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Mobile:

An Amber Alert for Dogs

New technology has now made it much easier for you to locate a missing pet. A new app, PiP (Positive Identification of Pet), will undoubtedly be reuniting dog owners with their long-lost best friends after they wander out of the yard.

This digital app is one of many services now available to pet owners, who will surely appreciate it.

How it works

Philip Rooyakkers designed the app for tech-savvy pet enthusiasts. In each pet profile created in the system, a photo of the pet is uploaded with basic profile information entered by the pet owner.

When the pet disappears, the owner can activate an alert. PiP will then place a call to the pet owner to learn more about the details. The information is instantaneously transmitted to all the local shelters and clinics.

Any animal clinic or shelter within a 15-mile radius will receive the information. If someone finds the missing pet, a photo can be uploaded with the face of the animal.

The database will cross-reference the new pet information with files in the system to verify a match. Information regarding unique facial features of the pet is stored in the database.

The technology is capable of analyzing sophisticated pet features to identify a potential match. When a match is identified, the owner is notified that the match has been made. Customer care representatives from the company keep the pet owner updated of the progress of the search.

Who receives the information

The information gathered is made available to other entities besides the local clinics, hospitals, and shelters. The app also monitors social media activities by major outlets to see whether any posts were uploaded in those areas about a missing pet.

Popular venues such as Facebook and Twitter are monitored. The system also searches Kijiji and Craigslist for potential match information.

The subscription

Thousands of people have gone online to register their pet information. More than half of the people who download the app actually end up registering their pet for the service.

The free app can be downloaded into any iPhone or Android. Pet owners can pay an annual fee of $18.99 to have their pet profile information added to the system, which breaks down to about $1.49 per month.

What inspired the app

App creator Rooyakkers was inspired by his own experience. In 2011, he reported losing his Yorkshire terrier. The terrier was located within 24 hours, but he began working on a plan to help pet owners who face the same crisis.

he app connects a community of pet enthusiasts who work together to help pet owners reunite with their lost pets. The user-friendly app allows people to submit their pet information to a centralized database with ease, where all account information can be readily cross-referenced for a potential match.

Clinics, social media, animal hospitals, and users all work together to reunite animals with their families. In unifying a community of pet enthusiasts and incorporating facial recognition technology, the app enables pet owners to have more access than ever to resources that will locate a missing pet.

There are plenty of new toys and tools to help you enjoy your life with your pet, but preparing for a crisis when your animal is not there could be the smartest pet purchase you make.

Clean:

Use Technology for a Greener Home

Are you a tech geek who has a soft spot for doing your part to green up Mother Earth? There are countless ways to use more sustainable technology in the home, but they’re not all necessarily marketed as “green technology.”

Maybe you’re keeping an eye out for new appliances that have Energy Star ratings, but there’s more than one way to lighten your carbon footprint while preserving the heft of your wallet. Routine home upgrades can make a big difference on your budget and conservation efforts.

For example, did you know that ductless heat pumps are a great way to cut your energy usage by as much as 50 percent? Instead of relying on a traditional backup system that wastes precious energy, this one lets you personalize it by going with a 100-percent ductless system … or cherry picking which areas of your home to use it.

As an added bonus, you can even score a rebate and/or tax break when you install this system. However, there are further technological advances to consider.

Control freak

You can look at smart thermostats, but you should recognize that they’re not all created equally. Go with a designer model such as Nest Labs, which the iPod designers dreamed up, to control the temperature of your home based on your lifestyle and schedule.

Its sleek, contemporary, and stainless-steel approaches make it a form of home décor in its own right. Dependent on cloud computing and sensors, Nest monitors your habits to optimize your home heating. It’s been estimated that you can shave 30 percent off your energy bill with this model.

The right power adaptor is an easy and affordable installation that costs less than $200 and saves homeowners up to 13 percent each year. A reputable company like Green Plug offers a solid model that promises better connectivity between home devices that require power and the energy supply.

Once a device like that busy coffee brewer has the power it needs, the power line is automatically shut off.

The automated home

Home automation isn’t just a drool-worthy addition, it’s also a great way to save money. Consider automated lights that work around your schedule and “know” when a room is empty.

They cost less than $200 per light switch, but can save you a lot of cash depending on how forgetful you (or the kids) are about the lights. In the winter months, when people stay in and the days are shorter, automating your lights can be a great way to double up on those heating conservation efforts.

Use technology for a fatter bank account, to score tax benefits, and to boost your home’s value. Who knew home updates could be so easy?

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last update: October 22, 2014

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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

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