Mar 31

Exciting New Technologies Showcased In This Year’s SXSW Conference

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a series of conferences and festivals that deal with music, movies and various interactive media. It takes place on a yearly basis in Austin, Texas. It originally started in 1987. Since then, it has grown into one of the most important shows in the country. Many of the biggest performers in the music industry go there to play concerts and debut new material. Likewise, many of the biggest tech companies go to SXSW to hold conferences that they use to debut and promote various pieces of technology before they are available to the general public.

Indeed, SXSW is quickly becoming as important when it comes to introducing new technology to the masses as the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Let’s take a look at some of the new technologies that were unveiled at SXSW 2014:

iBeacon by Eventbase Technology Inc.
Eventbase Technology had already made a name for themselves as the creators of one of the most trusted platforms for event apps. Now they introduced an innovative app that has several names. It is called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Bluetooth Smart and it has been dubbed iBeacon by Apple. This technology is already being called a game-changer in the tech world. It allows users of tablets and smartphones to detect various beacons to be used to interact with objects and people that are around them. Eventbase positioned beacons inside of certain venues. When people went inside a venue where the beacons were present, a prompt from the official SXSW GO iPhone app told them to join the conversation. This enabled them to chat with other people in attendance. They could also participate in live audience polls and a discussion forum. Users also received notifications that contained messages that concerned places and sessions they wanted to attend. Scott Wilcox, the Technology Director of SXSW, believes the technology displayed by iBeacon has amazing potential.

Oculus Rift by Oculus VR
The Oculus Rift is a headset that is used to play video games and it contains virtual reality capabilities. Computerworld magazine referred to it as the festival’s “sleeper hit.” What makes this product different from the other gaming headsets that are currently available on the market is its superb quality and the fact that it will be priced affordably. This is encouraging, especially considering the amount of money that went into designing it. It is expected to be available in late 2014 or early 2015.

Google wearable technology
Google announced that they will soon be releasing a software development kit that is based on the Android. It is specifically aimed at designing devices that are wearable. However, many people in the tech industry have expressed some skepticism about the ability of smartphone technology being able to be converted into an item that can be worn that is the size of a wristwatch. There is concern about the ability to leverage applications that already exist because the screens of most watches are only two inches diagonally. It remains to be seen what wearable hardware will be produced to go along with Google’s software development kit.

Taggar social augmented reality app
Augmented reality is a live view of a real, physical environment that has had various elements augmented by sensory input such as graphics, video or sound. The Taggar app is able to recognize objects and shows content that has been tagged within the environment. It is currently available for iOS. A version for the Android will be released shortly.

Mar 19

5 Gadgets To Keep Your Peace Of Mind While Out Of Town

When you head to another city, you will want to bring some things on the road. Not only that, you should have things at home that protect your family and possessions. With this in mind, here are five gadgets to keep your peace of mind while out of town.

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Jan 31

Four Commonly Overlooked IT Infrastructure Needs

Network administrators have their work cut out for them. With the entire world now more wired than ever, the need to manage an ever increasing stream of data has become a paramount business concern. When setting out to build their IT infrastructure, many businesses only envision the end result. With so many eyes on the final goal, it can be easy to miss some of the more fundamental needs that every good network is built upon. Skimping out or neglecting to institute them could have wide-ranging repercussions later on for the life of your network and the quality of its service. Here are four commonly overlooked needs you can watch out for.

Keep things simple and manageable

A good network will be complicated enough by its very nature. There is no need to make it even more complex at the start by using lots of proprietary systems and overly specialized hardware. Not only can this be incredibly expensive, but it also opens up the possibility that support will be hard to find later on. If your network requires years of accumulated knowledge to manage a few niche components, it may be hard to maintain them over an extended period. Stick to common standards and open technology whenever possible. An overly complex network at the start will only get worse as time goes on.

Power management

As server technology incorporated many of the power saving features found in notebooks and tablets, this caused a shift in how servers and network hardware behave under different circumstances. What was once a fairly level rate of power consumption can now fluctuate wildly based on the activity of the network. With frequent power spikes comes a bevy of nasty consequences: blown fuses, overheating, and compromises in backup power sources that suddenly shift to a different feed. Mitigating this issue requires implementing separate power branches that feed each server, reducing the risk of a single overload placing an extreme burden on your backup feeds. Designing an acceptable power plan, complete with defined ranges and actionable thresholds, would also help your network remain resilient.

Fiber optic cabling installation

With all eyes towards server hardware and network performance, it may be easy to overlook one of the simplest parts of the network: cabling. The virtual web that will power your business needs a physical web to operate, and many times cabling is seen as unimportant unless it causes someone to trip and fall. With the advent of fiber optics, more attention should be paid to the wiring of your network spaces and the efficiency of the cables connecting hardware. Fiber optics transmit information using pulses of light, and are the best means of sending data over a wire. A network wired together with a fiber optic solution will run more efficiently, be less prone to failure, and maximize speeds.

Application analysis

Once a network is up and running, it should be under constant review to check for areas where it can improve. Usage of application analysis software allows IT managers to see how data is flowing across different parts of their network, making adjustments and suggesting changes based on bottlenecks or problem areas. A suite of network tools able to spot network deficiencies could be just as valuable as making the right choices with the hardware of the network itself.

Conclusion

A modern IT network may be one of the most complex structures a business will ever build. It is a scary thought that something so crucial can also be so complex and fragile. With a little planning and smart choices early on, however, your network can turn into one of the biggest drivers for the entire business.

Jan 11

5 BioTech Jobs That Will Grow Rapidly In The Future

Biological technology, or “biotech,” is an expanding field of science that incorporates aspects of biology, chemistry, physics and computer technology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that careers in various branches of biotech are expected to grow by an average of 10 percent in the decade spanning the years between 2012 and 2022. Below are five of the hottest up-and-coming occupations in biotech.

biotech

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Jan 03

Thinking About Buying a New Smartphone? Consider Waiting for These 3 in 2014

The technology world is one that is always shifting and changing, bringing about a great deal of excitement. This certainly applies to gadgets as well. With that being said, if you are looking to buy a new smartphone, you might want to wait until some that are highly anticipated for release come out later in 2014. These are the devices that everyone is longing for and will wow you and your friends. Here are a few of the best anticipated smartphones slated for release this year that are well worth waiting for.

iPhone 6

The iPhone 5S and 5C may have just come out a few short months ago, but already, there is a great deal of hype circulating about the iPhone 6, Apple’s next flagship smartphone. The iPhone 5S was pretty groundbreaking, so there is no reason not to expect the next generation to be even more so and pick up where that one left off but include additional features. Apple will certainly continue with the fingerprint technology that it included in the 5S that allows users to unlock their iPhone simply by the device reading their fingerprint. The 6 is rumored to have an even larger screen than the last three versions of the iPhone at anywhere from 4.7 to 5.7 inches. Of course, it will also sport the next Apple mobile operating system, iOS 8.

Sony Xperia Z1S

The Sony Xperia Z1S is the next flagship Android powered smartphone by the Japanese tech giant. It will pick up where the Xperia Z left off and wow users even more. Whereas the Z was water resistant, the Z1S is said to be completely waterproof, which should make a lot of users clamber to get their hands on it. The phone will boast a five inch full HD display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, 2GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and a 20 megapixel camera. Since the phone is fully waterproof, this means that users will be able to capture incredible photos and videos underwater while swimming or scuba diving. Like the predecessor, the Sony Xperia Z1S will be available in color options of black, white or purple. It will likely come with 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage but without a microSD card slot for additional expansion due to its ultra slim form factor.

Nokia Lumia Icon

Finally, fans of Windows Phone 8 who are on Verizon Wireless will want to wait until the Nokia Lumia Icon, previously referred to as the Nokia Lumia 929, is released. The smartphone has been discussed broadly on tech related forums and websites but has yet to see the light of day. It is essentially a variant of the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet that was released by AT&T in November 2013 but has a five inch HD screen and 32GB of internal storage. It will include Lumia Black and GDR3 in addition to the Windows Phone 8 operating system that has become so popular over the past year or more that the platform jumped to number three behind Android and the iPhone. Included features are Super Sensitive Touch that allow users to use the screen with gloves or long nails, ClearBlack, which lets users view the screen even in bright sunlight, live tiles and of course the People Hub. The Icon is slated to have a slim form factor and will be available in matte black or white.

Any of these smartphones should satisfy the tech lover in you. You will definitely want to wait to get your hands on your new toy sometime this year.

Dec 12

5 Emerging Technologies In Home Automation That Will Blow Your Mind

Home automation is a technological outcropping of building automation, which is far more widely known. Building automation essentially employs a distributed control system, such as a computing network that monitors the security and lighting of a facility, to manage a large workspace. The same concept applies to home automation. Home automation entails centralized control of things like heating, lighting and security. Home automation, if correctly implemented, enhances security, comfort and even energy efficiency. That said, what are some of the most helpful and avant-garde technologies driving home automation?

Old Laptop Used for Home Automation Sprinkler ...

Old Laptop Used for Home Automation Sprinkler System (Photo credit: IntelFreePress)

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Nov 02

Is Apple’s New Iphone 5C Not Doing So Well? Orders Cut

iPhones used to fly out of stores before they even arrived. With two new phones to choose from, including the 5S and 5C, Apple is seeing red with its entry level 5C phone. Production orders have recently been cut overseas, begging the question, is the phone is not selling so well? Although official sales numbers have not been announced, several key issues affect this model in particular.

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Oct 15

How Savvy Companies Build & Mobilize A Group Of Brand Advocates

Brand advocacy is how companies keep in contact with influential people within their social circle. Numerous tools can help you with this process including Klout, Cred, and other tools. Using social media is important, but the act alone is not enough to drive meaningful results. Here is what you need to know about brand advocacy to make your event more pleasant.

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Sep 15

Locate Pretty Much Anything With This Tiny New GPS Tracker

Most of us have some object we’re constantly losing, be it car keys, a smartphone, or our wallet. Even those who manage to keep track of the myriad accessories the modern citizen carries around are still worried about theft, which is another easy way to lose small valuables. A new product called Retrievor aims to prevent loss, theft, and forgetfulness with a tiny GPS tracker that you can stick to anything.

Designing a Lasting GPS Tracker

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Jul 02

Are These the Droids You’re Looking For? Droid’s Encroachment Upon the Supremacy of the iPhone

Humans are competitive by nature, and there have been a lot of iconic battles waged throughout the years because of it. The Beatles versus the Stones. Ginger versus Mary-Ann. One generation versus the next. Humanity’s drive for perfection breeds perpetual change, and that change means a constant debate over who and what can lay claim to the title of “the best”. Modern technology is no exception, either. Anyone with a computer knows well the ring of the eternal question, “Mac or PC?”, but lately there has been a shift in the crowd’s fickle favor and attention. Focus that was once trained upon traditional computers has transferred to the mobile market, and with that shift has come a new question: “iOS or Android?”

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