The Growth of Digital & Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants
Virtual Assistants

The Growth of Digital & Virtual Assistants

They are referred to by various names including digital assistants, virtual assistants, voice assistants, and most recently smart speakers. Odds are you or someone you know has or soon will have one in their home. You may already use one on your phone. It is another in a series of digital advances designed to either make your life more convenient, find out more about you or potentially both.

Rather than having to undergo pesky typing into a digital device, users can simply make their request by speaking out loud into or at least near enough to the device so it can “hear”. They are in smartphones, televisions, computers, and in our automobiles. While this article will begin with a general look at the technology involved, we will ultimately focus on in-home voice speakers and their amazing growth in popularity in recent years.

The History of Speech Recognition

Many don’t realize how long speech recognition technology has been around. It was first introduced by Bell laboratories with a simple device named “Audrey” in 1952. Audrey could recognize numbers spoken by one voice. In 1962, IBM introduced “Shoebox” that could recognize 16 English words. Slowly, speech recognition improved through the 1960’s where it included more and more vowels and consonants in a variety of languages.

In the early to mid-1970’s, the United States Defense Department got involved and the technology made great strides. “Harpy” resulted in a system that could mimic the vocabulary of the average three-year-old. Eventually, Bell Labs introduced a system that could recognize multiple voices.

The next advances in voice recognition were accomplished through predictive voice recognition, where words were recognized on patterns of speech. In 1987, a doll named Julie could mimic speech and was marketed as “…the doll that understands you.” If that sounds a bit creepy think about what we are placing in our homes today.

In the 1990’s, voice recognition became much more available for consumers as computer speeds advanced. It was often cumbersome, however, and software frequently had to be trained to the user’s voice. Systems were frustrating due to misunderstandings between the users and the software. Early phone editions were particularly aggravating as callers would have to repeat themselves incessantly to get the software to “understand” what they wanted.

With the growing popularity of the internet, Google helped the technology take a huge step with its Google Voice Search App for the iPhone in the 2000’s.

Other milestones in the development of voice assistants was in 2011 when IBM’s “Watson” appeared on Television’s “Jeopardy” program and Apple introduced Siri. Microsoft responded with Cortana in 2013 and in late 2014, Amazon introduced Alexa and The Echo. The Assistant from Google made its debut in 2016 as did the Echo Dot. Later that year, Google Home was launched.

Virtual Assistants

The Growth of Voice Speakers in the Home

So, here we are now, over 65 years after Audrey recognized spoken numbers and 55 years after Shoebox was demonstrated at the World’s Fair, Through that time, interest has been shown from everybody from doll makers to the US Department of Defense. It has been employed in our phones and our cars. Now, however, it is reaching a new level of convenience and/or voluntary intrusion, depending on your perspective.

Estimates are there are about 30 million Google Home and Amazon Echo voice speakers in American homes. Penetration is expected to reach 55% within the next four years. There are a growing number of companies like Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon, and even toy maker Mattel who have set out to grab a share of this rapidly growing market. What’s behind this growth, how is it impacting us, and what is next?

Convenience Trumps Privacy

Voice speakers or as some are now calling AI voice speakers are another example that people are not only willing to trade personal information and privacy for convenience but will actually pay for the privilege. Convenience is king and technology-based companies like Amazon and Google fully understand that. It also affords them something even more valuable than just the sales of these devices. The real value to these tech companies is the consumer data and insights they provide.

It is not unlike the sales of cheap printers in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Consumers were lured in by cheap printer prices and convenience, They may not have been aware of the expensive replacement cartridges that awaited them. Companies promoting voice speakers may, in fact, be making these devices more and more affordable to gain access and insight into consumer behavior and information.

What This Means for Marketers

So, if all of this history and growth in voice recognition and ultimately AI voice speakers is interesting, what are the practical aspects for those with websites who want to sell more of their products and services? It starts with understanding that much of these activities are search related. “Alexa, find me a local rock and roll radio station.”, “Siri, who has the best pizza near us?” or “Google, what is tomorrow’s weather going to be?” are basic searches, initiated by voice rather than typing. There are already over one billion searches conducted by voice every month. By 2020, just two years from now, it is predicted about a third of all searches will be conducted without a screen. More and more people are joining the voice search option and feeling more comfortable with it, including those using voice speakers. This may help you craft verbally friendly SEO efforts along with written keyword strategies.

Why You Should Choose Orange Website

OrangeWebsite.com is an Icelandic-based web hosting solutions provider committed to the growth of our customers. We are in an internet-friendly country that respects the privacy of internet users. We provide a variety of hosting plans that can be paid through private secure and private payment options like Bitcoin and cash through the mail. Learn more by visiting OranageWebsite.com and get started today.

The Eleven Most Important Reasons to Choose a Web Hosting Company

Web Hosting Company
Web Hosting Company

The Eleven Most Important Reasons to Choose a Web Hosting Company

The factors surrounding your choice of a web hosting company will likely depend on your specific goals, needs, and budget. For most, however, there are certain qualities they seek in a web hosting solutions provider. Before you make a choice, consider these eleven important factors in your selection.

  1. Uptime – One of the biggest factors in the selection of a web hosting company is its reliability. A hosting services provider should not just boast of their uptime, they should be able to guarantee it. Server reliability and backup systems have improved tremendously through the years. Today, you should expect near 100% uptimes that are guaranteed.
  2. Customer and Technical Service – Costumer service and technical support often go hand in hand when considering a web hosting company. This is the “human” component of web hosting which is so important when you need to have a problem resolved. If you have an issue, you should be able to connect with someone in a timely manner. You should be treated as a valuable customer with every contact.
  3. Choice of Hosting Plans – Not every website is equal or has the same requirements and not every web hosting company offers the same services. You’ll want to make sure the hosting provider you choose can accommodate the traffic, software, and applications important for your website’s functionality. Finding out your hosting company is inadequate after you have made your choice can be problematic.
  4. Security – Today, more than ever, security should be a concern when selecting a web hosting company. Two factor authentication methods for client logins, server SSH logins, and other security features can help ensure the security of your websites. Not asking questions regarding security can be asking for problems.
  5. Location – Location can be a factor for several reasons. The location of a data center can not only affect how quickly users can access its servers, but you’ll want a hosting company in a country that is stable politically. It should be an Internet-friendly country that embraces freedom of expression and has regulations that protect web-related freedoms. Its location should have a solid technical infrastructure adding to reliability.
  6. Environmentally Friendly – As the world begins to have a greater understanding of how much energy is consumed by data centers and how they contribute to pollution,  finding “green” or organic web hosting solution providers has increased in importance. These eco web hosting companies take steps to use energy efficiently, often passing savings onto their clients. Using a “green” hosting company also provides marketing opportunities for companies who want to appeal to this market.
  7. Pricing – While pricing isn’t necessarily at the top of the list, it would be naive to think it isn’t a significant factor. You certainly don’t want to pay for more than you need and you want to get what you pay for.
  8. Testimonials – This shows how current and previous customers view a web hosting company matters. Look for a web hosting company who is willing to share testimonials from real customers about their services.
  9. Payment Options – More payment choices and payment flexibility can make working with a web hosting company more convenient. There are plenty more options available out there than credit cards.
  10. Anonymity – For many companies, anonymity can play an important role in a choice of a web hosting company. If this is important for you, make sure to inquire about the steps a web hosting solutions provider takes to keep you anonymous.
  11. A Satisfaction Guarantee – You’ll want to select a hosting company that has enough confidence in its products and services to guarantee them with a money back guarantee. If a service doesn’t back its services, consider your other options.

Not all web hosting companies are the same. When you consider all of the above, we think you’ll discover why more and more companies of all sizes from all parts of the world are are choosing OrangeWebsite.com as their hosting services solutions provider.

How OrangeWebsite Measures Up

OrangeWebsite meets and exceeds expectations. We have a 99.9% uptime guarantee that is backed with 24/7, knowledgeable technical support. We serve customers in over 100 countries in time-zones across the globe. We have a variety of hosting plans to suit almost every budget and every technological need. Plans can be paid for by using BitcoinPayPal, wire transfers, and even cash by mail. We are an ultra-secure hosting provider located in Iceland, considered one of the safest hosting countries in the world. We have quick load times to both Europe and North America. Iceland obtains almost all of its electricity from renewable energy sources like geothermal and hydroelectric, helping us achieve our status as an eco web hosting provider. Because of our climate, we use much less air conditioning to cool our data center servers, using less energy. OrangeWebsite provides our clients the ability to place a selection of “Green Seals” on the pages of their websites. These easy to install digital labels indicate that your organization cares enough about the environment to use an eco-friendly hosting provider. We take steps that protect your anonymity and offer a 30 day money back guarantee. View our testimonials online and learn more about getting started today.

Choosing a web hosting service provider is an important decision. Choose wisely. We invite you to discover the benefits of OrangeWebsite.com.

Web Hosting for Dummies: What is a 304 Error

what is a 304 Error

What is a 304 Error

what is a 304 Error

What is a 304 Error? – Odds are, you use of one of the “Big Five” website browsers when surfing the internet. These five (in order of popularity) include:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. Safari
  3. UC
  4. Firefox
  5. Opera

No matter what browser you favor, you are likely to encounter error messages occasionally.  If you have ever wondered what these error messages mean or if they should concern you, check out our recent article explaining a 503 error. Our series explaining some of these errors continue with this blog about 304 errors.

A Brief Explanation of Error Codes in General

Error codes or response codes are designed to let the host (server) and the client (user) know there is an issue and help them troubleshoot that error. Error codes begin with 100 series codes and end with 500 series codes. Each of these hundred code series designations addresses certain types of problems that are occurring and affecting connectivity.

What Do 300 Series Codes Indicate?

In the case of 3xx series codes, these indicate that the client would generally need to take more steps to complete the request. Many codes in this series, however, are used for redirection of the URL to another web address. In this instance, a user’s browser may carry out this additional step without any more user interaction.

What Specifically Does the 304 Code Mean?

A 304 error will generally be returned with verbiage similar to the following:

“The remote server returned an error: (304) Not Modified.”

It really is more of a message than an error. It is telling you that the page being visited has not been modified, or changed, since the last time it was visited. Therefore, it should redirect you to the page previously saved in your cache. This is exactly what the cache on your device does. It saves frequently visited pages so they will load faster when maneuvering throughout the internet.

For those browsing the internet, the 304 Not Modified message can be frustrating but there isn’t much you can do. For users, it can be largely disregarded. It is more of an indication that something has gone wrong on the server side of things. It can be a significant problem for those hosting websites.

What is a 304 Error

Diagnosing 304 Errors on the Server Side

If you feel your application is issuing 304 codes when it shouldn’t be, it could be a problem that needs to be diagnosed and addressed. A significant amount of visitors may be getting this code affecting the effectiveness of your application. There are several tips you can use to diagnose the problem.

Check the configuration files. It is possible your server software is sending unintentional redirect 304 codes.

Check server side logs. These logs keep a history of server activity like what servers connected to it, what pages were requested and other details. You can often see the status of your server’s performance by reviewing these server side logs.

Check any custom coding within your application. You may ultimately find yourself having to manually debug your application.

Of course, with any error code, there is a wealth of information available with an internet search. If none of the above provides relief from the errors, you can often find answers through a search.

Keeping Your Server Running Error Free

Error monitoring software may be available for your server that will notify you immediately about errors being issued so you can best respond. Today, users expect a more error-free experience on the internet and that includes uptime. That is why selecting a web hosting company that guarantees uptime is so important.

At OrangeWebsite.com, we have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This guarantee is backed with a superior technical team that is available 24/7 to provide assistance when you need it. But, there are a variety of other valuable reasons you should select OrangeWebsite.com as your web hosting provider.

  • Choose from a hosting plan right for you. Plans range from hosting small websites to dedicated servers. You choose the package and price to suit your needs and budget.
  • Sign up and pay anonymously. We accept Bitcoin, wire transfer, and cash by mail. You can also pay via Paypal. The choice is yours.
  • Host in Iceland. Iceland is an Internet-friendly country with modern freedom of speech legislation in place.
  • There is no risk. OrangeWebsite.com offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

You can also take pride in knowing that we are an Eco Web Hosting solution provider. Iceland derives almost 100% of its energy from renewable sources like geothermal and hydropower. Our cooler Icelandic temperatures allow for us to minimize the use of air conditioning, making us more energy efficient. Much of our staff work from home, using less fuel for transportation and keeping roadways clearer. At OrangeWebsite.com, we serve companies in over 100 countries, making better use of our servers throughout multiple time zones. Our location is perfect for those in or trying to reach visitors in European and North American markets.

In addition, to be the right thing to do, organic hosting is a good marketing tool for our clients. To help them take advantage of the trend to eco web hosting, we offer use of a variety, easy to install, “Green Seals” for placement on customer websites. These easy to install seals demonstrate the commitment to environmentally-friendly hosting and can be a good way to attract like-minded visitors to hosted websites.

We are also proud to be involved in “green” initiatives to help prevent and even reverse negative environmental impacts on our planet. We invite you to join us in our efforts.

Keep your visitors happy with responsive 24/7 technical support, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and eco web hosting solutions. Learn more about OrangeWebsite.com today.

Organic Web Hosting

Organic Web Hosting
Organic Web Hosting

Organic Web Hosting

The word “organic” means “from the living”. Organically grown foods have become increasingly popular across the globe because they are thought to be healthier for humans and the planet. Organic foods are grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides and the word itself has come to be identified with being “natural”. The word has become so widely accepted its use has spread beyond agriculture and is now even used in technology. Organic search engine rankings, for example, are non-paid rankings. They are generally achieved through search engine, algorithm-friendly tactics like pertinent and timely content and keyword and keyword phrases. There is another form of organics growing in popularity in the tech sector. It is that of organic web hosting.

What is Organic Web Hosting?

Organic hosting is web hosting that is accomplished using environmentally friendly, or “green” tactics, strategies, and facilities. While energy is obviously a critical part of powering data centers, organic hosting uses it in a more responsible manner. There can also be other elements to organic hosting like the use of efficient servers, minimized use of cooling equipment, and more. To understand the need for organic hosting options, one should first understand the significant use of electricity being used to power data centers.

Data Center Energy Use

We tend to forget that for every web page that is visited, email that is sent or online video that is viewed, energy is being consumed in a data center somewhere. It may be in a small closet-style server room or in a large facility but for every digital action, there is an electrical reaction. But it is more than just the energy to power servers that are using up massive amounts of energy. It takes significant cooling and air conditioning and power backup systems.

While some data centers have improved their energy efficiency, it is still estimated that 85% of data centers across the globe are using far more energy than is necessary. The challenge is, many data centers are located in located mild or temperate climates where air conditioning may be needed to cool them year round. In addition, some web hosting companies have their customer base largely in just a few time zones. Servers operate and use energy 24/7 but they may not be heavily accessed for a full third of the day. Web hosting companies may also be powered by electricity produced using fossil fuels which are anything but an “organic” way to operate.

Data tracking energy use from data centers was not even gathered in the United States until 2008. While indications were that energy use would flatten out due to the use of more efficient servers being deployed, the U.S. Government still estimates that 10% of all the energy it uses goes to powering data centers in the country. That is the equivalent of energy used in of millions of homes.

When it comes to energy consumption and pollution, data centers have been compared to the steel mills of the 1950’s and 1960’s. While they may not be responsible for huge amounts of air pollution, data centers are using an increasing amount of energy and contributing to the use of fossil fuels. The answer is more eco web hosting and organic web hosting solution providers.

Organic Web Hosting

Choosing OrangeWebsite.com as Your Organic Web Hosting Provider

OrangeWebsite.com provides organic web hosting solutions you can feel good about. With data centers located in Iceland, the use of air conditioning is minimized, saving energy. Not only does OrangeWebsite.com save energy with its Icelandic location, but the country produces virtually all of its energy from renewable sources like geothermal. With a location between North America and Europe, our clients are in a large number of time zones. In fact, we have web hosting clients in over 100 countries worldwide. We even support green initiatives like the worlds biggest beach clean up and have most of our employees work from home to minimize travel, energy use, and to we create less traffic. But organic web hosting is more than just a “feel good” option. It can be good for business.

Growing Your Business with Organic Web Hosting

Businesses should choose an organic and eco web hosting solutions provider because it is the right thing to do. But it also can be a way to grow your business. Organic web hosting appeals to a growing market who wants to be associated with environmentally-friendly companies. We make a variety of easy to install digital “Green Seals” available to our customers. When placed on the pages of your website, these seals validate you as a company who utilizes “green” initiatives. It demonstrates your desire to operate in a more environmentally responsible manner.

One of the best aspects of organic web hosting with OrangeWebsite.com is that there are no sacrifices to be made. We offer pricing that is extremely competitive along with a variety of hosting solutions to suit a wide range of companies. Our 24/7 support is responsive, knowledgeable, and available. We are located in a country that values its privacy and has some of the most internet protective policies in the world. With OrangeWebsite.com, you have our guarantee of a 99.9% uptime. We are an ultra-secure web hosting company and we accept multiple payment options from Bitcoin, altcoins to credit cards to cash by mail. Signing up with us is anonymous and we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you are in search of an organic, eco web hosting solutions provider, we encourage you to learn more about OrangeWebsite.com.