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Blind-spot Monitoring Systems

This technology uses ultrasonic sensors located on the car’s flanks to detect when a car is in your blind-spots. Most BLIS implementations will warn by illuminating a notification light on or near the side mirror on the appropriate side of the vehicle. If you activate your turn signal while BLIS is triggered, you’ll usually also get an audible beep or tone to let you know to look twice before changing lanes. Most basic systems will let you know if a car is currently in your blind-spot, but more advanced versions will let you know when a vehicle is about to be there. Lane Change Assist, as Hyundai calls it, extends the range of the side sensors as much as three to five car lengths back and monitors the speed of oncoming vehicles. With this information, the system can sort of predict the future, alerting you to an upcoming car in your blind-spot before it’s even there. If you don’t properly adjust your car’s mirrors or if your vehicle of choice has thick window pillars, you may find that there’s a blind spot just over your shoulder where cars behind you can hide. A blind-spot monitoring system can help watch your back so that you don’t find yourself trading paint when changing lanes.

Blind-spot monitoring systems are among the most common modern driver aid technologies, being found on the options list of many mid-tier or budget models. The tech is sometimes shortened to BSM or called blind-spot warning (BSW). I tend to call it a blind-spot information system (BLIS), as it was by Volvo, which originated the tech back in 2007 for use on its and Ford’s vehicles. Typically, blind-spot systems only work at speeds above 20 to 35-ish mph. This prevents false positives on city streets but tends to only make the tech useful at highway speeds. And as I mentioned, the audible alerts work only if you actually use your turn signal, which some people don’t always use. So, keep in mind that the technology is no replacement for an old-fashioned glance over your shoulder before changing lanes. Always look before you leap.

BLIS and rear cross-traffic alerts are increasingly becoming “must-have” technology on larger SUVs and cars with poor rearward visibility and the next evolutions of the tech are already here. Volvo is at the forefront of blind-spot monitoring tech it figures, they invented it — with its BLIS with Steering Assist. Featured on the new 2018 Volvo XC60, BLIS with Steering Assist can actively guide the SUV out of harm’s way and back into its lane if it detects that you’re about to collide with another vehicle when changing lanes. Ford and Toyota/Lexus, for example, have taken the next logical step of adding automatic braking assist technology to their most advanced RCTA systems. So, if you’re backing out of a parking spot and another vehicle is approaching, the system will sound an alert and then, if you ignore the warning, automatically brake before you move into a possible collision path.

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SMART UMBRELLA

A new umbrella may be just the answer for those of us who constantly forget or misplace our rainy-day gear. The Weatherman umbrella, which debuted Thursday, uses an app paired with a Bluetooth tracker to follow weather forecasts. The app sends real-time weather alerts and custom notifications, so you know when to bring along your umbrella. An embedded tracker chip uses Bluetooth 4.1 technology for your smart devices to help locate your umbrella as well. This even could mean that you find your umbrella in the hands of someone who grabbed it by mistake. The umbrella is made with 14mm gauge fiberglass ribs help prevent breaking and inverting inside out during strong winds, up to 55 mph. The umbrella fabric is coated with Teflon to repel the rain.

The smart umbrella is backed by meteorologist Rick Reichmuth (hence the umbrella’s name Weatherman) who appears on “Fox and Friends” and “Fox News Sunday.” “I looked everywhere for a solid umbrella that would last, and I came up short every single time,” Reichmuth said in a statement. “I realized, I know what a good umbrella should be, so I could just make one. That’s how it all started.” The Weatherman comes in two styles: The Collapsible Umbrella, and the Stick Umbrella. Both umbrellas are available in black, navy blue, green, orange, yellow and white. The umbrella comes with its own wall mount that also serves as a charging stand for the device. A color-changing LED on the handle alerts you when it’s umbrella weather.

Here’s a look at the umbrella’s key features.

  • Feather weight: Approximately 198 grams, the TARAbrella is lighter than the iPhone.
  • Weather forecast system: A built-in, pressure-sensing piece of hardware that provides an accurate weather forecast within as short a time of 6 hours.
  • Patented safety runner: Durability and ease of use combine here to allow the contraption to be locked or release with a simple click.
  • Super LED light: Equipped atop the TARAbrella is a super LED light that can brighten up dark or foggy places to ensure the user’s safety in hazardous conditions.
  • Anti-lost tracker: A detachable clip will alert the wearer if they move more than a set amount of feet from the TARAbrella.
  • Ergonomic design handle: The handle of TARAbrella was crafted to ergonomically fit in your hand, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods of time with the smooth texture.

Of all the things you need as winter comes, a smart umbrella is surely at the very top of your list. You look critically at everything in your life these days, and if something’s not “smart,” you disdain its very existence. Sadly for some, it’s currently only on sale in Japan and Korea. I can see many Americans taking a trip there just to buy one or more of these. You can never have enough smart tools. The more you have, the smarter you surely are.

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Tesla’s new Roadster

Tesla’s new Roadster has some impressive numbers. But with a price on par with a Bentley or Aston Martin, the question is, can it deliver on the kind of luxury and drivability those buyers expect? That’s going to take a lot more than just sternum-cracking acceleration. Prices for the Roadster will start at $200,000, with a required deposit of $50,000. A limited edition Founders Series of the car will cost $250,000 and will have to be paid for up front and in full. At these prices, someone could buy an Aston Martin DB11 or a Bentley Continental GT. Those cars can’t match the Roadster’s advertised performance figures, but there’s a lot more to a sports car than just speed.

The Roadster’s ability to go from zero to 60 in under two seconds is unprecedented, and would make this the quickest production car ever. It can run the quarter mile in 8.8 seconds. That’s faster than a Dodge Challenger Demon, an 840-horsepower single-seat car designed especially for drag racing. And its top speed of over 250 miles an hour puts it in the same league as the $3 million Bugatti Chiron. That figure is especially surprising, given that top speed is not an area in which electric cars tend to excel. Anyone who can afford to spend a quarter million dollars on a car is used to high level of quality of craftsmanship. That means Tesla needs to overcome the production issues it is currently having with the far simpler Model 3, as well as the sort of quality issues it’s been having with the complex Model X.

Sports cars also need to corner well and give the driver a sense of confidence and control. Tesla’s original Roadster, produced from 2008 to 2012, was built on the skeleton of a British Lotus sports car. Lotus is legendary for how well its cars handled, and for an obsession with light weight, which also helps with cornering and control. For a company building a high-end sports car, there could hardly be a better place to start. This Roadster will presumably be all Tesla. Electric drive does provide some advantages for a sports car. First, most sports cars have an engine that concentrates weight somewhere in the car. A lot of sports car design is about how to carry that big block of metal through turns at high speeds. Engineers and designers work hard to position the engine as low as possible in the car, and in a place that will give the car stable, controllable and predictable cornering characteristics.

In an electric car, the weight is concentrated in battery packs, but those batteries don’t need to be all together. In Tesla’s other vehicles, they’re spread out under the floor of the car, giving them a very low center of gravity and weight that’s evenly balanced. But, batteries are heavy and weight is still a problem, no matter where it is. That’s why electric cars are, generally speaking, heavier than gasoline powered cars. Tesla engineers will still have to overcome, or minimize, the sheer weight that will come with that level of range and performance. Still, based on Tesla’s claims, the Roadster certainly the potential to be a big winner for Tesla that could help generate the profits it so badly needs and even more buzz.

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MekaMon

The robots are upgradable and customizable with detachable legs, shields, and weapons. They feature four IR sensors, so the robot can measure distance and location and also accurately track and attack opponents. The robot can also flip on its back and stabilize rather quickly. Each robot weighs around 2.2 pounds, with a dimension of 11.8 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches.

When it comes to gaming competition with friends, most of us grew up playing games like Pokémon, battling with friends through Game Boys and old link cables, and mostly using our imagination when the gameplay animation was still pretty basic. Fast-forward a few decades, and you can still battle friends, but the modes have expanded incredibly. The latest form is a gaming robot from Reach Robotics. Called MekaMon, the four-legged robots have AR capabilities that can be controlled by your smartphone.

The toy connects to the smartphone app through Bluetooth, and other robots via infrared signals. The battery life is a bit limited, though: you’ll only get about one hour of play before it needs to be recharged. MekaMon’s story is set in 2076 and follows Earth after an alien invasion, where humans are fighting back using the battle robots. There are options to play them in story mode, arcade mode, or battle with friends. “We’ve created an entirely new video gaming platform,” Silas Adekunle, CEO of Reach Robotics said in a statement. “Players can whip out their smartphone to battle their multi-functional, connected battlebots in the physical and virtual worlds at the same time.”

The robots are compatible with both iOS and Android devices, using the phones’ cameras and infrared sensors. You look through your phone’s screen to guide your robot and objects in the room like tables and chairs can be used to hide from attacks in the game. Reach Robotics says more add-ons will be available from MekaMon.com in the future. MekaMon is available in white and black models from Apple and MekaMon.com.

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Firefox Quantum

Firefox today released its newest browser Firefox Quantum out of beta. The company claims it’s twice as fast as the original Firefox from six months ago. Firefox Quantum has a sleek UI with the option to customize the toolbar. It also exceeds the performance of Google Chrome in a browser speed test battle. The new browser also includes Pocket recommendations of what sites to browse on every new tab. Night Mode and other features are available as Firefox free add-ons.

Despite competing against Google in the browser space, Firefox does resort to using Google as the default search engine in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. For years, Firefox used Yahoo as a default, though it also offered Google and Bing as alternative selections, but it recently terminated its contract with Yahoo, according to an email statement from Mozilla. The company’s chief business officer Denelle Dixon said, “We exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo! based on a number of factors including doing what’s best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users.”

The biggest selling point of Quantum versus Chrome is the smaller RAM usage something Google has been repeatedly critiqued for over the years. As you open more tabs in Quantum, it takes up less memory than opening up multiple tabs in Chrome. On my Asus laptop with an Intel Core i5, it runs six processes for 20 open tabs, while Google Chrome runs 21 processes for 14 tabs. Note that after opening the 10th tab, Quantum begins to show a squiggly loading sign on new tabs.

Private browsing mode for Firefox Quantum looks just as good as regular browsing. A purple masked symbol on the right indicates what mode you’re in, and Firefox has tracking protection on by default. Quantum was a project open to volunteers, with about 700 authors contributing to the code. It took a year for Firefox to complete the project. You can download the final version today for free from Mozilla for the web, Android, and iOS.

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MSI Wearable Computer – Wearable Virtual Reality Backpack!

 

 

MSI as we know is one of the leading designers of computer hardware, specifically when it comes to gaming computers which are known has high efficiency, high performance, and spectacular graphics Even though MSI is still young in the industry, they are taking over a niche that has long since been dominated by companies such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Toshiba. This new kid on the block packs all their computers with the fastest processors, high capacity RAM, and speeds that blow the mind. The only answer that other competitors have for MSI is their Alienware computers. These Alienware computers are the top line products that come as Desktops and Laptops for the flag ship of these varied manufacturers.

Now that Virtual Reality has taken its place in the mainstream and is rapidly being incorporated in all our everyday technology, it is only fitting that the leader in Alienware computers innovates one of their brands to take virtual reality to the next level. MSI has dubbed its new gaming computer system for virtual reality as “VR One”.  The MSI VR One is nothing short of a powerful system that the user wears as a backpack. The system is not only powerful, but also lightweight. The MSI VR One comes with two hand controllers, the system, the utility backpack carrier, and the VR headset. Just as with any system there are other accessories that a user can purchase. However, because it is a regular computer, the additional accessories are not solely through MSI, you can purchase from any other manufacturer accessories and use its plug and play feature with the MSI VR One.

The MSI VR One packs a punch by having high-end Intel Core i7 processors, NVIDIA extreme level GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 graphics cards. These new enhancements to the computer allows it to give the full look and feel within the virtual reality without any constraints that other computers may currently have. The ability for a user to be totally immersed into the virtual reality without the anchor of cords or equipment holding the user back from making moves forward, is where the MSI VR One stands out amongst other potential competitors. The backpack can run up to 1.5hrs of constant play/usage without being recharged.

The MSI VR One has “hot-swap” battery capability. This means that the battery can be changed out without loss of power to the device which eliminates downtime. It comes with a full VR HMD compatible Direct HMD I/O.  The sleek ID design makes the slim figure of the computer even more stylish and easy to carry around. Because MSI has dedicated this device to the Virtual Reality platform, it has a plethora of VR One applications that enhance not only the experience, but opens the doors for users to see just how powerful virtual reality is becoming.  The ports on the MSI VR One are the 4 VR HMD ports, 1 HDMI, a mini display port, along with a headphone and mic jack.  The pack weights 3.6 KG which is a little less than 8lbs. With power being the major concern when using VR devices, the MSI VR One comes with 2 battery packs. Memory in this device varies by the cost that the user is willing to spend, hence, there are different options from 256GB to 512GB.  RAM in the MSI VR One comes with 16 GB which is (2x8GB) DDR4.  The operating system of choice is Windows 10 Pro, but can be changed to any version of Windows once purchased.Wifi connectivity on the MSI VR One is a breeze with bluetooth 4.1 and 1535 Wifi.  The headsets which work best for this device is the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.  Both headsets have to be purchased separately and do not come as part of the VR One package.  If the virtual reality capabilities are not used, the VR One can be used as a super powered Alienware desktop. The mobility of this device is the most intriguing and the fact that it is not only lighter than most desktops, but capable of being worn as a backpack.The MSI VR One is an innovation that MSI has been working on for years that has come of age. This computer is essentially what the future of virtual reality and its uses are headed. The MSI VR One is one of the high-end product lines which has prices that go along with the technology. Prices for the MSI VR One go from $1,899 to $2,129. IT GURUS OF ATLANTA prides ourselves as a trusted partner of MSI. We deliver the most innovative devices from various manufacturers such as MSI for businesses and the government.  MSI partners receive partner discounts and special pricing that allow us to give the optimal pricing of their products. Contact IT GURUS OF ATLANTA and let us custom design your next computer hardware project at a fraction of the cost.

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The Temperature-control MUG

The Ember ceramic mug changed the way I’ll drink coffee, and it can do the same for anybody who hates lukewarm swill and the flavor of overcooked coffee sludge. Here’s the deal: within the mug, a microprocessor-controlled heating system gathers information from four separate temperature sensors and activates its adaptive dual heating mechanism. This means no more unintentional cold brew. It’s fascinating how little, everyday frustrations can stick in your brain forever. Like why isn’t there an apparatus that breaks spaghetti in half without throwing shards of raw noodle all over your kitchen? Or why aren’t there half-size spaghetti noodles? Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got a product that spoke to the very heart of me. It spoke to the part of me that has always hated tepid coffee.

The Ember ceramic mug allows you to set your ideal temperature preference—to the degree and keep it there. Most serious coffee drinkers know that the correct temperature for brewing falls between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the brew. Any higher and you will over-extract the coffee. Lower, you’ll under-extract, leaving the coffee sour and weak. The temperature at which you drink it, however, is much more subjective and is based on personal preference. The Ember mug allows you match your tastes. There are other methods for keeping coffee warm, but they have their flaws. Hot-plate-style warmers generate uneven heat from the bottom. Vacuum-sealed, double-walled containers leak heat constantly, despite their best efforts to hold onto those precious degrees. The only thing a hot beverage has to be is not cold.

The Ember mug is made of reinforced stainless steel and coated with a white ceramic. It comes with a matching coaster that acts as a charger, the cup holds a charge for about an hour and has a built-in LED light to notify you when your drink is at the optimal temperature or running low on batteries. The LED light even has color options for multiple users or drinks. Unlike the brand’s previous product the Ember Travel Mug, which has an adjustable dial on the bottom of the device, the new mug connects to your smartphone or Apple Watch to adjust the temperature. It senses when there is no liquid inside, puts itself into sleep mode when not being used, and then uses a three-axis accelerometer to recognize movement and wake the mug back up. The mug is approximately $80 and can be purchased on the Ember’s website or in most Starbucks throughout the United States and Canada.

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UberEats knows what you want before you do

UberEats suggests menu items based on what you’ve ordered in the past. On-demand food is a competitive space. Besides UberEats, people have a multitude of apps to choose from. There’s Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless, DoorDash and Postmates. There’s also the old-fashioned choice of simply calling a restaurant and ordering food, although not all restaurants deliver. By making its service more personalized, UberEats aims to stand above the rest. The food delivery service first launched in 2014 in Los Angeles under the moniker UberFresh. Then eventually it morphed into UberEats with an official launch in Toronto, Canada, in December 2015. By the end of 2016, UberEats was is 56 cities worldwide. Today it’s in 130 cities and is slated to be in 200 by the end of the year. UberEats is even in some cities that don’t have the ride-hailing service, such as Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul.

The food-delivery service added three new features to its app on Thursday that aim to learn your tastes, preferences and likes. It’ll now show “recommended for you” menu items, eater-generated restaurant ratings and also let you “favorite” certain dining spots. Essentially, UberEats is getting more personal. UberEats wants to get to know you. “With such a large and growing selection of restaurants on the platform, we’re thinking how can we show you what you want. UberEats is the food-delivery branch of the ride-hailing service Uber. Similar to how people can hail an Uber ride with the push of a button on their smartphone, they can also order food from dozens of local restaurants using the UberEats app.

Every single consumer on the platform is super different. By learning your preferences we can more intelligently suggest food that you like. UberEats’ new restaurant ratings work a little differently. Ratings aim to better guide eaters in picking restaurants and to help restaurants better learn what dishes are resonating with people. The feature will have a five-star rating system and show feedback over the last 90 days. Sometimes negative ratings can hurt restaurants. Businesses have complained that they’ve lost customers after receiving bad ratings on sites like Yelp, OpenTable and MenuPages. Negative ratings shouldn’t harm UberEats’ partner restaurants since they refresh on a rolling 90-day basis.

UberEats partners with restaurants, so restaurants can decide what they want to sell on the app. The company charges restaurants a service fee that’s calculated as a percentage of its sales on the platform. Uber now has partnerships with 80,000 restaurants, which include everything from upscale eateries to McDonald’s. “With an increasing choice of selection it becomes a little bit more difficult to choose what you want to order. Uber has created “technical solutions to solve some of the pain points for our customers.” UberEats’ new “recommended for you” feature uses machine learning to personalize the app based on what each person is ordering and favoriting. It looks at past restaurant and menu item choices to make suggestions much like how Netflix makes movie recommendations. So, if you tend to order pasta, UberEats will likely show you a restaurant’s spaghetti, lasagna or tortellini dishes.

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Security, Technology | November 8, 2017

Transformation of ANY surface into a Biometric Sensor! Ingenious!

 

Security is top of the line with any innovation. That’s the aspect of technology which frightens even the most daring of people. It allures the second-guessing mentality, doubt, and even the inability to move forward.  Security is the one aspect which has kept many designs from implemented and many new innovations from getting the much-needed attention. This risk of security is a rightful thought as it only takes one breach of data, loss of identity, or corruption of that data, which can cause chaos. That is why many people rely on trusted devices for their security. The conventional house alarm is evolving into one of those technically savvy devices which is rapidly becoming more mobile while keeping the home or business secure.

One innovation which has not yet hit the market, but is making waves is VibWrite. The name alone is a bit confusing, but as we dive more into what this gadget is, is the more the name makes sense. VibWrite is a very innovative device. The overview of the device is that it turns any ordinary flat surface into a biometric ID sensor. This means that VibWrite can change a table, flat handle on a door or car, computer, into a new security focused device. Once the device is installed and programmed, the user simply must place the stored finger or fingers on the surface of the device or door they are trying to access, and it will open the door or computer.

The question arises that how can the device capture any finger print when the surface it is not attached to a readable surface? Well VibWrite has the key.  The technology captures the unique vibrating signature of the bones in the finger. The security question now comes into play to find out how does each person’s finger differentiate from the other?  This is where the security component comes in.  Each person’s bone structure is unique to that person. Because of the difference in the bone structure, when a person presses their finger against a surface, it applies pressure differently. This is what causes the unique surface vibration that the VibWrite stores.

 

VibWrite was not a sole person effort, nor the effort of one organization. VibWrite is the result of the collaborative efforts of researchers at the University of Alabama and Rutgers University.  Together they have tested and manufactured this device.  The ability to not require specific additional hardware other than what comes with the VibWrite, makes this device very cost effective in comparison to other devices that require additional hardware to store.  The device is comprised of a Piezoelectric sensor, Amplifier board, and vibration motor.  Though the device is small, it packs the efficiency of up to 95% accuracy.  The false positive rating for the device is less than 3 percent, making its accuracy more profound than other devices on the market.

With a rapidly booming market that struts an estimated growth of 10 billion by 2018. Even though these larger systems can be bulky, they are the traditional equipment that is currently approved.  The current security systems come with intercoms, fingerprint card readers, and cameras.  VibWrite comes with the two connectors and that is it.  With its small size, VibWrite allows users to choose the security function they want. The security feature of VibWrite grants users access based on a PIN, or lock pattern.

As technology hardware becomes smaller and more powerful, so does its uses and the ability to interconnect both physical and machine. VibWrite is another example of technology boldly making that move. They are still in the process of getting this device approved for commercial use, but in the meantime IT GURUS OF ATLANTA will keep give steady updates as this technology unfolds.

 

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Increase Safari SPEED on iOS Devices

Has browsing the Web become an exercise in frustration with Safari on your iPhone or iPad? The first suspect to consider in this crime most foul is your Wi-Fi network itself, but if other devices are humming along at a reasonable clip and it’s just a single iOS device whose Safari is acting sluggish and slow, there are a few things you can try to speed it back up.

Clear history, cookies and data

This move may speed up Safari but will also make the browser a bit more of a pain to use at the outset because it won’t suggest a URL as you type until you visit a site again. Go to Settings > Safari and tap Clear History and Website Data to clear your browsing history and data along with any cookies. Your bookmarks will remain, and Safari will remember your AutoFill information for forms.

Close tabs

It’s easy to run up the count of open tabs in Safari. As a lifelong fan of Ohio State football, I get a daily email newsletter about the team, and each time I tap on a story, it opens as a new tab in Safari. Do I then close each tab after I’m done reading about my Buckeyes? Of course not. When Safari feels a step slow, I close all of the open tabs I have sitting there in Safari by long-pressing the Tab button in the lower-right corner and then tapping Close All [insert number here] Tabs. (You can also tap the Tabs button and long-press Done to get to the same option.)

Disable background processes

It may be that Safari itself isn’t to blame but a couple of background processes that are syphoning off valuable system resources. If your iPhone is downloading updates and refreshing apps in the background while you are browsing, then your performance might suffer. To disable automatic downloads, go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores and turn off automatic downloads for Music, Apps, Book & Audiobook and Updates. To disable background app refresh, head to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off. Or, if you have a firm suspicions of the app or apps that are refreshing in the background a bit too much to your liking, you can disable the feature for individual apps from the list below.

Reset network settings

When all else fails, you can try resetting your network connection. You’ll need to reconnect to any of your Wi-Fi networks, but it might fix what ails Safari. Go to Settings > General and scroll down to the bottom and tap Reset. On the Reset page, tap Reset Network Settings.

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