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.

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.

Beat a Guinness record with a collection of 10,607 games

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Michael Thomasson, New York 31, has just entered the Guinness Book of Records with a collection of 10,607 games, beating the previous mark of Richard Lecce with 8,616 games in 2010.

Michael Thomasson
Michael Thomasson

The funny thing is that his collection could be much higher as he has had to sell video games on two occasions, the first to capture a Mega Drive and the second to get married, to a person, not with the Mega Drive. Among the many oddities that Michael has called attention to is the Casio Loopy, a console designed exclusively for girls and Pippin, a console that Apple pulled off in 1995 which did not admit the slightest knowledge. Anyway, Michael ensures that all games for the Pippin are horrible.

The winner
The winner

To grab the collection Michael has used a budget of $ 3,000 a year which means that many of the games he used could get him trucks or docked in the dark. Moreover, he says that Richard continues to collect and has not returned to tell about his games since 2010 so this may end up as a personal confrontation that could only be solved with a duel at dawn or a little game of Street Fighter II.

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.

The best smart features by Apple

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Apple products have conquered the world thanks to the quality of their design and attention to detail. Yet the average user of Apple devices often do not even see these small details, or whether they are useful only in very few of them. Some of these features offer even more convenience to the user, while others are simply decorative, but either way they make a difference. Let’s meet some of the smart features-details, presented below:

1. The Smart Fan that “listens”
When someone uses the voice dictation on the new Mac laptops, it automatically reduces the speed of the indoor fan, so the user can hear better his voice.

Smart Fan
Smart Fan

2. Virtual reflections
If you listen to songs through the Music app on your iPhone, take a look at the shiny button that adjusts the volume. The virtual reflection of light changes when you tilt your phone. Note that it works with iOS 6 or earlier software.

Virtual reflections
Virtual reflections

3. Smart Caps Lock
All the MacBook Air and all newer versions of the MacBook Pro, if the user presses the button «Caps Lock» absolutely nothing happens. To activate capital letters, you must press the button and hold for some time.

Smart Caps Lock
Smart Caps Lock

4. An eclipse for “do not disturb”
When the user activates the function «Do Not Disturb», a tiny crescent is presented at the top of the screen. This is not so remarkable, but if you change the setting from on to off you will see that in front of your eyes occurs a small lunar eclipse!

Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb

5. The sleep light that “breathes”
Apple has a patent from 2002 for the «Breathing Status LED Indicator», according to which the light of the display in sleep-mode mimics the rhythm of breathing.

Sleep Light
Sleep Light

By Nicole P.

Pokemon Go Two Months After the Frenzy

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Since Pokemon Go was launched almost a couple of months ago, the Augmented Reality app, there have been millions of phone users who have downloaded the game from different parts of the world such as the UK, United States, Australia and Asia, among others.

Just a few days after it was out, Pokemon Go became a phenomenon, topping the download charts in the US and the UK. There were also many positive reviews about the game with experts saying that it can be healthy for the people in terms of getting exercise. Others also say that this brought people of the community together because they gather in places and interact with each other.

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However, in August, it was reported that the popularity of Pokemon Go dwindled with the daily active users dropping from about 45 million gamers in mid-July to only 30 million after a month had lapsed. Not only that. There have also been negative reports about the effects of the game and the frenzy it has created.

Negative Incidents

In the UK, there have been reports of criminal activities related to the use of Pokemon Go. Police authorities say that there have been hundreds of incidents recorded which include assaults, thefts, robberies and even driving offences.

In Lancashire, Pokemon Go-related incidents reached the highest number with 39 cases while in Greater Manchester, the police reported that one of the most common types of incident is robbery  wherein thieves create “lures” to lead players to a particular location and then snatch their phones. Other incidents include trespassing on private property, fighting and assaults.

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Meanwhile, in Russia, a blogger is facing a five-year sentence if found guilty for playing Pokemon Go inside the church. It was his way of protesting the ban on playing the game in religious sites. And in Covina, California, the police authorities tweeted to warn players to stop sending enquiries asking if they can access the jails to search for Pokemon characters.

Whether Pokemon is a simply a fad and passing fancy, there is no doubt that it was a worldwide hit even for a short period of time.

The Exciting Future of Accessible Technology

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According to a study by the World Health Organization, there are approximately one billion individuals living with a disability. This number constitutes 15% of the global population and with an increasingly ageing population, this figure could rise. This means accessibility is a more important issue than ever before.

image source: here

While technology has already altered many areas of our lives, from work to leisure, many are now considering how it could to help those with a disability. This includes innovations such as braille keyboards, laptops controlled by eye movement and touch-free smartphones.

Here is how technology could benefit disabled people in the future, in terms of transport, the home and apps.

The Future of Transport

Automated and self-driving vehicles are now beginning to take to the roads, making this futuristic vision a more realistic prospect. This kind of technology also offers a world of possibilities for people with a disability.

For example, vehicles with voice activated systems, keyless entry and automatic opening doors could help those who use a wheelchair. But it could also go one step further, as self-driving vans have the potential to open car ownership to more people, including blind individuals.

While there is already a great range of accessible vehicles on the market – like those sold by Allied Mobility – technology could further improve the lives of disabled people.

The Future of Smart Homes

While having more gadgets in the home can make everyday tasks faster, easier and more convenient, for those with a disability, it could help make independent living a reality.

With apps to control central heating, TVs that can be operated via voice commands, doorbells that can be answered via smartphone, and smart home devices, it could help those with a physical disability to navigate their homes in an easier and more comfortable way.

The Future of Disability Apps

Apps can help us access information and stay connected on the go, but for those with a disability, they could improve quality of life. This includes apps that map out city streets, helping people to travel and navigate.

While there are apps that can increase text size and allow voice control, there are still relatively few that cater to accessibility. However, this is a technology that could enhance, and help disabled people and as such, has a lot of potential.

Lastly, technology represents a real opportunity to facilitate an individual’s ability to participate more fully in society, live more independently and enjoy a better quality of life. As such, more accessible technology could make a big difference.

Chongqing, China: Where Cell Phone Users Have Their Own Sidewalk

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Have you tried being behind a person who constantly has their head down and pecking on their phone? Or maybe you’re the person in question?

Sometimes, they do move along … yet slowly. Other times, they seem to stop just right in the middle of the street causing you to bump into them. It’s totally not fun, right?

Well, in Chongqing, China, they think that these kinds of avid cellphone users need their own lane. Some places put up bicycle lanes, but in these Chinese cities, cellphone users are given preference.

In Chongqing, one of the busiest streets was divided into two sections: one for those who use cellphones and the other for those who don’t. This special sidewalk in the southwestern portion of China measures fifty meters long and three meters wide. Warning signs are painted in white on the ground to mark.

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Long Cheng, a spokesperson for the developer who birthed the idea of dividing a sidewalk, mentioned that the sidewalk lanes served as a reminder for tourists not to walk while playing with their cellphones. Cheng said, “It’s an unsafe gesture with potential safety hazards.”

Well, walking anywhere while being glued to your screen isn’t the best thing to do. In  December last year, a Taiwanese woman who was walking along St Kilda pier near Melbourne fell into waters of Port Philip Bay after being distracted by her Facebook feed.

The sidewalk in China, which is called “yangrenjie” (foreigners street), is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its faux Western architecture as well as an amusement park.

The developers got the idea from an experiment in Washington DC and there are no plans to try this out in other parts of the city.

China Cellphone Lane

Not every pedestrian seemed to like the idea of this specialized sidewalk. According to Xing Xing, as told to China Daily, the sidewalk is not a solution and may end up being an indulgence for those addicted to their mobile phones leading to more problems in the future.

That statement could somewhat be verified as China is expected to have more than 500 million smartphone users in 2014.

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.