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Gadgets:

Gadgets for the DIYer

Advancements in technology are not merely restricted to the world of electronics. Some of the latest gadgets on the market are tools and products that function as upgrades for home, work or play. Complete chores or DIY projects in less time, keep a work site neater, or enjoy the outdoors without fear of wildlife destroying food supplies.

CORE Power Motors

Printed Circuit Boards have helped power electronic devices for decades. However, the CORE company recently converted the conventional brain technology into the power source for a series of motors. The environmentally-friendly motor contains a multi-layered, circular PCB between two circular magnets. The electricity that powers the device comes from a lithium polymer battery and 10 layers of copper. The 1.5 hp device is only one component of the Power Lok yard-tool series. The system also features an interchangeable blower head, a hedge-trimmer and a string-trimmer. Using the same technology, the company has also designed motors offering up to 4,000 hp of power.

Black & Decker Matrix

Most home improvement projects require a drill, a sander and a saw. The famous tool company engineers manufactured the Matrix that provides DIYers with the convenience of one power source and multiple interchangeable tool heads. Choose from equipping your workspace with any or all six tool options that include a drill, impact driver, jigsaw and oscillating device. The unit comes with a powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery that operates each tool at variable speeds with a simple pull of the trigger.

Tidy Drills

When needing a drill to create holes in brick or concrete, rotary hammer/drills provide the power needed. Now, some brands come with handy snap-on HEPA vacuums that trap the dust and make clean-up a breeze. Harmful dust travels through the nozzle and aluminum tubing into a well-designed canister. Some of the drills on the market featuring the innovative attachment include the Makita LXRH011, the Milwaukee M12 HammerVac 2306-22 and the DeWalt DC233KLDH. The cordless drills are powered by battery-packs ranging from 12 to 36 volts.

Sturdiest Coolers

Camping and hunting enthusiasts who spend a great deal of time in bear country may be interested in the latest innovation in coolers that are guaranteed to be animal proof. Popular mechanics technicians put a number of containers through a variety of tests, including subjecting the devices to the wiles of a 450 pound grizzly bear named Ondar. Of the different brands tested, the Pelican Progear surpassed the others in a number of categories. When filled with ice, the cooler achieved 38 degrees Fahrenheit in less than five hours.

The unit stood up to the test and showed little sign of wear after being dropped in a 40-foot water-filled ravine. The true test of durability came when filled with ice cream sandwiches, marshmallows and spilled maple syrup. The trainer cued the bear to offer his opinion. Equipped with specially designed press-and-pull latches, Ondar walked away defeated in less than 15 minutes and was not able to claim a tasty reward. The cooler also did not appear worse for the experience.

Science:

5 Ways to Reduce Headaches Triggered by Digital Screens

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Sometimes our technology can do more harm than good. Those who suffer from chronic migraines can sometimes suffer when a headache is triggered by the bright lights of computer, TV, or mobile device screens. But since we must regularly interact with these technologies in our personal and professional lives, it can seem impossible to escape screen-time. Here are four steps you can take to alleviate tech-induced migraines.

Dim Brightness

A majority of devices now come with brightness adjusters so that you can dim the glow let off by a digital screen. Sometimes harsh lights can trigger painful headaches. Learn how to customize the brightness controls on all of your devices, so that you can control these settings with ease.

Invert Colors

This unique setting allows you invert the colors displayed on your computer or mobile device screens. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re reading long documents with black text on white backgrounds. Inverting the colors allows you to read white text on black backgrounds instead, which might reduce the amount of strain on your eyes. The invert colors option can usually be found in the accessibility settings of various operating systems.

Antiglare

Sometimes lights in your vicinity can reflect off of your computer monitor. These painfully bright lights might trigger eye strain or headaches. Invest in an antiglare screen cover to avoid these hassles. Antiglare products and also reduce the amount of glare you experience while using a laptop outdoors.

Don’t Use Screens while in Motion

Many people can develop a headache due to motion sickness, especially if they use mobile devices while riding in a vehicle. Using your cellphone in a bus or in the passenger seat of a car might seem like a tempting way to pass the time during a long commute. However, your eyes can become strained while trying to focus on text during a ride.

Naturopathic Medicine

Headaches can often be relieved by natural treatments. Processes such as biopuncture can help reduce the amount of tension in your body. As your muscle release and relax, you can experience a reduction in headaches.

Tension headaches and migraines caused by technology use can become debilitating, preventing you from finding comfort at home or at the office. Headaches can be caused by straining your neck or eyes while using technology. Treat these issues by calibrating the settings on your screen and experiment with all-natural care.

 

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last update: October 23, 2014

Lifestyle:

Don’t Be Misled About Proper Tire Inflation

At the turn of the 21st century, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of nearly 12,000 vehicles to check the status of their tire inflation. The study revealed that almost 40 percent of the vehicles tested had at least one if not more of their tires underinflated by as much as 20 percent.

Furthermore, nearly 30 percent of the tested vehicles were operating with tires under-inflated by 25 percent or more. But the figure showing on the tire only reflects the maximum pressure the tire should reach, not the recommended pressure to which it should be inflated.

Busting the myth of recommended tire pressure

Why is this an issue? It all stems from the Firestone recall of 6.5 million tires after a series of accidents occurred as the result of poor tire construction. The “smoking gun” to blame for the tire failure leading to the rash of accidents was low tire pressure.

According to Best Tire Review, the pressure stamped on the tire sidewall shouldn’t be the actual pressure in the tire.

The effects of friction on tire pressure dynamics

As you drive your car, the movement of the tire on the road creates friction. Friction generates heat. Heat causes the tire pressure to increase.

If the interior tire pressure is filled to its maximum before this reaction occurs, it’s easy to see the potential for a tire to exceed its recommended maximum pressure. This makes for an unyielding ride, where the bumps in the road are more jarring on passengers and the vehicle suspension.

It reduces the footprint of contact on the road that causes uneven wear toward the center of the tire. Don’t let the sensation of steering response and cornering stability give you the false impression that overinflation is safer. Your tires will be more susceptible to puncture or blow-out while you’re driving.

The hidden dangers of under-inflated tires

There really is a bit of the Goldilocks scenario about determining the correct tire pressure. If they have too much pressure, they don’t grip; too low, and they can fail.

Low pressure absorbs more of the impact on the road. This can create improper flexing of the side wall and reduce roll resistance, not to mention the excess wear and tear on suspension. The effect can be overheating of the tire, which can lead to tire separation or blow-out.

Tire pressure monitoring

Vehicles that are 2008 models or newer will have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in. This is the result of the TREAD Act enacted by Congress in 2000 as a result of the failures.

The system performs by sensing the tire pressure either directly or indirectly, which means the warning light on the dashboard either indicates the actual pressure or simply reports a potential underinflation of any one of the four operating tires.

As helpful as this system may be, it can still lull drivers into a false sense of security, and encourage them to fail to check the pressure in a timely fashion. Nothing beats having a reliable tire pressure gauge that may be used to check on the true tire pressure reading while the vehicle is cool.

This is when it should be at the recommended pressure, which is typically found on the inside of the driver’s door, glove box, or owner’s manual.

Mobile:

Why SMS Technology is Such a Powerful Marketing Tool

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Many businesses are using SMS technology to market their products and services to pools of potential customers who rely on their mobile phones to send and receive information. SMS marketing is widely used by companies today because it enables them to reach consumers with time-sensitive offers that are specific to their locale.

The function of SMS

SMS marketing is a form of direct promotion that enables a firm to advertise its products and services through the use of text messages. This approach is permission-based, which means that subscribers first have to agree to receive text messages from trusted businesses.

In this method of marketing, advertisers use 160 characters to convey messages relevant to their audience’s locations and needs. According to Wavebroadband.com, SMS technology has become the preferred means of communication not just among teenagers, but also among businesses.

Sophisticated phone technology has made it possible for businesses to send messages to their clients and receive instant feedback. Increased adoption of SMS technology in marketing has empowered service providers to come up with better business solutions.

The main function of SMS technology is to send and receive messages through cellular phones. Here are six reasons you might want to use SMS technology in your marketing efforts.

1. You can send one message to many people

Text message marketing offers your marketing team an opportunity to send single messages to all your customers or market segments at once. This is more convenient than having to make multiple calls to target customers. Text message marketing creates a convenient, one-touch approach to disseminating information to customers.

2. Permission-based marketing

Text message marketing is permission-based marketing. This means you can’t send messages to customers who refuse to be in your text message marketing database.

Customers who give their permission to be added to companies’ text message marketing databases act as the initial leads for sales and services because they have already shown interest in the firm.

3. It’s a personal form of communication

Most people are used to sending and receiving messages from their friends, families, and colleagues. Alongside older tools of communication such as email, letters, and phone calls, text messaging has evolved into a more personal means of sending messages back and forth.

Potential customers who decide to subscribe to your firm’s text message marketing will enhance their relationship with your business.

4. Local marketing

Text message marketing helps businesspeople to connect with communities. It offers businesses a platform to network with local customers and inform them of special events, provide local community news, and launch sales.

5. It uses fewer resources

Unlike email and direct mailing that entail complete marketing messages, text messaging consists of short reminders and quick notes. Text message marketing helps your company save resources since it spends less time and money crafting the content.

6. Can deliver time-sensitive information

Most people carry their mobile phones wherever they go. This means that a company can send a message at 8 a.m. about a lunch sale that starts in just a few hours to its loyal customers and they will receive the message instantly.

Companies can also send instant messages to their customers to update them about reservations, sold-out items, and new stock.

Clean:

Keep Your Home Cosy with Strategic Heating and Cooling

Every homeowner struggles to find the best ways to heat and cool a home without a incurring a high price tag. Running a standard central furnace and air conditioning system on a constant basis costs significant money while contributing to noise levels and pollution.

Alternative heating and cooling strategies are possible for any home, based on your resources and willingness to put in the effort.

Plant some trees

If you have the yard space, add deciduous trees on the south side of your home. When they lose their leaves in the fall and winter, low-lying sunlight can pour into the structure and warm it naturally.

Come spring and summer, dense foliage develops to block the sunlight and create a cool space across the property. You may even want to consider trees along the east or west side to control the sunrise and sunset sunlight that hits your home.

Ceiling fan science

Ceiling fans used to be absolutely necessary features in homes well before air conditioning became commonplace. But this simple cooling mechanism still works in homes today and will save you money.

Fans create a wind chill within the room, encouraging your skin to wick any moisture from the surface and cooling you. Activate the blades to spin counterclockwise, which pushes air directly down onto you.

Employ the clockwise rotation in the winter to pull warm air down from the ceiling as you heat the room slightly with natural air movement.

Outdoor sunshades

Simple removable sunshades and awnings can make a big temperature difference in your home. Install these shades on the west, east, or south side of the home.

Evaluate the hottest part of the day for your home and place the shading item there. You may want several shades for extremely hot days.

Whenever you reduce the amount of sunlight that strikes your home, less heat accumulates indoors. Cooling costs may drop substantially after you install an inexpensive sunshade.

Ductless system option

A home without a duct system cannot use a traditional central air system without significant cost and extra remodeling work. According to Washington Energy Services, ductless systems that use a heat pump are perfectly adapted to work in homes as long as outdoor and indoor components have the appropriate space.

These systems work much like a traditional split system: They use refrigerant to convert hot air into cool air and vice versa. Ductless systems take up little space, which makes them perfect for smaller homes that lack existing ductwork.

Attic care

The attic is often overlooked when it comes to heating and cooling, but this space traps hot and cold air throughout the year. Think about insulating your attic and adding ventilation ducts to control the attic temperature.

Any hot or cold air trapped above the residence contributes to an uncomfortable living space. Insulation regulates the attic temperature, making the rest of the home more comfortable without extra air conditioning or heating costs.

Beautify your home while intelligently increasing its heating and cooling abilities. If you use strategic sunshade locations and shady trees, your home doesn’t have to be expensive to maintain comfortably.

Think logically about the sun’s angle across your home to heat the space in the winter and cool it in summer.

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Science:

How Rapidly Advancing Technology Helps Cancer Patients Today

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Technology has enjoyed no better application than in the medical field, which has found uses for new systems and technologies at almost every phase of operation. Many patients, especially those with various forms of cancer, are benefiting from the advanced technologies used in health care.

Chemotherapy, catheters, imaging technology, and robotics are among the latest technologies used in treating cancer patients.

Radiology

Imaging technology plays a major role in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Radiology has made it easy for doctors to monitor tumors and other forms of cancer within the human body and effectively monitor cancerous cells that would have previously gone unnoticed.

Radiology has evolved into a distinct field with many people specializing in the study and use of this imaging technology.

Robotics

This fast-developing technology has been adopted widely in cancer treatment. Robotics has been incorporated into surgical procedures to remove tumors and tissues affected by cancer. It enables doctors to perform precision operations that are minimally invasive for cancer patients.

Catheters

This technology is used to administer chemotherapy on cancer patients. Catheters enable doctors to administer chemotherapy directly into patients’ peritoneal cavities.

A catheter is a tube-like device placed on the chest of cancer patients that stays on throughout their treatment. Apart from being used to administer chemotherapy, catheters can also be used to draw blood.

They make it possible for doctors to draw blood from cancer patients and administer chemotherapy in a painless manner.

Cloud technology

Being a risk-averse industry, health care is beginning to use cloud technology to store patients’ health information. According to cloud technology researcher Clonav, medical institutions are adopting cloud technology to store sensitive information due to better cloud security, lower costs, and the growing need for medical institutions to share patients’ information between them, including that of cancer patients.

Security concerns that prevent the adoption of cloud technology in other industries are magnified in health care due to the sensitive and private nature of patients’ data as well as the heavy fines that medical institutions face if such data falls into the wrong hands.

Ambulance computer-aided dispatch

The use of technology in treating cancer patients begins before he or she arrives at the hospital. Ambulance computer-aided dispatch makes it easier for cancer patients to gain access to local emergency services.

In addition, this technology helps health-care institutions to determine the type of ambulance to send to certain addresses. This technology is designed to support cancer patients’ decision-making.

Vital sign monitoring

This technology has enhanced the abilities of first responders, such as emergency medical technicians and paramedics, to monitor vital signs of cancer patients while transporting them to the hospital. Vital sign monitoring can be used both in the field and in emergency departments and critical care units to monitor cancer patients.

Vital sign monitoring technology can be programmed to activate an alarm when a cancer patient’s vitals suddenly change. Some of the vital signs monitored by this device include blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

Evidence-based guidelines

This technology is designed to assist doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals to provide care that is in alignment with the needs of their cancer patients. Evidence-based technology empowers doctors to use the most recent expert recommendations to treat cancer patients.

Social:

Never Assume Your Database is Immune to Attacks

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While the technologies of the Internet offer a great deal of useful tools and delightful entertainment, they’re not without their particular perils. Increasingly, individuals and businesses have built robust websites that are rich with features, and many operate extensive databases to provide valuable information.

Whether you run an eCommerce website that sells goods to customers or maintain an extensive mailing list on your heavily trafficked blog, the information is stored in a database. But many website developers don’t grasp how vulnerable their systems may be.

Open-source solutions

Although open-source projects allow users to create robust sites for free, certain costs may have to be paid when you begin to use those applications. The most notable is the potential risk that’s involved with development.

There’s very little true direct support for implementing many open-source applications. They’re usually distributed with the caveat: “use at your own risk.”

Database programming availability

Because open-source databases are available for free use, many businesses and private entrepreneurs have chosen to utilize them in order to save money. But it’s much easier to hack a database when you have the source code available to you.

Open-source projects are available for programmers on the coding level. This means that it’s easier for intruders to discover vulnerabilities within open-source applications.

Content management systems

Applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and a vast selection of others are known as content management systems. Like the databases cited above, these pieces of online software are susceptible to easy attacks.

It was discovered last year, however, that 41 percent of WordPress hacks were committed through security vulnerabilities on the hosting platform. This kind of security leak happens outside the CMS and is the fault of the hosting company.

Testing the integrity of the database

One of the most prominent ways of finding vulnerabilities within your database protection is through the use of Ethical Hacking.” Essentially, this practice entails an organization hiring an individual or group to attack its network on purpose in order to find the security flaws.

If this is done by someone that has extensive experience in cyber-infiltration, a great deal can be learned about the security of your system.

Properly secure your information

While basic security may be more cost-effective and less intrusive to your daily routine, you may be leaving yourself open to break-ins. Even if you believe your information isn’t important enough to steal, it could still be used for nefarious purposes.

For instance, the email list for your blog about dogs and cats can be sold to third-party vendors for marketing and spam. Addresses within your eCommerce site may be stepping stones for stealing identities.

You mustn’t assume that your database will never be the target of an attack. The only true method of preventing theft of this information is to store it outside of network access.

Even then, bots could be lying in wait to send the information as soon as a connection is detected. Do what you can to safeguard your information and protect yourself, your business, and clients from being victimized.

Social:

Nine Common E-commerce Website Mistakes

Most e-commerce websites have problems when they first launch online. From large and elaborate shopping venues to simple or turnkey solutions, new sites often experience glitches. No website — and no site designer or developer — is perfect.

While it’s hard to predict the problems a website may encounter, companies can often prevent them with a little forethought and planning. Most mistakes are also easy to fix after they are discovered. Here are nine common e-commerce website mistakes, along with a few solutions.

1. Wrong Shopping Cart

E-commerce businesses should do their homework before they choose a shopping cart for their websites. With so many platforms available, it’s important to pick the right one. The best shopping cart meets all of a company’s needs regarding features, functionality, integration and budget.

2. Inadequate Site Security

Some people are hesitant to shop online due to security concerns. Many businesses, especially small ones, have a problem convincing shoppers to use their sites. In an era when significant hacks have stolen sensitive customer data, digital certificates and encrypted connections just make sense.

3. Poor Site Navigation

Customers will leave a website if they can’t find what they want quickly and easily. Companies should make sure their shopping sites are easy to navigate so customers can find what they’re looking for. Their contact information should also be easy to find.

4. No Search Function

People who can search for products on-site are more likely to make a purchase. Many turnkey systems don’t provide adequate search functions. Fortunately, businesses can use website plug-ins to integrate search capabilities into shopping carts.

5. Low Quality Photographs

The Internet is a visual world. Customers who shop online give up the ability to hold a product and inspect it. For this reason, it’s important for e-commerce businesses to provide good photographs. Professional photos are better than stock images, and photographers should shoot the products from all angles.

6. Stock Product Descriptions

Many retailers use manufacturer descriptions to sell their products. While stock descriptions are an easy way to create content, they do nothing to differentiate a business from its competitors. The solution is simple: Companies should write unique product descriptions or hire a freelancer to write them.

7. Difficult Checkout Procedure

A long or difficult checkout process can drive away customers. One-page checkouts are the best option; they take customers through account creation, billing, payments and shipping — all on the same page. Merchant account services make the process easier for shoppers and businesses alike.

8. No Mobile Version

It’s a mistake to ignore mobile customers. According to Business 2 Community, mobile commerce made up one-fourth of e-commerce sales in 2013. That number will continue to grow as more people rely on their smartphones and tablets for research and shopping.

9. No Social Presence

Many companies underestimate social sharing. By making content easy to share on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, companies can maximize their web presence. A social presence will drive awareness and sales.

 

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