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5 Gadgets To Take on An African Safari

The natural beauty and vast wildlife of the African continent calls to many people hoping for new experiences and an exhilarating adventure. Many visitors head to Africa for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the safari, and many come back to experience it again and again. It’s easy to see the attractions of visiting: the opportunity to see large game, walking safaris, private and remote locations, qualified guides, diverse activities and more, all set in a beautiful and diverse scenery. Regardless of whether one is a first time visitor or an old pro at the game, everyone loves to travel in style and capture the best moments of the trip. Here’s some of the gadgets no one should forget on their safari.

Binoculars

If binoculars were made for any single activity, then the safari is definitely the one. While there is opportunity for vehicles to get up close to some animals sometimes, a good pair of binoculars can bring a person closer to the action all the time. Investing in a pair of binoculars will definitely be worth it, whether it’s a classic pair or a premium model that lets one see every bit of the action. Finding quality binoculars is the key; the best pair is one that offers great optics and continues to function even into the twilight hours. Pro tip: if one wear glasses and has different prescriptions in each eye, he or she should make sure to find a pair where the right and left lenses can be adjusted separately.

GoPro

One might argue that there’s really no trip that should be completed without a GoPro. Though one of these rugged cameras certainly isn’t necessary, it’s definitely one of the coolest ways to record the experiences of a safari in the Angama Masai Mara or the Serengeti. The camera is lightweight, durable, extremely versatile, and shoots amazing HD footage and stills, making it perfect for the rugged adventure of the safari. Use it to capture small personal moments or wildlife scenes or mount it to the front of the 4×4 to catch the highlights of the drive.

Headlamp or Body Torch

Safaris often begin before the crack of dawn and last into the twilight hours, so having a hands-free light is definitely something any safari-goer will want to put in their pack. A good headlamp is a great investment for other adventures as well. The LED Lenser H14 Headlamp, for instance, has multiple light setting and a beam that goes 220 meters. Great for those late-night trips to the loo!

Magnetic Tripod

If one undertakes a safari to snap pictures of wildlife, then packing a magnetic tripod is essential for capturing footage from the vehicle. Magnetic tripods can be attached to the side of vehicles, allowing the user to capture things like leopards running alongside the car at any moment. They also come in varieties that offer rubberized rings and foot grips that give the tripod additional stability on rough ground as well as leg joints that allow for 360-degree rotation.

Smartphone + Apps

The smartphone is an essential travel companion, and when heading out on a safari it offers the use of the quick and easy camera as well as a storehouse for electronic guidebooks and even wildlife and safari apps. While a guide is probably going to be present on the trip, an app like Tracking the Wild allows users to document experiences and share all of the amazing wildlife spotting adventures. Furthermore, these apps are designed to help preserve African wildlife and work with various conservation and research organizations.

 

5 Biggest Tech Strides Made By VoIP Technology

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Most people have heard of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology, and many are even vaguely aware that it has something to do with phone calls, but most people have never heard a good explanation of what it really is. This discussion will hopefully remedy that, and point out why the technology is widely considered to be the future of communication. Here are some of the biggest technological strides made by VoIP technology.

What VoIP Is

Voice-over-IP involves having calls travel over a data network like the Internet rather than over traditional phone lines. The “IP” in “VoIP” refers to Internet Protocol, which is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another over the Internet. A Voice-over-IP telephone system converts voice signals into data signals which can then be easily routed anywhere in the world using the infrastructure of the Internet. All that is needed to make this work is a computer connected to the Internet, a digital handset for making calls, and a service to make calls compatible with traditional telephones. VoIP has drastically improved telecommunications the world over, making it far easier to communicate with people across the globe in real time than ever before.

How It Can Be Used

This technology can completely replace an existing phone system without loss of quality or service, and as a matter of fact it is in some ways far more capable than traditional phone services are. For instance, because it is routed over a broadband network, there is sufficient bandwidth to also transmit video signals with the phone call, as long as both parties have a service such as Skype and an inexpensive webcam available. This is just one of the many advantages that VoIP offers compared to standard phone service.

Technical Advances Made by VoIP

Voice-over-IP is a non-proprietary standard agreed upon by hardware and software developers, which means it is not copyrighted and is in the public domain, free to be used by anyone. This is important because, unlike the closed system of circuit-switched technology used in standard phone systems, Voice-over-IP has an open architecture that will encourage new hardware and software development in the future.

Telephone companies charge extra for long distance and international phone calls, and that cost increases the longer a call goes on. By contrast, a Voice-over-IP call carries only the charge imposed by the service vendor. This is typically either a monthly charge, if one don’t buy their equipment, or a one-time equipment cost with no further charges. The bottom line on this is that the cost of making calls is much, much lower with VoIP than with traditional phone services.

As mentioned above, video calls are possible using Voice-over-IP in tandem with video software like Skype, because the VoIP technology sends the video signals to the other party right along with the voice signals. No more trying to coordinate patchy conference calls!

Some sophisticated services are available with Voice-over-IP technology, such as the call-hunting service. This is very appealing, particularly to businesses, because it causes several different phones to be rung in succession until someone picks up, which means that far fewer business calls will be missed. Because it is connected to a computer, a Voice-over-IP system can also send email alerts when the company receive voicemails, and clicking on the email will then play the voice message, which is much more convenient than a traditional voicemail inbox.

The Future of Communication

It seems very likely that Voice-over-IP communications are poised to become the new standard in the future. Because it uses the infrastructure of the Internet and equipment that most individuals and businesses already have, setup costs and ongoing service charges are minimal. Coupled with its low cost are the advantages it offers, like video calls and more sophisticated services. The area that offers the greatest potential for the future is its open architecture, which will allow limitless possibilities for development of new hardware and software that can be added to VoIP technology to make it even more useful.

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last update: March 6, 2015

Lifestyle:

How an Electric Car Works

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With new tax benefits for fully electric cars and the chance never to pay for gas again, many consumers are jumping on the opportunity to own an electric car for the first time. But does the average American know exactly how an electric car functions? Without a standard car’s need for gas and oil, the process may present some confusion. Read on to learn more about how it works.

Components of a Car

While this is a simple concept for many, it’s important to pick apart the functions of a traditional car to show precisely where an electric car differs. The four major components comprising a car include:

  1. An energy source. In a traditional car, this is either gas or diesel.

  2. A container for fuel. For most cars, this is the gas tank.

  3. An engine. In most cars, the cylinders and pistons serve to convert the fuel into power.

  4. A transmission system. A car’s transmission takes the engine’s mechanical power to move the car forward. This includes the wheels, gearbox, and crankshaft.

How an Electric Car Compares

While both an electric and a traditional car serve the same function, the components of the two differ drastically due to their source of fuel. Most obviously, an electric car contains no gas tank. Instead of a gas tank, an electric car uses multiple batteries to hold electric power. The batteries must be plugged in to charge overnight, which works on a traditional power socket. As the car drives forward throughout the day, the battery will gradually lose power.

In the place of an engine, an electric car has at least one electric motor, which it uses to run the transmission. The motor consists of a tight-wrapped wire coil, which spins around inside a casing of powerful magnets. When the coil receives electricity from the battery, it creates a magnetic field, rotating rapidly inside the magnetic casing.  The quickly spinning coil attaches to an axle, which drives the car’s wheels. Certain high-power electric cars have multiple motors, called hub motors – one for each wheel.

Not all electric cars are built equally. Newly designed and created vehicles like the Chevy Spark EV, the Fiat 500E, and the BMW i3, deliver zero to 60 acceleration in a matter of just a few seconds. Similarly, some electric cars offer fuel cells, which are similar to batteries, except that they don’t run down. Supplied by a tank of hydrogen gas, fuel cells convert the gas into electricity to allow the car to run. Other electric cars have solar panels to aid in charging their batteries as the car moves forward.

While electric cars function differently, they all offer the same benefits, which include not only tax credits and major savings on fuel, but also a much greener option. The savings come at a direct benefit to the environment – a win-win solution for all parties involved.

 

Science:

Common Health Ailments of Tech People – And How to Fix Them

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Across multiple fields, the more passionate tech people tend to be more focused on their work than their health. Work is a lot more interesting than health complaints among those wrapped up in their jobs. However, as more people in the country begin to work in the technology field, certain health ailments are beginning to crop up more frequently.

What are some of the health conditions on the rise among tech workers? What can you do to protect yourself?

1. Too Much Sitting

The health effects of spending too much of your life glued to a chair have been in the news recently. This is of particular concern to people who work in the technology field, as many of them work from desks. 18 studies with 800,000 participants all point to the same conclusion: sitting in your chair too much can take years off of your life.

Modern medicine has found sitting to increase risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and more. Upon hearing this news, you may feel powerless. If you are a technology professional working at a desk job, how can you help but sit down for most of your work day?

In fact, even standing up for just part of your day can make an enormous difference in your health. By getting up for even a two minute walk every couple of hours, you are keeping your body from becoming too settled in one position. This helps prevent the above conditions as well as improving your quality of life. If your desk job makes you stiff and achy, taking even a few small breaks can make you feel better.

Some professionals choose to invest in a convertible desk. These can be adjusted to accommodate you sitting as well as standing at work. Switching between the two positions is good for your health.

2. Stress

The workplace looks different today than it did even twenty years ago. As the number of Americans who work in technology jobs increases, so does stress at work. The deadlines, difficult problems, and social environments the technology field presents mean more Americans suffer from job stress than ever.

Stress can have a range of negative effects on your health. Insomnia, depression, pain, and magnesium deficiency are all common side effects of workplace stress.

While stress before a deadline is sometimes hard to avoid, treating the symptoms of stress where you can takes pressure off your body and mind. If stress causes your magnesium levels to drop, you’ll likely experience an amplification of your symptoms – muscle cramps, sleep trouble, and pain. According to Barrington Nutritionals, bone and cardiovascular health are just two of the potential benefits of keeping your magnesium levels high enough.

3. Eye Problems

If you’re staring into a computer screen all day, you may start to experience some trouble with your eyes. Headaches and temporary blurred vision can come from focusing too hard on your screen. While it’s common for your eyesight to deteriorate over time, using your eyes improperly at work can speed up the degeneration of your sight.

Be sure to see your eye doctor regularly to update your glasses prescription. You may also look into downloading an app to your computer that changes the screen brightness according to the time of day. This eases the strain on your eyes, and can even help you sleep better at night.

Conclusion

The technology field continues to grow, and more professionals enter the field every day. Keeping on top of potential health problems which come with your job can help you feel better every day.

 

Lifestyle:

Four Must Have Fishing Gadgets and Gear

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Whether you’re a weekend warrior fisherman reeling a few out of a nearby pond or stream, or a big time sport angler on a Hawaiian fish charter going for a record Marlin, the gadgets and gear you use can dictate your success. Below are four of the best gadgets you’ll want for your next fishing adventure.

Garmin GPSMAP 741XS–$1299.99

Garmin’s new GPSMAP 741XS combination sounder/chartplotter is sure to become the focal point of your vessel’s helm. The unit boasts super fast refresh times of up to ten times per second, advanced sonar support for a wide range of Garmin transducers, the ability to network with other anglers compatible GPSMAP units, and more. This GPSMAP also has compatibility with Garmin’s CHIRP technology, and if the two are paired together Garmin promises sonar imagery so crystal clear you might just find that new favorite secret fishing spot.

Cabela’s Guidewear Bass Angler Outerwear—Prices Vary

Cabela’s Guidewear collection of fishing outerwear is some of the best weather repellent outerwear money can buy. Almost inevitably, rugged outerwear restricts motion and makes essential tasks more difficult, but you just can’t do without it in the wet and cold. Cabela’s Guidewear Bass Angler Outerwear is an attempt to strike a compromise between comfort and freedom of motion. Made with Gore-Tex, the gold standard in waterproof technology for decades, outside moisture is effectively blocked but the fabric still breathable enough that interior moisture can evaporate away, keeping you warm and dry. The true advantage is in Cabela’s articulated sleeves and knees, which afford the wearer a great deal of flexibility in motion.

Flambeau Ultimate Tough ‘Tainer–$12-$17

“A container on a top gear list?” you might ask. Yes, but only because the Tough ‘Tainer series has proven to be a cut above the rest. Take any of your everyday run of the mill tackle containers, put it through its paces, and you will likely quickly begin to see cracked corners, warped dividers, and broken snaps. Everything about these containers really is tough, from the reinforced corners, and rustproof metal parts, to its completely watertight O-ring seal; this box is the most trustworthy item on the market to store your water sensitive fishing gear.

Nautilus CCFX2 Fly Reel–$200-$315

For the avid fly fisherman, Nautilus reels, in particular those of the CCF line have always been respected for their tough, high quality construction. Any variant of the CCFX2 series is a continuation on that proud tradition. Nautilus claims that this new reel has not only twice the drag strength of the old reel (now boasting up to an amazing 20+ pounds of drag strength), but twice the smoothness and half the startup inertia of the old model as well. Features that include a fully sealed construction, TPX brushings, hybrid ceramic bearings, and an oversized drag knob with “infinadjust” drag settings make this a must have for any fly fisherman searching for an edge.

 

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Mobile:

4 Apps For Your Home Remodel

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Remodeling your home is a big process. It’s a big investment, both in time and in money. With all the resources a remodel can take, you don’t want to make a mistake — it’s important to get it right the first time, as there’s sometimes no chance for a do over.

Fortunately, remodeling today is easier than it was even a few years ago because of technological advances. The prevalence of smartphones in today’s world is a trend that’s expected to continue. As a result, there are apps for almost everything — including home improvement.

Looking for some 21st century assistance in remodeling your home? Check out these useful apps.

Best Home Improvement Apps

  1. Photomeasures. When you’re going to make some changes on your home, whatever they are, chances are you’ll need to take some measurements. It’s easy to break out your measuring tape and write down the dimensions. What’s not so easy is finding that piece of paper later. It’s easy to lose tracks of your notes, or get confused about what exactly they refer to. Avoid doing the same work over again with the Photomeasures app. This app takes a photo of the space and allows you to draw the measurements directly on the photo, as well as take notes.

  2. Home Design 3D. Home Design 3D is a popular and versatile app. You can plan the rearranging of your furniture or a new floor plan with this app. Bring your plans to your architect or remodeling company to give them an idea of what you want. Any home maintenance, renovation, repair, or remodeling job works best when the client’s desires are understood; Home Design 3D is a great way to get your ideas across.

  3. Sun Seeker. Your home is going to look different at different times of year and in different weather conditions. When you’re planning to add windows, build a studio, pick a wall color, or any number of remodels, knowing how natural light is going to strike is extremely important to ensuring quality. The Sun Seeker app uses GPS to identify how the sun will come into your home during different times of the day and the year.

  4. ID Wood. Hardwood flooring or cabinets are a beautiful addition to any home. Choosing a type of wood can be tricky; there are many kinds, each with pros and cons. It’s good to do some research before choosing a kind of wood. However, one of the most important parts is how your new flooring will look. If you come across the hardwood floor of your dreams, the ID Wood app can tell you what type of wood you’re looking at.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many home improvement apps available for smartphone users today. If you’re looking to remodel your home, technology can help you get the best possible results.

Navigating the SEO Landscape

SEO has long been the hot topic of online marketing. While some question the relevance of optamizing web content for search engine rankings, other spend millions each day ensuring that their content ranks high with major search engines. Many trying to make a place for themselves among all the organic searches out there try to read websites, such as 10 things that will happen to SEO in 2015 to find the latest insights and booming SEO trends. With all the information about SEO on the web, it is difficult for a person starting out in Internet marketing to know what is hot and what is not. With a little forward thinking, it is certainly possible to zero in on some of the SEO strategies that are up-and-coming and a few old standby techniques that the clever minded keep for their own use.

Keyword Stuffing Is Old News

Although packing pages full of trendy keywords to drive targeted traffic was all the rage in the past, modern search engine algorithms no longer tend to support this fading SEO strategy. The goal of major search engines like Google has been to take a more sammantic approach to optamizing web content page rankings. Instead of using one or two words over and over again in an article or website, more sophisticated LSI standards employ a wider variety of keywords to encourage a better fit to tangential searches.

The Social Media Augmentation

While many people imagine that the content they write and the way they place keywords makes all the difference, it is perhaps not as essential as online marketers imagine. Since major search engines want what is perceived to be high quality content to offer to those doing searches, a websites social media presence is proving to be a more reliable factor to use in SEO algorithms. The idea here is to produce content that is popular, such that content with a wide circulation among social media sites tends to gravitate to the top of the ranking pile. Consequently, online marketers need to focus as much, if not more, on their social media presence than on other SEO page ranking factors.

A Clever SEO Marketing Tactic

While keywords will always tend to matter in some capacity or another to SEO ranking algorithms, knowing how to use keyword phrasing to grab targeted leads is always a strategy that deserves some attention in a SEO campaign. According to an article on WordStream, long-tail keywords will help to give an online marketer access to a more carefully targeted customer searching for their products or services. The idea is that trying to reach a customer with a single popular keyword is somewhat counterproductive. In the case of most products, generic search terms, such as furniture and cars, tend to involve too much competition fighting for higher rankings using such terms. To avoid this problem, choosing a more specific and longer keyword to focus on helps to snag customers who already know precisely what they want. These informed shoppers search using more specific terms. This may imply that you will get less traffic from a high ranking long-tail keyword, but the trade off is that the audience you are targeting has a greater potential to buy.

 

Technology is Changing the Consumer Mindset

Technology is always changing; however, never before has technology evolved at such a swift pace. The capabilities we now have are allowing those in the tech industry to rapidly build upon preexisting ideas and produce revolutionary products and services that transform every area of our lives.

Power to the Consumers

Specifically, changes in technology over the past decade have changed how consumers buy. An entirely new billion-dollar industry has popped up – ecommerce – and buyers are no longer restricted to purchasing goods and services in physical stores. While businesses have benefited from this new sales channel, so have consumers.

Information Overload

The most notable advantage today’s consumers have is access to incredible amounts of information. No longer are you limited to the information retail sales associates and newspapers give. You can find an answer to any question you have with a few strokes on your keyboard.

This ability to research purchase decisions, ask questions, and find answers has made every shopper more prepared. No longer are consumers forced to trust what they’re told. Instead, they can comparison shop and find the best price or quality for themselves. This is raising up an army of smart, sophisticated consumers that demand good deals and flexible terms.

Revolutionizing Industries

It’s especially interesting to note how internet technology has revolutionized industries like real estate. Where you were once forced to hire an agent or look for signs in front yards, you can now browse the market from the comfort of your phone or computer. Websites offer detailed pages with listed amenities, search features, and helpful community information. As a result, most homebuyers already have an idea of what they want before calling an agent.

Disappearing Boundaries

Most notable is that physical boundaries are disappearing. A consumer living in Los Angles can order a product from New York City and expect it to arrive within a week. If he wants it sooner, he can probably order overnight shipping and have it the next day.

This ability to buy what you want, when you want, from wherever you want is transforming the way people buy products. It means you’re never limited by where you live and gives you leverage to find the best prices and terms for everything you buy.

From Buyer to Seller

It’s also interesting to note how easy it has become for buyers to become sellers. With sites like eBay and Amazon, anybody can become a seller with a little intuition and effort. This rise of third-party marketplaces has given other buyers the ability to find good deals on used products. It’s just another example of how new technology has changed the consumer mindset.

What the Future Holds

If the past 10 or 15 years are any sign of the future, we’re in for some incredible technological developments in the coming years. It will be interesting to watch how these technologies change an already complex consumer marketplace.

 

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