Saturday, July 18, 2015

Home Security Gadgets You Should Know

About the author:
Neal Bricker is a blogger and tech enthusiast writing on a number of blogs and online publications.

 
Who doesn't like a good gadget? Consumer electronics have been making some major strides recently, and some of the coolest innovations have come in the form of new home security measures. While “gadget” implies more form than it does function, our personal favorites offer a blend of practicality and out-and-out geek appeal.

Even if you don't pick one of these gorgeous gadgets up, give them a look – many are relatively new, and may well get better and better (and cheaper) as time goes on. In the meantime, feast your eyes on:

Nest's Dropcam

The secure smart home has been a pipe dream for some time now, but it looks like it might be finally coming true. Nest is one of the industry's real innovators, and when they acquired Dropcam, we knew it was only a matter of time before we began to see security cameras integrated into Nest's existing framework.

Dropcam is plenty impressive on its own. The easy setup cameras come well-programmed, and are sharp enough to identify human faces and parse a crowded visual scene for signs of a break-in, but the possibilities that their integration with a smart home offers are even more exciting.

The ideal smart home is fully integrated, allowing input from one appliance or system to work on others. In terms of home security, a Dropcam detecting a break-in could alert police, much like a Local ADT system could, but also activate additional in-house security measures.

Bark Alarms

If we get very, very liberal with the term, then the best home security gadget of all is a large, alert dog. The presence of a territorial pooch can give just about any burglar second thoughts, and it's going to be a long time before we find a technological replacement for a loyal pack member.

But not everyone can take this option. Dogs take time, money, and a lot of love to keep happy, and it's not always easy to provide all of those. For those who are short on any of the above, you may want to consider a barking alarm.

Barking alarms are exactly what you think they are: home security systems that respond to signs of a break in by playing recorded barks at high volume. Like regular home alarms, they'll alert you, and anyone listening that something's afoot. Unlike regular home alarms, they'll give thieves some instant incentive to find another house.

TV Simulators

Much in the spirit of the bark alarm, TV simulators give passer-by the attention that there's someone home and ready to respond to break-in. Since unoccupied houses are vastly more appealing to burglars, the late-night light of an active TV is often enough to dissuade potential criminals.

Of course, you probably don't want to just leave your TV on for the duration of a business trip or vacation – it's much too expensive, and can easily damage your big screen.

Instead, consider picking up  a TV-imitating set of LEDs. These lights are electricity-sipping, and can work for years before burning out. Once set up, they'll emit flickering light meant to imitate an active television – and fool any burglars into believing that you're still there watching it.

Conclusion

As awesome as these gadgets are, I'd like to wind up with a quick word of warning: it's best not to put too much trust in them. Understand that they're good additions to your overall security system, but they're no replacement for basic best practices.

While I'd heavily recommend scooping up a barking alarm, it's not really a replacement for a real dog. And as good as the Dropcams are, it's much better to have a complete understanding of your neighborhood, and a couple of friendly, watchful neighbors with your best interests at heart.

Stay safe out there!

Mail me for Guest Posts in dilipstechnoblog.com (dilipgeoffrey@gmail.com)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Technology for your business – a quick guide for entrepreneurs

About the author:
John is an aspiring tech journalist and futurologist. When not trying to predict the future, he's fixing websites, or drawing cartoon animals.

Technology and business go hand in hand, and no business nowadays can survive without the right technology – that’s a given. If you keep up with what’s happening in the business world, you will know that there’s a lot of pressure to adopt new technologies. Businesses have to make the most out of the tools available to them in order to succeed and it’s important to think outside the box. Do you wonder what housekeeping tips and Twitter campaigns have to do with running a successful business? More than you might think.

Embrace the power of digital marketing
Digital technology has completely changed the way marketing works. If you want to convince customers and investors that your business is worth their time and money, you have to build an online presence that conveys exactly that. If you don’t have someone to look after your social media presence and do your content marketing for you, it’s important to acquire some of these skills yourself. Sign up for a service such as Hootsuite which will allow you to monitor all your online outlets and engage with clients on social media. Produce content that relates to your business but doesn’t promote it shamelessly but is useful for your customers instead - they will gravitate towards your product if they see that the business behind it is sincere and puts their interests and needs first. Keep it simple when it comes to visual content. Digital technology cannot only help you build a distinguished brand, but it can also help you grow your business.

Appearances matter
But not all communication happens online, and sometimes all you need is a great first impression in person. As an entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of your time trying to convince people to invest in or use your services – and you probably know all to well that appearances matter when it comes to selling yourself and your business. This goes for yourself, your employees, and your office space. Of course, the most important thing is to know your housekeeping tips and tricks. If you’re not exactly a pro in the area, do yourself a favour and do research about some essential housekeeping tips online – don’t rely on others for a clean, sleek and trustworthy appearance. Technology can help you groom yourself, keep your office space clean and shiny in no time with revolutionary cleaning appliances, and impress your business partners with crisp and white shirts thanks to your smart washing machine at home. Don’t rely on others when it comes to how you present yourself – as an entrepreneur, you should take responsibility for all areas of your business.

Safeguard your business
You might already have moved big parts of your business into online applications or the cloud at the expense of spreadsheets and external hard drives. But the more you rely on digital networks, the more important a technology safety net becomes. As you make changes to the infrastructure of your business, remember to review the security features your network has. Are your internal communications as well as your customer’s information safe, and how many layers of protection do you need? Make sure that data transfers are safe as well – and never underestimate the power of a secure password. Sometimes, it really is as simple as that.

Mail me for Guest Posts in dilipstechnoblog.com (dilipgeoffrey@gmail.com)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Google’s Self-Driving Vehicle - More Gadget than Car?

About the author:
Beth Kelly is a freelance writer and blogger based in Chicago, IL. After graduating from DePaul University in 2011 she traveled throughout Southeast Asia teaching English, today she’s saving up for her next adventure and writing as much as she can in her free time. Find her on Twitter @bkelly_88

Flying cars and various other automatic automobiles have been the stuff of dreamers for decades - until now, when they really might be just around the corner (provided the reader lives in Mountain View, CA). Self-driving cars, which can navigate through traffic without any input from the driver, are currently being tested by Google. After extensive testing using automobiles supplied by third parties, Google has debuted its own prototypes, which can now be seen puttering around on public roads throughout the city.  

These cars feature an extensive array of sensor technology, cameras and other equipment that can observe conditions all around the vehicle, replicating the behavior of our own five senses.
Using data collected from these sources, the car creates a virtual model of the road, nearby vehicles, cyclists and all other objects in the vicinity. It then adjusts its speed and lane position accordingly, making turns and completing all other functions normally performed by a human driver.

While sitting in a car that drives itself may strike some as spooky or scary, most people who have had the opportunity to ride in one of these vehicles quickly became acclimated to the experience. These cars are programmed to act cautiously and to obey all the rules of the road. Google’s safety record attests to the dependability its autonomous fleet: the company’s vehicles have driven about a million miles during previous testing and have only experienced a handful of accidents (12 at the time of this article). Google spokespeople have stated that none of the accidents resulted in injury and that they were the fault of other motorists, not of the self-driving cars themselves. As the programming is further refined in coming years, car accidents could become freakishly rare events instead of a leading cause of death as they are today.

Only once these cars have fully been integrated onto public roads and into the “Internet of Things” will we comprehend their vast potential for change. Capable of communicating across wireless platforms, each of these small vehicles are essentially computers with wheels. Technological research company Gartner expects that there will be 250 million cars on the road by 2020 that are connected via wireless. Google seems to be preparing for this eventuality as it has developed Android Auto for use in cars and is rumored to be working on a more sophisticated OS that will be embedded directly within automotive hardware.

Taking this into account, we can speculate numerous ways in which the autonomous vehicle stands to impact the tech industry, as well as society more broadly. Merging Google’s new mobility tool with other devices within the IoT ecosystem will open up new and unforeseen avenues for convenience and connection. While wearables, home security and automation, and automobiles may stand alone for now, experts predict more cross-pollination as each area continues to expand.

The three most significant developments for personal enrichment in the 20th century have been the automobile, the personal computer and the Internet. As we move forward into the 21th century, it seems like they will all be fused together within Google's vehicles, creating a diverse marketplace for expansion. Robot taxis, unmanned delivery vehicles and on-demand rental cars are all likely applications of this technology. One can imagine combination automobile/offices, allowing small businesses to handle all their transportation, data storage, communications and other needs right inside their vehicles with no need for expensive real estate or landline phone and network infrastructure.

A few people in the automotive industry dismiss self-driving cars as a fad or as something that most drivers won't be terribly enthused about. Most industry insiders, however, realize the potential that these developments bring to the industry. The seriousness with which auto manufacturers contemplate these new advances is evidenced by the fact that many of them are working on their own models. Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are just a few of the big names developing their own iterations of the self-driving paradigm.


There are significant resources being invested today in cars that operate themselves. Even in the unlikely case that Google's efforts falter, plenty of other firms are ready to take up the slack. One way or another, completely automatic transportation machines will change the way people commute, communicate, and carry out almost every aspect of their lives. 

Mail me for Guest Posts in dilipstechnoblog.com (dilipgeoffrey@gmail.com)

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