15 Top Online MOOC Course Providers in 2018

Welcome to the era of massive open online courses (MOOC). MOOC is being seen as the next big wave in education. Although some or another form of distance learning meant for the masses has existed from about a century through mediums such as the radio; the advent of the internet has changed the game.

The term MOOC was coined in around 2008, and the concept has gained widespread acceptability since then. Today, most universities that are well-known around the globe have this learning platform as part of their teaching methods. The popularity of this mode of knowledge dissemination can be attributed, naturally, to the usual advantages that distance education offers: ease of access, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.


In the decade or so since MOOC acquired shape and has gained popularity; many universities, institutions and individual players have jumped on the bandwagon to offer MOOC. There are many variants of these courses, with some of them being certified courses, some coming with credits, and others with affiliations to organizations. All these varieties go on to make MOOC a medium that has gained universal acceptance today.

Are you on the lookout for an MOOC to enhance your career or grow in other ways in your profession? We have put together a list of 15 well-known MOOC providers that is culled from a list of dozens of such providers. Our aim is to help you understand the nature of these providers, so that you can zero in on the one that fits your requirements better:

Lynda.com (https://www.lynda.com)

Lynda.com is an online learning platform that specializes in teaching areas such as software, technology, business, and creative skills. It offers subscription patterns such as individual, corporate, academic and government.

Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org)

Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that offers teaching in math, physics, history, computer programming and many other courses that students can take and finish at their own pace. NASA, Museum of Modern Art and MIT are some of the prestigious institutions that Khan Academy has partnered with.

Udemy (https://www.udemy.com)

Udemy is a massive online learning platform in every sense of the term, offering no fewer than a whopping 55,000 courses of various shapes and sizes. It has courses for students as well as professionals.

Coursera (https://www.coursera.org)

Coursera is a venture-backed, education-focused technology company that offers courses in any subject ranging from Python programming to soft skills. Its courses are proved between $29 and $599, and some of them come with certifications.

Pluralsight (https://www.pluralsight.com)

Pluralsight is designed to offer training courses to professionals and businesses and help them gain more from their workforce talent through its 6000+ course that are taught by over 5000 mentors.

Codecademy (https://www.codecademy.com)

Codecademy concentrates mainly on teaching coding, with emphasis on practical, than on rote, learning. It claims to have a learner base of over 45 million.

edX (https://www.edx.org)

With emphasis on research and an intention to increase access to education for people either in the online or campus mediums; edX has research on topics as one of its USPs.

Udacity (https://www.udacity.com)

Udacity believes that education does not end during a lifetime, because of which it has designed higher education courses that are affordable, accessible and engaging.

Dataquest (https://www.dataquest.io/)

Dataquest concentrates on data science. Its unique methodology tunes learners into thinking like a data scientist to help overcome challenges associated with coding and other areas.

Simpliv (https://www.simpliv.com)

Simpliv is a massive platform for learning and teaching online courses on all areas of knowledge from technical to soft skills to yoga to painting. It moves away from pedagogic lecturing methods and brings in lively and practical sessions.

ServiceSkills.com (https://www.serviceskills.com)

As the name suggests, ServiceSkills provides online trainings on how people in retail and other sectors, who interact with customers and other people, can sharpen their communication skills with customers and coworkers.

Code School (https://www.codeschool.com)

Code School, as the name indicates, is a provider of lively online trainings for coding professionals and learners.

Treehouse (https://teamtreehouse.com)

Treehouse offers affordable technical learning that students can take and complete at their own pace.

FutureLearn (https://www.futurelearn.com)

FutureLearn is a provider of diverse online courses that are selected from leading institutions and learning centers from around the world.

yale.edu (https://www.yale.edu)

With a rich history dating to 1701, Yale is a prestigious university that offers distance learning through its online division called Open Yale Courses, where a full range of arts, social sciences, humanities and other courses are offered through the MOOC medium.


Top 10 highest paying jobs in Information technology 2018-2020

Few can argue with the fact that Information Technology is the prime mover of today’s physical world. Almost no present-day human activity is disconnected fully from IT. IT has been developing at a cheetah’s pace, albeit it must be noted that this speed is not uniform all around the world. While the regions that have been traditionally strong in science have been able to gallop in IT; other areas are yet to catch up. This said IT is not something of any group’s monopoly or prerogative. It is a field that is open to all and is evolving over the years.

This high growth in the many areas of IT has brought the predictable along high paying jobs. Like many other areas of science, IT also has various disciplines and specializations. Like the development in the field itself, the same pay does not exist for all sections of the industry and for all levels. Just like how a cardiologist is likely to earn more than a dentist, certain positions are better-paying ones than some others.

Further, when one talks about the highest paying jobs in information technology, it has to be noted that this is a changing list. A job can attract high pay if the IT world sees a new development in that area, or the opposite can happen. An IT job that pays averagely can climb, and vice versa: a job can lose its charm sooner than one anticipates. It is quite likely to see a steep climb in the pay in some jobs while others could see a lowered pay or even diminish totally from the job market.

When making an assessment of the top 10 highest paying jobs in IT, we must remind ourselves of this fact. In other words, the accuracy of the forecast could be put to test with unforeseen developments. Let us examine a few of the top 10 highest paying jobs in information technology for 2018-2020, with the median annual salary mentioned against their positions:

Technical Support

Technical Support

Nature of the job: A Technical Support person ensures that the IT systems work smoothly and without glitches. Technical Support professionals are essentially involved in fixing technical issues and in troubleshooting. They ensure the smooth operation of business systems.


How much does it pay?

$48,000 is the median pay for a Technical Support person.

Web Developer

Web Developer.jpg

Nature of the job: All said and done, while the technical aspects of IT are indeed important, designing websites and giving them life in terms of visuals and other effects is a very important work. Designing websites and applications in a visually appealing way and ensuring coordination between the front and backend is the main scope of a Web Developer’s job.

How much does it pay?

A Web Developer can expect to earn $58,000. This pay places this position among the top 10 highest paying jobs in Information Technology for 2018-2020.

Information Security Analyst

Information Security Analyst.jpg

No prizes for guessing why this job will be in terrific demand over the next few years. If one were to think of one job that will almost certainly be around as long as IT continues to; it has to be that of the Information Security Analyst. Why? Simple: No IT system can work without information security.

Nature of the job: An Information Security Analyst is one who safeguards the IT systems. So, her job is to put security systems in place and keep monitoring threats and understanding how to tackle them.

How much does it pay? The job of an Information Security Analyst pays in the region of $70,000.

App Developer

App Developer.jpg

Nature of the job:

Does it surprise that the position of the App Developer has to figure in this list of top 10 highest paying jobs in Information Technology 2018-2020? Our world today is unthinkable without apps, ranging from language learning to getting hints about traffic conditions; the position that makes all these happen is certainly going to be a hot one.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that App Developers develop apps. But where an App Developer’s job is crucial is in developing apps that not only function but are also fluid to use and easy on the eye of the user. Most importantly, the apps have to understand the business need as well.

How much does it pay?

App Developers typically earn $72,000.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Business Intelligence Analyst.jpg

Nature of the job:

One can use the latest technologies and do anything with them, but of what use is all this if the organization doesn’t understand the business aspect of all this? A BI Analyst is one who helps the organization make sense of all the data the business generates and uses. It really is the BI Analyst who gives the business directly to the business by analyzing and scrutinizing all the business data that gets generated from time to time.

How much does it pay?

A BI Analyst’s job pays around $78,000.

Hardware Engineer

Hardware Engineer.jpg

Nature of the job:

A Hardware Engineer makes the systems work in tandem with each other. A Hardware Engineer can develop hardware for use within the organisation, or for its clients if needed, depending on the nature of the business. Hardware Engineers need to be up-to-date as far as technology is concerned. They should also be able to fix errors in any part that could spring up at any stage.

How much does it pay?

At about $ 85,000, the position of a Hardware Engineer is easily among the top 10 highest paying jobs in Information Technology for 2018-2020.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer.jpg

Nature of the job:

Okay, you have all the infrastructure, the resources, the talent and everything else that you need for running your IT company. But who coordinates and synchronizes work between all these areas? It is the DevOps Engineer, a versatile professional who knows how each of these divisions and sections functions and is involved in harmonizing their work with each other.

How much does it pay?

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Simpliv LLC MD Shahanshah Manzoor on why CXO’s should blog

By Shahanshah Manzoor, Managing Director of Simpliv LLC

why CXO's should blog1

I have often been roiled by the question of whether CEO’s (or, I’ll put it more precisely, CXO’s) should blog. I know that the first question that comes to mind upon reading this point is: how do I do it? Does my busy schedule permit it? Shouldn’t it be something we leave to our content team? Well, a big no. I have discovered that it is not only important, but vital for CXO’s to blog.

Yes, we are busy people. My own 14-hour workday is crammed with umpteen mails, presentations, business meetings, discussions, and all the other stuff that senior managers do. Yet, squeezing the time to blog is an important exercise. It is important from a number of standpoints. Let me describe to you my reasons for which we CXO’s must make the time for blogging:

Opportunity to share our thoughts

Our thoughts matter. Period. Most senior managers are experienced in their profession and not many are in their seats by accident. CXO’s are executives who are valued for their insights that are a result of having seen the industry in and out. A person may gain a lot of knowledge by reading books, but insights are gained by experience. What CXO’s possess is as much insight as knowledge. Sharing this with people who are connected to your profession in one or another way is a terrific way of offering them a fresh perspective of things.

Chance to reach out to stakeholders

why CXO's should blog

It is not just our employees and colleagues, but also stakeholders who want to hear from us. As an MD, I have realized that money and finance are a small part of an organization. The value that the organization represents is much more valuable. In fact, it is priceless. What values does your organization represent? Does it ensure that its values extend to something more than just number crunching business deals? A blog is a really wonderful platform for us to express these values to our stakeholders. Whether it is the customer, the employee from the lowest to the highest level, the general public, the investor, the government, or any other, a blog sets a tone for what your company stands for and what they can expect.

Let your audience know your approach to problem solving

Telling your audience about some of the innovative ways in which you have tackled issues not only increases your standing with them but also gives them the opportunity to develop a new outlook, which they could put to use when they are in a situation that demands it. Like I said, interaction offers something very few books can. It helps them put into practice what they might not have learnt from textbooks.

Benefit number one: build your stock

Businessman looking at city through drawing business strategy

And, did I talk about the most visible advantage blogging by CXO’s brings? It is a fabulous opportunity to build your brand. Your blog becomes your identity over time. Over time, people come to you to read what you have to say. Your blog could become the source that will make people recognize you for and one to which they will come eagerly to know more about what you have to say about this or that matter, how you faced a certain issue or challenge, what vision you have for your company or where you see your industry headed over the next few years, and many other such points.

As a CEO, a blog helps you build your reputation as a thought leader. This position need not be gained by only speaking at forums and meetings. CEO blogs that are packed with insight and clarity help you establish your name among your peers. It could also inspire and motivate them to do something similar and add to the contribution from CXO’s to the community.

Agreed, it is not the easiest of tasks to write down your thoughts and share them with people whom you may or may not know directly, but if these are what blogging by CXO’s brings; then, I think we must stretch ourselves and come up with stuff once in a while.


Shahanshah Manzoor is Managing Director of Simpliv LLC, a platform for learning and teaching online courses, Fremont, CA-USA based. It’s offers online courses on a wide selection of topics.

What is the fourth industrial revolution 2022

Machines will overtake humans in terms of performing more tasks at the workplace by 2025 — but there could still be 58 million net new jobs created in the next five years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a report on Monday.

Developments in automation technologies and artificial intelligence could see 75 million jobs displaced, according to the WEF report “The Future of Jobs 2018.” However, another 133 million new roles may emerge as companies shake up their division of labor between humans and machines, translating to 58 million net new jobs being created by 2022, it said.

At the same time, there would be “significant shifts” in the quality, location and format of new roles, according to the WEF report, which suggested that full-time, permanent employment may potentially fall.

Some companies could choose to use temporary workers, freelancers and specialist contractors, while others may automate many of the tasks.

New skill sets for employees will be needed as labor between machines and humans continue to evolve, the report pointed out.

Machines are expected to perform about 42 percent of all current tasks in the workplace by 2022, compared to only 29 percent now, according to firms surveyed by WEF. Humans are expected to work an average of 58 percent of task hours by 2022, up from the current task hours of 71 percent.

Artificial intelligence and its impact on jobs has become a hot topic of debate and many experts have predicted that machines will ultimately replace millions of jobs in the next decade. Still, the conventional wisdom among many business executives is that AI will also create new jobs.

An analysis from global audit firm PwC also made similar predictions. It said that AI, robotics and other forms of “smart automation” technologies could boost productivity and create better products and services. While some jobs will be displaced or “fundamentally changed in nature,” new jobs will also be created and the long term net effect should be positive for the economy as a whole.

The WEF report was based on a survey of human resources officers, strategy executives and CEOs from more than 300 global companies in a wide range of industries. Respondents represented more than 15 million employees and 20 developed and emerging economies that collectively represent some 70 percent of the global economy.

The outlook for job creation remains positive even though nearly half of all companies expect their full-time workforce to shrink over the next several years, the WEF report. That is due to the fact that firms now have a better understanding of how technology creates new business opportunities.

While automation could give companies a productivity boost, they need to invest in their employees in order to stay competitive, according to Saadia Zahidi, head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society at the World Economic Forum.

“There is both a moral and economic imperative to do so,” Zahidi said in a statement. “Without proactive approaches, businesses and workers may lose out on the economic potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution basically refers to the ways new technologies will alter the way people live, work and relate to one another.

Companies, governments and employees need to work together to tackle skills shortages that occur due to automation, according to WEF.

Ultimately, if companies can effectively manage upgrading the skills of existing workers and splitting tasks between employees and machines, they would create the opportunity for higher productivity growth, the WEF said.

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The Future of AI

There seems no area untouched by Artificial Intelligence (AI). An ancient saying, popular in the Orient, which runs into something like: there is no place the sun has not been to; should perhaps be modified to insert AI in place of the sun. Another poetic metaphor, which says that what Ravi (the Sun) has not seen, Kavi (poet) has, has more relevance to our world, if you substitute the poet with AI. But there is one crucial difference: AI scientists put imagination into action.

So, what is the future of AI? This question is perhaps as old as AI itself. Like all developments in all scientific fields, AI has had its share of admirers and detractors alike. To those amongst us who are witness to the most dramatic changes technology is bringing into our lives; AI has quite a few aces up its sleeves. Want to consider my optimism misplaced and over enthusiastic? I don’t mind, but see if these developments fire your imagination.

AI is going to substitute a good part of the work that humans have been created to. Like Google Assistant, for instance. The product that Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled in mid-2018 is a case in point. The version of Google Assistant he revealed may not in itself change our lives beyond imagination but is symbolic of the enormity of the possibilities it can create. When taken to its logical outcome, it can do things that we have only been imagining about machines till now.

The World Will Not Be What It Is Now

This innovation is just one of the umpteen changes AI can bring about. When combined with its partners in crime (joking) — machine learning, deep learning, data science, and Big Data — it can be lethal, but for the right reasons. What are the implications that the changes in AI will bring into this world, apart from the obvious economic ones, which will see the industry adding a trillion dollars a year until at least 2022?

  • There could be widespread robotization. The implications of a development like this can be as social as well as economic
  • There could be clarity on the data that Big Data throws, enabling Big Data scientists to make greater sense of the data they get and harnessing it for the better
  • These are but a small sample of what to expect. It is already being predicted that areas as diverse as media to medicine and from law to designing could greatly get impacted by AI
  • There will be greater pressure on governments to regulate this technology, as its interaction with humans and with other machines can cause either bountiful benefits or bring horrors, depending on how it is used.

Will This Year Be the Year of AI Shift?

Which of these changes are likely to come to fruition by the end of 2018? Google Assistant is a good case in point of a new paradigm having been set in motion. Not everything that is visualized (some of it may be off track by a mile) could happen this year, but technology grows over time. It is the cumulative benefits that add up to make what it finally becomes. Will this year be a watershed year for AI? We have to wait and see.

Inspiring Prospects for Online Education in India

What does one call a growth of eight hundred percent in four years? Exponential? Phenomenal? Trailblazing? Adjectives aside, the fact is that online education in India, the world’s fastest growing economy among countries whose GDP exceeds $50 billion, is set for the kind of growth that could fit into any of the descriptions made above.

That online education in India is set for enormous numbers should ordinarily not surprise anyone. We have all that it takes to make something like this a success:

Huge population in the learning age: We all know that India has more than one-sixth of the world’s population (1.3 billion out of 7.6 billion). While this in itself is very notable and is something that will have marketers and investors drooling; what is more important is this: a whopping two fifths of the entire Indian population is under the age of 20. An amazingly high number of adolescents make up India’s population: In 2011, UNICEF India estimated that one in every five adolescents in the world is an Indian, which means that nearly a quarter of a billion people in the country is an adolescent, in the ripest learning age. This is a very huge focused market size by any stretch of imagination.

Adaption of technology: Another major advantage India brings is the prowess it has in technology. India’s IT strength is a major factor in the world of technology today, and we are being modest in saying this. As more and more people move into IT and adapt technologies with ease; the prospects of use of technology for a number of areas such as education are huge.

Huge online education resources: A supplementary factor in online education is that fact that India has an appetite for building up resources related to online education. An offshoot of the technologies at which Indians have shown a high degree of adaptability; the www is flooded with innumerable websites pertaining to online education in India. This makes access to any information related to online education a lot easier than through the traditional offline medium, hastening the push towards a decision about taking up online education courses.

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Future of the Artificial Intelligence and What 2018 Could Bring to it

There seems no area untouched by Artificial Intelligence (AI). An ancient saying, popular in the Orient, which runs into something like: there is no place the sun has not been to; should perhaps be modified to insert AI in place of the sun. Another poetic metaphor, which says that what Ravi (the Sun) has not seen, Kavi (poet) has, has more relevance to our world, if you substitute the poet with AI. But there is one crucial difference: AI scientists put imagination into action.

So, what is the future of AI? This question is perhaps as old as AI itself. Like all developments in all scientific fields, AI has had its share of admirers and detractors alike. To those amongst us who are witness to the most dramatic changes technology is bringing into our lives; AI has quite a few aces up its sleeves. Want to consider my optimism misplaced and overenthusiastic? I don’t mind, but see if these developments fire your imagination:

AI is going to substitute a good part of the work that humans have been created to. Like Google Assistant, for instance. The product that Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled in mid-2018 is a case in point. The version of Google Assistant he revealed may not in itself change our lives beyond imagination but is symbolic of the enormity of the possibilities it can create. When taken to its logical outcome, it can do things that we have only been imagining about machines till now.

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7 Tips to get the most out of online courses

Online courses have become an important channel to gain skills, education and certification. Over the past decade, online courses have grown to cater diverse learning needs and reach out to students in all corners.

And that’s not surprising. Online courses offer some unique advantages. One of the most important advantages is that if you enroll for an online course, you can choose your own pace of learning. That is quite different from a physical classroom, where you are forced to go at the pace of the instructor.

Next, online courses permit you the benefit of choosing your own timings. For working professionals, this is a boon. They may go to the online course at whatever time they wish to. This means there’s no fear of missed classes or gaps in learning.

Finally, online courses offer you almost limitless revisions. If you didn’t understand a particular topic or a certain session, you can revisit it as often as you wish. There’s nothing to stop you revising and viewing lectures again and again until you’re fully confident you’ve grasped the subject.

With all these advantage, it’s important to know how to get the most out of online courses. With a little bit of discipline and planning, you can not only get the full worth of your fees but also substantially improve your current skill-sets. This enlarged skill-set will provide you a better career and growth opportunities in future.

Here are the 7 tips to make the most out of online courses:

1. Define your learning objectives

Internet and modern technology have opened up a virtually limitless ocean of knowledge from where you can learn. There is no limitation as to how much you can improve yourself.

But that also means a huge number of choices. And with a huge number of choices, it’s also easy to be confused about why you’d want to take a particular course. Hence the very first thing you should do is to set down your learning objectives.

This is how you do it. Let’s assume you’re aspiring to be a digital marketer. Ask yourself: what is the current level of your proficiency? If you think you’re a beginner, look for courses that are clearly marked ‘for beginners’. If you wish to learn only about LinkedIn or Instagram, there’s no point taking up a course in Facebook ads or Google PPC.

Defining your objectives helps you understand what to expect from the course and stay motivated right through the course.

2. Understand the course structure

Some courses can be finished in fewer than 7 hours. Others may take weeks or even extend well into months.

When you narrow down to a few course, check their requirements in detail. Does the course permit the kind of flexibility you want? Will there be a certification at the end of the course? Would you need to submit some assignments online?

Next, assess their difficulty level. In the American context, a course marked 101 is typically the easiest level of the course, while the one marked 201 and higher will be accordingly more intense. So if you take up Adobe Photoshop 101, you must know the course is meant for beginners, while Adobe Photoshop 301 would be for fairly advanced learners.

Finally, a very small number of course may require you to hold some university degrees. See if you’re eligible and whether you meet all the course requirements.

3. Explore the instructor’s competence

Online courses mostly have excellent instructors. However, don’t assume anything – understand how qualified an instructor is to teach a course.

There are a number of ways of understanding the competence of the instructor.

Firstly, the course might offer to let you view a free lesson before you sign up and pay fees. Don’t miss the free lesson – that’s a pretty neat way of finding out the level of the instructor firsthand. Second, see if there is a rating system of the instructor. If there is, look at her ratings and carefully read the accompanying remarks from those who have taken the course earlier. Go through her educational and professional background wherever possible.

After that, look at the way the course has been broken down. A good instructor will have a very detailed breakup of the course, while an instructor who’s not very organized will have a rather poorly constructed course outline.

4. Verify the course completion requirements

Some courses don’t have any completion requirements. Others require you to take one or more online quizzes in order to be qualified for some certification. Still others may have more detailed assessment practices.

Ask yourself what you are looking for. If learning is all you want, it’s ok even if you miss a quiz. If, on the other hand, you wish to use the certification to advance your career, you must ensure you will be able to meet those completion requirements.

You’d be in big trouble if you pay your fees first and later find out you won’t be able to meet certain requirements. It’s a good idea to check out everything in writing before you sign up.

5. Fix your learning schedule

Signing up for an online course is only half the success story. The other half is how much you respond with your schedule.

For that, you must be clear about your own schedule. Will you be able to devote the kind of time the course requires? Should you take a shorter course? Or, alternatively, if you think you will be able to cruise through easily, should you take up a more intensive course?

If you’re a full-time student at a school or university, you must plan well in advance when you will carve out time to view the videos of the online course or hear its podcasts. If, on the other hand, you’re a working professional, try and see whether your professional commitments and traveling will leave you with enough time.

The truth is most of us have enough time to take up online course. The challenge is to schedule smartly and carry on with self-discipline. But you can’t succeed without proper scheduling.

6. Join online communities to maintain your motivation

Depending upon how old the platform, the course or the instructor is, there are chances there will be an online community around the course. It could be a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group of students who have enrolled for the course and have learning requirements like yours.

Make sure you join such communities and be an active participant. There are three major advantages of joining such communities. Firstly, you can learn not only from the instructor but also from your fellow-students. Secondly, you can build a professional network of people with similar skills and background, a network that help you in your professional life.

Finally, joining an online community gives you strong support and motivation. There would be times where you are low on motivation or feel like quitting. Sharing your concerns with the community will help you tide over such challenges. That’s because the community members will share their own experiences and help you jump over the obstacles and put you back on track.

7. Develop self-discipline

Online courses are one of the best of ways of learning in the new age. However, there are challenges associated with online course, and one of them self-discipline.

Make sure you keep away from unnecessary distractions while learning. One of the distractions could be social media. When you sit down for your online course, turn off all the notifications and, if possible, turn off your mobile phone as well. Devoting an hour with full dedication can be worth ten hours of undedicated work. Use your time best.

These aren’t the only things you need to understand, but they are certainly some of the most important for your course to be a success. Feel free to add to this list.


Author intro:

Mayank Batavia is an edupreneur since nearly 20 years and a freelance content writer and a blogger. He

also runs a technology blog www.almostism.com which deals with how technology impacts us. You can follow him on Twitter through his handle @MayankEmpower.

Note: This is a completely original written work. Not to be reproduced without written consent.