Something to consider for simple fun are LED Throwies. This involves very inexpensive batteries (CR2032), a magnet, and an LED. Total cost, under 25 cents total. Search for “bulk LED” on eBay and you will see many suppliers in Thailand and China. Under a dollar with free shipping for 15 to 20 LEDs is quite common. Run similar searches for bulk CR2032 batteries and you will see them for similar prices. Then run other searches for bulk rare earth magnets and you’ve completed your shopping list.
I have used many remote control (r/c) vehicles, boats, planes, and helicopters over my life. The most fascinating advancements in recent years has been the stability and ease of flying quadcopters. I really like how many can now carry GoPro video cameras for some amazing aerial footage. A friend of mine recently informed me of this amazing new quadcopter, the Stingray 500. Here is a video review below. If you have limited time, jump ahead to the 4 minute mark in the video to see some incredible examples of what this is capable of.
HDMI specifications are overseen by the HDMI Forum, a non-profit industry consortium. They announced version 2.0 which includes a number of changes. The most recent version is 1.4 and likely that is what most of your equipment is including your cables. They say that 2.0 will not require new cables. However chances are your equipment may not be upgradable. Some vendors such as Sony are indicating that firmware updates will be possible with their equipment. The new specification will bring the bandwidth up to 18 GigaBits per Second! This is enough to pipe through a 4K video up to 60 frames per second (assuming you have a compatible TV) – enough for 4K 3D. Another neat possibility is that HDMI 2.0 can support dual HD video streams at the current lower-resolution. And your current 1.4 devices should work with 2.0 no problem, it is supposed to be backwards compatible. We should begin seeing HDMI 2.0 products in 2014.
It is always interesting to compare stats over the years. You can see who the initial pioneers were and where the trends guide the overall global demand. Pricing and availability play a big factor as can be seen by Androids rise. Apple targets the more affluent audiences.
Here is something to think about:
- No iPhone (it was first unveiled by Jobs Jan9/07)
- YouTube wasn’t going to last, being sued by many companies for copyright infringements (1st video uploaded Apr23/05)
- Facebook was only for college students
- Twitter launched July 2006
- Flat screen TVs cost $3,000+
Home automation and smart homes have been talked about for years. X10 has many different gadgets you could incorporate to control your lights and other devices. The Nest Thermostat is a fairly new piece of technology where it learns your habits. It programs itself to raise and drop the temperature depending if you are home or away. They also have a smartphone app and allow the ability to control remotely from a computer. The goal of smart homes is to save energy and run more efficiently driving down costs.
Technology was supposed to make life easier. In many ways it has however much more is expected out of us. For many people, you end up having to use technology within the confines of an office or cubicle. Others have the opportunity to work from home along with all of its distractions. Unfortunately the end result for many of us is a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity. To top it off, we feel tired at the end of our days and many become couch potatoes. As a result of this excessive screen time during the day and evening, it is linked to negative health consequences and putting on a few extra pounds.
What does one of the world’s richest brands (worth over 113 Billion) do with those billions of dollars it has earned outside of the U.S.? You can’t simply bring it back home without a huge tax bill so you build a 1-Million square foot office in London. Scheduled to open in 2016, this office will have a climbing wall, roof garden, open-air swimming pool, indoor football pitch, and sit on 2.4 acres of land between Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations in London. This is one of London’s most significant property transactions in recent years. The land and development are estimated just over 1 billion dollars. Google staff will be able to ride their bicycles right into a 20,000 square foot bike shed attached to the building and have free lunches every day. All of these conveniences help entice the estimated 4,500 staff to work at the office and have no reason to leave.
Imagine controlling up to 9 PCs and displays with a single keyboard and mouse! I have come across software like this in the past but experienced limitations. Recently a colleague of mine highly recommended Multiplicity by EdgeRunner which has been working great for him. It allows you to cut and paste between all the PCS as well as drag and drop files. Even the sound works and it can communicate over WiFi. This can be handy if you have a separate system for your work and use other systems for email, surfing, and social networking. My colleague uses this to easily and quickly ensure his laptop is always current when going on trips or meetings. They offer a 30-day trial and it is only $20-$40 to purchase. Definitely an amazing piece of software to consider using.