there is a huge probability of losing mission critical data. The possibility of data loss due to hardware and software failure is eliminated by a managed IT service provider.

Efficient risk management

Managed IT services can safeguard the integrity of your network and can limit and control IT risks to a great extent. Now, can you put a price on peace of mind

Guide on How to Convert PDF to Word

yPDF is a convenient, easy-to-use document format. Unfortunately, you can’t use it in editing your document. If you want to edit a document you have to convert the PDF document to Word. The cool thing is that there are many ways in which you can do it. Here are some of the best ways:


Due to the need of converting PDF to Word, developers have come up with tools that you can use in converting your document from PDF to Word.

To convert your document you need to find a reputable online converter. There are many review sites that will guide you on choosing the right tool. When you find a reputable site you should attach the document that you want to convert and then hit enter.

There are other sites that will require your email address or to enter a code. These sites don’t use the information for any other purposes other than to verify that you are human. There are other sites that will send you the converted file into your email address.

When converting your files you should be cautious as there are some crooked sites that might steal your information and publish it online. This can be gravy if you were converting private information.

There are many sites. Some require you to pay a fee while others are free.

Adobe acrobat

There are some versions of Adobe that will convert your PDF to Word. To test whether your version can convert you should open adobe acrobat, click on file then open. The open box will ask you to attach the file that you want to convert.

You should browse through your files, choose your file of interest then press open again. Depending on the size of your PDF, the conversion process can take a few seconds to minutes.

Unless you have changed the location, the converted file will be saved in the same location as the PDF file. You should visit the location and double click on the document to view and edit it.

Google docs

Google docs allows you to upload a file in one format and download it in another. In the process you convert the document. You should start by signing into your account and upload new files. On the pop up box you should attach the file that you want to upload.

After completing uploading the file, go to your account and choose the file that you want to download. Choose the download option as Microsoft Word and your document will have been converted.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Buying a Desktop PC

fLet’s face it – computers have become an integral part of our lives. They’re everywhere so much so that without them this article wouldn’t even exist. Today when shopping for a computer, you will be spoilt for choice with several different models, configurations and prices to choose from. Shopping for a computer is no easy task especially for the less tech savvy with several tech jargon in the air, making mistakes rather inevitable.

Whether you’re looking to buy a budget computer or top of the line model, listed below are 5 common mistakes to avoid and by a computer that serves you well.

1. Buying a computer that doesn’t match your needs – if you think a computer is amazing based on the hyperbole surrounding it or simply because it looks good, you are taking the wrong route to computer shopping. It is however right to prioritize certain features both technical and aesthetics when buying a computer, but bottom line is buying one that will satisfy your needs. For example if your needs are basic such as internet browsing or some word processing, investing in a high spec model is not a viable decision.

2. Believing in a single number – when shopping for a computer, there are several numbers that are mentioned and a few that are disregarded. For example, many computer shoppers believe that an i7 processor is better than an i5 and although it is, there are several high quality i5 chips that will knock the socks of their i7 counterparts. So rather than simply focusing on high numbers, it is important to consider the components of the computer and other metrics such as clock speed, hyper threading and cache size.

3. Not knowing what your operating system includes – there are several operating systems to choose from, each with their own set of pros and cons. These include Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS and Linux, and each although may come across as being aesthetically different upon first glance, they do offer different functionality and better yet handle software differently.

Software that works well on your old operating system might be compatible with your new OS and in worse cases software for your new OS might not even be available. For example, Microsoft office will work its best when plugged in to a Windows OS computer, but will function differently when used on a Linux or MAC powered computer.

4. Ignoring missing details – as mentioned before it is wrong to simply favor high numbers when shopping for a computer because small numbers could mean the difference between buying a computer that’s right for your needs and budget and one that offers no real value. For example, if you’re a gaming enthusiast, buying a computer with no graphics card makes no sense. This not only does not serve your purpose of buying a computer to begin with, but will cost you a lot more when you decide to add components are a later time.

5. Thinking components can be added easily – continuing from the last point, adding components at a later point is a costly affair given that you will have to pay technician fees and then for the components as well. Another important point to note is that most computer warranties are voided as soon as you opt for third party technical help to open the computer and install new components.

Other aspects to take into account when buying a computer are software trial expiry dates and shopping around to get the best deal.

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How QA and Testing Automation Helps Your Organization Pay Off Technical Debt

ddNevertheless, most Agile/Scrum practitioners readily identify technical debt as the bane of product development because it messes up predictability in software release cycles big time – failed deadlines, code refactoring, higher defect rates and escalating costs are some of the symptoms of technical debt spilling over from legacy projects. Servicing technical debt is a serious productivity bottleneck. According to a broader industry survey, code duplication, on average, can account for 25% extra efforts, with figures rising to as high as 35% for financial/enterprise industries. What can be really done to avoid a situation like this?

First, it has to be understood that technical debt is deeply ingrained in each and every project action item, and cannot really be wished away any more than short-cuts and inefficient processes can due to business pressures, deadlines and commitments. We all live in the real world; no matter how well-planned you think your project is, some slackness in execution is to be expected, which doesn’t really matter a great deal initially but over a period of time, can build up like “compound interest”.

Most organizations slip into the reactive mode when it comes to dealing with technical debt – deploying project managers, developers, bug fixers and other capable resources to sort out existing gaps in the system – as and when it happens. This approach works well only for resolving short-term technical debt but for long-drawn projects with thousands of dependencies, it would be as effective as having a band-aid fix for a deep fracture.

In contrast, the more proactive approach, especially for an Agile organization, would be to integrate their software development skills with a test engineering frame of mind – at each and every stage of the project. This goes by our very understanding of the nature of technical debt, if you want to reduce it to a theoretical zero, it’s important to be able to diagnose inefficient processes, inelegant coding and in-built weaknesses as early as possible – with testing automation tools.

That can only happen when you try to approach 100% testing coverage, leaving no corners untouched. Instead of relying on in-house resources, it may be advisable in many cases to go for an experienced, mature external team competent in automation (through remote outsourcing or leveraging in-house teams). Such an approach would be reliably faster than making do with what you presently have. Less time in testing, 100% defect acceptance rate and improved software quality are some of the standalone benefits of test automation.

In fact, the profile of Software Designers/Engineers in Testing (SDiT, SEiT) is one of the most sought after in Silicon Valley today. Their primary expertise lies in test automation since they may have already worked on past projects, and have excellent command over reusable test frameworks specific to certain industries – e-commerce, healthcare, IoT, aerospace & defense, financial systems etc.

Using automation not only benefits you in terms of higher output per engineer thus, speeding up testing results but the reusable code kind of works like large down payments made to a bad loan- helping you quickly eradicate your technical debt, and start over from scratch again!

How to Migrate BYOD Successfully Into a SMB

eThe growing trend for employees to use their own personal devices for work purpose made enterprises more enthusiastic to adopt BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. But turning a small company into a BYOD workplace isn’t as simple as it might seem at first glance. There are a wide range of security and management issues, small business may face while dealing with this. In fact, due to their lack of resources, for small companies’ things might get even more complicated. But now even smaller companies can plan smartly for mobility. Here we discuss how small and medium enterprise can construct smart mobility plans.

Without a doubt, BYOD may cause problems and the main concerns are security and manageability. Here are the top 5 security concerns while deploying BYOD policy:

• Access to the network by an unauthorized user of an unauthorized device
• Unauthorized access to sensitive data that may be stored on the mobile device
• The Malware infects the mobile device and then the network
• Unauthorized access to the users personal information
• Stolen or compromised passwords

SMBs and enterprises differ in the resources available to them to create mobility plans, and it’s the planning that’s key to mobility success. Proper planning and the right deployment methods can help SMBs construct a smart mobility platform. Here are some key principles that a business has to implement to achieve an effective and secure BYOD scenario in the workplace.

1. A clear written policy: Many SMBs lack formal written policies regarding mobile rules of the business. Set up a mutually agreeable device policy among the employee and the employer. When an employee lost the device or leave the company, there is a greater chance of losing company’s delicate data as the devices are connected to the server. In this case, having a written policy is of utmost importance. The policy should include what measures or precautions need to be taken during such instances. (Once the employee leaves, the company data will automatically get eradicated from the device, separate password protection method for personal and corporate data)

2. Set smart strategy: With so many mobile options available today, it is easy to lose control if we select a wrong option. A mobility plan doesn’t need to be overly complex, but should address an SMB’s overall aim and expected benefits. Such an approach can help a company stay focused on the motivation behind its mobility efforts and the goals it hopes to achieve. In terms of planning, view mobility as a strategic priority and not simply as a device deployment policy.

3. Outsource the ownership and management of devices: SMBs likely to issue company owned devices are high risk takers due to inadequate security control. It’s possible that smaller organizations can outsource the ownership and management of devices, contracts and tools. Although there are risks and downstream costs, SMBs are still able to train their smaller workforce on how to do the important things.

4. Managing devices: Although most SMBs can’t afford full-fledged mobile management solutions, there are options to continue with BYOD but exact control over how workers use applications and devices. Cloud-based office solutions are cited as a possible big win for SMBs. Adopting a cloud-based email solution enables IT managers to control how workers’ access email on devices.

5. Mobile Device Management: BYOD seems perfectly tailored to the SMB allowing for cost savings on the devices themselves. However, just because they are smaller does not mean they are not affected by the same security and risks concerns BYOD presents in the enterprise. These means budget still need to be found in order to bring in the proper MDM, MAM or EMM solutions that fits their needs.

BYOD programs can help SMBs in rolling out adequate mobility strategies they do not alleviate all issues around budgeting and security concerns. Communication and employee participation in set policies is where these companies can really shine and make mobility successful and beneficial.

Technology’s Changing Our Lives in These Challenging Times

I really don’t know what hars become of my beloved Garden City! The alluring and lush greenery has been rudely replaced by towering cement blocks or shimmering glass covered buildings. While the gardens and parks have made way for some unplanned apartments blocks that are meant to house the teeming millions who throng to this once pensioner’s paradise for work. That aside, the lakes and ponds have all dried up too, and have been replaced by arid waste land, or any number of the previously mentioned concrete monstrosities. It was all terribly regrettable and so disappointing!

Furthermore, the cool and enlivening climate has died quite an unnatural death too! Gone are the pleasant summers, the timely and rejuvenating monsoon season, or even the cool and invigorating winters. Now, more than ever, the city seems to be moving towards one homogenous season, with some minuscule variations that range from simply being hot, hotter or hottest. To make matters worse, the traffic and infrastructure scene is an absolute nightmare in Bangalore City too. While the pollution, dust and smoke only seeks to exacerbate the problem. I blame planning or the lack thereof for this most terrible situation, and try as we might, I fear this just may be irredeemable, given the present circumstances. If I were you, I’d brace myself, for things are likely to get worse, fast. So much so, I dread stepping out of the house at any time of the day or night.

On a more optimistic note, it’s great that our lifestyles have been blessed by some truly wonderful technology! This technology touches our lives every day and makes a huge difference. In much the same vein, thanks to the absolute wonders of the internet, you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of going to the office every day, when you can simply get your work done at home. Moreover, you can even store your work on one of the latest pen drives at the office, only to come home and continue working! Now, thanks to something as little as a pen drive, I for one don’t need to show up at the office every single work day!

This brings me nicely to the next point I’d like to make – shopping online. Now, thanks to the many e-commerce sites, shopping is a breeze, and doesn’t involve having to go out of the house just to buy something in that terrible heat, dust and pollution. Now, you can simply order anything from stationery and office supplies, to groceries, clothes, fashion accessories, technology, as well as gadgets such as gaming consoles, computers, laptops, phones, tablets and even pen drives online. In fact, that’s exactly how I procured the latest pen drive for myself! Besides, now that my son is bugging me for one of the latest pen drives too, I’m sure as heck going to order one for him from one of these e-retailers as well.

That aside, the internet also allows us to pay our phone bills, our ISP bills and so many other things online, giving us another reason to never leave the comfort of our home ever again. Besides this, most banking things can be done online as well, and I frequently use it to transfer funds from the comfort of my favourite armchair at home. To top it all off, given the fact that we have all the entertainment we need right at our fingertips, we never have to rush off to the cinema to watch the latest movies! Now, isn’t the internet really something?

In conclusion, let’s never shy away from using the force at our disposal to overcome these tough and dark days, and thank the internet for the abundant blessings it bestows!

The Importance of Light Colored or Backlit Computer Keyboard

qNot until eyes have problems do people realise how a dark keyboard is troublesome. While many touch type and can easily ‘feel’ their way through a typing exercise even the most experienced will find a lighter and easier to read keyboard is better. It’s probably not something given a lot of weight in the mind of purchasers until they get it home but the choice of a computer should depend on more than just its performance and memory.

As a long time user of computers and typewriters before their invention my fingers generally fly over the keyboard in seconds when typing alone is involved. But the experience of my last laptop with a backlight and easy to read keys is far more appreciated than a recently acquired one from my daughter. Even the amount of energy required to press the keys is important.

Recently a major store that is closing was having a sale and computers were on their customers minds as they seemed to be rushing out the doors. On inspection only one keyboard was white and they quickly sold out of that particular brand. So why don’t the manufacturers wake up to the fact that people want easier to read and operate machines.

Aging is devastating to the eyes and cataracts make it almost impossible to tolerate glare. This makes dark colours problematic and many will stop using their computer if such a health issue arises and conflicts with using the machine becomes too great.

It’s time, therefore, that people’s needs are met by manufacturers of what has become an important part of the lives of many. Young children will also have these needs, especially if they are vision impaired.

My age and work are important to those who are spiritual and writing on a keyboard is the main way my work can be published. The handicap of a dark keyboard is hindering that process if and when I have to use one.

The Best Light Bulb Moment

wLED light technology has been popping everywhere nowadays. What’s great about this technology is the lifespan which lasts up to 20 years for those that have 5 watts or fewer. Compared to conventional light bulbs which are above 50 watts, LED lights only make use of 10% of the energy that fluorescent and incandescent lights consume.

LED stands for light-emitting diodes which are the main source of light. LED has a longer life and higher energy efficiency, which makes it a little costly to produce as compared to the typical fluorescent and incandescent lamps. But what LED manufacturers and producers always highlight is how the LED produces as much lumen as conventional light bulbs but with lower wattage. Lumens are what manufacturers and producers use to measure the output of brightness. This means that LED bulbs can be as bright as or even be brighter than fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs but because it uses less wattage, it requires less energy.

Lower maintenance is required for LED light since it is enclosed in a plastic lens. Conventional bulbs are usually enclosed in glass or tubes made of glass. And since LED does not make use of mercury or other toxic chemicals, it is safer for the environment, too.

Also, UV rays which are usually found in halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights are not found in LED lights which make it a safer option since they will not cause the furnishings and coverings to fade. Because LED lights do not use infrared radiation, they do not create too much heat and are cool to the touch when they are in use.

LED lights can illuminate any size space. There are different types of light bulbs which can be used in different parts of the house. For instance, yellow lights, which are usually dimmer, are better for bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways. There are soft white bulbs too which are perfect for the kitchen, living rooms or dining areas where a much brighter ambiance is preferred. But LED lights are not just used in households. There are traffic lights, flashlights, and even holiday lights which are beginning to make use of LED technology.

LED lights are becoming widely available nowadays and even big electrical and appliance companies are starting to make use of this brilliant technological advancement. One of the biggest corporations, Toshiba has also joined in the ball game. Toshiba LED bulbs are now available in the market and the consumers who have tried their product are very pleased with their purchase.

4 Common 3D Printing Problems And How To Fix Them

8i3D printing ensures pinpoint accuracy, enables mass customization and gives you the ability of handling almost any level of complexity. With this technology we can literally say that you are limited by your imagination. While the printing technology is awesome, it comes with its fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common 3D printing problems and how to fix them:


Warping is when one or more corners of your printing machine lift up until the base of the model is no longer at level with the print platform. This results to horizontal cracks in the upper parts of your machine.

The problem comes about when the plastic of the first layers of your machine cool down thus start shrinking.

To fix the problem you need to identify the cause of the problem. One of the ways of fixing the problem is heating the platform in order to keep the plastic at a temperature that is below the point where it solidifies. This keeps the prints adhered to the bed.

Another way of fixing the problem is adding a thin layer of glue to your platform. There are many ways in which you can do it. One of the most effective ways is using rafts which give the print a larger surface area at the base.


If you have been using your printing machine for long you must have come across this problem. Stringing happens when you have tiny little hairs between the gaps of your print.

The problem results when some filament drips from the nozzle when the print moves over an open part.

Stringing is a problem that fixable. One of the ways of fixing it is enabling retraction. Retraction is a feature on your printing software. When you enable retraction the printer retracts the filament in the nozzle before the travel moves. This ensures that no surplus plastic drips from the nozzle thus producing strings.


Cracks are common on tall, thin models. The cracks and gaps are found in the sides of the model. The cool thing with the problem is that it’s easy to fix. One of the things that you need to do is increase the extruder temperature in 10 degree increments. If this trick doesn’t work increase the bed temperature by 5-15 degrees.

Under Extrusion

Under extrusion is when the printer fails supplying the needed material as fast as it’s required. This results to thin layers.

The problem is brought about by many factors such as: failure of the diameter of the filament to match the diameter set in the slicing software, faulty slicer software settings and presence of dirt in the nozzle.

One way of fixing the problem is ensuring that the filament diameter matches the one set in the slicing software. You should also check the nozzle and remove any dirt that might be there.