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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Does Tech in School Fill Up the Honor Roll or Seats in Detention?

Does Tech in School Fill Up the Honor Roll or Seats in Detention?

We typically use this blog to share information about the technology that a business should be leveraging. But in this post, we’ve decided to focus on a different group that is increasingly reliant on technology: students. As these pupils will someday make up the workforce and almost certainly utilize technology on a daily basis, it is important that education reflects this increase in their curriculums. Here, we’ll consider some of the effects (good and bad) that this has had.

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Let’s Take a Look at 50 Years of the Internet

Let’s Take a Look at 50 Years of the Internet

Without a doubt, the Internet is one of humanity's most impressive inventions. 50 years ago, the predecessor to the Internet that most of the world depends on, called ARPANET, was launched. Today, we will talk about how that innovation turned into the Internet, and reorganized the way people interacted with computing systems. 

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What Could Replace the Keyboard and Mouse?

What Could Replace the Keyboard and Mouse?

We hope we aren’t dating ourselves too much by mentioning computer punch cards, but they were once the means of inputting data into a computing device… at least, until the now-ubiquitous mouse and keyboard came into the scene. This variety of interfacing with our devices now seems to be one of the few ways to practically use them. However, other interfaces have emerged - do any of them stand a chance of unseating the keyboard and mouse?

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3 Transportation Technology Innovations that Will Affect Business

3 Transportation Technology Innovations that Will Affect Business

If your business is one that depends on transportation, you know that coordination is extremely important. With consumers’ reliance on a company’s distribution arm, today’s companies are turning old practices on their heads and utilizing a more technology-driven approach to effectively manage their  transportation initiatives. This technology is innovating quickly and could mean a major transformation for businesses before too long. Today, we’ll go through three innovations that are working to change how transportation-dependent companies do things.

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Innovations in Your Office’s Technology Can Bring Big Benefits

Innovations in Your Office’s Technology Can Bring Big Benefits

Technology innovation in the workplace is something that is constantly shifting and changing, depending on what’s hot at any specific time. These days, it might seem like office technology innovation is stagnating, but we assure you that it’s still constantly improving. We’ll walk you through some of our favorites to improve data accessibility and workplace productivity as a whole.

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Use Innovative Technologies to Help Your Business

Use Innovative Technologies to Help Your Business

When it comes to innovation, you’d be surprised at what you might be capable of with the right solution. Collaboration in particular opens the floodgates to productivity, and with the right kind of collaborative and innovative technology, you’ll be able to unlock a whole new level of progress for your business. We’ll discuss some of the most important aspects of innovative collaboration and how your business can start taking advantage of it.

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Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Information technology has always been a hotbed for future predictions. Whether it was Marconi’s grand plans for wireless communications or the bold prediction that every person would be carrying around a computer that fits in the palm of their hand, the future always looks bright when new technologies are considered. But, what does the immediate future of information technology hold?

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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How Technology Could Change the Classroom

How Technology Could Change the Classroom

Children are the future, as the saying goes, so should the future be taught using tools from the past? While some schools are still using technology that better belongs in the 20th century, others are embracing innovation and teaching in ways that better translate to the “real world.” Let’s take a look at how our evolving technology is transforming the classroom and explore some ways to get it to more students.

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Are You Ready to Adapt to Network Security Changes?

Are You Ready to Adapt to Network Security Changes?

Humankind has always adapted and improved technology to make life easier, starting all the way back at fire and the wheel. Nowadays, our approach to making life easier through technology is centered around productivity and security. If we can accomplish more than before, in the same amount of time, without worrying that it will be stolen, we’re happy.


This, in addition to the growing assortment of threats there are to business networks, is why network security is projected to continue its growth and development in the near future. Here, we’ve compiled a few predictions for how this growth and development will take shape.

Prediction 1: Penetration testing will happen more often than ever, thanks to A.I. and automation.
Penetration testing is an invaluable process, as it allows you to identify weak points in your network security that your staff may have missed. By hiring an external third party, you make it much more likely that errors and oversights made by your internal staff are noticed. The trade-offs: not only is it a time-intensive process, it can be expensive enough that it can only be justifiably run once a year, if that.

However, this may not be the case for much longer. The integration of new technologies, like artificial intelligence and automation, have made it so that both of these trade-offs have less and less effect on the frequency of penetration testing. This is a good thing, because the rate at which new technology is being integrated into the office is rising. Penetration testing is to be run more often to ensure network security.

Prediction 2: Unified policies will appear that bridge between public and private clouds.
Cloud technology has been advancing, with both private cloud solutions and public cloud solutions proving useful for so many applications. This has led to a widespread move to leverage both to accomplish different aspects of business goals and strategies in adopting what is called a hybrid cloud solution. However, one shortcoming of hybrid clouds is that there aren't any real means of consolidating security policies to simplify management as a part of a larger system.

Once again, this may soon change. It is anticipated that multi-cloud management platforms will be able to synchronize private clouds and those provided to the public through a single control panel, greatly simplifying the cloud management process.

Prediction 3: Endpoint security will be more on point.
It should come as no surprise that the greatest internal threat to your security is your own team and their devices. Using social engineering and leveraging the notoriously unreliable security of consumer devices, cybercriminals are often able to access your network through the employees who use it. While many companies have taken steps to minimize the efficacy of these methods, there hasn’t really been a single, unified solution, making security measures extra time-consuming to manage.

This last point is most likely to change in the near future, as businesses will want a security solution that is leaner, more efficient, and is only one thing to be managed. It is likely that we’ll see these kinds of network security solutions start to take shape and be put to use.

In order to remain secure, you need to adapt to meet the threats that are constantly developing. CTN can help. Reach out to us at (610) 828-5500 for more information.

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5G Improves Upon What 3G and 4G Established

5G Improves Upon What 3G and 4G Established

You might see 3G and 4G on your mobile devices and wonder what it all means. If so, we have an answer for you, and just in time for a brand-new iteration: 5G. With this new technology on its way, it’s time to look at what exactly 5G should be capable of, and how it can differentiate itself from its predecessors.

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Do You Prefer Your Reality Augmented or Virtual?

Do You Prefer Your Reality Augmented or Virtual?

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), new products (and the technologies that fuel those products) are put on display for industry professionals. At CES 2018, held in Las Vegas, Band and Olufsen introduced their speakers-as-art-concept, Samsung unveiled a 146” television that is designed to take up a wall, and many companies, including Aura, introduced new smart home security products that are sure to get an intruder’s attention (over Wi-Fi).


As cool as all these products are, they don’t really hold the power to shift reality. Two of today’s most thought-provoking technologies do just that, and manufacturers have had little success leveraging these technologies in the marketplace thus far. Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been characterized as the next big thing(s) for years now. Thus far, both have failed to meet the expectation that they were transcendent technologies created to revolutionize the ways that people interact with the world around them. The bottom line is that innovators are having problems finding consumer-practical applications for these technologies.

VR - Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a big deal. It still is. Decades after the technology was revealed, it can be said that there are plenty of manufacturers making the hardware and developing the applications for this technology. The problem for those manufacturers is that they are too far into the development of VR for practical and entertainment purposes, that unless they continue to hope the demand for VR increases exponentially, they are looking at some pretty hefty losses in the area. In an article for Forbes, Charlie Fink points out that VR will monetize before long, but the current market for VR is only at around $2 billion per annum. Following the monetization model from the manufacture and sales of revolutionary information technologies (Color TV, VCR, PC, Cell phones, and the Internet), VR should start becoming more viable for the standard consumer pretty quickly. “Before VR companies can understand how consumers want to spend,” Fink smartly opines, “they need to cater to how consumers want to consume.”

Despite its general lack of profitability, VR was on full display at CES. Some of the new stuff that was shown to consumers may go a long way toward getting VR from novelty to necessity. There was the new HTC Vive Pro, which in effect, is just a suped-up HTC Vive. There was the Looxid, which looks to become a champion of analysts, marketers, and salesmen everywhere by tracking eye movement and brain activity during use. It gives analysts very specific data to how people react to the stimuli and can help businesses conduct survey groups to which there can be no falseness. Finally, there was Meshroom, a VR headset that turns CAD drawings into three-dimensional conceptual prototypes--a practical application any architect or engineer can use, as well a device that would provide a pretty powerful sales pitch to potential real estate investors.

VR may be a business that is still in its infancy. Making money with VR may seem riskier today than it was two years ago. VR, however, will likely be a viable investment in short order. It will get easier and easier to utilize properly when better (specifically, more practical) applications are built for it. In the future expect VR to grow to be a technology that you will see in every home, even if it just ends up being used primarily as an entertainment or teaching tool.

AR - Augmented Reality
Augmented reality isn’t as sexy as virtual reality. After all, the escapism aspect is lost somewhat as the interfaces AR applications run on typically don’t require blocking out the senses like VR. The most you probably heard about AR up until now was when Google famously started developing “Google Glass,” only to scrap the idea over public privacy concerns. Augmented reality does just that, augments a face up display with data that helps the user become more informed, more aware, and in theory, provide people with the necessary information to make better decisions. In essence, it adds active digital overlays on top of real world or simulated environments to provide users with better information.

Augmented reality is all over the culture already. The graphics of tomorrow's forecast over a picture of the real time weather on television, that is AR. AR-fueled applications are everywhere--from statcasts in the sports world--to the now world-famous Pokemon Go. With AR systems becoming an important part of real-time content delivery, developers including Apple, Google, and others are investing heavily in the AR functionality of their smartphones (and other handheld devices). There are countless effective AR-fueled applications, and more are coming out each day.

At CES 2018, AR hardware was also front and center. If every window or mirror can come with a display, it’s only a matter of time before manufacturers will find a way to make these displays work. A few products that you should keep your eyes out for include Vuzix Smart Glasses with Alexa. They have Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant built in, like the proposed Google Glass. WinRay’s AR windshield and Nvidia’s AR for cars. A car’s windshield can now have a display helping you with directions, roadside information, and car functions. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Apple’s continued exploration of AR inside iOS 11. The OS comes standard on Apple’s newest devices, the new iPhone X and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and are out in front of AR functionality.

Some of today’s top AR applications can be run on an Apple or Android smartphone. Obviously, you can’t mention AR without Snapchat, the most popular app with AR functionality. Other apps include practical applications like IKEA Place, which allows you to place (already assembled) IKEA products anywhere in your house through your phone’s camera. AR MeasureKit, an app that provides virtual measuring tools, making it one of the best AR utility apps on the market. Star Walk 2 allows you to see the constellations in the night sky with labels for fast and effective orientation (and is also available for Android).

AR and VR are technologies that everyone will know before long. What do you think the future holds for technologies that bend reality? Provide your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 New Technologies that Can Revolutionize Your Business

4 New Technologies that Can Revolutionize Your Business

New technology paves the way for businesses to leverage their resources in exciting ways. Of course, it’s impossible to take advantage of these benefits if you don’t even know these new technologies exist. Therefore, to help you achieve an edge over your competition, consider how these four new technologies can enhance your business model.

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Is IT Innovation Driving, or Hindering, Your Business’s Growth?

Is IT Innovation Driving, or Hindering, Your Business’s Growth?

Technology can be a constant pain point for businesses of all kinds. Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology solutions, it’s tempting to cave in and purchase the latest and greatest innovations in the industry. Yet, does your business have the time to do so, let alone the budget? Progress can be stymied by a lack of funds and personnel, but it doesn’t have to be.


More often than not, businesses are stuck in two situations. Depending on the state of your IT environment, you either have plenty of time to implement new and innovative solutions, or you have, quite literally, no time to even consider new technology. Both situations come with side-effects that could negatively affect your organization’s operations. For example, you might have time to implement new technology, but are you ignoring the day-to-day maintenance of your internal systems?

The latter can also be a major problem. If you’re spending all of your time responding to emergencies, when can you implement new technologies that can potentially improve the functionality of your business? When you can’t even handle the solutions you already have, what’s the point in implementing new technologies? Unless you can find a way to strike a balance between the two, any efforts will be both fruitless and wasteful.

One of the best ways that your business can innovate without sacrificing functionality is by taking advantage of outsourced IT solutions from CTN. Whether you’re in desperate need of a new workstation or server, or need to implement a solution on a large scale, like cloud computing or virtualization, our trusted technicians can help. If your team can’t keep up with maintenance, we can take over this responsibility while they innovate and create new solutions for your organization.

Better yet, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting top-of-the-line technology assistance for your organization’s systems. More often than not, businesses have to cut corners in order to make ends meet with their technology maintenance, which could include allowing end-users to service their own workstations. This is a hazardous practice, as having inexperienced users performing in-depth maintenance could be both time-consuming and risky.

You can save time and money by allowing an outsourced team of technology professionals to work with your critical systems. Not only will you see a return on your investment in the form of better-functioning technology, but you’ll also be able to rest easy, knowing that your systems are being maintained by qualified professionals who want to see you succeed.

If your business would rather implement its own solutions, that’s fine too. We can sit on the sidelines and handle maintenance for you so that you don’t fall behind. Regardless of what the internal status of your IT is, we are sure to have a service that’s a perfect fit for your business.

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From Magnetic Tape to the Cloud: A Brief Look at the Past 60 Years of Data Storage

b2ap3_thumbnail_history_of_data_storage_400.jpgData storage is such an important part of today’s business environment, but when was the last time you took the time to consider technologies that came before? Technology that exists today couldn’t possibly have existed 50, or even 20 years ago. How have the leaps and bounds made in the tech industry affected the status of data storage, and what does this trend mean for small and medium-sized businesses?

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In the Near Future, Light Bulbs Will Transmit Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_lifi_400.jpgYour business’s wireless Internet connection is one of its most valuable assets, and without it, your operations would surely suffer. Your wireless technology, like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even your network depend on it in order to function properly. WiFi is known to be pretty inconvenient at times due to questionable connections and security, but a new technology wants to change all of that: Li-Fi, wireless Internet connections delivered by special light bulbs.

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4 Ways to Equip Your Business With the Technology it Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_support_plug_400.jpgIn a world where time is a luxury that the average business owner lacks, it can be burdensome to come up with new technology initiatives. The main issue that this presents is that it can be difficult to improve your operations if your technology’s growth is stunted. Stagnate technology deployment can be detrimental to your business’s success.

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How Basic Economics Is Slowing Down Moore’s Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_transistor_moores_law_400.jpgIn 1965, the technological landscape was much different from what we see now. The idea of having a small computer in your pocket in the form of a smartphone was but a distant dream. Now, it’s commonplace for all but the youngest of children to have a smartphone. How is this possible? Well, it’s all thanks to Moore’s law, which has led the development of new technology for the past 50 years.

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