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Gadgets:

How to Get the Most Value When Shopping Electronics

electronics

It seems as if there’s a new electronic tablet or smartphone on the market every week, saturating the electronics industry with new apps and features to entice customers. Although prices have dropped dramatically for many devices, the more advanced processors still have high price tags.

However, you can go to several outlets to research and purchase a new electronic gadget for less than the retail price. Check these out!

1. Check coupon websites

When consumers visit Savor.co, they’ll find a list of potential coupons for various products. One of the best ways to secure a high-quality electronic device at a cheap cost is a coupon website.

Each one operates in a slightly different manner, but most require a login to participate. Consumers may need to rally their friends to create a bulk discount on a product, for example. These coupons offer substantial discounts that may allow you to buy that new electronic for as much as 20 or 30 percent off.

2. Buy used

Because an electronic device is used, consumers often turn away from a deal due to age or wear. Not all used items are heavily used, though.

Corporations typically update their devices once a year or more, and leave perfectly good electronics in the used bin. Take advantage of a phone or tablet that’s only a year old. Used items are heavily discounted and still have several years of productive use for little investment.

3. Comparison shop

In the past, consumers were forced to drive or call different stores to compare prices. Today’s technology allows you to use shopping apps to find the best price on a gadget.

Visit local stores to scan the product code. Prices swiftly pop up on the app to display all local deals. The price in the store you’re in could be slightly higher than in the shop down the street. Consumers save time and money scanning for electronics deals.

4. Get hands-on time

When you visit local stores to comparison shop, you can also get some important hands-on time. Although online shopping is convenient, you can’t wrap your hands around a camera or cellphone.

A device that looks perfect might not feel comfortable in your hand. Take some time to hold several devices, and try pressing buttons or icons. Manufacturers try to make each device ergonomic, but everyone has a different preference and hand size for electronic comfort.

5. Look at auction sites

Auctioning off electronics is still big business for online entities. Some sites request a login and bidding charges, though. Find out the site’s rules before you place any bids.

You don’t want to pay a huge amount with an automatic bidding option, for example. Stay in control of the bidding action and stop when the device is no longer worth it. Thousands of other auctions are waiting to start. Simply read the descriptions carefully to select a well-maintained item.

The electronics business will continue to expand as internal components grow faster and smaller. Become a savvy consumer and find smart ways to save through used sales and auctions. That two-month-old device at 50 percent off could be well worth it.

Science:

3D Printing Will Be A Game Changer in a Few Short Years

3D printer

Journalists who have covered 3D printing sometimes refer to the famous replicator on Star Trek. But this is not science fiction — it’s emerging science fact.

You can, in fact, create something out of thin air. What’s more, you can create almost anything you like in a variety of materials from plastic to steel.

A third industrial revolution?

Sometimes referred to as the Third Industrial Revolution, 3D printing could be the end of mass production and the beginning of customized production. Here’s how the future will look when 3D printing becomes as common as printing from your desktop printer.

Suppose you buy an expensive laundry machine, but a part breaks off. Usually, you would have to contact the store where you bought it. The salesman will talk to the repair person, who in turn talks to the distributor. The distributor will probably then get the part shipped from another country because the cost of labor was cheaper there when it came to building your laundry machine.

But now, with 3D printing, this long, possibly expensive, chain of production comes to an end. Instead, you would simply go to the manufacturer’s website and download a CAD file. You then print out the part you need. If you don’t have a 3D printer, you simply go to your local office supply store and get the part printed there.

Here’s another example. Suppose you just bought some designer jewelry and you wanted to print out a little jewelry box for it. You could upload a design for a jewelry box from your desktop onto your CAD program, customize the box to the size and shape you want, and then send it to your 3D printer.

How does it work?

The actual technical term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing technology. While there are a number of different types of this technology, they all create 3D objects one layer after another until you have a complete object.

With regular printing on a sheet of paper, there are two dimensions: an X and Y axis. With 3D printing, you have a third dimension, which you could regard as the height or depth, and that’s the Z axis.

Building in 3D

The printed layers are developed along the X and Y axis first, then as one layer after another is added, one atop the next, the Z axis comes into existence. It’s like baking a cake in layers, adding one layer after another, until your initially flat cake becomes a tower.

Using a 2D printer, you will probably use office software, perhaps Microsoft Word, to print the sheet of paper. After you’ve written the document, you click the print icon, and instructions are sent to your desktop printer about what to do.

A 3D printer uses a digital file in a similar manner. Instead of a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, however, you’ll use a program called Computer Aided Design (CAD). Once your design has been completed, you click the print icon to send instructions to your 3D printer. As the printer goes to work, construction material is poured layer by layer.

Right now, all this may sound a little too fantastic to believe. But the technology exists and it will probably be a part of everyday life in just a few years. Even now entrepreneurs are dreaming up ways to make this technology available in the marketplace.

 

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last update: September 17, 2014

Science:

Startling Discovery Makes Anti-Aging Products Work Even Better

Using advanced plant stem cell technology, researchers are able to develop a more stable form of antioxidants. The new line of antioxidant therapies is expected work even better than what is currently available in the market for beauty and skin care products. Lavender-Oil

What are botanical antioxidants?

Botanical antioxidants are extracted from flowers such as roses; berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; and even beans, for example, soybeans. Finding the right plants and making use of their antioxidant capability has become an exciting aspect of skin care research.

Scientists have found that wild plants contain more antioxidants than plants — berries, for instance — grown on farms. This is because they are not compromised by GMOs and the chemicals that are routinely sprayed on them.

Berries have been found to be high in anthocyanins, while soybeans are abundant in isoflavones. When beauty products with a high level of botanical antioxidants are regularly applied to the skin, they create thicker, firmer skin by encouraging the production of collagen.

How anti-aging products are getting better

Scientists first began to look for antioxidants in plants when they noticed how well plants protect themselves from oxidation if they’re exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. In human skin, as well, oxidation (the result of free-radical damage), is the reason skin ages, and becomes steadily less healthy over time.

Scientists became curious about what would happen if they extracted the antioxidants in plants and rubbed them on human skin. Would skin be protected from oxidation? Numerous clinical trials showed that this deduction was correct.

The best plants proved to be the ones that grow outdoors because of their exposure to wind, rain, and sun. However, it was eventually discovered that the antioxidant products in plants have been compromised by pollutants such as heavy metals in the ground and the use of pesticides on farms.

Many outdoor plants did not have as high a concentration of antioxidants as expected because of poor soil conditions, fluctuating weather conditions, and the frequent use of fertilizers and pesticides.

More recent research has suggested that what scientists need to do is focus on getting the antioxidants directly from plant stem cells. This will bypass the pollutants and other environmental conditions that have been reducing the potency of the antioxidants.

Concentrating on the stem cells

Stem cells can be removed from any part of a plant that’s rich in antioxidants: the roots, stems, twigs, leaves, or fruit. Usually, however, they’re extracted from the leaves because the level of antioxidants is highest there.

The new technology is used in the following four ways:

First, the whole plant is sterilized to remove all contaminants completely. Second, the stem cells are removed.

Third, further stem cells are cultured from the original batch. These stem cells have the purest and highest level of antioxidants.

Fourth, the pure and stable antioxidants are added to skin care products.

The new plant stem cell technology in skin care is focused on extracting the purest, most stable form of antioxidants from the stem cells in plants.

Lifestyle:

Linking Technology with Schools Essential In India

schoolsinindia

There’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities in the world’s second most populous country. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is challenged by poverty, crime, and hunger every day.

One particularly sobering area where this nation trails much of the rest of the world is in education.

The facts

According to a blog that monitors education, the statistics are disturbing:

* Fewer than 12 percent of high school graduates in India continue on to higher education; in the US, that figure is 83 percent.

* Many of those who go on to an institution of higher learning are receiving educations graded to be of middling or poor quality.

* There is a shortage of teachers.

* Indian students study abroad at a cost of $7 billion a year.

Volunteer opportunities

The low literacy rate can be traced to the high dropout rate and the lack of teachers who have sufficient training. What all this means is that there are opportunities for volunteers through programs such as Volunteer in India to help make a difference.

Volunteers are encouraged to develop their own lesson plans, although coordinated to make sure that Indian students get a well-rounded education, according to Volunteer in India. New methods of teaching could include making sure the students are tech-savvy.

A recent study lends hope that today’s modern tools can help lift India out of its education morass. The use of modern technology, including Facebook, actually helps university students do better with their assignments.

A study by Baylor University concluded that students perform better when they feel part of a community and less isolated. “Although some teachers may worry that social media distracts students from legitimate learning, we found that our Facebook group helped transform students from anonymous spectators into a community of active learners,” according to a Baylor professor who helped conduct the study.

Volunteers in India participants should be encouraged by the fact that students who took part in the Baylor study performed better than those students who were not part of the Facebook program.

The future looks better

The common refrain in recent years has been that India’s tech industry should have made bigger strides than it has. While large sums of money have been invested in technology, it was not emphasized in the schools. The reason India lagged was due to poor education, according to a report circulated by TED.

There’s a silver lining. According to a statistical look at India and the Internet, sales of “smart” devices skyrocketed in 2013. With more iPads and other tablets available to younger Indians, the hope is these devices will spark a thirst for learning.

Mobile Internet use is ready to explode in India, which furthers the notion that people will have another tech avenue for learning. As volunteers have focused on early education initiatives in India, children will get a head start on taking steps to attend the Manipal Institute of Technology, India’s foremost technological school.

The list of illustrious grads from MIT is long, and without these initiatives, India’s children could continue to languish behind the rest of the world. By getting involved now, volunteers can sow the seeds for a better educated population.

Clean:

Nanotechnology Advances In Skin-Whitening Products

Today’s best skin-whitening products rely upon natural, non-toxic ingredients while taking advantage of the latest research and technology. Glutathione, or gamma-glutamylcysteinylglycine (GSH), helps to lighten, whiten, and restore skin from the inside out. skin-whitening-complexion

That’s one of the reasons the latest skin-care advances for mature skin rely on this tiny protein molecule formed from three amino acids: gamma glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine.

Oxidation and oxidative stress

Researchers and physicians often talk about free radicals and oxidative stress which cause the body to work less well. As oxidative “rust” happens, the body’s cells lose glutathione, a powerful healing and protective agent.

Low glutathione levels are associated with diseases such as cataracts, cancer, atherosclerosis, and many others. Research indicates glutathione will defend the body against oxidation and exogenous toxins, including pesticides, benzenes, and pesticide compounds.

These attackers wreak havoc on the skin — which is visible for the world to see — and important, on unseen vital organs and processes. Today, researchers continue to study how increasing glutathione levels can support the immune system, digestive tract, and organs.

Of course, the skin is the body’s largest organ!

Skin-lightening innovations

There’s a lot of talk these days about glutathione’s usefulness as a safe and natural skin-whitening ingredient. Physicians and researchers know that glutathione stores diminish in the body with age.

Some physicians, including researcher Rob Keller, M.D. and his team, believe that higher glutathione levels help the body to fight a host of diseases associated with aging.

Medical scientists believe that glutathione may also help to reduce wrinkles, creases, and skin discoloration while improving skin texture. Regular use of glutathione aids the skin’s ability to hold moisture and thereby reduces its dry appearance or enlarged pores. Moist skin is more supple and feels better, too.

According to authors M. Varinia Michalun and ‎Joseph DiNardo, (Skin Care and Cosmetics Ingredient Dictionary, 2014) glutathione actually inactivates the enzyme associated with melanin pigmentation (tyrosinase). It works to stop new hyper-pigmentation as it “depigments” the skin.

Glutathione also boosts the skin’s oxygen levels and intracellular metabolism while reducing redness associated with inflammation. Some forms of the glutathione molecule perform extra duty by helping the body make Vitamin D.

Another natural remedy to the rescue

Because glutathione is considered a “master antioxidant,” the latest, safest skin-whitening treatments include natural glutathione. Sun damage, or free radical damage in the body, can cause changes in skin color over time, and supplemental glutathione may help the body to remedy this damage.

Flawless Beauty and Skin is one of the retailers that offers the latest skin-whitener technologies and skin-whitening products to the global marketplace.

Always go for safety first

It’s important to note that some skin whiteners or lightening agents offered by foreign retailers may contain heavy metals such as mercury. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), companies in Thailand, Pakistan, China, the Philippines, Lebanon, Mexico, and even in the U.S. have recently manufactured and sold skin lighteners containing mercury.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety confirms these products are usually less expensive and easily purchased from Internet sellers.

 

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Lifestyle:

Signs Your Business May Need a Plasma Table

Does your company produce a lot of customized metal fabrication, or do you do a small amount of prototype cutting? If so, you might be a great candidate for a plasma table that’s designed precisely for businesses like yours.

Tables are custom-made to your specifications, which can reduce double work for your employees and improve the overall efficiency in your workplace. Using a plasma table can mean saving on wasted materials; it speeds up the process and makes the workload easier for your employees.

If you’re just starting to shop for the best plasma tables around, start by researching the reputation of the company. In an ideal world, they manufacture in the US, come with financing options so your startup stays in the black, and have a long history of industry-specific experience.

You also need quality installation and training to make sure the table works for you and not the other way around. Here are a few signs that you should be in the market for a plasma table.

1. Your workload is picking up

Instead of hiring more workers or putting existing employees under more stress, consider investing in the best tools your company needs. As you grow, you need and deserve better quality tools and platforms, perhaps including a plasma table.

2. Quality has been suffering

Have you noticed a lot of wasted materials, and cuts that aren’t precise? Or do your employees seem to be overloaded even though they’re the best around?

Before trying to tackle potential worker problems, consider whether a lack of quality tools might be to blame. A worker is only as good as the tools, including plasma tables, and vice versa; so make sure you’re on top of things.

3. You have new clients or a new worker pool

Take advantage of big changes such as a hiring spree or a big new client that just signed. This is a prime opportunity to update your equipment and get everyone trained at the same time.

By installing a new tool or device, you can take advantage of on-site training so everyone’s on the same page. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose track of who was trained on what, and that’s a dangerous downward spiral.

Finally, if you want to stay or become a big player in a competitive field like manufacturing, you have to have the right tools at your disposal. Your competition may already have them, and that puts you at a disadvantage. It’s time to level the playing field.

Mobile:

Apps Every Realtor Should Have

Selling properties is no easy job, but if you’re a real estate agent, you my be making it tougher than it has to be. The good news is that it’s currently a seller’s market, and more homeowners are looking to outsource the task of unloading their property. HouseSold

That means more commissions for you, but also a lot more work. But you should know that if it’s related to real estate, there’s probably an app for it.

Depending on your specialty, there are any number of apps that might work for you. If you own a real estate franchise, are in the field as a Realtor, or specialize in a niche type of property, you already have a full plate.

Check out MagicPlan, which enables you to customize floor plans with the swipe of a finger. The camera maps out a room and creates an instant mapping system, which means instant floor plans for your marketing efforts.

Apps to try

When it comes to the biggies like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Redfin, and others, you probably already have a favorite. But do you have their app?

Each one has its pros and cons, so don’t assume your favorite website will naturally turn out to be your favorite app. They’re all free, so spend a little time playing with each, and pick the one that looks like it could be your go-to resource. Any more than one and you risk wasting of a lot of time.

You need to be able to jot down notes quickly, especially when you’re meeting with sellers and buyers, and that’s exactly what JotNote Scanner lets you do. Part notetaker and part scanner, it can turn any iPhone into an instant scanner so you can share from cloud storage, email, and other locations.

Nobody has time for massive scanners anymore, so leave those high-tech gadgets in the office and streamline your mobile readiness.

Keep up with the competition

Real estate still entails a lot of paperwork, and there’s no telling when you might have to grab a few potted plants for extra curb appeal just before an open house. Lose that receipt, and you’ve instantly lost a deduction.

Apps such as Priximiant’s Digital Receipts let you snap a photo of a receipt and store it instantly. The app is free, and it helps you go green in a paperless environment.

Stay on top of the local market with LoopNet, which is basically an MLS for commercial properties. This is crucial for commercial real estate agents who need to have a pulse on what’s happening in the market at all times.

With more high-tech businesses sure to be launched in 2014, those commercial shoppers will be looking for property, and you need to keep up with their tech savviness.

Social:

Searching for Tech Support Leads to Scams

If you were a hacker and created a site to obtain sensitive information, what sort of site would it be? According to computer experts, the most popular type of site is one devoted to tech support, because consumers instinctively trust such companies. tech support

There are certainly hundreds of legitimate tech support companies out there, so how can you distinguish a scam site from a real one? You certainly shouldn’t assume the top search results are the most reputable.

Kevin Boynton is the owner of a Richmond-based computer repair company. He says, “I get calls all the time from people saying ‘they took my money, I let them into my computer and they said they fixed all the problems and if I have any more problems, give them a call back but then they didn’t fix my problem.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, these people never get another reply. If you’re looking for a reputable tech support company, read reviews, talk to a live person, and get those testimonials.

The biggest niche

According to Boynton, the most common scams happen when consumers are looking for help with computers, not more complex tech help. “They see a phone number that says call us now for support, and they think okay.”

Many of these consumers never bother to do their research; they blindly trust what might be a marketing scam. “They will answer the phone as HP Support, but they are going to give you a hard sale and they are going to try to talk you into buying some sort of support,” Boynton warns.

Somewhat on the plus side, many of these scam artists are “just” out for your money and are not seeking to install malicious software on your computer. If you’re looking for a technician to actually repair your computer, be wary of any high pressure sales.

While this may not be illegal, it’s an iffy business model that indicates they don’t put the customer first. Plus, you can always challenge credit card purchases if you didn’t agree to the purchase.

Bigger fish in the sea

On the other hand, some sites are indeed designed strictly to steal your information. These probably won’t turn up among the top Google search results, but some companies do a great job of manipulating search engine optimization (SEO) for short periods of time to get higher rankings and attract potential victims.

If a “support company” is actually doing something illegal, they’ll be caught soon enough, but possibly not in time to save you. Your best move is to trust your gut, do your homework, and rely on real reviews.

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