Extend the Life of Your Smartphone Battery

On June 29, 2012, in Uncategorized, by ZelmaHudson20

Smartphones are wonderful tools. But there’s one weakness that almost every smartphone shares: short battery life. This is a frustrating problem. As you’re logging onto the Web, looking at your e-mail messages, and making phone calls, you’re draining your phone’s battery. With many of the top smartphones on the market, you’re fortunate to make it home after the workday with enough battery life left to fit in one quick call for take-out food.

The problem comes down to this: Smartphones do too much. And by doing so, they consume more than their fair share of power. There are steps, though, you can take to enhance the life of your smartphone’s battery. By shutting off some of your phone’s extra features, you may be able to squeeze enough juice out of your battery to keep your smartphone humming the entire day.

Dimming that smartphone screen

You may not realize this, but keeping your screen at its full brightness setting drains the battery quickly. An easy way to stop this rapid drain is to lower the screen brightness to a level that is still comfortable for you. Your screen don’t have to be as bright as the sun.

Screen lighting

You can save battery power, too, by adjusting how long your screen stays lit after receiving an input like a screen tap. The longer your screen stays lit, the harder it is on your battery life.

Bluetooth

One more thing you may not know is that Bluetooth devices are a continuing drain on your battery. They actively search for signals coming in and this uses up your smartphone’s power. If you realize you aren’t going to receive calls for a lengthy period, like in a theatre or a meeting, turn your Bluetooth off. This will lengthen your smartphone’s battery, at least until you get home.

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Clear Your Inbox of Spam

On June 27, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Most of us get a lot of spam, but we don’t need to waste our time sifting through it on a daily basis. By using filters, we can do a lot to regulate what gets into our inbox.

The Power of Filters

First, you could create a whitelist filter. Many email services provide users with filtering options. You can use these options to create filters that leave important email messages untouched while sending everything else into a secondary, less-important email folder. Through the judicious use of filters, you can send email messages from certain senders to your main inbox. Those coming from other users – the ones that you do not think are quite as necessary – will automatically be shuttled to other folders. You can then check these messages at your leisure.

A More Subtle Serving of Spam

Have you heard of bacn? It is a much more subtle type of spam compared to the discount Rolex emails. These are typically things you have opted into such as catalogs and coupons from stores you frequent. But, while you opted in at some time, you may not want to receive these anymore.

A very simple way to get these out of your inbox is to create a filter that automatically sequesters emails with the word “unsubscribe” in them. The CAN SPAM act mandates that companies have an unsubscribe option in their marketing emails. Therefore, all emails you have opted into will have unsubscribe in them somewhere.

These two ways of using filters will clean up your inbox. Rather then having to sort through your inbox each and every day, spend a few minutes and set up these filters. It’ll make life easier for you in the end.

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We’ve all had this experience: We log onto our computers at work and something is no longer working. Maybe we aren’t receiving our e-mail messages. Maybe our Web browser has slowed to a crawl. Maybe the pc crashes every 10 minutes. No matter the problem, it makes it extremely hard for you to complete your projects. You now have one alternative: Call your IT department. Regrettably, that can often cause as many headaches as your present computing problem.

Be honest: It’s not always easy to communicate with your IT department personnel. The staffers employed in IT undoubtedly know a whole lot more about computers, Web browsing and general technology than you do. Because of this, it sometimes sounds as if your company’s IT personnel are speaking another language. And when this happens, it’s not always easy to communicate your computer problem so that you can get quick results.

In order to make this interaction easier for you and your IT professional, you can follow these tips. They will also help speed up the process of finding a solution.

No Reason to be Intimidated

Just because they are extremely knowledgeable in the realm of computers doesn’t mean you should stumble your way through your description of the issue. You might be using the correct lingo, but if you are too intimidated to explain it well, the issue won’t get fixed. You might even learn something about computers if you keep the communication going.

Screenshots

Secondly, take screenshots when possible. If you can show your IT personnel precisely what has gone wrong with your computer, they will be able to effortlessly tackle the problem. If you can’t do that, try to duplicate the problem in front of IT workers when they arrive at your desk. If certain actions, for instance, cause your computer to crash, carry out those actions while your IT workers are present.

A Written Report

Finally, keep a written report of your problems. If you notice that the same issues are taking place if you check your messages, write this down in a notebook. Make a new entry every time the issue reappears. This, too, will help you communicate your computing difficulties with your IT personnel.

Hopefully these tips will help you next time your computer crashes and you need to work with your IT department. Helpful and clear communication is the most effective way to get you back on your feet and working.

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Tablet Computers Can Help Your Small Business

On June 20, 2012, in Uncategorized, by ZelmaHudson20

Running a small business is no easy task, and you want to make sure you are doing as much as you can to make it successful. You have a website and a blog, and social media sites. Now you hear that you also need a tablet computer to make your small business profitable. But you are not sure. They are costly and you wonder if tablets are simply another tech fad. How can they help your small business?

Reasons You Need a Tablet

It may come as a surprise, but using a tablet can be very beneficial to your small business. We have outlined several of the reasons below.

  1. Amazing presentations: Tablets provide you with easy access to your presentation and portfolios. You don’t need to wait for a computer to boot up. You can easily show your potential client what you do. These un-wasted minutes may be the distinction between a new client and a missed opportunity.
  2. State-of-the-Art: Being up-to-date in the world of technology can wow possible clients. And, nowadays, tablets seem to be on the cutting edge of technology. This is applicable to most fields, but especially in the fields of marketing or technology. People are reassured when a person who works with technology is up on the latest and greatest.
  3. Information at your fingertips: Tablets make it easy for you to always have the information you need at your fingertips. If a possible client wants to compare your prices to a competitor’s, you can pull it up. Or if you’re in real estate, you can access the prices of current houses in a different area efficiently. Having this sort of access to information means you are able to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information to people, which makes you an educated resource.
  4. Signing documents is a breeze: To close a deal, you may need your clients to sign necessary documents. Thanks to several easy-to-use applications that you can download to your tablet, there’s no longer any need to fuss with tons of paper that can be easily lost. Alternatively, pull up your documents on your tablet and have your customers sign the paperwork right on the screen. You can then quickly email it to the people that need it.
 

When new technology is released, we snatch it up, and a month later we can’t imagine what life was like without it. But consider the technology that it replaced? We tend to forget about it as it fades into history. For instance, the telephone: our phones today do so much and landlines are quickly getting eliminated. Yes, many people still rely on them but it’s not difficult to envision a near future where they’ll be gone completely from households.

It’s an intriguing evolution that technology goes through. So we thought we would highlight a handful of the technologies that may disappear in the next ten years.

Fax Machines: Most people hate sending faxes; it is old technology. There was a time when it was ground breaking, but don’t be surprised if this is one technology that quickly ends up in the “remember this?” classification.

Newspaper Classified Ads: The Huffington Post recently listed newspaper classified ads as an endangered species. That’s primarily due to the online garage sale that is Craigslist. By giving people the ability to advertise their used futons for free, Craigslist delivered a fatal body blow to newspaper-classified sections across the country.

Film-Based Cameras: People love film, and it has taken a while to phase it out, but there’s no denying that the digital camera changed photography permanently. Kodak has felt this transition more then most, so much in fact that the company is no longer making cameras. People like digital cameras because they can save their photos easily and make prints without having to save negatives that decay. We shall see how much longer film-based cameras last, but they are definitely on their way out.

The Calculator Watch: In its short-lived life; the calculator watch was a well-loved item. It made it easy to always have a calculator handy when you needed one. When cell phones with built in calculators came into existence, the calculator watch went out the window. It’s pretty obvious why PCWorld listed it as an obsolete technology.

The Video Arcade: Lots of people grew up playing games in their local arcade so it’s unfortunate that these may be on their way out as well. But with the frequency that game systems improve and the inherent expense that it takes to run an arcade, most gamers just opt for their home systems where they can play in comfort.

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Advancements in Retina Display

On June 13, 2012, in Uncategorized, by NorrisLula33

The world of technology is continually improving. So to stay in the game, the leaders in the industry, Apple, Microsoft, and Google, are always improving their products.

The Power of the Retina Display

A great example of a business improving their products is Apple. They have made considerable improvements to their iPhone 4 and Retina display. With this technology Apple was able to present its clients with the best quality video and clearest images that have been on the market. According to an article on Digital Trends the screen boasts a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. But Apple is not quitting there as the company plans on once again bettering this technology.

Arming the MacBook Pro with High-Tech Visuals

What’s Apple’s next big move? It’s now planning to release a MacBook Pro line with 15-inch displays that boast a resolution of 2,880-by-1,800 pixels. This should produce images that are twice as sharp as those of existing MacBook Pro models. The goal is to increase the density of pixels to a degree where the human eye can no longer identify individual pixels. When this occurs, images are made of smooth, continuous tones. They no longer look like a grid of dots.

Not a New Technology

An interesting fact is that this is not actually a new technology. The U.S. military has been utilizing it in their flight simulators for quite a while. And IBM uses retina technology in their massive super-computers. However, until now, the technology hasn’t been available on the mass market. You can bet that after this next advancement is released, consumers will be anxiously anticipating the next advancement. So, Apple has the right idea to stay ahead of its competitors as far as screen technology goes.

 

Working for Home: Prevent Burnout

On June 8, 2012, in Uncategorized, by cdeal

Workers who trudge into an office every day envy those who work from home. After all, the work-from-home crowd does not have to battle rush-hour traffic, hear office gossip, or smell the day-old fish that their fellow employees are microwaving in the office cafeteria.

What these office workers don’t understand is that working from home has its own issues. Specifically, it can be hard for them to shut off their workday. It’s not uncommon for professionals who work from home to look and see that it’s midnight and they’re still creating reports. Maintaining a normal work/life balance can be a complicated balancing act for those who work from home.

Luckily, there are some things people who work from home can do to enable them to keep the balance between there personal home life and their work home life.

  1. Set up a time for your “close of business”: And stick to it. Whether its 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. you ought to resolve to shut off your computer and close your office door for the night. Resist the temptation to write one more paragraph or make yet another sales call. Also, be sure that your workday is a normal 8 or 9-hour day.
  2. Do something for yourself: When your day ends, make sure you do something for yourself. It doesn’t need to be much. Watch a TV show, exercise, or read something non-work related. This habit can help you no matter when you have set your workday to end. This can be something simple: Maybe you want to relax on the couch and stream a few episodes of your favorite sitcom. Or it may be a bigger deal, such as a dinner date with a friend or a trip to the movies. Taking a mental break will help get you mentally out of your work.
  3. Leave the house: It’s easy as a work-from-homer to spend all of your time at home. You look up, see it’s the end of the week, and realize that the only time you left your house was to drive to the grocery store when you ran out of cereal. Don’t turn into a work-from-home shut-in. It’s simply not healthy.

Overwork leads to stress. Whether you work from home, in an office, or out in the field, the key to retaining your sanity is to reserve non-work time for yourself. But what if you can’t force yourself to shut off the workday? Then it might be time to consider returning to the office, where there’s always someone around to shut off the lights and chase you out of your cubicle.

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Look into the Future with Google Patents

On June 6, 2012, in Uncategorized, by ZelmaHudson20

Interested in a smartphone that flashes LED lights at you when you have an incoming call? How about a mug that looks like a crayon? Good news. Inventors have filed patents on both of these items. You can even view them online by visiting Google Patents.

The Wonderful World of Google Patents

Most people haven’t heard of Google Patents, but it is a pretty cool service. It lets you explore U.S. patents both past and present. As you might guess, not all patents are created equal. They range from incredibly serious, like medical patents, to ridiculously goofy, like an electronic pickle jar game. Finding unique patents is as easy as searching for something in Google Patents. It’s incredible just how many fascinating inventions are out there!

Organizing the World’s Information

In describing Google Patents, Google writes that the service is part of the company’s larger mission to organize the world’s information. All of the info on Google Patents comes from the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, better known by the acronym USPTO. Google can present this information because all patents issued in the United States are part of the public domain. What’s most impressive about Google Patents is its breadth. The service only shows U.S. patents – not international ones – issued from the 1790s to the present. This means that searchers can wade through 8 million patents and 3 million patent applications with the Google-provided service.

A Patent History Lesson

The site also provides an interesting history of technology advancements. You can see Alexander Graham Bell’s 1880 patent for an automatic short-circuiter for telephones or a patent granted in 1889 to Thomas Edison for the incandescent electric lamp. If you have not yet visited Google Patents take a look. The site provides a good look at where we’ve been technologically as a country and where we’re going.

 

OpenStreetMap vs. Google Maps

On June 1, 2012, in Uncategorized, by NorrisLula33

Google has been the leader of online mapping with Google Maps for awhile. But that could change as the people behind OpenStreetmap try to compete for the title of the most-used web map service. This has created quite a stir and the company is only 8 years old!

OpenStreetMap is a digital world map, which allows users to map out directions or get a clear picture of a city they’re touring. Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is free and it is growing in popularity. It may prove to be a threat to Google Maps. In March it boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users.

OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity

At the begging of March, Apple moved from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for its mobile software for locations outside the United States. And more recently Apple left Google Maps behind and switched to OpenStreetMap for the creation of the photos on a new photo management app for iOS. This was possibly the clearest sign that OpenStreetMap could be a true rival for Google Maps.

Additionally, the widely used social media service Foursquare moved from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap. Part of the source of OpenStreetMap’s popularity is the fact that its registered members are able to update maps based upon their own experiences. This is the concept behind the immensely popular Wikipedia. Readers, of course, can edit the online encyclopedia entries that make up Wikipedia. It’s tough to imagine that Wikipedia would become the cultural touchstone that it is if not for this user involvement. That same kind of involvement is something that OpenStreetMap has included since its birth eight years ago.

Google No Longer Invulnerable?

Taking on Google is normally an unwise decision, but the search giant has recently suffered some defeats. For example, its Google+ social media service hasn’t yet emerged as a serious rival to either Facebook or LinkedIn. Will OpenStreetMap deal Google another defeat? That’s difficult to tell, but for now it’s clear that OpenStreetMap is making gains and growing in popularity.