Archive for July, 2014

By July 13, 2014 Read More →

Screen casting from Android to Chromecast

cast_screenThose lovely people at Google are currently packing in the ultimate feature for the Chromecast, screen casting. Now, anything on your Android device can appear on the TV. Google are pushing sharing features more so than gaming and apps by saying “You can share photos stored on your phone with a group of friends, or scope out the scenery for your next family vacation together on the big screen using Google Earth.”

This feature is currently in beta and will roll out on popular Android phones or tablets from Samsung, HTC, LG, and others over the next few days. Look out for the 1.7 update of the Chromecast app on Google Play store to use this new feature. 

By July 12, 2014 Read More →

Acer knocking out two i3 Chromebooks

Acer-C720-Chromebook-front-angle_w_450 (1)Acer America announced on Thursday that it is the first company to offer Chromebooks with an Intel Core i3 processor. The company actually updated its popular Acer C720 Chromebook, producing two new models with  starting prices of $349.99 and $379.99.

According to the specs, the difference between the two models is in the memory. The cheaper Acer C720-3871 will have 2 GB of memory; the slightly more expensive Acer C720-3404 will have 4 GB of memory. Both will pack the fourth-generation Intel Core i3-40005U dual-core processor (1.7 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache), and a 3950 mAh battery promising up to 8.5 hours on a single charge.

We will hopefully see these arrive on UK shores in the next few weeks.

 

Posted in: Laptops, News
By July 11, 2014 Read More →

Breakthrough in battery life

urlSometimes it’s the obvious things which go unnoticed for a while yet turn out be be the perfect solution to an old problem. Such is the likely the case with a new scientific breakthrough in battery tech. Researchers at University of California and the Bourns College of Engineering may have just figured out an easy and cheap way to triple the battery life of our smartphones and tablets.

One of the researchers, graduate student Zachary Favors, came up with the idea to add sand to existing battery tech. At some point it dawned on Favors that there is typically a large amount of Quartz in sand. This turned out to be the key to the team’s discovery. Here’s a quote with more of the details:

There are no reports on how quickly this breakthrough will make it to market, but the outlook is quite good. We will keep you updated as to if/when this starts hitting our favorite devices.

Posted in: Gadgets, Phones, Tablets
By July 10, 2014 Read More →

LG get kids onboard with Kizon smartwatch

lg-kizon-2-640x415One smartwatch that likely won’t get as much press as the other offerings from LG or Samsung is the LG Kizon. This smartwatch allows a parent direct contact with their child no matter the distance.  The Kizon can track and report location via GPS and WiFi using the companion app, updating parents with location details throughout the day. The watch has only one button and pressing it will call a specific parent’s number that is pre-configured during set up through the companion app on an Android phone or tablet. It works the other way, too. Parents can call their child directly, and if they don’t answer within 10-seconds the watch will accept the call automatically, letting them listen in on whatever’s happening. 

LG Kizon specs include 64MB RAM, 125MB ROM, 400 mAh battery (36 hours life), 2G/3G Network and will be available in Blue, Pink, and Green. Liam Neeson is apparently purchasing his daughter one to avoid having to do Taken 4.

 

Posted in: Gadgets, News
By July 9, 2014 Read More →

Enhancing security in the workplace

swipeFilled with important information and personal details, the last thing you want is unauthorised personnel gaining access to your workplace. Here are a few ways you can enhance security to ensure your premises is safe.

 

Restrict access to a building

You face a tough challenge monitoring who is entering a workplace if you make it possible for anybody to enter as and when they please.

Install a safety mechanism onto your entrances so that admission is only permitted when people either insert the correct code or show an access card. This way, visitors will need to speak with an employee or employer before they are granted access.

 

Have only one entrance for visitors

While it may be convenient to have multiple entrances when you employ hundreds or thousands of staff members, it’s not always necessary to make these accessible to visitors too.

Pick an easy-to-find entrance around your building — perhaps one facing out onto a main street or where there are no steps to climb — and then put up signs on every other door guiding visitors to the correct point of entry.

If you have the space and resources, go a step further by creating a reception area at this entrance. That way, someone will always be on hand to welcome guests and determine why they are visiting your offices.

 

Use visitor badges

Once you have determined that someone is permitted to be in your workplace, provide them with a visitor badge that is to be worn throughout the duration of their appointment.

This piece of equipment will instantly distinguish visitors from staff members and are great for informing employees about who someone is and where they work — no need for someone to introduce themselves over and over again!

Do you receive a number of visitors on a daily basis? Invest in a top-quality ID card printer from a specialist brand like Kalamazoo Direct and you can save yourself the hassle of having to outsource visitor badges every time a new client arranges a meeting at your workplace.

 

Keep crucial information out of sight

No matter how much you try to enhance security around your workplace, you are asking for trouble if you leave sensitive documents in clear sight.

Encourage members of staff to put important information in a locked cabinet once they have finished using it or when they have to leave their desks for a meeting.

On a similar note, employees who use computers should be told that their computer should be locked if they are away from the device for a sustained period of time.

 

Posted in: Editorial
By July 9, 2014 Read More →

The i-Bell kickstart kicking off

9aec7efc61293a4aeac4515ccad45498_largeA kickstarter is about to launch for a pretty exciting not device, the i-Bell. A fairly simple idea at it’s heart, however a handy device to have  allowing the user visual and audio controls at their front door, even if not available. Much like call screening on a phone i-Bell gives you the ability to screen who is at your front door using a 1080p camera streaming to your wifi network and onto your phone or tablet, wherever you are. With a two way micrphone you can talk to the caller and even save their image to the cloud for future reference. Caller’s can also leave a message, much like on a phones voicemail facility.

Check out the kickstarter here: i-Bell

Press Release:

Ever wished you could be in two places at once? A brand new Wi-Fi enabled camera doorbell will launch with a crowdfunding campaign later this month making it possible to do just that. Acting asan interactive peephole for the front door, the revolutionary i-Bell is the next generation in super slick home automation. A wireless gadget, it allows smartphone users to see and communicate with whoever is standing on their doorstep whether they are home or away– putting an end to failed deliveries and ensuring users have full control over their front door. The crowd-funding campaign, which will be launched later this month on Kickstarter, will finance the manufacturing process and give savvy investors an exclusive opportunity to snap up one of the first ever i-Bell devices.

 

Designed and made in the UK, i-Bell is utterly unique and will bring the best of digital technology to the interiors space for unsurpassed security and convenience. It will be fully compatible with Apple’s recently announced Home-Kit, which adds smart devices to the home via individual apps.

 

Once installed, i-Bell can be used in conjunction with any smartphone, tablet or PC device at any time from any location. It has significant advantages for those with hectic schedules from not being able to get to the door to being out of the house but waiting on an important package.

 

Thanks to innovative wireless technology and an integrated camera and microphone, missing a visit from grandparents or not being around to sign for a delivery becomes a thing of the past. i-Belleven allows users to screen their visitors, so they can choose whether or not to answer the door to a cold-calling salesman or an unwanted guest on the doorstep. High-security brackets help to keep the gadget safe and secured to the front door, and the ability to connect with the device from anywhere in the world via a synced smartphone means that not even holidays need to get in theway of ordering home deliveries.

 

Graham Kershberg, Co-Founder of i-Bell, says, “There’s nothing quite like i-Bell on the market right now. It’s going to revolutionise daily life for a lot of individuals and businesses. Arranging deliveries around working hours or getting an unexpected visit from a relative who gets no answer at the door can really disrupt an individual’s plans. But now it’s possible to communicate directly with the person ringing the doorbell, let the postman know where to leave a package, or telling Aunt Mabel that you’ll be home as soon as possible without even being on the premises. Fun to use and practical, i-Bell makes it possible to answer the door from any corner of the world, whether that’s five minutes down the road on the school run or from a sun lounger overseas on a long awaited holiday.”

 

From barbecuing in the back garden and reluctant to leave the grill unattended to hearing the doorbell go in the bath, i-Bell users can respond to those knocking on the door with nothing more than the swipe of their phone.

 

The i-Bell gadget sits at face level on the frame when installed by the front door – visitors ring the bell and it delivers an instant alert to any smartphone paired with the device. The resident of the house can then ‘answer’ their door. The user can see who’s standing on their doorstep thanks to a1080p HD camera, and communicate with the guest via a built-in speaker and microphone for the ultimate in secure convenience.  

 

The practical, robust gadget is the perfect device to help handle modern life – never again will you miss the repair men because you’re in the shower, or a flying visit from your childhood best friend because you’re too busy vacuuming.

Posted in: Gadgets
By July 9, 2014 Read More →

Is it going to be the iPhone Air 4.7?

a0fbd9ab-a283-404f-91ab-6e3f812cfdaaAccessories firm Spigen has listed 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 covers on Amazon, with the larger model said to include the Air branding. The images show what might be a dummy model of an “iPhone Air” alongside a caption: “There’s something in the Air.” It’s a long wait until Apple is expected to announce a device or two in September.

 

Posted in: Phones, Rumours
By July 8, 2014 Read More →

4 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work from Home

Salesman working from home and talking on phoneThat traffic jam last week is what finally pushed you over the edge—your normally long commute of 30 minutes grew to two hours as you tried to get home from work. Although you like your job and your co-workers and your boss, lately you have found yourself dreaming of working from home—and that endless commute convinced you to set up a time to speak with your supervisor about doing just that.

The following tips can help you show your boss how and why working from home will be a great option:

Arm Yourself With Statistics

Before you go in to speak with your supervisor, you might want to print out some articles that show how employees who telecommute are more productive. For example, this digital article from Inc. Magazine notes that employers save an average of $11,000 per year if an employee telecommutes half the time. And, in case your boss questions if you would be putting in the required number of hours from home, assure him or her that telecommuters are almost two times as likely to work even more than they are required.

Have the Right Equipment

In order to successfully work from home, you’ll need the right tools and equipment as well as a home office that is amenable to getting a lot of work done. Before speaking with your supervisor, take some photos of your home office, and make sure that you have—or can easily get—the right equipment that is needed to telecommute. For example, most bosses will want you to have a decent computer, a reliable printer, great cell phone reception and secure access to any remote files.

If you are not already on the cloud at home, you may want to research cloud-based storage options that will prove to your boss that you can easily share documents and files with him or her and your co-workers. If you are confused about cloud storage, a website like Top 10 Cloud Storage does a great job of offering tips and advice about which cloud-based systems are best suited to your needs.

Explain Your Reasons

As Skip the Drive notes, your boss will probably want to know why you want to work from home. Prepare for this question ahead of time, and come up with serious and compelling reasons of why you want to telecommute. Instead of saying things like “I am so seriously tired of the office dress code, and at home I can dress the way I want to”—which will probably get you sent back to your cubicle in a matter of seconds—calmly and confidently explain how you will be more productive in a quiet home-based office, how your long commute is really draining or how you feel you could get more done without the distractions of co-workers.

Be Willing to Compromise

When speaking with your boss about working from home, offer compromises. Suggest that you give it a try two days a week, and take it from there. Or, if you feel super strongly about telecommuting and your boss seems to be less-than-thrilled about the idea, offer to take a small pay cut. Showing that you are willing to bend and work with your supervisor may help to convince him or her to give telecommuting a try.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 7, 2014 Read More →

Uncharged devices no longer allowed on US bound flights to counter terrorism

iPhone4-flatAmerica is banning uncharged mobiles or laptops on US-bound flights over bomb fears. A new measure is bound to cause chaotic scenes at airports around the globe, and is part of the US Transportation Security Administration’s effort to boost surveillance amid concerns that terrorists are plotting to blow up an airliner.

Jason Fernyhough, from mobile accessories distributor Accessory Lab, comments on the news: “most people board planes with enough charge in their devices for a few hours at most as, more often than not, devices will typically be switched off during flights. However, with this new security drive, I can see charging stations appearing at airports, rather like paid for Wi-Fi hotspots. Cafes and public areas will no doubt benefit from additional revenue, but also airport retailers selling mobile device chargers will see panic buying. In the short term, airport infrastructure will take a while to set up the charging booths and the cost to charge for passengers won’t be low, so we believe that there will be a boom in portable chargers and they will become a travel essential.

“To avoid any risk of being refused boarding on all US bound flights, portable chargers and power banks will ensure travellers have the ability to power up multiple devices and charge them very quickly before they board a flight. The keys considerations for travellers will be speed of charge, charging capacity, size of charger, durability and compatibility, which is useful for multiple devices.”

Accessory Lab has a range of chargers branded Olixar that will ensure anyone travelling to, or around, America can reach their destination. Please see information below.

Accessory Lab is also offering some advice on what to look for in a charger here: http://www.accessorylab.co.uk/2014/07/07/power-banks-and-portable-chargers-buying-guide

All Olixar products are available to buy now at www.mobilefun.co.uk, with prices starting from £19.99.

Posted in: Laptops, News, Phones
By July 6, 2014 Read More →

Barclays introduce talking cash machines

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is something we all are now taking for granted, a convenience we know and enjoy however for some the ability to pay for an item is not as easy as swiping a card and and entering easy to remember 4 digit number. Forget about having the funds available, we take for granted the simplest of abilities when standing at a checkout in the supermarket, vision. For 20 years my Father-In-Law has had to deal with macular degeneration, a condition whereby he cannot see anything only in his peripheral vision. Financials have always been a pain for him. Reading a statement, available balances and handling international money transfers have been problematic. There has rarely been a level of support for a person in his position short of making the journey to the bank and dealing with staff face to face.

Barclays look to be paving the way as the first high street bank to introduce an audio feature to cash machines. Obviously, this does not shout your available balance for everyone to hear, instead a customer can plug in an earphone to listen to the instructions that are appearing on-screen. A helping hand for those who wish to make use of the convenience. A long over due first step to helping those who have long been without assistance.

  • Digital Eagles  – Giving practical advice in Barclays Branches around the UK, to help build the knowledge and confidence when using technology
  • Online Guides – Easy to understand online guides on a wide range of computer topics including setting up email accounts and using online and mobile banking, amongst many others!
  • Accessibility Developments  – Covers Talking ATMs, personalised debit cards, contactless payments   

Locate your nearest machine with their online branch locator.

  1. Visit the branch locator on the website.
  2. Enter your town or postcode.
  3. Under ‘Where’s my nearest…?’ select ‘Barclays cash machine’.
  4. Tick the box marked ‘Internal cash machine with audio’ or ‘External cash machine with audio’ (or both) and hit ‘Search’. 

Non-Barclays customers can also use the audio cash machines, found at branches across England and Wales and at selected Asda supermarkets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Tell your friends and family that this technology is available, Barclays are providing over 7000 “Digital Eagles” to help with any concerns and making it easier for anyone, visually impaired, or perhaps suffering from dyslexia or learning disabilities to use cash machines and online banking .

Posted in: Editorial