(NaturalNews) For a departure from my usual coverage of food science analysis, heavy metals and superfoods nutrition, today I'm presenting the Natural News Editor's Choice "Best Technology" Awards for 2014, covering the most amazing tech-related solutions and products I've come to know and trust over the past year.
All these recommendations are completely unsolicited. In fact, these companies will be pleasantly surprised to see this article published. I'm sharing this news about them because I like to highlight and support companies that are doing excellent work providing honest, reliable products. There's so much crap sold on the 'net these days that finding reliable solutions is increasingly rare. So I like to give these folks the credit they deserve. (And you know I can be very critical about what I expect in products, so rest assured these are solid recommendations.)
Keep in mind that I know a little something about technology, too, because in my days before becoming a food scientist and investigative journalist, I was the founder of a very successful software company which developed high-end email technologies purchased by Fortune 500 companies and universities.
So here are my top three award winners.
eM Client is the best email client you'll ever use
First on the list is eM Client (www.eMclient.com), an email client for windows that's nothing short of astonishing in its robustness and speed.
I receive a lot of email. I'm talking over a thousand emails a day spanning at least five email accounts. This email load absolutely crippled Thunderbird and brought it to its knees. Outlook couldn't even think about handling the load, either. But eM Client gobbles up all these emails and keeps humming. When my windows OS freezes and shuts down, a re-launch of eM Client sees it automatically checking for email database errors and correcting anything that's out of whack.
For the past year, I've put eM Client through sheer email hell and it hasn't hiccupped even once. And when I recently needed to move all my email (plus account settings) to a new computer, the eM Client transfer was refreshingly simple. All I had to do was copy the contents of just one folder, then set eM Client on the new PC to use that folder as its storage folder. Super easy! (Compare that to Thunderbird which frustratingly overwrites all your emails and suicides your entire email history when you switch storage folders.)
Searching for names or keywords in your email is also a cinch with eM Client. The search function alone has saved me countless hours over the last year and measurably boosted my productivity. If you want to know how I get so much done on a daily basis, part of the answer is truly eM Client.
That's why I'm giving eM Client my Editor's Choice "Best Technology" Award for 2014. You can download it at www.emclient.com (sorry, it's not for Mac).
Bestcrypt protects the entire Natural News website
The entire Natural News website is build on a robust, decentralized offline content production system that can restore the entire website in minutes from any location. I know this because I built it. And I designed it to withstand hack attempts, government server farm seizures and even power grid failures.
But what protects the Natural News content management system from the possibility of physical computer theft? The answer is Bestcrypt Volume Encryption from a company called Jetico (www.Jetico.com)
Bestcrypt encrypts your entire hard drive with military-grade encryption. Booting up your PC requires you to enter a decryption password which is linked to a complex decryption key that protects your hard drive data sector by sector. If someone steals your PC and tries to power it up, they get no data. Even if a high-end hacker pulls your hard drive and tries to scan it sector by sector, all they get is encrypted garbage, not your real data.
If you travel with a laptop, Bestcrypt is the only way to roll because it means that if your laptop is stolen, the thief only gets the hardware, not all your data, emails and documents (assuming it was powered down when it was stolen, anyway).
In today's world, with so many prying eyes and so many entities trying to steal your passwords or data, Bestcrypt helps you maintain your privacy even after a disastrous theft of your computer. That's why it also gets my Editor's Choice "Best Technology" Award for 2014.
Author Daniel Suarez and his masterpiece novels Daemon and Freedom
My final Editor's Choice "Best Technology" Award goes not to a product but rather an author named Daniel Suarez.
Suarez is the author of two stunningly engrossing novels in the genre of "cyber thrillers."
The first novel, Daemon, is a solid work of modern fiction, written by someone who truly understands tech. But the real masterpiece, in my opinion, is the sequel novel called Freedom (TM).
Freedom (TM) is far more than a cyber thriller. It's very nearly a blueprint for populist social revolution. This book shows that Suarez is far more than a fiction writer; he's an architect for meaningful cultural change. For example, the book tackles some really big issues which are destroying modern society such as genetically engineered foods and the mono-culture, subsidy-driven agricultural system that's destroying seed diversity, human health and economic sustainability in America.
In Freedom (TM), Suarez starts off with a cyber thriller but then catapults the reader through a landscape of revolutionary ideas for restructuring society so that it serves the People rather than global corporate interests. These ideas are based in authentic research, not mere conjecture. For example, in one section of the book, characters who are about to be overrun by a Monsanto-like biotechnology corporation manage to take back their land and use sustainable farming techniques that I know to be genuinely used on today's most innovative organic farms. Specifically, one farmer character explains how they pasture cows to "turn sunlight into beef," then they move the cows off and bring on the chicken to eat the worms out of the cow dung and spread the cow manure, functioning as "chicken tractors."
This precisely describes the exact farming technique used by Farmer Brad in Central Texas (http://homesweetfarm.blogspot.com). It's almost as if Suarez interviewed Farmer Brad for the book or something. (Yes, it's that authentic.)
Page after page, Freedom (TM) just drips with authenticity and brilliance. What's clear from reading the book (or listening to it via Audible.com as I did) is that Daniel Suarez is a dedicated researcher with a vast depth of knowledge spanning economics, history, politics, technology, agriculture, inventions, physics and even multi-user online gaming. There aren't very many people who impress me with their intelligence these days, but Suarez is now at the top of the list of people I'd personally like to meet.
Let me just say for the record that Jeff Gurner is an extremely talented narrator who also happens to be very easy to listen to. His voice acting is superb, and he's the kind of narrator who brings the story to life without drawing attention to himself. Listening to Gurner, you don't feel as if the story is even being narrated... instead, the story is merely unfolding in your mind, complete with rich characters and vivid scenes. And that's the job of a professional narrator, by the way: perform the theater but don't ever become so annoying that the listener loses their ability to sustain their imagination and focus.
As a fan of audio books, there are a few cases where I've had to ditch the entire novel solely due to an annoying narrator. Jeff Gurner is no such burden. He's damn good at not just telling the story but even acting out the characters with authenticity. Freedom (TM) is one of the few audio books I'm going to listen to twice.
Publisher's description of Freedom (TM):
In one of the most buzzed-about debuts of 2009, Daniel Suarez introduced a terrifying vision of a new world order, controlled by the Daemon, an insidious computer program unleashed by a hi-tech wunderkind, Daemon captured the attention of the tech community, became a New York Times and Indie best seller, and left readers hungry for more. Well, more is here, and it's even more gripping than its predecessor.
In the opening chapters of Freedom, the Daemon is firmly in control, using an expanded network of real-world, dispossessed darknet operatives to tear apart civilization and rebuild it anew. Soon civil war breaks out in the American Midwest, in a brutal wave of violence that becomes known as the Corn Rebellion. Former detective Pete Sebeck, now the Daemon's most powerful - though reluctant - operative, must lead a small band of enlightened humans toward a populist movement designed to protect the new world order. But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all.
In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.
Summary of Editor's Choice "Best Technology" Awards
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.