Apple’s iPad Mini might be the best tablet value

Looking for that perfect tablet? You have an abundance of choices today, from classic iPad to the upstart Galaxy tablets. But which gadget is actually the best to buy? Which gives you top capabilities at a reasonable cost? And, this being tablets we’re talking about, which best fits in your purse or book bag? One Website has a interesting answer: the iPad Mini.

The Benefits of the Mini

Staffers at the WireCutter blog advise the iPad Mini for one simple reason: It’s equally as powerful as its more substantial cousin, however it weighs less. For the staffers of WireCutter, the traditional iPad’s heft, as they refer to it, has become a serious problem. As the staffers wrote inside a recent article, you can’t support the traditional iPad like a magazine, which is the ultimate purpose of a tablet. That’s because its weight is more similar to a hefty coffee table or perhaps thinner telephone book. The iPad Mini, in contrast? It really is light.

Function

Of course, the Mini’s small size isn’t enough to recommend it as the very best tablet on the market. The editors of WireCutter also discovered that it performed exceptionally well. As reported by these editors, watching movies on the iPad Mini is a pleasure. Same goes with listening to music, surfing the Internet and playing video games. This performance, combined with the lighter weight and smaller size of the Mini, combine to make the iPad Mini the top tablet for informed shoppers today, WireCutter wrote.

The right recommendation?

Of course, this is simply one Web site’s viewpoint. Your opinion may differ. The obvious way to determine which tablet is right for you: Shop around. Experiment with the numerous tablets at the nearest bookstore or technology retailer. See which of them feel too heavy, which ones boast the best graphics and which have the most intuitive Browser or greatest variety of apps. It may seem like there are too many tablets available today. But wouldn’t you prefer too many of these wonderful devices than too few?

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Internet trivia for a new year

It’s tough to envision a world minus the Internet. After all, so many of us use the Internet now to watch movies, talk with our friends, play games and catch up on current events. But how much do you understand the Internet and how it works? You may be surprised at all you are not aware of. The Web site Business Insider recently took an intriguing look at the world of the web, paying special attention to those little factoids that you should but most likely have no idea of.

Facebook is King

We are all aware Facebook is big. But the social networking company isn’t just big. It dominates cyberspace. Business Insider quoted data from Hitwise to discover just how big of a player Facebook has become: Facebook accounts for one in every five page views on the Internet. Facebook also, in September of 2012, reached 1 billion users.

The Biggest Data Center is Rising in Utah

Business Insider also mentioned of the fact that largest data center in the world is now being built in Utah. The National Security Agency is behind this center, and when the data center is complete, it will store a yottabyte of data. You might not know just what a yottabyte is. But it’s huge. It equals 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes, according to Business Insider.

Streaming is on the Rise

Do you stream movies or Tv programs on your TV, computer or tablet? Even if you don’t, the possibilities are high that your neighbor probably does. Streaming became one of the Internet’s most widely used features. As stated by the Business Insider story, quoting statistics from Harris Interactive, greater than 50 percent of U.S. residents are using the Internet to watch TV. Streaming video has grown to be a particularly desired service among the many younger customers which are flocking to Web streaming. As per Business Insider, streaming is a huge hit among users under the age of 35.

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A standing desk can keep your heart healthy

If you work in an office, you may unwittingly be setting yourself up for health problems. According to a recent story by NPR, people who spend too much time sitting during the week face a greater probability of heart related illnesses compared to those people who are more physically active. The NPR report quoted a researcher from South Carolina University who discovered that men who sat more than 23 hours each week were 64 percent more likely to die from heart disease than were those that sat fewer than 11 hours in the average week.

The Good News

But there is good news, too: It is possible to dramatically reduce the number of hours each week that you sit by creating your own standing desk, a desk at which you stand as opposed to sit. Best of all? You can build that standing desk even if you are not handy or you haven’t got many dollars to shell out. Website Lifehacker recently gave a unique recipe for a standing desk, one which uses reasonably priced parts that you can find at any Ikea furniture store.

The Easy Way

Need an easy desk for yourself? Lifehacker suggests creating a standing desk with Utby legs. This is a smaller desk, but it will provide you with enough room for a monitor, keyboard and laptop. For this desk, you’ll need a Vika Amon Top, Utby underframe, Ekby Jarpen shelf and one set of Capita legs, all of which you can find at Ikea for a total of approximately $140. According to Lifehacker, you can put this desk together by just assembling the main desk and platform using a screwdriver.

A Bit More Complicated

Do you want a desk with a wider top, one which will provide you with more room for your speakers, keyboard and monitor? Why not construct a wide standing desk completely from Ikea parts? Lifehacker recommends that you invest about $250 in five Vika Byske legs, one Lack shelf, two packages of Capita brackets and one Vida Amon tabletop. Then, with just the help of a power drill, you’ll be able to come up with a standing desk that includes more room.

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Struggling to master Excel? Follow these three tips

If you’re like most people who use computers, you make use of Excel on a daily basis, whether you’re figuring out your household expenses and income or figuring out what each of your company’s sales representatives sold for the month. But, if you’re really like the majority of Excel users, the possibilities are also good that you are not making use of this program to its full capacity. Excel can be a truly powerful software. You only need to learn how to tap into its full power. Here, then, are three tricks to help you get more from Excel.

Adding non-contiguous values

Excel’s AutoSum option is an incredibly useful tool. It lets users instantly add rows of numbers together to calculate a single sum. Way too many users, though, don’t know the way you use AutoSum to add values which aren’t contiguous, or adjacent, to one another. Fortunately, this task isn’t as complicated as users might think. The TechRebpublic blog recently highlighted how users are able to use AutoSum to include non-contiguous sums. The procedure involves picking one column of numbers and holding the computer’s “Control” key to select a second column. Users are able to use AutoSum to compute the sums of both columns, even if they’re not located alongside the other.

Preventing bad data entry

Do your employees often enter bad data within your company spreadsheets? Your workers might be entering text in a spreadsheet designed just to accommodate numbers. This is often a frustrating situation when it’s time to analyze your spreadsheet. The good news, though, as PC Magazine wrote in a recent story, is the fact that Excel features a method intended to protect against personnel from typing the wrong information inside a company spreadsheet. This phenomenal feature? It’s known as Data Validation. Click on the “Table Tools” tab on Excel. Next, click “Data Validation.” Excel then will allow you to enter just what type of data your employees need to be entering into the spreadsheet. As an illustration, you could tell Excel just to allow numbers and never text inside a spreadsheet’s fields. Excel will prevent employees from entering an incorrect kind of data.

Don’t let unsaved files ruin your day

We all get that sinking feeling when our computers turn off while we’re working with an Excel file that we never saved. Fortunately, with newer versions of Excel, there’s no cause for that feeling. That’s because Excel makes it simple to easily recover documents which you thought you lost. To recover these important files, click the “File” tab in Excel. Then click “Recover Unsaved Documents.” After this, you simply select the “lost” document once it appears on your screen. This procedure works for Excel files that you never even gave a name.

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Tech watch: What happened in 2012, what will happen next year

How important was modern technology this year? It changed the way we fought terrorists. It changed the way presidential candidates won election. Also it definitely changed the gifts we received underneath the Christmas tree. Technology continues to advance, becoming easier for people to grasp and a lot more powerful on a daily basis. But exactly what does the future hold? Expect consumers to spend a lot more of their cash on tech toys in 2013. Expect tablet computers to get even smaller and much more powerful. And expect consumers to continue to replace their desktop computing with hours spent surfing the web, texting friends and watching video with their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. This is a quick look at the top technology stories of the year as well as a look ahead to what we think stands out as the biggest tech trends of 2013.

Obama’s grip on election tech

The 2012 presidential election was meant to be a nail biter. In the end it was not. Pres. Obama won reelection with more than 300 Electoral College votes, turning away a late challenge by opponent Mitt Romney. A part of the credit has to go to Obama’s superior polling technology, called Narwhal. Obama knew which voters he had to win over. And he centered on those voters with laser-like precision throughout the election campaign. Romney’s vaunted Project Orca, designed to work as a massive get-out-the-vote machine for Romney, ended up as an epic failure. Orca even broke down during election day, dealing a significant setback to a campaign which was already struggling. Technology also changed how newspapers and Web sites reported on the election. During the 2012 campaign, candidates were fact-checked almost instantly during debates and campaign speeches by reporters and fact-checkers using Twitter. It’s safe to say that neither candidates nor reporters will view election campaigns in the same way.

Drones

The rise of unmanned drones became one of the most heated tech stories of 2012. The federal government captured the interest of reporters with its successful Predator drone strikes against some of the most-wanted terrorists throughout the world. Some hailed drones as being the new frontier in warfare. In any case, the tech behind these drones permits the government to concentrate on dangerous terrorists without putting the lives of soldiers in danger. Critics, though, point out the drones aren’t perfect, and also their mistakes are often deadly. Many times, they claim, the drones killed civilians in addition to their terrorist targets. Other critics say that there is little to stop the federal government from utilizing unmanned drones to spy on the United States’ own citizens. Inspite of the controversy, there is little doubt that the utilization of unmanned drones will continue to rise in 2013 and beyond.

The coming year

What can consumers anticipate seeing tech-wise in the coming year? More. That’s more consumers embracing mobile computing, switching off their desktop PCs and surfing the Web, sending e-mail messages, texting, reading books, watching movies and enjoying music on tablets and powerful smart phones. More also means that consumers will continue to open their wallets for the latest technology. Tablets and smart phones were sizzling sellers through the recently concluded christmas shopping season. Count on seeing even more of these mobile devices under Christmas trees next year. And finally, more means that technology will spread to a growing group of emerging countries. Expect developing countries to flock to social media, laptops and mobile devices as these technologies gradually become open to them. People like technology, wherever they live.

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Tips To Reduce Desktop Clutter

Clutter can build up on your desk quickly. It can get in the way of your work if you must move papers in order to reach your mouse. What about under your desk? Do your feet get twisted in a mess of cords? If this sounds like you, below are a few tips to help your get your wires and work under control.

  1. Tackle the wires – You can organize your wires a couple easy ways. One is very inexpensive, just use binder clips and clip the wires together. Another, more costly option, is to buy a wireless charging pad, often called a powermat. These devices let you charge your wireless mouse, keyboard, and devices just by putting them on it. This way you can get rid of all of the cords you need for either charging devices or connecting them to your computer.
  2. Reduce desktop clutter – Often, our desks can become cluttered with papers. The most effective way to reduce this is to use less paper. We rely so much on digital communication it is an easy switch to use programs like Evernote to store your notes. Also, try not to print documents, just store articles and reports in folders on your computer. If you must print things out, file them away once you are done reading them. This will keep you well organized and reduce clutter.
  3. Throw things away – This may sound simple, but it’s amazing how often we will write ourselves a note on a sticky note and not throw it away when we no longer need it. Additionally, after a meeting, we may not need to keep a printout, yet we do. These notes and papers can accumulate. Practice throwing away the things you no longer need or have a digital copy of.
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Need a New Laptop: Important Features

What really matters when you’re buying a new laptop? New York Times writer Sam Grobart suggests that it’s not processor speed or a laptop’s graphics card that counts. Instead, typical laptop buyers – those who want to search the Internet, watch movies, send e-mail messages, and write reports on their machines – look at more down-to-earth measures of a laptop’s worth. Specifically, Grobart advises that consumers look at such mundane factors as a laptop’s weight, screen size, and memory.

Weight matters

Why is the weight of a laptop so essential? Once you think about it, it is obvious. Laptops are supposed to be portable, which is the reason for them. If your laptop weights more then six pounds it’s going to stress your back when you are carrying it around. Luckily, there are a many laptops that weight much less then that.

Screen size

For people that will be watching a lot of videos or movies, a good screen size to shoot for is one that measures 13 inches diagonally. This is the perfect size to watch movies and it is small enough to carry around in most bags.

Memory

One important feature to look out for is how much RAM a laptop has. Most individuals are going to need laptops that have at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. If you opt for anything less, your computer will be too slow and may create lag when you are streaming movies. One helpful tip that Grobart gives is that when you are using your laptop, either keep it plugged in or keep your power cord on hand. This way you don’t have to worry about the battery.

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Electronic Health Records: Are Doctors and Hospitals Going Digital

Everything is going digital nowadays, even medical records. Last time that you were at the doctor did they take out an envelope to access your health records? Or did your doctor pull it up on some type of computer?

Electronic health records

This is due to the recent adoption of EHR software, or electronic heath records. The application of EHR software by medial professionals has grown in recent years. The percentage of office-based physicians with access to EHR software stood at 57 percent in 201. This is an rise from the 50.7 percent of office-based physicians who used EHR software in 2010.

Electronic records good news for patients

This is a good thing. If health records are kept electronically, they are less likely to be lost. On top of that, medical professionals can access your medial history instantly. This can shorten the time that patients have to wait to see the doctor.

Federal government encouragement

The move toward digital record keeping is being encouraged by the government as well. They are also encouraging physicians to file prescriptions electronically. This may seem like a good move as the pharmacists are not as likely to make mistakes and patients are less likely to loose their prescriptions.

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You Don’t Need To Spend A Fortune On Live Chat

If you want a simple way for customers to get a hold of you, live chat may be worth looking into. With it, your clients can go directly to your website and chat directly with an individual to get their questions answered. This can be very convenient for them.

Anyone home?

Ivana Taylor recently wrote an article for the American Express OPEN Forum pertaining to live chat. She believes that live chat can make your organization more available to consumers, which could be the difference between someone going with your company or a competitor. When a customer has the option of talking with someone right away, it can instill confidence in them about your company.

Live chat apps

Taylor recommends four live chat tools for business owners. These tools all have two things in common: They’re effective and they’re economical, making them ideal for cash-strapped small businesses. Olark’s live chat tool is a simple app that will give your customers the chance to directly connect with your enterprise. It’s easy to install and maintain. It doesn’t, though, include a lot of extras. That might be acceptable for many small businesses, but for those that need a bit more power, Taylor recommends LiveChat.com, SnapEngage, and LivePerson. These chat tools allow business owners to use chat on mobile device and see what pages customers were investigating when they clicked on chat.

The trend

The reason this trend seems to be growing is that is can give a company an edge over a competitor. Additionally, it can instill confidence in the consumer and help build a long lasting relationship.

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Apple And The Coming Of Holograms

Technology evolves quickly and as it has evolved, technology comes into our lives changing the way we operate day to day. A lot of technology that we take for granted today seems like something out of a science fiction movie not long ago. So what is the next giant leap in technology? A writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, Ben Kunz, thinks it’s likely to be holograms.

Apple and holograms

Kunz believes that our Apple devices will quickly display interactive holograms, similar to what Robert Downey Jr.’s character was able to utilize in the movie The Avengers. This prediction is not based solely on the conjecture of one man. It is based on some recent Apple patents and acquisitions. Along with the extreme competition in the tablet industry must not be over looked. Apple needs to take a daring step soon to stay ahead of its competitors. Will that step be holograms?

Apple’s plans

How it may work: With forward-facing cameras that track the location of the viewers’ eyes and a screen that projects beams of light at different angles a hologram might be created. This hologram would also be very realistic due to the different angles created by the various beams of light. The viewer could look at it from every direction and it would retain its visual integrity.

The future of 3D?

What’s the greatest issue with 3D holograms? 3D technology has so far failed to grab the imagination of consumers. Kunz writes that the sale of 3D TV sets have been sluggish. Even games like Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system, which do not require players to put on 3D glasses, have seen lukewarm sales. So why would Apple invest heavily in the technology to make holograms? Apple seems to have a history of taking failed ideas and making them become successful. This goes all the way back to the times when Apple took the idea for the mouse from Xerox, made it more effective, and saw sales soar. Apple also debuted its iPhone and iPad devices long after Microsoft first tried to introduce a pen-based tablet PC that never quite caught on. Also, Apple’s 3D holograms will be different. They’ll be a great deal more realistic, and they won’t call for users to wear 3D glasses to view them. So what’s the message here? Get ready for holograms. Once Apple’s programmers get moving on a technology, they rarely misfire.

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