Thursday, July 9, 2020

Industries That Use Video Walls

Video walls are popular pieces of technology that are finding their way into many industries. You have likely seen and maybe even used video walls at some point. Video walls offer a ton of benefits such as improving communication, accessibility to important information, and so much more. Learn about some of the industries that use video walls ahead.

Best Technology for Your Warehouse

Warehouses are essential to supply chain management and logistics. Every product needs proper storage before delivery to customers and retailers. While products sit, warehouse managers need the best services and telecommunications for their facility. Still, there are some ways they can further improve their daily operations. Here is the best technology for your warehouse, including automated, sustainable, handheld, and management systems.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tips for Improving Live Broadcasts

From the outside looking in, news broadcasting seems like a simple task. You look at the notes, sit down, turn the camera on, and begin the entertainment. However, there are many different forms of technology that are necessary for the broadcast to run. Not only is that tech necessary, but it’s also evolving quite consistently. Take a glimpse at these tips for improving live broadcasts with the best and most efficient tech on the market.

Optimize Your Lighting Set Up

Like many of the production factors we’ll discuss in this guide, lighting is incredibly important to viewer engagement. If viewers are trying to watch a news broadcast, but the lighting is either way too dark or way too bright, why wouldn’t they stop watching and head over to a news station with better video quality? A great piece of guidance to use when buying a contemporary lighting setup is getting LED lights. The popularity of LED lights in broadcasts has increased for a bevy of reasons, including their low power consumption and flexibility in outdoor environments.

Use Modern Teleprompter Methods

Another key piece of technology used for live broadcasts is a teleprompter system. These long-used pieces of video equipment provide necessary talking points to presenters during the broadcast, often set up behind or beside the camera. Today, productions can obtain teleprompter rigs that have a slot for iPad use. An iPad can be easily transformed into a teleprompter with the right app and a compatible teleprompter system. These iPad teleprompter systems are recommended because they can be used for your normal broadcasting needs or can function as a quick back up if anything happens to your current system. Technical difficulties aren’t rare during live broadcasts, so having a Plan B for any production is a good idea.

Test Your Tech Before Broadcasting

As mentioned above, technical difficulties can occur during a broadcast. It’s not that rare but it can be avoided with the proper precautions. Before going live, test all of the essential equipment to make sure it runs smoothly. Proper lighting, camera functions, lighting arrangements, and all of the important production equipment make your show as great as it can be. That way, if something fishy is going on with your equipment or the broadcast itself, you can catch it early on and fix it. Whether it’s a loose power cord or a network connection on the fritz, you’ll be happy you caught it before the stream, as opposed to halfway through.

These tips for improving live broadcasts will help your production flow smoothly while staying up to date with the most useful production technology, and techniques, available today. By keeping a close eye on the shifting video production tech market, you can keep your broadcast relevant and functioning on a regular basis.

Friday, June 26, 2020

What to Do With a Broken Television


No matter how high end they may be, all products have a set lifespan. This includes televisions. While certain TVs may retain their quality and performance a bit longer than others, every TV will eventually break down. In addition to the excitement of shopping for a newer, better model, you will also need to consider what to do with the now unusable TV. There are several different options for what to do with a broken television, each which may better suit different circumstances. As such, take into account your TV’s model and the extent of damage when considering what to do with your broken television.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

DIY Electronics Projects for Beginners

If you have a love for technology, you will probably come to the point where you want to learn how to make devices of your own. There are lots of things you can build with the right parts, some patience, and a quick tutorial search online. But what should you choose as you start out your journey into becoming a maker? We suggest trying these fun DIY electronics projects for beginners, each of which has many easy-to-follow tutorials on the web.

Monday, June 15, 2020

How to Care for Your Video Game Consoles

The days of Xbox’s circle of death might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean video game consoles are invincible. A video game console can be quite the investment, especially with the next generation of technology on the way, which is just one reason why you should take care of it. For some tips, learn how to care for your video game consoles ahead.  

Allow Air to Circulate 

A common mistake many gamers make with their video consoles is not allowing for air to circulate. Video game consoles require a lot of firepower to work properly and it’s important for them to remain cool. Therefore, place your video game console on a TV stand that has an open back. Also, avoid keeping anything on top of or underneath your video game, as this can also keep it from having circulating air flow.   

Remove Any Dust or Grime 

Another good way to take care of your video game console is to remove dust or grime by keeping regularly cleaning it. Simply use a duster, microfiber cloth, or Swiffer to carefully remove any dust that might have gathered on your video game console. As for any grime, you can use a conservative amount of cleaning solution to wipe the console down. Be sure to keep any liquid drinks away from your console at all times and use disinfectant wipes on your video game controllers too.  

Be Cautious When You Move It 

You are bound to move your video game console at some point, and this is when a lot of damage can occur. First things first, make sure your console is off and unplugged when you are moving it, as well as making sure there is no disc inside. Moving it while a disc is inside the console can make your game unplayable. If you haven’t thrown out the box your console came in, also keep on hand as well, or invest in a console transport case. If you are transporting your console in a vehicle, make sure to place it on the floor or on a flat surface and don’t pile items on top of it.  
It’s important to know how to care for your video game console so you can keep playing for a long period of time and potentially get a good price if you ever decide to sell it.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

How to Reopen the Offices After COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic starts to wane and states start to open back up, businesses are making plans of their own. At least they should be. There won’t be a throwing open of the doors like at the start of the Kentucky Derby. State and local governments are slowly easing their lockdown restrictions and opening business a little at a time. Large companies and offices should take this time to prepare their reopening strategy so that, when they get the green light, they can bring everyone back. Here are some tips on how to reopen the offices after COVID-19 so your team can be successful going forward.

Change the Floor Plan

There is going to be a push for more space in the office, so get ready to shuffle things around. If you had the dreadful open office plan previously, now you can change it up. Look at some different concepts and plans that are effective. The multi-use office is gaining popularity among management and employees alike. It has different workstations for different kinds of work—couches, desks, long tables, and cubicles so employees can work and maintain distance in the ways that are best for them.

Give Employees Time

Don’t rush anyone back to the office. Different people have different views on the pandemic and what should happen next. Some will be ready to get back to work and out of the house, while others want some more time and prefer to work from home. Give them that option, or create a flex schedule of coming in or staying home until everyone feels safe being in the office. There is always the option of leaving full-time remote working on the table for those that want it.

There’s No Time Like the Present

If you were planning an office renovation, now is a great time to get that done. With the entire team working remotely, use the time to get rid of that open office concept and create a new workspace. This will allow you to create more space between employees and disinfect the office from the studs to the workstations. A new workspace will revitalize the team and allay some of their fears in the process.

Increase the Cleaning Budget

Whatever you are spending on office cleaning, double it. If the custodial staff was only cleaning the office twice a week, increase that to daily. Encourage the use of hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes, and provide them for anyone who wants them. Tell the team right away what steps you have taken to keep the office as clean as possible. When you’re considering how to reopen the offices after COVID-19, you’ll want to give your employees a sense that the company cares for and is concerned about their health and wellbeing.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Newest Technologies in Medical Devices

Wearable and disposable medical devices use advanced methods in their design, manufacturing, and operation. From diagnosis to treatment, the newest technologies in medical devices pave the way for faster testing, safer sampling, better usability for patients, and better educational methods for medical students.

Wearable and Mobile Technologies

Far beyond counting steps, wearable technologies have advanced to monitor data on pulse and blood pressure. Some can even track irregular heart rhythms and message doctors. COVID-19 made everyone aware of the need to monitor blood oxygen levels, and some smartphones already can do just that. Mobile ultrasound scanners help in areas that can’t afford or access the big machines. They aren’t as good at imaging as the larger machines found in medical suites, but they are a great improvement on no scanning at all.

Augmented and virtual reality are already in use in medical schools and surgical environments. Soon, it will come to rehabilitation, offering an alternative to boring, repetitive exercises and more ways to re-engage injured areas of the brain and encourage the development of new neural pathways.

Wearable devices are now extending to headsets and implantable devices that target certain areas of the brain to deliver stimulation meant to treat mental illness.

Diagnostics and Disposables

Developers of disposable diagnostic devices use advanced prototyping with advanced 3D-printing, stereolithography, and computer numeric control to save time and increase precision for new diagnostic medical devices.

Digital inhalers can measure inspiration (inhalation) and track how often a patient uses the inhaler. They can then send the data to a smartphone app, and the patient can share the information with their doctor. Hearing aids can now detect when a wearer has fallen and offer assistance. Stick-free glucose monitors have sensors that can measure blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin. They can gather and compare data to display trends and even work through clothing.

New technologies in medical devices include devices still under development that show promise, like cyborg eyes and smart tattoos that flex with the skin, are waterproof, and can detect and transmit medical data. Artificial organs, bioresorbable electronics that report data wirelessly, and 3D-printed prosthetics are in the pipeline of advanced medical devices. Each year is sure to bring new advances that improve the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Holidays Science Aficionados Celebrate

Everyone can grasp what National Donut Day is all about. But for STEM nerds, there are some special days that are all their own. Check out these holidays science aficionados celebrate, fire up your calculators (or, for you purists, your slide rules), and glory in geekhood for a while.

March 14

You already know, right? National Pi Day. This one was so obvious, but did you know that this day even has its own website? March 14 is also Einstein’s birthday.

April 25

The Human Genome Research Institute touts National DNA Day on April 25. This is a day to study and celebrate the pursuit of genetic research. Scientists encourage non-scientists to learn more about what makes each person unique at the genetic level.

May 20

National Metrology Day celebrates the science of measurement, which, as any STEM nerd worth their lab scale knows, includes the study of uncertainty. Two, four, six, eight—everybody calibrate! Seriously, metrologists and calibration professionals keep the scales honest and know the answer to “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” Well, maybe not the “Kenneth” part, but still.

October 9

Get small with National Nanotechnology Day. Selected in celebration of the nanometer scale (10-9 meters), this day celebrates advances in the science of tiny things. Celebrate with a 100 billion nanometer dash! Check Nano.gov for more fun activities at the nano level.

October 23

Speaking of measurement, let’s hear it for Avogadro’s number (6.02x1023)! Without this measure, chemistry simply wouldn’t happen. This is a day of celebration for anyone who can recite the periodic table from memory. Give yourself bonus points for knowing the atomic weight of each element. The magic happens when elements combine into compounds with a calculable molecular mass. Wow, we could do this all day!

May 5, 2025

Math fiends, this is a day for you, and you will already have deduced that this is National Square Root Day. You’ll probably get a few of these in your lifetime, but to celebrate them all, you have to live for at least a century.

Black Hole Friday

NASA wants to take your mind off shopping on the day after Thanksgiving for long enough to contemplate the mysteries of the universe. Take a break from spending this Friday, November 27, and instead look for interesting discoveries about the most confounding astronomical phenomena on NASA’s website.

Computer Science Education Week

Anyone can organize an Hour of Code any day of the year, and computer science education is so important it gets a whole week. This year, the event takes place December 7-13. If the pandemic teaches us anything good, it is that the world working from home (and working anywhere else) runs on code. Celebrate computer science and engineering in December, and help the world have a better year in 2021.

There are several online calendars where you can find holidays for science aficionados and events devoted to multiple STEM pursuits. Check your birthday, or just tomorrow, to see if you were born on a science-related day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Best Upgrades to Improve PC Performance

When you’re using a computer for regular tasks, you don’t need it to boast a lot of power. Activities like gaming are another story, though, so you may want to bolster your PC to not only accommodate such purposes, but also reach maximal functioning. What are the best upgrades to improve PC performance, though? Focus on the following aspects of your computer to see the greatest results.

RAM

RAM, which is short for random access memory, is the short-term memory your computer uses to retain information on programs that you’re currently running. It helps when you are actively using programs and when you switch to different ones while keeping multiple ones open at the same time. By adding more RAM, your computer’s capacity for running applications increases so that you have the responsiveness you want.

There are different amounts you can add on depending on what you’re using your PC for and how much RAM it can handle. For example, 8 GB is considered a moderate upgrade for basic gaming, video streaming, and other similar tasks, while 16 GB is optimal for more complex, large-scale videogames and video editing. You can even go above this to 32 GB if you so choose.

Storage Drive

In addition to RAM, your PC may also benefit from a peripheral storage drive, particularly a solid-state drive (SSD). This type of memory retains data even after the computer is shut down, unlike RAM. It’s useful when you find yourself running out of storage space on your PC or when you’re after greater speed.

You’ll notice the difference in things such as boot-ups and application launches where the computer is retrieving stored information. This means less time spent on loading screens while you wait for your computer to catch up to the commands you’ve input.

Graphics Card

A graphics card is one of the best upgrades to improve PC performance when you’re heavily into gaming or video editing. It’s responsible for forming the images you see on the monitor, so the better your graphics card is, the higher the quality of visuals your computer can display. When you’re dealing with low frames per second in gaming, a better graphics card can take a lot of the burden off the CPU in the associated calculations, allowing it to perform its operations and create the images faster.

Many computers come with an integrated graphics card built into the motherboard, but this is often not enough for demanding tasks. You’ll want to augment your PC’s performance using discrete graphics cards that are separate from the motherboard but which can be connected to it as an enhancement.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Smart Parking Solutions: The Future of Parking Lots

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creeping into every facet of life. More things are connected to the internet today than ever before. IoT is the idea that everything should be or is connected to the internet in some fashion. Smart technology that connects home appliances to a central hub is a prime example of this. Things that one wouldn’t associate with “smart” technology are popping up all the time, including parking lots. Why would a parking lot need connectivity and what on earth are smart parking solutions? Smart parking lots are more prevalent than you know—learn more about them here.

What’s a Smart Parking Lot?

A parking lot is still a parking lot; it’s a place for you to leave your car when you go shopping or see a movie. Smart parking solutions are vehicle parking systems that help drivers find an empty spot. Each space in the lot is equipped with a sensor that tracks movement within the lot and reports back to an attendant or parking app. Using sensors in each parking space that detect the presence or absence of a vehicle, signs direct incoming drivers to available locations. Parking apps that help drivers find a vacant spot use this information as they drive and help ease the congestion on the streets. Smart counter systems keep track of cars coming and going through a lot and any specific area. A connected counting system can detect when a vehicle enters and leaves the parking facility. This way, IoT-based platforms can offer drivers a real-time counter of available spots. Facility managers can use counter systems to increase the parking facility’s efficiency, determine trends and patterns regarding customer flow, and predict future vehicle surges.

The Future of Parking Systems

In the past, when a lot was made, the only concern was how many parked cars could fit there. As time went on, new regulations and laws were passed that carved out space for disabled drivers and kept a minimum distance between vehicles. The Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for parking lots provided a certain number of handicapped spaces in lots. Now, with the IoT of parking lots, construction teams and design engineers have to consider where to place sensors in the pavement, how many to place, and their signal strength and functionality. Automated parking structures are coming into the fold now, too. They go up, rather than out. A driver pulls their car in and a series of elevators move it to an available spot and deliver it when the owner comes back. It’s like a building-sized car vending machine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How Computer Modeling Benefits the World

Computer modeling greatly improves how engineers, meteorologists, and scientists plan for the future or respond in a crisis. Specifically, computer modeling utilizes a variables plugged into a computer algorithm that can functionally simulate what will happen with certain conditions. Through computer modeling, technology saves all kinds of professionals the time and effort of going through with an action until they know more clearly how it may play out. If you’d like to learn more about how computer modeling benefits the world, continue reading.

Infrastructure Design

First, modeling affects how infrastructure takes shape. Architects must consider the overall integrity of the structures they design—bridges, office buildings, schools, and more—and do so by accounting for many complex, interacting forces on the structure. It’s difficult to know how gravity will act in certain areas and whether your foundation will sustain the weight of your materials. To simulate all of this without laying a brick, architects use computer modeling that’s equipped to include these forces. You can even use it to test how your structure will react to adverse conditions, such as a storm, which illustrates its flexibility. To give an example of one type of modeling, finite element analysis (FEA) helps those in the oil and gas industry determine how fluids will act on a system, as well as other applications in other fields.

Weather Prediction

Computer modeling depends on a significant data set to give reliable feedback. That’s a particular strength of weather-predictive modeling, which has years of data to feed into its predictive algorithm to track future weather patterns. The global forecast model (GFS) and others are important for day-to-day forecasting, but become integral when predicting the path of a hurricane or determining the extent of other extreme storms. If the computer model used correctly anticipates the storm’s path and danger, it saves lives.

Tracking and Projecting Infectious Diseases

Finally, most important now during this COVID-19 pandemic, computer modeling benefits the world by predictively determining where and how infectious diseases will spread. The challenge with computer modeling for these purposes is that, because computer modeling must mimic real life closely, it needs many variables inputted correctly to adequately guide action. Because much about the coronavirus is either recently known or still unknown, it’s difficult to incorporate these variables together. It’s likely more appropriate to model the virus’s transmission via more limited models when information is lacking.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

3 Interesting Facts About Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) affects technology significantly, yet it’s practically invisible. To give a broad definition, electromagnetic interference takes the form of emitted waves at a certain frequency that disrupt separate waves of the same frequency. In layman’s terms, a signal that’s too similar to another nearby signal stops working. This is very important for companies making and attempting to protect devices. Here’s a list of three of the most interesting facts about electromagnetic interference.

EMI Is in the Air and Everywhere—Sort Of

Many devices emit electromagnetic waves, but it can be difficult for us to imagine these frequency streams because they’re invisible to our eyes. In reality, these electromagnetic waves crisscross everywhere. However, they don’t travel through the air as you might imagine. For instance, sound waves(which are mechanical waves) can travel through mediums such as air, water, or solids, but electromagnetic waves do not.

There Are Three Kinds of EMI

Another interesting fact about electromagnetic interference is that there are actually three EMI varieties. First, inherent EMI emits from the device itself, meaning the device’s emitted frequency can affect its own functioning. Second, the world and its natural events (such as storms) also emit EMI. This type of EMI—known as natural EMI—can extend beyond the Earth—large celestial bodies in space also disrupt certain waves. Finally, man-made EMI comes from other devices and structures, ranging from large power lines to small pieces of tech.

Militaries Can Weaponize EMI

Finally, some militaries weaponize the disruptive potential of EMI to cause enemy technology to fail. Some militaries employ high-altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMP) to impair enemy communication systems and gain the upper hand. Some parties use it for terrorist activities as well. This is why military technology must come with certain shielding protections that essentially render weaponized EMI harmless.

Friday, May 1, 2020

How to Improve Network Efficiency

The most dreaded words in the business world just might be. “the network is down.” When productivity and profitability rely on a fast and reliable network, IT professionals spend their time figuring out how to improve network efficiency.

It’s a Business Network, Not a Streaming Service

When everyone was still at the office, network slowdowns often happened because many people were using high-bandwidth applications, downloading big files, or streaming music all at once. Now that so many employees are working from home, it would seem those problems should disappear. But home-based workers may not realize that their problems with speed are coming from their own wireless home network. Everyone is home streaming movies, gaming, shopping, going to school, and trying to work online all at once. Provide home-based workers with suggestions about how to manage internet use at home to stay productive. Start by making sure everyone knows how to clear their cache regularly, and be helpful with suggestions about how to place routers and create faster wired connections with Ethernet cables for the device the WFH employee uses to complete their work.

Use Network Mapping and Monitoring Software

Dynamic network mapping allows IT professionals to see all the devices connected to the network, and monitoring helps identify hardware that may be the source of bottlenecks. With employees working from far-flung locations and using multiple devices to connect, keeping an eye on devices accessing your network is important not just for speed, but also for security. On the flipside, provide helpful information to home-based workers about how to encrypt their home networks and install your VPN or an app that provides VPN service.

The company’s website is its external face and lifeline to the outside world. Every minute of downtime might mean lost sales and customers. Monitor the company website daily and perform audits to ensure each page and link is working properly.

Sweep for Malware Regularly

Remind users to beware of phishing scams in their company email and advise them on how to spot a suspicious email. With data flowing in and out over home-based networks to the company network, there are more opportunities for malware to hitch a ride. Ensure network security software is up to date and that it routinely searches for malware. Plus, it must remove or quarantine any malware it may find.

Troubleshooting business networks is less onerous when improving network efficiency is a priority for all.

Monday, April 27, 2020

4 Ways to Adjust Your Marketing Strategy During COVID-19

There are several things that have changed in our current economic climate, one of these being the behavior of consumers. Online shopping habits have greatly increased, as we all seek to have whatever we need delivered to our new home. E-commerce has taken a sharp turn, but it’s far from disappeared, and businesses are working to determine ways to navigate the situation. Today we explore how you can adjust your marketing strategy during COVID-19.

Friday, April 24, 2020

What to Do When Your Internet Is Slow


Slowed Internet speeds can pop up at the most inconvenient of times. Maybe you’ve just settled into the couch with a bowl of popcorn, only to find the movie you were planning to watch is stuck on a seemingly eternal loading circle. Perhaps you need to complete some tasks as you work from home, but you’re unable to get to the next webpage. If you’re having these kinds of experiences more and more frequently, you may be at a loss for what to do when your Internet is slow. You may be able to identify and resolve the problem with the following responses.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Innovations in the Electric Car Industry

You can’t deny that technology permeates your everyday life—so much so that technology has seeped into how you travel. For example, some trains and electric cars run off solar power. Companies such as Tesla, Toyota, BMW, Ford, and Chevrolet are feeding off of one another’s innovations to produce the best electric car model. Continue reading to learn some of the innovations in the electric car industry.

Battery improvements

Since the first electric vehicle, electric batteries have seen steady improvement—both in the mile-range and startup time. For instance, many of the original electric vehicle batteries were lucky to last 150 to 200 miles on a full charge. Nowadays, consumers expect at least 200 miles on a full charge; luckily, most modern electric vehicles get well above 200 miles. For instance, the Tesla Model S boasts a range of 391 miles on a full charge.

Better charging solutions

The lack of charging stations was one of the main reasons people were skeptical about purchasing electric vehicles when they first launched. Luckily, car companies as well as the government have recognized the tremendous value of electric vehicles and are adding thousands of charging stations throughout the country. Additionally, some companies are working on including solar panels on their vehicles—that way, you’ll never have to stop to charge up.

Electric vehicles are getting bigger––much bigger

When you think of an electric vehicle, you probably think of a Toyota Prius, a BMW i3, or one of the Tesla models. These are all smaller sedans, maybe with the exception of the Tesla Model X or Y. However, in 2017, Tesla announced that they were working on an electric-powered semitruck. Of course, you can’t forget about the Cybertruck announced in 2019. In other words, electric vehicles are getting larger and larger.

Even with all these innovations in the electric car industry, you can’t neglect some basic maintenance. You won’t have any oil to change, but you’ll still need to top off fluids and maintain your brakes and tires. Luckily, you can find affordable, high-quality tires for your electric vehicle across the country.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Negative Impacts of Network Outages

Network outages can result from several circumstances, including hardware failure, device configuration changes, or operational human error, among numerous other possibilities. Because a network involves so many vital interconnected elements, a single fault or mishap can cause the whole system to go down. When such outages occur, their effects can have disastrous repercussions on a company. As such, implementing resiliency and enhancing security throughout a network is essential. To further understand the importance of such preventative measures, read about some of the negative impacts of network outages.

Hurt productivity

High productivity is at the core of any successful company. When network outages occur, such productivity becomes nearly impossible. Employees often require certain network services to carry out their work, so outages may completely halt their workflow. If the responsibilities of employees are interlinked with those of others in your company, a harmful domino effect of lost productivity could occur in various sectors. The effects of lost productivity are especially detrimental in competitive industries in which time to market is central to the success of their products or services.

Financial loss

One of the most significant negative impacts of network outages is the financial loss they often incur. When your network goes down, a series of ripple effects often occur, each of which takes a toll on the bottom line of your company. For example, network outages can lead to lost productivity, which prevents employees from creating product—which in turn can lead to lost sales revenue. To make up for the loss of productivity, you may need to pay employees overtime to meet deadlines. In addition, you’ll likely have to pay hefty IT costs to get your system back up and running and to recover any lost data.

There’s no limit to the financial implications of network outages. As such, it’s imperative to take measures to effectively prevent an outage.

Hurt reputation

When network outages occur, your production will likely halt until the network gets back up and running. Depending on how long the outage lasts, you may not be able to provide products or services to customers as promised. By inconveniencing customers or business partners, your reputation could take a hit—especially if the people you upset voice their unhappiness on online review sites or social media. As a result of your damaged reputation, customers may flock to your competition instead, which could significantly hurt your business.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Best Ways to Be More Productive While Working from Home

Due to current events, you might be working from home right now. Thanks to technology, it’s great that we have this option, but adjusting to working at home can still be tough. Here are some ways to be more productive while working from home.

Designate a Working Area

One of the hardest challenges when working from home is finding a place to stay on task. Most people like to separate their work life from their home life, but the two can start to merge when you are required to work remotely. One of the best ways to be more productive while working from home is to find a designated work area. This can be anywhere from your basement to your garage, but not only will this space help you stay focused, but you can also avoid any distractions if your family is home.

Add More Monitors

Working from home also gives you an opportunity to improve your workspace. Adding more computer monitors to your work setup is an excellent way to take your multitasking skills to the next level. Adding more doesn't have to be too expensive. Once you have your monitors in place, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of them and optimize your setup.

Move Around

When you work a sedentary job, it can create a lot of health complications. To avoid any fatigue that might prevent you from getting the job done, make sure you move around. Think about doing some chores around the house or taking out the trash to get your legs going. Also, consider getting a standing or even a treadmill desk. Don’t forget to give yourself breaks and go for a walk outside to get some fresh air.

Listen to Music

Some workplaces might not allow you to listen to your own music or play any at all. However, when you are at home, you can listen to anything you want, and it can actually make you more productive throughout the day. Experiment with different music genres or even listen to podcasts to see what works best for you.

Rely on Natural Lighting

Another way you can optimize your home office is by taking advantage of natural light. You might not have many windows in your traditional workplace, but at home, you can truly soak up the sun. Try to work in an area of your home where you don’t have to rely on artificial lighting. Letting in natural light won’t only brighten your mood; it may also make you more productive.

Be Comfortable

Make yourself comfortable to really stay as productive as possible. This doesn’t mean you should work in your bed; however, do consider wearing comfortable clothing when working from home. The right clothes can improve your productivity.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Technologies That Are Transforming Retail

Like any industry today, retailers are starting to use many new ways to increase sales and raise their profitability. While this can be through new marketing techniques, customer relations, or even new products, many people don’t realize that technologies are changing retail too. The top technologies that are transforming retail are tech-driven applications to enhance customers satisfaction and ensure fast, efficient transactions for a smooth shopping experience.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are changing the retail industry with their improvements to customer satisfaction and sales. AR uses an interactive experience where real-world objects use computer-generated information to depict a certain image. In retail, customers can use it to see how certain pieces of clothing or items would fit in their homes. This way, these customers feel more confident in their choices and are more likely to make the purchase. Additionally, retailers use VR to redesign stores or compare different products before any actual development takes place.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is making a big impact on retail today. One of the main duties of AI in retail is processing customer data. AI records buying patterns to use for merchandising to create a more personal shopping experience. Likewise, many retailers implement facial recognition software to remember customers facial data. This way, when repeated customers return, their facial scans show their shopping patterns. This allows the retailer to retrieve the right products or services beforehand. Not to mention, using facial recognition technology can deter theft because it would improve store security.

POS Software

Lastly, one final piece of technology to change retail is a point-of-sale system. Modern POS systems provide full functionality to process credit card payments, handle gift card balances, and manage employee and customer information in addition to payment processes. Many of these systems are EMV and PCI compliant to protect against credit card theft. Also, each transaction is smooth and efficient. Rather than use an older POS system or even a cash drawer, new POS systems can use cloud-based technology for each payment.

Friday, March 20, 2020

What to Know About Smart Factories

Like any industry today, manufacturing has changed to become more techno-savvy. The purpose of this is to improve production rates and quality assurance. This new type of manufacturing, often called smart manufacturing, utilizes internet-based systems to manage large data processes and quick changes. For more information, read below on what to know about smart factories and how they’re changing the manufacturing industry today.

What Is a Smart Factory?

A smart factory refers to the utilization of modern technologies and innovations in the realm of smart manufacturing. It employs computer-based systems to adapt and change designs rapidly, process digital information, and optimize the supply chain. This leads to more efficient production and a flexible workforce. Unlike previous automated techniques, smart manufacturing uses intelligent automation and interoperable network systems to increase data storage and manage supply chains. This can handle large data sets easier and react to orders or changes faster.

The Current Impact on Manufacturing

Given its reliance on new technologies, smart factories have changed manufacturing significantly. Smart manufacturing relies on what’s called the industrial internet of things (IIoT). This refers to the interconnected sensors, instruments, and machines networked via a computer’s industrial applications. This is to increase integration and data storage through cloud software and computational metrics to track workflow. The interconnectivity allows for more efficient data processing to enhance the flow of production. Additionally, the various benefits of industrial robots has tremendously improved production rates and speeds. Many robots work with humans to evaluate sensory input and solve problems. They are flexible and can reconfigure to handle different problems when needed.

More so, industrial robots ensure a safer work environment. This is because less error on the manufacturing floor mean less accidents. Also, robots can handle different high-risk applications that too dangerous for humans, such as high temperatures, exposure to certain materials, or other occupational hazards that humans cannot handle.

Industries That Use Smart Factories

With this, it’s interesting to see which industries use smart manufacturing in their daily operations. Two main industries that do this are the automotive industry and the energy industry. The use of robots in these factories mean 24-hour production times, more accurate inspection findings, and more detailed assessments. These devices also help these industries take a greener approach in their daily operations. Specifically, IIoT devices integrated with sensing systems can optimize energy consumption while balancing power generation and usage. Robots are especially useful in the automotive industry where IIoT devices process data to effectively manage and customize vehicles, as the robots conduct the heavy repetitive tasks.

5 Creative Ways to Use Digital Signage in your Store

If foot traffic and sales in your brick-and-mortar retail outlet are lagging, it might be time to shake things up. Devise a new marketing strategy for in-store promotions and re-engage your customers. The human eye is drawn to a screen—marketing professionals and ad execs have known this for decades. As we go through our daily lives surrounded by screens, we can’t help but try to look at all of them. Use screens to your advantage by placing them in your store. Smart business owners use visuals to engage their customers and boost sales inside their stores. Here are some ways to use digital signage to improve your business.

Promote Your Other Platforms

People are in your store because they like your products and services. They’ve already decided that they like you and your shop, so give them more. Use digital signage to promote your other platforms and services. Show customers what else you have going on, such as your social media, YouTube channel, or an upcoming tradeshow you will be attending. If your store has another location, promote that as well and get more traffic in there, too.

Create a Window Display

It’s not enough to hope that people see your store from the street as they walk or drive by. You have to grab their attention and pique their curiosity. Set up a window display that dazzles the eye and brings people in. Run promotions, product demos, or clips of whatever—just use that screen as a big hook to bring people in.

Run Product Demos

Use the screen to demonstrate your products. Set up a simple demonstration, infomercial style. There is a reason those still run on TV—they are effective. Show customers how great your products are and how to use them in different and creative ways.

Tell Your Story

Consumers want to connect with a brand now, not just buy products. They want to feel that the brand speaks to them and has similar values. Use the digital space to tell customers about your business and how it came to be. Tell them what your business is doing to help the community at large. It’s your story, so craft it however you like but be genuine in the approach. Everyone loves a great story about overcoming odds, not a fantastic story full of embellishments.

Inform About Coming Promotions

Make the display a bulletin board for your customers. Provide information about upcoming promotions and sales, shows you will be at, and whatever else you think they need to know. Be a resource for your customers and tell them what new products are coming in and when they’ll be available for purchase. If you don’t tell your customers about your services, no one else will.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Ways to Improve the Audio Quality in Your Car

We tend to spend a lot of time in our cars, in large part due to work commutes. One way to instantly improve your work commute is to listen to music, but you might be dealing with audio issues that prevent you from jamming out. Here are some ways to improve the audio in your car and enjoy your favorite songs on the way home.

Replace Factory Speakers

The first order of business you should do is replace the factory speakers that you are given with your car. Factory parts in general are known for being lower quality, but the good news is you can easily replace them. When you get new car speakers, consider adding a subwoofer; it will enhance the sound even more.

Get a New Head Unit

If you are someone who owns an older car, then your head unit is likely outdated with a CD and cassette player. The good news is you can easily replace the unit and get a brand new one with satellite radio, USB outlets, and Bluetooth capabilities.

Download High-Quality Music Files

While many people tend to stream music off apps today, but this could be a reason why your audio quality is low. To avoid this, download your music at a higher quality because you will get a more consistent sound because it’s already stored on your device.

Consider Sound Deadening

Another way to improve the audio quality in your car is to consider sound deadening. Sound deadening will essentially soundproof your car. You might be driving a truck or a Jeep, which are known for making a lot of noise. To soundproof your car, install sound deadening foam on your vehicle’s floor, insulate the doors, get new tires, and get a new muffler if you need one. These changes will greatly improve how you listen to music in your car.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Free Up Storage on Your Mac with iCloud; Why Doesn't Additional Free Space Become Available After Transfer from Mac to iCloud

According to Apple, optimized Storage in macOS Sierra and later can save space by storing your content in iCloud and making it available on demand. When storage space is needed, files, photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use are stored in iCloud automatically. Each file stays right where you last saved it, and downloads when you open it. Files that you’ve used recently remain on your Mac, along with optimized versions of your photos.

You can transfer older files to iCloud by manually dragging files from your local Documents folder to a folder you name ArchiveDocuments if you wish. For example, you can free up local space by dragging all of your file from 2016 to folder you could name "Documents2016."

Lets say you move 3 GB worth of files from your local Mac to iCloud. You might not see the 3 GB extra space immediately. It will likely show up after a restart, but you can also prompt the extra space to display by opening the Storage Management window:

Access the the Storage Management menu from Apple Menu: About This Mac: Storage Tab (in the Storage Management). On slower Macs it may take awhile for space capacity, partitions and availability to display. You will see "calculating" perhaps for a few minutes before the information properly displays. When it displays, you will see the latest space available with the extra 3 GB available.

Store in iCloud
Click the Store in iCloud button, then choose from these options:

Desktop and Documents. Store all files from these two locations in iCloud Drive. When storage space is needed, only the files you recently opened are kept on your Mac, so that you can easily work offline. Files stored only in iCloud show a download icon , which you can double-click to download the original file. Learn more about this feature.

Photos. Store all original, full-resolution photos and videos in iCloud Photos. When storage space is needed, only space-saving (optimized) versions of photos are kept on your Mac. To download the original photo or video, just open it.

Messages. Store all messages and attachments in iCloud. When storage space is needed, only the messages and attachments you recently opened are kept on your Mac. Learn more about Messages in iCloud.

Storing files in iCloud uses the storage space in your iCloud storage plan. If you reach or exceed your iCloud storage limit, you can either buy more iCloud storage or make more iCloud storage available. iCloud storage starts at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month, and you can purchase additional storage directly from your Apple device. Learn more about prices in your region. In March 2020 2 TB of storage costs $9.99 per month (50GB: $0.99 and 200GB: $2.99).

Optimize Storage
Click the Optimize button, then choose from these options.

Automatically remove watched movies and TV shows. When storage space is needed, movies or TV shows that you purchased from the iTunes Store and already watched are removed from your Mac. Click the download icon  next to a movie or TV show to download it again.

Download only recent attachments. Mail automatically downloads only the attachments that you recently received. You can manually download any attachments at any time by opening the email or attachment, or saving the attachment to your Mac.

Don't automatically download attachments. Mail downloads an attachment only when you open the email or attachment, or save the attachment to your Mac.

Optimizing storage for movies, TV shows, and email attachments doesn't require iCloud storage space.

See more at support.apple ...

How to free up storage space on your Mac ...

Friday, February 28, 2020

Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing

Social media seems to be everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s used for personal or professional purposes, there’s no denying the influence that social media has on society. Social media is so influential that many companies now use various social media platforms to market to and interact with consumers. There are many different social media platforms, each with its own unique uses and advantages. This guide to some of the best social media platforms for marketing will help you sift through the sites to find the platforms that work best for your business’s marketing strategy.

Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words, so it stands to reason that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for marketing. Instagram is a popular choice for marketing to consumers of all ages and backgrounds, thanks to the fact that people of all different demographics use Instagram. Companies commonly use Instagram to share photos and videos of up-and-coming products or to provide insider information regarding a current promotion.
The uptick in social media influencers has also helped make Instagram a popular platform for marketing. Partnering with popular social media influencers and encouraging them to post photos using the company’s products helps widen the audience base for that company. Consumers are heavily influenced by celebrities, and seeing an influencer use a certain product increases the likelihood that the consumers themselves will also purchase that product.

Snapchat

What once began as a fun way to share photos back and forth with friends is now a highly profitable platform for social media marketing. Snapchat allows companies to contact consumers in a quick and fun way. Photo filters and public stories provide consumers a fun way to interact with the company while also allowing them to get in on the action themselves.
Companies will also frequently post Snapchat stories that provide a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming product launches or promotional events. Snapchat is especially effective when used in tandem with event marketing. Companies leverage Snapchat for their marketing events through unique geofilters, fun photo walls, and pre-event promotional posts.

Facebook

Certain social media platforms are more effective at marketing to consumers within a specific demographic than others. Facebook is one such platform. Though it was originally devised as a means for young adults and college students to interact with each other, Facebook is now more commonly used by older adults and individuals within the baby boomer generation. However, it’s still highly effective at marketing to consumers within this specific demographic.
This type of consumer generally prefers one-on-one conversation with company representatives and places a high importance on quality customer service. These elements are easily achievable through Facebook, as it allows companies and consumers to speak directly to one another through comments or private messaging. Facebook also lends itself to slightly longer posts than some other social media platforms, allowing a company to provide detailed information to its customers, yet another factor that older consumers value.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Is Having a Smart Home Worth it?

Smart devices and appliances continue to flood into the marketplace as fast as manufacturers can make them. Every day, the latest and greatest widget hits the market, tantalizing consumers with their ease of use, connectivity, and sophistication. Converting your home into a smart home might seem like the right thing to do. There are some things to consider, though, before making that decision—both good and bad. Before making the investment of time and money in the conversion, ask yourself: is having a smart home worth it?

Pros

There are Buckets of Convenience

Adding smart lighting, plugs, and thermostats to your home ups the convenience level in your home exponentially. We can all get up off the couch and turn on the lights, but now you’ve given yourself another option; not getting up and doing it from your smart device. Have you ever tried to explain to someone how to turn on your TV and cable box? It’s like entering a combination to a safe. Now, you only have to tell them, “say ‘Alexa, turn on the TV.’” Done.

Problem Solving Abounds

Smart homes help you solve daily problems and annoyances. Anyone with kids knows the frustration of speaking to someone in another room. Ask a kid to go get their brother and they will move two feet from you and yell for them. Thanks for the help. Voice assistants eliminate this problem. For people with handicaps, smart sensors on lights illuminate rooms as they enter—and for anyone else, for that matter.

Cons

There are Safety Concerns

With all this technology and connectivity, though, comes concerns that are specific to home networks. First and foremost is the network’s security. There are people in the world that are up to no good and would love nothing more than to corrupt your smart home to steal information and resources from you. The more devices in your home that are connected to the internet, the more vulnerable you are. You must take precautions to protect your smart home from hackers.

Devices Can Stop Working

A smart device or appliance might be super cool and advanced, but it’s a machine, and machines break down. The more technology that a machine has, the more chances there are for something in it to break. When it breaks, the more sophisticated it is, the less likely you can fix it yourself. That means either calling in a professional, replacing it altogether, or both. Keep in mind that just because something is first to the market, doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

5 Awesome Benefits of Wireless Earbuds

5 Awesome Benefits of Wireless Earbuds

There are so many cool gadgets on the market nowadays that are worth getting. As of late, wireless earbuds have been incredibly popular for smartphone users. Here are some of the great benefits of wireless earbuds and why you should consider ditching wired ones.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Surprising Industries that Benefit from Virtual Reality

While virtual reality was first prominently used in the gaming industry, its use has translated into various other fields that may surprise you. Virtual reality might still be relatively new, but many industries are utilizing the technology. Learn all about some industries that benefit from virtual reality.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Notable 2020 Video Games That Have Been Delayed

2020 is going to be a big year for video games because of the launch of next generation consoles later in the year and all the major titles coming out. However, some of the most anticipated games slated for 2020 have been delayed recently. Many developers have said that these delays are to improve the quality of the games and ensure that it runs properly. Discover when the 2020 video games that have been delayed will be arriving.

Cyberpunk 2077

One of the most anticipated video games coming out in 2020 is Cyberpunk 2077. While the game is still coming this year, it was recently announced that CD Projekt Red is pushing Cyberpunk 2077 back from its original April 16, 2020. Cyberpunk 2077 will now hit consoles September 17, 2020.

Marvel’s Avengers

Another 2020 video game that has been delayed recently is Marvel’s Avengers. The highly anticipated superhero video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-MontrĂ©al was first announced back in 2017. Marvel’s Avengers was originally announced for May, but the game will now be available September 4, 2020.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Marvel’s Avenger isn’t the only video game from Square Enix facing a delay. The Final Fantasy VII Remake of the 1997 game was first announced in 2015. The massive project has now shifted from a March release date to April 10, 2020. The Final Fantasy VII Remake will also be released in parts, with the first taking place in Midgar.

The Last of Us Part 2

The first Last of Us is considered by many as one of the greatest video games of all time. Its sequel was originally set for a February release, but video game developer Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann confirmed that Part 2 will now be coming out on May 29, 2020, for PlayStation 4.

Dying Light 2

Another title from Square Enix that has been delayed is Dying Light 2. The upcoming Dying Light sequel was going to hit in the spring; however, the game has now been delayed indefinitely. It is also speculated that Dying Light 2 could now become a next-generation release.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Trends in e-Commerce for 2020

New e-commerce trends pop up at a dizzying pace, in large part to e-commerce’s growing popularity. Consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to and comfortable with doing their shopping online. Powerhouses like Amazon and Alibaba are changing how we shop, and traditional retailers are getting into the act with more offerings online and curbside pickup. All this growth means that distributors and warehouses must keep up with the demands of shipping and receiving. Keeping pace means, for instance, having well-trained forklift operators that don’t make common mistakes, changing warehouse layouts, digitizing operations, and creating as lean an environment as possible. Below are just a few examples of the e-commerce trends you can expect to see in 2020.

Chatbots

You know that little dialog box that pops up on your screen and looks like a customer service rep waiting to help you? That’s a chatbot. It’s an automated customer service tool that helps funnel your choices down and find what you are looking for on the site. It will also direct you to an actual person if it’s not able to find what you want.

Machine Learning and AI

AI and machine learning remain the hottest trend in e-commerce. Before modern algorithms came about, product recommendations came about mostly manually. That was usually inaccurate and wildly inefficient. Now, recommendations can come automatically, in an instant, and more closely match the customer’s preferences.

Customer Personalization

E-commerce personalization is creating personal shopping experiences that cater to a customer’s individual tastes and preferences, not an all-encompassing experience. Instead of a one-size-fits-all campaign, retailers will ensure key elements of the customer journey, such as on-site browsing, social media activity, and paid ads, change based on the customer’s wants and past behaviors.

Conversion Optimization

Across almost all markets, competition for customers is fierce. Because of the competition, e-commerce optimization is key to winning those customers. It helps you stand out from the rest. This concept means looking at the conversions on your site instead of overall sales. Getting conversions once a customer finds your site is all that matters. Constant evolution of the site and tweaking things based on customer habits is a good start.

Headless e-Commerce

Customers are seldom aware of their favorite site’s technical side. Headless e-commerce is a hot topic right now, as it allows the presentation layer of a site to be separated from the functionality. Because of that, services can provide a more personalized experience for the customer and have richer site content. It allows retailers to alter their storefront at will, changing the look of the site and the overall aesthetics. Sites like Shopify or Magento are good examples of headless e-commerce.

How to Develop a Workplace Training Program

Every time your company installs a new system, upgrades software, or adds “smart” equipment, your employees require training on how to make the most productive use of the new technology. The current labor market is tight, and finding people with the necessary skills is a challenge, so companies are taking on more responsibility to provide training to new and existing employees. A successful and effective workplace training program takes research and planning. These steps will help your company develop a workplace training program that prepares your team for new challenges.

Conduct a Needs Assessment

Before you develop content for a workplace training program, you have to know why you’re doing it. What needs are you trying to address, and what skills are lacking that need development? Most importantly, what are the goals for the program? Training should support an identified business objective by addressing areas that need improvement in order to meet that goal.

For example, in the case of new system implementation involving a major data migration to the new platform, your employees need training in what will be different and how to use the new system productively. Your goal will likely be ensuring that all users are competent and confident in using the new system by a stated date, with minimal disruption to service. Figure out what employees need to do to accomplish your goal, and break down how each role they occupy will contribute. Develop a workplace training program that clearly targets specific objectives.

Identify a Leader

Your director of learning and development is the natural team lead for crafting new workplace training, but if your organization is smaller, you may not have someone who holds that title. The program manager should be enthusiastic, curious, and willing to listen to various perspectives about what new skills or knowledge employees need. Choose someone people talk to easily and with whom staff feel comfortable sharing ideas.

Understand Adult Learners

Respect your team’s experience and don’t waste their time with irrelevant training. They want to learn what they need to know and get back to work. Adults respond best to self-directed, task- and goal-oriented training where they learn information they want to learn. Be prepared to answer questions about what’s in it for them. Will the training result in career advancement, or will it solve a workplace problem and give them greater job satisfaction? Perhaps your organization has set a lofty goal of helping every staff member understand new industry standards. In those cases, it’s best to utilize a high-quality workplace training program. Emphasize that the work that goes into training will pay off for individual employees who gain upgraded skills and fluency with best practices in your industry.

Identify How You Will Measure Results

It’s disheartening to invest significant work time in a training program and then never hear another word about it. Communicate to employees how their newly gained skills and knowledge benefit the company as a whole and back up your claims with concrete data. Tell workers the positive results of their efforts and thank them for their hard work in deploying their new skills.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

5 Invaluable Life-Saving Medical Devices

The survival rate for life threatening diseases and medical issues continues to increase. That’s because someone invented a life-saving medical device to diagnose, treat, or repair their medical issue. The medical field always leads the innovation and creation of new and better machines. Advances in medical technology continue to shape the world we live in and extend the life expectancy of us all.

Ventilators

Mechanical ventilators are invaluable for keeping patients alive that can’t breathe for themselves. Doctors use them during surgery when a patient goes under a general anesthetic and can’t breathe. In cases of paralysis, brain damage, or patients in comas, ventilators will breathe for them until they can do it themselves. It’s crucial, though, that these patients receive the proper care.

Pace Makers

Since its invention in 1950, the pacemaker has been an invaluable life-saving tool. A patient will have the pacemaker surgically implanted into the chest or abdomen. This small device helps the heart beat normally by using electric pulses. A normal functioning heart can control itself with its own electrical system. It controls the rate and the rhythm of the heartbeat by sending a signal from the top of the heart to the bottom, causing it to contract and pump blood. The pacemaker does this when the heart can’t. Advances in the technology made the pacemaker smaller and programmable to fit a patient’s specific needs.

MRI Scan Technology

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses nuclear magnetic resonance to combine a magnetic field and radio waves to create a detailed image of the tissues and organs inside the human body. The magnetic field temporarily realigns the hydrogen atoms in the body, then the radio waves cause the atoms to make very faint signals to create the cross-sectional MRI images. In short, the image is map of radio signals created by the body.

Insulin Pumps

Millions of people worldwide struggle with diabetes. Even with regular injections of insulin, many diabetics still suffer from huge swings in their blood sugar levels or have unpredictable side effects from the insulin. Insulin pumps now automate most of the daily insulin injections for people. They deliver a steady, measured, and continuous doses of insulin, or a surge dose on request at mealtimes. A flexible plastic tube is inserted into the fatty tissue of the skin to deliver the insulin. The pumps provide diabetics with better control over their illness.

Computed Tomography Scans

Better known as CT scans, this imaging marvel uses special x-ray equipment to create detailed scans of areas inside the body. It creates a 3D picture and can detect smaller abnormalities better than traditional x-rays or other methods. It is used to diagnose cancer, check head injuries, check the skeletal system, and find other diseases. Images created this way are far more detailed than ultrasounds and x-rays, and it allows doctors to accurately diagnose patients.

Monday, January 13, 2020

How to Set Up a Home Network: A Simple Guide

Setting up your own home network isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. When you’re figuring out how to set up your home network, you might need a few extra cables and connectors, and you’ll definitely need the following:

Modem

Your ISP may want to rent you one, but you might be better off buying your own. In the long run, it will be cheaper to own your modem than to rent it. Do your research online to discover modems that are compatible with your ISP and your download speed. Your provider should have a list posted on their site of compatible devices. The modem connects to the internet. While you are deciding which modem to buy, your ISP will likely be announcing an upgrade in your connection speed—so consider staying power when you select your modem.

Router

Your router distributes an internet connection throughout your home. Most routers also provide several ethernet cable ports for wired connections. Game consoles and streaming services can gobble a lot of bandwidth and slow down everyone else’s wireless connection, so placing those devices near the router and connecting them with ethernet cables will give them a speedy connection while minimizing interference with wireless devices. As with a modem, when purchasing a router, consider the future and the perpetual increases in connection speed. Newer routers will support two kinds of networks: 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz—the first has greater range will the latter has better throughput, but lesser range.

Cabling

If you’ve decided to put the kids and their console in the basement with the router, you may need some additional cabling for your “mixed” wired/wireless network. Ethernet cables have speed limits, so consult your supplier about which cable type will work for your network.

Configuration

Most manufacturers have made configuring a new router easy, with step-by-step instructions on how to set up your home network. You may have online access to the network admin dashboard, as well. Plug in your modem, connect your router to it with the proper cable, and then follow your router brand’s instructions for setting up and adding devices, such as laptops, tablets, and wireless printers. Once the network is up, phones and other mobile devices will detect it and if the user has been added with a password, they can log on.

Pay attention to security. Wi-Fi is most susceptible to security issues, so work your way through instructions for securing your wireless network with encryption and passwords. If you work at home, you must make sure your network and devices will support access to your company’s VPN, or that you can use a VPN service to protect your wireless connection. Depending on your router, you may need to configure users and their levels of network access.

Boosters

If you have a large home, or your signal will encounter a lot of walls or interference from appliances, you may need to add signal boosters in a few places around the home. These do what their name implies—boost the signal from your router to make it stronger in places that are otherwise difficult for it to reach.

If you run into trouble connecting, search online for troubleshooting instructions or try the time-tested tactic of resetting or unplugging everything and starting over.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Data Security Measures for Businesses

Data breaches can have devastating impacts on your business. In addition to damaging a company’s reputation, threatening the safety of employers and customers, and incurring serious legal ramifications, data breaches can result in debilitating financial losses from which some companies never recover. Due to the many serious complications that can occur as a result of a data breach, you undeniably need to protect your business’s data. To learn how to better protect your company’s data, consider implementing these data security measures for businesses.

Set up a firewall

Setting up a firewall will help protect your business’s network from data breaches. Based on predetermined security rules, these network security systems block unauthorized external networks from accessing the network. While serving as a barrier, they still allow for outward communication.

Shred old hard drives

Hard drives store extensive amounts of data for many businesses. If such hard drives do not get properly disposed of, data is at risk of someone steal it. Hard drives are incredibly durable, which means that they can undergo a lot of damage before the data on them becomes completely unrecoverable. One of the only ways to ensure data is destroyed is by shredding the hard drive.

Install antivirus protection

No business’s data security protocol is complete without effective antivirus and anti-malware software. If unwanted attackers get though to your network, this software will serve as your business’s last line of defense. They prevent, detect, and remove harmful viruses.

Regularly update your computer

Regularly updating your computer will ensure your data’s security. If you choose not to update your computer, you won’t have the latest versions of your security applications protecting your data. Thus, any issues that such systems had will not be resolved on your device. As a result, your data becomes more vulnerable to a security attack. It’s highly important not to forgo regular computer updates.

How Alkaline Batteries Are Made

Alkaline batteries are a dependable energy source and can last several years. They use a positive electrode based on manganese (IV)oxide and a negative electrode made of zinc. It has an electrolyte from a concentrated alkaline solution. At the positive electrode, the manganese (IV) oxide converts into manganese (III) oxide and hydroxyl ions. The zinc reacts with the hydroxyl ions at the negative electrode, releasing the electrons that power the circuit. With this, how alkaline batteries are made is essential to understanding why they’re useful today. All the mechanisms that go into battery production are monitored by industrial web guiding systems, and battery manufacturing companies can purchase these components to ensure maximum proficiency.

Cathode

  1. The cathode acts as part of the battery’s container. The manganese dioxide, carbon black (graphite), and electrolyte (potassium hydroxide mixed in a solution) mix in large batches. This mixture is then granulated and pressed into hollow cylinders (preforms). Several of these cylinders may be stacked on each other, or an extruded ring of the same material replaces them.
  2. The cylinders are inserted into a nickel-plated steel can. The steel can and cylinder make up the battery’s entire cathode. An indentation is made near the top of the can, and a sealant is placed to protect against leakage.

Separator

A paper separator soaked in the electrolyte solution is inserted against the preforms. This separator keeps the cathode material from contacting the anode material. It is made from either several pieces of paper or a porous synthetic fiber.

Anode

A gel made from zinc powder, potassium hydroxide electrolyte, and other materials is placed next. It is not filled to the top, to allow for chemical reactions to occur.

Seals

  1. At this point, the battery is an open-cell. Although it could produce electricity, it would not last long. To ensure its long-lasting potential, it needs a brass nail or spike inserted in the middle of the can. It also needs a plastic seal and a metal end cap. The nail is welded to the metal end cap and passes through the plastic seal.
  2. The seal meets the indentation at the top of the can and is crimped in place.
  3. A steel plate closes the positive end of the battery after being welded in place or glued with an epoxy cement.

Packaging

A label is glued on to show the size, type, and other information.

Quality Control

All batteries are checked for optimal quality control. Manufactures check various conditions to ensure a stable shelf life and to protect against corrosion. All steps in the manufacturing process and post-production are checked for error.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How E-Waste Affects the Environment

With people replacing their electronics continually, it’s often wondered: where do all the old electronics go? Electronics that are thrown away and end up in waste management facilities are known as electronic waste, or e-waste for short. E-waste is responsible for many human and environmental issues. While electronics recycling programs exist, improper e-recycling contributes to more human and environmental issues than intended. The harmful effects of e-waste on the environment are through air, water, and soil pollution, as heavy metals and other contaminants enter these pathways.

Pollutes the Air

When e-waste is transported to different management centers, it is dismantled and shredded. This contributes to dust and particulates in the air that affect workers and local wildlife. Electronics that have little repair value are burned, but these electronics also contain different plastics and non-combustive materials. Excessive heavy metals can destroy plant and animal life, thus permanently altering ecosystems.

Ruins Water Sources

E-waste pollutes water sources through improperly designed landfills and improper recycling or disposal. The metals and chemicals leach into water sources and ruin them, making the water contaminated and undrinkable. These contaminants also contribute to acidification and toxification. Furthermore, heavy metals accumulate in water ecosystems to the point where restoration is impossible. They also accumulate in fish, where humans can ingest unhealthy amounts of heavy metals through these food sources.

Contaminates the Soil

As e-waste is improperly disposed, the heavy metals and chemicals leach down into the soil, contaminating the groundwater and ruining the soil quality. Coarse particles and bottom ash can also contaminate the soil. Once in the soil, these pollutants remain for a long time. Plants, animals, and humans are all exposed to the toxins in the soil, which can damage cell structure, alter metabolisms, and reduce growth. Similarly, children can ingest toxic soil particles from poor hygiene or having consumed foods where heavy metals have bio-accumulated, such as meat, eggs, and fish. This is harmful to their developing bodies. For example, lead alters nerve cells, lowers IQ, and can permanently destroy brain cells.

The Importance of Reducing E-Waste

While all of these are devastating environmental effects, there are ways to reduce your e-waste footprint. Consumers should purchase a new electronic device only when needed. Doing this instead of replacing your smartphone or other electronic device every year will greatly reduce the amount of e-waste in landfills. Additionally, you can repair electronics instead of replacing them entirely. This is especially true if your electronic device has a small issue or fixable issue. Today, there is a push to allow consumers to modify their own electronic goods. This will reduce the amount of electronics needed when simple modifications can suffice.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Top Reasons Why You Need to Network

Networking changed quite a bit thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Indeed, Twitter, and many others. We can connect with so many people to benefit our careers through the power of technology. Since it’s easier now than ever before, here are the top reasons why you need to network for your career, regardless of the industry.

Creates Good Word of Mouth

A main reason why many people see networking as a valuable tool is because it can create a good word of mouth. Networking with people on social media and in person can build your reputation due to the interactions you have. People can then use the positive experiences they had with you and recommend your services to others.

Opens Doors

In addition to creating a good word of mouth, another reason why you need to network is so you can open doors for yourself. As you progress through your career, you want to have many opportunities to achieve your goals. By networking with other people in your industry, there’s a good chance they know someone who can connect you with someone who can further your career.

Improves Communication Skills

Communication today is more than just human interaction due to the various social media platforms. Networking allows you to improve your communication skills by interacting with others on social media and meeting people in person. While it’s a bit easier to connect with someone online, one successful way to network in person is to attend events in your local community.

Make Connections in the Industry

Besides making a new connection, another reason why you need to network is so you can meet people in the industry you are either currently in or hope to be in someday. This point goes back to giving yourself opportunities you may not have had if you didn’t meet new people. Networking can also create future partnerships that can even alter your career path.