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Features in Windows 10 You May Not Be Aware Of?

windows 10 14328 580797c43df78cbc285096a1 - Features in Windows 10 You May Not Be Aware Of?

Unless you’ve opted to use an Apple product, many of the laptops or computers you use will come with a version of Windows. Although Windows XP was popular for some time, it has since been replaced by Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Windows 10 took some time to win over users, but it has finally cemented itself as one of the main operating systems that people use.

Although many use the operating system on a daily basis, this doesn’t mean that every used knows about every feature included with Windows 10.

Some users may not need to use the following features, but there still worth knowing about should anything arise in the future.

The Secret Windows Menu

Those who use Windows 10 will be fully aware that clicking on the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand side of the screen will being up a menu. However, if you right-click instead of left-click, you will be greeted with a different menu.

This gives users direct access to the inner-workings of Windows 10 and allows them access to options including System Restore which you can find out more about here https://techloris.com/enable-system-restore-in-windows-10/ and Networks.

The ‘Shake’ Option

Don’t worry, this option doesn’t mean that you literally must shake the device. The ‘Shake’ option allows you to minimise other open windows so you can concentrate on one screen.

To engage the ‘Shake’ option, you just need to hover the arrow over the window you wish to use and then move then click the left button to ‘shake’ the screen. This will minimise all other windows. Want to reopen the windows? Then simply repeat the process and the previously minimised tabs will reappear.

The Desktop Button

The ‘Shake’ option is one way of minimising tabs that aren’t be used. However, if you’re just wait to gain access to your desktop but there are lots of open tabs, then you can press the ‘Desktop Button’ and all windows minimise automatically.

The button itself is hid very well, so it’s understandable why s many don’t know it even exists. It sites on the bottom right-hand side of the screen and is only identifiable via thin white line which sits next to the clock.

Playing Games with Cortana

Cortana is essentially Microsoft’s answers to Siri and Google Assist, and pretty much works in the same way, albeit within the Windows 10 operating system. The assistant is great at searching the web, making appointments and issuing reminders, but did you know you can play games with Cortona?

For example, if you fancy a game of ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ then simply say this to Cortona and they will start the game. There is even a couple of options that can help resolve disagreements. Asking Cortona to flip a coin follows with a response and a graphic of the result. A similar result is given when asking Cortona to roll the dice.

Granted, it’s not the next step of evolution when it comes to partnerships between man and machine, but it’s a fun way of passing the time and can eve hold bragging rights among your peers.

Access ‘God Mode’

There are several ways of tweaking the setting within Windows 10, but there are easier ways, and ‘God Mode’ could be the solution you’re looking for. What’s more, the process couldn’t be easier to implement.

To start, simply create a new folder. This can be placed wherever you like, but it’s recommended that you place the folder on the Desktop so it can be easily located.

Once the folder has been created, you need to rename it to the following:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

You will notice that the folder now changes into an icon and will grant you access to the Windows Master Control Panel shortcut, also known as ‘God Mode.’

Instead of having to navigate your away around numerous settings, you can access everything from one location.

Rotate the Screen

Granted, not everyone will need to rotate their screen, and some may even wonder such an option exists.

Those who use multiple displays will soon find that some configuration is needed, and soon the screen rotation option comes in handy.

Rotating the screen to suit your purpose couldn’t any easier. Simply press Ctrl + Alt + D followed by one of the arrow keys.

Another way of rotating the screen is to right-click on the Desktop screen and then Graphic Options
> Rotation.

Scroll Thought Pinned Applications

Although many of us rely on a mouse to navigate around Windows 10, there is another way of scrolling through the pinned applications at the bottom of the screen.

Simply press the Windows key followed by ‘T’ and then use the arrow keys to navigate around the pinned applications.

Create a New Desktop

Is your current desktop becoming a little congested, then you may want to split up the workload by creating an additional Desktop. This can be done by pressing the Windpws key followed by Tab.

A timeline of your recent history will show, along with an option in the top right-hand side that allows for a new desktop to be created. This ensures that those working on different projects on their machine aren’t becoming confused due to the number of windows open.

Play Xbox One Games via Windows 10

As well as creating operating systems and applications, Microsoft is also known for its Xbox consoles, and its most recent addition, the Xbox one, can be paired up with Windows 10.

Connecting to your Xbox One consoles couldn’t be any easier. You simply need to download the Xbox application that can be found within the Windows store, and ensure that both the consoles and the device you’re using are connected to the same network,

While more intensive games may suffer from lag, there are some games available that are designed exclusively for such a setup and can be a great substitute if you’re unable to use the console directly.

Although some of these tips may never be used by some Windows users, there are some that could make things a lot easier for those with more unique requirements.

 

Best Laptops for Hackintosh 2018

Where do you turn if you want to run a Mac OS but you don’t want to pay Macbook prices? Increasingly, the answer is ‘to a Hackintosh’ – a non-Apple PC that’s set up to run a Mac OS.

Of course, it’s not only cost that steers people away from Macs – the Apple model range is fairly limited, whereas the wider world of non-Apple PCs is much more diverse, both from a specification and hardware point of view.

Creating a Hackintosh isn’t always plain sailing though; when you bring together hardware and software that’s not designed to work together straight out of the box, you’re potentially opening up a can of technically difficult worms.

With this is mind, we’ve explored 6 of the best laptops for Hackintosh in 2018, with some detail around what you can expect when you’re running a Mac OS…

  1. Dell XPS 15 9530

Dell make some great laptops and their top flight XPS range stand out as excellent choices for Hackintosh builds. Most significantly, Mac OS runs without any issues, thanks largely to the Intel Core i7-4712HQ processor.

Some machines struggle to match the Apple Retina displays, offering 2880 x 1800 resolution – but the XPS has no problem in this regard, with a potential 3840 x 2160 screen resolution, meaning you get to see your Mac OS arguably better than a Mac user!

Although the XPS range are more-costly than some others on this list, the processor quality, 512gb SSD and Intel HD 4600 graphics card put it up there with some of the best performing laptops you’ll find on the market today. This is a machine that’ll run Mac OS flawlessly and still have some performance left over…

  1. Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

Generally, you’re not going to be creating a Hackintosh in an effort to look better than Apple’s iconic designs – but if you were, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro would be the machine you’d opt for. It’s a good looking piece of equipment – some might argue even better looking than a Macbook…

Specs wise, the Mi Notebook Pro is impressive – it’s got the 8th Gen Core i7 processor and 16gb of RAM, along with 256gb NVMe storage – but does that make for a good Hackintosh build?

Well, for the most part it does – but you’re going to render the Bluetooth and fingerprint scanner useless by running Mac OS – and unless you’ve got the skills and steady hand of a brain surgeon, you’re not going to be able to get under the hood and do much about that.

You might face some booting issues without properly installing the right Nvidia graphics card drivers – but when you do, you’ll get a crisp display wrapped in a stunning looking machine.

  1. Dell Inspiron 7560

While Dell aren’t going to be challenging Xiaomi in the looks department with their mid-range machines, the Inspiron 7560 is a solid performing laptop with a strong heritage – you’re not going to have any trouble finding other people who are running Hackintosh builds on Inspirons if you’re looking for some after-market help.

Specs wise, the Inspiron looks good, with an Intel Core i7 7500U chip, 8gb DDR4 x 2 RAM, Sandisk X400 128gb storage and a Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU.

Like the Xiaomi Mi Notebook, you’re going to need to find the right drivers for that Nvidia GPU if you’re doing anything beyond the onboard graphic card, but again, you’re not going to struggling finding people who’ve done exactly the same on this machine.

The Inspiron 7560 has got all the performance you need to run the latest Mac OS without any issues – and, backed up by solid hardware and an incredible battery life, you could do a lot worse than use one as a platform for your Hackintosh.

  1. HP ProBook 450 G4

If money is a little tight but you’re looking for a solid Hackintosh platform, the HP ProBook 450 G4 is a good place to be looking.

In terms of specs, it’s not quite up there with some of the others on this list, but it’s perfectly adequate for running a Mac OS build; with an Intel Core i5 7200U chip, 8gb DDR4 x 2 RAM, 128GB SSD and the Nvidia GeForce 930MX GPU.

It’s worth noting that our Bluetooth and HDMI failed to work with a Mac OS – but it’s questionable whether or not that’s going to cause you a big problem. When minor issues cropped up elsewhere we had no problem seeing quick and easy work-arounds.

It’s not the fanciest or quickest laptop on this list, but we didn’t experience any lag with our Hackintosh build – and it’ll get you up and running with some wallet breathing space…

  1. Lenovo Yoga 710

If you’re looking for a Hackintosh that’s going to offer more physically than a Macbook, then the Lenovo Yoga 710 is going to be well worth some further investigation.

The Yoga 710 is a new breed of laptop that ticks the laptop and tablet box by having a 180-degree hinge that gives you plenty of configuration options – something you won’t get with Apple unless you’re happy to spend further on an iPad.

Looks and physical function aside, the Yoga 710’s got plenty under the hood to make a good Hackintosh build; an Intel Core i7 7500U processor, 16gb DDR4 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620 and 512gb SSD.

It’s another popular Hackintosh build too – so you won’t have any trouble finding decent walkthroughs online.

A word of warning though, if you’re buying the Yoga hoping the touchscreen will work with Mac OS you’ll need to manage your expectations back down – it’s not going to, but that said, I don’t support you’re browsing this list looking for a tablet and you can run Mac OS on.

  1. HP Spectre x360

Want a laptop that’s probably got enough power to run Mac OS twice over? The HP Spectre x360 is the piece of kit for you.

This is a really nice-looking machine – with a premium build quality that probably outstrips the Macbook series. The performance is powered by a 5-3.1Ghz Core i5-7200U Kaby Lake chip, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620 and a 512gb NVMe Samsung SSD.

Again, the touchscreen won’t work and the Thunderbolt ports aren’t going to be recognised – but it’s questionable how important this is going to be to you.

The Spectre is a great machine that’s going to run a Mac OS without batting an eyelid – and better still, there’s plenty of support out there from 3rd party developers, meaning that any issues you do come across will either already be solved – or well on their way to being fixed.

Premium looks, outstanding performance and HP build quality. You really won’t go wrong, even if it’s slightly more-costly than some of the alternatives.

 

 

Our Pick Of The 10 Best HR Software Solutions For Small Business Like Yours

new hcm system benefits of hr software - Our Pick Of The 10 Best HR Software Solutions For Small Business Like Yours

You could be that you are missing out, if the HR solutions you have in place for your small business is nothing more than a number of spreadsheets on a computer and paperwork stashed stored away in a drawer. The informal approach definitely works well during the earlier days of businesses. However, it doesn’t take long for this simplistic approach to become a problem as your business begins to grow.

This is why we have put together a list of what we believe are some of the best hr software for small businesses available at the moment.

HR Flow

HRflow is on track to be the UK’s leading HR Software solution for small businesses. Th software provides fee a completely flexible around your business needs. Which is completely unique among other HR software providers for small and micro businesses that is currently on the market. You can even choose to pay a monthly subscription instead of our low annual fee. Some of the primary features of HR Flow includes employee management, simple and easy reporting and also holiday management. For more information visit https://www.hrflow.org/

BambooHR

With BambooHR there is quite a comprehensive record-keeping element, that includes electronic signature support that means you don’t have to get paperwork signed and keep physical copies. The software also allows you to track applicants for jobs, approve any requests for time off, conduct reviews of employee performance and create customised workflows to manage the processes of approval within your organisation along with many other things.

Zoho People

If your business is so small you only employee a few people, the biggest advantage of using Zoho People is that it costs nothing when it is used for 5 people or less. If you use it with more than that, the price on a monthly basis increases.

Zoho People has plenty of different services to choose from, such as:

  • Accessing announcements
  • Viewing all permissions and approvals
  • Raising requests for travelling
  • Viewing leave balances and reports
  • Exporting personal data
  • Collaborating through various feeds
  • Viewing benefits
  • Claiming back medical reimbursements
  • Adding jobs and their log times
  • viewing reports regarding attendance
  • Modifying the information held about people

Namely

Namely is more squarely directed at medium sized businesses. Namely defines medium-sized companies as those with 15 to thousands of employees. Although this is not the best software to use if you have a very small business, it is ideal if you have big and bold plans for expansion and want a solution that can easily be scaled up.

75% of their clients report that the Namely software has increased engagement with their employees, while 7According to Namely, 75% of its clients say the software has increased employee engagement, and 72% say it’s made employees more productive. That’s partly because it’s % say it has increased productivity. These figures are based on surveys conducted by Namely themselves. One of the best things about this software is how it has been designed taking inspiration from social media. People are already familiar with how those kinds of sites work, so they are more likely to feel comfortable using HR software that works in a similar way.

Gusto

You can use the Gusto software to transform your current recruitment process into a completely paperless and more efficient procedure. From the online portal you can post letters with offers to potential employees, get them initiated fully and have them sign up for payroll and any benefits open to them.

Following on from those things, you can then handle requests for time off, conduct surveys of your employees performances, create useful org charts and a whole lot more.

Zenefits

With the Zenefits’ module for HR  you can handle things like keeping records of employees, hiring and on-boarding and many other things. While all of these are very powerful, it is a smaller part of a bigger software platform that provides other services such as benefits administration, payroll processing, regulatory compliance and time tracking.

With Zenefits there are also Android and iOS apps for different functions from clocking in and out to checking the insurance details of employees, so it’s worth considering if your employees are out on the road a lot.

CakeHR

What began as a very small Latvian start-up back in 2011, has since grown to handle clients in over 1,000 cities across the world, including a lot of well-known clients such as Cake began as a small Latvian start-up in 2011 and has expanded to serve clients in more than 1,000 cities, including well-known names such as Paperless Post, an e-commerce company.

This is a fairly simple solution for various services such as mobile apps, reporting, company calender sharing, vacation tracking and full integration with some of the most popular apps around like Google and Slack apps. There is also a employee performance review module in the works that is based on the 36 degree feedback.

Cezanne HR

Perhaps you are looking for something with fuller features and a bit more comprehensive. If so, you should give Cezanne a shot. However, keep in mind that this is directed at bigger medium-sized businesses and may be too complicated and intensive for smaller companies. For growing companies though, you get access to a very powerful suite that caters to most HR tasks you might want.

For instance, you can use the People module to manage shifts, record and track disciplinaries and log health and safety incidents along with so much more. Furthermore, using the module titled Career and Succession, you can create strategic plans for potential successors, mapping out key roles and staffing needs in the future.

It is worth noting that we have merely scratched the surface and this is one of the most comprehensive solutions available that is best used by a company with the budget and size to get the full benefit out of it.

WebHR

In a similar vein to Zoho People, WebHR is completely free, as long as you are only using it for no more than 5 people. Again, the monthly rates increase based on the additional members of staff you add following on from your initial use of the software.

This is a incredibly comprehensive piece of software, it has to be said, and covers just about every single part of an employees time with your business, from the very beginning to the very end. It includes attractive styled features similar to those on social media sites that aims to boost the communication between employees and employers through status updates, forums and instant messaging. Employees are able to use the platform for many things, including travel or leave authorisation application, requests for reimbursement submissions and resigning online.

BreatheHR

BreatheHR is a UK-based piece of software that brings together different pieces of data into a incredibly easy to use dashboard for employees and employers.

Take for instance, the fact that an employee can use the dashboard that shows the number of days off they have already booked and the amount they have unused, requested or completed training, key deliverables and objectives, their record of sick leave and any scheduled one on one meetings they have with their supervisor or manager. From the same page there is also a button that can take them to perform actions in areas such as one to one meeting requesting and training requesting.

It comes with a free trial for 14 days.

 

Best VR Headsets For The iPhone 2018

10 Best iPhone VR Headsets 1 - Best VR Headsets For The iPhone 2018

With the Lawnmower Man and the proposed technology seemingly like a pipe-dream in the early 90s, who would have thought we’d come this far? In the past, virtual reality was a technology that was seen to be either too expensive or just wasn’t widely available enough for the general population to get their hands on and enjoy.

However, it is quite easy these days to get your hands on a virtual reality system for a decent price. Particularly VR headsets. That is, if you have an Android smartphone, like a Samsung Galaxy for example.

While Samsung makes its own VR Headsets for use with the company’s devices, Apple has yet to release their own headset that can be used with an iPhone. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there for iPhone users looking to get in on some VR action. There are a wide variety of relatively inexpensive VR Headsets that are designed to work with iPhone handsets, and not just the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, as some will even work with the iPhone 5S.

No-one is going to pretend that VR Headsets for your mobile are going to offer the same experience as high spec devices like the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. However, what these headsets do offer is people who can’t afford other systems to enjoy a bit of virtual reality.

Ever wanted to see that 3D movie you saw at the cinema from the comfort of your own home without having to splash out for a 3D TV television set? Even if you do have a 3D or even 4D TV, you may still want to experience the attack on the senses of diving into a world where you are not just watching from the sidelines but are in the thick of it. Or at least feel like you are.

3D and virtual reality gaming have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with developers creating amazing worlds for you to drink in and enjoy quests and adventures or simply driving your favorite fancy sports car or formula one vehicle around hectic and exhilarating tracks.

So, rather than waiting for Apple to release a VR Headset for the iPhone, you could give one of these excellent alternatives a try. We have deliberately avoided mentioning any of the plethora of Google Cardboard-clones (though, if your budget is stretched, they make for an inexpensive, if fragile way to enjoy the delights of virtual reality) and opted for physical, mostly plastic products.

BNext VR Headset for iPhone and Android Phones

While a lot of VR headsets are known to be rather uncomfortable, as they are made from hard and unyielding plastic; the latest VR Headset from Bnext is a little different. The manufacturers have really considered the end user by ensuring that comfort is an important aspect of the headset. Along with the easily adjustable strap for the head, the face is made from a soft foam that provides breath-ability.

The headset is compatible with screen sizes between 4 and 6 inches and there are adjustable OD and FD settings to help reduce distortion. Compared to others on the list, this is a fairly basic virtual reality headset, well not compared to something like the Google Cardboard or its many clones. However, if your budget is tight and you are looking for a relaxing way to explore YouTube videos, movies and games in full virtual reality, this is a great introduction to that world.

EKIR VR 3D Glasses

Another reasonably priced and one made with the end user’s health, safety and comfort in mind is the VR headset from EKIR. As most people reading this probably and, let’s face it, hopefully know – the blue lights that flash out from smartphone screens can damage your eyes. With this in mind, Ekir have provided a blue film coating that forms a barrier between your smartphone and your eyes. The lenses are PMMA professional Japanese imports that not only help reduce the danger of the blue lights, provide a more crystal-clear viewing experience with a higher degree of scratch resistance than other types of lenses.

Comfort is not forgotten by Ekir either as they have designed a leather pad that can be removed and replaced when it gets dirty. this pad not only keeps the glasses clean but makes wearing the headset a more relaxing affair. As is standard with even the cheapest headsets, there are adjustable object distance and pupil distance settings, soy you can fine tune it to your own requirements. With the addition of a Bluetooth controller, a whole world of opportunity waits for you with this nifty bargain.

Pansonite 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality Headset

You will notice as you look through this list that one of the most important aspects of these VR Headsets, as most are essentially the same basic piece of gear, is how comfortable or not they are. The latest VR Headset from Pansonite has actually been modified to improve upon the previous model released by the manufacturer. Focal distance and pupil distance can be altered, as you’d probably expect, to give a more tailored 3D experience.

It is much smaller and lighter. As a result of this, it is obviously a lot more comfortable to use. With the addition of T-shape strapping, it helps to lower the amount of pressure by around 30%, taking the weight off the eyelids and nose bridge to reduce the overall fatigue of short and long-term use. The Pansonite headset includes an aesthetically pleasing iron cover and there are two ventilation holes on either side to ensure that your smartphone or the headset itself does not overheat. All in all, this is a great entry headset for young people and older adults alike, particularly those on a tight and very modest budget.

Canbor Virtual Reality Headset

The Canbor Virtual Reality headset is yet another that has been designed with ergonomics and the comfort of the user in mind. It features a soft leather design with a vented and cushioned section for your eyes and ears. There is a T-sharp headband to hold it safely and with as little strain as possible on your head. Canbor make use of the now commonly found PMMA Japanese-sourced aspheric lenses that are made to a professional optical grade and along with the aforementioned anti-blue technology they provide protection against radiation too.

Even the buttons on this headset have been designed for easier use. Both the focus distance and pupil distance can be adjusted to better suit your eyesight. Operating the on-board controls is simple and involves a single button press is all that’s required for adjusting the volume or answering the phone (when someone tries to interrupt your fun, as your phone is still a phone). The buttons negate the need for a separate handset or controller. It is suitable for smartphones with 4.7 inch and 6.2-inch screens.

Cobra Tech VR Headset

As with majority of the headsets listed on this page, the Cobra Tech VR Headset has been ergonomically designed with a special T strap from lightweight materials that make the experience easier on your head, face and eyes. With the flexible and fully adjustable headband, virtually anyone can use this amazing accessory to benefit from the full-on virtual reality experience.

In addition to the attention paid on the comfort, Cobra Tech have ensured that even your ears are fully immersed in a completely 3D world with around the ear headphones featuring active noise-canceling technology.

As you’d no doubt expect from a modern VR headset, both the focus distance and pupil distance are adjustable to make for a more enjoyable experience tailored to your own needs and requirements. One of the obvious flaws with these headsets is placing a smartphone and harmful blue light emissions so close to your eyes, which is why there is an optical lens made from high density aspheric resin to protect your eyes.

ETVR 3D VR Glasses

ETVR, like most self-respecting third-party VR Headset manufacturers use the Japan-built Optical Grade PMMA aspheric lenses in their headset. This is not only to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of the blue light emitted from smartphone screens, but to provide you with a more comfortable VR experience in general. Both the focal distance and pupil distance can be adjusted to fine tune your virtual reality gaming, videos and whatever else, to your own precise requirements.

Soft memory form has been used to fill the headphone ear-pads to help cancel out noise and reduce stress to your ears. The headphones have been designed to produce an audio experience that matches perfectly with the visual experience. The head straps have a t-shape design which is comfortable and can be altered to fit head styles and sizes of both children and adults of any age. What’s more, the breathable sponge can be removed for cleaning.

Pansonite VR Headset with Remote Controller

The second VR Headset on our list from Pansonite is a slightly more expensive version of the other model and features a headset with elasticated sponge and high-quality leather to provide a comfortable way to enjoy virtual reality for longer. It allows your face to breathe and prevents the screen from fogging up.

What’s more, the elasticated sponge takes the majority of the weight of the headset and with a deepened and widened nose groove, there is none of the discomfort associated with older models. The headset has a viewing angle that has been increased by 120 degrees to provide something closer to human eyesight.

As is standard these days, the Pansonite VR headset features Japanese specialist optical graded PMMA lenses made from aspheric resin. As well as preventing blue light from smartphones from damaging your eyes, it also stops dizziness occurring that may have happened with earlier, less developed headset models. 

Exclead 3D VR Headset with Remote Controller

Although, like many of the third-party manufacturers on this list, you have probably not heard of Exclead – it doesn’t mean their product does not include some ingenious features. For starters, it is made from fabric materials that are soft, lightweight and kind to skin.

We are probably not alone in thinking that no-one wants to play VR games or watch VR videos and movies for half an hour or so, having to stop soon after because of fatigue. When you have VR you want to play with it as long as possible each time. This is why, you should give the 3D VR Headset from Exclead special attention.

The design and construction of this headset has been carried out with the comfort of the end user fully in mind. They understand that the weakest part of the eyes is the lower eyelid, which is why they have made their headband so it relieves the pressure from the bridge of the nose and eyelids to help you enjoy more Virtual Reality for longer.

Unlike a lot of earlier and other models, the Exclead VR Headset also differs in the viewing angle it offers you – 120 degrees compared to 80 to 110 degrees. All in all, for such a small price to pay, you have to ask yourself is it really worth the risk opting into this headset to get a taster for virtual reality using your smartphone?

It is fair to say there is not a lot between the virtual reality headsets listed above, which is why it is such an interesting time to be getting into this new wave of the 3D technology. Rather than it being just for a special section of society who have enough money to spend on expensive setups, people of all salary brackets and age groups can get immerse themselves in a completely 3D world.

So take your pick from the fine selection listed above and strap yourself in for the ride of your life with movies, games, roller-coaster rides, sky diving and a whole host of other things you have always want to from the comfort of your own home.

Cube Adventures: Arduino Uno!

Cube Adventures - Cube Adventures: Arduino Uno!

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own LED cube, Arduino Uno is the way to go at it. Today, we’ll be discussing our little cube adventure! Never let it be said that Tech Made Easy does not know how to have fun! Who would have thought that something so quirky could come from something that seemed so technical?

Circuitry is certainly a nerdy thing but it is simpler than it actually appears! It was definitely challenging as a lot of us weren’t really into the whole hands-on build it yourself tech side. However, in the spirit of unity, we all decided to give it a shot. If you’re going to be building your own, we suggest that you:

  • Gather all your materials properly
  • Be dressed for the occasion (gloves and safety goggles)
  • Stay calm and steady
  • Be patient
  • Keep trying
  • Enjoy!

These are important if you’re ever going to succeed. A lot of us had to keep trying again because it didn’t light up properly or the shape didn’t really stick. Staying calm is important in order to not weld the wrong things together.

There’s quite a bit of materials involved so it’s important that you make sure that you’ve got all the tools AND materials that you need. Learn from us (we forgot to bring wire cutters and had to dash to the store).

Arduino Uno is actually a pretty interesting way to spend a weekend.  A lot of us didn’t actually get to finish their projects as it is fairly time consuming for an absolute newcomer. Before you start, choose how you’re planning on powering your cube as it can use a traditional power supply (which does not come with the kit) or you can choose to create a USB powered one (which comes with its own challenges).

Whichever way of powering it you decide to go with, you’ll still need to make a hole on the side of the case in order for the socket to go through. We also suggest that you do this activity with someone who has already successfully done it. There’s no sense in the blind leading the other blind people (which is what happened to us).

Regardless, it was a completely fun activity and we highly recommend it as a team building activity. Just be sure to read the manual completely, map out your intended form and make sure you have enough spare wire! Have fun!

 

Affordable and Effective: Lindy Noise Cancelling Headphones

Affordable and Effective - Affordable and Effective: Lindy Noise Cancelling Headphones

On those days when you just want to drown out the world, a good pair of noise canceling headphones truly shines. Join us as we review the Lindy Noise Cancelling Headphones. Continuing our trend of providing useful gadget and accessory reviews, Tech Made Easy has a new one for you.

 

Build

The headset looks sturdy and a tad solid despite the hinges on the arms. This is so that the user can fold the earpieces when not in use. Brilliant! The cushions are soft but we’re a bit worried that they may deflate over time but it’s nothing that careful handling won’t fix. The sides of the ear pieces look a little bulky but that’ to hide the fact that battery for the noise cancellation is included. There’s also room for the volume control, the switch for the cancellation, and the connector cable.

Not bad at all. As looks go, they actually look more expensive than they actually are—which is a bonus for the status conscious.

 

Performance

In order to satisfactorily say that the noise cancelling works, we figured it would only be fair if we tried out the headset before we switched the noise cancelling on. As far as sound goes, it was all fairly adequate. The sound was clear, the base was just right, and you can hear ambient noise around you.

It managed to do well when we played music, played some games, and watched some movies. It was all pretty swell. But of course, we are not looking for just another pair of good quality headsets. We’re looking for something to keep the ambient noise out. Once we switched on the noise cancellation, it was pretty effective.

There was a very noticeable drop in the ambient noise. Let’s put it this way, if you’re a commuter, you’ll probably not even realize you have people next to you. With the noise cancelling on, we tried all the same tests: music, gaming, and a movie. We observed a drastic improvement in the quality of our experience.

The sound was even better and the quality of audio improved.

 

Price

£40! No, really. The way we were going about it, we fully expected to pay something closer to £120. So not only was it a bargain, it’s very effective in keeping out ambient noise that you’d rather not deal with.

 

Verdict: Highly Recommended

We truly suggest that you get your own pair of Lindy Noise Cancelling Headphones. Your introvert-based bubble with thank you!

 

Looking Back: Website Count for May 2015

Looking Back - Looking Back: Website Count for May 2015

In the real world, space is at a premium. In the digital world, does the same rule apply? Join us as we look back at some thoughtful reveries we’ve had from quite a bit ago. Tech Made Easy has quite a history on it.

Back around three years ago when we were all just pooling our resources and thoughts together, we started thinking about websites. Specifically, the number at any given month—is it going up? Is it going down? That was something we wanted to find out. At that point in time, the internet boom was fairly steady.

More and more people were starting to realize that websites were relatively easy to set up and didn’t really cost much to maintain. It was only natural more and more people flock toward being online. So, if you really wanted to come up with a solid number of how many websites existed in a particular month in a year, where do you go?

The answer: Netcraft

This website has kept quite an impressive record of the number of registered domain and how many of those are actually active. This is an important distinction as there are those that tend to create websites and promptly abandon it after a few months.So according to Netcraft’s findings, the month of May in years 2015 had over 858 million registered sites but only had 177 active ones.

Since the boom of the dot-com industry, more and more businesses tried their hand at building an online presence and ended prematurely halting it.

It seems that, at the time, they have not quite realized the power they held in their hands. Most of them were mostly developing their Facebook pages rather than developing a specialized website to represent them. Chances are a large amount of them wanted to create a website, decided it was too hard or too technical, and decided to just go with social media sites. That, in itself, is a waste. While having social media presence is good, having a carefully curated and suitably built website for your business is better.

A website has a greater chance of giving a better impression. Business owners can dictate what goes into their page, not like Facebook where everyone has pretty much the same features. It pays to stand out—especially in something that represents your business.

What’s great about the state of the internet now is that there are a lot of user-friendly make your own webpage services. A lot of it has a sort of drag and drop build to it—something that is really ideal for those who have not the slightest clue on how to build their own site. What we particularly think is interesting about this trend is that more and more people are now realizing the benefits of having their own site.

We truly hope that the trend continues and we’re also looking forward to the newest stats that Netcraft will capture. Seeing the growth of information and activity is always a sight to behold after all.

 

infographic1 - Looking Back: Website Count for May 2015

Infographic by: www.infographicjournal.com

 
 

Tips for Continuing Your Professional Development

Professional development apprentice 800x500 c - Tips for Continuing Your Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (also called CPD) describes the procedure of tracking and recording the abilities, understanding and knowledge that you gain both officially and unofficially as you advance in your career.

It’s a record of what you practice, for example, CSCS practice tests, or what you learn and apply on the job and in your daily life. The term is used to mean your physical folder or documentation of your advancements in your career path. Nonetheless, different people use the term “CPD” to indicate a training or development strategy, or which most experts would argue is not especially a fair description of CPD.

The CPD process helps you manage your very own development on a continuous basis. The main idea of CPD is to assist you in keeping track of all your accomplishments as you progress both professionally and personally. It helps you reflect and evaluate on what you discover in your journey. Don’t mistake a CPD for a checklist or tick box to keep track of all your training; it is of course more than just that.

It would seem to most people like an added responsibility to spend time training, knowing, and carrying out activities. Then monitoring and reporting all those events to make sure that you have proof (for whatever reason). But nowadays, there exist many ingenious ways to preserve your CPD effortlessly.

So just how can you keep track of your CPD? Well, the tips below should give you a head start if you struggle to keep an organised record of your CPD

1. Be creative with your thoughts

CPD is any task that has aided you to create and expand in your role; it doesn’t necessarily need to be an official assignment or training. Hence, you must always remember every last detail of your activities that count. This could be from networking to completing online tutorials and reviewing publications.

2. Tape-record CPD regularly

It only looks like a tremendous job when you delegated everything at the eleventh hour. Put aside a little time weekly to tape-record your CPD task so that you don’t need to do every little thing at the end of the year in one go. Nice and steady is the key here. With consistently doing this, it will quickly become a way of life.

3. Always share your CPD with friends and colleagues

It is true with everything that a burden shared is a worry halved. This is no different when it comes to CPD. You should make a habit of sharing your CPD events with others. Also be open to CPD invitations from others. This will help you work on your CPD with other like-minded professionals, thus giving you an extra boost.

4. Check out local opportunities

Usually, your CPD will depend on a vast array of regional occurrences and tasks that will no doubt boost your CPD. And in most cases, such events are usually accessible, cost-effective and straightforward to register your attendance. Hence, start looking out for such opportunities and attending them to boost your CPD.

5. Personal and professional

With the help of CPD, you can easily navigate through workplace challenges as well as personal hurdles. Hence, make it your mission to push yourself out of your perceived weaknesses continuously. For some, this could be the fear of public speaking. You could challenge yourself to do this, and record it in your CPD.

6. Prevent repetition

Following from the above, you may want to avoid repeating the same things over and over again. Why not challenge yourself with new skills, challenges and opportunities? The most benefit from your CPD can come when you decide to step out of your convenience zone.

By now, you can understand the importance of CPD. Hence, the benefits resulting from this must not be under-looked. It could mean a career-long defining moment for most professionals.

CPD codes of conduct

In some cases, a company may require its employees to adhere to the company’s Continuing Professional Development policy or code of conduct. But, the very essence of CPD lies in the individual’s use for personal growth and development. It offers professionals the chance to maintain their knowledge and skills so that they can consistently deliver top quality services in their primary areas of speciality.

How can I benefit from CPD?

Most will argue that a CPD should be an exciting, fun and engaging process to encourage many professionals to do it. For example, it is often a challenge locating a CPD program that fits in with your other work or personal obligations. In some cases, as you walk out of a program or workshop it is hard sometimes even to recall what was taught. Nonetheless, CPD is essential and you ought to allocate time for it in your busy routine. Here are a few ways CPD can help you:

CPD guarantees your capacities keep pace with the current job market requirements in your niche.

With CPD you can develop your knowledge and maintain your skills to ensure you provide logical professional solutions to your clients, employers and the community.

CPD ensures your expertise remain relevant and up to date. The alternative is that if you stand still, you will get left behind.

CPD helps you continuously make a purposeful contribution to your organisation. You will discern an improvement in your level of proficiency in the office as well as in other aspects of your life. This makes it possible to gain career promotions and take on more leadership roles quickly.

Furthermore, CPD aids you to stay fired and engaging. No doubt, practice is an extraordinary teacher, since we tend to do what we have done before better. Likewise, CPD opens you new potentialities, a new perception and unique talents.

CPD can provide a much more in-depth comprehension of the meaning of being a professional. It can take you to the next level.

Moreover, CPD helps you to advance your understanding and knowledge within your profession.

Based on your niche, industry or occupation, CPD can have a significant contribution to your way of life, financial situation, safety and overall outlook on life.

Are Budget Drones Worth Your Consideration?

person with tablet using parrot drone 136404475344703901 160308164337 - Are Budget Drones Worth Your Consideration?

We live in a world where technology is constantly evolving, and nothing ever stays the same for long. We see it with smartphones, game consoles and even our vehicles. However, if we’re looking at technology we’ve never used before, it can be difficult to ascertain as to what we should be buying.

Drones have impacted the world in a positive way, for businesses and consumers. Those new to the world of drones may assume that they must purchase the latest and greatest drone to enjoy the joy that drones bring, but this isn’t always the case.

While there will be situations that require a more high-end solution, there are also drones that while restricted, do more than a stellar job of perfecting our piloting skills, and even gaining some aerial shots in the process.

Assessing Our Needs

If you’re looking to take a quick flight around the park, then it’s unlikely that you will need to spend thousands on a high-end quadcopter. Similarly, if you’re looking to expand your business operation or upscale your security via the use of a drone, then a budget drone may not be suitable. It’s simply a case of assessing our needs.

Those new to drones will find that although some models are priced much lower than their counterparts, there’s no reason as why we can’t find something that meets our requirements, we just need to look among the best cheap drones.

Depending on how much you have to spend, there is a vast selection of UAVS that all offer different features. For example, some models may come with a GoPro holder so you can take some photographs while airborne. Other beginners may be looking for something that can be used in conjunction with their smartphone. Whatever your requirements are, there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t be able to find something among the best cheap drones available.

What Differences Are There Between Price Points?

Drones work in much the same way as any other form of technology, in that the various price points are derived from the features available. Many people look at cheaper drones, as they already have a camera, so merely need a vessel to carry it. However, those looking to up their game may need something a little more resilient with a camera included. In both instances, you’re getting value for money, but you’re able to decide based on your budget.

The aesthetics of the drone can also have an impact on the price, although this isn’t always the case. While some people are happy with plain aesthetics, others may want to make more of an impression. An example of this can be the inclusion of LED lights. While there may not be that much difference in relation to cost, it does give you an idea of what factors come into play when looking at the value of a drone. As such, we shouldn’t look assume that budget drones are not worthy of our time, we simply need to ensure that they’re able to meet our needs.

Why Should a Beginner Start with a Budget Drone?

If we’re new to piloting a drone, it stands to reason that we’re going to make some mistakes, which often mean that a drone can either go astray, or end up crashing into a wall. Fear not, this is a common occurrence and is actually a fun part of the learning process.

While premium drones are more durable, this doesn’t mean they’re built for ongoing collisions, and can end up costing more in relation to replacement parts, Budget drones will be made of lighter materials than a premium drone, so while susceptible to damage, will be much cheaper to rectify in the early days when it comes to replacement parts.

Ideal for Children

It’s great to see children adopting technology, so it should come as no surprise that they’re keen to try our drones. While a high-end drone may proof to be too much when it comes to flight, a budget drone can be just the ticket.

Flying an expensive drone without experience can mean that there is no enjoyment. However, flying a budget drone means there is less tension when flying the drone, allowing you to enjoy the experience.

You also need to remember that children are quick to move onto new trends. While many children are keen to fly UAVs on a regular basis, there are others who may become bored with drones. If you’ve only spent a small amount on a drone, then this isn’t really a problem. However, if we’ve invested a large sum, it can seem like a waste of money.

This isn’t to say that adults can find any joe when looking among the lower cost drones. Many parents find that they become as keen as their offspring when it comes to piloting a drone, but it’s still a factor worth considering when it comes to purchasing a drone for a child.

Budget drones may not have as much functionality or features as their premium counterparts, but they shouldn’t be undervalued. They are great for beginners and children, and nowadays you’ll be surprised at what features. 

Bitcoin Scams to Be Aware Of

bitcoin 1 - Bitcoin Scams to Be Aware Of

The popularity of Bitcoin means that it has built up a large community, many of which are willing to give advice and guide newbies in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are those who prey on the vulnerable, and look to make a quick profit at someone else’s expense. The true is same in the world of Bitcoin.

Staying safe online is about educating ourselves about the dangers. If we’re aware of the dangers before us, then we’re in a better position to avoid it moving forward.

The Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme

As the name would suggest, the Ponzi scheme is based on Charles Ponzi’s business idea of yielding high interest for investments. This idea is applied to the Bitcoin industry in the guise of a company offering high interest for early Bitcoin deposits. This works in the initial period, but as the company struggles to acquire new investors, the plan soon falls apart. It’s only towards the end of the scheme that the problems are highlighted to investors. In this instance, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Bitcoin Wallet Scams

One of the necessities when purchasing Bitcoins is having access to a wallet. There are plenty of reputable providers online, but there are also those with more sinister motives. Therefore, it’s so important to carry out research before making any sort of transaction online.

Those carrying out Bitcoin wallet scams are probably more obvious to regular users, but if you’re new to Bitcoin, it could be easy to fall for the scam. Initially, those unfortunate enough to be drawn in find that the wallet is fine for a set amount of time, but then start to notice that something is amiss, often leading to depleted accounts. While easy to avoid, it’s something to be aware of before committing to a particular wallet solution.

Fake Bitcoin Exchanges

Just like a wallet, the use of a Bitcoin exchange is commonplace. In fact, it’s probably the number one platform when it comes to purchasing Bitcoins. Again, carrying out some research allows you to find out what companies are considered the most reputable. However, if we enter the arena blindly, we could end up using the platforms.

Bitcoin exchanges have recognised the profit in processing fees, and this is where many make their profit. As such, if a similar solution appears with much smaller processing fees, it’s easy to see why many would jump ship. The harsh reality is only realised when a payment is made, and the user finds that there is no Bitcoin. Those who have fallen victim to the scam can call their bank to try and recoup the money, but knowing about the fake exchanges means that we can avoid them with ease. To find out which are the best Cryptocurreny exchanges to use visit this website

Bitcoin Mining Scams

Bitcoin mining is a laborious task that often requires expensive equipment. The purpose of the exercise is to validate the transactions made which in turn secures the public ledger. Bitcoin mining is a process that yields results in the long-term, and takes dedication.

While there are legitimate cloud mining scams out there, there are those that promise to deliver a service that makes Bitcoin mining an inexpensive endeavour, only to find that the investment went towards a service that doesn’t exist.

As with other services, you need to carry out some research before parting with any of your money, especially if you’re new to Bitcoin.

Phishing Scams

We’ve probably all been targets of phishing scams at some point. They normally take the guise of official emails from a financial institution or another payment provider. They often ask the recipient to log in using their details, only for a scam artist to receive the information.

The Bitcoin phishing scam works in a similar way, only the user receives an email that states they have been awarded Bitcoins, and need to sign into their wallet to receive the currency. In reality, the information being entered is being intercepted by a third party. These means that they have access to your Bitcoin wallet and the contents within.

Deleting the email is enough to avoid such an occurrence, but it’s still something that you need to be aware of.

Overview

Reading about the many scams can dissuade some people from enjoying the benefits Bitcoin has to offer, but it’s about ensuring we’re aware of the scams out there. As mentioned, there are many scams that are sent to bank account holders, but as many are aware of the scam, they don’t fool as many people as the scammers would like. Just as we wouldn’t show anyone our PIN for our credit card, we shouldn’t be showcasing our private key. The more we build our defences and become more knowledgeable in Bitcoin, the less at risk we are.