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Besttechie

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  1. When you work in the tech industry you spend a lot of time at your desk, usually sitting, typing away on your computer. What you’re typing may vary, it may be answering emails, writing a blog post/tweet, or coding, but most of the time when you’re doing these tasks you’re sitting at a desk or in a more recent trend, standing at a desk. A good desk is critical to being productive and healthy while working so when I had the opportunity to take the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 for a spin, I knew I had to give it a shot. With the SmartDesk 2, Autonomous, attempted to please three types of people: sitting desk people, standing desk people, and those like me who are in the middle. And if you ask me, I think they nailed it. The SmartDesk 2 sports a motor that can raise and lower the desk turning it from a sitting desk to a standing desk in a matter of seconds (and vice versa). You can even set up to four (4) presets using the controller on the front right of the desk–this is very nifty so you don’t have to remember just how you like it. Assembly Before we get any further, let’s talk assembly of the desk. The desk arrived in two boxes, one box included the base and the other box included the top of the desk (desktop). Overall, assembling the desk isn’t too difficult–once you know exactly what you’re doing. I’ll explain. My first attempt to assemble the desk wasn’t a complete success, the desktop was very wobbly which concerned me. After contacting Autonomous, who were extremely helpful, I learned I didn’t assemble it 100% correctly and after making the suggested changes to the desk, it’s now as solid as a rock. I was also informed that new instruction/assembly manuals have been written and will be sent with new shipments that clarify the part where I apparently messed up. It was nice to see that Autonomous provides at least one extra screw of each type–I’ve lost and/or stripped too many screws in the past so it was definitely much appreciated. The Allen wrench provided gets a majority of the job done, however, I definitely would recommend using a power drill when attaching the desktop to the base. Last note on assembly, if you live in LA, SF, NYC, or Jersey City you can pay an extra $49 for professional assembly. Usage I’ve been using the desk for a couple weeks now and I love it. I never had a standing desk before, mostly because, I like sitting and I never found one that easily let me do both–until now. With the SmartDesk 2 switching between sitting and standing is literally the push of a button. I still find myself in sitting mode more often than not, but I definitely plan to continue to try and utilize the standing functionality over time. The specific desk I received is the all white SmartDesk 2 with the Classic XL (70″ x 30″) desktop. This particular model retails for $549, but the same desk with the smaller Classic (53″ x 30″) desktop starts at $299. The company also offers two editions of the SmartDesk 2, the Home edition and the Business edition. The Home edition has a single motor, can go from 29″ to 47″, can handle 220 pounds, and comes with a one year warranty. Meanwhile, the Business edition (which is required if you get the Classic XL desktop) has a dual motor, can go from 24″ to 51″, can handle 300 pounds, and comes with a five year warranty. As for which is better, it really depends on your setup and how you envision your setup evolving over time. Do you plan to add dual monitors? Bigger speakers? etc. Remember a good desk is an investment and should be thought of as such, you will likely be using it for a long time. In terms of price difference, it’s pretty negligible–it will add $100 to the total cost if you decide to go with the Business edition. Improvements The SmartDesk 2 by Autonomous is an excellent desk, I like to think of mine as a work bench. Plenty of space and good depth–key components of a work bench. One place I’d really like to see improved though is storage, the desk has zero storage–it’s all surface area and no drawers. Another place where I think this desk could benefit from is more options for cable management. Aside from the lack of storage, offering slightly better cable management options, and the small issue with assembly instructions (which I’m told have been fixed), there isn’t anything not to like about the SmartDesk 2. Conclusion Would I recommend the SmartDesk 2? Absolutely. Autonomous has also developed some other really interesting products, including an ergonomic chair and stool. We’re hoping to get a chance to review the ErgoChair at some point, so stay tuned for that as well. And last but not least, I need to give Mandy a shoutout for all her assistance with the assembly of the desk–without her this review would not have happened. The post Review: Autonomous SmartDesk 2 appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  2. Ten thousand phrases is a lot to memorize. If most people were asked to remember that many specific sentences, they would probably give up before they even started. But Amazon Alexa users are more resilient. There are now officially more than 10,000 Amazon Alexa skills in its library. Despite this overwhelmingly large number of skills, most users still try to use Alexa from memory without any guide on hand. That makes it easy to get tripped up or have Alexa respond “I’m not sure how to help you with that.” Our suggestion? Print out some of the best Alexa commands and keep the list handy next to your Alexa device. You can reference it when you forget the exact phrasing of a certain command, or if you are just wanting to try some new skills. The Smart Home Solver team put together an infographic that is sized as a printable. It has 100 little-known Alexa skills that is a helpful reference for Alexa fans. This is especially great for newer users. If you’re giving your parents an Amazon Echo, throw in a list of phrases to say as well. This is obviously just a small list. What other ideas would you add? What are some of your favorite Alexa skills? Let us know in the comments below. The post 100 Alexa skills all Amazon Echo owners need to know appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  3. The term FinTech has not been long for this world, but it’s already a major buzzword in both big and small businesses. If you didn’t know, FinTech stands for Financial Technology, and the concept is not new. After all, ATMs are technically financial technology. However, what is new is the disruptive nature of the current FinTech trend. Everything from banking apps, to new payment methods, to the best technology for financial investments, form part of the FinTech revolution. We need to keep an eye on FinTech for a range of reasons. These are the top five (5): It’s a HUGE industry In 2008, investment in FinTech was calculated at a “meager” $930 million. Accenture’s recent report found that the number had grown to $12 billion at the beginning of 2015. Whether or not you’re in the industry, this is a reason to take notice. Chances are you’re already using some of the latest FinTech innovations. If you’re running a business, it’s time you partner with a company in the field – for your own basic payment needs and for the mutual growth it will bring. It’s disruptive The major reason FinTech is making waves is that the industry is incredibly disruptive. It’s taking on traditional banks. Things like cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin are gaining traction, the price of a single Bitcoin is now more than $1,000. Startups are finding new ways to challenge traditional banking and financial products and services such as by eliminating commissions on buying stocks as is the case with Robinhood. Companies like Robinhood are threatening the establishment, not that that’s a bad thing, competition is always good for the consumer. You need to get on top of the latest FinTech trends, as chances are, they’re about to disrupt your own business or job. You want to be riding the wave when the tide comes, not caught in the undertow. It’s constantly evolving Where FinTech excels in the modern world is that it never stops evolving. With technology in general progressing at a lightning fast pace, we can’t take anything for granted. The job you do? It might not exist in 10 years. Your new business? It might be irrelevant before it’s ever profitable. FinTech companies know this, and they make use of this fact, rather than try to survive it. FinTech products are constantly getting better, mutating into something new and improved. It’s the industry that will always be relevant – that’s its very nature. It’s changing consumers For better or worse, consumers now expect everything to be possible from their smartphones. Transactions, investments, taxi rides, and more, are all available at their fingertips. And you’ve got to fall in line. The simple technology of online payments has made this all possible, and it’s evolving from more than just credit card checks. Virtual currency, credit, etc. are now par for the course. Think about your own expectations. Now, make sure you’re providing that to the new wave of consumer. It’s only just gotten started While the FinTech industry is already enormous, it’s still relatively new. Vast changes are happening every day and new innovations come out before you can get used to the old. At this year’s Peak Pitch event, hosted by New York-based VC Primary Ventures, the top four (4) companies who’s pitches won were all FinTech, making it clear that the industry is piquing the curiosity of investors looking for the next big thing. Those who are on top of the latest trends can participate in the process. Even if it’s not your industry, you’re going to be affected by it. FinTech is not going anywhere, and we can’t afford to ignore it. The post 5 reasons we all need to keep an eye on FinTech appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  4. Tech is changing the way we take care of ourselves and our families across demographics. From moms of preemies tapping into a live feed of the NICU to check up on their babies to seniors who stay independent longer with home monitoring technology, innovations in the technology space are empowering patients and bridging the communications gaps that kept them from connecting with providers. But while attention grabbing developments like gamification in pediatrics and other specialist- or research-side tech trends are making headlines, the really interesting story is how technology can support better health day in and day out. Life-tracking has gone mainstream and most of us probably know more about our sleep and other cycles, activity levels and moods than ever before. On top of that, research portals like WebMD and services like MyHealth Online put us in the driver’s seat where physical, emotional and mental wellness is concerned. The only problem is that the abundance of wearables, trackers, apps and gadgets can make the health and fitness technology landscape a little intimidating for late adopters. Do you really need a name-brand Fitbit or will any activity tracker do? Can games really build new brain matter? There’s no right or wrong way to integrate tech into your healthcare regimen – what works for one person might not work for someone else. That said, here are some of the innovative ways you can use today’s technology to stay healthy and care for your family: KuaiWear Coaching Headphones are wireless, waterproof headphones that play more than music. They come with a full menu of built-in life tracking options plus coaching and a biometric sensor that gives real-time vocal feedback as you exercie. You can adjust your form and pace on the fly so your exercise sessions are more effective. Mood charting apps like Optimism promote mental and emotional wellness – which is more important than ever considering that depression is on the rise. Studies show that mobile apps are an effective way to improve lifestyle behaviors, which means that periodic incidents of minor depression may be treatable with technology-driven behavioral therapies. S+ is a sleep monitor that links to your phone to give you personalized feedback about your sleeping habits and your sleeping environment. It doesn’t use wearables like most other systems, but rather measures movements, breathing and environmental data using ultra low power radio waves, which means you can use the S+ even if you’re a light sleeper. For your littlest loved ones, the Owlet baby monitor is very different from most smart baby monitors because it uses the same technology as hospitals use to wirelessly monitor a baby’s heart rate and O2 levels. A soft sock is all your baby has to wear for you to have real time information about their wellbeing during nap time and nighttime. The elderly population is also benefitting from health tech like senior fitness trackers. The best fitness trackers for seniors, like the Lively Wearable from GreatCall, don’t just track activity levels but also offer up daily fitness challenges for physical and mental health, social prompts and an emergency response call button that can be used in case help is needed. Smart scales like Withings Body and Body Cardio make losing weight a data-driven activity. With high-accuracy weight and body fat measurements, integrated nutrition tracking, heart health monitoring and coaching, it’s like having access to a personal trainer at home. Even without a lot of gadgets, the integration of self-care and technology – as well as gamification in healthcare – is driving positive behavior like never before. Our phones can push us to exercise and eat right. Points, badges, leaderboards and level systems can make sticking with healthy habits feel like winning. And the growth of the telehealth industry means that even when getting care in person might be inconvenient or would be unsafe, you can video chat with a doctor. If nothing else, the plethora of technologically advanced healthcare gadgets and apps on the market today are bridging gaps and busting down barriers that were preventing access to healthcare. Want to make this the year you get healthy? Now you have the tools you need. The post 6 awesome health gadgets to help keep you healthy appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  5. It is no secret that mobile technologies are developing rapidly with each and every day, influencing on other spheres of life e.g. online gambling and betting. Gone are the days when people were spending their free time reading books, watching movies, going to parks, etc. Nowadays, all these actions is a thing of the past at least partially because new generations wish to explore other opportunities of a nice pastime. Additionally, the surge of mobile betting and gambling can be seen not only as a way of entertainment or a hobby but as a way of making money. Therefore, if you are into gambling then don’t hesitate to discover list of user friendly slots, increasing chances for winning. Favorite slots or table games are available due to such mobile devices as phones, tablets and other devices that can be used absolutely everywhere and anytime, be it at work, home, vacation or any other place. The prominence of smartphones The first smartphones were released in the year 2007 symbolizing a new era for mobile gaming industry. According to the statistics, only last year, people made bets for around $13 billion using a mobile phone. The reports suggest that by the end of 2018, this number will have increased up to $60 billion. Such huge figures are not a big surprise, especially knowing how people enjoy mobile gambling on the go. There is no more time to sit at the computer and make bets on various sports events or spend hours playing favorite slots, bingo, table games, etc. All this is done in the mobile sphere. The variety of sites for these purposes is really impressive and at times, clients find it hard to stop their choice at one or even a few since all of them are almost the same. As a way out of this situation, it is advised to check the best online casino list, where you can find the most reliable and trusted websites. Due to such mobile opportunities, people can not only have a great pastime in a circle of friends, colleagues or relatives but also earn additional funds. Mobile betting and gambling are an absolutely safe and secure activity. That’s why there is no need to worry about the quality, value, customer support, technologies, interface, design and many other details. Playing on the go Living in the fast-speed 21st century means always being on the go and be aware of the newest technologies and innovations that can be implemented into creating successful job careers and developing other spheres of people’s lives. Therefore, if you are an active player then “playing on the go” feature is very important and which is more important- possible due to the surge of mobile betting and gambling. Before registering on any online gaming website, do pay attention to the availability of a mobile version so that you could keep playing no matter where you are. The post The surge of mobile betting and gambling appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  6. One of the most exciting areas of technological development is in the area of nanotechnology and nanomaterials. This area of innovation, which involves creating new molecules and materials at the nano level (10−9 meter – i.e really really small), is opening the doors for all kinds of interesting possibilities. I’ve been hearing about nanomaterials for a while now, and much of the early talk I heard focused on carbon, specifically in tube and ball form. You have probably heard these mentioned somewhere in a discussion about carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, or as they are sometimes called Buckyballs. Why Buckyballs? This whole area of nanotech, which includes carbon molecules that take on a sphere or tube shape, is influenced by the work of Buckminster Fuller, whose famous geodesic domes inspired the original creators of spherical carbon molecules. Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes have been promised to usher in all kinds of new uses. The one that captured my imagination involved using nanotubes unique tensile strength to allow it to serve as the building block of a space elevator. While it looks like nanotubes aren’t going to get us into space anytime soon, other nanomaterials are emerging with what seems like an unlimited number of applications. I recently came across a new nanomaterials company, that is specializing in the creation, distribution and licensing of graphene quantum dots. What’s a quantum dot (QD)? In the absolute simplest terms, it’s a “nanoscale particle of semiconducting material.” What’s more important, is that various types of QDs are being explored right now for use in everything from TV sets, to batteries, and more. Their unique properties, based on their incredibly small size, mean these materials can be used to enhance a number of different technologies. Dotz Nano Ltd. is new company that is focusing specifically on graphene (another form of carbon) quantum dots. This is quite different than most other players in the space which are focused on metallic QDs using materials such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Dotz, on the other hand, by turning to graphene is using a non-toxic material that is sourced from an abundant natural source – coal. “We’ve managed to revolutionize the nanotechnology industry by introducing a material that utilizes natural resources in a cost-effective manner,” said Dr. Moti Gross, CEO and Co-Founder of Dotz Nano Ltd.. “Our Graphene Quantum Dots are ready and available for commercial use and can be implemented in thousands of applications we encounter in our daily lives, without negatively impacting the environment.” Dotz is now working with partners, researchers, and others on ways to commercialize the use of these new materials and already has a number of applications in mind for the material, ranging from everything from optical brighteners to UV tagging and computer data storage Of course, this is an extremely cutting edge field and numerous challenges remain. It’s clear that nanotechnology is still in its infancy and we are only beginning to see how all these new materials will be used. There are also numerous companies working to invent the next miracle material that will change our lives so Dotz will face competition from those players as well. But based on what they’ve achieved so far, there is real chance that Dotz could help usher in a whole new family of applications for nano QDs. The post Dotz wants to use nanomaterials to make our lives a little bit brighter appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  7. Considering that we sleep about a third of our lifetime (yes, that much), it’s probably a good idea to make sure we’re getting quality sleep so we have enough energy to keep us going throughout the day. While there are plenty of sleep trackers out there from smart alarm clocks to wearables and apps that track sleep and record patterns, they can be limited to simple data collection and analysis and leave out actionable ways to enhance sleep and let users know when it’s time to catch more Z’s. SleepRate’s new sleep and fatigue management app, WakeMode, strives to help individuals improve sleep by monitoring their sleep patterns and increasing their energy awareness during the day. WakeMode has developed a way to predict daytime fatigue levels with a number scale from 0 to 100% by using data analysis technology that assesses sleep from the previous night. The cool thing about WakeMode is that it indicates your fatigue status throughout the entire day, the same way your cell phone displays battery life, so you’re reminded when to recharge your “internal battery” and have a reference for where you fall on the wakefulness spectrum. This notable feature helps us avoid scenarios where we overexert ourselves and allows us to responsibly utilize our remaining energy. The app informs you when your fatigue levels are low and alerts you with opportunities to recharge, suggesting naps or optimal bedtimes and other ways to boost energy levels, such as drinking a cup of coffee or doing some cardio exercises. For example, WakeMode can come in handy for all those times you try and muster up the energy to go out with friends after work, but can’t really gauge how tired you actually are or whether you’ll make it through the evening. Click to view slideshow. Unlike traditional sleep tracking apps, WakeMode creates a tailored sleep solution plan (implemented by medical sleep experts) offering tips and suggestions by evaluating sleep quality and structure using heart rate and sleep motion and duration. The app is compatible with almost any bluetooth device including wearables (chest bands, watches) and non-wearables. WakeMode can also function without pairing to bluetooth devices, but the more information that’s collected or shared with the app, the more tailored and accurate the improvement plan will be. WakeMode’s interactive approach relies on users to be aware and engaged in making a difference in their sleep, not just when climbing into bed. One potential challenge some users may face with WakeMode is that it yields better results the more you share information, interact with fatigue updates and consistently track sleep. This is excellent for users who keep up with the updates, tracking and sleep recommendations, but can be a hurdle for those who are less engaged or consistent. However, here’s an opportunity for anyone who owns a device to be proactive about improving their sleep and at the same time maximizing energy during the day, without having to go see going to see a doctor. In this case, you snooze you win, right? The post WakeMode wants to help you sleep better and end groggy days appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  8. People are often quick to proclaim that so-and-so is the next evolution in business. In our fast-paced environment of rapid technological change, there is no shortage of advances that are looking to assume the mantle of revolutionary. After all, there’s money to be made if you can capitalize on the next product, concept, tool, etc. that will raise your company above the rest. With no lack of competition, then, is Big Data one of those impactful business paradigm shifts? Most signs point to yes. Is Big Data Integral to Modern Business? Supporters of Big Data and the various fields that have sprung up around it (data science, business intelligence, analytics, to name a few) often claim that it is changing the way we do business not just in the now, but also in the near- and long-term future. All things considered, they’re looking more and more right everyday. With the Internet playing an outsized role in our daily lives, the more digital footprints we leave behind. From all those keystrokes and mouse-clicks, business are more able than ever to build comprehensive profiles of not only their customers, but predictive models of who they want as customers and how they want them to spend their time with a given product in order to maximize return. Tailored applications are being developed to cater to the financial industry. The fact is that with all these terabytes upon terabytes of data, there are meaningful connections and insights to be made from that collection of disparate information. Big Data is simply the concept that there is sense to be made from that seeming digital chaos; sense that can propel your business forward and give you a leg up on the competition. Consider that Experian Data Quality’s annual Global Data Management Benchmark Report shows that 84% of US organizations say they believe that data is an integral part of forming a business strategy. But, as the concept of Big Data is relatively new, at least to the mainstream, it makes sense that businesses seem to also share a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to Big Data. Of the respondents in the report, 27% said they believe their data is inaccurate. And the estimated error rates only rose when polling C-suite members. But then, consider the alternative. About 52% of the organizations in the study said that they rely on educated guesses or gut feelings to make decisions based on their data. “Businesses talk a great deal about being data-driven, but most lack the trusted, reliable data they need to effectively leverage information to drive new initiatives,” said Thomas Schutz, senior vice president and general manager for Experian Data Quality, in a press release for the report. “Good data is good for business. We know that when we help organizations make improvements to their data, they see positive results. However, organizations need to develop an understanding of their data assets and speak a common language around data so the necessary investment can be made in a holistic data management practice.” And the results bear that out; 85% of organizations experienced more timely and personalized customer communications as a result of improving their data quality solution. How Big Data Can Help Businesses Big Data is only growing. Consider that some of the largest companies in the world are betting big on the Internet of Things (IoT). Essentially, IoT is the interconnectedness of devices so as to facilitate real-time information exchange and data storage for future use and interpretation. Projected in the future to reach new heights, IoT is expected to only further increase businesses’ reliance on data. General Electric predicts that investment in industrial IoT will top $60 trillion in the next 15 years. And that’s just one element that will contribute to Big Data. Besides, you don’t have to wait for the future in order to capitalize on some of the advantages offered today in the data world. Hadoop is an open-source software program that analyzes and stores huge amounts of data. It’s gaining popularity among some of the heaviest hitters in the tech world and, being as it is open-source, is a cost-effective way to help your business access data like never before. The fields of business intelligence and other decisions making processes are also growing, often with shining results of the companies best able to take advantage of them. Lufthansa, for instance, uses an IoT-based strategy to mine data from their maintenance, repair and overhaul operations and provide it to their customers. Wendy’s has started using a mapping solution to decide where to branch out its franchises, using data to find the best locations that would yield the most customers and therefore profits. Frankly, there are no shortages of online resources to help you not only take advantage of Big Data, but learn how to navigate the shifting landscape that is the future of information collection and analysis. The end result is that when a company employs Big Data tactics to help make decisions or draw conclusions, it is simply engaging in another tool available to help improve their business. Sure it has its skeptics, but Big Data is not worth fearing. Instead, learning how best to take advantage of Big Data will do a service to companies looking to gain an edge in the contemporary marketplace. What’s Next for Big Data Both the future and the present look bright for proponents of Big Data. Companies who have taken a liking to the process have already benefited, as evidenced above. And for those looking to add Big Data solutions to their company’s arsenal, it has never been easier – or more affordable. While potentially daunting at first by nature of its scale and its current newness, using Big Data to better your business is one way to keep your outfit in the race to modernity. The trend is pushing towards the creation of more data, and therefore more focus being laid upon it as it continues to increase in importance in our business lives. At this point, there is no turning back the tide, not that you would want to. Instead, you’re better off embracing the information-centric world we inhabit, and using the tools available to you to push your business forward. The post How big data can help your business make better decisions appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  9. This year is going to be an exciting year for all of you tech fanatics out there. Especially after all the new hot products that dropped/demoed at the last CES convention. With drones killing the market, TVs becoming thinner and thinner, VR on the rise, AI right around the corner (let’s hope or maybe not), autonomous cars becoming a reality, and more – plain and simple, we’ve got a lot to look forward to people. If you’re a tech fanatic or simply someone that has a pension for collecting cool gadgets, we’ve put together a list of some the top new gadgets already dropped or soon-to-be-release that turned our heads. Wireless Glass Keyboard. When it comes to tech guts, this product won’t drop your jaw to the floor but in terms of coolness and aesthetic, the new Bluetooth-enabled glass keyboard is something out of a science fiction movie. It’s compatible with just about everything (iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS) and charges with a USB cable. It may not be typing in thin air, but it sure looks like it. It also comes with a full on QWERTY layout. We’ve added this one more for the cool factor. Samsung Foldable Phone. Apparently this phone is literally going to fold in half like elastic material. Based off this concept, the sell of this pitch is that users are going to be able to reap the benefits of a tablet-sized screen and yet still have a device that’s as portable as any other mid-sized smartphone. If it drops in 2017 (which they’re saying it very well might), it’ll be a two-in-one smart phone that’ll be the first commercial product of its kind. They’re hoping to attract the ‘anything bigger than an iPhone is too big for me but I’d still love a bigger screen’ type, ensuring them the portability sacrificed on larger phones. If it drops, hopefully it’s not going to sacrifice any of the smartphone vitals for concept. Racing drones. In case you’re unaware, consumer drones have absolutely slaughtered the market. Industry leaders like DJI have loaded their drones with tech some thought wouldn’t be available for years. Now there’s drone racing; leagues where drone racers fly their drones (that can reach up to 100mph) in competition. Now that it has become not only a commodity but a popular sport, we’re going to see a whole new rise of ‘consumer’ racing drones that are going to be ready-to-fly right out of the box. What was once a gadget meant specifically for hobby enthusiasts is now becoming a toy available to everyone. PowerVision PowerRay. Let’s keep on the drone train here and introduce the new aqua-drone, the PowerVision PowerRay. Following the success of aerial drones, PowerVision decided to engineer a drone for the deep blue. This thing can venture up to 100 feet below the surface, is equipped with sonar technology that can detect nearby fish, is fit with lights that use color to attract other fish. It can shoot in 4k, livestream the first-person-view, and connect to a synchronized VR headset that allows you to control the drone via head movement. Ever wanted to explore the ocean? Soon you’ll be able to. Emotech Olly Robohub. If you’re at all keen towards the Amazon Alexa or Echo, then you’re going to love when the Emotech Olly drops. It’s basically the same platform –your household smart robot that can play music, do some basic Bluetooth jazz, pair with some of your devices, and so on – except the Olly is going to control everything. It’s going to be an all-in-one integrated smart unit that’s capable of pairing with all your devices and your network. It will be voice-commanded similar to the aforementioned products, but what makes it a true gem is it has a mildly AI intuition; it will ‘get to know you’ via your conversations and adapt to your routine. Maybe even be your friend. Who knows. LeEco Smart Bikes. LeEco is trying to be the pioneer of the smart bike; the technologically savvy bicycle that can basically guide you were you need to go, play music for you, and even communicate with other bikes of the same type. Equipped with a 4” Android screen in the center console, it has GPS, music playback, and a walkie-talkie that’ll pair with other bicycles. You’ll never have to pull out your cellphone while riding your bike again. Unless maybe for that perfect snapchat. Razer Project Valerie. Ever feel like one screen isn’t enough on your laptop? Well the Razer Project Valerie is supposed to be a ‘mobile desktop’ that unfolds into a trifecta of screens and yet remains conveniently portable. It hasn’t dropped yet, but it’s certainly something to look forward to. We are and have been in the age of tech. With that comes a bit of scariness (okay maybe a whole lot), world-changing advancements, and more new toys than we can count. 2017 is going to be another rewarding years for all of us tech junkies out there. But always remember, the new hot stuff of last year probably going to experience a price drop. Might be worth looking into. The post 7 gadgets to be on the look out for in 2017 appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  10. How is your social media marketing coming along? Are your still using outdated social marketing methods? What’s your social media marketing strategy for the future. To give yourself the best chance of success in future, you must embrace contemporary social media marketing strategies. What worked in the past may not necessarily work in future. Also, do not approach social media marketing without a cogent strategy. If you do, you are as good as someone who does nothing at all. The following are four tips that are guaranteed to super charge your social media marketing strategy. 1. Find Out Where Your Audience Hangs Out The problem with most small businesses is that they take a broad spectrum approach to social media marketing. They post in all social networks rather than finding out where their audience hangs out and concentrating their efforts in those specific networks. For example, Facebook has an audience that’s spread across all demographics. So every business must have some presence on Facebook. However, the same cannot be said of other social networks. For example, it is now clear that Snapchat is best if you want to specifically target teenagers and Instagram is ideal if your audience is predominantly comprised of millennials under the age of 30. LinkedIn works best with working professionals. Twitter has a large following among Generation X and millennials but is also used by older generations as well. In short, you must conduct careful research to establish who your audience is and where they hang out. With that information, you will use your marketing resources more effectively. 2. Leverage Current Trends “Adapt or die” has been the mantra of social media marketing and will continue to be for a long time to come. You must stay abreast of current trends so that you can implement them in your social marketing strategy. For example, Live Video has taken social media by storm over the last few months. First popularized by Periscope and Snapchat, Facebook has now jumped onto the bandwagon. Companies have discovered, to their delight, that live video streaming is actually a fantastic marketing tool for product launches, marketing events and product demonstrations. Another trend that has demonstrated potent marketing power is augmented reality, virtual reality and 360 degree video. Companies can now give customers live tours of holiday destinations, homes for sale and much more. Many companies are now using chat bots to shorten customer service response times. Facebook is definitely at the forefront of the chatbot revolution but apps like Telegram have also come up with creative chatbots. Be the first to incorporate new trends in your social media marketing strategy and get a head start before your competition even has a chance to put on their pants. 3. Develop a Cogent Content Strategy Consistency is the key to successful social media marketing. You must post consistently on the social networks to have any chance of increasing engagement. For example, social marketing experts recommend tweeting three times a day and posting at least twice on Facebook. But, this is easier said than done. Developing content and posting it is a time consuming affair. The best way to manage this is to have a content calendar. This ensures that you aren’t just posting haphazardly. If you can’t develop the content yourself, consider hiring a freelancer to do it for you. Next, acquire a social media marketing tool that helps create posting schedules on all your social networks and, one that posts automatically for you. This is the only way to ensure that you have a great content strategy. 4. Don’t Ignore Email Email isn’t dead and isn’t likely to be anytime soon. While email isn’t strictly social, integrating it into your overall strategy can bring you significant benefits. If someone receives an email in their inbox and decides to visit your social media page, they should be able to see the same content that prompted them to visit the page in the first place. This will increase your chances of conversion. In fact, you can take this a step further by running a social media campaign targeted at your email list and reach the same audience in several different ways. Conclusion The fact is, a few small changes to your social media marketing strategy can make all the difference. Don’t work without a plan and when you create a plan, make sure it is well thought out. Laying the ground work early and leveraging current trends will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. The post 4 tips to super charge your social media marketing strategy appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  11. Let’s talk VPNs. If you are unfamiliar with what a VPN is, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data, however, they are also becoming extremely popular for personal use. Essentially when you use a VPN, instead of connecting directly to your ISP and/or that public WiFi network, you connect to a server run by your VPN provider (a “VPN server”) via an encrypted connection (sometimes referred to as a “VPN tunnel”). This means that all data traveling between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted so that only you and the VPN server can “see” it. Obviously this means you have increased privacy and security around what you’re doing online. But before you go out a buy access to a VPN from a VPN provider, it’s important to know a few important details. First, not all VPNs are equal–it is incredibly important to pick a VPN provider that uses solid encryption, ideally, look for OpenVPN or IKEv2. Additional security features that are nice to see (meaning they’re really really secure) include: perfect forward secrecy being enabled, hash authentication of at least SHA256, and Cipher of at least AES-256. Another point worth mentioning with regards to security and privacy is a feature I always look for when it comes to picking a VPN provider is to make sure they do not log. It’s also really important to research where the VPN provider has server located. Remember you are routing your internet traffic through them so if the servers aren’t local/close to you that will increase latency and slow down your internet speeds. Another key piece of advice: look into how many simultaneous connections you can have running through your account. Every provider is different. Lastly, be sure to check their software offerings and make sure they have software that will run on your hardware, including your computer, smartphone, and tablet. Not all VPN providers have dedicated clients for every device, so finding one that will work with all of your devices will make your life much easier. Here are three VPN providers that I like and recommend. NordVPN NordVPN is an excellent provider with a ton of features and support for many devices, including apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and game consoles. NordVPN operates more than 746 servers in 58 countries and with Nord you can connect up to 6 devices under one account. Nord is also P2P friendly and doesn’t impose bandwidth limits. They also have a strict no logging policy. Some stand out features include: double VPN for increased anonymity, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec security protocols offered, and a free proxy list (up to 3,000 free proxies). Pricing for a month-to-month plan starts at $11.95, but they often run promotions and discounts so be on the look out for those. LiquidVPN LiquidVPN is another good provider with a solid product offering, they operate 41 VPN Servers in 11 countries, and have 2,168 public IP addresses. All of their VPN servers run on dedicated servers with 1 or 10 Gbps network connections. Like Nord, LiquidVPN doesn’t log and allows P2P and BitTorrent. They too, support a bunch of devices with software available for Windows, Mac, and Android. Liquid offers a few really nice features such as Liquid Lock which allows you to ceate optimum rules on your OS’s firewall to protect from any type of leak or network outage with the touch of a button. LiquidVPN also offers Perfect Forward Secrecy so every 30 minutes keys are renegotiated between you and the server. Another key feature is the ability to have unlimited server switching between servers in North America, Europe and Asia. You can also take advantage of Liquid’s Smart Streaming feature that lets you stream US and UK-based content from any of its VPN servers. Pricing starts at $5.60 per month with the ability to connect up to two devices. Cloak Cloak is a little different than the previous two VPN providers. It’s designed only for Apple users–it works on the Mac and iOS exclusively. It’s also really simple to setup. The folks who built Cloak did it with three things in mind: security, speed, and ease of use. They don’t really offer a ton of the perks that other providers do, but their service is solid. Pricing starts at $9.99/month and you can connect unlimited devices to your account. They also offer a unique pricing option called “Passes” that lets you purchase a pass for a week, month, or year, starting at $3.99 for a week. If you’re traveling and want a great option to stay secure without the “lock-in” of a subscription this is it. Have any other VPN providers you think are worth mentioning? Leave a comment! The post What’s a VPN and who are the best VPN providers? appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  12. Data has long been one of the most expensive parts of a cellphone plan. From high fees or extra charges when you go over your data allowance to spending too much money on a data plan you don’t use, figuring out just how much data you need can be a real struggle. Thankfully, with AT&T introducing unlimited data plans at affordable prices, selecting the right cellphone plan for your budget and needs is even easier. AT&T and the Future of Mobile Data Pricing Not long ago, mobile providers dropped the unlimited data plan option. While data was still important at the time, most users could get away without needing high data plans for their daily use. Connectivity to Wi-Fi and minimal offline options made it easy for users to stay within their data allowance. However, as cellphones started doing more and mobile devices changed to become larger and more important, the need for more data grew. Eventually, users were either forced with the decision to pay fees for using too much data or they needed to buy larger data plans. Luckily for them, the reintroduction of unlimited data plans has been the latest buzz in the tech industry. At first, AT&T’s unlimited data plan was expensive. At $100 for a line, AT&T was priced much higher than competitors. Now, AT&T is offering two unlimited data plans, one at a higher price point of $90 for tethering and faster streaming and the second at $60 for slower video streaming and no ability to hotspot. With AT&T reducing its unlimited data plan to better fit the everyday user’s budget, we can tell that price is a major contender for mobile users. With customers always looking to get the most bang for their buck, AT&T and other mobile providers will need to secure the best prices to compete with one another, improve their bottom line and prevent customers from switching. What Does an Unlimited Mobile Plan Mean for Customers? For many people, the availability of unlimited mobile plans is exciting news. For individuals who like to use their phone as mobile hotspots or to stream videos on the go, signing up for an unlimited data plan can save some major headaches in the long run. However, unlimited mobile plans can also have their drawbacks. One of the biggest benefits of having an unlimited data plan is that users do not need to worry about their data cap. They can use as much data as they’d like each month without the fear of spending more on their bill. As connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) leads consumers to pair more technologies to their mobile devices, signing up for an unlimited plan can be an incredibly cost-effective decision. However, having access to more mobile data can have potential negative consequences, too. If more consumers can afford unlimited data, what’s to stop them from connecting their phones to their wearables, home appliances or even their cars? The more you’re connected to IoT devices, the more likely it is that you’ll experience a hack or negative privacy experience as a result of that connectivity. Enhanced connectivity features can expose design weaknesses in otherwise safe products. But implementing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities could leave you and your devices exposed to hackers. The need for unlimited data is also a question on many customers’ minds. With years of monitoring data use, many customers now wonder how much data they may actually need to use. While AT&T and other mobile providers are offering affordable options for their unlimited data plans, smaller plans are still cheaper. All in all, the reintroduction of unlimited data plans is fresh to customers. Until consumers decide whether or not an unlimited plan is really necessary for them and mobile service providers find the right price points, we can expect to see some slight shifts in the mobile world. The post What do AT&T’s lower priced unlimited data plans mean for you? appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  13. You’ve probably heard about cloud computing, but maybe you’re not sure about how it works or whether it is something you need to become more familiar with. If you run a business, cloud computing could be something that you could greatly benefit from, so if you need to get a better idea of what cloud computing involves, here is a quick introduction. In a very basic summary, cloud computing refers to the process where the internet is used for services such as storage, servers and applications. So whereby many businesses have storage set up on their PC’s hard drives (local storage), cloud computing means that the infrastructure is shared and can be accessed from other places via the internet. So, in essence cloud really just means ‘through the internet.’ There are lots of ways that you can use cloud based storage for your business. You will have seen companies such as Dropbox providing services for people to store files. One of the really useful parts is that it makes it exceptionally easy to share files with other people. When emailing files, you can run into the problem of file sizes, but services like Dropbox enables you to share quickly and easily without such problems. Most companies offer a certain amount of storage for free, but then you will need to pay a fee if you reach the storage limit. Cloud storage can be a good way of backing up files so they don’t get lost. For example, a PC can break or a laptop could be stolen and you wouldn’t be able to get to the files. If you have saved them using cloud storage, you will still be able to access them. Cloud storage options. The Cloud is all about easy collaboration. Other services that you will also have heard of are Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive which operate through the same principle. You can share and edit files with people much easier than if you had to keep sharing via email for example. Container orchestration is required to make it easy to turn apps on and off and is a service most providers cater for. If you are looking for IT support, then most cloud service companies will be able to help you through any technical jargon if you’re not familiar with any of the terms. Security is a major concern with any area of file storage, whether cloud based or not, so to protect your business it is advisable to go with a company that comes with a high reputation and good security features. Different companies provide various packages and you will generally have to pay a lot more to get really good security features, but it will be worthwhile if it means you don’t have data stolen. If you are not making the most of cloud computing for your business, then it is probably time to look into it. If you have people working remotely or your business operates from multiple locations, internet based infrastructure will make life a lot easier. It also makes it easier working with other suppliers or customers if you need to share files with them. The infographic below pretty much sums it all up: The post An introduction to cloud computing appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  14. I’m really excited to announce that my company, KYA, today has released Shout — a brand new app for iOS and Chrome that let’s you easily save, share, and curate content for yourself or with your friends. It’s so easy and fun to use, too. Seriously: with the tap of a button, Shout makes it incredibly simple to save content you like for later or share it with family, friends, and followers. Shout let’s you create lists to Shout content to (e.g. NYC Food, Tech News, etc). You can also follow public lists created by real people and discover new content about things that interest you. Additionally, you can make any list (private or public) a collaborative list, meaning you can add your friends and all Shout to the same list. This is great for things like multi-way sharing of links with your friends and family, collecting awesome places to have brunch, sharing news, funny gifs, the possibilities are endless! To keep this as unbiased as I possibly can, below you’ll find a video review created by a friend of mine, Matt Birchler. I think his video review is well-done, honest, and fair. Take a look below and I hope you take some time to check out Shout for yourself. The post It’s here! Shout by KYA, a new way to save, share, and curate content appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  15. Philips has just released the largest 4K curved computer monitor currently on the market. The Philips Brilliance BDM4037UW 40” Ultra HD monitor is now available on Amazon for $999.99. The BDM4037UW has a high-performance panel that delivers UltraClear, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution images. Philips also touts that the display offers super-high static contrast ratios for extra vivid and bright images, with extra wide viewing angles of 178/178 degree. The display supports 85% of the NTSC gamut to expand the range of colors that are perceived by users to produce true-to-life images. Unlike enhancements that work by modifying software settings to adjust the color balance, Ultra Wide-Color is a hardware enhancement. Philips’ new display also features something called MultiView which enables users to have up to four inputs shown on one screen – each in Full HD. The pictures can be arranged in two different ways: 1) The Picture-by-Picture mode, which is useful in control rooms or for using multiple devices like notebooks side-by-side to make collaboration more productive, or 2) The Picture-in-Picture mode, e.g. for watching a news feed in a small window while working on the entire rest of the screen. Display Specifications: LCD Panel Type: VA LCD Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Curvature: 3000R Optimum Resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz Viewing Angle: 178° (H) / 178° (V) @ C/R > 10 Response Time: 4ms Contrast Ratio (SmartContrast): 20M:1 Display Colors: 1.07B Connectivity: VGA, DP x 2, HDMI 1.4 (MHL), HDMI 2.0 (MHL), USB 3.0 x 4 (1 fast charging) Flicker-Free, MultiView, Picture-in-Picture Had I not just bought myself one of the new LG UltraFine 5K displays I’d seriously be considering one of these bad boys. The post Philips just released the largest 4K curved computer display for under $1,000 appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article