Smart Living

In the near future we will be able to communicate with all sorts of devices as long as they are connected to the internet. The home is one of the places that will be radically transformed and become “smarter” – all thanks to IoT, Internet of Things.

The smart home market is exploding. The driving force behind this is a combination of many things such as an abundance of services, cheaper and more user friendly devices, high speed broadband connection, and changes in consumer behaviour. Apart from services that satisfy our ever growing demand for comfort and pleasure, services related to eHealth, alarm systems, energy control, etc wil also invade out homes and daily life – and all will be connected!

The demonstration that is carried out in conjunction with the Catalyst – a Swedish ICT test and demonstration environment – will also pinpoint which challenges the researchers are facing when everything in the home is connected. Examples of such issues are personal integrity; who owns and controls the data in the home; how much automation and smartness can we actually manage?

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Smartphones will become not only everyone’s portal into the Internet of Things ecosystem (look no further than smartphone-controlled light bulbs), but a complete remote control to your life (if it isn’t already). Every enterprise needs to take mobile even more seriously and have it as a key point of consideration of future connected efforts.

The demonstrations are in turn part of a much larger KTH-driven project, ICT – The Next Generation, see http://www.ict-tng.kth.se

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga with OLED

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The new Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga (think Microsoft Surface Pro) with OLED is hitting the market soon.

OLEDs work through transmitting electricity through certain materials that glow specific colors. This allows OLED screens to be thinner, lighter, and more efficient. This also lets pixels become completely black which allows for greater contrast on the screen.

On the downside, OLED is still very expensive. But that doesn’t mean Lenovo skimped out on the materials used to make the Thinkpad X1 Yoga. The model sports a carbon fiber cover. The design of the Thinkpad is to be a traditional work station and not a computer that is only used for Netflix streaming.

Weight wise, the Thinkpad is surprisingly lighter than the MacBook Air (by a whole 0.2 pounds!). Also what came as a surprise to me when I read the article was that the author said this was his favorite way to watch Netflix in bed because of the massive screen.

The Thinkpad X1 Yoga is the size of a regular laptop, but has the ability to act like a tablet.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/27/thinkpad-x1-yoga-oled-review/

http://www.cnet.com/news/what-is-oled-tv/

New Fitbits

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Recently Fitbit announced that it will be releasing new Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2. The has boasted that it is the first in the fitness tracker category, and now it is making even greater strides to set itself apart from other sync-able fitness devices.

The Fitbit Charge 2 will be a new heart rate and fitness wristband monitor. It will have interchangeable accessory bands as well as a large screen. This is an upgrade from the older version which only had your heart rate along with a smaller screen.

The Fitbit Flex 2 will be swim-proof. Fitbit is also trying to make them more fashionable by advertising that they will go well with jewelry.

The device allows you to compete with friends in competitions. For example, there’s the Weekend Warrior competition which allows friends to compete to see who can take the most steps in a weekend.

Fitbit also has the ability to sync to your smartphone through Bluetooth and sync and track your progress online.

https://www.fitbit.com/whats-new

Amazon Dash

Getting low on toothpaste? Running out of toilet paper but don’t have the time to go to the store this week? Amazon has you covered! Amazon has come up with this new technology called Amazon Dash. Basically, when you are getting low on your household items, you can press the dash button and Amazon will ship the exact same item to your house the next day. 0ED993FA00000514-0-The_butto-a-41_1472600326238

This seems very practical and helpful for those busy weeks when you just can’t seem to find a moment to rest, but eventually I would get tired of receiving the same product over and over and over again. When I run out of something, let’s say coffee, I like to try something new the next time I go to the store. The Amazon Dash buttons don’t provide you with the option to purchase a different brand. You currently have Maxwell House coffee in your cupboard? That is what you are stuck drinking every morning for the rest of your life. Crouch-Amazon-dash-button-1200-630-02164033

Also, the Amazon Dash would not mix well with all of those couponers out there. Being a poor college student,  I am really into using coupons and buying what is on sale.The Amazon Dash button wouldn’t allow me to use my coupons or select the product that is on sale that week. With that being said, if Amazon could come up with a Dash button that would find the brands that were on sale for a certain product that I needed, I would be more inclined to use it. I enjoy going to the grocery store and looking at all of the different products that are out there. Amazon has not yet convinced me to wake up to the same coffee for the rest of my life, even if it may be a little less work than going to the dreaded grocery store.

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3766130/Run-washing-powder-Just-push-button-Amazon-launches-technology-instantly-send-household-essentials.html

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-horror-of-amazons-new-dash-button

 

 

Quantum Computing: IBM’s Quantum Computer

Many people have never heard of cloud computing, let alone quantum computing. IBM has been a leading pioneer in starting up their quantum computer experiment. Typically this type of computing is only found in top level academics and organizations such as Google and NASA. IBM is trying to change this by bringing quantum computing to the masses through a simple web-browser interface from any device that is connected to the internet. This can be seen below. For many people this may not be a big deal, but for many researchers or other organizations looking to build a practical quantum computer, IBM is looking to help them out. David DiVincenzo, a professor at the Institute for Quantum Information at RWTH Aachen University and one of quantum computing’s earliest pioneers, believes the service will lead to more. “I think that someone out there will learn things about the behavior of this quantum computer,” he says, “that its developers never thought of.”  Quantum computing is far more powerful than today’s machines and this professor has high hopes of changing the way people compute. This means that people who do not have the background or expertise to build a quantum computer can use the simple interface to view quantum computing from a different perspective rather than from a developer’s perspective. This may lead to many new advances in technology from better understanding DNA sequences to predict how the stock market will fluctuate.

Quantum computing differs from traditional computing with its binary language. Traditional computers can only hold a single “bit” of information such as a 1 or a 0 at one time. Quantum computing uses a “qubit”, which stores both traditional bits at one time based on the “superposition principle”.  Two qubits would be 00, 01, 10, and 11 and could be stored simultaneously. Which means in theory, if more qubits were added, one could make a machine far more powerful than anything that exists today. Another great feature about the IBM quantum computer is that it produces the same result each time. Before this, it was much more difficult to reproduce results using a quantum computer due to the complex nature, but IBM has started to figure out this issue. IBM has made it possible for anyone in the world to use their quantum computer, which makes it possible for anyone to use it. I believe this quantum computer will lead to great technological discoveries from the science field to consumer products. This may change the future of computing as we know it.

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Source:

http://www.wired.com/2016/05/ibm-letting-anyone-play-quantum-computer/

“Kaby Lake” Intel’s’ Seventh Generation Processor

Many computer users do not do not even know what a Central Processing Unit (CPU) does or what it is for. The CPU is the brain of the computer and is responsible for carrying out tasks and other processes. Intel has been in business since 1968 and has been the lead manufacture for desktop PC CPU’s. Many people have seen or heard commercials with the “Intel Inside” or even seen the sticker on the outside of their computer. Most people are familiar with Intel’s popular lineup of the i3, i5, and i7 processors, but do not realize that there are different generations of these processors. The general public does not realize this and to them it is the same processor because of the naming convention. The only way to tell is by looking at the CPU model number and the generation is the first number along with some other useful information about the processor.

The latest and greatest seventh generation processor called “Kaby Lake” is about to launch at the end of this year. This is the predecessor to the “Skylake” processors, which are the sixth generation. The Kaby Lake chip will utilize the same socket type, LGA1151, as the current Skylake chip uses. The new chip will remain at 14 nanometers (nm) which is unusual for Intel because they usually use the method called “Tick-Tock”, which involves shrinking the chip and then optimizing in the next generation. They have now changed it to a three step process which consists of Process, Architecture, and Optimization. This is the last generation that will be 14 nm thick, until “Cannonlake” lake is released which will only be 10 nm.

This generation of CPU’s is aimed at playing flawless 4k video playback on lower-end laptops along with reducing the power consumption of the CPU. The seventh generation CPU’s shall be shipping this Autumn from certain laptop makers.  Will you look at CPU’s differently now that you know there is much more behind the “Intel Inside” sticker and slogan?

Source:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/intel-7th-gen-kaby-lake-specifications

Technology for Pets?

There is no doubt about it that people love to spoil their beloved pets. Whether it be surprising them with new toys or treats, humans love to give as many forms as affections as possible. But, have you ever thought of going beyond that brand new squeaky toy to show your pooch that you adore him? Dog Technology is coming forth with new and updated ways to connect with pets.

Whistle GPS Pet Tracker
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This device, very much like the Apple iWatch, is a GPS tracking device that allows you to keep an eye on your dog when you are away from them.All you have to do is clip it onto their collar. You also have the option to set designated areas such as your house to alert you when your dog leaves the yard or house. Whistle also allows you to track your dogs health by the activities they perform or a change in their sleep patterns.

http://www.whistle.com

Petzi Treat Cam

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This device is extremely similar to a baby monitor, but whats better than a baby monitor, one that can give your dog treats by just a click of a bottom while you’re away. That’s right, the Petzi Treat Cam is a Wi-Fi pet camera that allows you to watch your dog from your phone. You can talk to you dog, take pictures and as said before, send out treats to your pup. The Petzi Treat Cam aims to help aid in dog anxiety while your dog is left home alone.

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GoPro Fetch
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Have you always wanted to know exactly what your dog sees? Do you ever wish you could just strap on a camera to their back and capture every moment of what they do in a day? GoPro Fetch finally gives us the opportunity to see what our canines are chasing after! GoPro released a waterproof, all size fits harness that can be strapped onto your dog and all you have to do is attach your GoPro. GoPro can’t promise that the harness will stay adjusted correctly and you will get perfect film back, but it will definitely give you an idea of what it feels like to look through your dogs eyes.

https://shop.gopro.com/mounts/fetch-dog-harness/ADOGM-001.html

Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder

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Not home but its dinner time for your dog? Feed and Go is a dog bowl device that can dispense dog food and even notify your pet that its time to eat while you are away. The device can be set up by downloading the app on your smartphone or computer. It allows you to schedule feeding times whether you are home or not. The gadget also have the ability to track your dogs diet. Best of all, the feeder works over wifi so if you lose signal, it will still feed your dog.

http://www.feedandgo.com

We love to spoil our pets and these are just some new tech devices that allows you to do so. Check out more doggy devices that you can purchase to show your pet that they deserve simply the best!

http://www.reviewed.com/tech/features/7-smart-gadgets-for-your-dog?utm_source=usat&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=collab

Cool tips for ipad users

A lot of people owns a tablet nowadays. The most popular tablets are Microsoft surface and ipad. Most of people choose to buy the ipad because that ipad is lighter and simpler while using it. Today I will teach you some tips of ipad that just few of ipad users know about it.

First of all, we need to go to the settings and choose “General” at the left category. Then  find the first item at the right part of the screen which is “multitasking gestures“. Enable it! Now you can use the coolest thing of ipad.

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The first tip is that use five fingers touche the screen simultaneously and do the gesture like you are catching something. This will close the current app and return to the home page without using the home key. We all know that home key has the maximum of clicking. So this is a very convenient way to close an app and save the life of home key.close-app-gesture

The second one is that using four of five fingers vertically swiping up to open the multitasking app bar. This can also be done by quickly clicking home key twice. But as long as we want to keep your home key last longer so we are avoiding using home key. This is an old pic of older IOS system. But the trick is still working at the new system.swipe-up-multitask-bar

Last trick is amazing that you can switching apps immediately without open the multitasking app bar. Just use four or five fingers horizontally swiping to access the previous app or next app.

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One more incredible thing of the ipad is that you can do picture in picture feature. I remember using this feature on TV when I was young. I can watching two channel at the same time. This feature of ipad is way more amazing than that in TV. I can watch video on ipad while I am send the e-mail to my professor. It’s pretty easy to do this. First, open the video app and play the video then click home key while the video is still on play mode. Now you can see the video app shrink down to a little window still playing. You can easily change the window size and you can also close it without get into the multitasking app bar. Pretty cool, right?

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These tricks can just use in ipad equipment. iphone is too small for five fingers to touch together. I hope you enjoy your ipad with these nice tricks.

What’s trending on your Facebook newsfeed?

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If you use Facebook as much as I do (takes up about 50% of my day) then you may have noticed the slight modification FB made to its TRENDING topics bar on the right side of the website.

Trending topics used to have the topic and a short blurb about what the story was about. If you take a look you will see that now the trending topics are simply just the topics and how many people on Facebook are talking about it. There is no description of what the topic is about or why its becoming popular.

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The changes made prevent human editing because of charges that consisted of anti-conservative political bias that was surfacing the site several months ago. The edited trending topics will have no affect on users or what becomes a top story. Like previously, stories will circulate based on how many likes they receive.

Sources believed that the changes made were because Facebook laid off several members of its Trending topics team. Facebook has made no response to this suggestion. Other reports criticized the networking site as being bias in what topics were being circulated. Facebook denied the allegations.

“Cloud Computing Brings Sprawling Centers, but Few Jobs, to Small Towns”

When we think of small towns in this country, we think of farmland a couple traffic lights and maybe a local shopping center. Well this article talks about how tech giants like Google and Microsoft are moving into these areas. No they aren’t moving in to have a company headquarters or even office space, they are building billion dollar data cloud storage centers. To convince these small towns they promise jobs and to bring growth to the local economy. The article this is about is mainly about one small town just south of North Carolina, where a billion dollar Microsoft plant was just built. These companies chose specifically small towns with plenty of space to build these plants. The jobs they promised well most of them are only for a short period of time. The economic growth they promised, well it turns out there was very little just another table at a gas station, and it’s hurting other small local companies. Other companies who are hiring people to be guards or build stuff can’t pay these possible employee’s what these large tech companies can. The relevance of this article goes back a couple days to we were in class and Dr. Pursel was mentioning different tech things and one was the cloud. He asked us if we knew what that was and most of us didn’t. Well this cloud space storage carriers may be hurting the small towns of the this country.They hurt these places by not employing the local citizens and not consuming from the surrounding businesses. Cloud storage only seemed helpful to everyone, but little do we realize what actually is happening is bad because of what their power plants surrounding areas.  

 

www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/technology/cloud-computing-brings-sprawling-centers-but-few-jobs-to-small-towns.html?ref=technology