Listening to the same old songs and commercials being played on the radio stations we often listen to in our cars just won’t cut it anymore. Many of us love technology and wish there was more offered for our vehicles, but without the hassle of connecting wires and using tools. We enjoy uploading songs to our iPhones and other Apple devices, but usually can only play them with an mp3 connecting while driving in our cars.
Archive » 2012 » December
The tech environment that has been growing around us for a few decades isn’t fair. It often rewards the innovators more than the creators and those who put in the effort to launch a new product or start a new segment are often left in the cold. Such is the case with the three tech companies below who changed the world forever despite not being with us at this time thanks to financial challenges.
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Cars are second in expense only to homes. Unfortunately, most don’t last as long as they could. Car owners can stretch their investments, lower their expenses and make those purchases pay off by maximizing the life of their cars. There are a number of ways consumers can get more performance and reliability out of their autos. Utilizing these ten technologies will help:
1. Interactive Calendars
The first thing people should do when bringing home a new (or new-to-them) car is read the owner’s manual. Figure out the recommended maintenance schedule and mark it in the phone or computer calendar. Setting up automatic reminders to prevent regular work from going ignored will go a long way in preserving a car’s more and less expensive parts.
2. LED Pressure-Sensitive Tire Caps
Customers who keep enough pressure in their tires will reduce wear and tear on their entire vehicles. These inexpensive tire caps twist on as normal, but begin to light up when pressure is low.
3. Portable Tire Pump
Drivers can’t always rely on gas stations or tire shops to have quality air pumps available. Smart consumers invest in small, portable pumps they can plug into their dash.
4. Groupon and Similar Services
It’s easy to put off those big jobs, like a transmission or radiator flush. Customers who keep an eye on sites like Groupon can make sure to get great deals on necessary maintenance that otherwise might be forgotten.
5. Automatic Car Washes
Keeping a car’s exterior clean between detailings is important to keep scratches and rust at bay. Using high-quality products during periodic in-depth treatments, like cenano car polish, will prevent major damage.
6. High-pressured Canned Air
Keeping a car’s interior clean is of utmost importance when keeping features like air conditioning and defrost working well. Drivers should spray out small, dusty places on a regular basis to prevent build-up.
6. High-powered Vacuum
Interior dirt can lead to exterior damage, as well as advanced wear and tear on upholstery and glass. Responsible car owners can extend the life of their interiors with regular use of a high-powered car vac.
7. Driver Tracking System
Starting with the fuel efficiency craze a few years ago, companies began making devices drivers could plug into their cars to monitor things like driving habits. The right monitor can help thoughtful consumers fine-tune their skills to maximize fuel usage and keep their cars safe.
8. Heated Windshield Scrapers
Scratches on glass can immediately dull even the newest car’s windshield. Drivers using heated scrapers can plug them into their cars and let electricity do the brunt of the work while preserving their cars’ good lucks.
9. Online Car Insurance Estimators
Having the right car insurance can mean the difference between affording repairs or going without. Customers can save big by estimating their costs with an online insurance search engine so they always have the coverage they deserve.
Having the right mechanic and body shop on speed dial makes an incredible difference in the life of a car. Owners can read announcements and reviews of local service providers on search engines like Yelp! and Angie’s List.
We all know and love the resourceful astromech droid, R2-D2, who appeared in all six of the Star Wars films. As shown throughout the movies, this loveable robot character possesses many talents, such as being a starships mechanic and fighter pilot’s assistant. He has served Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker; and now, R2-D2 can serve you by becoming the coolest home telephone you will ever own.
It’s the worst fear of every business owner – being sued. And given that we live in a “sue-happy” America, it’s not an un-based fear. Being sued is the newest “get-rich-quick” scheme, and it is businesses that pay the price. Of course, sometimes the businesses actually are at fault, and the claim isn’t unreasonable. However, here are some tips for businesses on how to avoid being the target of a lawsuit.
- Document, document, document
It’s very important for businesses to keep everything in writing – from contracts to employment agreements to memorandums of understanding. That way, if there is a dispute, there are accurate records of what was promised.
When I was in school, some professors wouldn’t distribute their Powerpoint slides because they claimed it was their “intellectual property” and they didn’t want to just hand it out. It’s important not to violate intellectual property laws when it comes to logos, trademarks, and using copyrighted material. Intellectual property laws also include using intangible creations like art and music. If using materials like these, it’s important to make sure to have the correct permissions.
- Employee Handbook
Getting a technical writer to draft up an employee handbook can save companies from employees who might like to sue. If every employee is given the handbook, the understanding is that the employees have knowledge of rules and regulations, and consequences for not adhering to the handbook. It’s important to update the handbook on a regular basis as well – especially with technology boom, companies have to draft policies to deal with new issues (for example, should employees be able to smoke electronic cigarettes in the office?)
- Routine maintenance
If the business has a property, keeping all public areas well maintained and as safe as possible can go a long way to preventing a lawsuit. This includes areas like walkways, bathrooms, stairs, and elevators. Even with these precautions, however, accidents can still happen, so it’s important for businesses to have proper liability insurance (http://www.generalliabilityinsurance.org for more information on insurance).
- Death and Taxes
The only two sure things in life, right? Well, if a business wants to not “die”, it needs to make sure it’s on top of paying taxes. Taxes are complicated, messy things, so having a tax attorney on staff (if the business is large enough) or hiring one temporarily at tax time can save hassle and lawsuits.
- Don’t tick off the locals…
And make sure to abide by all ordinance and coding requirements. Not being compliant can lead to tickets, fines, and even being shut down. This applies to the physical building, as well as any equipment or tools that clients or employees have access to.
This is along the same lines as ordinances and codes, but for things like liquor licenses and any sort of professional licenses. It’s also important to make sure employees have correct licenses, especially in areas where their job description includes serving alcohol (it is common practice to have to take a class to obtain the permit).
Lawsuits can be a lot of trouble for everyone involved, and in many instances, communicating with the person who wants to sue the business can go a long way. Clearing up misunderstandings can often keep businesses out of court. However, this won’t always work, but it’s not a bad idea to try.
We all know the value of a good night’s sleep. Colloquially, tonight’s sleep is the foundation of our energy level tomorrow. Psychologically, we deplete our dopamine levels during the day, and our bodies only produce dopamine during REM sleep. And in terms of our health, getting a good night’s sleep limits our dependency on stimulants to stay awake during the day. (Yes, there are health benefits to coffee, but more than a couple cups a day can be damaging.)
One of the keys to getting a good night’s sleep is how efficiently we fall asleep. Most of us who are cognizant of the need for 8 hours of sleep enough plan bedtime around the time we need to wake up in the morning. If I have to get up at 5, for example, then I know I need to be in bed by 9.
But that only works if I actually fall asleep at my bedtime. If I lie awake for two hours, tossing and turning to try to get comfortable, then when 5 AM rolls around I won’t have gotten 8 hours of sleep. If I wake up during the night and it takes me an hour to fall back to sleep again, same story.
How comfortable we are when we lie in our beds has a profound effect on how quickly we fall asleep. Our level of comfort is tied to our sleep posture, which is every bit as important as our posture when sitting in a chair or standing for long periods. Good sleep posture equals comfortable sleep. Bad sleep posture equals discomfort.
As the effect of sleep deficiency and deprivation have become better known over the past couple of decades, so has our knowledge of what facilitates good sleep. That knowledge has helped technologies like memory foam to proliferate, greatly improving sleep posture for millions of people.
Technologies that allow the body to find it’s ideal sleep posture and that conform to that posture enable us to become comfortable more quickly. Comfort brings sleep on more quickly, contributes to more sustained sleep, and allows us to fall back to sleep faster when we wake up in the night.
Importantly, not all memory foam is the same. Quality memory foam suppliers like Nature’s Sleep (NaturesSleep.com) might cost a little more, but off-brand, discount memory foam mattresses are likely to be made in part with regular foam. Those mattresses tend to be too soft, putting strain on the body during sleep and actually creating poor sleep posture.
For many customers, having the technology that helps them to fall asleep more quickly also provides a peripheral benefit. They can enjoy their lives right up to their bedtime, knowing that they will get a good night’s sleep without having to buffer their sleep schedule with extra “falling asleep” time.
“Turn up the music”, “pump up the jam”, or “play some rocking beats”, are just some of the many phrases we use to express our love for great tunes. Let’s face it; our favorite songs just don’t sound the same unless the volume is turned all the way up causing us to sing at the top of our lungs. Many of us love to blast our stereos and CD players, but like most dated music devices, they have big clunky speakers that are hard on the eyes; and although most gadgets today are small giving us the convenience we love, it makes it much more difficult for us to “pump up the volume.”