My Experience With A Technology Exhibit in New York

My Experience With A Technology Exhibit in New YorkIt’s me Morgan, your geeky tech expert and as always I’ll discuss all things technology (which sometimes bores my girlfriend.) Anyway, I want to talk about a technology exhibit I attended in New York City called Gadgets For The Body And Mind. This exhibit lasted a good three weeks but I only attended the first two weeks since I had to return to my video production project that I’m working on for a new client for my freelance business. I saw a lot of geeks there but a few were actually posers because when I discussed technology topics with them, they looked clueless. Here are some highlights of that exhibit.

Someone’s Watching You With Gadgets

I embrace certain conspiracy theories and when I saw a line of popular spy gadgets that law enforcement officials and regular people use to spy on people, I was not too happy. For example, I heard about this super small surveillance camera that can be drilled inside any home appliance or even implanted in your purse or suitcase. In addition to this, an attendant showed me a few GPS systems that look like pocket calculators that can be installed in or underneath cars. I visited a seminar within the exhibit that showcased computer programs that allowed someone to monitor all computer activity and I was really upset when I learned about the latest gadgets in cell phone surveillance. Continue reading “My Experience With A Technology Exhibit in New York” »

My Top 5 Music Bands

When I was in college I worked at the campus radio station and I had a blast there because I was given the late night classic rock show that was hosted by an older alumnus for a long time. I went in the stacks and found a lot of great classic rock albums from rare and established rock artists and it was during my time at the station that I developed a liking for all kinds of classic rock bands. Over the years I purchased albums from artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Moody Blues, The Doors and Fifth Dimension. Altogether I have about thirty albums in my basement and I’m always on the lookout for unreleased material from legendary artists online or at local record stores. Here are my top 5 music: Continue reading “My Top 5 Music Bands” »

Keeping Up Appearances – A Cool Geek

Keeping Up Appearances - A Cool GeekHi everyone! I’m sure you all are my loyal internet followers, so there is no need for special introductions, or more specifically, for me having to tell you that I’m what you would call a geek. But that is what I am, and what I love being! You all probably already know what makes someone a geek – thick glasses, all the crazy technology and Star Trek obsessions, and so on and so forth. And like most other people, you’d probably say that there can be no such thing as a cool geek. Well, I think you’re wrong. I believe that being cool isn’t something reserved for rich, tall and blonde people who spend their days on yachts. And that’s why I’ve decided to try to give my fellow geeks a few tips on how to become/stay cool.

Try not to limit your hobbies to those related to computers and SF

I know – those things are so cool, and others, well, not that much. But I think having an open mind is very important for being a really cool person. If I hadn’t been trying to expand my horizons during the last couple of years, I probably never would have discovered some really awesome things that I now simply love doing, like, for example, origami. To most people, I’d still be that geeky guy who never stops staring at his computer, which would be a real shame. It’s great when you have a passion, but I strongly believe that you shouldn’t let it consume you. If you’re still not convinced, remember that taking up new hobbies is also a great way of meeting new people!

Looks are important too!

I know many of you will just skip this one, because if nothing else, it’s the looks that make up a really cool person, or so we’re told by anything we’ve ever watched on TV. But I don’t mean it quite like that. I don’t think you have to have a sixpack, you just have to look neat and feel good in your skin. I, for example, do that by making sure I get enough physical activity, and that I always look groomed in a way. I get regular haircuts, and wash my clothes in both fabric and water softener, such as the ones you can find on this website. I know it might sound silly, but putting on clothes that feels and smells great always cheers me up, and it’s how you feel that really matters. What I’m actually trying to say is that taking care of yourself is a part of feeling good about yourself, and that in turn is a part of being cool.

Try to be relaxed when communicating with people

I know – easier said than done. And it’s true – we all have issues when it comes to this, even those who look like they don’t really care. But it’s actually this fact that helped me get over my fear of meeting new people. I mean, if we all feel insecure, why would I let it stop me from living my life to the fullest?

How To Prepare For A Convention

How To Prepare For A ConventionHi guys! Hope you’re doing okay! I just finished unpacking from my latest IT convention, when it suddenly hit me! I should write an entry about the process of preparing for a convention. Although it might sound like a no-brainer, it’s actually not! There are so many things you need to think about and plan in advance, that for some people it’s just a bit too much. I know how my first convention looked like, and I can tell you – it wasn’t pretty! I mean, don’t get me wrong! I had loads of fun, but just didn’t pack anything useful and ended up eating chips most of the time. So, to help you guys prepare in a more suitable manner, I’ve decided to make a list of the most important things you have to do before any of your future conventions!

Register for the convention!

It’s the first and the most important thing you’ll need to do. And yes, I know what you’re thinking – if you’re going to a convention, the last thing you’ll do is forget to register for participating, right? You might be surprised by the number of times I’ve seen it happen! I think it’s probably because you usually have to register months in advance, especially if it’s a more popular convention.

Prepare and seal your food in advance!

You’re probably wondering why you would want or need to do something like that. First of all, the food there won’t be that good, and you’ll have to eat it at least twice a day for at least three days. Second, more often than not it’s also expensive. I myself prefer the way my old buddy does it, and so a couple of months ago I visited the and bought one of their useful little machines. I prepared plenty of good food, divided it into separate meals and sealed each of them into a small plastic bag. You might not believe me before you have your first convention experience, but it made a world of difference to me!

Book a room!

After you finish the registration process, make sure to check whether you have some kind of free or organized accommodation going for you. If yes, hooray for you! If not, book a room right away! I’m serious. If you don’t do it right away, you’ll probably forget all about it, and believe me when I say that you don’t want to be staying in any of the rooms that will still be available a day or two before the convention starts.

Pack light, but smart!

I can’t give you any real advice here, because what you’ll need while at a convention greatly depends on both the type of convention and your personal needs and preferences. I can tell you, however, that (as they say) more is not always better, and that sometimes the thing you thought you’ll need the least will turn out to be the most important of them all. So my advice to you would be: think hard about what you (don’t) need!

Why The Culture Of Movie Theatres Is Dying

Why The Culture Of Movie Theatres Is DyingHey guys, so guess who is back! I know you must have missed me to bits but now that I have filled your heart with relief I think we should move on to more important matters before we get all caught in the obviously ensuing emotional rollercoaster that will follow my return.

I want to discuss an issue that has been close to my heart over the few years and I feel that it something that has been bugging a number of you guys as well. This particular issue has to deal with the movie theaters and more precisely, the culture that is the art of movie going.

When I was younger, I used to love going to the movies. It was a wonderful experience, one that I would look forward to with anticipation when I knew it was coming (sometimes it would come as a surprise) and I could not wait until I was grown enough to leave my parents and enjoy the whole exalted experience with a couple of friends. As I grew older, the movie theatre was the first place I would take a girl on our first date not to mention a number of others that followed as well.

Nowadays the experience of going to the movie theatre has changed over the years and it is no longer the glorious experience that it once was. This can be seen as an ironic twist in events as there have been massive improvements in the technological department when it comes to the production of movies in terms of graphics and the viewing experience that can be enjoyed.

Though these changes such as the introduction of 3D movies have improved the overall production of the movies themselves, the experience has deteriorated in a downward spiral so fast that anyone going along for the ride may be required to done a good motorcycle helmet for safety purposes. There are a lot of issues that can be found with the current experience of going to the movies that one may not be pleased with. Some of these experiences include:

  • The cost of going to the movies nowadays has skyrocketed in an unbelievable fashion and anyone who is conscience of their wallet would not be very willing to take part in this activity anymore. Not only have the prices of the tickets risen immensely even in theatres that still maintain an old fashioned 2D screen, but so have the prices of the snacks which can be argued is a crucial part of the movie going experience. With the economy the way it is at the moment, it is understandable to see people avoid going to the movies for the cheaper alternatives that are available such as renting it out on the internet.
  • The social experience that takes place at this setting has not been shown any mercy either and it can be argued that people have changed for the worse over the past few years making going out to the movies a series of unpleasant surprises as one does not know what kind of people they will meet while they are there.

Sourcing High Quality Wood

Sourcing High Quality WoodThere’s something about real wooden furniture that seems rather homey, don’t you think? I enjoy having the stuff decorate my home and making an occasional piece of furniture is actually a hobby of mine. It’s fairly cheap for me now since I have the tools for working the wood on my end and I know where to get the materials for cheap too. Sourcing high quality wood is probably to main concern for most people who want to try and build their own furniture, so that’s what I’ll talk about today. There are a handful of different places to find real wood, so I’ll list a few here.

The first resource I found is actually pretty reliable, though you might have to go through some hassle to really utilize it. People who own land, especially land with trees on it, might just be looking for someone to remove some of that wood. Now whether you’d have to rent said land and pay a fee, or if the owner would actually pay you to come chop down and haul off some of the trees, I can’t say for sure. That’s going to vary based on the landholder with whom you are dealing. But most countries are packed with people who own land and want it cleared for one reason or another, making this a great wood source.

Processing a whole log, or sections of a log, is another story. It also brings me to my next reliable source for high quality wood. Whether you find it and bring it in yourself, or purchase something directly from the people with the right machines, like these, you’ll need to get your wood split up to make it easier for you to work with. Remember, you’re not looking to carve your next chair from a single log of wood – or maybe you are. But if you are, there are probably better guides out there on the ‘net for your specific needs.

Splitting the logs to be worked on chops them up into smaller, more manageable pieces, which makes cutting other pieces out of those significantly easier. Sawing planks off half a log with a face which is already pretty clean is much simpler than trying to do the same right through the bark layer, which could lead to massive cracks and fissures that make most of the log unusable. In my opinion though, it’s important to remember that the roughest work is always done first. For this you might even consider looking at Log Splitter Pro to look for decent machines you could rent elsewhere.

Of course, a splitter is just the start. You’ll need saws, vises, rulers and more to assure accurate cuts. You’ll need a hammer, different kinds of nails and maybe even a set of drivers and screws to secure together the various pieces of wood you want to use to make your furniture. And last but certainly not least, you’ll need the tools for all the finer, finishing work, like sanders, primer, sealant and paint, if you’re going to be using any.

Finishing Wooden Furniture

Finishing Wooden FurnitureWell hey again everyone. I’m back with the second bit about making your own furniture from real wood without paying a lot of money to get the job done. Previously I talked about sourcing affordable wood at mills or other places where large quantities of raw wood can be obtained cheaply. Now, I want to tell you about cutting and finishing the wood to get a final product you can actually use. It might seem like a daunting job, but with the right tools and a decent stain and sealant it’s possible to make some fine wooden furniture for a fraction of the retail cost.

Because I’ve covered acquisition and initial work in another post, I’m going to focus exclusively on the finer, finishing work this time. Anyone who has worked extensively with wood in the past, even at a middle school level, will understand this finishing work refers mostly to sanding. To get the best smooth surface possible while pulling away the smallest amount of wood in the finishing process, it’s actually vital to sand multiple times, with sandpaper which becomes steadily finer with each sanding. This will undoubtedly sound like a waste of time to some craftsmen, but I assure you it is not.

This is good and bad. It’s good because you can use any sanding device to do the hard work for you and simply change sanding discs, pads or surfaces out as needed to do whatever project needs doing. It’s bad because you need to have multiple grades of sandpaper available, or get multiple sanding discs in different grades if you don’t have a machine which will load plain sandpaper. You can see all kinds of different sanders and their available options at if you need a visual aid to go with the written explanation here.

While many people think the sanding process is simply to make wood smooth and less likely to give slivers to people who touch it, that’s just one of the reasons wood furniture and other objects need to be sanded. Another reason is that level, even surfaces allow wood primer, stain and sealant to leach into wood more deeply, which in turn creates better seals and longer lasting stains. To waste time doing this fine work on rough wood would just be silly, and leaving these steps out of the finishing process is simply stupid since water in wood tends to create rot if left unchecked.

This could be an annoyance, like in the case of a wooden chair which crumbles under the mass of the occupant. But it could also be very dangerous, like if a porch, deck or patio were made from wood planks and full of people, maybe some animals, maybe some cooking implements like a grill when it decided to cave. Now that I’ve outlined the steps to finishing wooden furniture and explained why each is important, I think I’ve actually given you all some good information. Keep it in mind if you find yourself working with wood in the future – and don’t be afraid to share your experiences with the rest of us.

Childproofing Your Home

Childproofing Your HomeHey, everyone! It’s nice to be back. I had a great time last week at my cousin’s home. He had invited me over to his house warming party. He had recently moved into a new sprawling home with a big pool in the backyard.  Looking at the décor and design, I knew he had spent a lot on the place.

When I mentioned it to him, he said that he had to take extra care in the design to make his home child safe. He has a very active toddler who I can see could create real havoc, if left to his own devices even for a few minutes. While home is where you can let your hair down, enjoy, and play and have a great time with family, you also need to keep it safe for your family, especially when you have active kids.

Accidents are inevitable when you have kids around. While minor bruises and scrapes are normal part of growth in kids, as they discover new and exciting things to do around the house, it is necessary to keep them protected from serious injuries.

Safety measures

Parents often worry endlessly regarding keeping their children safe from burns, fire, choking, drowning, falls and poisoning.  These are more often likely causes to be concerned about, when compared to them being susceptible to crimes such as abduction or violence.  In fact, according to my friend, over 2 million children are injured accidentally and over 2,500 killed because of not having the proper safety measures at home. Childproofing is hence a vital part of every home.

Safety checklist

Here is a list of things to check whether your home is completely childproof or not

  • Thoroughly check the entire home from your baby’s point of view that is crawling down on the floor to know what lies in your child’s line of vision. Make sure the drawers, cupboards and spaces, which your child can get into easily, are properly locked. And don’t leave any small objects lying around which your child can choke on.
  • If you own guns, keep them unloaded and locked in a good safe. My friend had bought a perfect one from Since he has quite a large assortment of guns, he had a large safe installed.
  • Keep all poisonous or hazardous stuff including knives, vitamins, and medicines and cleaning agents out of reach of the kids.
  • Protect all electric outlets with suitable covers that have a safety latch, so the cover doesn’t end up in the child’s hands or mouth. In case you are using extension cords, make sure you cover the outlets with electrical tape.
  • Television sets, furniture, appliances and bookcases tipping over children have been found to be a major cause for accidents and injuries to children.  It is therefore necessary to keep furniture secured to the floor solidly. Keeping them bottom heavy, instead of top heavy also prevents from them tipping inadvertently. Sharp corners in furniture should be covered with bumpers to prevent injury in case the child falls against them.
  • Safety gates are very important childproofing additions. They help to keep kids indoors, within the space they are allotted, and the gates prevent access to forbidden rooms and dangerous staircases.

Things To Do With Your Smartphone

Things To Do With Your SmartphoneHey guys, as usual I have come back with a crazy idea as a result of an everyday life situation that had me thinking to myself, technology can be so biased sometimes can’t it? It is not the first time that I have come across this kind of segregation (of the technological kind that is) whereby the older generation are left to walk around with their devices from the nineties while the rest of the world keeps up with the amazing changes that have taken place in the market over the years.

Upon further research I discovered that this is mainly due to the fact that the younger people do not have the time (supposedly) to teach their older counterparts how to use the phone or even give any pertinent information concerning the gadget. I thoroughly enjoy technology and would be loath to see someone else be denied that privilege simply due to a lack of information. That’s the sort of thing that makes me want to throw my own phone down the garbage disposal or have my awesome meat grinder (check the review here) have a go at it (in a metaphorical sense of course).

This is why I have decided to write an article on all the cool things that one can do with their smartphone should any poor should be looking for such information.

There are a number of wonderful things that can now be accomplished at the click of a button as a result of the strides that have been made in smartphone technology over the years but it is best to start at the very beginning from the very beginning for those who might not have a clue about what to with the gadget. Simply put, one can think of their smartphone as a mini computer small enough to fit in your pocket. There are a number of great things that one can accomplish with their smartphone and some of these include:

  1. Take High Resolution Pictures and Videos

Most smartphones have what in the least can be termed as acceptable pixel resolution which simply means they are able to take better pictures than their older counterparts. Pictures taken from smartphones are clearer with a higher resolution allowing for more detail within the graphics. An individual is also able to record videos and store them onto their phone for later use. The camera and video recorder are located in the same place on most phones so one only needs to find one to find the other.

  1. Listen to Music and Watch Videos

One is able to download or transfer their music onto their smartphone enabling them to listen to it whenever they please. This music can be stored on the phone and accessed whenever the person wants.  One is able to do the same with videos as well.

  1. Access the Internet

This capability can be considered the most essential for those in need of such articles as this as the internet allows one access to all kinds of information. A smartphone ensures that a connection to the internet is available at the touch of a button. And now that I have imparted this information I feel a little better, my phone is not going into the meat grinder (like the ones reviewed here: any time soon at least.

Cool Things To Do Online

Cool Things To Do OnlineThe introduction of the internet has been a revelation within the society and its continued development has enhanced its influence over the day to day living of individuals within the said society. However, there are a number of people who are still not aware of all the capabilities that the World Wide Web is capable of and are only meagerly aware of its existence on general terms.

This form of ignorance can be dangerous in a world where technology has worked hand in hand with this virtual platform (the internet) to provide access to various sections of individuals’ lives and personal data. It is advisable for one to at least be aware of the various activities that can be performed online. If they are not tempted by such attractions they are at least able to take any necessary measures to make sure that their ignorance of such developments will not be their downfall in terms of hackers.

As mentioned earlier, there are a whole lot of things that one is able to do online and this list is growing by the day as more and more devices are connected to the internet for easier access. This is especially true for government utilities and the services offered. Individuals no longer have to visit physical addresses to have particular matters taken care of.

One is even able to control gadgets over the internet through the use of a wireless connection network. Various devices from a smartphone to a microdermabrasion machine (if you’re wondering what this is, check the reviews here: are now able to access the internet at the touch of a button. Some of the more common uses for the internet in recent times have included:

Online Banking

One is now able to gain full access to their bank over the internet nowadays. An individual no longer has to go to the bank physically to transact their business but can have it done from the comfort of their phone as a result of online banking. One can perform almost all the financial transactions they could need such as withdrawal and depositing of cash from one account to another and account administrative duties such as changing one’s password. Online banking has made it easier for hackers to get access to unsuspecting individual’s accounts though one must always stay vigilant with their sensitive information lest it fall into the wrong hands.

Online Shopping

This is an older and noticeably more popular use for the internet nowadays as an increasing number of individuals become attracted to this alternative form of shopping as compared to the traditional means. Most shops have now opened an online branch as a result and have included attractions such as free delivery to rival their competitors. In most cases, it is usually cheaper to go shopping online than it is to do it physically as one is able to search for better and competitive prices online than would have been physically possible in older times.

Online Registration

This is in reference to a large number of things. Most registration processes no matter the sector be it the church, the government or a private organization have made their registration available online in a bid to help individuals having to make the physical trip to their location.

Singing Along with Favorite Songs

Singing Along with Favorite SongsHave you ever experienced that moment where a familiar song comes on the radio, or on some live stream, or somewhere else, and you just want to sing along with it? Of course you have. I think everyone has felt this once or twice before and I know a few people who seem to do it all the time, like whenever any music they know at all starts playing. I work with a lot of music myself, though it’s usually independent stuff or tunes without any royalties attached – music can sure help to improve the overall quality of a video if the right sort of song is used.

But that’s not really the same thing as what I mentioned first, now is it? No, I’m talking about that sense of spontaneity, the sudden need to sing a song that surges through your soul when those familiar notes find your ears. It’s like, the essence of karaoke, you know? There’s something about having a few drinks and just letting loose like that which is really appealing to me, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m so reserved most of the rest of the time. I do creative work, but it’s always along strict guidelines from clients who want something specific. Just doing my own thing is a lot of fun sometimes.

I’m bringing this up because I actually had a pretty fun night out, a week or so back. I’m really kind of a homebody who likes to keep to himself and not go out all that often, so it actually surprises me when I do have a good time. Not that I don’t have friends or anything – wouldn’t that be sad? No, I have several people I’m close to and comfortable being around. But that’s the thing. I know them, we’ve got some history, so there’s none of that anxiety. Getting back to the music though, I love karaoke, especially when older songs I really like come on the machine.

While it’s something I enjoy doing and quite a bit at that, I sure hope nobody ever makes a video of me going crazy like that. Could you imagine people watching my drunk self, slurring words to songs like I Go For You by Andy Gibb? I can imagine it, and it’s not something I ever want to see. That’s weird isn’t it? Getting loose, getting vulnerable like that, it’s a lot of fun. But it’s also a state I don’t want other people to catch me in. Do any of you know what that’s like? I don’t think it’s exactly rare, but it is weird to me.

Ah, well. I know this is all way off the usual topic for here, but since it’s my blog and I can post what I want in it, that’s just what I’m doing. If anyone has a comment to share about that feeling you get when a familiar song comes on, or how much fun it is to sing when you’re sloshed, or even the sort of apprehension that comes with the day after, by all means, share. I’m just going to keep thinking about this, so some other perspectives would be nice.

Knitwit’s Hunting Tips

Knitwits Hunting TipsAs a young computer and AV guy living in the middle of one of the most populous areas here in the United States, you might think I don’t know anything about roughing it from a glance. While it’s true that I’m no survivalist and I wouldn’t want to get caught in the middle of nowhere without tools and a phone, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the outdoors. I used to be an avid hunter and it’s still something I enjoy, though adulthood leaves me far fewer opportunities to just put everything down and disappear for a week. I’m not even that old yet and I already miss being a kid now and then, heh.

Like anything else, you can learn to be a better hunter by watching others who are good at it while they do their thing. Unfortunately, this is also a great way to end up buying all kinds of tools, accessories and other gear you don’t necessarily need to be a good hunter. There’s no substitute for experience, even if it comes with all kinds of features, bells and whistles and costs an arm and a leg on top of all that. I recommend checking with any hunting clubs, sporting goods stores or similar locations in your area to see if you can’t pick the mind of more experienced hunters before you get started.

See, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then it’s very hard to figure out where you’re going to go, or what you’re going to hunt, or how you’re going to hunt it. That’s why getting information from veterans is a must. That’s also why you’ll want to check other sources for knowledge. I think features a lot of information about techniques, tools and other aspects of hunting. By understanding these better, you can make yourself a better hunter. However, so far I’ve just been talking about gathering information. What about getting real-world experience?

Well, there are ways to do that too. Paintball is a pretty popular sport. The thing about it is, if you’re good at sneaking up on people and catching them unawares with a “bullet”, you already have an edge when it comes to sneaking up on animals and doing the same thing. Paintball can teach you many useful skills for hunting, like moving quickly and quietly, breathing deeply and regularly to keep your breathing quiet, checking your flanks along with your rear to watch for hidden dangers or missed opportunities, and more. There are few safer ways to learn how to hunt than this.

By combining knowledge with experience, it’s possible to become good at anything, including hunting. But one thing you can do to improve your hunting skills which you can’t necessarily do with other sports is to gauge your prey. Read up about the habits of the animal, or animals, you are trying to hunt before you go hunting them. This will give you important information like where to find your prey, what times of day it is active, what it sounds like, what it smells like and so on.

How to Keep Yourself Fit Using Latest Apps

How to Keep Yourself Fit Using Latest AppsHi guys! Today I’m going to write about how to keep fit with the help of different technological advancements and items. I’ve gained some weight recently, and I decided to get rid of it, and to bring myself in a bit better shape. Today’s society puts a lot of emphasis on keeping fit and having a good body. But for me, keeping fit is not about how nice I look (although I like being able to have a bit better self-esteem when I talk to the ladies 😉 but more about how good I feel and how healthy I am. I want to be healthy and feel good even when I get a bit older, and staying active is very important for this. That’s why I’m going to tell you about how technology helps me get or stay in shape.

We live in the golden age of technology, and one of the most convenient things to have, which will help you stay fit, are apps. Since everyone these days has a smartphone or some other type of mobile device, anyone can download and install some useful fitness apps.

One of the best ones is MyFitnessPal, which can keep a record of what you eat, count your calories, and track how many calories you burn. It also tells you if you have to make a change in your lifestyle and projects your weight in the future depending on your calorie burning and intake. I was surprised to learn there are apps for women which can be programmed to remind them when to take their protein supplements. There are also apps for extreme fitness freaks, like those which remind you when and how much you need to work out.

Other than apps, there are some lovely wearable gadgets which help you become or stay fit. A popular item in this category is the activity tracker. These are usually in the form of wristwatches, and they track how much you move. They also calculate how many calories you burn and how many steps you take. Some more advanced ones not only track how many steps you take, but also are you climbing with those steps or going down. They take that into account when calculating the total calories burned.

Another new and fun gadget is the smart scale – yes,  a smart SCALE! These scales not only measure your weight, but can also calculate your BMI, weight and even the air quality of your home. They can be connected to apps such as the one I mentioned before – MyFitnessPal, so you don’t have to enter your weight into the app, but the scale does this for you.

And the last thing on my list may seem a bit weird, but bear with me. The internet! This I think is the most important piece of technology for keeping fit, not only because it allows you to find out a lot of information on how to do it properly, but also because there are great support communities on there, and they will encourage you to work out and be as fit as a fiddle!

New technology in cars

New technology in carsHey everyone, I’m back! The car industry seems to be reeling under the impact of economic slowdown. With the dwindling sales in both used and new cars, you might think that there are no new advances taking place in the field. If so, you will be in for a surprise. Actually, I think this slowdown is more reason for the tech people to come up with something attention grabbing and new.

In fact, everyone who wants to buy a car looks at the additional features, or smart features. So as such, there is pressure on all sides for the car companies to keep producing something new. I’ve dived in and got some of the new technological advances that are creating a stir in the industry.

Backing up or parking sensors

Almost all new cars that are made now come with inbuilt sensors. While some of these have alerts that let you be aware of an object directly behind in the path of your vehicle, others come with rear cameras, which give you a clear view of what is behind your car. While reversing this is of great help. Sometimes, especially when you are driving fast on the highways, it is difficult to see what is in front of you with the glaring lights of oncoming cars and trucks. This is why I have the Whelen LED light bar fitted to my vehicle.

Multi direction cameras

If you thought cameras are only for rear view, these cameras will disabuse you of the notion. Some of the latest model cars boast of multi-direction cameras, which cover all sides of your car. These cameras in fact give you 360 degrees cover and alert you when an object or person is near the vehicle.

Parental control or GPS tracking devices

With teenagers badgering their parents to no end about driving cars, it is natural for parents to worry, especially if the car is a brand new one. Technology takes care of this issue too expertly. There are GPS tracking with parental control gadgets that limit the radio volume and speed and alert you, if you have not put your seatbelt on.

These features let you feel more assured about the safety of your teen and the car of course! Most cars made today have high beam and automatic light control. You can turn your car to automatic lighting, so it switches on the lights, when it is dark. The high beam control helps you to increase or lower the light of your car, while other cars pass you or approach you. I think this would go well with the LED light bar I mentioned before, which I purchased at Lighting is very important for driving and it is not safe to ignore it.

Controls for driver aptitude

Certainly, this system is needed for today’s reckless drivers. It remembers what the driver does regularly and if it finds any deviation from that, it would alert you. The speed of the driver, steering wheel angle and use of gas, brakes and other factors are taken into account to judge the pattern of the driver. If any of these features are detected as abnormal by the system, it will alert and this is very useful when you drive during nighttime or for long hours nonstop.

How to Increase Your Influence

How to Increase Your InfluenceYou notice how most of the words in that title up there are capitalized? That’s actually a nice little way to get people’s attention, to increase your influence over those who are reading your work. Capital letters begin sentences and start paragraphs; they’re things that most people find worth their attention. There are actually many ways to increase your influence and have more of an effect on the people around you. This magnetism that some people call charisma is instrumental in life because if you can influence people, you are much more likely to win arguments with them.

Eliciting a positive reaction (or negative, if that’s what you want) from another person is a powerful skill in the right hands. But that’s not the only reason you’d want to boost your ability to influence others. People can have some pretty strange hobbies, and even harder than finding something fun to do is finding other people who enjoy the same things as you. With a good deal of influence, you can talk other people into trying those strange and interesting things you enjoy, where normally a person would have great difficulty getting someone else to try something strange or unique.

That explains why having more influence is good. But how do you actually go about increasing your influence? There are a number of ways to enhance the way you affect people, and to be seen in a more (or less) positive way. Pay special attention to the way you dress and present yourself, as well as the way you talk and interact with the people around you. These factors can have a powerful effect on the way people perceive you, and perception is reality. What people see, hear, taste, smell and feel is what’s real to them, and that’s an important lesson to learn if you want to influence them in any way.

Since hobbies were mentioned, there are actually some hobbies which can also increase your influence. Speaking in public and caring for the elderly or inform might not sound like a lot of fun, but they are still hobbies for some people, especially those who are civil-minded or want to help people in general. Some hobbies bring us into contact with other influential people, and through those connections we ourselves gain a bit of their influence. That brings me to my next tip, which is finding other influential people to associate with.

Some people will call this sucking up I’m sure, but it’s no secret that successful people have always networked with other successful people. This is why social media like Facebook and LinkedIn is so powerful these days. It’s all about networking! I used several techniques for improving and increasing my influence with my latest work and while they weren’t super successful, I did manage to get the ears of a couple of the people I’ve been working with. They could be leads to more video production work in the near future, and I’m always looking for more work, so I count that as a success.

Ways to stream videos live

stream-videosHi folks! Recently I had been invited out on a hunting trip by some close friends. Given my background in video production, my friends who know all about hunting, animals and hunting tools, asked me to set up a live camera stream out in the woods.

As I went about setting up the live broadcast for them, it occurred to me that live broadcasting of videos can have a large number of applications and many users would like to stream their own videos live.

As such, I decided to compile a quick guide which will allow any user to stream and broadcast their videos live.

3 ways to easily stream live videos

Here, I will talk about 3 of the simplest ways for you to stream your videos live. While most of these methods make use of hosting services or websites, you do not require much additional hardware f software, other than a PC, a webcam and an active internet connection.

Here are the top 3 methods that can allow you to stream your videos with ease:

  • Making use of a webcam

If you have a webcam and an active internet connection, you can very easily stream live videos and share them with others. In order to do so, you will need to sign up with a host which offers the bandwidth to stream your videos.

Most of the streaming host services allow users to stream videos without having to bother about installing encoders. These services have a built-in program for broadcasting on the web, which allow users to easily stream their videos without making use of any additional software.

Some of the popular streaming host services include:

  • YouNow
  • Livestream
  • Ustream
  • Bambuser
  • Using Google+

Google+, along with YouTube can be used to stream live videos as well. After logging into your Google account, you can visit YouTube and create a live event. You can enter all the details and the schedule of the event and adjust advanced settings for streaming.

Once the details have been created, you need to launch Google Hangouts and you can broadcast your video to friends. You can also choose to manage the viewers of your broadcast and also share and embed it on the web.

  • Streaming video games

It is also possible to offer a live stream of video games, something which is widely used these days. In order to stream video games, you will need to sign up for a streaming service, which will host your video and provide you with the bandwidth to share it live with others.

You will need to download software to capture and stream the display of your computer before you seek out a streaming host service. FFSplit and Open Broadcaster are two excellent software packages which allow you to capture your screen.

Some popular streaming host services for video games include:

There are also many advanced methods that can be used to stream videos such as making use of an encoder or using high quality software. However, these processes are slightly cumbersome when compared to the methods mentioned in the article. The mentioned methods are definitely the simplest ways to stream videos live.

Well, to go back to my hunting trip – I’m still alive! Haha! Everything went great, we got some good footage and I got a reward for my work – I got to keep the boots my friend loaned me for the trip – Absolutely amazing!

I discovered a new passion – hiking!

dhikingHi everyone! I’m back and this time I will share with you one of my recent experiences. Many of you may be aware that I am a young professional living in New York, but a very few know that I take the time to try out new and exciting things once every often.

Last weekend, I had gone out on a hiking trip to the Anthony’s Nose, a famous hiking trail along the Hudson in Westchester. My friend told me it was all the rage, so I got my gear, looked at some great boots at HikingAddicts, and decided to go! An excellent trail for people who are just beginning hiking, Anthony’s Nose is the highest pear around the area, which overlooks the Bear Mountain Bridge as well as the Bear Mountain State Park.

About an hour’s drive away from Manhattan, any season is perfect to go hiking and trekking around Anthony’s Nose, except for the winters.

This hiking trip is approximately over 3.5 km and the peak stands at an elevation of about 900 feet. A couple of friends and I drove to Manhattan early in the day and we started off the hike at about 9 in the morning.

As we made our way across the trail, I was genuinely mesmerized by the vast sights and sounds that the area had to offer. Starting off close to the Hudson River, the trail quickly ascends, offering an ethereal view of the river and the parks below. As we reached the vantage point, I could do nothing but click photographs of the wonderful view that was offered to us.

The trail that we followed is a famous one and s known as the Appalachian Trail. There were many other adventure enthusiasts who were on the same trail as us. While our group covered the entire hike in just less than 3 hours, it is possible to cover the distance in about 2 hours. The peak, along with the mountains, forms an excellent ridge and is comprised of calcite and granite crystals, offering a rugged experience to hikers.

The hiking trip to Anthony’s Nose is one that I will definitely recommend to all people living around New York. It proves to be an excellent hike for people of all ages and for hikers of any level of experience. It is not too far away from the city and the entire hiking trip can easily be completed in a day’s time. Make sure to carry your camera, some snacks, some music and have some good company around when going for this hike. It will definitely be an experience worth remembering.

I have been on a couple of hiking trips earlier, but they were all when I was only a kid and was accompanied by adults. This time around though, my experience was much different, (probably because I am an adult and have more freedom) and I can definitely say that hiking is quickly growing on me.

I am already eagerly planning out more hiking trips for later. New York City has a number of hiking and trekking trails to offer around it and I will surely take advantage of this.

Virtual Pets

Virtual-PetsHello everyone! I have recently been bitten by a new bug – adopting a virtual pet. Over the past few days, I have been actively involved with my virtual pet dog, Cho. Cho is a software based dog, which follows my commands and behaves just as a real pet would.

Having been fascinated by what virtual pets can offer, I decided to dig a little deeper into the subject. Soon, I discovered that adopting virtual pets can be a lot of fun and they present much fewer hassles than having to deal with an actual live pet.

Why own a virtual pet?

Virtual pets can offer the same advantages offered by a real pet, minus the troubles of having to cleaning up or having to provide them with actual food. Furthermore, there is no tension of having to deal with pet poop around the house.

While many people debate about the actual benefits of a virtual pet, research has shown that they can foster positive emotions in an adopter, just the same way as a conventional pet does.

Types of virtual pets

Here, I will talk about 3 of the simplest ways for you to stream your videos live. While most of these methods make use of hosting services or websites, you do not require much additional hardware f software, other than a PC, a webcam and an active internet connection.

Here are the top 3 methods that can allow you to stream your videos with ease:

Web based pets

Today, there are a large number of digital pet websites, which enable users to sign up and own virtual pets. These sites can be accessed through web browsers and often include fun game and tasks for users to enjoy.

These websites also offer a very active user community, where pet owners can meet each other and many also offer chat rooms.

Popularly also referred to as simulation sites, these web based virtual pets have gained massive popularity all over the word. While some of these websites feature pets based on real animals, some others contain mythical creatures that can be adopted as pets.

Some of the top web based virtual pets include:

  • Neopets
  • Virtual aquariums
  • Sim horse games

Software based pets

Other than website based virtual pets, users can also choose to adopt software based pets. Today, there are a large number of virtual pet games which can be played both on PCs and on mobile devices.

Described to be a part of life simulation games, such software based pet games are usually much better than their web counterparts, given the availability of larger computing power.

Artificial pets as featured in such software based games are capable of learning new tasks and are classified as software toys.

The Pokemon and Digimon are examples of some virtual software pets, which have seen a huge share of popularity over the past few years.

After having so much fun with Cho, I am considering of taking up a virtual aquarium as well. I’m still not sure which aquarium to pick though, since I want it to be really lifelike, with decorations and fish, but also things like some of those canister filters I saw on CanisterFilterGuide, and maybe a crab or two. While there are a number of online websites that allow me to have an aquarium, I’m still looking for the perfect fit for me, and  I would prefer software based aquarium on my smartphone rather than a web based one.

Creating Video Sets

Creating Video SetsWhile my influence on a video tends to end with recording or editing the work, there are many things which go into creating any sort of video. For starters you need a script, or something similar for the reader or readers to use when speaking during the video. You also need to create the set itself.

You might do this with a green screen and a computer program, but newer isn’t always necessarily better. Many production teams still create physical sets for recording videos, and there are few devices more useful when creating physical sets than the framing nailer.

Basically, a framing nailer is a handheld device which is used to join together large objects, usually pieces of wood. It works in a similar fashion to your everyday nail gun, except it uses much bigger, thicker nails and it drives these with reduced accuracy. This would be perilous if you were doing meticulous work, but nailing two support beams together isn’t exactly meticulous, is it? These nailers are useful for crafting stages and sets as well, since those are usually made mostly from wood. You can nail together walls, floors, ceilings and more with a framing nailer, so it’s versatile too.

Like other power tools, you will need a source of electricity for your framing nailer to work. In this way it is inferior to a simple hammer and nails, but since the device can hammer as many nails as a dozen people in the same amount of time or less, it has its positive side as well. Besides the wooden elements in a set, you must consider other additions like plants, glass panes, furniture and more. While a framing nailer could theoretically be used to nail together different pieces of wood in a couch, for example, this sort of wood work is typically too fine and precise for such a machine to do well.

The set you create for your video must be realistic and relevant to the video itself. If you’re trying to sell a floor cleaner, for example, your set must have floors of some kind. It would probably be good if they were composed of materials your cleaner is designed to clean, as well. Many points in creating sets seem like common sense to those viewing from the outside, but as has been said so many times in the past, hindsight is 20/20. When you’re in the thick of it and trying to create something on a strict timeline, some of these points might escape you.

Many other tools go into set creation as well. You’ll need saws, hammers, sanders and mops; brooms, brushes, paints and more. With the vast number of supplies necessary to craft a set, you will probably want to be positive of whatever set you want to make, before you start. Try drawing things out by hand and noting the materials you will need for each of these sketched sets before you start actual construction. This can save a lot of money and time, both of which are typically in short supply when making videos.

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