Archive for January, 2016

Location Tracking Explained

Posted in Digital Data, laptop, mobile app, Tech news  by Carol
January 26th, 2016

location trackingTracking technology has become a must-have for travelers, commuters, and car-users in general. Where would we be without GPS? Probably still looking for what one drive-in movie theater ┬áin Encino that everyone’s been talking about.

So how does location tracking work? The first distinction worth making is that between Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). GIS is more for large-scale location-tracking systems; these necessitate that geographic information be captured and stored. Accordingly, GIS can capture, store, analyze, and report geographic information.

GPS, on the other hands, operates by combining the information detected by 27 Earth-Orbiting satellites (24 of which operate act one time and three of which act as failsafes). A GPS receiver like the one in most mobile devices can detect how far it is from each of these satellites and deduce the device’s location accordingly, through a process called trilateration. Trilateration requires that a clear line of sight be reachable to four or more satellites at once.

There’s also Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which is comprised of small microchips that can be attached to consumer goods, cattle, vehicles and other potentially moving objects to track their movements. RFID tags can only transmit data if prompted by a reader, which transmits radio waves that activate the tag, which then transmits information on a particular frequency.

Finally, there’s Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN tracking, which uses a network of devices connected through radio frequencies. As these devices pass over ready waves, they provide users with a network that ranges from 70 to 300 feet.

satellitesMany tracking of location-based service systems use one or a combination of all of these different types of technology. GPS is used by equipping all relevant vehicles with a GPS receiver; as a vehicle crosses a mass of land, the GPS satellites can track its position. GPS also allows for an operator to request positioning information at any time. Unfortunately, when it comes to trying to find something within a smaller space and especially indoors, GPS hits a wall.

For more local-area and indoor tracking, the best choices are the RFID and WLAN options. The smallest of the small tracking areas likely warrant an RFID while WLAN takes up the middle ground. For example, to track a child in an amusement parks, some parks are offering parents the option of outfitting the child with a wristband that holds the RFID tag. Then park staff can help a worried parent locate his or her child.

Another excellent use of location tracking is when an emergency occurs and someone calls 911. The government has developed technologies which are expected to enhance the ability of E-911 to locate callers, even if they’re not calling from a landline. This has been mandated by the Federal Communications Commission, so we likely can expect the service to improve rapidly within the next few years. It will begin with a few other phases, but eventually there will be a phase that forces carriers to place GPS receivers in phones in order to deliver more specific latitude and longitude location information to law enforcement in the event of an emergency call.

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Archive for January, 2016

Location Tracking Explained

Posted in Digital Data, laptop, mobile app, Tech news  by Carol
January 26th, 2016

Free Firewall Clipart Illustrations at http://free.ClipartOf.com/

Most people have heard of firewalls and understand that cybersecurity is a real issue in our digital era. However, few truly understand what protection a firewall offers and how it manages to do so. If you’e ever wondered exactly what a firewall does and how, this article is for you.

A firewall can come in the form of hardware or software. Either way, it filters the information that enters your device through your device’s internet connection. If any of that incoming packet of information is flagged by your firewall filter, it’s not allowed through to your device.

This service is instrumentally important to both private and public users. Especially in corporate settings, identifying and blocking packets of information that might allow crackers (malevolent hackers) to probe company devices is integral to the safety and credibility of any business.

That’s why companies tend to install firewalls at every node through which the internet is accessed. This firewall can implement security rules such as limiting the amount of devices that can receive public FTP traffic or controlling how employees connect to Web sites and whether or not they can upload information onto the internet.

Firewalls tend to perform three basic services: packet filtering, proxy service, and stageful inspection. Packet filtering involves analyzing packets of information against a set of filters. Anything that doesn’t make it is discarded. The proxy service feature allows the firewall to retrieve information from the internet and then send it to the requesting service and vice cress. Finally, stageful inspection refers to the process of comparing certain key parts of information packets to a database of trusted information. If the information coming out or in resembles what’s normally sent out and in, it’s allowed. If the information is very abnormal, it’s discarded.

computer-firewall-23219089Firewalls can also be customized to the users’ liking. Firewalls can be programmed to recognize IP addresses and keep foreign readers at bay. Firewalls can also be programmed to make sure particular domains are totally unaccessible. It can be set to follow certain protocols such as Internet Protocol, Transmission Control Protocol, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and whichever ones a private or public user deems useful for its particular firewall needs.

Firewalls are also used for censorship, so parents worried about what content may come up in their children’s searches can sleep easier at night. Firewalls can be set up to catch particular text inputs like “x-rated” or “x rated” and make sure any information from those servers don’t end up on the display of young users’ devices.

Firewalls have become so prevalent that many operating systems come with their own firewall built in. Software firewalls can also be installed on your computer so long as you have an Internet connection. That computer can be considered a gateway since it provides the only point of access between your home network and the Internet, so keep that in mind.

If you opt into a hardware firewall, you’ll find that the firewall unit itself is generally called the gateway. Routers often have firewalls built in, for example.

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