Thursday, August 17, 2017

UAG expands rugged cases line to Microsoft Surface laptop



For adventure seekers, Urban Armor Gear has introduced a new rugged case for the Microsoft Surface laptop that is built to military drop-test standards.

Widely known as the maker of various rugged cases for the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices, UAG strives to offer protection for thrill-seekers out on the trails with their mobile gear.

"Laptops hold so much valuable information, and we are delighted to introduce a case that is designed to offer ultimate protection for Microsoft Surface devices," said Michael McVerry, Senior Marketing Manager at UAG.



Their latest case for the Surface laptop will cost around $80 for a dual-lock screen closure, tactile grips, and of course, a Surface Pen Holder. Your color choice is limited to Ice, which seems to be a popular choice for their cases for other devices.

I recently reviewed the case for the iPhone 7 and found it to be well constructed and lightweight. My iPhone was well protected and I would also consider a UAG case for the Surface laptop if one appears under the Christmas Tree.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Vizio brings Amazon Video, more apps to SmartCast TV platform



Find the TV remote, because Vizio Inc. is hoping to grab your attention with Amazon Video on their SmartCast TV platform.

With just a few taps of the remote, SmartCast TV users can access content from Amazon Video, along with other favorite apps such as Crackle, Hulu, iHeartRadio, Netflix, Pluto TV, Vudu and XUMO1 on the big screen.

The new features are available now to all 2017 VIZIO SmartCast P-Series and M-Series Ultra HD Displays, with plans to add additional series such as 2017 VIZIO SmartCast E-Series Ultra HD Displays later this summer.

Amazon Video allows consumers to buy or rent thousands of movies, while also granting unlimited access to thousands of titles, such as the Amazon Original Series and Movies such as Transparent, The Grand Tour and Manchester by the Sea and kids series Tumble Leaf. For new Prime customers, there is free 30-day trial to try out Prime Video.

"With the recent launch of SmartCast TV, one of the things we're most excited about is providing consumers with added entertainment options," said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. "Amazon Video brings an array of content options to the screen, all accessible on the traditional remote via the Amazon Video button. We're glad to continue to bring in-demand content and solutions to our customers."

The addition of Amazon Video to VIZIO SmartCast TV gives consumers access to even more content options with features including select 4K Ultra HD titles on compatible displays featuring VIZIO SmartCast TV. Because the app is accessible directly from the display, Amazon Prime members can now easily access movies and TV episodes without the need for a separate streaming device.

To get started, you'll need the new 2017 remote featuring the V-button, which has a one-button access to the VIZIO SmartCast TV user interface, along with shortcut keys to top apps, including Amazon Video.

If you already have an eligible Vizo model TV and meet certain conditions, you can receive the new SmartCast remote free or for a nominal fee.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Using cloud-based software to improve teamwork in the workplace

By Toni Tantlinger | News and Experts

Most businesses recognize that employee collaboration is a must for a productive and efficient workplace.

But many companies aren’t set up properly to take the greatest advantage of one of their best tools for promoting that collaboration – technology, says Mayur Ramgir, founder and CEO of Zonopact Inc.,, creator of the Clintra cloud-based software platform that allows businesses to store and access all their data in one location.

“What I’ve found is businesses often have their data segmented,” Ramgir says.

“One department has client information stored in a particular location, but other departments either don’t have access to it or can’t easily find it. That deters rather than promotes collaboration.”

While there can be reasons to limit access to some data, business leaders need to understand that they are missing out on effective ways to let technology encourage teamwork in the workplace.

“Employees become frustrated if there’s a file they need, but they have to spend too much time searching through a disorganized system to locate it,” Ramgir says.

When used the right way, though, technology helps strengthen existing communication channels and identify new collaboration opportunities, he says.

“Some companies do get it,” Ramgir says. “For example, when we were developing Clintra, we kept hearing from businesses about their need for an integrated system to manage projects, sales, clients and prospects more efficiently. So sometimes business leaders know what they want from technology; they just aren’t always sure how to get there.”

He says there numerous ways technology can help businesses improve teamwork among employees. A few additional ideas are:

Email and videoconferencing. These are a couple of the most basic ways technology can be used. They are especially helpful when employees who need to work together are scattered at remote locations. Sometimes people criticize the use of email when a face-to-face conversation would be just as easy – and email is overused at times. But it’s also an efficient way to quickly share important information with several co-workers at the same time without calling everyone away from their desks. Videoconferencing, such as Skype, is especially helpful when there is visual information that needs to be shared, such as demonstration of a new product.

Centralized work groups. Even email and Skype have limitations, especially when different departments within a business are involved, Ramgir says. Developing centralized groups to make sharing client information easier can greatly improve both communication and collaboration, Ramgir says. With the right technology, teams can brainstorm, share ideas, create and manage projects, and divide tasks and activities.

Online training courses. Teamwork requires that everyone understands their role and the goals of the company, which means employee training is essential. But handing employees an imposingly large training manual may not be the best way to accomplish that goal. They may not read it. Even if they do, they may not retain much of what they read. More effective, Ramgir says, is to make use of online training courses that are interactive, requiring that the employees be engaged. A quiz at the end can help ensure employees learned the key lessons.

“When you use technology to improve teamwork,” Ramgir says, “you’re very likely to see a boost in productivity, performance and profitability.”

About Mayur Ramgir

Mayur Ramgir (www.mayurramgir.com) is founder and CEO of Zonopact Inc., creator of the Clintra cloud-based software platform. He has more than 14 years experience in software engineering and holds a Computational Science and Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He also is author of “Unbarred Innovation: A Pathway to Greatest Discoveries.”

Article courtesy of News and Experts, a division of EMSI



Sunday, November 20, 2016

UAG case offers ultimate impact resistant protection for iPhone 7

As soon as the iPhone 7 was available, the case manufacturers were out of the gate with their offerings for protection against slippery hands and other mishaps.

I have been testing an impressive case from Urban Armor Gear that offers the utmost protection from impact and shock, such as accidental drops and all an around rough and tumble lifestyle. This feather-light case from UAG's Monarch Series is built to military specifications and should handle any mishaps from urban warriors.

Coming out of the packaging, you'll notice how light the case is at around 1.4 ounces and how sturdy the design feels in your hands. There are no less than four textured rubber grips in strategic locations around the edge of the case to help guard against slipping from your hands. On the back side, you'll find more innovative design touches in the polycarbonate shear textured material, an embossed UAG logo and other alloy metal design elements to help you maintain a good grip, as well as maximum protection from impact. A rubber lip around front of the case will raise your smartphone slightly off the surface when placed face down. In the area of protection, UAG seems to have hit all the bases.



The case fits tightly around the phone and the cutouts are precise for the speaker, Lightning connector and mute switch. Upon close examination, you'll see no visible gaps for dust particles to get inside case, which is a problem I've had with other lesser-quality cases. The rocker switch for the volume and the on/off button are also covered with a textured rubber material and function just as well as the original controls without a case.

According to UAG, special attention was given to the cutout around the camera lens and flash to eliminate glare. The overall attention to detail in this case is remarkable and worth consideration.

If you're shopping for the ultimate protection for your iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, or 6 to 6s Plus, around $60 would be a good investment for the UAG protective case with a 10-year warranty. They are available in Graphite and Platinum for the iPhone 7 series.

With the UAG Monarch Series cases, you'll get military-grade protection and a stylish appearance.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jackery Jewel Lightning Power Cable offers charging, spare battery

Anytime you can combine two functions into one is a plus in the technology world. That's why having a charging cable and battery together is probably going to be a big hit.

The Jackery Jewel 2-in-1 Lightning Power Cable with an integrated battery is being pitched as the first ever Apple certified product to have this capability for extending iPhones' and iPads' battery power.

The innovative cable from this Silicon Valley company can be charged from any USB outlet and also can be used to transfer files to computers or other devices.

If you have an Apple device low on power, the Jackery Jewel can muster up an additional 20 percent of extra power and is rated at keeping an iPhone 6S charged for up to three extra hours of standby time.

The cable is 39.4 inches in length, with the battery and circuit board inside a rugged plastic shell. A built-in LED gives battery information with red, green or blue levels, while also flashing in charging mode until completely charged.

The cost is a reasonable $19.99 from a company whose mission includes "empowering people on the go" and is available now on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Knock twice for a quick look inside this LG InstaView refrigerator



The technology of kitchen appliances is certainly not going to take a back seat to smartphones and smartwatches. Smart-refrigerators are on the way.

LG Electronics is pushing kitchen technology forward with their InstaView feature on four new refrigerators coming soon to select retailers.

Using a sleek glass panel that illuminates with two knocks, you'll be able to take a peek inside without opening the door.  If you see something enticing, the item can be accessed without opening the entire refrigerator. To prevent the loss of cold air, LG has incorporated a barrier between the interior compartment and the rest of the refrigerator.

Although the door-in-door feature has been around for a while, LG's InstaView technology adds another level of innovation. Shoppers can start knocking on LG's hi-tech refrigerator doors in September for around $4,500.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Toddy Cable to bring jazzy design, personalization to charging

When it comes to charging your smartphone or tablet, it’s just another mundane task with a skinny cable. There is not much to see there and certainly nothing to get excited about.

But the Toddy Cable, a new charging cable coming down the pikes from Toddy Gear, Inc., is about to add some spice to charging your electronics.

The idea behind the Toddy Cable includes personalization options to make your cable unique and less likely to be borrowed and not returned. Getting personal with the design for a Toddy Cable is easy enough by simply choosing from a selection of popular patterns and colors created with a 3D modeling process. You can also add a name, favorite quote or logo. For even more creative possibilities, you can upload your own design.

The cables I’ve been testing has an eye-catching design with alternating shades of purple, blue, green and orange colors, intertwined with white slashes and has my name engraved on the flat USB connector. It’s quite jazzy and there are hundreds of designs to choose from, with names like Princess, Blossom and Steel Will. In an office environment, it stands out on my desk and everyone knows it’s my charging cable.

"It's time for cable to catch up to our personal style, said Todd Gabel, Founder, Toddy Gear. "Phone cases are available in fun patterns and are customizable, it's time that cables to join these ranks."

The Toddy Gear team, based in Chicago, Illinois, has all the bases covered with a cable for Android micro USB devices, Apple devices that use the Lightning connector and a combination Android cable with Apple MFI Adaptor. With the latter cable option, you’re set for charing Android smartphones as well as other Micro USB devices, such as my Windows HP tablet. For iPhones and iPads, just slip on the Apple Adaptor.

The cable seem to be well constructed and feels like a quality product in your hands. According to the company it has a flexible outer jacket of PVC material and aluminum connectors that are friendly with most cases. Under the hood are high-quality wires protected by shielding and braiding and high-resistance insulation. With a flat design, the Toddy Cable is about twice as wide as my Apple charging cable, but is still flexible and can roll into a compact package for storage.

The Toddy Cable is about three feet in length and falls about an inch and a half short of the length of an Apple Lightning charging cable. But in my opinion, that’s not a deal breaker.

I expect the Toddy Cable to sail through the Kickstarter campaign started in early April and be in retail outlets soon. Look for it and apply your personal style.