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Hot Trend to Follow – Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality was, at least for a while in the 2000s, a much talked about concept that was thought to be the next big thing when it comes not only to gaming but also many business uses. However, due to cost and less than functional devices with which to create the virtual reality, it was quickly dropped again; just to be picked up again by more companies within the last few years. Now, in the last 2 years more software has been developed and more companies are focusing on virtual reality than in the previous twenty years before and this time around, virtual reality may just be the answer to the questions of many companies and consumers alike.

How does virtual reality work?

The concept of virtual reality, although sounding futuristic has less to do with science fiction and fantasy than with the actual reality. By using devices for the senses and motions of the user, a second reality can be created with which the user is capable of interacting. This requires intricate technology that covers all bases in terms of senses and motions of the user in order to create a realistic image of a reality that can be understood as one by the user.

Sight

As the eye sight is the most used sense by humans, virtual reality heavily relies on the ability to create a realistic image of a world that the user can see. This visual world can be projected onto the eyes of the user with the help of a projector or a device resembling a visor with which it is possible for the user to look around and explore the surroundings. This makes it important that the view of the created world changes in accordance with the head and eye movements of the user. If the view of the world changes late the user may start to feel sea sick and have to exit the virtual reality.

Hearing

As it is in reality, there are sounds surrounding you, which change as you move around. For a world that comes across as realistic, it is important that all sounds and noises of the virtual reality setting are capable to adapt to the movements of the user in order to create a realistic scenario that resembles a real life experience. With the help of sophisticated software and headphones either integrated into the visual headset or separately, the sound experience can be created for the users of the virtual reality.

Hand-Eye-Coordination

As virtual reality settings go, there should be the possibility to interact with the surroundings by touching and using. In order to be able to allow this interaction, users are often given glove resembling appliances with sensors that react and submit information about the hand and finger movements of the user. This allows the software to adapt and, for example, react to the use of an appliance in the VR setting.

Uses for Virtual Reality in the Real Life

Gaming is often the first idea that comes up when virtual reality is the topic of the conversation. However, other uses may be even more important than entertainment related uses. Companies can use VR settings in order to train their employees in scenarios that are life-like without having to physically recreate the scenario. By doing so, many scenarios can be recreated in the same setting, without much additional work.

Pilot training

Pilots are already commonly trained by flight simulators that allow the training of certain scenarios during the operation of an aircraft. Virtual reality will make flight simulators more realistic and help companies train their pilots in a more realistic setting. This will lead to safer air travel and may cause training cost to decrease as a result.

Training of Dangerous Situations

Police and military training could be conducted in virtual reality settings. Dangerous scenarios can be recreated and the police and military members in training will be schooled to react according to protocol, without having to act out the situation and put the trainees in danger. It will make for more cost efficient and safe training for dangerous situations that don’t have to be limited to the police and military force. Firefighters, coast guard and many other professions may also be able to profit from virtual reality trainings.

Shopping with the Help of Virtual Reality

As shopping on the internet is becoming more and more popular and figures are rising annually, online retailers are looking for ways in which to gain an edge over their key competitors. Virtual reality may be a way in which to gain more traction within the industry. Consumers could use a created virtual reality setting in order to have an equally stimulating experience when looking for items as physically going shopping. Programmers could create a virtual shopping mall with multiple departments and stores, recreating the same experience for their customers that they would have by physically visiting a shopping center. This may further increase e-commerce figures and allow companies to save more cost by reducing the amounts of physical stores.

Gaming in Virtual Reality Settings

Finally, gaming shall not be forgotten when virtual reality is the topic. A variety of different game play scenarios become imaginable as the resolution and quality of the graphic of games increases. Players can interact with other players in online role playing games, as well as be part of sports teams and play a position during a football tennis match. It will greatly increase the level of realism and help virtual reality to finally reach the level gaming applications that were envisioned by programmers from all over the world, as long as twenty years ago.

Besides the named ways in which to utilize virtual reality settings, unlimited other ways of using virtual reality soft- and hardware utilizations are imaginable. Functional virtual reality soft- and hardware may not be far removed from today’s technological advancement as proven by companies and their already existing virtual reality applications such as Oculus Rift. If virtual reality technology advances as rapidly as it has within the last few years, consumers and companies all over the world may be able to benefit from virtual reality very, very soon.

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How Cloud Computing Makes Life Easier

How Cloud Computing Makes Life Easier

There once was a time when computer just started to become the power house machines that they are today and that the Internet started to become as popular as everybody sees it today. It was a time when people started collecting more and more data digitally instead of in paper form. It made the data storage more efficient and easy accessible. Now, that everybody has to deal with an exorbitant amount of data in the form of private documents, software, photos and videos, the question often arises where to put ll of the data when even the built in 500GB of storage isn’t enough anymore. Even more importantly, what happens to the most important of files when the hardware gets compromised and is damaged from a fall, water damage or theft? Many users have found cloud computing to be the solution for all of their problems.

The Data Storage Solution

In the recent years, it has become increasingly popular for private users, as well as small medium and larger firms to use cloud computing services to help with all of the everyday tasks that need to be performed. The question of where to safely store important documents and pictures in order to protect them from theft and losses has been answered in a decisive fashion, by Internet cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Windows Live Skydrive. It has enabled users to back off of second computers, external drives, DVDs and thumb drives that were commonly used to back up important information. These services offer free secure data storage of a few GB, as well as premium accounts that have more features and more storage options, for just a few Dollars. Password secured and encrypted, these services offer protection far superior and more convenient than on site data storage, allowing the users to access their information from anywhere and from any device with an Internet connection.

Cloud Computing for Businesses

While small to medium business likely benefit the most from cloud computing, even large companies find the services of offered to be convenient and efficient. It not only enables companies and their employees to access backed up data from anywhere, but allows for services and business related programs to be used from any point on earth. Cloud business services such as SageOne and OfficeTime allow small businesses to easily create invoices and record employee times on the job. For just a small fee, these services make life easier for small and micro business owners, without having to be bound to one or two computers. But there is also a multitude of larger companies that rely on cloud services like DocuSign Pro which allows for customers, users and clients to sign company documents digitally, for a faster and more efficient way of contract signing.

Cloud Computing Speaks the Language of the Future

With cloud computing services popping up for every niche and every imaginable service, it is quickly becoming a massive industry that is gaining traction on every continent of the world. It has recently been estimated that Cloud Computing will reach yearly revenue of $100 billion annually. For those who haven’t thought about using cloud services like data storage and other services for their business and private data, the time has surely arrived to take a look at all of the great possibilities.

photo credit: lennysan

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How Crowdfunding Makes Entrepreneurship Thrive

How Crowdfunding Makes Entrepreneurship Thrive

In a day and age where it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to gain traction in a more and more congested market with a large number of big players swallowing the little guys, many companies are struggling to gather funds for new business ideas or the expansion of their current business. Crowdfunding, which has been around for a number of years in the United States is becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world as well. It has already helped countless individuals and companies to get the funds they need for their business from a large amount of little donations to the cause. In the end, it isn’t much different from regular funding, except that the funding is coming in little pieces from many different people instead of a few large investments from just a few investors.

How can a Company get Crowdfunded?

In general, finding Crowdfunding for an idea isn’t all that difficult. With the help of one of the Crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter, RockThePost and Rockethub, aspiring and current business owners can find the people to fund their businesses. By simply creating a profile with one of the websites, as well as explaining the business idea in writing or with a video, the business owners can find the interested individuals to help fund the operation. Normally, those seeking crowd funding set up a reward system of some kind, for those funding business.

Using Crowdfunding as an Advertisement and Assessment Tool

Crowdfunding isn’t only attempted by individuals who are lacking all of the funding for their newest business idea. It is becoming more and more frequent that established companies use Crowdfunding also as a means of creating an additional revenue stream. As Crowdfunding projects often reach a lot of potential customers, companies can find both funding for their expanded operation, but also another stream of revenue by getting their new product out there and known even before the actual release date. Some companies even use Crowdfunding for the purpose of getting early customer feedback about a new product or a product line. The amounts of people funding the new product, as well as the voiced feedback can be used for the decision to actually implement the product line into the business. In case the response is negative and there is no interest in the new product line, the company can choose to abandon the idea instead of taking the risk.

How to Effectively Crowdfund

Appealing to those willing to Crowdfund companies and individuals is key to a successful Crowdfunding campaign. With more and more companies and aspiring business owner attempting the move to find Crowdfunding for their ideas, it is important to stick out in order to find the attention. By creating a professional shot, cut and edited video that appeals to the “crowd”, companies can stick out from the mass and ensure that their idea is the one that receives available funding. Even the best and most generally beneficial idea can be done in by a bad appearance. An effective reward system, which people are actually interested in may also help do the trick of receiving the desired Crowdfunding.

photo credit: ttnk

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Must Have Gadget for Active Lifestyle

MickeyKellyFinishesFourthThroughout the years, technology has adapted to give active people especially useful gadgets. Items like heart rate monitors, which were at one time the stuff of science fiction, are now so commonplace that just about every runner, jogger or other mover that I see has one strapped to a wrist or ankle. There are even newer versions of this classic fitness gadget which look like standard watches and not at all like the bulky items from decades ago. One of these, the Polar RS100 Heart Rate Watch, shrinks down the older item to a more manageable size while adding a slew of special features you just don’t get from older monitors.

I spend a lot of time sitting at a desk during business hours, so it’s especially refreshing to get up and go for a run at the end of the day. To maximize the benefits from those little runs, I asked around with friends to see if anyone knew an especially good heart rate monitor that could help me do more with my workout. One of my friends, who is really into BJJ and all kinds of other mixed martial arts, told me that he uses the Polar RS100 and he loves it, so I figured I would at least give it a try. I’ve got to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the wristband I bought.

First and foremost, I like to keep track of my runs and see how far I go, how fast I get there and so on. The Polar RS100 keeps track of up to 100 hours of my exercise, which roughly translates to three months of one hour runs, quite a lot of data indeed. Many fitness experts say your heart rate should decrease with extended exercise and as your fitness level increases, but I’m not really trying to build muscle or anything, so I never noticed any big drops. There are five buttons in total for keeping track of calories burned, heart rate, the time (It is a watch), recorded summaries and an alarm for when I reach my target heart rate.

That last one is pretty great, since it lets me know when I can stop speeding up and start coasting at my current activity level. The RS100 is water resistant, but not waterproof, so you shouldn’t swim with it. Since all I do is run after work some nights, that hasn’t turned out to be an issue for me, but I can understand how swimmers and other athletes might opt for a different monitor because of this. For my purposes, the Polar RS100 does everything I want it to do at a price I could afford, so it’s pretty much the best heart rate monitor I’ve seen in a long time.

The customer support at Polar’s website is also fantastic. It’s kind of embarrassing since I work in software development, but I couldn’t figure out how to use some features on the Polar RS100. I wrote them on their website and got a response answering my query in no time, which is a nice plus.

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How to Have Best Ever Fishing Trip

How to Have Best Ever Fishing Trip

While I normally write about computers and other gadgets which are useful around and outside the home, I get out once in a while too. Like recently, when I went on a fishing trip which turned out to be quite a good time. Naturally, being so technologically inclined, I took along some useful devices to maximize my time out on the water with my folks. That’s what I’m going to write about here. So, if you enjoy fishing and you’re looking for some new way to get an edge over those water-breathers down below, then you’ve definitely come to the right place.

People have been using electronic devices to help locate, attract and land more and more fish every year because these devices work. Sonars help to locate fish by bouncing sound waves through the water and letting the viewer know where those waves are rebounded back toward the sonar. They have been upgraded again and again, and now they’re fairly useful for detecting fish at a variety of depths. I wouldn’t recommend going fishing in water of any considerable depth without one; in clearer, shallower pools, it might be possible for the fisher to see right to the bottom, defeating the sonar’s purpose.

I read through www.fishfindercentral.net and found my best fish finder, which has a long life and uses a rechargeable battery. Naturally it cost a bit more than one which just swaps out many smaller batteries, but I like to make a little less waste if I can, you know? Besides the sonar, I was looking at some other crazy devices. There was one, not one I bought and used mind you, where you would slip this metal object into the water and then run a current through it, stunning nearby fish. That seemed to make things a little too easy for me, plus you know, it can’t feel good to get electrocuted.

I use a few different specialty baits too. Anything that makes the fish bite more often is something I’ll try, and an item which is guaranteed to make fishing more fun. Not like, crayfish or nightcrawlers or some other bug, though those work well for some fish. I’m talking about the kind of stuff you spray on the bait you’re already using, something that really makes those fish go crazy if you’re in the right place. They almost feel like I’m cheating though, with how many more bites I get if my spray matches the fish nearby.

Do you want to have a great fishing trip and catch lots of fish the next time you go out? For a decent catch you need a decent fish finder. You might also consider using specialized baits, sprays, electrical devices and a number of other gadgets to help you catch those elusive fish. We’ve evolved a lot since we had to stab fish with spears; there’s no reason to feel bad about using these technological advances to improve your fishing game. Even if you’re a purist, they can really make a fishing trip more fun for kids, so that’s something to consider.

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My Review of Pocket WOD CrossFit App

My Review of Pocket WOD CrossFit App

If you want an interesting way to do your CrossFit routines, then the Pocket WOD CrossFit app is a good choice for several reasons. When you download this app to your iPhone you have access to CrossFit.com‘s workout of the day and if you don’t like that workout you can go to a wide library of diverse workouts that you can choose for your daily workouts while traveling. This app also comes with a buolt in stopwatch and timer so you can monitor your timing and progress during the workout. The app allows you to log in your daily workouts and even the meals you eat as part of the CrossFit program.

Pocket WOD App

Share Your Progress Through Social Media

Another great thing about the Pocket WOD app is that you can monitor your progress and brag about this progress by sharing how well you’ve done with your other exercise buddies through social media. You can also exchange different CrossFit instructional videos with them and they can exchange the information with you if they have this app. This is a good way to motivate others to keep up with their fitness goals.

Access To Paleo Diet Meals

Those who are involved in Crossfit will eat mostly meals from the Paleo diet and if you’re looking for ways to prepare interesting meals on this diet, the WOD app has several great recipes for your convenience. The Paleo diet is low carb and since it includes mostly proteins, fruits and vegetables. You can modify the recipes according to your tastes and you’ll have a healthier way of eating with this diet plan that is included in the app.

You Can Check Calories Burned

For every calorie you consume, you need to burn as many as possible through workouts and thanks to the WOD app, you can log in the number of calories you burned during your CrossFit exercises, and you can look at stats concerning the amount of body fat you have after the work out. You’ll also be able to track the calories you consumed during the day.

Track The Number of Miles You Run

Another good thing about the WOD app is that you can keep track of the number of miles you run during the day. When you track your running miles you will develop confidence in the progress of your workout and you become motivated to continue with your CrossFit workouts on a weekly or daily basis.

Conclusion

CrossFit is an excellent way to get in shape and with your Pocket WOD app, you can look at how well you’re doing with the exercise. This app is especially great for travelers who can’t get to the gym because it has all the different ways to track your activities as if your CrossFit trainer were there with you, just be sure to wear the right CrossFit gear and follow the basic safety rules to prevent injuries. This app is easy to install and maintain and you get the opportunity to monitor your progress. Finally, this app is compatible with the iPhone and it is one of the best reasons to download the app.

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How Web 2.0 Will Thrive Thanks to Modern Data Centers

How Web 2.0 Will Thrive Thanks to Modern Data Centers

In 2004, the term Web 2.0 was coined by Dale Dougherty, a publisher of the O’Reilly Media Group. It came up in a discussion of the development of the internet after the 2000 dot-com crash that saw many internet based companies file for bankruptcy. Nevertheless, even some time after, the term wasn’t fully defined. Many people have different views of the term that range from it meaning nothing, to it being strictly a marketing term.

However, from O’Reilly media, three key concepts have been defined that describe what Web 2.0 is all about. They are the “Democratization of the Web”, “The Web as an Application Platform” and “New Methods of Distributing Information”.

Data centers and their role in the definition and implementation of Web 2.0

Data Centers are the facilities which house the servers and necessary hardware to store all of the information behind and visible on websites all over the world. The rapidly growing number of data centers is a result of the implementation of Web 2.0 and its key principles.

The main cost resulting from the cooling and maintenance of the servers containing the data in the data centers is caused by electricity. In the United States alone, data centers account for about 1.5% of the electricity used, making the transition to greener and better solutions regarding the location of data centers a key factor for the companies behind them.

Using the Web as an Applications Platform

During the earlier stages of the internet, most of the so called dot-com companies were focused around the sale of software that would allow for the use of a service. Users had to purchase and install software on their device in order to be able to use the service. Nowadays, the internet is an applications platform, which can be highlighted by the service Google offers. It can be used without the installation of software.

Furthermore, an increasing amount of web based companies such as Facebook and Google enable their users to access their service on multiple devices like cell phones and tablet PCs. Some, such as Twitter and Facebook even allow users and developers access to some of their API (application programming interface) that allows for the programming of new apps for the use in combination with their original service.

Democratizing the Web

Before the implementation of Web 2.0, the internet was seen as somewhat of an extension of television. Users were forced to remain passive, without much of a chance to interact with the websites and the information. Progressive companies such as Amazon made it possible for users to leave comments and reviews, interacting with the website and other users alike.

It also allowed for programmers and developers from other parts of the world to leave their imprint on the internet. Skype for example, was founded in 2003 in the small Northern European country of Estonia. It is merely one of the Northern European countries, which represent a stronghold of IT specialists and data centers alike. With a barrage of IT specialists on site, more and more data center operating companies are moving their centers to Northern European countries and this is a good news for the established local data centers like http://www.citrus.lv/. The reason for moving is to benefit from both the available human resources and the cold weather that is used to cool the servers and other equipment, in an attempt to reduce cost and go greener by avoiding green house emissions caused by the need to cool the equipment.

Employing new methods to distribute information

Web 2.0 also had its fair share where methods of distributing information were concerned. While before, much of the information was outdated due to the complexity of updating content, more user friendly interfaces made the updating of information and content easier. New Web Syndication formats such as RSS (Really Simply Syndication) simplified receiving updated information of subscribed services straight to the desktop applications of the users.

Web 2.0 Benefits for Users

Users have been able to benefit from Web 2.0 in multiple ways. For one, users have been better integrated into the way information is developed and distributed on the internet. Everybody is able to start a blog, and thus, becoming the source of newly published information. It has enhanced the level of interaction between internet users and helped developers to leave their impression on the internet.

Also, the decrease of required software by the development of the internet into an application platform, has severely simplified the use of more diversified services and applications creating a more unique experience for private and business users, setting the tone for an increased importance of cloud computing.

photo credit: Danard Vincente

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How I Created An iOS Social Application For Gardeners

How I Created An iOS Social Application For Gardeners

I have been a home gardener for five years and because I wanted to make gardening more efficient for myself and other gardeners in Manchester, I created an iOS social application just for gardeners, particularly for the young gardeners who are also tech savvy. One cool thing about the app I created is that you have access to thousands of definitions of plant species that exist and you can learn about where those plants grow the most and the times of the year they grow. You can even look up different stores in your city where you can purchase the plants, grow lights, hydroponics and other indoor gardening supplies right from the stores’ websites like http://plantozoid.com or https://www.truliteled.com  without having to order from a home computer. You can also buy seeds, grow lights and other gardening supplies with the app.

It Includes Gardening Tips

Do you get tired of cluttering your home with gardening magazines even though you enjoy and use the advice in the publications? Then you will like the gardening app I created because it offers gardening advice right in the palm of your hand. You’ll learn about how to prepare soil for planting, which fruits and vegetables should be grown in certain seasons, best ways to fertilize the plants, how to  in a prevent bugs from eating up your plants and how you can use up the harvest in a variety of meals.

Guide To Preserving Produce

Since I  know that many gardeners like to preserve their fruits and vegetables, I also included a section within the app that teaches gardeners how they can preserve their produce in such a way that will last many years. In this section I talk about how they can prepare a sugar syrup to preserve fruits and I mention the best places to buy affordable canning jars in bulk. When you preserve your harvest, you save money on buying additional produce at the supermarket.

You Can Sketch Out Ideal Garden

If you’re tired of the same garden layout, this app is for you because you can look through different layouts in the app to get an idea of how you want your backyard landscaping to look. You can arrange the flowers and veggies how you want in the sketched designs and it may give you inspiration to create a unique but functional garden that you will benefit from for years.

Conclusion

With my garden app you can purchase garden supplies and seeds, and you’re able to learn about the basics of gardening if you are new to this skill. The gardening app is easy to use and you can share what is in the app to others by email or through social media webpages. You can even subscribe to well known gardening magazines online through the app and you can learn about preserving your harvest. This app is affordable and is compatible with the iPhone. When you use this app you will have everything you need to create the garden of your dreams and loved ones will be amazed with your success.

photo credit: Pixel Fantasy

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Emerging Awesome Age of Internet of Things

Emerging Awesome Age of Internet of Things

It has been long in the making but now the time is quickly emerging that everything is part of the Internet of Things. It may have all started with a coke machine at a university in the 1980s. This coke machine was one of the very first appliances connected to the Internet, making it possible for the programmers to check for the availability of a coke before having to walk there. Nowadays more and more items in the world are becoming connected to the internet. Some of which are more understandable and others seem to be absolutely useless.

Most people likely understand why a microchip, which sends information about air pressure in the tires of a car to the board computer is a nice, useful addition to the functions of the car, while a toaster, which is connected to the internet and feeds information about the shade of the toast and may be operated by smartphone or tablet pc is rather useless. However, that is the direction in which we are headed. With prices of tiny computers, sized at just a few millimeters, as well as transmitters becoming more and more affordable, it is starting to make sense for everyday items to be connected to the Internet.

The Flood of Information

With multiple and eventually even hundreds of items around the house transmitting information to the Internet, there will be a gigantic need for server space, on which to store and make use of the transmitted information. Companies will have to clear the resources in order to process said information for some more and other less useful purposes. At the same time, it will be the chance for computers and software connected via the Internet, making decisions for us in our everyday lives.

The Medley of Our Everyday Appliances

With our connected coffee machine and alarm clock, we may not have to make our own coffee anymore. As soon as the alarm is set, by the calendar in which we program appointments, the alarm clock will feed the information to the Internet, telling our coffee machine to make a fresh cup of coffee minutes before we even wake up. While this sounds like a comfortable and stress free scenario that may be borderline expendable, other uses of the data during the Age of the Internet of Things will be more useful and help us not only save money but also help preserve the environment.

Connected thermostats, such as the ones developed and produced by Nest Labs, which was recently purchased by Google, will allow information such as weather and temperature conditions to be used in order to shut off the supply of heat in the home without the knowledge of the owner. This would help save money and reduce the amount of CO2 produced for heating purposes around the globe. The same goes for connected windows and shades around the house. Thanks to connected thermometers and data submitted about the weather conditions at the residence, computers can optimize the way in which home owners air out or keep out sun by lowering blinds and shutters in order to avoid unnecessarily heating up the house.

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