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4 Foods That Destroy Phones

Posted By: on August 12, 2014
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iphone-4-water-damage-repair

Even in an era when smartphones are built to be sturdy, and supposedly designed to stand up to just about anything, they’re not indestructible. They’re not impregnable, either.

Depending on your phone, some messy foods are apt to kill it. But don’t worry; they go quickly and likely feel no pain. If one of these foods has made its way into your smartphone, you’re probably due for an upgrade.

The good news is that there are options to score new phones for a steal, so you don’t have to settle for your Pepsi-logged phone that only works some of the time. But it’s in your best interest to know the “danger foods” and avoid eating and texting.

Otherwise, the foodie in you will overpower the techie every time. Here are the worst food offenders.

1. Water, soda, juice (basically, pretty much any drink)

Unless your smartphone is of the waterproof variety, drinks can be deadly. Even if your phone is certified as waterproof, anything with sugars can lead to a gummy mess.

Sure, your phone might technically work even after taking a dive in your apple juice, but with that stickiness constantly seeping out of the seams, do you really want to keep handling it?

2. Durian fruit

Whether you genuinely like this horrid-smelling delicacy or you’re eating it just on a dare, if the scent gets on your phone, you might be stuck with it. Yes, proper cleaning will help, but this particular fruit has a penchant for sticking around.

If you can handle it, props to you … but don’t expect your friends to be so forgiving.

3. Pizza

Mix a piping hot cheese with oodles of grease and you have a recipe for a nasty phone. Like sugary liquids, grease can seep into all the crevices of your phone and eventually develop an unpleasant odor.

Plus, it can ooze out and onto your skin, which may lead to non-stop breakouts. If get enough on them, some phones can even melt from foods; if you have a cheap plastic casing, you’re a prime target.

4. Stinky tofu soup

This is a staple in many southeast Asian restaurants, and if you’re up for the challenge, make sure your phone is well out of the way. As a liquid, this dish lives up to its name.

It smells horrible, but is also capable of creeping into a phone’s nooks and crannies. You might still be able to use your phone if it gets dunked in this soup, but you probably wouldn’t want to.

The lesson here? Eat or text, but not both at the same time.

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Smartphone “Kill Switch” Could Save Consumers Billions

Posted By: on May 2, 2014
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The notion of a kill switch on your cell phone has enjoyed wide interest in recent years, but new research offers in plain budgetary terms some new reasons to support the idea.

A kill switch is basically hardware embedded in a cell phone that would permit it to be deactivated remotely if it gets lost or stolen. This would enable the protection of the victim owner’s personal contact information, apps, and graphics as well as blocking unapproved charges.

Buyers overwhelmingly approve of the kill-switch idea for the security it guarantees in the case of possible misplacement of theft of one’s phone. But it turns out that, in addition, cell phone users could avoid losing $2.6 billion every year if such engineering were made standard on all telephones, according to a study distributed recently by Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

Why some lawmakers object to the implementation of kill switches

Senators in California voted against the inclusion of a kill switch in new smartphones. They cited concern that the technology would hurt local businesses. According to tech industry insiders, kill-switch technology makes mobile devices vulnerable to attacks, which increases the cost of preventive measures.

However, tech companies reversed their opposition about a month ago when the CTIA, an exchange association that speaks to the versatile telecom organizations, made a promise to make the anti-theft programming standard on all telephones from certain providers and transporters, including Samsung, Google (the maker of the dominant Android operating system), Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile.

The decision to incorporate the product may ultimately remain voluntary for these organizations, however.

Legislators’ opposition at odds with general public sentiment

Ninety-nine percent of the 1,200 cell phone owners interviewed by Creighton University said mobile companies ought to give all buyers the choice to deactivate a stolen cellphone. Eighty-three percent thought the implementation of a kill switch might lessen smartphone theft.

Finally, 93 percent believed that Americans shouldn’t be required to pay additional charges for the convenience.

Buyers could save another $580 million a year by not having to replace stolen telephones and an additional $2 billion a year by downgrading from premium mobile insurance to more basic plans offered by competing businesses.

The total amount saved amounts to about $2.6 billion a year, the study concluded. As the technology continues to develop, more Americans are relying on mobile devices for everyday needs.

Since 2012:

  • Tablets have all but replaced laptops as the dominant platform for watching mobile video.

  • Compared to the 89 million people who rely on laptops for communication and mobile connectivity, 113.4 million are expected to use tablets for the same tasks.

  • Google continues to dominate the mobile software market with its Android operating system, which incorporates the software into a slew of new wearable gadgets.

  • Still in its infancy, wearable technology is receiving support from investors to the tune of about $5 billion in 2014.

Naturally, more people watching video on mobile devices implies more ad money spent on mobile video. However, advertisers still seem to favor the traditional marketing channels of desktop and laptop Web browsers.

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TopCultured Legends

5 Ways American Cities Can Prepare for Hot, Dry Summers

Posted By: on May 12, 2013

No matter what a person thinks about global warming, or if they don’t think about it at all, it’s real and it’s coming full speed ahead this summer. Cities like Portland, Oregon haven’t seen generous Read On »

Cafe Perfection

Posted By: on August 7, 2011

For many, coffee is more than just a tummy-warming jolt of flavor and caffeine. There is a certain feeling that a perfect cup of coffee generates in true coffee lovers that makes Starbucks and Folgers Read On »

Rent Cast Member’s Bathroom Break

Posted By: on May 3, 2010

[source] THIS! Is Exactly How A Camera Should Be Advertised! [Knuckles United] If Stoners Named TV Shows [College Humor] The unlikely perseverance of Bugs Bunny [IFC] Top 10 Bad Beverage Ideas [Time] Star Wars AT-AT Read On »

Texting Tackles Amateur Sports Injuries

Posted By: on March 11, 2014
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As the use of texting grows, so do its applications. Communication that just a few years ago would have demanded an office visit to an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist, can now take place within seconds or minutes via text.

It has been documented that 90 percent of text messages are read in fewer than three minutes. Remote rural areas have little access to medical specialists or advanced medical technology, so physicians and sports organizations are now looking at using texts to help them respond to situations that could prove serious if not immediately addressed.

STOP helps young athletes in real time

Texting can cut through the confusion about what constitutes a serious injury and what can be done. The organization STOP Sports Injuries has been at the forefront of using texting in amateur sports. STOP Sports Injuries is a partnership among the foremost American medical and sports organizations.

Their innovative text program provides outreach to remote and rural areas of the country. STOP Sports Injuries sponsors three programs that use texts to help young athletes stay strong and healthy.

Concussion Education. Neurologists now state that there is no such thing as a “little bit” of concussion. A concussion can occur whether or not an athlete has lost consciousness. Each time a player suffers this neurological insult, he or she must stop playing immediately and stay away from any activity which taxes the brain until it is healed. This is a serious injury that can have lifelong effects if not properly treated. Complete brain rest means that there will be no school work, computer use, or even, somewhat ironically, sending texts. STOP has a program that addresses concussions caused by football injuries, called “Be UnStoppable.” Without the STOP text program, parents and coaches would have had far few resources for making smart decisions.

Injury Prevention. Parents and coaches now have the resources they need to prevent overuse injuries in their players. Written for every individual and team sport, the specific needs for each sport are available, by text, from STOP.

Performance and Motivational Tips. Players can receive motivational and performance tips each Friday afternoon from the STOP program, just before their weekend meets or games.

Australian study shows texting helps recreational athletes

AnAustralian study has shown that text messaging is an effective tool for recreational athletes to report injuries. Recreational athletes have different requirements, types of injuries, and levels of conditioning from elite athletes.

The study gathered a lot of data from these particular kinds of players in order to understand their requirements. It enrolled Australian football players and had a response rate of 90 to 98 percent over the 18-week season.

The players texted the study authors immediately when they received injuries so that specialists could have adequate data applicable to the recreational sports community. Text messaging was found to be an ideal way to gather large amounts of relevant information in what effectively amounted to real time.

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4 Ways Small Business Owners Can Benefit From Fast Broadband

Posted By: on January 14, 2014
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For small business owners, a strong and reliable Internet connection is critical to daily operations. Slower, sub-par speeds can kill productivity and cause unnecessary complications. That’s why many individuals are opting for fast broadband and upgrading their networks. Here are four advantages to doing this now.

1) More reliability

Dealing with downtime due to Internet issues can have devastating consequences on the workday. Even a few hours can make it impossible to contact customers, clients and business partners. Email and video conferencing are temporarily defunct, and it can really damage a business’s reputation when this happens on a consistent basis. Fortunately, fast broadband is less prone to glitches and the flow of information can continue unimpeded. This takes a lot of stress off small business owners and can keep things running smoothly.

2) Effective cloud computing

For companies that use any cloud-based platform such as Box or Google Drive for storing data and collaborating on projects, it’s important to always have access. Having ultra fast broadband or naked broadband is an asset because it lets workers quickly open and edit documents throughout the day. This means projects can be completed quicker than with a standard Internet connection, and deadlines are more likely to be met. It also makes it easier to backup a large volume of data.

3) Optimized VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become a popular trend among many of today’s businesses. Because such system use an Internet connection, it’s much less expensive for calls inside and outside of a country.

The only problem is that the efficiency of a VoIP system relies on the type of Internet connection being used, and customers will quickly notice any problems you have with call quality. To function at the highest level possible, it typically requires a fast and reliable broadband connection. Consequently, making a broadband upgrade can really optimize the performance of VoIP technology.

4) Streamlined marketing

With online marketing through social media, it’s helpful to have a fast Internet speed. Uploading photos to Facebook or Instagram can be done more quickly with fast broadband. If a business has a YouTube channel, a solid connection also makes it much easier videos. The bottom line is that more marketing can be done in less time.

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The Amount of Time People Spend Online and Watching Television Is Higher Than Ever

Posted By: on December 21, 2013
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Americans spend a good chunk of their time entertaining themselves. Even at work, most people spend at least part of their day browsing the Internet, playing with smart phones or sneaking in a little online shopping on iPads and other tablets.

More people spend time these days texting, emailing and using social media because their personal electronics make it easy to do. Add to that the number of people who talk on the phone and watch television each day and it’s amazing that people in this country manage to get anything done.

How much television people really watch

You might not think you spend too much time in front of the television – you don’t have time for that – but the average amount of time Americans spend watching television is almost four-and-a-half hours per day.

What people are watching is less important than how much of it they are watching, though more people prefer to watch entertainment such as sports, comedies and drama than they do the news and educational programs.

Time online

What’s even more astounding is how much time people spend on the Internet. The average American spends a shade more than five hours with digital media each day. They’re doing everything from chatting up friends on social media to uploading photos to shopping to playing games.

Bundling your television and Internet packages

When you add up the amount of time you spend online and watching television, it’s more than nine hours of your day. Since most people sleep a few hours per night, that’s a chunk of the waking day on both productivity and entertainment.

However, if you’re not being productive, at least you can save money while you’re being social. When you bundle your cable and Internet packages, you can spend significantly less money each month than what you would by paying separately. Additionally, you’ll receive faster, more reliable broadband Internet service, which makes your time online go by a lot faster.

Conclusion

Perhaps the amount of time people are spending online includes work and school-related research and it’s jumping the gun to assume they’re all trying to make it to the next level of Candy Crush. Regardless what you like to do with your time, at least do it with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

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Can Drones Be Good?

Posted By: on November 5, 2013
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Good Drones

Everyone’s heard the horror stories about how drones are used to kill people. We all know that drones are used as surveillance (I think there’s one outside of my house right now watching me) and we hear the conspiracy theories about how drones are going to be part of the next Star Wars installment.

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8 of the Best Affordable Tech Cars for the Tech-Savvy Dad

Posted By: on October 31, 2013
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The tech-savvy Dad appreciates a luxurious but affordable vehicle that will not only make heads turn but also help to keep money in his pocket. Many high-tech cars brag about all the technological advances they have to offer, but very few of them also feature affordability.

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5 Apps to Manage Your House

Posted By: on August 24, 2013
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Whether you prefer Android, iPhone, or Samsung, smartphones have become the 21st century’s portal to managing your house at home or from a remote location.

While apps may not be able to cook up your favorite meal, they might be able to find one for you. There are literally hundreds of apps to attend to household tasks and/or alert you to items that need your attention. Here are five you may want to download to your phone today.

1. Epicurious

While Epicurious can’t actually prepare your meal, it’s certainly the next best thing. With more than 30,000 delicious recipes collected from top-ranked cookbooks, gourmet magazines, and world-famous chefs, Epicurious can help you find the perfect recipe by conducting a simple keyword search.

If you’re crunched for time, Epicurious provides recipes that include ingredients one already has on hand. It also allows users to share their favorite dishes in real time with friends and family via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. Plus, the iPad is the perfect size to use as a digital cookbook.

2. INSTEON Hub

The new INSTEON Hub connects you to your home from any smartphone or tablet, and lets you control INSTEON light bulbs, wall switches, outlets, and thermostats. It will also allow you to receive instant email or text alerts from motion and water leak sensors while you’re away.

The app is free and the Hub package of devices is priced at $129.99.

3. Boxee

Boxee is basically a web browser for your TV. Free Boxee media center software is now available for Macs, PCs, Linux box, or Apple TV.

And now you can use your iPhone as a remote via Boxee’s free app. Set-up is quick and easy, and when complete, users can watch Netflix movies, MLB.TV, and other Web streamed programming from the Internet.

4. Craftman Assurelink

Secure your home with Craftsman’s AssureLink Garage Door Opener and mobile app. It’s a smart app that will enable you to monitor and operate garage doors with an Internet-enabled smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Get peace of mind by keeping the garage door control at your fingertips. Consumers can download it for free from Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

5. Samsung Refrigerators

A few Samsung refrigerators, like the RF4289HARS, have built-in touch screens that can keep track of the food in your fridge, and then find recipes to match that inventory. There is easy access from tablets or smartphones, where these fridges can also run apps and hook up to social-media networks.

The above listing only touches on the vast number of apps available to homeowners today. But with all this state-of-the-art technology, sometimes what you need most is to be able to fix things manually. For instance, when household appliances go on the blink, you might want additional help from manufacturing companies that supply homeowners with the nuts and bolts to repair these devices.

While smart diagnostics apps can provide us with instructions about how to fix a washing machine or dryer, a company like Superior Washer & Gasket is the go-to type of firm one might need for the odd-sized washers and gaskets those appliances need for repair.

If a special size, material, or design is specified, SW&G will utilize their complete-on-premises tool and die processes to customize the part, usually at no cost to the customer. But who knows? Perhaps in the future, this company will also produce an app for that.

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6 Gadgets That Increase Your Home’s Value

Posted By: on April 8, 2013
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I love buying new stuff, and when I own a home, I’m going to want to make sure that my house has all of the tricked out new stuff that any home could ever want or need. TV in the fridge? You bet. Home theatre? Absolutely. 50 gallon composter? Gotta have it. But the thing about buying things for the home is that it’s important to make sure that the things we’re shelling out our hard-earned dollars on are, well, going to be a return on our investment. Bang for the buck, shall we say.

1.Solar Panels

By now, we all know what solar panels do, right? They convert energy from the sun and turn it into useable electricity. There’s even solar panel backpacks with a cord attached – plug in the iPhone, head to some sunlight, and there goes the issue of the dead phone. But I digress…solar panels have been shown to increase the value of the home in the long run, even though they are expensive up front for the homeowner. They not only save money on the electrical bill, but if and when it’s time to resell, the house will be appraised at a higher price.

2. Stainless steel

Some people would consider appliance gadgets (have you seen some of the stoves these days?), but regardless of semantics, upgrading in the kitchen can get big bucks down the line. And think about it, when upgrading these appliances, it’s stuff the home is going to need anyway – no one can live without a fridge and a microwave.

3. Jacuzzi tub with a light show

Okay, so I’m just kidding about the light show (well, half-kidding), but I’m wholly serious about the Jacuzzi tub. I’m not one for baths on a regular basis, but when I’ve got a knot in my shoulders, a Jacuzzi tub would really do the trick. And even if no one in the house would use it, if it gets more on the resale, why not?

4. Heat and AC

Depending on the age of the home, it might be time to upgrade that AC unit. Also, a lot of places offer customizable energy control when their service is purchased. A new unit combined with a state-of-the-art system that lets the homeowner control the temperature of their house from a smartphone is a great setup for added value on the resale.

5. Trees

Now, I know I might lose some people here, but just bear with me. Trees can add up to 15% value on a home when they’re mature. So investing in some small trees and placing them strategically around the yard can absolutely be a good return on an investment, whether or not they would “technically” qualify as a gadget. Before planting, check with city and with consult with professionals (like get some advice from Avalon Construction Corp) to make sure the trees are in the right place and we aren’t breaking any laws when we dig to plant ‘em.

6. Dimmers

These little switches are cheap and not that difficult to install, and they can add resale value to a home. It rolls in with energy costs, because the dimmer allows the person in the room to control the amount of light or the speed of the fan and so on and so forth.

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Garmin vs. TomTom: The GPS Battle

Posted By: on February 16, 2013
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Garmin

The stand-alone GPS market has been shrinking for the last couple of years, and that trend is likely to accelerate into the future.  More phones and PDAs provide basic GPS functionality, and fewer consumers see the need for yet another $100 to $400 device.  That’s making the marketplace far more competitive, which is great for consumers who want a good GPS system for a reasonable price.

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