Category Archives: Tech

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Tires On Fire For Three!

Fires are dangerous however much we need fire to do some of the things we need in life. If it is big enough, it can spread quickly, it can destroy properties, and it can destroy lives, literally and figuratively. This is the reason why we have brave people who work to help out in case there are fires happening, we have the firefighters.

The fires can be stopped quickly but there are some that can run for a long time, eating more of the properties along the way, destruction of life and property in its wake. For the Sturgis Fire Department, three hours of firefighting is also hard work. The brave firefighters from this fire department spent three hours on the scene of a fire in a tire recycling and manufacturing facility. The facility’s crew started seeing smoke come out from the north end of the building and thought that a piece of equipment was on fire. Upon entering the building, the firefighters noticed that black smoke was coming from a tire granulator and the fire source are rubber or nylon pieces at the bottom of the machine. Thankfully after the hours, the fire was extinguished and it was declared to be fire-out.

Cobalt Holdings, LLC are processing at least 10,000 tonnes of tire scraps every year as stated by the company’s website and a tire granulator is there to grind and shred them to pieces in preparation for recycling. Thankfully, there are no injuries were reported as the workers and employees were evacuated as soon as the fire department was called into action. The possible source of the fire is known but the cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Estimated cost of the affected properties and damages was not yet determined at the time of writing.

There was a lot of support provided in putting out the fire coming from the Sturgis Police Department, Lifecare Ambulance, and Sturgis Electric. Tri-Township Fire Department was also placed on standby during the situation. This happened March 8, 2017. This is a lesson learned for businesses, especially those that deal with materials and machines that can cause fires, so much like a tire granulator and even simple shredders. Accidents do happen. Fire happens.

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Benefits Of Using An Open Source Card Management System

For starters, the term “open source” refers to a software that runs in a source code which provides rights to others to study, manipulate and eventually, distribute a program that was created using the language used for open source software. For sure, some of you may have already used the term “open source operating system”, which is generally the operating system which can be used to create and run open source programs. One system which can be developed by using the open source operating system is the card management system.

To begin with, a card management system is basically a computer-programmed system that is employed by companies for one purpose: to manage the life cycle of smart cards from the time details of cardholders are encoded up to the management of data stored in the cards themselves. A card management system is also used by banking and lending institutions for their smart cards that can act as their clients’ debit or credit cards. Like all systems that can be developed by computer, you can actually create your card management system using open source operating system and believe it or not, it has more benefits compared to the ones developed by using the usual programming language used in Windows or Macintosh operating systems. If you employ the use of an open source-based system, you will get the following benefits:

  • The use of open source operating system for any systems in a company will give you more flexibility in terms of what your system can do and how it will perform once it goes live. This is something you can’t enjoy in Windows and most especially in Macintosh. You see, when you use open source, the possibilities are endless. You have more control especially in the security features of your system.
  • Creating a system using open source operating system is cheaper. This is because you don’t have to pay just to get the codes that you need to reprogram. The entire source code is readily provided upon.
  • Your system will be updated more than frequently to make sure it can adapt to the technological advancement of today’s world. This include the latest and newest security features which can help preserve the authenticity of the data stored in the smart cards.
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Bridgetek Will Demo Their Home Automation Tech At CES

For this coming CES, Bridgetek has already announced that they are going to make a demonstration of their home automation system called PanL. The platform have features that make it possible for users to control a number of heating systems, security systems, lighting systems as well as air condition systems present inside the house by employing only a single point of contact.

There is not much coherence in the present state of the home automation market because of the systems that are developed by different manufacturers that utilize only its specific proprietary control technology. With this, users are forced to use not only one but different apps for specific purposes.

With this setup, the home automation system presents inconvenience in a way and its technology can be deemed as frustrating at times. Users have the desire to get a technology wherein everything is centralized without the need to create specific controls for each of the systems present inside the property.

With the PanL home automation, there are hubs that are made up of a wide variety of connection options either wired or wireless such as an Ethernet that is PoE-enabled with 100Base-T, a BLE or Bluetooth low energy and 802.11 b/g/n or more commonly known as Wi-Fi. Because of these, the tech has the capacity to connect at a number of systems at the same time. The processors used are 32-bit microcontrollers that are in the Bridgetek FT900 series.

Every unit has a second generation FT813 EVE or embedded video engine that is used by the high resolution graphic controllers which is responsible for the human machine interface or HMI of the system. This is the reason why the control available for the users is simple to use as well as intuitive. It also gives them access to content with rich graphics and a multi-touch function.

One of the biggest benefits of having a centralized approach that is adapted by PanL’s home automation systems is that the different systems are operating in a coordinated manner. Moreover, data coming from various systems can be joined together thus homeowners will be able to monitor their energy consumption as a whole.

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Office 365’s Recent Updates Simplify Accessibility Options

During the company’s Surface event this year, Microsoft showcased a lot of its accessibility features integrated into its software and hardware. This month, Redmond has continued the work. The recent accessibility features for windows 10, such as the updates to the narrator text-to-speech program and the support for Braille, were made public. Microsoft is also going a step forward and rolling out several new updates for Office that are created to assist the users to easily create content, which is accessible and readable by all people.

New accessibility features from Microsoft

According to Kirk Koenigsbauer, the Office VP for Microsoft, his team already moved this recent Accessibility Checker at the front and centre of every primary Office application from PowerPoint, Word and Excel to Outlook, Visio and OneNote. The feature, located in the Review tab, is going to analyse a document and suggest modifications or fixes, which is going to make sure that the content is consumed by everyone without restrictions regardless of their different levels of mobility, cognition, hearing and vision. Aside from ensuring the documents are readable, the focus is to assist users be better in terms of building hugely accessible documents throughout time.

Outlook is also going to benefit from the Accessibility Checker through the addition of a MailTip, which alerts co-workers about possible accessibility preferences for the person they are intending to compose an email to. The MailTip is going to remind them to run the Accessibility Checker prior to sending the email so that it is ensured that everything is going to be readable by each person in a team.

 

Alt-text recommendations

Lastly, PowerPoint and Word are going to provide intelligent and automatic generated alternate texts for the images in presentations and documents. With the use of the Computer Vision Cognitive Service, an in-house Microsoft service, PowerPoint and Word are able to analyse images, while saving time through the proposal of text descriptions for the users having visual impairments.

The Accessibility Checker is currently offered in Windows machines and some Office for Mac applications. On the other hand, the alt-text recommendations are still coming soon, as stated by Microsoft.

For more information about Office tools, it is best to avail of courses, such as a Microsoft Word training or an Excel training, to know the ins and outs of the Microsoft applications.

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Seeing The Bike’s History Through The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum And Hall Of Fame

For anyone who walks down Lazelle Street or Main Street especially during a Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, he is bound to see bikes suited in modern technology. Meanwhile, a step inside Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame shows anyone a history of the motorcycles which were far simpler yet advanced than they seem.

Inside the museum

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame has two floors displaying a collection of American, Japanese and European bikes alongside a couple of customs.

For anyone who goes through the single entrance door looking towards the left, a 1998 Excelsior Henderson is seen in its crate.

In the first floor, there are old Indians, Harleys, an ACE Inline 4 from 1992 and a restored Flying Merkel.

There are different photos, paraphernalia, patches and other notable items from the past displayed in walls.

There is also a small area paying homage to Clarence “Pappy Hoel” who is the founder of the Sturgis Rally.

On a back wall, there are pictures from the many rallies providing a sense of how the event has evolved from over the years.

There are bikes, scooters and history from Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons, Ariels and Hondas. A Vincent Black Shadow is also displayed elevated and featured solo.

The bikes telling the stories

There is little technology used in the museum to communicate or inform goers of the history of these motorcycles or the rallies. There are only a number of monitors playing the World’s Fastest Indian and some short clips of documentaries and interview.

The challenge of the museum

According to the executive director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, Myrick Robbins, they already recognize the need to integrate modern technology for anyone to have a great museum experience. He already has bigger plans. With just being on the job for 3 months, he has already a vision of the museum being something more.

Even though the museum has a lot to improve on, for someone who is an enthusiasts of motorcycles and of Solo motorcycle parts

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Why Self-driving Vehicles Will Not Affect Jobs

It was only last Thursday that Uber made an announcement regarding its plan to offer rides in Pittsburgh for customers using self-driving vehicles. The announcement brought about feeling of dismay to people who think they might be losing their jobs soon. There is no denying the fact that sharing economy companies such as Uber are expected to represent the largest source when it comes to job increase in the economy of the country. When Uber decided to turn into automated vehicles, does this mean that workers are going to lose their jobs?

During an interview conducted by Business Insider with the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, he argues that all drivers of Uber should not be dismayed. He estimated that there will still be a lot of works for drivers in many years to come. He said that in cities such as the Bay Area or San Francisco, there are around 30,000 active drivers working for the company. The company is planning to expand from 30,000 vehicles to maybe a million in the future. When the data has reached million, there is still a need for the company to use vehicles that are human driven or hybrids. This is because there are a lot of locations wherein self-driving cars won’t be able to reach or there are conditions that an automated vehicle might not be able to handle properly compared to human. While the jobs offered may only be a small percentage of the entire fleet, it is still expected that there will be around 50,000 to 100,000 human drivers needed for a million-car company. Kalanick said that the need for human drivers will not dwindle as fast as everyone thinks.

The argument that Kalanick is putting up is not a made-up one since there are other industries where it has happened. Take for example the time when automated teller machines were released and many assumed that because of this machine a lot of bank tellers will be losing their jobs. That was not the case. Uber drivers need not worry because they will be keeping their jobs in bkk.

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How Technology Is Helping The Home Improvement Industry

Years ago, if a homeowner wanted to hire the services of painters and decorators for a home improvement project, they had to call a neighbor or some friends. There is a desperate search for whosoever can vouch for a worker who will be allowed to enter the home. However with technology, a homeowner can find contractors, get quotes and fix appointments without literally moving from the couch.

Recently, online home-service companies have cropped up to offer homeowners something that would otherwise be difficult to find – a level of trust when searching for a contractor. These services are different from online listings because they are making the effort to build relationships between customers and professionals.

Initial hesitation towards online services is common but since consumers are already buying their food and clothes online, it makes sense that they will also look for help online to carryout home projects. Seattle has become the hub for home improvement marketplace with Amazon.com, Porch.com and a division of Zillow known as Digs that is active in the region. In fact the industry is already crowded with Angle’s List, Houzz and Google that made an entry in August.

During the recession, remodeling took a 15% to 20% hit but now home improvements and repairs are predicted to become a $300 billion industry. Remodeling industry that is one of the most fragmented in the economy but it is being boosted by technology because it is creating opportunities in the market.

Technology is helping customers connect with contractors so that they will know in advance the estimated costs of the project. Online sites are convincing customers that their professionals do the best job at fair prices. Everything has been made more simple and efficient.

For example, a customer who buys a bookshelf from Amazon can easily book for a professional to do the installation. People are also writing reviews for products and services. Home professionals are not required to pay to advertise with Amazon; however, they are vetted rigorously before they can participate on the site.

If you are searching for professional painters and decorators in Southampton and Winchester, you can always visit Pro Decor for high quality decorating services.

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Utah Limousine And The Technology Of Green Fleet

Bellagio Limousines offers chauffeured limousines so that you can arrive in style for an event. Limousines are the best option if you are preparing a special surprise package for a love one. For example, if you are planning on a romantic getaway, there is no better transport that you could hire than a limousine.

Sam Levin owns a taxi service named Utah Limousines and he outfitted his fleet of Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Suburban with technology that runs on natural gas instead of the typical gas from the pumps. Sam got sick because of driving through smog in winter and sucking in hazardous fumes every time an inversion settled in Salt Lake Valley.

According to Sam, air quality is a struggle particularly during winter that many people complain about it. Sam thought that he could lure customers through green fleet. Project Green Fleet is a voluntary program that provides pollution control equipment for diesel vehicles at low or no costs to the fleet. The technology reduces emissions by decreasing vehicle idling, by treating exhaust or by replacing entire engines with modern and cleaner substitutes.

However, several years later, Sam found out that going green for the sake of the environment is not increasing his profits. He expected that there will be more customers once they know about the eco-friendly limousines. Reception was lackluster. Business however has been particularly solid during winter but it seems that people are not thinking about the environment when they take transportation.

Sam really had the desire to help the environment although it was not the reason why he is in the transportation industry. He was a former IT worker but when he moved to Salt Lake he can’t find equivalent work but a few odd jobs. He later discovered that he can make a living with driving so he build a website and the rest is history. He was however disappointed when his efforts at going green was unappreciated.

He has one client who shares his passion to keep the skies smog-free. Sam once drove for Daryl Hannah who is a vocal supporter to save the environment and she is definitely pleased that Sam is doing his share.

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Abbott Releases New Laser Eye System Developed Using Space Tech

Abbot Medical Optics has recently launched a new device called iDesign Advanced WaveScan Studio System that would allow a more personalized procedure for laser eye surgery patients during laser surgery and laser eye surgery Glasgow cost may even lessen. The iDesign, which was approved by the USFDA in May, also reduces the minimum age required for laser eye procedure by at least three years.

Head of research and development for Abbot Dr. Leonard Borrman says that this new technology marks a greater leap for the US vision correction industry due to a more personalized treatment depending on the uniqueness of the person’s eye.

The iDesign system creates a 3D map of the eye that enables surgeons and eye doctors to see areas of the eye that they could not normally see prior to the introduction of the iDesign device, which was developed using space-age technology being used for NASA’s telescopes.

The system reads the eye at a right five times more than the WaveScan Wavefront, the current system being used, in only about three seconds. The scanning is able to properly identify the eye’s pupil shape and its curvature.

Using this scan, the 3D map is created and is translated into a plan, which is transferred as a blueprint for the laser’s movements during the operation.

The government has previously partnered with Abbot in other projects in the past especially using the latter’s i-STAT system in evaluating concussions of US soldiers.

The study
334 human eyes were used to conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of the iDesign System. The study lasted for two years.

Dr. Maloney, who participated as a surgeon in the study and who has been actively in practice since the first laser eye surgery in 1991, says that the iDesign shows a great improvement and development in the laser eye procedure. He plans on replacing his machine with the iDesign once he receives his version from Abbott.

Among the 334 eyes, almost all but three patients did not feel any difficulty regarding the clarity of their vision amounting to a 99% success rate. Furthermore, 97% of the patients did not feel any difficulty regarding their daily activities post-operation. The study also shows that there was a significant improvement in night driving for patients as well as glare reduction.

One of the patients, Elizabeth Gaffron, said that she believed the new technology made her confident about the success of the procedure and that, with the previous technology, she could not have had a better vision than she does right now.

The iDesign System is only currently allowed to treat nearsightedness and is reported to correct an eye for a 20/20 vision. However, Borrman believes that significant improvements in the system will make it the mainstream for eye surgeons today for other procedures like astigmatism and farsightedness, pending approval of the USFDA of course.