Trending February 2024 # Meta Report: The Shifting Sands Of Mainframe Software # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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Summary: OS/390-z/OS vendors are increasingly utilizing different tactics (e.g., subscription charges) in an effort to improve revenues. As customers continue to rely on mainframe technology, caution must be exercised to ensure existing products and technology are protected.

The continuing tight z/OS (new operating system) growth market and general economic conditions are pushing software vendors to tweak policies at the expense of customers. The newer tactics carry longer-term cost and infrastructure issues that will impact IT organizations into the future (e.g., lessened support, new-version charges). Customers must position and prepare for potentially difficult negotiations around these topics.

We believe that, by mid-2002, OS/390-z/OS independent software vendors will increase pressure to renegotiate enterprise licensing agreements due to expire by 2004. Modest z/OS growth rates will result in increased use of alternative tactics to force customers to sign agreements (e.g., version upgrade charges) and, through 2002, vendors will continue to change pricing models and support procedures to improve overall profitability.

By 2006, 30% of mainframe software products, predominantly those inherited from acquisitions, will lack adequate vendor support resources. Through the same period, 20% of OS/390 products will be relabeled and charged as new z/OS products. Through 2005, customers failing to recognize and negotiate firm contract terms and conditions will pay 20%-30% higher product costs and incur a higher risk of failed support.

During the past three years, competition has dramatically increased within the OS/390 tool market, pressuring these vendors’ financial results. z/OS software vendors were not accustomed to competition and, though many vendors are adapting, most are not well prepared for a truly competitive environment. Coupled with competition, the customer base is beginning to dwindle. The smaller, higher margin (from a vendor perspective) customers are finding total cost of ownership of Unix/Win2000 solutions a better fit for business needs. The remaining mainframe customers typically have established and seasoned negotiators that decrease overall margins for vendors. This leaves vendors with a smaller subset of customers, resulting in a flat revenue stream.

Legacy product suites are also becoming more onerous to support as customers continue to use obscure products. Low-utilization products add significant vendor burden as the customer base falls below critical mass, leaving vendors with a unsavory decision – reduce product support levels, which is unacceptable to customers, or reduce profits to retain customer satisfaction, which is unsatisfactory to shareholders. Although most mainstream products will remain well supported, customers are finding that little-used products brought in during data center consolidation can often carry support problems. (This is especially true when the product development had stagnated on a previous version of operating systems.)

In close association with an overbroad product suite, recent problems recruiting and retaining experienced mainframe personnel are problematic for vendors. The mainframe analyst experience pool is retiring, leaving younger, less experienced analysts with fewer mainframe skills. Increasing pressure resulting from vendor reductions in force and employee dissatisfaction will continue the struggle of supporting legacy products, while additional talent drain will result from the increasing shift to Unix/Windows Data Center Edition product lines.

The confluence of issues will drive OS/390-z/OS independent software vendors to reduce overall costs. We project that a marked increase in activity will occur across several customer areas. The first, subscription licensing, carries significant impact to customers. Although initial representations will indicate that the shift toward subscription is a revenue-smoothing exercise, customers will typically lose rights during the transition, ultimately leading to higher costs (though the near-term costs may seem palatable). In addition, due to the nature of subscription licensing, there is no commitment or assurance that the product will even be available for licensing in the future. This loss of control over product use rights can lead to higher costs or, worse, loss of rights to use the products, thereby creating business interruption. Customers considering subscription licensing must ensure safeguards are in place to protect long-term interests. Any enterprise license agreement negotiations must also incorporate terms and conditions to ensure support for all products continues through the end of agreement. We recommend customers pursue penalty clauses to ensure compliance.

There is an increasing trend toward new product charges for subsequent versions or new operating systems. Several years ago, Sterling Commerce led the charge on this paradigm with the upgrade charge for Connect:Direct for MVS to S/390 charges. More recently, charges have been seen for upgrades to new versions on former Platinum products. Asset managers must review all new contracts for weak terms and conditions that allow any charge for upgrades, ensuring that rights to subsequent products are clearly defined (not then current vendor policy).

Another area where customers will see surprises will be in subcapacity licensing. Although many customers believe subcapacity licensing will improve existing costs, we believe 50% of customers will find improved costs only through new licensing arrangements. Customers will be forced to acquire new licenses to qualify for subcapacity licensing. While this is arguably optional, many customers will want to exploit it as z-Series mainframes increase in penetration. We recommend customers cautiously plan and execute migration to z-Series mainframe, integrating the plan with strong software asset management principles.

To prevent surprises, customers should utilize portfolio management tactics to balance the risk of waning vendor support and potential increased cost. Customers should understand the time to retirement and the cost to convert software, and that they may experience support disruption. Included in this analysis should be the cost of business interruption in event of product failure. Customers should monitor response time on product support questions to understand whether there is a deterioration in the level of support. User groups can also be beneficial in determining adequacy of a vendor’s staffing level. Vendor mail notifications should be reviewed for critical information on product sunset dates (these letters are often lost in corporate mailboxes). In addition, customers should ask the vendor direct questions regarding whether existing products will be supported long term or under new operating systems (e.g., z/OS).

Business Impact: Tight economic conditions are spurring a contraction of software vendor support policies, leading to potential business interruption and increased systems cost.

Bottom Line: Asset managers must increase efforts at controlling contract terms and conditions to ensure cost, risk, and vendor support are tightly defined, preventing untimely business interruption and budget surprises.

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Drone Rush 2023 State Of The Industry Report

The best new drones of 2023

Here are our favorite drones that have been announced so far in 2023. Not all of them are up for sale just yet, but coming soon at the very least.

DJI Mavic Air review

DJI Mavic Air camera review

Uvify OOri update – shipping in May

Uvify OOri announced

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

Announced at CES in January, the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is just confirmed to start shipping in July. This is a large folding drone with six propellers for power and to keep things safe and smooth. The camera is a 1-inch, 20MP sensor that shoots 4K video at 60fps, which is mounted on a 3-axis stabilized, fully rotational gimbal. Going by the spec sheet, this is shaping up to be one of the best camera drones (consumer level) to hit the market this year. 

The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus will go on sale for $1899.99 starting July 1st. 

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus announced

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus shipping date confirmed 

Autel Robotics Evo

Also announced at CES 2023, the Autel Robotics Evo is a folding quadcopter that appears set to take on the DJI Mavic Pro. The head-to-head match up by spec sheet puts the newer Evo in the lead, with the camera shooting 4K video up to 60fps and rear-facing obstacle avoidance sensors. Cryptically confirmed to begin taking orders on June 25th, the Evo is shaping up to be a solid drone for new buyers. 

You can now pre-order the Autel Robotics Evo for $999.  

Learn more: Autel Robotics Evo shipping date confirmed

DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

Just last month, DJI announced an update to the line of Phantom drones. This latest machine is an incremental update to the Phantom 4 Pro, called the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. Primarily, you are looking at updated propellers and ESCs, to create quieter, smoother and more efficient flight. You’re also looking at OcuSync, the technology that allows wireless connectivity to the DJI Goggles.

Let us sum up quick: V2.0 is definitely better than the original, but maybe not so much better that you should park your V1.0 and go shopping. If you are buying your first Phantom drone now, go for the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 for sure. If you can wait, there’s always something better in the pipes, and the Phantom 5 could be here before the year is over.

Honorable mentions:

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Events in 2023

Along with the rest of the AA team, we have attended a few events so far this year. In case you missed them, here is where Drone Rush has been:

Intel and The Drone Girl in February

This has been a big year for Intel’s drone business. The Falcon 8+ drone, along with their Insight software package, is changing the inspection market. More exciting are the World Record breaking drone swarm events. Emulating fireworks, creating amazing images in the sky, the Shooting Star team of drones put 1,218 drones into the air at the Olympics.

We met up with Intel at CES and AUVSI Xponential, but we also met the Shooting Star team at the Girls Who Drone event, hosted by The Drone Girl. We learned a ton about the Shooting Star program.

[aa_editors_tip]

If you are flying for pay, or any other form of compensation, you must operate under a different set of rules and possess a commercial drone license. We call it the Part 107. It’s not too hard to get, but it will take some time to learn all the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license, check out our drone pilot training material.

[/aa_editors_tip]

What other new drones are coming in 2023?

DJI Mavic Pro 2

With the release of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, we are not sure a Phantom 5 is coming soon. We still expect to see the new machine before the year is over, packing a more compact design, perhaps some folding propeller arms, and folding propellers themselves as well. The next stage in camera tech need not be a larger sensor, but an increased data rate could be good. Some camera vendors are shipping with 10-bit video and 4K 60fps or faster as well.

The biggest update we expect of the Phantom 5 is interchangeable lenses. The default, single-focus lens of most drone cameras today is fairly wide-angle, but works well. A selection of focal lengths would greatly expand the uses of the drone. But we’re still working with rumors and hopes.

See also: DJI Phantom drones guide 

More drone racing!

Will Earth’s Shifting Magnetic Poles Push The Northern Lights Too?

Like most planets in our solar system, the Earth has its own magnetic field. Thanks to its largely molten iron core, our planet is in fact a bit like a bar magnet. It has a north and south magnetic pole, separate from the geographic poles, with a field connecting the two. This field protects our planet from radiation and is responsible for creating the northern and southern lights—spectacular events that are only visible near the magnetic poles.

However, with reports that the magnetic north pole has started moving swiftly at 31 miles per year—and may soon be over Siberia—it has long been unclear whether the northern lights will move too. Now a new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, has come up with an answer.

Earth’s magnetic field extends hundreds of thousands of kilometers out from the centre of our planet—stretching right out into interplanetary space, forming what scientists call a “magnetosphere.” This magnetosphere helps to deflect solar radiation and cosmic rays, preventing the destruction of our atmosphere. This protective magnetic bubble isn’t perfect though, and some solar matter and energy can transfer into our magnetosphere. As it is then funneled into the poles by the field, it results in the spectacular displays of the northern lights.

A wandering pole

Since Earth’s magnetic field is created by its moving, molten iron core, its poles aren’t stationary and they wander independently of one another. In fact, since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has travelled over 1,200 miles from the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada to high in the Arctic Sea. This wandering has generally been quite slow, around 5.5 miles a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to 31 miles a year. The south magnetic pole is also moving, though at a much slower rate (6 to 9 miles a year).

This rapid wandering of the north magnetic pole has caused some problems for scientists and navigators alike. Computer models of where the north magnetic pole might be in the future have become seriously outdated, making accurate compass-based navigation difficult. Although GPS does work, it can sometimes be unreliable in the polar regions. In fact, the pole is moving so quickly that scientists responsible for mapping the Earth’s magnetic field were recently forced to update their model much earlier than expected.

Will the aurora move?

The aurora generally form in an oval about the magnetic poles, and so if those poles move, it stands to reason that the aurora might too. With predictions suggesting that the north pole will soon be approaching northern Siberia, what effect might that have on the aurora?

The northern lights are currently mostly visible from northern Europe, Canada, and the northern US. If, however, they shifted north, across the geographic pole, following the north magnetic pole, then that could well change. Instead, the northern lights would become more visible from Siberia and northern Russia and less visible from the much more densely populated US/Canadian border.

Fortunately, for those aurora hunters in the northern hemisphere, it seems as though this might not actually be the case. A recent study made a computer model of the aurora and the Earth’s magnetic poles based on data dating back to 1965. It showed that rather than following the magnetic poles, the aurora follows the “geomagnetic poles” instead. There’s only a small difference between these two types of poles—but it’s an important one.

Magnetic versus geomagnetic poles. wikipedia., CC BY-SA

The magnetic poles are the points on the Earth’s surface where a compass needle points downwards or upwards, vertically. They aren’t necessarily connected and drawing a line between these points, through the Earth, would not necessarily cross its centre. Therefore, to make better models over time, scientists assume that the Earth is like a bar magnet at its centre, creating poles that are exactly opposite each other—”antipodal.” This means that if we drew a line between these points, the line would cross directly through the Earth’s center. At the points where that line crosses the Earth’s surface, we have the geomagnetic poles.

Positions of the north magnetic pole (red) and the geomagnetic pole (blue) between 1900 and 2023. British Geological Survey, CC BY-SA

The geomagnetic poles are a kind of reliable, averaged out version of the magnetic poles, which move erratically all the time. Because of that, it turns out they aren’t moving anywhere near as fast as the magnetic north pole is. And since the aurora seems to follow the more averaged version of the magnetic field, it means that the northern lights aren’t moving that fast either. It seems as though the aurora are staying where they are—at least for now.

We already know that the magnetic pole moves. Both poles have wandered ever since the Earth existed. In fact, the poles even flip over, with north becoming south and south becoming north. These magnetic reversals have occurred throughout history, every 450,000 years or so on average. The last reversal occurred 780,000 years ago meaning we could be due a reversal soon.

So rest assured that a wandering pole, even a fast one, shouldn’t cause too many problems—except for those scientists whose job it is to model it.

Nathan Case is a Senior Research Associate in Space and Planetary Physics at Lancaster University. This article was originally featured on The Conversation.

Report: Android Spyware Infections On The Rise

An increasing number of Android phones are infected with mobile malware programs that are able to turn the handsets into spying devices, according to a report from Kindsight Security Labs, a subsidiary of telecommunications equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent.

The vast majority of mobile devices infected with malware are running the Android operating system and a third of the top 20 malware threats for Android by infection rate fall into the spyware category, Kindsight said in a report released Tuesday that covers the second quarter of 2013.

The Alcatel-Lucent subsidiary sells security appliances to ISPs (Internet service providers) and mobile network operators that can identify known malware threats and infected devices by analyzing the network traffic.

Data collected from its product deployments allows the company to compile statistics about how many devices connected to mobile or broadband networks are infected with malware and determine what are the most commonly detected threats.

The malware infection rate for devices connected to mobile networks is fairly low, averaging at 0.52 percent, Kindsight said in its report. These infected devices include mobile phones as well as Windows laptops that use a mobile connection through a phone, a 3G USB modem or a mobile hotspot device.

In January the number of infected mobile phones accounted for slightly more than 30 percent of all infected devices connected to mobile networks, but by June they grew to more than 50 percent.

The vast majority of infected mobile phones run Android. Those running BlackBerry, iOS and other operating systems represent less than 1 percent of infected mobile devices, Kindsight said.

When calculated separately, on average more than 1 percent of Android devices on mobile networks are infected with malware, Kindsight said in its report.

The malware threat most commonly seen on Android devices was an adware Trojan program called Uapush.A that sends SMS messages and steals information, Kindsight said. Uapush.A was responsible for around 53 percent of the total number of infections detected on Android devices.

The second-most-common Android threat was a Trojan program called QdPlugin, whose primary purpose is to install and control other adware programs. This malware is distributed as repackaged versions of legitimate games and connects to a control server located in the U.S.

A particularly worrying trend is the increase in the number of spyware threats that appear in the top 20, according to Kindsight. Spyware programs can typically record phone calls and text messages; track the phone’s location; monitor email, social media and browsing activity; access photos and contact information, and more.

“Until now mobile spyware has been aimed at the consumer market, with the promise of being able to track your loved one’s every move through their phone,” said Kevin McNamee, security architect and director of Alcatel-Lucent’s Kindsight Security Labs, in a blog post Tuesday. “But locating teenagers and a straying spouse are only one part of the story.”

“Mobile spyware in the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) context poses a threat to enterprises because it can be installed surreptitiously on an employee’s phone and used for industrial or corporate espionage,” McNamee said.

In order to demonstrate the risks posed by such threats, Kindsight has developed a proof-of-concept spy-phone program that can be injected into other Android applications and can provide the attacker with backdoor access to enterprise networks. He plans to present it at the Black Hat USA 2013 security conference in Las Vegas next week.

Kindsight’s report also contains infection statistics for home networks, saying that 10 percent of them showed signs of malware infections. Six percent of home networks had infections with high-threat-level malware like botnets, rootkits or banking Trojans programs, Kindsight said.

Best Backup Software Of 2023

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Written By Curtis Silver

Published Jun 13, 2023 1:00 PM

Solid backup software should be a fundamental part of your digital life. If you aren’t backing up your data on a regular basis then you are putting your documents and memories at risk. There are free cloud solutions offered by Google and Apple that we generally agree to upon the purchase of a new smartphone. But these solutions are limited and don’t offer the same dedicated security and reliability that you can find with software designed for the purpose of backing up your data. It’s the best backup software that can offer you more than just a secondary place to store your litany of photos. 

The other factor that necessitates the need for backup software is the physical lifespan of our storage devices. Both internal and external hard drives have limited life spans. These devices will cease to function at some point and if we’re not vigilant with backing up our data with a full redundancy plan, we put our data at risk. The best backup software will add an essential layer of security to your computer workflow without adding a ton of extra hassle or cost.

How we chose the best backup software

Reputation is important when it comes to backup software because it’s a big deal to trust a company with your files. For this list, we started by comparing a wide array of backup software, then emphasized those with solid pricing, reliable service, decent encryption, and broad compatibility. We relied on a combination of personal experience, editorial reviews, user impressions, and feature comparisons to choose the best possible options for a variety of users. As companies often change their offerings, pricing, and terms of service, it’s always a good idea to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for before signing up—especially true if you’re getting into a longer-term deal.

Things to consider before buying the best backup software

When you are purchasing (or downloading a free version) backup software, you’ll want to remember to only buy what you need. Many products on the market are filled with technical features that can obfuscate the standard operation of the software. Additionally, there are just as many, if not more, enterprise backup software solutions that you likely don’t need. Simple can absolutely be better, especially if it means the difference between using it and avoiding it.

Pricing

Backup software options, good and bad, can range in price from free to upwards of a few hundred dollars. While it’s difficult to truly put a price on your data, it’s important to put it in perspective. Paying a one-time cost of $50 to secure your data is a bargain compared to what you pay annually for streaming services alone. While that’s not a direct parallel, it helps put it in perspective. Free options have their place as well, but there is always a catch with anything that’s free. In this case, that can mean less reliable, slower, or less secure services.

Level of encryption security

There are two levels of encryption security employed by most backup software products. Either one is acceptable for general use. While 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the basic level of protection, 256-bit AES offers more secure encryption because the encryption key is longer. The good news is that, unlike crypto wallets, you generally don’t have to remember or store these encryption keys as the backup software handles them for you.

Incremental backup vs. full backup

Once you settle on a piece of backup software, you’ll have to decide how you want your backups to proceed. Most backup software products offer both incremental and full backups, but you might have to toggle some settings. Incremental backup means that the software only backs up the data that has changed since your last backup. This is handy if you want quick, more frequent backups. Full backups do as the name implies, backing up all your data every time. This is the default method of software backups but usually is run in tandem with incrementals.

Operating system compatibility

In a world of multiple operating systems (albeit some more popular than others), it’s important to make sure that the backup software you choose works with the OS you run. There are pieces of software designed specifically for particular operating systems. Windows, Linux, and macOS all have backup software programs that work best with the OS, and some that won’t work at all.

The best backup software: Reviews & Recommendations

With the features and specs outlined above, it’s time to get into the specific picks. While we have broken these choices down into categories, there’s always some overlap involved, so be sure to peruse the entire list before committing to one option.

Best for Windows: Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

Why it made the cut: Acronis Cyber Protect is a feature-filled piece of software that offers more backup tools than its competitors.

Specs

System compatibility: For macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

Encryption: AES-256 encryption

Price: $49.99 – $124.99

Pros

Backup locally or to the cloud

Ransomware protection

File syncing

Tons of features

Cons

Advanced features can be tenuous for basic users

Slower upload speed

No free storage

Acronis Cyber Protect offers full backups for your PC, as well as the option to clone drives or even partitions. You can even select individual folders and files to backup. You can back up locally or to a cloud service. There is also an annual subscription for additional security features, with 500GB of storage on the base plan. The point is that Acronis is packed with handy backup features like disk cleanup and system management utilities. 

One issue with backup software can be the interface. With Acronis Cyber Protect, the interface is very similar to a file manager. That makes it very consumer-friendly and easier to understand and use. Some of the deeper menu options can be a little confusing, but nothing the user manual can’t sort out. 

Best for Mac: Get Backup Pro 3

Why it made the cut: Get Backup Pro is a backup utility app specifically designed for macOS users.

Specs

System compatibility: For macOS

Encryption: AES-128, AES-256, Blowfish, Triple DES encryption

Price: $19.99

Pros

Scheduled backups

Incremental backups

User-friendly UI

Cons

Just for MacOS

No additional security protections

Get Backup Pro is a simple piece of backup software that offers very simple options. If you want to backup your data before yet another macOS operating system update, this is one of your best options. It can create a bootable clone of your drive, so when the OS upgrade bricks your system, you’ll be good to go upon restoring. It also provides incremental backups, cutting down on backup time and memory resources. 

This is a very easy-to-use backup option. You can schedule your backups with relative ease and choose your backup location. Again, basic stuff here. The selling point of Get Backup Pro is that it’s optimized for macOS and is a good thing to have installed if you are an early OS adapter.

Best free: Aomei Backupper 6 Standard

Why it made the cut: Backupper 6 Standard offers a free standard version of its software that covers your basic backup needs. 

Specs

System compatibility: Windows

Encryption: None

Price: Free – $59.95

Pros

Free

Easy to manipulate

Backups stored in one file

Cons

Aomei Backupper 6 Standard comes in three versions: Free, Professional ($49.95), and Workstation ($59.95). Each one offers an escalating list of backup options, with the Workstation version being designed for business use. The free version offers basic backup options such as file, system, disk, and partition backups. It jams all of this in one AFI file you can move wherever you need it. The paid versions add schemas, differential backups, and encryption.

Best for power users: IDrive

Why it made the cut: IDrive is a powerful backup tool aimed at businesses and power users, which makes it an essential option for cloud backups.

Specs

System compatibility: For Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux/Unix

Encryption: 256-bit AES encryption

Price: $3.98 annual subscription

Pros

Multiple OS support

End-to-end encryption

Tons of options

Cons

Subscription tiers can get pricey

Lacks real-time collaboration tools

For $3.98 a year you can have 10TB of encrypted cloud storage. That’s not a bad deal. That’s only for the first year, then the cost jumps a bit. And if you’ve got a small business, the cost could be in the thousands based on how many machines you need to be backed up. That being said, IDrive offers a clear, easy-to-use UI, and hierarchical backups. 

IDrive provides end-to-end encryption, but it requires you to hold a private key. This means if you lose that key, you lose access to your data. If you fear that loss, IDrive also offers standard encryption, storing the access key for you. IDrive has a wide range of backup options for whatever you need, whether it be photos on your phone or enterprise servers. While the UI can be a bit technical at times, it’s easy enough to navigate while dragging and dropping your files. 

Best for media storage: Google/iCloud

Why it made the cut: It’s a surprisingly full-featured offering for a free option.

Specs

System compatibility: For all operating systems

Encryption: Basic 2FA security

Price: Totally free

Pros 

You already have it

Easy to use

Coordinates across devices

Cons

Storage fills up fast

No true automatic backup options

No security features

If your backup needs are limited to your photos, videos, and random media files, you might not need to purchase backup software at all. Sometimes simpler is better, especially if you don’t need anything complex. Some users don’t care about creating a drive image, or a full restore. These users simply use their computers for web-based work or play and just need a place to store their pictures and miscellaneous files. 

Whether you are using a Mac or Windows PC, Google and Apple’s iCloud are available to you (generally depending on your mobile device OS preference). Both offer generous free storage upgradeable for a small fee. They are both simple options for automatic backups of the photos on your smartphone or documents created in the cloud. Plus, they are accessible from anywhere anytime. 

Best unlimited cloud storage: Backblaze

Why it made the cut: Backblaze packs in all the great features you’d expect from a competent backup software, with an unlimited storage capacity.

Specs

System compatibility: For Windows and macOS

Encryption: 128-bit AES encryption

Price: Variable annual rate

Pros

One pricing plan

Offline restore options

File sharing

Unlimited storage

Cons

Single license only

No folder syncing

Backblaze has been around for a while and is one of the most widely used backup software programs. One of those reasons is that Backblaze keeps it fairly simple with one subscription plan per single computer. Most users, though, would cite the unlimited storage offered as its main selling point. It’s not the fastest backup solution on the market, and its web interface is a bit clunky, but did we mention unlimited storage?

Seven dollars a month (at the high end, a longer subscription lowers the per month rate) for unlimited storage is a heck of a good deal. When you download Backblaze it’ll prompt you to back up everything and provide a storage estimate. If you want to only back up certain things, you’ll have to deal with that later through an exclusion menu. This process can be a bit of a pain, but again, unlimited storage for a few dollars a month. You really can’t get it better than that. 

FAQs Q: Does Windows 10 include backup software?

Technically, yes. Windows includes its classic “Backup and Restore” utility that creates full backups and drive images. You can also restore files with its file history feature. These are fairly straightforward backup options and are contingent on a physical location or backup drive for storage. These are not separate software platforms though, they are baked into Windows.

Q: What is backup software used for?

Backup software is used to secure your data through redundancy. While this can functionally be done by simply copying and pasting all your files on an ongoing basis to an external drive, most backup software programs will do this automatically. Additionally, many backup software options are cloud-based and can create incremental backups, saving space and time. If you have data, no matter the type, you should consider a competent backup option.

Q: What is the best personal backup software for Windows 10?

For its pricing and options, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is the best third-party option for Windows 10 PCs. This is a comprehensive piece of software that is simultaneously easy to use. It has a clean user interface and won’t break the bank with its standard storage plans. If the built-in Windows features aren’t offering you the backup options you need, then Acronis should be at the top of your list.

Q: What should I look for in backup software?

When shopping for backup software, like anything else, you’ll want to look for one that meets your needs. Are you running enterprise servers? More than one PC? Do you only need your photos backed up? What operating system are you running? All these factors tie into your backup software decision.

The final word on the best backup software

Your data is important to you so why would you put it at risk by putting your faith in your operating system never breaking down? Between power outages frying your motherboard, operating system updates bricking your system or even kids spamming the delete button, having a reliable backup system is important. Finding a piece of backup software that offers incremental or full backups at a reasonable price can be the difference between losing your data forever and just losing it for a few hours. 

The Bored Ape Creators Are Taking On Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta

Yuga Labs launched the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection in April of 2023. It was barely a year ago. However, in this short amount of time, the company has seen massive growth. And that’s putting it mildly.

Bored Ape Yacht Club is the world’s most valuable NFT collection. If you took all the NFTs in the collection and sold them, you’d make more than 1.09 million ETH. That’s about $3 billion dollars (at time of writing). As such, it’s not really surprising that a leaked pitch deck showed Yuga Labs made a net revenue of $137 million in 2023.

For 2023, they set their targets much higher. Ultimately, the company aims to bring in nearly half a billion in revenue, setting its targets at a very healthy $455 million. But how can one company possibly hope to achieve so much when, just a year ago, they effectively didn’t exist?

By taking on Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta and dominating the metaverse.

Setting sail for a new land

Yuga Labs’ massive metaverse initiative will begin with virtual real estate.

Their forthcoming virtual world is called “Otherside.” The team bills it as a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that’s connected to the NFT ecosystem and more. In this respect, Otherside is more than just a virtual world. It’s a metaverse. “We want to build something that expands the universe of the BAYC, but also invites the larger NFT community (and those priced out of BAYC membership) to join,” the company explained in its leaked deck.

Yuga Labs plans to begin this initiative by selling virtual land as NFTs. These will be linked to plots in the Otherside metaverse game. In each case, the plots will come with distinct traits, like unique natural resources, artifacts, and rare characters. In the deck, the team noted that 200,000 plots will be distributed in two sales in March and August.

From these two sales alone, the company projects they will earn $356 million dollars.

There will also be an in-game app store that Yuga Labs plans to use to increase revenue and expand its reach in the metaverse. Individuals will be able to use the system to create characters from NFTs they own. They will also be able to accessorize these characters using NFTs.

The long-rumored ApeCoin is here

Yuga Labs has also built a wider media empire around the BAYC NFT series. They recently launched their much-hyped ApeCoin, which is called the $APE token. It will be their primary token for all of their products and services.

Introducing ApeCoin ($APE), a token for culture, gaming, and commerce used to empower a decentralized community building at the forefront of web3. 🧵

— ApeCoin (@apecoin) March 16, 2023

Notably, Yuga Labs launched this token in coordination with a host of other major players, though the company has a sizable voting share when it comes to the governance of ApeCoin. Yuga Labs also gets a significant chunk of the money earned from the coin.

These partnerships are critically important, as the partners will also be using the tokens in their projects. For example, one of the world’s largest blockchain game developers, Animoca Brands, announced that it will let users purchase NFTs in its play-to-earn (P2E) game called Benji Bananas using ApeCoin. More games and projects will likely be making similar announcements in the coming months, enabling Yuga Labs to extend their reach into the metaverse even further.

Yet, although ApeCoin will be used as in-game currency, the token will likely be more impactful as a general-purpose digital currency. ApeCoin will get listed on exchanges like Coinbase, Voyager Digital, Binance, Gemini, and eToro. The team plans to use a portion of the money it raises from it to create merchandise and events, which (of course) only increase their revenues and brand loyalty.

According to Statista, Meta generated about $115.66 billion in revenues through its family of apps in 2023. Their most notable apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp) dominate both the social media and communications ecosystems.

At the present time, Yuga Labs can’t really compare to that. But remember, they have only been around a year. And they’ve already started to consolidate by acquiring their competitors. This year, they bought both CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. Although it’s too soon to predict who will ultimately control the metaverse, there is good reason to suspect that Yuga Labs at least has a fighting chance.

It remains to be seen whether they will be just and equitable rulers.

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