Aug 09

6 New Revolutionary Forms of Exercise Equipment

As technology advances so do the different types of workout equipment. From outdoor to indoor machines, man is ever on the quest to build the perfect machine to shed those extra pounds and keep the body healthy. After pouring over lists of the upgraded same old machines, here are the top 5 that are truly different and revolutionary.

StreetStrider

Outdoor Ellipitical Bike From StreetStrider

Outdoor Ellipitical Bike From StreetStrider.com

Available in two models, the StreetStrider is the next generation of ellipticals, but instead of being stationary, these ellipticals are attached to three wheels and are meant to be enjoyed outdoors. Comprised of two moving handles, a brake system and footpads, these machines work just like bikes. Because of this, these machines are great for individuals that want to go out for a run, but need a low-impact way to do so.

Desk Treadmill

Designed for the office goers, the desk treadmill is exactly that: a treadmill meant to be used at work. It is the answer to decreasing back pain caused by sitting all day. Most come with a built in desk to support your computer, coffee and other work paraphernalia. The treadmill part is designed to only hit a max of 12mph to keep things active without taking away any focus. Some even come with slight inclines for a decreased hit to the joints.

Power Plate

The Power Plate is a destabilization machine consisting of handles attached to a platform that vibrates 25 to 50 times per second and moves up and down, side to side, and front and backward. This coupled with performing an exercise such as step ups or running in places on the platform, increases the difficulty of the exercise forcing the user to work harder to maintain balance and control.

Hybrid Trainers

Providing users with two completely different options of workout combined with preset workout routines, the hybrid trainers are a dream for any that want more than just one machine for an affordable amount. Beginners can start strictly on the bike and, as they become more advanced, can progress to using the elliptical, a machine that takes a lot more coordination and balance than the bike.

Tour de France Pro

As the official training bike of the Tour de France, this stationary bike has every new feature imaginable to make it a step above the competition. With a screen that provides a street view as provided by Google maps, magnetic resistance to decrease the machine’s sound, a 20% incline and decline as well as a built-in power meter, many users could easily mistake this bike to be a fully interactive video game console.

Rower

Combining aerobic and strength training, the new type of rower is dual action. Still consisting of a slide, bungee and footpads, the handles can be lifted upward while the user stands above the resistance portion of the machine. This is an ideal combination as users can get one of the best cardio exercises around while being able to condition themselves without investing in additional pieces of equipment.

Whether a new twist on an older machine or a fully optimized piece of technology, exercise equipment is becoming so much more than free weights and rowers. Getting fit today is no longer the chore it once was. These new revolutions in exercise are transforming the landscape, turning an often times unachievable dream into verifiable reality, no matter the person’s limitations.

Jul 26

So Many Passwords! Tools, Technology, and Research for Safe Logins

Passwords are often the bane of internet users with multiple accounts, but you may be getting some relief with new tools and technologies. Good security protocols demand that a password be random. Further, different accounts must have different passwords to prevent a complete security breach. This is a lot of random characters to remember. For many, it’s too much. Thankfully, new tools, technology and research have been developed and tested to aid in the organizing and safekeeping of account logins.

Password Managers

A password manager is a program that keeps all your unique passwords in an encrypted database. This database is accessed with the master password, the only password users are required to remember. Examples of this system are Mac’s built-in Keychain program. Non-OS specific password managers include KeePass and LastPass. The question for some is about the safety concerns inherent in keeping a treasure trove of passwords. However, there are extra security methods built into password managers.
two-factor authentication: This is a method of authentication based on a user knowing something and having something. For the programs above, this is the password and a key file that can be kept on a flash drive. Without both identifying items, the database cannot be accessed.
one-time passwords (OTP): An alternative to static passwords, one-time passwords allow one-time use. A new one must be generated for each log-in, ensuring protection against spyware.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication uses a person’s behavior or physical characteristics to confirm their identity. Examples of biometric authentication are eye scans, fingerprinting, voice recognition, facial recognition and heart patterns. There hasn’t been wide adoption of biometrics because of the cost of acquiring and integrating biometric readers and the lack of portability. However, recent technology may make biometrics more commonplace.

Nymi:This is a wearable authentication device created by Bionym as a wireless password replacement. Nymi uses your electrocardiogram (ECG) together with proximity and the Nymi application. Nymi is in the preordering stage now.

Myris: This is a portable eye scanner created by EyeLock. It connects to computers via USB and takes 15 seconds to identify 240 points in each iris. Myris is set to be released this year. No definite date has been announced.

Telepathwords

For those who wish to stick with traditional password use but simply don’t know what qualifies as a strong password, Telepathwords offers help. Created at Microsoft Research, Telepathwords tries to guess the next character in your password as you type it. Too many correct guesses means your password is too common. Telepathwords is based on English words and popular words, popular phrases or character proximity on keyboards. Passwords using private information such as birthdates cannot be measured on the site. That might be for best, though. Experts caution that personal information makes insecure passwords vulnerable to phishing or trashing.

Passwords protect our banking, businesses and personal data. Users want the best methods and technology to keep it all safe, and there will doubtless be further developments in areas of authentication. Whatever method of protection you choose now, the above resources can guide you to a well-secured account.

May 14

Disaster Recovery Solutions for Businesses: Protection Forever

Data recovery during disaster

Today’s technological advances have redefined the ways that companies conduct their operations. It has created massive and immeasurable opportunities for businesses to engage their customer base and manage their data. With these great advances, comes some significant risks. The ability to electronically manage all of your data has increased productivity and efficiency. It has reduced the need for storage space to store paper documents and so much more. However, there is still a challenge that companies must address. What happens in the case of some type of disaster in which the primary data management program is compromised? How will you recover those vital files and data?

Understanding the Dynamics of Disaster Recovery

Businesses are like most other elements that function in society. Each one is different and the needs and expectations for each are different. This means that the way one company perceives disaster recovery will be different from another. Many times these differences will be distinct. There are some companies that are looking for simple backup services that will allow them to back up their sensitive files on cloud servers. In many cases, these type of backup services will be facilitated on some type of shared server program.

There will be other companies that will need more detailed support as a part of their disaster recovery strategy. The key thing to understand here is that in either case, the company has taken the time to develop the strategy prior to there being a need to execute it. The company that is looking for something a bit more detailed and comprehensive my look into a number of hybrid cloud solutions that will be designed with their specific needs and demands in mind.

The goal of a disaster recovery plan it to ensure that business is not interrupted in the instance that a disaster takes placed. The more elaborate and comprehensive a recovery plan is the higher the capacity level the business will be able to function at during the recovery process.

The Use of Data Centers

One of the most popular services offered by disaster recovery providers is the use of multiple data centers that are equipped with state-of-the-art servers that have the highest reliability. These servers are also alternatively connected, so that if one were to go down, the data would still be saved. You would think that gold is being stored at these facilities with the amount of security that is used to protect them. The truth is that the information being stored at these facilities are more valuable than gold; they protect the lifeline of thousands of businesses

Working with a Provider that Understands Your Needs

It is vital to work with a provider that is reputable as well as resource capable. Taking chances with cut rate providers to save a few cents may cost you in the long run. It is important that your provider is capable of listening to your needs and demands while being able to lucidly communicate to you the best possible method of providing the level of protection that you are looking for.

When you find the right program, you will be able to function with the confidence of knowing that you are able to protect important data that is a key element in maintaining the level of trust with your customer based that is necessary to build customer loyalty.

 

Apr 21

Tired of the Hype? Mobile Gone Too Far

Mobile phones have quickly evolved from bulky and basic giants to small, versatile competitors to desktop and laptop computers. Mobile phone technology seems to be increasing at such a rapid pace that it is almost becoming redundantly ridiculous. Consumers have to choose from at least 10 different manufacturers with four different models that come out every month. Each manufacturer claims to have the golden item, and every other month a new golden item emerges. Some of the latest cell phone features that probably do not need any more evolution are as follows:

The Processor

Mobile phones used to have simple processors that did not do much other than connecting one voice call to another. Lately, some of the flagship devices have processors with multiple cores and speeds that can make a desktop unit blush. Part of society feels the need to keep up with this specification and upgrade their phones every time a unit with a higher processing speed comes out. The truth is that no cell phone needs more than two cores and a 1.5 GHz processor. The number of consumers that actually use the features associated with beefy processors is very low. At the end of the day, it is still a cell phone.

The Screen Size

It appears as if size is everything in the mobile phone industry. The bigger the screen size, the bigger the profits. Some new models are coming out with screens that are bigger than 6 inches. At that point, the mobile phone becomes a brick that defies ergonomics. It seems as if mobile phones may be de-evolving if they are growing larger. Perhaps 10 years from now, consumers will have to carry their mobile phones in a bag, like they had to do with the Motorola DynaTac.

Camera Quality

A camera used to be a camera, and a phone used to be a phone. Lately, certain manufacturers are putting out phones with cameras that have more than 40 megapixels. A professional photographer may not want to use a cell phone to do his or her artwork, and 40 megapixels is a bit much for a device that is intended for voice calls as a primary usage.

Other manufacturers are using outrageous gimmicks such as alleged water resistance and phones that can bend around a coffee mug. The mobile phone industry may have indeed gone too far.

What is a Good Mobile Phone?

A good mobile phone does not have to have the highest Gigahertz or the most megapixels. The idea of grandiose specifications was good a few years ago, but now it is simply unnecessary. A good cell phone is one that looks attractive and can produce a high-quality voice call. Gigahertz and megapixels cannot call 911 when an emergency occurs. Therefore, a reliable cell phone should have clear reception. It should also have sturdy casing and long battery life. The bells and whistles are attractive and fun at times, but they are not necessary to classify a phone as good or bad.

A good cell phone will act as a cell phone when it needs to, and it will provide some enjoyable additional features such as games. Additionally, a good cell phone will be sturdy enough to take a few drops and spills without shattering into a million pieces.

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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