9 Tips for Setting Up AI Rules for Your Staff

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool. It can enhance the productivity, efficiency, and creativity of your staff. But AI also comes with some challenges and risks. Businesses need to address and manage these to use AI effectively.

Establishing clear and ethical guidelines, or “AI rules,” for staff interaction is essential. Otherwise, you may not know when AI is being used for business data. Employees may also be scared to use AI without direction. This can leave them missing out on incredible time savings.

64% of businesses expect AI to increase productivity.

In this article, we will share some tips for setting up AI rules for your staff. These tips can help you harness the benefits of AI while avoiding the pitfalls.

Define the scope and purpose of AI use.

Before you introduce AI to your staff, you need to have a clear vision. Know what you want to achieve with AI. As well as how it aligns with your business goals and values.

You also need to communicate this vision to your staff. Explain how AI will support their work and improve their outcomes. This will help you set realistic expectations and avoid confusion or frustration.

Establish ethical principles and guidelines.

AI can have significant impacts on your staff, customers, and partners. As well as society at large. So, you need to ensure that your AI use is ethical, fair, transparent, and accountable. You can do this by developing a set of ethical principles and guidelines. They should reflect your organizational culture and values. As well as follow relevant laws and regulations. You also need to educate your staff on these guidelines and track their compliance.

Involve stakeholders in the decision-making process.

AI rule-setting should not be a top-down process. Involve key stakeholders, including employees, in the decision-making process. Gather insights from different departments and roles. This helps ensure that AI rules are reflective of diverse perspectives. This collaborative approach enhances the quality of the rules. It also fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among staff members.

Assign roles and responsibilities.

AI is not a magic solution that can replace human judgment and oversight. You still need to have a clear division of roles and responsibilities. This would be between your staff and the AI systems they use.

You should define who handles the following AI system tasks:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance
  • Auditing
  • Updating

You should also define who is accountable for the outcomes and impacts of AI use. Ensure that you support your staff with training, enablement, and change management.

Provide training and support.

Empower your staff with the skills necessary to work effectively alongside AI. Offer comprehensive training programs. They should cover the basics of AI technology. As well as its applications within the organization and guidelines for AI interaction. Providing ongoing support ensures that employees feel confident. As well as capable in their roles within an AI-enhanced environment.

Ensure data security and privacy.

AI systems often rely on vast amounts of data. As such, emphasize robust data security and privacy measures. Clearly communicate the steps taken to safeguard sensitive information. Adhere to data protection regulations. Establish a robust cybersecurity framework. One that protects both employee and organizational data from potential breaches.

Put a feedback loop in place.

Create a system for gathering feedback from employees about their interactions with AI. This feedback loop serves as a valuable mechanism. It helps with identifying areas of improvement and refining AI rules. As well as addressing any concerns or challenges that arise during implementation. Actively listen to employee feedback to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Review and update your AI rules regularly.

AI is a dynamic and evolving field. It requires constant adaptation and improvement. You cannot set up your AI rules once and forget about them. You need to review and update these rules regularly. This is to ensure that they are still relevant and effective. As well as aligned with your business goals and values. You also need to evaluate the performance, outcomes, and impacts of your AI use. Use this information to make adjustments as needed.

Encourage a growth mindset.

Foster a culture of curiosity and a growth mindset within your organization. Encourage employees to embrace AI as a tool for augmentation. But not a replacement. Communicate that AI is here to enhance their capabilities and streamline processes. It allows them to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of their roles.

Get Expert Guidance with an AI Transformation

AI can be a game-changer for your business. That is if you use it wisely and responsibly. By following these tips, you can set up AI rules for your staff. Rules that can help you leverage the power of AI while minimizing the risks.

Need an expert guide for a digital or AI transformation? Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

 


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

14 Helpful Tips for New Year Digital Decluttering

These days, our lives are intricately woven into the digital fabric. From emails to photos, documents to apps, our devices store tons of information. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the sight of an endless inbox or app library.

As the new year begins, it’s the perfect time for a digital declutter. A clean and organized digital environment can help you improve your productivity. It also reduces stress. Here are some practical tips to help you declutter your digital space.

1. Start with a digital inventory

Before diving in, assess your digital landscape. Take stock of your devices, accounts, and digital files. Knowing what you have is the first step toward effective decluttering.

2. Focus on your most-used digital spaces

You don’t have to declutter everything at once. Start with the digital spaces that you use the most. Such as your email, cloud storage, and social media. These are the places where digital clutter can accumulate. As well as affect your performance and well-being.

Also, focus on your primary devices. Like your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Decluttering these devices will have an immediate impact on your daily life.

3. Organize your files and folders

One of the best ways to declutter your digital space is to organize your files and folders. Create a systematic file organization structure. Use clear, intuitive folder names and categorize files logically. Use color coding to quickly identify specific subjects. This makes locating documents easier and prevents clutter from accumulating.

Delete or archive any files that you don’t need anymore. Back up your important data to a cloud service or an external drive.

4. Clean up your email inbox

Your email inbox can be a source of stress and distraction. Especially if it’s overflowing with unread or unwanted messages.

To declutter your email inbox, you can:

  • Unsubscribe from newsletters or promotional emails that you don’t read or need.
  • Use filters or labels to sort your emails by sender, subject, or priority.
  • Archive or delete old or irrelevant emails.
  • Set up a folder or label for the current year, quarter, or month, and move your emails there.
  • Refresh your email signature and make sure it has your correct information.

5. Clean up your social media

Social media can be a great way to connect with others. But it can also be a source of digital clutter. Especially if you have too many accounts, posts, messages, or notifications.

To declutter your social media accounts, you can:

  • Delete or deactivate any accounts that you don’t use or need.
  • Unfollow or mute any accounts that don’t add value to your life.
  • Clear your message inboxes and delete any spam or unwanted messages.
  • Delete or archive any posts or photos that you don’t want to keep.
  • Adjust your privacy and notification settings to suit your preferences.

6. Review your subscriptions

Another way to declutter your digital space is to review your subscriptions. You may have signed up for services that you don’t use or need anymore. Cancel any subscriptions that you don’t need. These may include streaming services, membership sites, cloud services, or mobile apps.

This decluttering move can help you save money besides streamlining your digital environment.

7. Review and delete unused apps

Apps can clutter your device and drain its resources. Review your apps and delete the ones you seldom use. Keep only essential applications to optimize device performance.

Old, unused mobile apps can also pose a security risk. If you’re not using the app, it’s likely outdated. Update any apps that you’re keeping to properly secure them.

8. Clear your desktop and downloads folder

A cluttered desktop and downloads folder can hamper productivity. Move files to appropriate folders and clear your desktop. This creates a clean, distraction-free workspace. It can also speed up your computer.

9. Secure your digital identity

Review your online accounts. Delete unused accounts and update passwords for security. Consider using a reputable password manager to enhance your online security.

10. Evaluate your digital habits

Reflect on your digital habits. Identify time-wasting activities and limit them. Set boundaries for social media and focus on meaningful online interactions.

11. Create digital detox days

Set up specific days for a digital detox. Disconnect from screens. Engage in physical activities and spend quality time with loved ones. Regular digital detox fosters mental well-being.

12. Streamline notifications

Excessive notifications can overwhelm and distract. You may feel like you’re not getting anything done because of constant interruptions. Customize app notifications, allowing only essential alerts. This minimizes distractions and enhances focus.

13. Invest in digital tools

Use productivity apps and tools. Project management apps, note-taking tools, and calendars help streamline tasks and enhance efficiency.

14. Practice regular maintenance

Digital decluttering is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process. Schedule regular maintenance sessions to keep your digital life organized and clutter-free.

Need Help with Data Management Solutions?

Here’s to stepping into the new year with a clear, focused mind and a more organized digital life. We can help you keep your data under control. We offer effective data storage, backup, and management solutions.

Contact us today to schedule a chat.

 


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11 Responsible Ways to Dispose of E-Waste at Home or Office

In our tech-driven world, electronic devices have become indispensable. But with constant upgrades, what happens to the old gadgets? They tend to pile up and eat up storage space. But you can’t just throw them in the trash. E-waste poses a significant environmental threat if not disposed of responsibly.

E-waste is a term that refers to electronic devices that are no longer useful or wanted. These include things like:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Printers
  • Cameras
  • TVs
  • and more

E-waste can contain hazardous materials. Such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. These can harm the environment and human health if they are not disposed of properly.

E-waste comprises about 70% of toxic waste. People only recycle 12.5% of it.

So, what can you do to responsibly get rid of e-waste at your home or office? Here are some tips.

1. Understand What Makes Up E-Waste

E-waste includes old computers, smartphones, printers, and other electronic devices. It also comprises batteries, chargers, and even cables. Understanding what makes up e-waste is the first step towards responsible disposal.

Most people simply aren’t aware of what e-waste includes. This is a big reason that most of it ends up in landfills. Which is not good for us or the environment.

2. Reduce Your E-Waste

The next step is to reduce the amount of e-waste you generate in the first place. This means buying only what you need. Also choosing durable and energy-efficient products. As well as extending the lifespan of your devices by repairing them when possible.

Before buying a new electronic device, ask if it’s necessary. Can more than one person share a company tablet, for example? In some cases, everyone in a family or office might not need a duplicate device.

3. Explore Recycling Programs

Many electronics retailers and manufacturers have recycling programs. Research local options. Retailers often collect old gadgets, ensuring they are recycled or disposed of properly. These programs are convenient and eco-friendly.

Here are a couple you can check out:

4. Use E-Waste Recycling Centers

E-waste recycling centers specialize in disposing of electronic devices safely. They dismantle gadgets, recycle valuable components, and dispose of hazardous materials responsibly. Locate a certified e-waste recycling center near you for proper disposal.

Here are a few sites where you can find recycling centers:

5. Consider Donating or Selling Functioning Devices

If your old devices are still functional, consider donating them. Many charities and schools accept functional electronics. Or you can sell them online through reputable platforms. This gives gadgets a new life and reduces e-waste.

Make sure you properly clean data from old devices first. You don’t want someone having access to your online banking app or all your family photos. Keep on reading for tips on doing this properly.

6. Dispose of Batteries Separately

Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, contain hazardous materials. Many retailers and recycling centers have dedicated bins for battery disposal. Always separate batteries from other e-waste for proper handling.

7. Try Manufacturer Take-Back Programs

Several electronic manufacturers offer take-back programs. When you buy a new device, inquire about their disposal programs. Some manufacturers take back old gadgets, ensuring responsible recycling or refurbishment.

8. Opt for Certified E-Waste Recyclers

When using e-waste recycling services, choose certified recyclers. Look for certifications like R2 or e-Stewards. These certifications ensure that the recycling process meets high environmental standards. As well as data security protocols.

9. Educate Your Office or Household

Awareness is key. Educate your office or household about the importance of responsible e-waste disposal. Encourage everyone to take part and follow proper disposal methods.

10. Repurpose or Upcycle

Get creative. You can often repurpose or upcycle old electronics. Turn an old computer monitor into a digital photo frame. Use smartphone parts for DIY projects. Upcycling reduces waste and adds a touch of innovation.

11. Encourage Manufacturer Responsibility

Support companies that take environmental responsibility seriously. Choose products from manufacturers committed to sustainable practices and responsible e-waste management.

Make Sure to Secure Data Before Disposal, Sale, or Donation

Before parting with your devices, wipe all data. Otherwise, you could become the victim of cybercrime. It’s not unusual for criminals to troll dumps for old electronics. Remove all traces of your data to keep yourself protected.

Use reliable data erasure software. Or consult with an IT professional to securely wipe information from old gadgets. Data security is crucial even in disposal.

Get Help Backing Up & Cleaning Devices

It’s important to both back up and remove all data from devices before you get rid of them. We can help with expert data migration from the old device to the new one. As well as thorough data cleaning to ensure all information is removed.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

 


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Optimizing Your Dual-Monitor Setup: Handy Tips for the Best Experience

Two monitors are often better than one when it comes to getting things done efficiently. A dual-monitor setup can significantly enhance your productivity. This is true whether you’re a gamer, a creative professional, or an office wiz who loves to multitask.

A study by Jon Peddie Research found that dual displays can increase productivity by 42%. But it’s not as simple as just setting up an extra screen.

It’s common for people to feel “off kilter” when trying to work from two monitors. They may even find it harder despite having more screen real estate. The cause is usually the setup. They either have the screens positioned wrong or aren’t optimizing the settings.

We’ll dive into some dual-monitor setup best practices. These should help you improve your two-screen experience and take it to the next level.

Best Practices for a Great Two-Screen Setup

 

1. Match Size and Resolution

Before you jump into the excitement of a dual-monitor setup do some matching. Make sure your monitors are well-matched with each other. Try to use monitors of the same size and resolution. This helps to avoid any jarring differences in image quality or screen real estate. Your eyes will thank you for the consistency!

2. Get the Right Cables

Picture this: you’ve set up your dual monitors, and you’re all excited to fire them up. But your cables don’t fit the ports! To avoid this headache, check your device outputs and inputs to ensure you have the right cables on hand. HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI are common options. But verify which ones you need for optimal performance.

3. Positioning is Everything

Now that you’ve got your monitors ready to go, let’s talk positioning. Placing your monitors correctly can make a world of difference. This is true for both your comfort and productivity.

Ideally, arrange them side by side, keeping the top edges aligned. Adjust the angle to reduce neck strain, and make sure the distance is comfortable for your eyes. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of these screens.

4. Embrace the Extended Desktop

It’s tempting to mirror your displays and have the same content on both screens. But that’s not the full potential of a dual-monitor setup. Embrace the extended desktop feature. It allows you to have separate content on each screen.

This means you can work on a document on one screen. And browse the web or handle email on the other—double the productivity!

5. Focus on Taskbar Tweaks

A cluttered taskbar can quickly turn your dual-monitor setup into chaos. Keep things organized. Set the taskbar to display only the active applications on the screen they’re open in.

Steps:

  • Right-click on the taskbar, go to “Taskbar settings.”
  • Open “Taskbar behaviors”
  • Adjust the setting, “When using multiple displays, show my taskbar apps on.” Set it to the taskbar where the window is open.

No more hunting for the right window across two taskbars.

6. Leverage Shortcuts

Did you know that Windows has some nifty window-snapping shortcuts? Use the Windows key plus the left or right arrow to snap an application to one side of the screen. It will fill exactly half of it.

This is perfect for comparing documents. As well as writing while researching or watching a video while working. It’s a productivity boost that you won’t be able to live without once you’ve tried it!

7. Gaming in Style

If you’re a gamer, a dual-monitor setup can bring your gaming experience to a whole new level. Many modern games support dual monitors, allowing you to have an extended field of view. This is especially true in racing and flight simulation games. Just remember to adjust your graphics settings accordingly for the best performance.

8. Mastering Multitasking

Multitasking is where dual monitors truly shine. For example, you can have your design software open on one screen and your reference images on the other.

Writers can have research materials on one screen. With their writing software on the other. The possibilities are endless. It’s like having a productivity superhero at your disposal! Explore workflows that make the most of both screens.

9. Tame the Cable Chaos

Dual monitors mean double the cables. If you’re not careful, it can quickly turn into a cable jungle. To keep things tidy, invest in some cable management solutions. Such as adhesive cable clips or cable sleeves. Your setup will look cleaner. It’ll also be easier to make changes or upgrades in the future.

10. Don’t Forget the Ergonomics

As you immerse yourself in your dual-monitor world, remember to consider ergonomics. Ensure that your monitors are at eye level. And your keyboard and mouse are at a comfortable height and angle.

Good ergonomics can prevent strain and discomfort. This allows you to enjoy your setup for longer without any aches or pains.

Need Help with Hardware or Software Setup?

Why struggle with hardware or software setup? Come to the pros to save time and avoid frustration.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about your technology needs.

 


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9 Reasons to Use Airplane Mode Even If You’re Not Traveling

Most people are familiar with their device’s Airplane Mode. You’ve probably used it when jetting off to exotic locations. But did you know that it’s not just for globetrotters?

That’s right! Airplane Mode isn’t only for flying; it can be a handy feature for your everyday life. Here are some top reasons why you should consider toggling it on, even if you’re not traveling.

 

1. Save That Precious Battery Life

Who doesn’t want their smartphone battery to last longer? Airplane Mode can be your secret weapon against those battery-draining apps. The ones that are constantly running in the background.

By switching on Airplane Mode, you effectively shut down all communication functions. This includes Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth. This can be a lifesaver when you’re running low on battery and need your phone to last until you can find a charger.

2. Boost Your Charging Speed

We’ve all experienced those moments of panic when our phone’s battery is about to die. We desperately need to charge it ASAP. Well, here’s a neat trick: put your phone in Airplane Mode before plugging it in.

Studies show that phones charge about 4 times faster in Airplane Mode.

By doing this, your phone won’t be wasting power on syncing notifications. Or checking for updates or connecting to networks. As a result, it will charge up faster, getting you back in the game in no time.

3. A Tranquil Escape from Notifications

Life can get chaotic, and sometimes you need a break from constant pings. Turning on Airplane Mode grants you the gift of peace and tranquility, even if only for a little while. You can enjoy some quality “me” time. All without interruptions from social media alerts or work emails. It’s like creating your little digital oasis!

4. Focus Mode: Engaged!

We all struggle with staying focused from time to time. Whether it’s work, studying, or a creative project, distractions are everywhere. Airplane Mode can be your go-to tool to combat those distractions. By cutting off the internet connection, you’ll find it easier to concentrate on the task at hand. So, next time you need to get in the zone, remember to flip that Airplane Mode switch!

5. Prevent Embarrassing Moments

Picture this: You’re in an important meeting. Then suddenly your phone starts blaring an embarrassingly loud ringtone. Oops! And even if the ringer is off, phones often vibrate when getting a call or notification.

Avoid these awkward moments. Use Airplane Mode in situations where silence is golden. You can still use your phone for notetaking or accessing offline content. But without any fear of accidental disruptions.

6. Roaming Woes, Be Gone!

When you’re in an area with poor cellular reception, what happens to your phone? It might tirelessly search for a signal. This can lead to battery drain. Airplane Mode can be a lifesaver in such situations.

By turning it on, you prevent your phone from endlessly searching for a network. This saves precious battery power. It can also keep you from connecting to a dangerous network.

7. A Digital Detox

Sometimes we all need a break from the digital world. It can be to reconnect with loved ones, enjoy outdoor activities, or simply be present in the moment. Airplane Mode lets you temporarily disconnect from the online realm. But you still have access to your phone’s offline features.

8. Avoid Unwanted Radiation

The jury is still out on any health risks of mobile phone radiation. But some people prefer to err on the side of caution. Enabling Airplane Mode reduces your phone’s radiation emission. This is because it disables most of the communication features. If you’re concerned about exposure, using Airplane Mode can provide some peace of mind.

9. Save Data and Money

If you’re on a limited data plan, turning on Airplane Mode can help you manage your data usage. As well as avoiding unexpected charges. It’s a smart move. Especially when you’re nearing the end of your billing cycle and don’t want to exceed your data limit.

Remember, Airplane Mode isn’t just for frequent flyers. It’s a nifty feature that can enhance your daily life in various ways. It offers longer battery life and faster charging. As well as escaping the constant barrage of notifications, it has benefits. Airplane Mode can be your digital ally in a world that’s always connected.

So, don’t be shy to give it a try, and enjoy this underrated smartphone feature. Even when your feet are firmly on the ground!

Keep Your Smartphone Optimized & Secure

Do you need help securing your smartphone from viruses and attacks? Wish you knew how to use all its features better? Our team of experts can help with training and device security.

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Tech Solutions for Better Small Business Management

Running a small business can be challenging. But advancements in technology have opened a world of opportunities. Small business owners can use digital tools to streamline operations. As well as improve efficiency, and boost productivity.

From innovative software to cutting-edge hardware, there are a lot of tools to choose from. The right technology can help small business owners stay ahead of the competition.

But trying to navigate the options yourself can be confusing. Just buying apps because someone told you one was cool, might not be the best strategy. You need to focus on needs and target optimization.

What are the top two challenges that SMBs experience with cloud use? They are managing costs and security. The 2023 State of the Cloud Report also found that 47% of SMBs said they lacked resources and expertise.

We can help guide you to the best tech for growth and ROI. First, let’s explore some game-changing technologies. These tools can revolutionize the way you run your small business.

Game-Changing Tools for Small Business Owners

Are you looking to automate tasks, enhance communication, or optimize your customer experience? Look no further than the solutions below. They have the potential to make a significant impact on your business’s success.

Cloud Computing for Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud computing has transformed the way businesses store, access, and manage their data. Apps like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace allow small businesses to afford more. Including, enterprise-class functions formerly enjoyed only by large companies.

Other cloud-based solution examples are Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Small business owners can leverage scalable and flexible computing power. With no need for expensive on-premises infrastructure.

Cloud computing provides benefits like:

  • Easy collaboration
  • Seamless data backup and recovery
  • Improved accessibility

This enables you and your team to work from anywhere, anytime. It can now power your entire office. This includes your phone system, document storage, accounting, customer management, and more. The cloud offers cost-effective solutions for all types of small businesses.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

In today’s competitive landscape, providing exceptional customer service is paramount. That’s where CRM software comes in. CRM platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot allow you to centralize customer data. You can also easily track interactions and manage customer relationships more effectively.

Spreadsheets can only take you so far. They are also time-consuming to keep up with. Dropped balls can also easily result from manual processes. Especially those storing data in a non-collaborative environment.

CRM software can help you improve your sales process. As well as personalize marketing campaigns and provide top-notch customer support. You can gain deeper insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors. It also enables you to tailor your offerings to meet their needs. That customization increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Collaboration Tools for Seamless Teamwork

Efficient collaboration is crucial for small businesses. This is especially true when employees are in different offices or working remotely. Collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace facilitate this. They provide real-time communication, file sharing, and project management solutions.

These platforms bring teams together. This allows for seamless collaboration, efficient task delegation, and streamlined workflows. The apps have features like chat, video conferencing, and document collaboration. These tools help your team stay connected and productive, no matter where they are.

E-commerce Platforms for Online Sales

The rise of e-commerce has opened new avenues for small businesses to expand their reach. More reach means more revenue opportunities. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce provide all-in-one solutions. They make it easy for those who are not tech-savvy to create and manage online stores.

These platforms offer customizable templates, secure payment gateways, and inventory management systems. These features allow small businesses to establish a robust online presence. They can sell products or services directly to customers everywhere.

Data Analytics for Informed Decision Making

Data is a valuable asset for any business. Leveraging data analytics tools can provide valuable insights for informed decision-making. Platforms like Google Analytics and Microsoft Power BI can help. They enable small business owners to collect, analyze, and visualize data. These business intelligence tools connect data from various sources.

By tracking website traffic, customer behavior, and sales trends, you can identify opportunities. As well as optimize marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions. Basically, data insights can help propel your business forward.

Data analytics empowers small business owners. It gives them the ability to understand their target audience. It also helps them quickly identify areas for improvement. They can then make smarter business choices.

Ask Us About Our Cloud Support to Boost Your Bottom Line

Incorporating technology into your small business operations can be a game-changer. It enables you to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and boost efficiency. But it can be confusing to navigate alone.

Let us help.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about optimizing your cloud efficiency and costs.

 


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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.