Technology

6 Ways Technology Can Make Your Life Easier

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Everyone needs a little help every now and then and what better way to get it than using technology in your everyday life. Most people have a phone these days, and these devices are just like a mini computer in their own right, so there’s no excuse to utilise it to make your life a little easier. It’s not only phones that can help either, as the selection of home gadgets and smart devices is also changing the way we live and carry out daily tasks.

If you’re looking to utilise technology to make things easier, check out these top ways to do just that.

Make payments securely

In the old days, you used to have to go into the bank to get money out or pay people, but in modern society, even cash machines are starting to disappear too. That’s where technology takes over. It’s never been easier to pay securely for a range of products and services with the click of a button on your mobile device. Apps are making it simple to buy things and get them delivered within days. Plus you can pay friends and family in an instant if you need to split the bill at dinner.

Watch the latest TV series and movies

Long gone are the days of waiting forever for films to come out on DVD, as now you can access the latest movies and TV series right from the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to set everything up from a smart TV or on your computer, and you can find out how to get favourite shows on Netflix on your Mac here: https://cablecompare.com/11-ways-to-watch-tv-for-free/

Get fit at home

Want to get fit but don’t have the time to go to the gym! Well, you can do all your workouts from the comfort of your own home on your lunch break with the range of apps and videos on YouTube that take you through the steps and techniques. If you prefer running, you can also download helpful guides on how to complete different runs depending on if you just want to get off the couch or want to test your stamina in a marathon.

Find your way around

Once upon a time, a trusty map would get us from A to B, but now in the innovation of modern technology, our phone can guide us around with ease. It’s not just great for using in the car either, as if you hunting for a shop in a town you don’t know, or are exploring a new city, a GPS app can guide through the streets to find your destination. You can also ask your phone for the nearest bank, supermarket or café plus a range of other spots to find the fastest route for your needs.

Control your home

You can now control a host of things in your home with technology too. Everything from appliances to your heating and lights can be turned on and off with your smart devices, which is ideal if you want to monitor elements such as energy usage. There are also lots of smart devices such as Siri and Alexa, who can just play you some music when you need it. Plus you can integrate them into your other smart devices and turn lights on when you come into a room or switch the TV on etc.

Secure your home

Home security is a priority for many families and technology can give you extra peace of mind whether you’re at home or away for the holidays. Installing cameras inside your property that are connected to the WiFi offers you visibility in each room it’s set up in. There are also options to set alerts if motion is detected and you can log in on your smartphone app and look directly into your house from your phone. Another use for these types of cameras is for pet-watching. If you have to leave your beloved pooch at home while you’re at work, it can be worrying for the both of you. So setting up a camera will enable you to watch them throughout the day, and some devices allow you to talk through them, which can help if they have decided that it might be fun to nibble on the furniture.

Technology makes it super easy to get organised and feel more secure in your home. By utilising a range of home and mobile tech options, you will be able to get places faster, get organised more efficiently and have extra peace of mind for your family.

Technology

The Rise Of Cobots

cobotsSince their emergence, robots have been labeled many names. Some view them as job snatchers and any term that describes what they think is depriving a human worker of his daily bread is a perfect term.

Away From Robots, How Are Cobots?

What if things took a different turn? What if these types of equipment are used to complement human labour? What if the much-hated gadgets are able to work hand in hand with a human co-worker without posing any threat? Maybe things would be much better. The answer to this robot-human conflict is in the introduction of collaborative robots.

What Is a Cobot?

A cobot is the short form for a collaborative robot. It is a term used to refer to robots that have been designed to work hand in hand or alongside humans. Thanks to their programming, cobots can operate with minimum or no guidance at all and without causing any harm. Cobots are important because they relief the human worker off the tedious tasks. Human employees can take up the roles of assembling while a robot takes on the more complex or sensitive duties like loading and offloading. For instance, in the auto factories, a human can take up the role of placing tools in front of a cobot as it completes other tasks such as tightening of bolts.

With cobots at work, the light gets brighter and unlike the traditional robotics, with cobots, everyone is happier. No lifting heavy weights, no wasting hours completing complex tasks etc. Another exciting feature of cobots is that they are programmed to work side by side with humans. They can sense human touch or presence and are able to halt or even stop all movements. This is unlike the traditional robots that have to work in a cage to avoid causing unwanted harm.

Cobots are easily programmed and can be run by an average person. Industrial robots require professional know-how and a specially trained programmer who is tasked with assigning tasks, supervision and so on. A collaborative robot operates on a simple manual and is easily reprogrammed according to the task at hand.

Cobots are lightweight and easy to move around. They are not like the industrial robots which are heavy which when bolted down in one part of an industry, they cannot be easily moved around.

Are Companies Embracing Cobots?

Many manufacturers can revolutionalise their levels of production if only they decided to embrace the automation of the process. Unfortunately, a good number of manufacturers have been hesitant. This resistance is partly due to the high cost of industrial robots which have been the norm for a while. After assessing the ROI of a company, many prefer to stay away from automation.

There is some good news though, small, medium and large companies can embrace cobots. When compared to traditional robots, these are way cheaper and accommodative. They do not replace human labour but rather do provide a means and ways of working side by side with humans. Another reason why many manufacturers will find cobots interesting is that they are not very expensive, a factor that allows for the quick realization of ROI.

With an automation mechanism that enhances human effort, cobots are breakthrough that sweeps many people off their feet. From investors, employers, and employees. Incorporating the use of cobots in the production chain significantly reduces the amount of time taken from collecting raw materials, to the final delivery of a finished product.

There is no better way to speed up the production process, ensure efficiency and at the same time retain human manpower than the use of collaborative robots. They are low cost, simple and effective.

The Reaction of Human Employees To Cobots

Once an automation system is introduced into any company, the employees develop some sort of anxiety. The feeling that; a machine is taking up the available jobs. This is normal. As an employer, it is advisable to make all employees understand that introducing cobots in not intended to replace them but to make their work easier. Once this is understood, the reception of cobots will be very positive. Either way, when they all see that no one was laid off due to an automation, they will love the advancement and make the most out of it.

As an employer, it is important to spell out the reasons for automation to the entire team before actualizing it. It rules out the fear of an intent to lay off some employees.

Technology

Understand the Memory of a Laptop

RAM (random access memory) is an important place in a computer where the application programs and data in use are stored so that processor can easily access this data. RAM is a short-term memory of your PC, and it can save a modest amount of information that is easy to access. You will need laptop reviews to find out thememory of your laptop. The RAM is almost 100 times faster than a hard drive or SSD but holds 100 times fewer data, and this data is temporary because the RAM will lose data as the power goes off. RAM is faster to read and write as compared to other types of computer storage, such as SSD (solid-state drive) and HDD (hard disk drive) or optical drive.

RAM will hold this data as long as the computer is running. As the computer turned off, the RAM will lose its data. As you turned on your computer again, the operating system and files are loaded once again in the RAM from SDD or HDD. Ram is small in physical size and storage capacity. A typical laptop may have 4 gigabytes RAM, but a hard disk can hold almost ten terabytes.

Types of RAM

Here are different types of RAMs available in the market, but the use of SDRAM memory is an old and plain memory that will slow your system down. There are various types of RAM, such as SDRAM, Rambus DRAM, and DDR.

SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM)

Nearly all systems are designed with 168-pin, 3.3-volt SDRAM DIMMs. It is not an extension of old EDO DRAM, but it is a new DRAM. SDRAMis run at 66 MHz, but the older fast page EDO and DRAM max out at nearly 50 MHz. The SDRAM can be scaled to PC133 (133 MHz) officially and unofficially almost 180MHz or even high. As the processor works faster, the advanced memory requires RDRAM and DDR for proper functioning.

Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR)

DDR can double the speed of data transfer of SDRAM by transferring data according to the clock cycle. DDR memory operates at nearly 333 MHz or 166 MHz * 2 (aka PC2700 / PC333) or 1333 MHz * 2 (PC2100/PC266). Being 2.5-volt technology, the DDR uses 184 pins in DIMMs. It is not physically compatible with SDRAM but utilizes same parallel bus to make the implementation easy than RDRAM. RDRAM is a different technology.

Rambus RDRAM (DRAM)

Despite its high cost, the Intel has blessed the consumer market with RDRAM. This technology is specially designed for Pentium 4 of Intel. The RDRAM is a leading serial technology arrived in 3 flavors, such as PC 600, PC 700 and PC 800. The RDRAM PC 800 has increased the throughput of PC 100 SDRAM, but a sophisticated dormancy. The advanced RDRAM designs with numerous channels, such as the motherboard of Pentium 4 are at the top of the heap in the memory quantity, especially after pairing with PC-1066RDRAM memory.

DRAM is available in two important forms, such as RIMMs and DIMMs. RIMMs utilize only 16-bit interface, but it runs at a higher speed as compared to DDR. To enhance the performance, the chipsets of RDRAM require RIMMS instead of a dual 32-bit interface. The DIMMs contains 64-bit components, but if you want to use in a motherboard with dual configuration channel, you should pair them and enhance their performance.

 

Kids · Safety · Technology

Keeping Kids Safe Online in the Holidays

In previous years, the summer holidays have meant that Sausage mostly just sees her friends on her birthday (which is in August) or if I manage to arrange playdates with her friends, by contacting their parents. This year, however, seems to be a whole different kettle of fish. Sausage is going into year 5 in September and seems to be growing up before our very eyes. She has her own iPhone, iPad, laptop etc, and so do many of her friends, which means that she’s able to communicate with them as and when she likes, within the bounds of when she’s allowed device time. We aren’t MEGA strict with her when it comes to devices, but we do try to get her to put them down for at least an hour before bed so that the blue light from screens doesn’t interfere with her sleep.

The communication versus online safety thing has been playing on our minds, however. She’s not allowed a Facebook account because she’s too young, although we do know kids of her age who are on there. Snapchat’s recent update has left us with security worries and we’ve got her account locked down because it’s a site which is well known for being an avenue for grooming. She currently uses WhatsApp or iMessage to speak to her friends, but we still worry about the lack of security with these; it would only take one of her friends to give someone her phone number or leave their own device unlocked for someone to be able to attempt to contact her and it’s something that is a constant source of worry for us.

Just recently, Azoomee got in contact with us to let us know about their new chat features and it seems like something which could be the answer to all of our worries. Azoomee Chat was built for children. It’s not an adult platform re-designed for kids! Key features which make Azoomee Chat best practice are:

  • Communication between two children only takes place if a parent for each child has verified the connection
  • There is no geo-tracking data
  • There are no group chats (which is where cyber-bullying begins) opnly one-to-one communication
  • There are no photos or face-time (we use personalised avatars instead)
  • There are lots of pointers in case a child needs advice
  • Parents have full visibility of all communication
  • Only pre-verified friends can see your posts

Every child has their own Kid Code; it looks like this: GF6D7XS2. You’ll find your child’s Kid Code in the Azoomee Settings screen. Your child can give their Kid Code to their friends, or you can give it directly to their parents. They need to add your child’s Kid Code in their Azoomee Settings. Finally, for an extra layer of security, you’ll need to verify the friendship – you’ll receive a notification to do this in Settings.

We’ll be trialling Azoomee over the next few weeks and are really hopeful that it is something which could work for our family and give us the peace of mind we need to be able to allow Sausage to use her devices without the need for us to be constantly looking over their shoulder. I strongly feel that schools should be offering kids an Azoomee membership and teaching them safe communication as part of the national curriculum as we’re only going to be MORE reliant on technology as the years go by.

Keep your eyes peeled here for an update so you can see how we get along with Azoomee’s new chat functions or head over to their site to get your free trial of the services.

 

Technology

Getting Your Act Together: Easy to Use Apps to Help You Organize Your Life

Most of us resolve to be more organized each year, but it often doesn’t happen because organising itself can be so time consuming. Staying on top of your to-dos, files and habits is a tall task. Prioritising and scheduling tasks or projects (over the short and long term) requires good daily management. Here are some simple apps to make organisation far easier.

Self-Organization Apps

Apps can help you organise your files, to-do’s and budget. Dropbox lets you keep all your files – be they photos, videos, or documents of (almost) any format and size – on the one cloud service. These are then backed up and synced to the app and can be shared across any device (provided you send the right link or log-in). 24me acts as a personal assistant which automatically organises your tasks by synchronising your calendar, to-do lists and notes, prompting you to tap your daily errands to complete them and receive reminders for upcoming tasks or events. For a more gamified and social experience there’s also Habitica. Google Calander helps organise events and Evernote lets you record and store your notes in a variety of ways. Lastpass makes sure you never forget your passwords by securing them all in central location you can access with TouchID or one “master” password. Mint lets you manage your budget by logging your expenses and tracking your savings. Automatic Call Recorder lets you manually or automatically record calls so you can review them later, with several other features you can learn more about here.

Streamlining Apps

Remember the Milk also lets you set up to-do lists and sends you reminders for due dates but It incorporates your other services including Gmail, Twitter and Google Calendar. If (If This Then That) is a kind of super app that connects up to 300 apps together (such as Spotify, Instagram or Google Drive) to let you sync files across platforms and receive relevant notifications about topics from whichever platform they’re being noticed. Likewise, Pocket lets you save links, articles and videos from across your social media to a single location to be accessed across your devices and even includes reading aloud using text-to-speech. SmartNews is a similar service but specifically designed for news articles. AroundMe lets you locate your nearest amenities, restraints and movie theatres.

Thinking Outside The Box

Sometimes the thing you need is to destress or jog your mind with a bit of creative recreation. Simplemind lets you brainstorm easily by dragging, dropping and editing text and visuals together. Unstuck acts as a digital to help you overcome creative blocks with various tips and tools. Any creative activity you can think of, be it drawing, image editing or making music – there’s an app for it!

Now you can organize your stuff, plan ahead, streamline your apps and get your creative juices onto any problem. Looked for an app to fill some niche but couldn’t find it? Checkout Kickstarter: it may already be in development!

Paige Carter knows how to manage her time; she’s a Mom to 3 girls and works multiple freelancing gigs as well as helping with her friends business. Read how she manages it all in her articles!