Building a Better Battery

On April 27, 2012, in General, Uncategorized, by cdeal

Your smartphone is fantastic. It can steer you to that trendy new fusion restaurant if you are lost. It can play your favorite sitcom as you head to work on the train. It can play your favorite song at the touch of a button. But it can’t do any of this if its battery is dead.

A Better Battery on the Way?

Luckily, a better battery might soon be on the way, due to the efforts of a team of engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University. A recent story reports that researchers at this Big 10 university are attempting to develop a battery that lasts longer and can recharge itself in mere minutes. Smartphone users across the country ought to be grateful.

Northwestern’s researchers have found a way to increase the charge of lithium-ion batteries by more then 10 times the current lithium-ion battery life. They are even boasting that after 150 charges, which they believe represents about a year of operation, the new lithium-ion battery will be 5 times more efficient than batteries at present.

A Charged Battery for a Week

Ultimately, this new cell phone battery could stay charged for a whole week, even with all the apps we use daily. And the charging time? Less than 15 minutes. That will sure make our lives easier, but more than that, this new battery technology could lead to smaller and more efficient batteries for electric cars.  This could therefore, have a dramatic effect on our reliance on fossil fuels.

Batteries Powering Technological Change

While this new battery technology will have a significant impact on many aspects of our life, it will not be offered to the general public for three to five years, says Northwestern researchers. Batteries tend to be over looked when we think of innovative technologies, but the more we depend upon mobile devices the more important they become.  Breakthroughs in battery technology may in fact hold the key to an even greater technological movement.

 

Bing is Worth Another Look

On April 25, 2012, in Uncategorized, by NorrisLula33

Google is the household name with regards to searching the Web. However, it might not be the greatest search engine out there. Microsoft introduced Bing, a competitor, in 2009 and it should not be dismissed. Although many Internet users still use Google as their primary search engine, Bing has numerous features that make for a robust searching experience.

Taking Another Look at Bing

When searching on Bing you may get more information about your search results then you do from Google. There is a navigation panel on the left that features related searches; this can help you refine your search if you didn’t get the information you were seeking. There’s also a “search history” navigation panel to help you easily navigate to past pages if needed. This feature can be toggled off and on.

Bing Goes Beyond Search Results

Bing also brings more than just search results. Say users search for websites about pop star Lady Gaga. Bing will also bring up Lady Gaga’s newest videos. For users looking for a flight out of town, Bing beats Google easily. The search engine utilizes something it calls Farecast Technology in its Bing Travel site. This lets users quickly locate the most affordable airfare to specific destinations.

Bing Video Search Shines

Bing shines, too, when it comes to searching for videos. Before searching, users can tell Bing how long they would like their videos to be, what screen size they’d like them to be, and what image resolution they’d prefer. Users can start their videos merely by hovering their cursors over a screen capture.

These are some reasons why computer users shouldn’t disregard Bing. While Google is a household name, it’s not the only search engine available.

 

How the Hybrid Cloud Differs from the Public Cloud

On April 20, 2012, in Uncategorized, by MENDEZ21Dianne

Cloud computing is very popular these days. The cloud is basically a group of remote servers where people can store and access their data. People can store music, powerful programs, and essential files in the cloud. As information stored in the cloud isn’t stored on personal computers this saves tons of computer memory. The outcome of this is that people gain access to more data without having to use up space on their computer, which may slow it down.

Not All Clouds are the Same

However; there are different types of clouds. You have the public cloud, the private cloud, and the hybrid cloud. Most of us use the public cloud, businesses that want to use cloud services to store very private data can choose to use a private cloud, and the hybrid cloud is a combination of the two.

For a business to provide a hybrid cloud, they store a client’s most confidential data on their in-house private cloud, and data that requires less defense on a public cloud. For example, archived files and large programs.

The Hybrid Cloud Approach Makes Sense

Taking a hybrid cloud approach to data storage allows businesses to take advantage of the space-saving features of the public cloud without also exposing their sensitive current data to third-party providers. To paraphrase, the hybrid cloud provides businesses with protection, cost-savings, and efficiency.

Because of this it’s not surprising that the hybrid cloud is so popular. Businesses these days have too much data to store on their own servers but they don’t want the security risk that can come with the public cloud. Utilizing the hybrid cloud they can keep space in their systems free while protecting their data.

 

Remote Workers: Benefits and Managerial Tips

On April 18, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Sutton33Cherie

A growing number of employees these days work remotely. This is possible on account of advancements in technology. The rewards are many for both employee and employer. Employers can spend less money as they have less people that need space in the workplace. Employees that work remotely are often more productive; they spend less time commuting, and they have the flexibility to adjust their work around their life instead of working 9 hours straight, which can lead to burnout.

Remote Worker Challenges

One worry that lots of employers have when deciding to hire remote workers is, how can they monitor the volume of work they do? How do they know they are really working and not just playing games on their computer all day long?

By setting sensible deadlines employers can monitor their remote workers successfully. This is a change in managerial strategy; it puts the focus on the goal rather then the amount of time that the employee works. In the end, employees are the only ones who know when they perform most optimally, even if it is from midnight to 4am.

Setting Remote Worker Deadlines

Employers might tell their remote workers that they must turn in a specified amount of work every Wednesday and Friday. This makes sure that remote employees are doing their work. Employers may also schedule regular updates by phone, video chat, or through instant messaging, in which workers can explain how far along they are with certain tasks. Some employers may opt to require that their remote workers spend a minimum of one day a week, or two days a month, on site. This gives these workers face time with their managers, something which helps everyone stay focused on upcoming deadlines and goals.

Off-Site Not a Permanent Condition

Employers need to remember, too, that remote workers don’t have to stay that way. If employers see that their off-site workers are not meeting deadlines or are turning in sub-par work, they can require that these workers return to the office on a full-time basis. Trust continues to be the key element of a remote working relationship. Organisations must place some trust in their workers that they’ll complete their jobs on time. Workers must demonstrate that they are deserving of this trust by hitting their deadlines, turning in quality work, and responding quickly to phone calls or email messages.

 

The Best Smartphone Apps for Business People on the Go

On April 13, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

You manage many projects simultaneously, every second of your day is booked, and you feel as if you are on the road more then you are at home. You don’t have time for smartphone apps that waste time, and you don’t have the time to waste to dig through thousands to uncover the few that will save you time. Fortunately, we have found some apps for you. Listed here are 5 apps certain to simplify your life.

Top 5 Business Apps

  1. WhosHere: WhosHere permits you to locate freelance contractors in your area to help you complete projects. For instance, if you wish to find a freelance illustrator in Philadelphia to close out your latest ad campaign, you can send out a search through your smartphone. Then you’re able to send free text messages or calls to the professionals who reply to your search.
  2. Locale: It is embarrassing when your phone goes off in the middle of a movie, but what about in the middle of a board meeting? This never has to happen again if you use Locale. It allows you to choose specific phone settings determined by location. So when you enter your office or the library your phone automatically goes to vibrate.
  3. WaveSecure: This service lets you track your phone, lock it, and backup your information remotely. This is useful for business travelers who are worried they may loose their phone in an unknown city.
  4. Bump: If you’re in sales you must collect contact information quickly. With Bump all you have to do is touch two phones together to exchange information, forget about post-tradeshow data entry.
  5. Scan2PDF Mobile: This app will let you scan reports, receipts, or any other documents on the run with your smartphone’s camera. Then you’re able to turn them into color PDFs and email them to your computer’s desktop.
 

Constant Connectivity: When Should You Unplug

On April 11, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Mooney28Geraldine

Do you remember a time when you took your dog for a walk without texting, or enjoyed a game with your friends without checking your email? It was called downtime and it was good for you. In this age of connectivity it seems like that may be a thing of the past. Nowadays having our devices with us at all times is not unusual, but is it healthy?

Our devices have clearly made our lives easier. We can get directions at the touch of a button. Find the closest restaurant in minutes and Google the answer to a question with ease and speed.

Nevertheless, all this connectivity does come with a price. We scarcely have time to be alone with our ideas. Some social experts have pondered if our continuous connectivity and the increased pressure to always be working—or playing—may cause the end of deep, philosophical thinking among humans.

That’s a huge question, but there’s an even more important question that you should think about: Is your constant connectivity healthy? When should you unplug from your tablet, smartphone, and iPod?

It’s not healthy to constantly be working. It’s just as unhealthy to always be in search of the next bit of entertainment, gossip, or tweet from a friend. Simply put, the body needs time to rest, to reflect, to think. If you find that you can not go a few minutes without checking your e-mail, sending a text, or Tweeting a friend, perhaps it’s time to unplug.

If you find, too, that your constant connectivity is hurting your relationships with friends, family members, or your spouse, it’s time to switch off the computer and put smartphone on silent. It can be all too easy to plug in and turn off. After all, making real human conversation is a more challenging task than surfing the Web or updating your Facebook page.

If you find that you are rarely with no electronic gadget in your hand, think about unplugging, at least for a short while. You will probably find that working less makes you more productive and less stressed.

 

Five Excel Tips to Impress Your Boss

On April 6, 2012, in Uncategorized, by cdeal

You’d love to get that promotion, or maybe you are hunting for that elusive raise. Maybe you simply want to secure your job in this down economic time. But whatever the motive, you are looking for ways to impress your boss.

Well, you could use Excel. Excel is a very robust program; there is a lot to master. We aren’t going to discuss all you can do with Excel here, but you will find out a few methods to improve your efficiency and maybe get some acknowledgement as well.

  • Hiding Information: You might wonder why you would want to hide particular information in a spreadsheet. Well, suppose the spreadsheet which includes all your data with regards to the company also has everyone’s salary. That is confidential information that you don’t want to reveal at the meeting. Simple hide the column or row by clicking the related number or letter to highlight it, then right-click on that highlighted row or column and choose the Hide option in the popup menu. You can then Unhide the row or column in the same manner once the meeting has ended.
  • Timestamping: You are able to attach a fixed date and time — that will never change — to your Excel spreadsheets thanks to your computer’s “Ctrl” key. To put a fixed date into a spreadsheet cell, hold Ctrl while you press your computer’s semicolon key. To place the present time into a cell, hold down your computer’s Ctrl and Shift keys while pressing the semicolon.
  • A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: You can spruce up a boring spreadsheet with Excel’s Themes option. You will find this option in Excel’s Ribbon. Simply click on it, and you’ll discover a variety of different fonts and colors that you can use on your previously uninteresting spreadsheets.
  • Tracking Trends: This is known as Sparklines and is only available in the latest version of Excel. It allows you to create charts that show trends in the data in your spreadsheet. This can be helpful, for instance, if you want to quickly see how many software bundles your company’s salespeople sold in the first half of last year.
  • Conditional Formatting: With conditional formatting, you can instantly change the look of spreadsheet cells that meet certain conditions. For instance, a cell showing that product sales rose by more than 100 percent in a given month might take on a different color so that it quickly sticks out.
 

New year, New Tech Security Challenges

On April 4, 2012, in Uncategorized, by RENEMosley23

Technology is always changing and adapting. So, unfortunately, are cyber-criminals. MIT’s Technology Review website not long ago presented its list of the biggest technology security hazards of 2012. If you spend much of your life surfing the web or communicating with your friends through social media sites, you should be curious about this list. Knowing what’s on it can protect you and your computer in 2012.

Stolen, Spoofed Certificates

One major issue the article focuses on is stole or faked certificates. Certificates are utilized by websites that you log into, like your bank, that prove the site can be trusted. In 2011 the faking of these was a popular strategy used by cyber-criminals and it is thought to be a continuing problem in 2012.

A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?

Sites use certificates as a security measure more than any other means. If they are no longer perceived as trustworthy it could affect everyone, from the consumer, to the large company that is charged with protecting your data.

Another common security concern is what is known as “Hacktivism”. Cyber-criminals look at this as activism through hacking, hence the name. Organizations like Anonymous and LulzSec target large businesses that they believe are guilty of wrongdoing. Additionally they target companies to show the susceptibility and weakness of them. Technology Review believes that groups like these will continue “hacktivism” for a long time.

Home Automation

The growing popularity of home automation also creates security risks in 2012. As Technology Review writes, an increasing amount of automation systems connect alarm systems, thermostats, lights, and even the locks to homes’ front doors to the web. Think of the damage that hackers can do should they break into these systems.