2FA Plugin for WordPress based blogs or sites

If you want to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your WordPress based blog or website, you might want to check Clef out. Once enabled, users do not have to type passwords anymore. They just need to use the app on their smartphone to login, it’s more like scanning a QR code but way cooler (with syncying waves effect).. Below demo-video is pretty self-explanatory.

WordPress pluginhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wpclef
Websitehttps://getclef.com

Potentially Promising Crypto-Startups to Watch

I have written about some of the innovative startups around the bitcoin blockchain technology in my previous post. In this post, I will be covering some of the startups related to Bitcoin and I will also be covering some alternative blockchains (alt-coins or alt-chains) to Bitcoin that are potentially promising.

Syscoin

syscoinSyscoin is one of the lesser known alternative blockchains out there. Coinmarketcap, website that tracks crypto-currencies now lists more than 700 different crypto-currencies.

Syscoin is similar to bitcoin in the sense that it has its own blockchain and crypto-currency, however in addition to these two main components, it also has built-in; decentralized marketplace, aliases, digital certificates, and data-alias (datastore).

Most of the other alt-coins (alternative coins to Bitcoin) are quite similar to each other and similar to Bitcoin in itself, with just a few tweaks in the algorithm. But Syscoin has fundamental differences to Bitcoin as mentioned above, which makes it one of the unique alt-coins that stand out from the rest.

Additionally it appears that it has a strong founding team with clear (medium-term) product roadmap that has been outlined on their website.

Here is a good diagram that shows the differences between Bitcoin and Syscoin. And here is an interesting interview with Dan, who is in charge of the Dev team.

Website: http://syscoin.org

Ethereum

Ethereum is probably the most promising alternative blockchain application platform that is getting most of the spotlight at the moment besides Bitcoin and it’s rightly so. Keyword here is “blockchain app platform”, think of it as – if Bitcoin is a settlement and payment protocol, then Ethereum is a blockchain app platform. One provides bare bone functionality for financial settlement and value transfer, another provides ability to build any decentralized blockchain based apps.

ethereum

Ethereum comes with its own programming language called Solidity for programming decentralized apps or smart contracts on Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum has become popular thanks to its outgoing founder Vitalik Buterin, who goes around the world organizing DevCons for Ethereum project. I would say Ethereum’s vision mainly relies on Vitalik’s own vision. And as long as Vitalik is leading the Ethereum project, it should be heading to steady success.

Here is a list of Ethereum dapps (decentralized apps) http://dapps.ethercasts.com

Websitehttps://www.ethereum.org Continue reading

My Fav iOS Apps (Roundup)

Over the years many apps came and went, but these apps has stood the test of time on my iPhone, some have been longer than others. I thought I would share them with you. I will save you time from the usual social network apps like Facebook and Twitter, so I won’t be including them in this post. I will also save you the long descriptions about the apps, descriptions you can find them in iTunes. Here we go:

AppShopper (free) – be notified about the latest app discounts in the appstore (iTunes)
scr_appshopper Continue reading

What happens to your Gmail and Google Drive after you die?

Not many people know that Google provides a way for your spouse or close relative to access your Gmail or Google Drive (or any Google service for that matter) after you pass on. It’s called Inactive Account Manager.

The rule is simple, after you activate the service, if you didn’t login to your Gmail for a particular time period (you can select the inactivity period from anywhere 3 months to 18 months), it will inform the person specified and share your Google Account access with them.

scr_gmail_death

 

Say, your inactive period is set to 6 months, after 4 months (2 months before the expiry), Google will send you a reminder SMS and email informing you that Inactive Account Manager will be activated in 2 months time. After which if you still do not login to your Gmail within the next 2 months, it will proceed to provide access to your Gmail to those people who you have specified. Below is the details of this service. Continue reading

Book Review: The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics)

quran oxford world's classicsMy Rating: 10/10 The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics)
The Quran has been translated to English numerous times, and there are many great translations (eg; Yusuf Ali, Muhammad Asad, Ali Unal etc). However, this translation from Oxford is a unique one, in the sense that it uses modern language unlike the others which tend to use Shakespearean type of ancient words. With those translations, readers oftentimes have difficulty in grasping the full meaning of the verses.

M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (translator) has done a great job – it flows very smoothly and reads very easily. Highy recommended.

Private Blockchains vs The Bitcoin Blockchain

Lately, there has been a huge spike in interest in private blockchains, particularly from banks and financial institutions. Some of them are already working on their own private blockchains to improve the efficiency of their services. Improving the efficiency of their services is one thing, but to equate the private blockchain to the Bitcoin’s Blockchain is something totally different.

Private blockchains are no different than relational databases, which are centralized. They are like an Intranets to Corporations. While Bitcoin’s Blockchain is like the Internet i.e the World Wide Web.

Private blockchains are centralized. An organization that owns it, can, if they want, alter any transaction at their will. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing it. So, private blockchains shouldn’t be seen as transparent, tamper-proof systems.

On the other hand, Bitcoin’s blockchain – The Blockchain – is unique and different precisely because it’s not centralized. It’s not owned by a particular organization. Decentralized nature of The Blockchain is the main value proposition and its competitive advantage over its counterparts – private blockchains. The Blockchain is analogous to a public ledger that is transparent and tamper-proof, and it contains all the transactions that ever happened on its network. Continue reading

Roundup: Cool Gears for $150 or less

Movement Watches (MVMT) – ($95 – $140)

mvmt_gear

Successfully crowdfunded at Indiegogo, MVMT (movement) watches aim to provide high quality watches at affordable prices. Prices range from $95 to $140. Watches are based on a Japanese Miyota Precision Quartz Movement.

Websitehttp://www.mvmtwatches.com

Space Pen – #400 Chrome Bullet ($25)

Perfect to carry around in your pockets. When open it’s a full sized, evenly balanced proper pen. But its specialty is not in its size. It’s in its ability to write in all circumstances and almost all surfaces. It’s the original pen that was taken onboard Apollo 7.

spacepen_gear

Its cartridge is pressurized with nitrogen so that it doesn’t rely on gravity to make it work. It’s dependable in freezing cold and desert heat. It can also write underwater and upside down. The ink flows when you want it to, and doesn’t flow the rest of the time.

Websitehttp://www.spacepen.com/chromebullet.aspx Continue reading

Product Development in Startups vs Corporations

In my previous post I had discussed about how startups start small and evolve into bigger companies and this process of growth brings many challenges with it. In this post, I want to discuss about how Product Development differs between Corporations and Startups.

We all know, how compact the organizational structure of a startup is. And this compactness has many advantages and benefits. As you can see from the picture below, Startups usually consist of couple of teams only, they are usually Dev Team (which normally includes Designers, Testers and UX Professionals), Sales & Marketing usually bundled together and Support Team. I’m not going to discuss the advantages of a small team that has full focus on a particular idea/product. Rather, I will be discussing more on the disadvantages of a big corporation trying to launch a new “startup” within itself.
startup_prod_dev

Corporations can be huge. They could be divided into several Groups (eg; IT), each Group will have multiple Divisions (eg; Digital Technology) in them, and each Division will have multiple Departments (eg; Product Development) in them, and each Dept will have multiple Units (eg; Software Development) in them and some Units might have different Teams (eg; Product Based Teams) in them.

product_dev_corp

Above structure was an actual organizational structure in one of the corporations in Malaysia.
Continue reading

‘Tweet to Dowload’

Twitter-Payment has a great service called “Pay with a Tweet” and “Pay with Facebook Wall Post“. If you have a freebie on your site for download, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t use this kind of service. Since it’s going to drive free traffic to your site from Twitter and Facebook.

twitter_payment
Basically, what it does is, it will hide the download link behind their service and only allow the user to download the file after they have either tweeted or posted on their Facebook timeline. It’s has a very simple and straightforward implementation. Continue reading

What is the reason behind the QWERTY keyboards?

type_qwertyWith old typewriters, if two adjacent letters were pressed in quick succession, there was a very good chance that the lever arms which stamp the ink on the page would jam. As such, they developed a keyboard (the QWERTY) that spread out the most used letters to prevent such jamming.

When computer keyboards were first becoming a thing, they kept the layout because it was what all the typists were familiar with.

AZERTY was pretty much the same thing, but just for other countries (and was in fact modeled off the QWERTY layout).

This was originally published at Reddit (source). Stock image credit to Pixabay.