Posted on June 13, 2013 by delmasian
High school graduations are upon us and with it the wish list of tech gifts to ease transition into college life. These are a few worth looking into:
Ultrabooks are hot right now. The ability to function both as a laptop and as a touchscreen tablet make ultrabooks a favorite among college students. Look for one with a long battery life, ample storage and a lightweight yet durable design. One example: Dell’s XPS 12 offers Gorilla Glass and carbon fiber design, an 8-hour battery life and weighs in at about 3 pounds.
Charging options are vital. Look for charging stations that allow you to charge multiple devices at once. Flexible power strips are especially handy in tight dorm rooms. Also look for strips with multiple USB charging slots. Portable rechargers can also come in handy for students who need to recharge on the go. Digital Treasures Power Flask can offer portable charging for up to three devices at a time.
Backup storage is important for all those photos from dorm parties…err, I mean class notes and research papers. Consider a year’s subscription to cloud backup services such as Dropbox or BackBlaze. Flash drives and portable hard drive backups are also a great option.
Protective cases for those devices is also a must. For the most adventurous students our there, consider the Hitcase, a waterproof, shockproof case for the iPhone. It enhances the existing camera with a built-in wide angel lens. It also comes with a helmet mount to take video while mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing or just about anything else you can think of.
Filed under: Education | Tagged: graduation, tech gifts, Ultrabooks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 12, 2013 by delmasian
Today’s parents of young children have grown up with technology and in recent surveys, are shown to be more accepting of technology use as an integral part of their family life than the past generation. Are smartphones and tablets the new electronic babysitter? Not as much as you might expect. Most parents report that they are more likely to turn to toys, books or an activity to sooth a fussy child rather than hand them a media device. The one concern that parents raised was the negative impact on their child’s physical activity. Television and video games are viewed less favorably that computer and tablet use. Parents tend to see video games as lowering their child’s attention span while tablet and computer use is a more positive influence on creativity, math and reading skills. This shift in views has lead to an increase not only in apps geared towards young children but also to tablets designed specially for the youngest of users.
Filed under: Education, News | Tagged: parent advice, technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 10, 2013 by delmasian
It’s easy to do. One wrong click is sometimes all it takes to give phishers access to your computer and/or your personal information. Even the most tech savvy people can be fooled by legitimate looking links and online forms. But if you think you’ve been a victim of a phishing attack, you need to take steps to recover. First, update your virus scanning software and run a full scan of your system. Secondly, if you’ve disclosed any personal information, alert the three major credit reporting agencies to put a watch on your credit. This will signal potential creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft. Finally, change you passwords to your social media and email accounts. This will prevent hackers from accessing your contact lists and scamming your contacts.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: hackers, Phishing attack, virus | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2013 by delmasian
Taking credit card payments with your iPhone is pretty cool, especially in movable settings like canteen trucks, vendor fairs and trade shows. But Square has added a new dimension to their line. The Square Stand works with your iPad and allows you not only to take credit card payments but to use your iPad as a fully functioning register. That’s right, the cash drawer dinosaur isn’t extinct yet. The Square Stand offers a USB hub that also allows you to connect other third party options such as a bar code scanner or receipt printer. The Stand can be screwed to the countertop for added security. The unit tips for customers to sign, add tips or enter other information such as signing up for push marketing. The unit retails for $299 and utilizes the iPad dock rather than the headphone jack.
Filed under: Education, News | Tagged: credit card payments, Square, The Stand | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2013 by delmasian
Brownouts and rolling blackouts are becoming a way of life, particularly during the summer when the demand on the country’s power grids often exceed supply. Reducing that demand has often during peak hours would alleviate many issues including brown- outs. Up to now, reducing demand has been through appeals to consumers to avoid using high energy appliances during peak hours. Those include dishwashers, washing machines, and air conditioners.
Now a new smart thermostat, aptly named Nest, will adjust itself during those peak demand hours. Nest goes far beyond a programmable thermostat. It features artificial intelligence and an Internet connection. Local power companies in Texas started employing Beta testers in a new Rush Hour Rewards program. The idea is to allow the power company to send out a power reduction request during peak hours. Nest will automatically adjust, allowing the temperature to climb very slowly, which most homeowners don’t even notice, alhtough they always have the ability to override if it gets too warm. What they do notice is a reduction in their electric bill.
When the demand exceeds a local company’s generating supply, they must purchase it from other generating stations. During summer months, when demand far exceeds supply, the cost of electricity can jump very quickly. While power providers pass on some of that cost to consumers, the government has a cap in place that limits how much of that cost is passed on. The hope is that power companies and consumers can use Nest to work together to ease the strain on the power grid, which in turn leads to fewer brownouts and lowers the cost of providing electricity.
Filed under: Education, News | Tagged: internet, Nest, thermostat | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 17, 2013 by delmasian
Apple has always been notorious for keeping tight controls on all things Apple. As the developers of AppGratis found out recently, that includes apps found in the App Store. App Gratis was pulled from the App Store on grounds that it violated two developer guidelines. Apple said the content too closely resembled or could be confused with the App Store and that it violated rules about Push notifications, which are not to be used for marketing or advertising. App Gratis countered that users have the ability to opt out of the once daily notification featuring the Daily Deal and that their content bore little resemblance to the App Store. Apple watchers see the removal of AppGratis as an authoritative move by Apple to restrict content. AppGratis allowed users to find free versions of apps found in the App Store. Thus far, Apple has closely monitored so-called app discovery apps which often employ pay for ranking practices and this move seems to indicate a crackdown may be imminent.
Filed under: Announcements, Opinions | Tagged: Apple, apps App Store | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 24, 2013 by delmasian
The Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt were captured on mobile tech devices of all types. Cell phones, tablets, video surveillance and even video conferencing captured the events as they unfolded. All that information was a boon to law enforcement. Enhanced video and facial recognition software aided sharp-eyed investigators who quickly zeroed in on the two men with backpacks. The general public quickly shared photos and videos which narrowed down the suspects rapidly. All of this would have been unheard of just a few years ago. At this point in time, facial recognition and video review is used almost exclusively as a reaction to an event, a gathering of forensic evidence. As the technology becomes more advanced, look for a more proactive use of facial recognition which allows first responders to spot potential threats before they happen.
Filed under: News, Stories & Experiences | Tagged: Boston Marathon, communication, Tech savy | Leave a Comment »