Differences between an IT Park and a Business Park

 

Have you ever wondered what the differences between an IT Park and a Business Park are? Well, a number of features and facilities do overlap but there are some stark differences between the two, particularly in terms of focus and approach:

How Business Parks and IT Parks differ
Primarily, the big difference between an IT Park and a Business Park is this: For IT Parks the key focus is innovation, while for business parks it is usually commerce. The layout of these two types of facilities also tend to differ in key areas; business parks contain largely office space and conference facilities, while technology parks, in addition to office and conference space, include workshops, laboratory space and facilities dedicated towards research.

How They Are Similar
Both types of developments, while they have different focus areas, share a very strong common thread; people. The staff working at either a Business Park or an IT Park will be looking for very similar amenities. Therefore, you will find massive overlap between the two when you look at communal facilities such as green space, food and beverage outlets, on-site parking facilities and entertainment options. All of these amenities together, help to promote collaboration between the different companies, organizations and people that populate these developments.

Other Similar Developments
You will also find that industrial parks and trading estates are also similar, yet different
developments altogether. Again, while they have very different focus areas, they all share one thing in common; people and therefore the amenities described above are nearly universal to any worthy development.

Locating an IT Park
The location of an IT Park is critical and this is why Orion City is strategically located near the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka by the side of one of the City’s main arteries. Access to infrastructure is critical for IT Parks and Orion City provides easy access to Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport, the country’s main international airport. In addition to this, Orion City is located close to the Port of Colombo, Colombo’s Commercial Centre, Shopping and Recreation Hubs, the country’s major express ways that connect or will connect all of the major cities of the country. The Park is also equipped with state of the art office spaces for small and big enterprises along with workshops, laboratory space and all other amenities onsite. Orion City is home to international giants such as Virtusa, Pearson and Cinergix. The Park is experiencing ongoing expansion and will soon see Orion Towers coming online, which promises customizable office and workspaces for startups, small, medium and large companies and features LEED Gold Certification, an energy efficient façade with optimal light penetration with minimum heat and noise, a star class business hotel and all amenities and other infrastructure.

The facilities and amenities at Orion City include:
 On-site parking
 International Food Court
 International chains of coffee shops and delis onsite
 Healthcare/self-care facilities
 All basic infrastructure
 Value added infrastructure such as voice and data cabling, RFID/Biometric Access, Raised Flooring, Internal Partitioning, UPS Backup, Data Centre and shared services.
 External Security
 Cleaning and maintenance of all common areas
 Janitorial Services Including Waste Disposal
 Daily Garbage Removal
 Pest Control
 24 hour Help Desk
After location, the facilities of an IT Park are what set it apart. Orion City has the location and all the facilities and amenities any tech business requires to thrive and is a great place to build and grow a tech business.

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5 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Workplace

Despite myths and common perception, millennials are a hardworking generation. Still, their definition of hard work and their attitudes are significantly different from generations before. This is no surprise given that this generation came of age during the explosion of digital technology.
Millennials simply feel that it’s quite reasonable to expect to get what they want exactly how, when and where they want it; a result of the massive enablement that technology has brought to society.

This generation just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer both in their personal and working lives.Speaking of work lives, millennials don’t see a definite separation between the Mon-Fri 9-5 routine and their personal lives. Instead, they see life as a rich blend of experiences and are deftly able to move between work and play. Thus, offices designed for the future are openly embracing mobile, social and cloud technology to offer millennials the ‘seamless’ work environment they desire. Offices are being positively disrupted through digitization, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotic process automation. Thus, the workplace is changing dramatically and this change is being driven by millennials.
We’ve put together 5 important ways that we feel millennials are massively changing the workplace and these 5 things could become the norm within a couple of years. Some of these things aren’t entirely new concepts but it’s only with the advent of new technology that they’ve become easily achievable goals for almost any workplace.

1. The Chief Happiness Officer

millennial-workspace Millennials are simply not happy with one size fits all environments and constantly look for unique workspaces. This generation is constantly searching for new experiences and expects their workplace to provide them with options that make them feel good. This is where a CHO comes in and can provide more than just a feel good experience. CHOs can promote employee contentment, reduce turnover costs, spur innovation and boost productivity.

2. More Hipster Coffee Bar, Less Cubicle

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The look and feel of offices are changing. Future – friendly office spaces are much more social and, instead of cutting people off from each other, inspire them to mix, meet and chat over a delicious coffee or even something stronger. But this is not a distraction, it’s how innovation happens.
3. All Companies Will Be Like Tech Companies

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Tech companies introduced many trends such as informal office spaces and the idea of telecommuting. Going forward, any sector can benefit from embracing workplace tech trends that improve productivity.
4. Hello, Robot

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Soon, your co-worker could be a robot and that’s not a bad thing. As we have seen in the past, many human roles will remain vital but the introduction of robots can create new, better roles for humans and increase efficiency overall.
5. Hyper-Personalized, Intuitive Workspaces

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Millennials are all about personalization and will go to great lengths to personalize their workspaces. In the very near future, this will likely become even more enhanced with cognitive computing and AI being able to anticipate and produce each worker’s ideal environment from temperature to lighting and music. Digital transformation, driven by millennials, is completely reinventing the traditional office on every level. The kind of workplace that this generation yearns for is slowly taking shape and it’s not just millennials who are benefitting from this change. The new, future-friendly office is a place that anyone, from any generation can appreciate and enjoy.

In fact, it’s probably what everyone wanted in the first place, but it will be millennials who will be remembered as the generation who simply wouldn’t take no for an answer until they got what they wanted!

Save Yourself From Heartbreak – Backup your iPhone

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Your iPhone is probably one of your most important and valuable possessions and not just because of the premium price tag. Your device is home to all of your sensitive data and treasured memories in the form of photos, videos and messages. Think about it, if you lose or irreparably damage your iPhone, you could just get a new one no matter how ‘wallet breaking’ it may be. However, imagine that you lost those photos you took at your best friend’s wedding, the last video you made with your grandparents before they passed on, hours of instant messaging conversations with the love of your life or that mission critical document you took a picture of for work. Losing precious data is truly a heartbreaking experience, but there’s a simple and easy way to insure against such a situation and it can be summed up in two words: Back Up!

Apple has made it incredibly easy to back up your important data using iCloud and this should be the first go to solution. iCloud is available to anyone with an Apple device, not just iPhones. Each Apple ID comes with 5GB of storage free and can store everything from bookmarks, contacts, calendars, iCloud documents, mail, messages, notes and your iCloud photo library. The best part is that iCloud backups can be set to happen automatically whenever your device is connected to Wi-Fi, which means that it’s quite a ‘set and forget’ approach to backing up your data. If you take lots of pictures and videos though, you’ll find yourself soon running out of space and needing to purchase more, yes you’ll have to spend for extra storage. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to note that expanding your storage is pretty affordable with expansion starting at USD 0.99 per month for 50GB.

While iCloud backups alone can often be sufficient to ensure that your data is backed up to the cloud and so available to you anywhere at any time, it’s very easy to have your backups corrupted as a result of device sync issues and incorrectly setting up sync features on your other devices. Another way your data in the cloud could be affected is by hackers. Therefore, it’s always best to couple iCloud backups with at least one other method.

The best method to couple iCloud Backups with is a local backup regimen to a laptop or PC. This way you can rest assured knowing that you have a copy of your information that you control, rather than leaving everything to the mystical nature of the Cloud. This can be easily accomplished using iTunes and connecting your device to your computer. iTunes lets you automatically or manually backup your device locally and even lets you encrypt your backups for added security, which means no one but you will have access to your personal data. With the exception of media purchased from the iTunes store, all other data including photos, videos, contacts, notes, call histories, profiles and bookmarks will all be backed up.

For added security and safety, you can make copies of your backed up data and hold them on external drives so that you’re always sure to have copies of your sensitive information. You can take things one step further to secure yourself by encrypting the external storage device you will use to store your backups as well. Keeping external, offline backups will also ensure you will never fall victim to ransomware attacks as you can always restore backups. Speaking of which, backups also come in handy when upgrading or just setting up a new device as you can easily transfer all your data, settings and stuff by just restoring an old backup. It is also possible to backup your iPhone data to third party cloud service providers such as Google Drive.

Do you backup? Will you back up in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Cryptomania Fuels GPU Price Bubble, Causes Worldwide Shortage

Gamers, casual PC enthusiasts and content creators everywhere have been suffering since the middle of2017 as prices of GPUs (Graphics Processors or Cards) have gone through the roof, even here in SriLanka. These massive increases in retail prices are driven by the cryptocurrency mining craze that reached epic proportions in 2017. Along with increased prices, the high demand from miners has also resulted in massive shortages worldwide.

 

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum shone during 2017. Their astronomical gains led many to believe in them as assets of the future. However, like any system of electronic value transfer, a networkneeds to be in place to facilitate and validate transactions and Crypto Miners provide this transactional network infrastructure.

Crypto Mines are essentially massive computer rigs with 10s if not 100s of GPUs linked together to work on what is called hashing, the solving of complex mathematical problems, in order to validate transactions. In return for their effort, the miners receive a certain amount of the Cryptocurrency they’re validating to keep for themselves.

The craze has taken hold even here in Sri Lanka. We were surprised when we spoke to industry insiders at Unity Plaza, Sri Lanka’s biggest IT mall. While asking to remain anonymous, they confirmed that there was a massive shortage of GPUs, particularly at the high end with many costing more than twice their actual worth, if you can even find one.

The situation has become so bad that retailers here and abroad are now refusing to sell more than a single GPU to an individual, maybe two if it’s clear the person is genuinely setting up a high end computer. According to our sources, there are a number of clandestine, solar powered Bitcoin mines operating in Sri Lanka and these miners are zapping up high end graphics cards like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 at prices exceeding LKR 120,000/-, which is double what the card is worth. Even mid-range
cards have significant premiums added to their prices.

Companies like NVIDIA and ATI have recently come out strongly against the prevailing status quo, even going so far as to request that retailers restrict bulk sales so that sufficient supplies can be made available for genuine users. These companies have also worked to release mining specific GPUs that are designed especially for cryptomining and provide far superior performance than ordinary consumer cards to ease the situation. This, along with small scale mining becoming less profitable with recent
drops in crypto prices and increased numbers of miners may see the prices of GPUs come down slightly in the future along with supply levels reaching normalcy.

The crypto mining craze has also spawned a plethora of malware that highjacks unsuspecting users’ system resources (CPU,GPU) to run mining software for unscrupulous miners. If you find your computer is slow, warmer than usual or hangs frequently check your task manager to see what’s running in the background. Every so often you’ll find it’s crypto mining malware. Good antivirus/malware software can
help prevent such disasters.

Speaking of mining software, do you know that you can mine cryptocurrencies too? If you have extra computers or keep your computer running at night you can use software such as NiceHash, whichis very easy to install, to mine cryptocurrencies and receive Bitcoin in return for your efforts. Even a small amount can be significant if the uptrend in prices resumes as many expect it to.

But hey, if cryptos crash or don’t recover again properly, the market will be flooded with cheap GPUs and gamers and other users will be spoilt for choice.

What do you think about cryptomania, mining and unscrupulous activity in its name? Let us know in the comments below!

SLASSCOM’s People Summit 2018 – Transforming The Way We Think, Work & Connect

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The SLASSCOM People Summit 2018 will be conducted for the seventh consecutive year on the 20th of February 2018 at the Shangri-La Colombo. It aims to provide leaders at all levels with innovative talent management insights and perspectives from renowned global leaders, along with prime networking and experience sharing opportunities. The event will bring together over 300 HR professionals and business leaders representing IT/BPM and other industries.

The summit’s objectives are two fold – firstly, to expose the audience to international best practices,cutting-edge trends and insights delivered by renowned HR practitioners within the region. Secondly, to provide an excellent networking opportunity for participants to meet and share experiences.

This year, the SLASSCOM People Summit 2018 will be held under the theme ‘Transforming the way we Think, Work and Connect’ in keeping with current trends and focusing on what are known to be the biggest issues in people management, globally. Areas such as building collaborative organisations, data analytics and leveraging automation & AI based technology to build future ready organisations will be delved into.

The summit will comprise of two main sessions: The CXO Breakfast Forum and the General Conference. The conference will have three parallel breakout sessions focusing on gathering insights through data analytics to create value, creating future ready organisations using AI & Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and building collaborative workspaces through concepts such as work-out loud and design thinking.

Experienced speakers from renowned organisations around the world will be conducting these workshops with the keynote address being delivered by Oracle Corporation Asia Pacific HCM Cloud Applications Head, Yazad Dalal. Other speakers include Virtusa Executive Vice President and Global COO Keith Modder, Microsoft Asia Pacific Human Resources Director Kathy Tingate, University of Columbia Economics Professor Prof. Lalith Munasinghe, Great Place To Work India CEO Prasenjit
Bhattacharya and Great Place To Work Sri Lanka Director and Oracle Corporation HR Asia Pacific Senior Director Rachna Sampayo.

Tickets for the SLASSCOM People Summit 2018 are available now and can be purchased online here. If you’re a SLASSCOM member, tickets are priced at LKR 15,000/- with group tickets for five available at the discounted price of LKR 67,500/-. For everyone else tickets are priced at LKR 17,000/ with group tickets for five available at the discounted price of LKR 76,500/-. It’s also possible to attend only the CXO Breakfast forum for which tickets are priced at LKR. 8,000/-.

We are excited to see the new ideas and concepts that will be presented at this year’s SLASSCOM People Summit. After all, human capital is probably the most important capital of all and the most easily mismanaged. Better, more modern management practices will result in better places to work and thus increased productivity, job satisfaction and overall well-being.

Will you be attending this year’s People Summit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Caught Red Handed: Apple Is Purposely Slowing Down iPhones

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Have you ever wondered if your iPhone was becoming slower? Well, wonder no more! Older iPhones are becoming slower but not because they’re old. Instead, it appears that Apple is deliberately slowing down old iPhones through software updates causing the phone’s processor speed to be limited. Apple was forced to officially admit to this practice after a Reddit post about slowing iPhones went viral. While Apple’s reasoning for this practice is sound, it still sounds very much like ‘planned obsolescence’ a practice where manufacturers intentionally mess around with old devices so that users will be forced to buy new ones.  In the aftermath of the official admission by apple 26 lawsuits have been filed against the company.

 

Early last year iPhone 6, 6S and 6 Plus users complained that their phones were suddenly shutting down, even though there was sufficient battery left. This tended to happen during peak current demands when users would be doing something on their phones that required a burst of power like playing games or downloading apps. It’s this issue that apple tried to remedy through the deliberate slowing down of older iPhones. The reasoning goes that the phones were shutting off as a result of ageing batteries not being able to provide peak power when required. The solution to the problem was to limit the processor speed on older devices in order to prevent the phone from drawing peak current from the battery.

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Here’s Apple’s official statement: ‘Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

‘Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.’

John Poole the founder of Primate Labs and Geekbench took matters into his own hands even before Apple’s confession and pulled together and compared data from the performance testing Geekbench had done on users’ iPhone 6s and 7 devices. His analysis revealed that processors did slow down after the software update meant to fix the shutdown problem, that the problem was widespread, and likely to get worse as phones (and their batteries) age. He also noted that iPhone 6s users who replaced their batteries had faster phones.  According to his analysis even the iPhone 7 was being slowed down by the update.

All of this is quite upsetting because while Apple appears to be doing something for the benefit of its users, it shines a light on the potential for manufacturers to tamper with old devices in order to force users to buy new ones. Apple has faced a barrage of criticism about the issue, huge social media backlash and even some lawsuits. We think that the response is not only reasonable but also good because if users are not going to hold their device manufacturers accountable, there’s no telling what they might get up to!

What do you think? Are you one of those affected? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

The Fake WhatsApp: Why You Should Think Once & Read Twice Before Downloading Apps

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It seems incredible but, believe it or not, a cunning app developer has managed to spoof over a million users into downloading an advertising app that masquerades as the globally popular messaging app, WhatsApp. The app is called Update WhatsApp Messenger and does a very convincing job of looking like the real thing, even pulling off a clever trick to ensure that the developer’s name appears legitimate.

Fortunately, this particular developer wasn’t exactly malicious and their only intention seems to have been to generate ad revenue by tricking users into downloading the app. The app also didn’t require too many permissions and turned out to be an ad-loaded wrapper which is designed to have a blank icon and title so that users don’t see the app once it’s installed. This has left novice users helpless against the app’s intrusive ads and unable to uninstall it. For added measure and to encourage more people to download the app, the developers used a clever, digital ‘sleight of hand’ to appear as the genuine developers of WhatsApp. They achieved this by using what is known as a Unicode character space after the developer name which read, in computer code, as ‘WhatsApp+Inc%C2%A0.’ but appeared to Android users as ‘Whats App Inc.’ just like the real deal.

Google has now removed this ‘fake WhatsApp’ from the Play Store but this is not the first time such apps have been spotted on Google’s official app delivery platform. The Play Store has often been plagued with these kinds of incidents but this one is particularly significant given the number of downloads and the lengths to which the developers had gone to appear genuine. It’s very sad and even shameful that Google wasn’t able to pick up on this scam early on and put an end to it, even as more than a million users downloaded the app.

Despite efforts on Google’s own part and their security incentive programs such as Bug Bounty, the Play Store is awash with malicious apps that manage to fool security mechanisms and affect Android users in the millions. While this is to be expected given the Android Platform’s open nature as opposed to its competitors, it’s high time that Google stepped up its efforts to stop this kind of exploitation of its services.

Still, common sense is the best and first line of defence in the world of cyberspace. Despite the lengths to which the developers had gone to appear legitimate, there were a number of tell-tale signs of ‘fishiness’ to anyone with common sense and anyone who took a bit of time to read before they tapped install. First off the name, ‘Update WhatsApp Messenger’ is a dead giveaway. Why would What’s App issue an ‘update app’ when updates to the app are delivered via the Play Store? Then, the number of downloads. It’s common knowledge that, What’s App has over a billion users so the app having only one million downloads should look suspicious. A cursory reading of the reviews may also have alerted users to the nature of the app they were downloading. For more knowledgeable users, the ‘contains ads’ under the install button would also have been a huge red flag as WhatsApp does not display ads.

The lesson to be taken from this episode is that ultimately, you alone are responsible for your security online. It is very unlikely that you can be infected, affected or in any other way intruded upon without your authorization. Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to think once and read twice before they click or tap on anything.