Cars and trucks are definitely not what they were ten years ago. They are faster, more efficient, more powerful, safer – every new piece of progress in the computer processing chain, and every new industrial breakthrough means that vehicles are going to improve across the board. Keeping up with some of these changes is a good idea so you can tell what kind of machine you want to purchase next. [Read more…]
Technology is great for entertainment. Technology is awesome for business. Those are typically the two things most associated with improvements and the modern world regarding equipment and devices. But, you can also look into the fact that technology can help with law enforcement. [Read more…]
It’s a peculiar time in history to be a human, so far as the intersection of technology and connection are involved. Never has it been easier to find and keep track of friends and family, objectively all over the world, in real time. But now that the connections are available, they can seem weaker, and the distraction of constant connection also plays a role in certain types of frustration.
If you want to figure out how to have the proper balance between digital and physical contact with those closest to you, consider what defines family time, how social media related depression works, how to self-populate memories, where strong and weak connections come into play, and how much energy you should spend bringing older generations into the new flow of things.
What Defines Family Time
Especially with the prevalence of mobile phones, how do you define family time in your household? Without some sort of rules regarding cell phone and gadget use, things can and do get out of hand quickly. Parents and children stop paying attention to each other, even if they’re in the same room, which leads to long-term breakdowns in communication if the behavior goes on unchecked.
Social Media Related Depression
People who spend too much time online in social media frameworks can also run into a situation where they become depressed because it seems like everyone else has a better life than they do. This is all a construct of presentation – it’s not reality! But, if you reach an improper balance of your online and in-person relationships, you may end up assuming that you have it worse off than the average person that you see posting things in their friends’ circles.
One huge positive when it comes to friends and family connections so far as technology goes is the ability to self-populate photo albums for instance. By using the Facebook ‘Moments’ app, you can spend more time actually interacting with your family, as opposed to everyone duplicating efforts to make sure that everybody has the individual photos of an event that they want.
Figuring Out Strong and Weak Connections
There are different types of connections when it comes to mobile devices and digital pathways, and it’s important to distinguish between them. The two main categories are strong and weak, and the more you understand the difference between the two, the more likely you’ll find the right balance between them with respect to your other relationships as well.
Bringing In Older Generations
Older generations of people haven’t quite adopted new social technology as much as new generations have. Depending on your age and social media use, you may want to make sure that you take the time to show older people how it all works. Once your parents and grandparents understand the overall concept, it can make many different types of communication much easier.
Stepping into the great outdoors has changed pretty dramatically in the last few decades. A bevy of electronic devices is available to make your great adventure into the darkest forests a little bit safer. Major developments in battery life, smaller components, and higher powered processors have allowed big operation in small, lightweight packages. What are 5 newly essential devices you need in the wild with you?
Of all the areas of outdoor electronics, the GPS has had the most considerable impact on backcountry travel. Magellan offered the first handheld GPS device in 1989, and since then the race has been on. Current versions of the handheld GPS provide present location, directions, tracking, waypoints, and mapping. Look for durability, battery life, coverage, and additional features that can from weather to altimeters. A good GPS can save your life in case of an emergency. Backcountry hiking and skiing have been made much safer and more available to many because of the security and accuracy of GPS location.
Though not an electronic device, not having clean water will definitely make any other device not matter. Modern water filtration has made pulling water out of the worst standing water situations pretty viable for getting clean, safe water. Ranging from large Gravity filtration for handling large amounts to small highly portable mine filtration systems clean water is a drip away. No longer do you have to worry about intestinal disorders making your backwoods adventures real adventures.
Range finders are being used in a number of areas, and they offer great benefits in archery, golf, shooting, and hiking. Rangefinders allow you to very accurately gauge distances to specific objects. Look for ease of use, rugged durability, low light capabilities, and optical quality. Whether your target is a bull elk or the tee on the fifth hole, your odds will increase dramatically when you know accurate distances.
If you have any thoughts of seeing wildlife, having a good set of binoculars will be important to you. Binocular manufacturers offer a myriad of options for the buyer. Choose the style that most suits you intended to use. Other considerations to look at are price, binocular size, magnification power, objective lens diameter, brightness, relative brightness, eye relief, the field of view, focus ability, lens coatings, weather, fog, and water resistance. Electronics have even combined the binocular with the rangefinder. Great optics are worth the money, as going cheap in this area most always leads to disappointment.
This may seem to be an odd addition, but one of the joys of exploring the outdoors is hearing critters as they move about or around your campsite. Learning who has been checking you out can be a fascinating and sometimes frightening affair. Good trail cameras will take a multitude of pictures, store them on SD card, date, and time stamp, be very durable and easy to use.
Take advantage of these most modern additions to your pack. Not only will they potentially save your life but some of these will definitely enhance your outdoor experience.
That smartphone in your hand is great for filling your hunger for calls, texts, and social media, but what about filling your belly? With some of the current apps available, your phone can go a long way toward satisfying your need for real food.
What apps are now available to help you when you step into the grocery aisles? Let’s take a look.
- Anylist. This app will help you to organize multiple grocery lists and share them with your friends and family.
- Fooducate. This is a nutrition assistant. Fooducate educates you on the nutritional values of the items you are interested in purchasing or recommends healthier organic alternatives.
- Grocery IQ. This is a database app that will help you find the products and the coupons to buy them. This app allows you to order and customize your orders.
- Pantry Manager. Super helpful, this app allows you to keep a basic inventory of the stock in your pantry. It prompts you when your stores are low and even finds coupons so you can save money when you buy.
- Redlaser. This allows you to scan barcodes to see if you are getting the best prices on the food and supplies you are buying. It allows you to search for coupons and find nutritional facts as well.
- Shopping Pro. This adds an edge of organization to your basic apps, allowing the exceptionally organized to import/export their lists to their PC for storage and tracking.
- ShopWell. This helps you meet your dietary requirements by scanning the barcodes to find out if the item you are purchasing is a match for your diet. It sorts out organic, vegan, gluten, lactose, and other allergies to help you avoid the wrong products.
- Smart shopping list. This offers the ability to use multiple lists, set budgets, set aisles, and arrange for notifications for when you are out.
Grocery shopping is unavoidable if you have any desire to eat or feed your family. These apps will help you to get the food in your house, but what are some apps to help get the food on the table?
- Big Oven. This inspires you with a library of over 35,000 recipes, including access to grocery lists, social media, and a weekly organizer.
- Food Network. This app brings the kitchens of the food network into your home. Inspiring you with the recipes of your favorite TV chefs, the app includes videos, photos, and how to’s for your favorite recipes. You can add your own notes, create grocery lists, and create custom searches for ingredients or chefs.
- Yummly. This sets itself apart by having the most powerful search engine of the bunch. You can itemize your search based on a variety of criteria. Want vegan lasagna, need gluten free recipes, or desire low cal desserts? Yummly’s going to help you find a recipe that matches your need.
- Allrecipes. A community-based app providing a social feel. With the app on, you can walk into a grocery store and receive notifications for recipes based on what’s on sale. Allrecipes allows you to build lists, save favorites, and filter and search for favorites.
- Epicurious. The granddaddy of cooking apps. Member based commentary allows you to see favorite recipes that are tested and confirmed. Epicurious is a beautiful and easy app to use with built-in list management and voice activated controls.
These apps are just a few of the many available apps designed to help you find and cook great meals. Take the time to get to know them and how each can help you to be more efficient and frugal in your shopping and cooking. So go ahead and use that device for something besides Candy Crushing and maybe make some real candy instead.
Home automation is working its way from Disney’s city of the future into your everyday life. From simple lawn sprinkler timers to holistic systems that learn from your daily life, automation levels span an incredible gamut of choice and cost. What is the best level for you to enter in.
Remote Controls provide the easiest entry point into automating your home. Remote control lighting, garage doors, microwave timers…etc. If you directly control when it goes on and off with minimal programming, it’s a remote control. Remote controls are the most simple entry point, but are becoming more sophisticated in what they control every day.
Command level control
Command level control uses macros (simple programs directing actions or other macros) to control the status of a device within your home. The macro could be a touch that turns on lights, opens blinds, starts a hot tub, etc. The program is entered through a computer or a controller. Command level controls only act upon your direct influence. They are incapable of reacting to conditions.
Conditional controls operate on the basis of programmed conditions. An example would be to turn on a sprinkler system if there is no rain for 2 days. These if-then scenarios are programmed via a computer or dedicated controller. You can set these systems to turn the lights off a set time after you leave a room or change a room’s temperature after you leave. The systems range in size from sensors in light switches to motion detection devices connected to computer controlled heating systems.
Interactive controls use web sites or apps for real time, monitored control of home devices. Through apps or online portals you can assess the real time status of your home, make changes, and monitor the changing situation. You can choose from a wide variety of control apps, some specific to devices, some broad ranging monitoring apps. Light bulbs have apps for controlling the color of your room. Baby monitors can be controlled via your phone. The opportunities are as unlimited as the the apps being developed.
Learning controls monitor your behaviors and make adjustments based on your actions and habits. Lights can be turned on based on your usual arrival times, heat can be turned on ahead of you getting home. The system learns as you live, adjusts to your life, and changes as you change. These are very sophisticated systems that require dedicated programs and controllers. These systems are professionally installed and are part of the design and structure of the home.
Your options are continuing to evolve as rapidly as technology does. From simple to complicated there is a point for you to enter into home automation. As you open your garage door, maybe you already have entered the future.
The summer season is nigh upon us, a time of barbecues, road trips, music festivals, and lazy, lazy evenings. On the other hand, it can also be a time for ordering in pizza, chilling with your Netflix (see what I did there?), and spending all day playing games. Those sound like pretty good summer options, too. [Read more…]
Budgeting one’s money is never an easy task. People differ in the way they spend and save money regardless of their income level. [Read more…]
Holidays and stress go together like yin and yang, the positive and negative forces pulling at, yet complementing, each other. What’s not to love about the holidays? It’s a time for Christmas cheers, gift-giving, family, parties and, for some, traveling. But with the festivities come the stress and anxiety of planning, budgeting, and saying no to invites.
Technology is quickly evolving and it is no surprise that it is being led by the car industry. From self-driving computers to electricity-powered engines, connected cars are becoming more advanced every day. You might be asking yourself, what exactly makes a car connected? A connected car is a vehicle equipped with Internet access. These vehicles usually have a wireless local area network and are capable to allow other nearby devices use the connection. [Read more…]