Friday, 13 January 2017

The Evolution of Communication Technology

“Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Those were the first words ever spoken on a telephone, when it was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. But that was just the middle of the communications journey.
Communication started much earlier, and it’s evolved leagues ahead of that now, to develop into current technology that probably would have baffled Bell had he been able to see ahead in time.

Where It All Began

Even our earliest ancestors had a clear understanding of the importance of communication. Without it, we would be unable to make connections with other people and function in a commerce-driven arena.
It’s difficult to know exactly when or how communication started because we can’t talk to those who came first and the record isn’t clear. But there is some evidence that the earliest forms of communication occurred through hieroglyphics, or cave drawings.
Though cave drawings and human speech sufficed for people in the immediate vicinity, it didn’t take long for humans to feel the need for long-distance communication as well. After the invention of fire, the first means of communicating beyond the reach of a picture or a shout came the form of smoke signals.
Research confirms that smoke signals and fire are among the oldest forms of long-distance visual communication. The method dates back at least to 150 BC. A Greek historian by the name of Polybius developed a way to convey the alphabet by fanning torches, and this was a very popular system of communication along the Great Wall of China.
Native Americans also made major use of this medium. It was a time-consuming practice, and accuracy tended to be a problem, but it sufficed.
Smoke signals worked well if you stood on a high hill or atop the Great Wall, but if you needed to speak to someone miles away and there was no way he could see you, so a better solution was needed. That’s when the use of carrier pigeons occurred to someone.
In about the 12th century, an Egyptian sultan discovered that if you separated pigeons from their mates, they would travel hundreds of miles to find them. By attaching a note to the leg of the traveling pigeon, you could send messages far and wide.
This was a highly effective method in the world wars but of course it also had its flaws. Obviously, the messenger pigeon wouldn’t make it to the destination if it was shot down or eaten by another animal.

Communicating Over Wires

In 1844, the first telegraph message was sent. It traveled 40 miles, which seemed an impossible feat at the time. This message system sent electrical signals over wires.
A certified clerk would interpret the letters being transmitted and deliver the result to the recipient. Before long, wires were put up all over cities and across the U.S., which laid the groundwork for what experts call the communications revolution.
Based on this wire system, landline telephones were built starting in 1876 when Bell introduced the technology. Before cellular phones transmitted signals through electronic waves, wires were held on tall poles or buried under the ground, and allowed people to talk from thousands of miles away.
Though landlines have begun to phase out, many homes continue to employ this method, which was a staple in most homes as well as companies from the 1950s onward.

From Wires to Waves

As we all know, wires became an outdated tool thanks to cellular tech. In 1946, Swedish police were the first to make a call via cell phone. It was discovered that the same technology that transmitted the voice over wires could be done wirelessly via satellite waves.
The 1946 experiment was one of a kind, however. The first cell phone for the use of private citizens was not developed until 1973 by Martin Cooper. It was a brick compared to the compact hand-helds we know today: it measured 9x5x1.75 inches.
Getting a signal also required extending an antenna, or a long wire, to catch it. But there was no stopping the revolution at this point. We got dial-up Internet, an online connection established through your landline, in 1981, and email became a popular way to connect with friends, family, and between businesses.
Ten years later, homeowners started to trade in their annoying dial-up connection for WiFi. Today you’ll rarely find a house that lacks this connective ability. Not long after WiFi came in, developers began experimenting with the smart phone, and in 20 years, it would be the primary phone choice around the world.

Updates Galore

As you know, tech is now such a huge part of daily life now that we wouldn’t be willing to live with the original models. Apple is now on its seventh official version of the iPhone with plans already in the making for the eighth.
Businesses are now run with this incredible communication technology. They’re not only able to make phone calls to people on the other side of the world, but they’re also able to video conference, hold meetings with multiple people, send texts and emails on a mass scale, and more. There are even apps like Dialpad that let you do all of those things in one application, whether you’re traveling or sitting at a desk. Those in the business sector are constantly looking to improve their technology applications.
Wireless Internet is becoming faster, and easier to connect to than ever before. Homes have started talking back and running themselves through smart-home tech.
Technology is constantly updating. It’s an impressive and constant presence in our society. The ability to communicate over long distances yet face to face is a capability our cave ancestors and even the settlers of the West could never have imagined.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Samsung can breath easy, no more Note 7 warnings on flights

Samsung’s had a rough 2016, with over a hundred instances of the Galaxy Note 7 exploding, and the smartphone being banned from carrying it on an aircraft which has caused catastrophic damage to the brands reputation across the globe.
However, a report by The Verge states that the Department of Transportation in the US has lifted the requirement for the airlines to notify passengers that the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a prohibited flight risk.
This doesn’t mean that the phone is now allowed to be carried around in an aircraft, that ban on the Note 7 still exists. However, this just means that Airlines are not mandated to inform about the smartphone’s prohibition.
The FAA or the Federal Aviation Administration says the DoT has removed the pre-boarding requirement “due to the high degree of public awareness of the ban since issuance of the emergency restriction/prohibition order, as well as the extensive efforts by Samsung and U.S. wireless providers to make all Note 7 users aware the phone is recalled and banned from transport on U.S. aircraft.”
Moreover, following FAA’s statement, Samsung states that around 96 percent from the total Note 7’s sold have been recalled as of now.
This is definitely a breath of relief for the South Korean smartphone maker which was getting its reputation smashed every time the Note 7 announcement was being made on an aircraft. The airlines have yet to comment on when they’d execute the notification by the Department of Transport.
Samsung also stated during CES 2017, that it’ll soon lift the veil upon the detailed report which will tell us what actually went wrong with Samsung’s flagship phablet.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Leaked: Galaxy X1 and X1 Plus are Samsung's new Android flip phones

Samsung is known to be working on its foldable phones, as the company had patented this technology not too long ago. There is no news on how the phone would look like, but there have been several rumours that pointed to the phones being developed under the Project Valley codename. Now new reports suggest that Samsung might launch the phone under the Galaxy X series.

Two new smartphones named Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus have allegedly leaked online, which indicate that these devices would be the new foldable smartphones, from Samsung.

Weibo, the Chinese social platform, known for its leaks, have posted the phones, which also reveal the model numbers of the devices, which are 'Sm-X9000' and 'SM-X9050'. Both handsets are tipped to run on Android operating system.

Another report from AndroidSoul have pointed that both the phones already are under test in China. Rumours also point that the Galaxy X1 would be running on Android v6.0.1 Marshmallow and the Galaxy X1 Plus would come with Android Nougat operating system.

The patent filed by Samsung, suggests that Galaxy X might feature a flexible or secondary display that would turn on when the smartphone is folded. Other hearsay suggest that Samsung might feature the new smartphones with a 4K display and host a lot many other features like iris scan, fingerprint scan, face scan, biometric authentication as well as palm pattern.

Other information suggests that Samsung might announce these new Galaxy X branded phones in Q3 and Q4 of 2017. Both will have dual screen with flat screen on each side and Samsung might also launch another foldable model with a single flexible OLED screen that is likely to come next year in 2018.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Build A Better Brain: 4 Apps For Improved Brain Health

At a time of rapid medical processes, basic research is developing innovative treatments. The 21st Century Cures Act was recently signed into law, creating new pathways for drug approval, and tech devices are revolutionizing weight loss, diabetes management, and even aiding in the treatment of conditions like Parkinson’s through the use of deep brain stimulation. Still, in many cases, brain-based issues remain among the most intractable and difficult to treat.
From headaches to memory and mental health, app developers aim to improve our current approaches to brain health. We can feel better and function better with the help of technological advances.

A Headache Helper

Some days, you get a headache that no amount of Tylenol will get rid of – you need something more. But what? Targeted sound waves may be the answer.
Low-frequency sound waves can help relax the mind and relieve headaches, and the Brain Wave Headache Relief app puts these specifically engineered sound waves at your fingertips. The app offers daytime and evening specific programs as well as additional background sound for your enjoyment. While your conscious mind enjoys the soundtrack, the underlying sound waves can relieve headaches by altering alpha, theta, and delta waves in your brain.

Memory Masters

One of the most devastating neurological conditions today is Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia – conditions that rob people of themselves, of the memories and personalities that make us who we are. It comes as no surprise, then, that many of us spend our younger years seeking out memory preservation strategies, including taking fish oil and choline supplements, doing puzzles, and remaining active. Still, this is rarely enough.
In response to our cultural concern with memory and mental agility, many app makers have stepped up with potential solutions, including widely publicized (and controversial) programs like Lumosity. Lumosity hardly has a hold on the market, however. Other popular memory training apps include Elevate and Peak, with Peak featuring mini-games meant to boost attention span, potentially helping users beat out multitasking and distraction in daily life.

Memory Monitoring

Though brain training activities have the potential to keep users stimulated and build neural connections, they can’t beat disease alone, which is why it’s important to be aware of signs of memory loss. Unfortunately, when your memory starts to slip, it can be hard to notice the signs and take them seriously – we all want to discount forgetfulness as normal aging or distraction. Sometimes we need to be pushed to address the issue. That’s what makes the Neurotrack app so useful.
Neurotrack uses eye-tracking technology to spot signs of Alzheimer’s in users. It’s a simple 5-minute process that can be done at home via smartphone and the science behind it is much stronger than anything supporting brain training apps. This program can be a real lifeline for concerned family members hoping to keep tabs on potential problems among older relatives.

Anxiety Awareness

Though we’ve become more aware of mental health as a nation in recent years, appropriate treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety can still be hard to access, particularly for low-income individuals and those living in rural areas. Apps, however, are a low-cost way to help circumvent some of the most challenging symptoms.
If you struggle with anxiety, which is an adaptive and necessary trait, but one that can get out of control, an app like Headspace can help. For a monthly fee of $8, you can access daily guidance packs that help you check your mood and connect with your emotions. You can also choose the life issues you wish to address, helping you to cope with specific concerns, such as job stress or social anxiety. While not the same as seeing a mental health professional, apps make a great stopgap between sessions and can help those without access to treatment make steps towards psychological health.
Apps are never a replacement for medical professionals, but they can be a great way to manage day-to-day and subclinical issues and monitor ongoing problems. And if you can knock out that horrid headache by plugging in your headphones or playing a brain stimulating game instead of Pokemon Go, why not give it a shot?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Toshiba unveils its 2-in-1 Portege X20W with 16 hours battery life

Toshiba, the Japanese electronics giant has stretched its Portege portfolio by launching a new 2-in-1 Portege X20W. The device will be available in two colour options of Slate Grey that will be sold through Microsoft online stores in US; where as the Onyx Blue would be sold online via Toshiba themselves.

The biggest highlight of this device is the long 16 hour battery life. It also features a 360 degree hinge that lets users view in different modes, which include Tablet mode, Laptop mode, Tabletop, Audience and Presentation mode. The Portege X20W also comes with Harman Kardon stereo speakers, which too adapt to the display mode and is also integrated with DTS sound software.

As far as the specs go, the device will run on Windows 10 Pro and feature a 12.5 inch full HD multi-touch wide angle display with 1920x1080 resolution and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Powering the device is the seventh generation Intel Core processor and it also features two IR cameras that support Windows Hello facial recognition. In terms of design, the Portege X20W measures 15.4mm and weighs 1.13kg.

For connectivity, Toshiba provides lots of options that include a Thunderbolt 3
port, USB 3.0 port, USB Type-C port as well as a 3.5mm jack for audio. According to Microsoft on its blog, “the Toshiba Portege X20W comes with a TruPen that uses Wacom Feel technology, which can detect 2,048 levels of pressure, perfect for taking notes, drawing on webpages in Microsoft Edge and using Windows Ink”.

The laptop will also be compatible with the companies Thunderbolt 3 Dock and WiGig Dock that will be available within this quarter.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

7 Social Media Tips for Franchises

Today, social media is ruling the marketing scene. Even B2B businesses are finding that social media can be an excellent source for lead generation and value offering. Franchises can also use social media – however, it will require a unique spin.Though franchises are past the startup phase where social media can be very tricky, they can still run into some hurdles along the way. If you own a franchise, a huge hurdle can be the effectiveness of your strategy. If you’re working on improving your social media game, here are some suggestions:

  1. Define the Voice and Purpose
What’s the purpose of your social efforts? Are you trying to generate more customers? Draw attention to the brand? Reach more customers? Your primary purpose will greatly influence your strategies and their effectiveness.
Defining your voice will be a large part of achieving that purpose. When marketing a franchise, aim to stand out from your major competitors. If you’re a McDonald’s franchise, for example, you’ll be up against Wendy’s, Burger King, and other fast food restaurants in the area. Your voice will set you apart from your biggest competitors.
  1. Rely on the Brand Name’s Popularity
Most franchises are well-known, and you can use that popularity to your advantage with your social strategy. People love Starbucks, for example, so if you own a Starbucks franchise, you can focus on what the company stands for, their signature products, and their imagery in order to make the most of your social efforts.
  1. Use the Best Platforms
Some social media platforms will be more effective for you than others. For most franchises, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essential for sharing viral content. Original blog posts, videos, memes, vines, and other content that has the potential to spread are best handled through these platforms. Google Plus is also useful for connecting on the professional level and increasing search engine rankings.
  1. Be Present on Each Platform
After you’ve figured out the tenets above, focus on building a ubiquitous presence on social media. This is essential to making your specific franchise visible and standing out against competitors.
The most important part of developing a presence is filling out your profile. Make sure contact information, your website, and details about the business are easy to find. Your cover image and profile picture should also be engaging and encourage likes. Use this opportunity to share your voice and make it stand out.
After you’ve defined the profile, be present. Pop onto social pages often to interact with customers, make comments, and respond to messages. Customers respond much better to companies that are readily available.
  1. Stick with Timely and Relevant Content
Timely content is essential for attracting attention. Loyal customers enjoy entertainment regarding pop culture, current news events, and trending stories. Scanning local and world newsfeeds can be a gold mine of useful topics that can raise sales and create loyal customers.
The content must also be relevant. If you’re trying to get people to eat at your restaurant, the content you share should make customers want to eat at your restaurant. It shouldn’t gross them out, convince them to go on a diet, or persuade them to do anything else that goes against the purpose of your social efforts.
  1. Be Local
Local social engagement is everything for franchises. You are a local business, after all.  It’s your job to stand out from the other franchises in your area, and drawing more attention from locals is essential.
Social media can also extend to your physical activities. For example, attend or sponsor local events. This shows that you’re invested in the community and important causes. After you’ve attended, you can share your experience on your social pages.
  1. Create a Vision for Your Marketing Efforts
Ultimately, every move you make on social media boils down to your primary vision. You’ll step back and look at the big picture, tweaking your strategy in order to send you in the right direction. It creates a road map that both you and your customers can follow with ease.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Xiaomi to unveil Yi Erida drone and Yi 4K+ camera at CES 2017

With CES around the corner, all tech companies are gearing up for the event and have also started showcasing their products before the actual event. Xiaomi too has unveiled its new Yi Erida drone and Yi 4K + action camera that will be showcased at the CES 2017.

The new Yi Erida drone is an updated version of the previous Yi 4K that was launched earlier this year. Being an updated variant, the new drone comes with an addition of 60FPS mode while recording videos in 4K resolution, making it the first of a kind for any action camera.

While recording 4K video at 60FPS, this update comes handy, especially while capturing fast moving objects, which makes the video look more smooth and enriched, compared to the existing 4K at 30FPS.

The Yi Erida backs a Yi 4K action camera, with three-rotor design and comes with up to 40 minutes of flying time and boosts a maximum speed of up to 75mph (120kph approx.). The drone also gets a gimbal system that helps in keeping the camera steady to ensure smooth video recording, paired with manual camera controls and an advanced radar/sensor system.

Xiaomi also claims that the drone can be controlled via mobile app. The company claims that the Yi Erida is a "a remote obsolete".

The company hasn't really emphasised on the Yi 4K+ specs, but considering the Erida drone, this too will be very much like its predecessor apart from the improvement in its video recording options. The previous model came with a touch screen display that is placed at the back, along with a good battery output.

For more details on the two new products, we will have to wait till CES 2017 kicks off.