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Forecasting The Next Internet Evolution – Web 3.0

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Web 3.0

Amidst our globalized world where everything and everyone is getting connected online, it’s easy to get caught up in cyberspace and forget that you are using a technology barely fifty years old. That’s right, the Internet originated in the early 60’s and yet the Web seems to now infiltrate every facet of our everyday lives. Be it in your content consumption, your car, your home, or even your own body.

Integrating growing technologies and the best methods, the Internet is truly evolving faster than we could ever have imagined, not just becoming a larger part in our lives, but life itself. And thus, I dare introduce to you, the latest prediction as to the Internets next grand step — Web 3.0.

 

Web 1.0

Before we get caught up in the future, it is best to first lay the groundwork, and understand from what Web 3.0 is even building when it first boomed in personal and commercial use in the early 90’s. Long regarded as “the Static Web,” the first generation was akin to a library network where you could only access information, not change it. Though it was simple, it helped fortify the infrastructures and make it more accessible to the masses through the use of web and markup languages like JavaScript and HTML, HTTP protocols, and website and browser commercialization. Basically, this was where all the leg work was done to ensure stability, availability, and approachability.

 

Web 2.0

“Wait,” you’re thinking “so when did Web 2.0 happen?” Believe it or not, you’re reading this on 2.0 right now. Although Web 2.0 leads you to believe that you somehow downloaded some official upgrade from the 1.0 static version without knowing it, be informed that there is no formal patch or update.

Rather, Web 2.0 is a blanket term for the generation of interactive social media functions on most modern sites. Instead of a basic webpage that only allows passive content viewing, Web 2.0 incorporates a virtual community where the user may engage in a dialogue and interact with the site’s creator and others; for example, a 2.0 site could be a product’s site with a review board, a blog with a comments section, or even an Ask-Me-Anything page on Reddit. Also known as the Social Web or the Mobile Web, 2.0 strives to be a communication tool for collaborating and sharing with one another– people connecting with people.

 

Web 3.0

Building upon 2.0’s notion of connecting people, the next generation will attempt to link us with information and be a “Smart Web.” Though some are skeptical at the very mention of artificial intelligence, most of us subscribe to the idea that technology, science, and people are all working symbiotically at an unprecedented rate to create more efficient tools. Whether or not this means sentient, free-thinking machines and The Singularity one day is up for debate, but what is clear, is that humans are using the Internet much like an extra brain. And this is precisely where Web 3.0 comes in — it’s a “Semantic Web” that would provide a uniform framework so that data could be shared, analyzed, and reapplied across all applications and platforms for unlimited function, maximum effectiveness, and with minimal human interaction. This essentially means that there would be a such a sophisticated element in the web that it could actually “understand” you and interpret what you want.

Sci-fi crazy nonsense? Some may think so, but I think it is closer than most people would care to believe. Take Siri for example. She is a “Knowledge Navigator” that utilizes a natural language user interface that adapts to individual preferences and eventually customizes results for you. Now if you can consider an Internet experience that would combine this technology with all your personalizations collated and surmised from Big Data collection, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. Through the sites that you frequent, the past searches you have made, products you have bought, links you have posted, pages you have liked, personal descriptors you have provided, a semblance of the user’s identity is formulated. It then uses this personalized data as a metric in which to measure, screen, and ultimately select what is best suited to your needs. In layman’s terms, Web 3.0 will attempt to be an online version of yourself that does all of your surfing for you.

 

The Future of the Web

The convergence of emerging and developing technologies will continue to reshape, innovate, and disrupt current web standards; however, it is imperative to remain objective to a point with its role. As technology becomes ubiquitous, it will be increasingly difficult to ask ourselves the hard questions, like are we missing a natural and organic method to our own madness by letting the Internet pervade all stages of humanity?

This is not to say that we should be wary of The Terminator or The Matrix coming true (if it hasn’t already), but rather ask if there ever should be lines drawn. In light of Edward Snowden’s leaked government documents on mass surveillance and data mining, it is safe to say that technology is quickly becoming a double-edged sword that every person will have to wield. Will it be the machete that cuts a path or will it be the blade in our own Seppuku? The choice is ultimately ours.

The Ideal Job

Written by Brandi Bennett

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

There are three types of people in this world: those who work because it gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment; those who work because they have to, but would rather not be working; and those who aren’t working at all.

It could be argued that these three different types of people exist based on the amount of personal responsibility that they feel for themselves and their lives, with the first group being overly responsible, driven almost to the point of a neuroses, the second group being responsible enough to know that work comes before play, and the third group who never had a sense of responsibility instilled in them at all.

The fact of the matter is that given the option, no one wants to work, not really. They want to be doing something that they enjoy; if they get paid for it, so much the better. No one really wants to work, but we do.

 

Doing What You Love, Loving What You Do

The most successful companies are those with high levels of employee morale, and one of the best ways to have high employee morale is to ensure that management morale is high. Though this may seem silly, research has indicated that the greater the morale of the owners of the company and the managers within the company, the more likely the overall morale of the company will be high.

When thinking about starting up a company, don’t just concern yourself with that which will make the most money, concern yourself with that which you love. You will be the most successful doing what you love as it won’t feel like work to you. Everything will be something that you want to do. Sure, there may be some tasks that you’re not particularly fond of, but even when you sit down to get those done, they won’t truly seem like work, given the fact that they are associated with what you want to be doing.

 

Finding Others

When looking for others to work for your company, now that you’ve got it off the ground and have started nurturing it into the size you want it to become, don’t just look for those with the fanciest resume, look for those who genuinely enjoy the work.

Silly as it may sound, there are those who enjoy all different kinds of work; if you look, you will find someone who loves data entry, you will find someone who loves accounting, and (say your company is in charge of making gizmos), you will find someone who not only loves gizmos, but genuinely enjoys the work that you want them to be doing in regard to gizmos. You may find an accountant who plays with gizmos in her spare time, or a teenager who has a gizmo collection and is a whiz at data entry.

Employee morale is dependent upon the overall morale of the company; if everyone there loves what they do, then the company itself will assuredly be a success. With everyone enjoying their jobs, it creates not only a pleasant work environment for the individuals who work there, but for your customers, as they will not be made to feel as though they are the burden. Happy employees make for happy customers, which in turn makes for a high revenue stream.

Don’t discount a worker because they have worked in a cubicle for the past five years but is applying at your company because they have liked gizmos as a child; chances are that this individual will be a better candidate. And with everyone doing what they love, everyone wins.

 

Image Source: Swiss Fit Chick. (2014). Do What You Love Quote. Retrieved from https://swissfitchick.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/do-what-you-love-quote.jpg

Happy 12th Birthday, Snappy!

Written by Sean Valant

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

It seems like only yesterday that our beloved blue gator was crawling around the swamp, still in diapers. Oh, how time flies!

Twelve years ago today, the HostGator.com domain was registered and thus Snappy was born. We like to mark this occasion each year with a something special.

This year we’re extremely happy to officially announce our new Texas datacenter! All new hosting accounts are now being provisioned right here in Houston, Texas, at CyrusOne!

CyrusOne features redundant power and cooling, along with state-of-the-art security and virtually everything one could ask for in a new datacenter. We’re very proud to be back home in Texas with CyrusOne!

Not only are we in a brand new data center, but Snappy is offering special discounts in celebration of his birthday! All new hosting plans with 6-month billing cycles are 65% off. All new hosting plans with billing cycles of other than 6-months are 45% off.

There’s even more great birthday news! Existing customers are welcome to take advantage of these discounts as well, please see this FAQ for full information.

To sign up, simply visit http://www.hostgator.com! This sale ends at 11:59p CST tonight (Wednesday, October 22, 2014).

Happy birthday, Snappy!

A Cyber Security Toolkit For Your Small Business

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Cyber Security Toolkit
As unfortunate as it may be to say, 2013 marked a monumental year in data breaches, mainly for businesses that weren’t prepared with the necessary level of cyber security. According to Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Report there was a 493% increase in stolen identities since 2012, amounting to over 550 million affected customers.

Many remember recent headlines involving breaches in Apple’s iCloud, but most of us will never hear about the smaller targets data thieves have been cleaning out due to the lack of media attention. The National Small Business Association put out a survey, through which they found nearly half of all small businesses reported being victim of a cyber-attack.

With a reported 66% of all small businesses depending on the internet for day to day operations, there is still a resounding unawareness to to how damaging a data breach can be to your company’s future and reputation.

Thankfully those coding for cyber security are always a few steps ahead. October is recognized by the Tech Community as National Cyber Security Awareness month, so we wanted to compile a comprehensive guide for small businesses to prevent any such data breaches from occurring as we head towards the end of 2014.

Using four levels of protection will ensure your data stays safe.

 

Securing Your Foundation

Regardless of how big your business is, there are mandatory steps to ensuring the foundation of your cyber security is rock solid. Just like you lock away your valuable possessions, you’re going to need to categorize and document what digital files you’re keeping in vulnerable areas. These categories should be broken down like this:

  • Highly Confidential – All of your most sensitive data should be placed in this tier. This includes anything that if stolen could impact your customers, employees, or business as a a whole. Think identity information, things like: passwords, social security numbers, credit-card info, or names and addresses.
  • Sensitive – The fine line between sensitive and highly confidential is what couldn’t destroy something if stolen in the financial sense. Sensitive documents are things you wouldn’t want seen externally of your business for privacy reasons. Reports on your employees, marketing plans, contact info, or performance data are all sensitive and would be best stored separately.
  • Internal Use Only – Information that is available to all your employees, but still would be best unknown to the public can be classified as internal only. This data may not harm your company, but still is considered items you won’t post publicly.

 

Securing the foundation also means safeguarding all your devices, should a hard drive or thumb device get lost.

 

Level 1 Threat Protection

  1. Restrict Access Points - Knowing which data is the most sensitive will help in choosing who can access it, the less people capable of opening the bridge the less likely a hacker will be able to get in. Always be conservative here, if there’s a document someone will need there will usually be an Admin capable of getting it for them.
  2. Train Employees On Digital Security Basics - Using email, and having to download software isn’t always black and white in terms of what is safe, and what might have some nasty malware zipped up inside. Provide the resources necessary to help your company recognize what threats may be present in the forms of phishing schemes, identity thieves, or even scammers calling in over the phone.
  3. Consider Storing Data On A Device Disconnected From Any Network – If your company has no reason to transfer crucial data remotely, don’t make it available anywhere except in the office, on a machine where employees can access it in person.
  4. Use Reputable Free Software- Not all Cyber Security comes with a hefty subscription fee, check out some verified by the National Cyber Security Alliance on this list.

 

Level 2 Protection

  1. Two-Factor Authentication – This is for the most sensitive data. Not only will employees need a password, they will also need a second step such as a PIN number, or ID card.
  2. Encryption - Encryption essentially mixes up data to look like a bunch of nonsense to those unauthorized to access it. The encryption you use will need to meet the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS-Certified), otherwise there’s still potential hackers can read the data by cracking your key.
  3. Hire A Security Specialist - This might mean paying to send a current employee to get certified as a security compliance officer, or consulting a local IT Professional to secure all the devices and networks with current protection capabilities.

 

Level 3 Protection

  1. Physical Facility Lock Down – Despite the transcendence into digital storage and remote access points, much of what can be stolen is still buried in physical machines and data units that can be broken into once removed from your facility. Preventing criminals from entering your building altogether cuts down the possibility what’s inside can be accessed.
  2. Consult Security Tests - Hiring an outside specialist who knows how to test infiltration points is your best friend when it comes to knowing for sure whether or not your system’s security is air tight. If they can get in, you’re not losing everything, and will know what to improve upon.
  3. Personal Device Protocol – Personal electronic devices can be detriments to certain access points. Smart phones that employees have connected to the wifi is as simple as it gets to allowing hackers to tap the network and get whatever data they want being transferred between the device and server. Your IT team can set up minimum security requirements so these outside devices won;t be able to access the network in the first place.

 

Small businesses have it especially tough when it comes to maintaining the security of their data. One breach can ruin the trust of an entire community, which is usually how small businesses thrive in the first place. Don’t allow your business to suffer.

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