Technology

Technology

How to Pick the Best Hobby for You

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Hobbies are a great way to spend your idle time. Some hobbies sharpen the mind and can boost memory. Some hobbies focus on strengthening the body. Others are purely for just fun and socializing.

In looking for a hobby, it’s best to consider your wants and needs first. Are you searching for a hobby that relies on your logic and wits to be successful? More interested in a creative activity that builds camaraderie and friendships? To help you out, let’s explore some modern hobbies below.

Photography

You don’t have to buy an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera to get into photography nowadays. Just get creative with your smartphone camera and you’re all set. Get into the groove of it first and see if it’s really your cup of tea before committing to an expensive camera upgrade.

Target Shooting

You can go the firearms route or the archery route when it comes to target shooting. The former is more practical as you can hone your skills with gun handling and self-defense. Archery is more primitive but can be just as fun. Take into consideration whether ammunition for sale is affordable enough for your budget.

Online Gaming

If you have a computer with hardware built for it, gaming can be an interesting, enduring hobby. There’s plenty of genres to choose from so it’s all up to your preferences. You can go social with online games as well and join gaming clubs and leagues out there. If your smartphone can take it, you can even go the mobile gaming way and play on-the-go.

Lockpicking

Lockpicking is a hobby that builds mental discipline and muscle memory. Requiring just a simple practice lock or a Bogota pick, it’s relatively cheap and easy to get into. It’s also a very practical skill for daily life if you’re fond of losing your keys. Some enthusiasts have even turned it into a competitive activity called “locksport.”

Culinary Arts

Food is an essential part of human life. Why not hone your skill in cooking food then? Aside from being a practical skill, knowledge of cooking can also lead you to a healthier lifestyle. If you become very proficient at it, you can even turn the hobby into a business or a career. Everybody loves good food, after all.

Survival Prepping

Want to be prepared just in case the world blows up and SHTF? Survival prepping is the hobby for you. Learning how to survive in post-apocalyptic situations involves a lot of know-how and skill sets. Gun handling and lockpicking, two hobbies we discussed earlier, are also part of a diligent prepper’s arsenal. Even cooking and knowledge of ingredients is a vital skill to have for survival prepping.

Closing Thoughts

Whatever hobby you choose, consider your physical and mental fitness first. There are hobbies that will require a certain degree of these aspects, so assess whether you’re ready for the challenge. There’s also the matter of financial cost as some hobbies can be very expensive to get into.

Don’t hesitate to try a lot of hobbies out before committing to a single one. The best way to find out whether you’re a great fit for a hobby is through trial and error.

5 Reasons Why WordPress Is a Great Blogging Platform

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No matter if you are doing it as a professional or just for fun, blogging is a great way to get people interested in what you say and who you are. It lets you share your unique perspective on things, promote a brand, product or issue, and is a great way to connect with people. There are many different blogging sites available for you to choose from, and it seems like the possibilities are endless, but there is one site that stands out above the rest and that is WordPress, and here are 5 reasons why it is a great blogging platform for both amateurs and professional bloggers:

No hidden costs

One of the big things that often puts people off blogging platforms are the hidden costs. Often a blog site says it is free, but then you find out it is only for a limited time or you have to pay to post, but this is not the case with WordPress. With this site you can join for free, create your own personal blog name and page, and post as many blogs as you like without paying anything. There are also a lot of extra plugins and features that are available for free or as limited offers. You only need to be concerned about paying if you want to upgrade to a premium package or move to a self-hosted WordPress site (you pay only for the domain name and for the hosting itself), which offer a lot of customization features ion comparison with the free version.

A great looking blog

The many attractive looks available is one of the main reasons why this is such a great blogging platform. There is an excellent variety of over a hundred blog templates to choose from, allowing you to fully control the way you present yourself. With different images, colour schemes and styles, you are able to create a look that mirrors your blog and your personal taste. You also do not need to know anything about coding or website design to do it, as the easy-to-follow setup wizard lets you create a great looking blog in minutes, and the site’s built-in help will guide you through anything that you might have trouble with.

© istock.com, Rawpixel
© istock.com, Rawpixel

A secure and safe platform

Having a safe and secure blog platform is very important, especially in the modern age of malware and the many other malicious viruses that are floating around the web, just waiting to infect a vulnerable computer. This great blogging platform is completely safe, as well as secure. It protects you as a blogger from spam messages and those dreadful pop-up advertisements that are present on a lot of other free blogging sites. Being a safe platform also means that it attracts readers, and as a blogger you also have the option to hide, block and report commenters to give you even more peace-of-mind.

The ability to connect with commenters

The best blogs become popular not just because they post interesting and informative content, but also because they form a connection with their readers. This is done through the readers leaving comments on your blog posts, and you having the ability to give feedback and respond to their comments. With WordPress, you can fully interact and connect with your readers, as it allows you to easily respond to their comments and also follow their link back to their personal blog if they have one, allowing you to easily strengthen the connection you have with them.

Favourable search engine ranking

Having a great search engine ranking is the most vital way of getting more traffic to your blog. Using great keywords and writing smart SEO content will help, but starting a blog on WordPress is a great way to get noticed. This blogging platform has a good reputation and gets a lot of traffic, and because of this, search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others, seek out the site to find search results. This means that by using this great blogging platform, it is more likely that you will be noticed and that your blog will end up getting a higher search engine result ranking than if you used a different blogging platform.

Biologist proposes to reverse the evolution of birds to create dinosaurs

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A British biochemist assumed that the genetic properties of contemporary birds could be the key to turn the lives of dinosaurs that became extinct 65 million years ago. Dr Alison Woollard think it would be possible to reconstruct the genomes of dinosaurs by altering the DNA of birds. “We know that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs, according to what has been demonstrated by a number of fossil finds comprising the evolution of the lineage from creatures like Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex to modern flying birds” said Woollard of the University of Oxford.

Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs

He mentioned in particular the Archaeopteryx, which lived 150 million years ago and whose name means ‘old wing’, as evidence of transition between dinosaurs and birds. In the movie Jurassic Park, dinosaurs were reproduced by scientists extracting DNA from mosquitoes preserved in amber for millions of years and splicing the DNA chain of the frog. This approach is impossible in reality because the DNA cannot survive more than 6.3 million years according to recent research carried out in Australia. For this reason the scientist poses the topic of “reverse evolution” altering genes to guide the development of a bird breeding and rearing their young and so on, backwards. For creatures that existed no more than 6.8 million years ago, they could use modern cloning technologies.

Mammoth
Mammoth

In this sense the scientist cited the example of the mammoths. Lately there have been recovered several bodies of mammoth in good condition from the Siberian permafrost which has encouraged by South Korean and Russian scientists plan to clone a system that allows these animals. Scientists will have to replace the egg nucleus of the nearby descendant of mammoth – elephant – by the cell nucleus of the mammoth and induce cell division through electroshock, as Woollard said. “Theoretically, a transgenic egg will develop into an embryo and a mammoth calf will be born after two years in the making” said the researcher.

Software Issue on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Affects Lighting EarPods

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On 16 September 2016, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models became available in the UK with customers able to pre-order as early as the 9th of September. As in the previous releases of older iPhone models, people line up for days outside the Apple stores to get their hands on these phones.

But barely two weeks after the successful release Apple has admitted that iPhone 7 has an issue. This has something to do with the headphone jack or rather the lack of it, a move that the company first considered to be a bold one to give way to the Lighting port.

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According to reports, the Lighting EarPods malfunction. While music can still be heard, the controls become frozen so some functions are affected, such as the volume control, shortcuts for Siri and call answering features. They are pointing at the software as the culprit.

Lighting jack-based earphones use software to operate as opposed to the good old analog 3.5mm pairs. Since there are still glitches in iOS 10 and iOS 10.0.1, these things can happen.

The latest software for iPhones and iPads, the iOS 10 was in beta testing for months and now that it is out, Apple boasts of its extensive update as well as its new capabilities and features. Dubbed as the most advanced mobile OS in the world, updates include more animated and impressive ways to send messages, Siri working with new apps, improved 3D Touch, new design for Apple Music, Photos and Maps, among others.

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But then again, this controversial Lighting EarPods incident happened. Despite the issue only happening at random, this can still be disappointing for mobile users. Meanwhile, Apple is already fixing the problem and this will be expected in the next update.

The 3.5mm port might be old school and the Lighting EarPods are state-of-the-art but still, many users are not happy about their EarPods freezing.

 

Gadgets that could save the planet

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The world urgently needs to reconsider its energy policy and move away from fossil fuels and head to renewable energy before 2050, warned the UN Intergovernmental Panel for climate change. Moreover, according to the World Bank, 20% of the world’s population has access to electricity, with most of them in Africa and Asia. At the same time, in the developed world, the cost of energy has increased too much and consumers are looking for ways to reduce their bills. Some designers and manufacturers, as the CNBC, have started to respond to this challenge and present products that leverage the power of the sun. See some examples below:

Solar laptop

Samsung was one of the first major companies that have turned to solar energy in the NC215S netbook in 2011. Since then many manufacturers like the Canadian company WeWi revealed then Sol laptop with the promise that it would take just two hours of sunlight to fill the battery for 10 hours.

Solar laptop
Solar laptop

According to the company’s managing director, David Snir who spoke to CNBC, the product is available from late April in many markets, and the company advised distributors that the cost will not exceed 500 dollars.

Solar smartphones

Once again the champion Samsung announced in 2009 the creation of the model Blue Earth, a mobile phone that runs on solar energy. For Daniel Gleeson, analyst at the IHS, the solar energy will be the «next big trend» in the market of smart mobile. At present, the demand is for larger screens and 4G.

Solar smartphones
Solar smartphones

iPad solar cover

The solar cases, which help to charge the tablets are sold already for many devices from the Amazon Kindle SolarFocus by Solar Keyboard Folio Case for the iPad Logitech.

iPad solar cover
iPad solar cover

And if sunlight is not enough, the cover KudoSolar iPad, constructed from photovoltaic ink can use also the interior light. The manufacturer estimates that the average user will need to recharge the tablet every 10 days.

Solar Impulse

The Solar Impulsion is the only aircraft of infinite strength, able to fly day and night without fuel, based entirely on solar energy. The first solar flight around the world is scheduled to take place in early 2015 with the Solar Impulsion 2, presented on April 9, 2014.

Solar Impulse
Solar Impulse

In 2010, the first model was able to fly for 26 hours without interruption during the night. Later on they had many different test flights in Europe, Morocco and the USA.

By Nicole P.

Cool Games To Play On New Year’s Eve

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New Year’s Eve is always one of the party highlights of the year. But what can you do to build up the excitement whilst you wait for the chimes of midnight?

Whilst there’s always party food and drinks to keep you going, there’s nothing like a few party games like smartphone charades and online pokies to really ramp up the fun!

Traditional board games like Monopoly and Cluedo may be good for much of the festive season, but nobody wants to mess around with dice on an exciting night like New Year’s Eve. This is why some of these unusual party games can be great for breaking the ice and finding out much more about your fellow guests.

Most of these games tend to rely on the players’ imaginations to be played properly. But if you’re worried about trying to get your guests to behave themselves, then there are some great smartphone based gaming apps that can help you gain control of even the most rowdy of New Year’s Eve parties.

We may all know Ellen Degeneres as one of our favourite TV stars. But she’s also caused shockwaves across the internet by making Heads Up one of the surprise gaming hits of 2016.

This acts much like a digital version of charades, but the smartphone is introduced as a way to provide endless subjects to act out. And regardless of whether you’re trying to communicate the concept of a movie star or a celebrity, it’s always when the players make mistakes that provides the biggest laughs.

However, if even that sounds a little too complicated for your New Year’s Eve party, then think about some of the simple party games that were featured in the blog over at Lucky Nugget Casino NZ.

Whilst the likes of shot roulette might not be to everyone’s taste, the site also includes access to some quick and easy online pokies games that just about everybody should be able to play.

 

And although some party-goers may want to roam around your neighbourhood attempting to play Pokémon Go in the dark, it’s probably a safer idea to try and keep everyone contained within the house.

Thankfully there’s been a real trend for some fairly low-tech games to be big hits in 2016. So whether you’re playing Pie Face, getting your head around Speak Out, or just having another online pokies session, it showed that there’s many ways to stay entertained as 2017 approaches!

TV contact lenses are coming soon

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It is called iOptik and is a system of lenses, new generation in high definition screen role, projects an image directly to each eye. According to the American company Innovega behind the TV-lens, a futuristic system is able to project digital data such as driving instructions and videos. The lenses work by themselves or in combination with a pair of smart sunglasses, offering the user an experience comparable to that of a television monitor 240 inches from a distance of three meters.

ioptik
ioptik

For now, the accompanying glasses are equipped with microprojectors, while in the future, the company plans to incorporate these microsystem audio control features by touch, camera and accelerometer.

ioptik
ioptik

The lens have been divided into two cycles with special filters incoming light management: the outer covers the vision needs of the user while the inner circle, has a clever system which enables to distinguish high definition picture in a short distance from the eye, says the head of the company, Stephen Willie. This system could be used with smartphones and portable consoles, computer games, adding a tinge of augmented reality.

ioptik
ioptik

The standard lens TV system, was presented a year ago in the context of international technology exhibition CES 2013, that is held annually in Las Vegas, USA. As part of this year’s report, the company pledged to present a more advanced pair of fully functional lens.

By Nicole P.

Why Taking a Portable Generator on Your Road Trip is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

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Making the decision to head out on a road trip, whether it’s for one week, one month or one year, is a hugely exciting experience no matter how young or old you are, as is the idea of exploring unknown places, whether that’s at home or abroad. From deciding what clothes to pack, how much food you’ll need to take and whether you’re covered by your current motor insurance abroad, there are a huge amount of considerations and preparations you simply must think about.

No matter if you’re a weathered adventurer or you’re setting off on your very first road trip, there are always items you’re going to forget, but one thing you simply must not overlook is a portable generator. A portable generator is just that – portable – and takes up very little room when travelling around. As well as this, they have a whole host of practical uses – here are just a few:

Practicalities

Whether you’re sleeping in a tent or you’re in something a little more luxurious, like a campervan, there are certain things that will make a road trip just that little bit easier. From hair dryers to portable freezers, a portable generator will allow you to power all of those essentials you simply cannot go without. Being able to generate power for a portable freezer or fridge will mean that you can travel around more freely and eradicate the worry of having to plan your days around finding food and drink.

Portable Generator
Portable Generator

Entertainment

A portable generator, like the ones sold by SGS Engineering, are a necessity if you want to use any sort of electrical items whilst you’re away. If you are road tripping for longer than a week or two and especially if you’re camping or spending the night in the middle of nowhere, then you’ll no doubt go a little mad if you’re left with no entertainment. A portable generator can power a television set and a radio, allowing you to catch up on your favourite shows or news whilst you’re away.

Keep in Contact

Modern technology is everywhere these days, and whilst you may want to appear the reckless, un-contactable type, especially if you’re travelling alone, at some point you’re going to want to let someone know you’re okay. As well as this, it’s important for emergency purposes too. A portable generator gives you the opportunity to charge your phone, but it’s entirely up to you whether you switch it on.

Before you hit the road, ensure you spend time researching which generator will suit the jobs you want it to do, as well as emitting little or no noise when you’re using it.

Contactless Credit Cards Are Reshaping the Way People Board Trains

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London has finally licensed a contactless payment system that allows people to board trains or buses with the use of a debit or credit card. This new technology will also be coming to other major cities around the world.

Universal Transport System

The license allows people to use this technology that can be utilized elsewhere. The money earned with this type of technology will be kept for a fare freeze for commuters in the city. This new tech enables the use of contactless debit or credit cards by swiping on readers in public terminals.

Ticketless Commuting

As a result, commuters will be able to travel without using any ticket. At each day’s end, the transport system will calculate the distance being travelled and will deduct the right amount. A daily or weekly cap will be applied on your spending if you travel enough. Mobile devices that support contactless technology can now be used as well to jump on a train or bus or even on the London Underground.

St_Pancras_Thameslink_entrance

History of Contactless Tech

In 2003, this concept was started by introducing the Oyster swipe card developed by Cubic, which allows commuters to keep season tickets or pay-as-you-go credit in just one card. This same card reading system has added contactless payment system since 2012. The company will take this contactless tech to other countries as well.

Procedure for Contactless Payments

Personal identification numbers or signatures are not necessary when you use contactless. You simply need to touch your card on the card reader that should render contactless. Other contactless payment methods are also accepted when making transactions elsewhere.

Cardiff_Bus_double_decker_(Central_Bus_Station)

You only need to have a credit or debit card issued in the UK on MasterCard, American Express, Visa or Maestro that displays the contactless payment symbol. Thus, you can use it when you decide to travel on various transports around the UK and soon around the world.