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FRS Pros Blog

FRS Pros has been serving the United States area since over a Decade, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Down and Out in Cyberspace

Down and Out in Cyberspace

There has been a lot made in the media about the effect that movies and television has had on society. More often than not, the media that is produced is a result of the ebbs and flows that happen in society, which ironically makes the whole notion that television and movies affect society an interesting paradox. The ludicrous portrayal of criminality in media is one issue that is resoundingly debated by lawmakers and sociologists, alike.

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Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

The holiday season is here, and the spirit of giving is in the air. Why not give the IT professional in your life a few things that they’ve been wishing for all year? Here, we’ve compiled a list of things you can give them, some of which will cost you (and your business) nothing.

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All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

The office is a workplace, so it most likely isn’t a place that is often associated with fun and games. However, different aspects of games have been shown to provide significant benefits when introduced into the professional environment. Today, we’ll explore some of the ways that a little frivolity may benefit your office.

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Sorry Han, When it Comes to Security, You Need to Know the Odds

Sorry Han, When it Comes to Security, You Need to Know the Odds

Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. For the past 40+ years audiences from all around the world have become enthralled with the characters, the story, and the technology that existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Who knew that it was also a wonderful lesson in modern IT security?For today’s blog, we look at three situations that happened in Star Wars: A New Hope; and, how, if proper IT strategies were put in place, the Empire would have been able to protect its greatest asset.

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How the CLOUD Act Will Affect Your Security

How the CLOUD Act Will Affect Your Security

On March 23rd, 2018, the United States Congress passed another spending bill that could potentially limit individual privacy protection all over the world. This bill included a provision called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (or CLOUD) Act, which makes changes to the Stored Communications Act of 1986 and provides unelected American officials a considerable amount of power over digital privacy rights.

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The Equifax Saga Continues as More Victims are Discovered

The Equifax Saga Continues as More Victims are Discovered

As though the initial news of Equifax’s 2017 data exposure wasn’t bad enough, it has been discovered that there are even more victims than previously thought. While news like this is never good, it can bring a silver lining if the opportunities that such news presents are seized.

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Need Gift Ideas? Try Out These Gadgets!

Need Gift Ideas? Try Out These Gadgets!

The holidays are getting closer, and picking the right gift for someone is only becoming a more stressful activity. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve found some gadgets that might make the perfect gift for that person on your list who has a particular interest. This blog will go over some of these interests and the gifts that might make their holiday.

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Are the Deals Better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Are the Deals Better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Many consider the beginning of the holiday (shopping) season to be Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This day is infamous for deals so good, people are willing to wait in line for hours before the stores even open in order to take advantage of them--however, are these deals really the best, when Cyber Monday is now in play? We examined what can be expected on the major deal days to find out.

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Signs Your PC is Done for and How to Properly Dispose of It

Signs Your PC is Done for and How to Properly Dispose of It

When it’s time to replace your technology, it might bring about a sense of panic. How can you replace your technology without breaking your budget, or worse, exposing data on your old technology to potentially threatening actors? Only one thing is for sure; you need to make sure that you have a solid strategy to adhere to when you need to replace your broken-down technology.

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Lessons From a Company that Successfully Beat Ransomware

Lessons From a Company that Successfully Beat Ransomware

Ransomware is a dangerous malware that all businesses fear. Although, if the right precautions are taken, a ransomware attack can be completely thwarted. A recent hack attack of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency provides us with a real-world example of this, which helps make ransomware appear a lot less formidable.

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Honor Among Hackers? Not for Those Who Hack Hospitals

Honor Among Hackers? Not for Those Who Hack Hospitals

It’s safe to say that hacking is a frowned-upon practice, but that hasn’t stopped cyber criminals from attempting to turn a profit off of it. This practice has led them to target nonconventional organizations, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities. However, just because a hacker can target a hospital, does this mean that they should? This is a topic of some debate amongst hackers, whom, believe it or not, actually do have some sort of ethical standards.

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What is the 10,000 Hour Rule, and Does it Work?

What is the 10,000 Hour Rule, and Does it Work?

A business owner is always looking to improve their skills and learn about new ones. It’s natural to want to learn new things, even if you’re already an expert in your own field. The 10,000 hour rule offers a few guidelines to help you learn a new craft, but it’s not as easy as consistent practice. You might be in for a long journey toward “expert status.”

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Don’t Let Hollywood Fool You Into Thinking Hackers are the Good Guys

Don’t Let Hollywood Fool You Into Thinking Hackers are the Good Guys

There’s no question about it; hackers make things difficult for businesses of all industries and sizes. They go out of their way to steal data and turn a profit off of it, as well as misrepresent organizations and individuals. The business environment is chaotic enough without hackers mucking everything up. However, the recent hacking attacks behind the group Anonymous have evolved the persona of the typical hacker into something very different.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Odd Productivity Tips from Successful People

Tip of the Week: 4 Odd Productivity Tips from Successful People

Having a workflow that works for you is the key to being successful. Sometimes, finding such a routine requires taking some rather extraordinary measures. If you’re looking for ways to tweak your workflow to be more productive, then consider these outside-the-box productivity tips from some of history’s very successful people.

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FBI Director Insists Government Can Access Any Private Record

FBI Director Insists Government Can Access Any Private Record

Does the U.S. Constitution allow the American government to access the electronic devices of its citizens? According to FBI Director James Comey’s statements at Symantec’s Annual Government Symposium, it certainly does.

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What’s With All of These Silly Memes?

What’s With All of These Silly Memes?

Memes are deeply rooted into today’s online culture. Thanks to the Internet, even the most absurd things can quickly gain popularity through social media and online forums. While they might seem silly and pointless, it would be foolish to dismiss them as wastes of time; especially considering how popular they are. If you are looking for a creative way to get your name and brand out there, why not try using memes?

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Sharing Your Netflix Password Now Makes You a Federal Criminal

Sharing Your Netflix Password Now Makes You a Federal Criminal

Sharing your Netflix password with a friend so they too can enjoy a vast catalogue of movies seems harmless enough. However, due to a recent ruling by judges of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, this common action is now a federal crime.

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2,000 Year-Old “Computer” Discovered Off the Coast of Greece

2,000 Year-Old “Computer” Discovered Off the Coast of Greece

When you think of a computer, you think of a machine that makes your life easier. You can look up events, check facts, record data, and so much more. However, the first computer might be something extraordinarily unexpected; a submerged treasure off the coast of Greece called the Antikythera mechanism, which was used to predict and track astronomical events, like the movement of the planets or the occurrence of eclipses.

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4 Fun Facts That Will Make You See Smartphones in a Whole New Light

4 Fun Facts That Will Make You See Smartphones in a Whole New Light

Smartphone technology is currently experiencing cool innovations. Plus, there are some crazy reasons behind what these devices can and can’t do that you may not have known about. Check out these four cool smartphone factoids from List25.

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A Fascinating Look at How the Internet Has Changed the Stock Market

A Fascinating Look at How the Internet Has Changed the Stock Market

When you think about the stock market, one vibrant image that comes to mind is the chaotic trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, with traders climbing over each other and barking orders. Today, the NYSE trading floor is much more subdued, a testimony to just how much technology has changed the financial marketplace.


Wall Street, BC (Before Computers)
Even before the advent of the computer, Wall Street was well known for utilizing technology. The ticker tape is a shining example; a fascinating device which gave a real-time and continuous printout on the performance of the market.

When combined with a nearby telephone, these two technologies gave the average Joe the ability to buy and sell securities on a whim. This helped pave the way for near-instantaneous trading, which was largely responsible for the dynamic growth experienced by the stock market during the twentieth century.

Make Way for the Computers
Later, the quotation board was adopted, retiring the iconic ticker tape machines. In the 1980s, modern computing tactics took front and center, thanks to the introduction of the Quotron. With this technology, brokerage houses gained the power to instantaneously manage large hedge funds by quickly reacting to market fluctuations.

The Internet Changes Everything
When the Internet revolution hit, using computers connected over a network wasn’t something new to Wall Street. In fact, as early as the 1970s brokerages had been using Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs) to make their own computer systems more efficient. However, before computer networking could significantly change the operations of a behemoth institution like Wall Street, significant capital first needed to be invested in order to build the infrastructure--a longtime task that was actually funded by significant technology investments being poured into the stock market.

With the rise of the Internet came online brokerages such as ETrade and Ameritrade. However, the major influence of such online tools which gave individual players unparalleled control over their investments is only part of the story. In 1994, two economists, William Christie and Paul Schultz, published a paper titled, “Why do NASDAQ Market Makers Avoid Odd-Eighth Quotes?” where they outlined a deliberate anomaly where market makers were manipulating the spread (the difference between the buy and sell prices of NASDAQ securities) to secure these individuals a higher profit margin. You may recall this event leading to a full-scale investigation and subsequent rule changes by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to protect the smaller investors that made use of these online trading services. Eventually, even the traditional brokerages such as Charles Schwab and TD Waterhouse offered online trading that could be accessed by anyone.

Like with every good bubble, the crazy market growth fueled by Internet technologies (with frenzied spending seen particularly in 1999 and 2000) eventually popped. It took a few long years for the EU and US markets to rebound from the pop of the dot com bubble, but confidence in the markets was eventually restored, thanks to a realization that the Internet was much more than a fad and could be effectively utilized by companies to boost their sales base.

Online Trading at High Speed
No longer faced with the limitations of dial-up modems, today’s Internet speeds make it possible for investors to execute trades in incredibly short intervals--millions of times faster than what can be made by human decision making. This has led to the phenomena of quantitative trading, which uses complex algorithms to do trades so fast that a half a cent here and a half a cent there can lead to millions of dollars changing hands over millions of trades.

However, this technological development helped contribute to another major dip in the market, the housing collapse of 2008. Since then, several strategies and regulations have been implemented in an effort to keep tabs on this fast-paced market.Today, regulators heavily rely on automated systems in an effort to keep investors, traders, brokers, and everyone else involved in quantitative trading honest.

Despite the best efforts of regulators, they still find themselves in a reactive position to wild market fluctuations that are fueled by high-speed trading technologies. This was especially evident on May 6, 2010 in what was known as the “Flash Crash.” Wikipedia gives an account of this fateful day, “The Flash Crash, was a United States trillion-dollar stock market crash, which started at 2:32 p.m. EDT and lasted for approximately 36 minutes. Stock indexes, such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite, collapsed and rebounded very rapidly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its biggest intraday point drop (from the opening) up to that point, plunging 998.5 points (about 9%), most within minutes, only to recover a large part of the loss. It was also the second-largest intraday point swing (difference between intraday high and intraday low) up to that point, at 1,010.14 points. The prices of stocks, stock index futures, options and exchange-traded fund (ETFs) were volatile, thus trading volume spiked. A CFTC 2014 report described it as one of the most turbulent periods in the history of financial markets.”

On the upside, the market rebounded almost as fast as it fell, finishing down only three points. It took regulators over four months to determine the cause of this “hiccup,” which stemmed from an algorithm being triggered by a very large sale of stock, along with the same-day announcement that Greece was bankrupt. Protections have since been put into place, but it just goes to show how volatile technology makes today’s financial markets when millions of trades are being made every minute.

What’s your opinion of all of these crazy changes experienced by the stock market (and perhaps your portfolio) due to the introduction of new technologies? Does it make you more cautious to invest or emboldened to take greater risks?

Additionally, how does the story of technology changing the financial markets relate to how technology has changed your own business model over the years? Has it made you faster, more automated, and more effective? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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