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You might be excused for thinking that keyboards are primarily used for typing, as do the majority of people.

However, if your mouse or trackpad isn’t working, you might be curious about what the LMB key does and how to utilize it. The LMB key can serve you as a helpful button if you learn how to perform all of its functions.

You might be wondering what LMB on a keyboard stands for. Where is it located, and what does it do? We would like you to know you’ve come to just the right place. Let’s get started.

The LMB (left mouse button) is an old standard keyboard key that’s still used today. The definition of “left-mouse button” is simple: it’s any button on a computer mouse, including its left half.

LMB is often confused with the MMB (middle mouse button), also called a scroll wheel or trackpad. However, they’re different and have different purposes in different situations so let’s clear up some confusion!

If you are one of the users of the Mouse Keys feature in Windows, then this button could prove especially useful to you. Also, the LMB key comes in handy if you use a keyboard that has a touchpad built into it or a trackball.

There are several ways you can use the LMB:

For instance, pressing the “5” key on the Numpad, the Minus (-) symbol, and then the “5” key once again would be necessary to push the Left Mouse Button and the Right Mouse Button consecutively using Mouse Keys.

See the best keyboards with touchpad

There is no need for an external mouse if you have a keyboard with this feature because this key is identical to the LMB key on a mouse.

Similar to how a typical trackball mouse is made, the LMB button on a keyboard with a trackball is typically placed beside the trackball itself.

The LMB key is also included on keyboards with a TrackPoint (the red dot that is frequently found on Lenovo laptop keyboards), as the TrackPoint was designed to provide all the functions of a mouse.

Since there isn’t room for it to be placed around the TrackPoint, the LMB key is situated at the bottom of the keyboard.

LMB (left-middle-button) is typically located on the left side of the keyboard. It’s also known as a “touchpad” or “fingerprint” because it looks like a fingerprint. Despite this similarity, it’s not exactly a fingerprint!

For example, press LMB and drag across some text with one hand while holding down SHIFT with your other hand so that all three fingers are touching at once; then release LMB when all three are pressed down again. That way each finger will move independently—and with this, you can avoid any accidental keystrokes!

On laptops, the LMB can be found under your number pad or just above it (on some models). If you don’t have a number pad on your laptop though, then look for an icon that looks like two arrows pointing toward each other in the top row of keys.

This will be where the cursor will move when you press down gently on those arrow buttons with your fingertips instead of pressing them directly into their respective positions (which would result in accidental typing).

The last of the three keys is the MMB key, which stands for Middle Mouse Button.

Unlike LMB and RMB, the MMB key may not be on every keyboard which contains the LMB and RMB keys, as its functionality isn’t as vital as these keys.

To be quite honest, we don’t know if the LMB key is present on every keyboard in existence. However, we do know that every keyboard, wireless or wired, includes the useful F10 shortcut key in addition to the SHIFT key.

It should come as no surprise that there isn’t enough room for you to work if your workplace is too small to accommodate your desktop or laptop. A peripheral mouse may become difficult to scroll and maneuver as a result. The left mouse button can be key in certain scenarios and can turn out to be a practical and efficient answer to this issue.

When your mouse breaks down or when you accidentally leave it at work but have a deadline for a project or report the next day, you’ll appreciate having a left mouse button on your keyboard the most.

If you lose or permanently damage your mouse and have to wait a few weeks for a replacement to arrive, your computer’s LMB will quickly become your closest buddy. These buttons are very necessary for situations like these when there is no other choice for the majority of people.

Despite the LMB button being quite handy, you shouldn’t immediately put away your mouse. Despite all of its benefits, the LMB key does have certain drawbacks that may become apparent to you after frequent use. A few of the most typical are listed below:

Using the LMB key will be quite difficult if the touchpad sensor chooses to go bad.

According to several studies, using an external mouse is more accurate and productive than using the LMB key on a keyboard.

The left mouse button on the keyboard might not work with some online video games. For avid gamers this is a potential deal-breaker, so be sure to conduct thorough research to prevent it.

When using the LMB key, some tasks could take noticeably longer than they would with an external mouse or might not be possible at all.

Some high-end design and 3D modeling applications, like Fusion 360, might not allow pressing the LMB key on a keyboard.

There is no doubt that the LMB key has its benefits in several situations, even though you won’t find it on many keyboards. Particularly if you would like to take a break from using your external mouse, then it comes up as a good alternative.

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Apple’s Self Service Repair: Everything You Should Know

Apple has always restricted the right to repair their devices to a chosen few. But now that Apple’s Self Service Repair program is finally released, things are changing, albeit a bit slowly. Now, we can all be geniuses.

The announcement in November opened the door to a lot of speculations. While some questions are answered now as the program is available to US customers, some still remain. I have done a deep dive into the matter to get all the answers* you need, so read on.

What is Apple’s Self Service Repair program?

Self Service Repair is Apple’s current stance on the right-to-repair moment. For years, Apple has gone to extreme lengths to lock the user in its network of authorized service centers, from using microcontroller chips to blocking features or tagging products as non-genuine components.

But now, this program gives users the freedom to repair their Apple devices independently. Users can access Apple genuine parts, tools, and repair manuals, similar to those used at Genius Bar (repair teams).

To help you become an Apple genius, the tech giant gives you all you’ll need, from repair manuals to over 200 individual parts and tools. You can also buy all the tools outright or rent them at $49 or buy individual tools to keep them.

Note: Apple has also published a supporting paper, “Expanding Access to Safe, Reliable, and Secure Service and Repair,” wherein it mentions that it will provide service and parts for products for at least seven years after they’re last sold.

Which devices can you repair?

iPhone 12 Series

iPhone 13 Series

iPhone SE (3rd generation)

MacBook Air / MacBook Pro

Furthermore, the program currently helps you repair the iPhone’s




Bottom speaker

SIM Tray

Taptic Engine

Self Service Repair for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro offers more than a dozen different repair types for each model, including the display, top case with battery, and trackpad, with more to come.

Who can access the program?

For now, the service program is limited to the US only. Although, Apple expressed plans to include other countries and regions, starting with Europe, later this year.

Source: Apple

Who is this targeted at?

While open for all Apple users, Self Service Repair is not designed for all. Not everyone has the skill, knowledge, and experience to pull apart an electronic device and fix it back together. It is intended for individual technicians deft at repairing such devices.

However, Apple also states that users without experience should restrain and depend on certified technicians.

Note: Apple currently boasts 5,000+ Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 3,000 Independent Repair Providers (IRPs), and over 100,000 active technicians.

How does the Self Service Repair program work?

Apple has also released a four-step outline on how the Self Service Repair program works.

Step 1: Use the repair manual to find what you need

A free-to-use, in-depth guide on fixing your device and what parts, tools, and materials you’ll need to order.

Important: You’ll need a repair manual ID in the next step, and you’ll find it in the manual’s introduction. This indicates to Apple that you’ve indeed read the manual.

You’ll also see,

The tools you’ll need for the repair

Step-by-step repairing guide with appropriate images

Caution messages to help you avoid the risky areas

Source: Apple

Visit the Self Service Repair Store and select Start your order. Here select the product, its model, and repair type.

On the main page, where all parts and tools are listed, scroll down to Apple Tools (79 pounds packed into two heavy-duty cases). You’ll find a neat $49 tool rental option; add this to your cart.

As per Apple’s tool kit rental page,

The rental will start the day you receive the tool kit and last for 7 days.

It costs $49, including shipping.

Your credit card will have temporary authorization equivalent to the full replacement value of the tool kit.

If tools are not returned on time, a fee (including taxes) will be charged.

Also, if any tool is missing or damaged, Apple will deduct its charge.

Step 3: Repair your device

Once you receive the parts and tools you need, open the repair manual and get on with it. There’s a hitch here; you’ll need to call Apple to complete the repair process.

Apple has put a System Configuration requirement (some call it silly, Apple’s call is compulsory) without which your device will not recognize the parts as genuine and won’t work as intended.

To complete this step and your self-repair process, go to the Contact Us section of the Self Service Repair Store. You can contact the service team via chat or phone to initiate System Configuration.

Step 4: Return replaced part for recycling

As part of Apple’s carbon-neutral approach, you can return the replaced part and get a portion of the money back. Like with their AASPs and IRls, these parts will be refurbished or recycled responsibly.

Of course, there are terms and conditions applied. Apple will inspect the part to determine the credit eligibility and then refund a portion of the original payment.

Apple Self Service Repair cost

The cost of parts and tools vary as per the repair and device type. For reference and comparison purposes, let’s take the example of the iPhone 13 Pro.

The display bundle costs $269.96 upfront, if we subtract the return credit of $33.60, it will be $236.36. Although we’ll also have to consider the $49 tool rental, the total comes up to $318.96 (before) and 285.36 (after return credit). Notably, Apple’s screen replacement service costs $279 (add your commuting cost, if applicable).

Is Apple Self Service Repair really cheap?

By the above calculation, absolutely no. I even compared the battery replacement cost; the battery bundle costs $71, while battery service through Apple costs $69.

Furthermore, there is the added risk of spoiling your device more rather than repairing it. And on the other hand, trained technicians are handling your device, plus it’s Apple’s responsibility to fix your device.

Should you exercise your right to repair?

With great freedom comes a greater responsibility of using the rights in the right manner. In simple words, only a skilled and experienced user can handle a successful repair.

However, plenty of curious souls would like to take things into their hands, and it might do more harm than good. Even if you put your faith in a friendly neighborhood technician’s hand, risks are involved. Plus, it isn’t saving much money either.

So, I’ll suggest accessing the situation with a broader perspective. Understand how difficult is the repair, the risks involved, and whether going to an authorized repair shop will be better.

Apple Self Service Repair: The real catch

Whenever Apple releases something that attempts to go outside their walled garden, users should accept it with a pinch of salt (sometimes even more). Thanks to this program, Apple users now have three choices.

Repair the device themselves.

Visit nearby small shops.

Send the device to Apple or visit an authorized repair shop.

However, the right to repair is not just about these choices; it also means ease of access, saving money, cutting down the monopoly, and reducing the e-waste by a large margin. But is the program really doing that?

The Serial / IMEI number limitation

While it might not sound preposterous at the start, it limits a lot of things. For instance:

What if you don’t use the part for the same phone you ordered it for?

The Serial/IMEI number gives Apple the right to reject/block the repair, starting from the System Configuration step.

Why does a skilled technician have to wait every time?

Imagine you know a skilled technician who can resolve your Mac and iPhone’s issue quicker than sending it to Apple. But, they can only order the parts when you give them your Serial/IMEI number. Then you’ll have to wait for parts to arrive before the repair can begin.

Why can’t the technician order some extra parts and prepare them for your rainy days? Agreed this might open the flood gate to fake parts, but Apple can keep a service code for parts and continue the System Configuration step accordingly.

Repair specialists iFixit very nicely put the situation into perspective – “This program expands the freedom to repair with one hand while locking the door with the other.”

Are we being fooled?

As of now, it certainly looks like it. We now have the right to repair our devices. However, we still don’t have the liberty one might expect. From the Serial/IMEI number restriction to the heavy-duty price point, nothing seems to favor the users.

This initiative looks like an intentionally feeble and doomed attempt to bypass the right to repair regulations and activists. Honestly, I hope Apple gives some levy in upcoming announcements.

It’s a great deal outside the US.

I also need to put a point in favor of Apple. Apple claims that “in the US, eight out of 10 Apple customers are located within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider.” Although that’s not the case for other countries and regions.

So, while we are bitching about the program because we have an option to compare, this might be the best and only option for some people. And when eventually they’ll get this program, it would be godsent. To give credit where it is due, Apple has done a nice deed by introducing the program (albeit flawed).

Read more:

Author Profile


A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

Everything You Must Know About Koalas!

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


An article here describes the rationale behind using Koalas and then talks about the different library usage with different spark versions. It then discusses the differences between Koalas and Pandas and performs tests to verify those differences. The purpose is to help the reader establish a strong foundation in the former. As the foundation is established, the next chapter will discuss what data scientists should consider when using it and finally finish up with a summary and key takeaways. Let’s get started.

Why Koalas?

Koalas library got introduced because of the following issues in the current spark system [2].

 Several features frequently required in data science are missing in Apache Spark. Specifically, plotting and drawing charts is an essential feature that almost all data scientists use daily.

Koalas Library Variants

To use Koalas in the spark notebook, you need to import the library. There are two options available in libraries. The first option is “databricks.koalas” and prior to PySpark version 3.2.x, this is the only option available. But post 3.2.x, another library named “pyspark.pandas” was introduced and this name aligns more realistic with Pandas API [3]. Spark suggests using the later one as the former will stop support soon.

Koalas vs. Pandas

The key similarity between pandas and koalas is that the APIs used in both libraries are the same. That is if pandas use pd.DataFrame(), then in koalas also, the API use would be the same i.e., kl.DataFrame(). However, the difference between the two data frames (pandas & koalas) makes koalas really special. That is, the koala’s data frame is distributed – in a way similar to the spark data frame [1]. Unlike other spark libraries, Pandas runs in a single node on a driver rather than across all the worker nodes, so it cannot scale. Opposite to Pandas, the Pandas API (aka koalas) works exactly the way similar to the spark library.

To understand the two terms, let’s use a sample program (refer to GitHub) to conduct some tests that confirm the above differences mentioned.

The first test conducted was to check how count operations execute in the data bricks environment. Also, to check if anything different is been observed if the three counts operations are compared for spark, koalas, and pandas data frames, respectively. The output has depicted pictorially in the diagram below. It confirms that the pandas’ data frame doesn’t use a worker thread. This is because you won’t see any spark job runs when performing an operation on the pandas’ data frame (refer to the diagram shown below). On to this, the spark and koalas data frames work differently. Their spark has created jobs to accomplish the count operation. These jobs are created over two separate workers (aka machines). This test confirms two things:

Firstly spark and koalas are no different in terms of working.

Secondly, Pandas are not scalable when the data load increases (i.e. it always works under a single node on the driver irrespective of data size). On the other hand, “koalas” is found distributed in nature and can be scaled as and when data size varies.

The second test performed in the sample program is the performance check for different data frames. Here the count operation execution time was calculated. The table below shows clearly the record count operations take a good amount of time in spark and koalas as opposed to the pandas. This justifies that underneath they are nothing but the spark data frame. Another important point to note here is the panda’s count performance is way ahead of the other two.

The third test confirms again that both are similar as there are not many operations that need to be performed by the data bricks if underneath two entities are the same.  To test this, a performance test was conducted in a data bricks notebook, which tested the completion time of operations when converting spark data frames to koalas and pandas, respectively. The output shown here shows that the koalas’ conversion time is negligible compared to the pandas’ conversion time. This is because there is not much to do for spark because of the same structure of koalas’ data frame.

Evaluate Koalas Read API with the Complex Data Structure in Delta Table

The most common way of persisting data in modern delta lake is in the form of delta format. Azure Databricks delta table supports ACID properties similar to the transactional database tables. It is worth checking how the koalas (pandas API) work with the delta table that contains a complex JSON nested structure. So let’s begin.

Sample data structure

The sample data shown here contains two columns. First, the bank branch id (simple data) and second the department details (a complex nested JSON structure). This data is stored as the delta table.

Sample data – code

The sample data can be created by using the code below. The complete codebase is available on GitHub.

payload_data1 = {“EmpId”: “A01”, “IsPermanent”: True, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D1”, “DepartmentName”: “Data Science”}]} payload_data2 = {“EmpId”: “A02”, “IsPermanent”: False, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D2”, “DepartmentName”: “Application”}]} payload_data3 = {“EmpId”: “A03”, “IsPermanent”: True, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D1”, “DepartmentName”: “Data Science”}]} payload_data4 = {“EmpId”: “A04”, “IsPermanent”: False, “Department”: [{“DepartmentID”: “D2”, “DepartmentName”: “Application”}]} # create data structure data =[ {“BranchId”: 1, “Payload”: payload_data1}, {“BranchId”: 2, “Payload”: payload_data2}, {“BranchId”: 3, “Payload”: payload_data3}, {“BranchId”: 4, “Payload”: payload_data4} ] # dump data to json jsonData = json.dumps(data) # append json data to list jsonDataList = [] jsonDataList.append(jsonData) # parallelize json data jsonRDD = sc.parallelize(jsonDataList) # store data to spark dataframe df =

Store temporary data to the delta table

Now persist above created temporary employee data to the delta table by using the code shown here.

table_name = "/testautomation/EmployeeTbl" (df.write .mode("overwrite") .format("delta") .option("overwriteSchema", "true") .save(table_name))"./testautomation/")

Read complex nested data using the koalas’ data frame

import pyspark.pandas as ps pdf = ps.read_delta(table_name) pdf.head()

On executing the above code the below output appeared.

Read complex nested data using the Spark data frame

df = display(df)

On executing the above code the output that appears is here.

Fig. 7: Complex JSON data – show via Display function

The above result suggests Pandas API (Koalas) doesn’t work well when calling the HEAD function to display the complex JSON Nested structure. This is against the main principle of using the Koalas library as its ultimate intention is to provide the distributed mechanism in the pandas’ library using the pandas’ functions. However, this can be achieved via a workaround where you can use the DISPLAY function in koalas’ data frame.


This article has set a strong foundation on the Koalas library for the readers. Furthermore, the different tests performed to verify the differences between pandas and koalas have indicated that koalas are nothing but spark data frames added to them with pandas’ APIs. In this post, we discussed the limitation that prevented Panda’s “head” function from properly displaying the nested JSON data. In summary, wrong to say that as a primary method for analyzing and transforming big data, Koalas is a good choice, but be aware of its limitations so you have a fallback plan in case certain APIs may not work properly.

Key Takeaways

By allowing data engineers and data scientists to interact with big data more efficiently, Koalas improved productivity.

Make sure you do some research before using Koalas for complex nested JSON structures since its API may not produce the desired results.

Koalas bridges the gap between the usage of Pandas API with the single node and distributed data to a great extent.

The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion.


Minecraft Sculk: Everything You Need To Know

The Minecraft 1.19 Wild Update is here, and it brings a plethora of exciting new stuff to the game. And one of the most discussed additions in this latest Minecraft update is the sculk family. It is a collection of blocks that finally add movement and sound-based mechanics to the game. While doing so, it also unlocks a variety of new Redstone functionality for players to utilize in their farms and builds. But that can’t happen if you don’t know anything about the different types of sculk blocks in Minecraft 1.19. That’s where this detailed guide will come in handy. We are here to cover everything you need to know about sculks in Minecraft. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

How to Find, Get, and Use Minecraft Sculk Blocks (2023)

We have divided our guide into separate sections to cover various aspects, types, and uses of sculk blocks. You can use the table below to skip to the section you are eager to discover about in this update.

What is Sculk in Minecraft

The Minecraft 1.19 update has added a new family of blocks called sculks to the game. They were first planned for the Minecraft 1.18 Caves & Cliffs Part 2 update and would have made the caves much darker and more interesting. But they were delayed because of some unknown reason. Now, in their improved version, the sculk blocks are making a return with Minecraft 1.19. Sculks are both decorative and functional blocks that can change the Redstone machines forever.

Key Features of Sculk Blocks

All sculk blocks in Minecraft have the following features:

They are fireproof and can’t catch fire even from lava.

All sculk blocks follow the same theme and even the Warden’s body has a similar texture.

A gold hoe is the fastest tool you can use to break sculk blocks.

The sculk blocks can’t generate naturally outside of the caves. However, you can get and use sculk catalyst in Minecraft 1.19 to easily generate sculk features anywhere. Read our attached guide for more details.

Types of Sculk Blocks in Minecraft 1.19

ImageNameTypeFunctionSculkDecorativeOnly for aesthetics and buildingSculk SensorRedstoneDetects vibration and sends out Redstone signalsSculks CatalystFunctionalGenerates sculk features whenever an experience dropping mob dies nearbySculk ShriekerFunctionalSummons the Warden after detecting vibrations three separate timesSculk VeinDecorativeOnly for aesthetics and decorationImage Courtesy: Minecraft Wiki

Where to Find Sculk Blocks in Minecraft

All sculk blocks exclusively spawn in the new Deep Dark biome of Minecraft. You can find them throughout the biome, but they spawn at a higher rate within the Ancient cities. So, our list of best Ancient city seeds can help you reach the home of sculks in no time.

If you are in the creative mode, all five types of sculk blocks show up in your creative inventory. But you can’t directly break the sculk blocks to pick them up in any game mode, be it hardcore or creative. You need to use enchantments to be able to successfully mine the blocks and get something useful out of them.

How to Get Sculk Blocks in Minecraft

To pick any sculk block, you have to break it using a tool with the silk touch enchantment applied to it. This allows you to pick the block as a whole without breaking it. Since a hoe breaks sculk blocks the fastest, it’s best to use an enchanted hoe to break sculk blocks. You can use our Minecraft enchantments guide to learn how to apply silk touch to your hoe.

On the other hand, if you break any sculk block without the silk touch enchantment, the block will simply disappear, leaving behind several experience orbs. So, depending on your requirements, you can break the sculk with enchanted or unenchanted tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can grow sculk features in your game by killings mobs that drop experience around a sculk catalyst. 

Does skulk drop XP?

Sculks blocks are known to drop some of the highest amounts of XP in the game. That makes them the perfect competition and companion for the mob XP farms in Minecraft. 

What does Warden drop?

Use Sculk Blocks in Minecraft Builds and Redstone Machines

7 Important Process You Should Know

Introduction to the IPO Process

You would have heard much about the IPO Definition if you were a finance guy. Business newspapers keep featuring why a particular IPO process is hot, whether it will succeed, how much the company would raise, and many other things. For those new to this term, an IPO Definition or the IPO Meaning is “Initial Public Offering,” where a private firm decides to transform itself into a public one. The company will offer its stock for trading on the stock exchange for the first time, inviting the public to invest in it.

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They were the IPOs once considered hot, and people bet on their successes, but unfortunately, market conditions, investor sentiments, and various other factors caused their demise. So this the all about the IPO Definition and the IPO Meaning.

7 Important IPO Process and Definitions

Below are the 7 biggest IPO processes and IPO definitions:

1. IPO Process (Vonage)

It was all geared up for a successful IPO, and everything seemed to be in place. It raised $531 million on the very first day of the IPO. But what happened next made it the “worst first trading day.”

They offered shares at $17 per share but quickly dropped 12.7% within the day and closed at $14.85. Wondering what went wrong? This IPO differed from others in that Vonage offered its customers 13.5% of the IPO shares. However, the tech company was strangely caught up in a technical glitch. When the attracted investors visited the site to buy shares, many received messages that their purchases didn’t happen. After a few days, there was a twist again; by then, the share price had dropped considerably by 30% in a week. The customers were informed that their purchases did happen and that the original price of $17 was due to them. Irate customers filed a suit which they won, against the underwriters and Vonage for misleading them. and this was the IPO Meaning

The company was selling products at less than it took to produce them and undercharged shipping costs. It recorded losses of $147 million in just the first nine months of its business in 2000. They went public in February 2000 and raised $82 million! The share price began at $11 per share and rose to $14, but the success was short-lived, plummeting to a meager 22 cents. It remained there and consequently filed for bankruptcy within the same year.

3. IPO Process (Webvan)

Webvan had a unique idea of delivering groceries without you having to carry the heavy grocery bags and take the pains to take them back home. You just had to sit at home and order the groceries, and within a span of 30 minutes, the groceries would arrive right at your doorstep. The investors were in agreement with this idea. Webvan decided to go for an IPO in 1999. They were valued at $6 billion, although the revenue was slightly less than $5 million. At the end of the IPO, it raised a good enough $375 million from the IPO, and the stock price doubled on the first day itself.

What next? Well, the company did not get a fairy tale ending. The great idea lost its charm against the whopping logistics cost it had to bear. Processing and delivering each order costs them around $27, along with refined and automated systems of warehouses and delivery vans. To save costs, Webvan radically cut the type of products bringing sales to a halt. Just 18 months after its flaring IPO, it declared bankruptcy.

4. IPO Process (Blackstone Group)

Steve Schwarzman, the larger-than-life billionaire, is Blackstone’s CEO and co-founder, a Private Equity firm. Considered to be a spendthrift, and rightly so, he threw himself a multi-million dollar birthday party. The firm specializes in leveraged buyouts (LBO). It generated most of its wealth by leveraging cheap debt to finance hostile takeovers of numerous stressed businesses, typically using a deal structure of 10% cash and 90% debt.

It was quite a surprise when Blackstone announced their plans to go public in 2007. In their haste to get a part of Blackstone’s 23 % annual return since 1987, twice the S&P 500 average, the investors ignored that the IPO was that of Blackstone Holdings, a spin-off of the Blackstone Group. The underwriters valued the IPO at $40 billion, but Blackstone Holdings had only $2.3 billion in annual revenues! The IPO prospectus warned the investors about the company’s potential revenue fluctuations over the months or years, but people did not pay attention.

The IPO resulted in Blackstone raising $4.1 billion, enabling Schwarzman and his co-founder Peter Peterson to generate $2.6 billion. Still, the investors ended up as the losers, having bought a stock that lost 42% of its value in the first year.

5. IPO Process (Omeros)

6. IPO Process (VeraSun)

VeraSun Energy was known as a leading producer of renewable fuel and one of the topmost ethanol producers. This was during 2006 when there was an ethanol boom, and quite a few companies reputed themselves as producers of greener energy sources. This sector was at its peak, and that was the time when VeraSun went public and successfully raised $420 million in June 2006. Ethanol producers attracted investor interest due to the viability of ethanol production costs resulting from low oil and gas prices. As a resultant effect, the share price of VeraSun grew by 30% by the end of the day from the offering price of $23 to $30.

But the company went bankrupt just two years later. Why? The market for ethanol production completely sunk due to the saturation of competitors, as well as the surge in the price of corn during the recession, which diminished the demand for ethanol. The one-two punch of the saturated market and decreased demand ultimately pushed the company into bankruptcy two years later. Similarly, a company called Aventine raised $389 million and died the same way.

7. IPO Process (Shanda Games)

Shanda Games is a huge name in the online gaming market of China. They produce multi-player role-playing games and are a division of Shanda Interactive Entertainment. Shanda decided to go for a U.S. IPO in 2009. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs were the underwriters determining the number of shares offered and the price. At the very last second, the underwriters increased the number of shares offered from 63 million to 83.5 million. The result was extraordinary, as the IPO raised $1.04 billion. Inappropriately greedy underwriters pushed the share price to a limit of $12.50, attracting investors willing to pay top dollar. However, since no new investors left, the stock price hit bottom, falling 14% in value to $1.75 the next day.

Apart from the Biggest IPO Flops in History, as we discussed above, many IPOs have gone down the drain. The truth is that it is impossible to forecast the nature of stock or investor sentiments. These failed IPO ventures teach us that any company should thoroughly comprehend what it is selling and how it intends to sell it before making its stocks available for public trading. This is what IPO definition and IPO meaning are all about.

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How Ngfw Works: Everything You Need To Know

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) merge the capabilities of the first generation of firewalls with network security tools equipped for handling modern cyberthreats. 

See below to learn all about how NGFWs work:

Using behavior analysis, NGFWs are capable of anticipating and intercepting cyberthreats, not by identifying them directly, but by detecting network behavior that indicates an upcoming attack or data leak. Behavior analysis capabilities enable NGFWs to mitigate the damages of cyberattacks as well as internally motivated data leaks.

Sandboxing is an approach to cybersecurity where executable files and code from non-native sources are run inside an isolated part of the network. This allows the NGFW to observe, monitor, and analyze the behavior of the piece of code, preventing it from proceeding forward into the network and causing damage to the network’s resources.

Access control management is most suitable for being a part of a firewall solution due to its strategic location between network routers, users, and applications. This tool is responsible for verifying and authenticating the identity of users and device logins into the network before they gain access.

The application control technology is available in some NGFWs and web firewalls that enable you to implement security and privacy measures directly into the operations of an application. The traffic of each application can be identified in the data flow, subjecting it to a different set of limitations and security policies as needed.

Traffic monitoring and packet filtering are one of the primary components adapted from traditional firewall solutions. But with NGFWs, packet filtering can be further adapted to the type, source, and destination of the data, such as IP address, source and destination ports.

NGFWs operate on system layers, with most modern solutions ranging between layers 3 and 4 of the OSI model and systems to layer 7 of the network’s applications. Application-layer firewalls are capable of monitoring and scanning the data input and output of the network’s applications, managing its communications according to the set security policies.

Authentication is the key component that enables firewalls to associate known identities with users and devices to apply the network’s policies and access privileges to them.

Authentication techniques vary from traditional passwords and smart cards to biometrics and custom authentication tokens. The pairing occurring between the device or user and the network’s firewall results in a one-time password (OTP) that can be also applied to software and applications seeking access to one or more of the network’s resources.

Security policies are rules that organize what applications and user devices are capable of doing and how they’re allowed to behave without being blocked. Generally, this tends to focus on network traffic outbound and inbound that uses specific communications protocols, certain IP addresses, or content types from market applications.

See more: Check Point vs Palo Alto Networks: Top NGFWs Compared


NGFWs can be a part of your network as software that uses internal CPU and RAM resources. 


A hardware-based NGFW is connected to the outer parameter of the network and between any segments or components where the traffic needs monitoring.


A cloud-based NGFW is commonly referred to as firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), which is hosted by a third party. They’re managed and deployed by the security vendor and can be scaled to include users and devices connecting remotely to your network.

See more: Best Next-Generation Firewall Software Compared

NGFWs need unobstructed access to a number of your network’s components for its tools to work properly. This includes anything from tracking user behavior and logs to controlling access privileges and application permissions.

An NGFW’s administrative client is the management portal that can be used by network administrators to gain access to the firewall’s configurations.

This is usually presented through an easy-to-use interface that connects the user to the remainder of the firewall environments from the servers and engines to gateways and active monitoring efforts.

Some vendors offer a web-based version of the firewall’s administrative portal that can be accessed remotely through a web browser and can allow access to log files and activity records, often for behavioral analysis.

Depending on the complexity and scope of the network the NGFW is covering, the number of servers under it may fluctuate. They’re the hardware the firewall software needs to run its operations.

A single server, depending on capacity, can host a number of the firewall’s engines and tools, such as monitoring, scanning, VPN deployment, and notifications.

Organizations with widely spread-out networks often opt for dedicated logging servers to manage their data logs, analysis, and any required calculations.

While they shouldn’t be used as the sole method of protection, NGFWs are an essential tool of network security, acting as a smart barrier between the user devices and applications and the public internet.

The value of traditional firewalls tends to end at identifying straightforward and previously identified malware and cyberattack avenues, but NGFWs are capable of employing a variety of technologies to offer more protection some key cyberthreats:

Insider threats are the weak point of traditional firewall systems, as they drive the threat past the security line at the outer parameter of the network. NGFWs use access control, application control, and wide-scale enforcement of security policies to monitor and scan the network traffic incoming, outgoing, and exchanged between endpoints.

Any activity by a malicious network user is immediately detected by the firewall, blocking it before it’s able to leak data or inject any type of malicious code, file, or software into the network’s infrastructure.

See more: How Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) are Used by Softworx, PenChecks Trust, Flex, CNA, and Blackstone: Case Studies

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