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Are Smart Homes Making Us Lazy?

Smart home technology is seeing tremendous development day after day. All of the homes which had been built earlier are now being converted into smart homes. Day by day the tasks that seemed mundane to us are getting replaced by technology. Most of these technologies are being developed to make the life of humans convenient in more ways than one. Some of these technologies are being developed to minimise the use of natural resources such as water. A complete smart home is still a dream which is far fetched, but we can soon see something like that in our future. A fully functional smart home is the one in which the home appliances communicate with each other and they coherently complete all the mundane tasks of the house. Here, we will tell you about the appliances which are a part of the smart home and will see if they are making us lazier.

  1. Smart thermostat

 

All that you need to do with this appliance is program the temperature of the house just once. This temperature can be then adjusted throughout the day to maintain a constant temperature in the house and decrease or increase it depending upon you are sleeping or working or doing any other activity. You can decrease it while you leave for work and can increase it back once you are back home. This helps in reducing the amount of electricity consumption, which is in a way good for the environment. This appliance in no way makes the user lazier.

  1. Smart locks

Smart locks can be installed in he indoors of a house and can open or close according to the will of a person, just by using a smartphone. If a person goes to work and accidentally leaves her or his door open then she or he can very easily close it back with the help of her or his smartphone without needing to travel back to the house. This appliance might make the user a bit lazier as it can reduce the need for remembering to carry the keys with yourself wherever you go, but on the other side it will also keep your house safe as well as secure.

  1. Amazon Echo

If there’s one appliance for the smart home, which can make a person lazier, it’s probably this one. This is a smart speaker that can be placed anywhere in the house. The Amazon Echo can interact with all the smart devices which have been installed in your house. The best part about the Amazon Echo is that it is controlled by the voice of the user. With the help of his or her voice, the user can very easily do petty chores such as set alarms, mark calendar dates, play music, ask questions, etc. If used judiciously this appliance has got a wide variety of uses.

There is a possibility that the smart home with all its appliances can make a person lazy for sure. These gadgets are also pretty useful. Finally, …

gTodo: A Simple, Easy-to-Use Task Manager for Linux

gTodo: A Simple, Easy-to-Use Task Manager for Linux


For many of us, crossing an item off our to-do lists evokes a certain satisfaction that really makes the tasks feel complete. There’s just something about keeping that list and getting stuff done that makes feel me on top of things, less stressed and even a little warm and fuzzy inside. But even those that aren’t personal productivity obsessives like me can benefit from recording their tasks in a list, even if just as an occasional reminder of what needs to get done.

There are many, many tools to manage your to-do lists out there, but for the average person most are, frankly, overkill. Not everyone needs the massive capabilities of Outlook clone Evolution or it’s KDE kounterpart (sorry, couldn’t resist the “k!”) Korganizer, but they don’t just want to record their tasks on a post-it note, either. No, most people need simple, graphical way to track their tasks on their computer. Enter gTodo, a simple but effective task manager for the GNOME desktop.

The first thing you’ll notice is the very simple and easy to use interface…just a single pane with your tasks and related information, add and remove buttons, and category filter drop down box. It’s simple to get started: just click on “Add” and the task entry dialog pops up.

You’ll find several useful features here, including the ability to add a due date and time to your task, assign it a priority and even attach explanatory notes. Entering tasks couldn’t be easier. Once your to-do list starts to grow, you’ll likely want to be able to sort and search through all your tasks. Luckily, gTodo provides pretty good sorting options for such a simple application, including the ability to sort by multiple criteria ascending or descending. In addition, you hide completed items, items without a due date, or past due items from your list, giving you the ability to zero in on what you need to get done in multiple ways. While there’s no search function, the advanced sorting capabilities should allow you to find what you need fairly quickly.

gTodo will also automatically purge old tasks for you, and as well as highlight past due items and tasks that are due in the next few days. It also has a useful tray icon that displays your due tasks on mouse hover, and allows you to quickly update your list.

I like the fact that gTodo allows you to save and open multiple task list files, so even though you can have several different categories within your each list, you can also keep completely separate files if you’d like. Work tasks and personal tasks, for instance. Or, you can save your list and take it to another computer with gTodo installed. The HTML export function is also a handy way to create a nicely formatted version of your list for printing, however I would have liked it if the HTML file included notes. As it stands, the …

How Mobile Android Development Works

How Mobile Android Development Works


Android applications are widely available, but finding the ones that you need can be a challenge. There are simply too many to choose from. When you have a guide for that, it can help. Here is s bit of that and some information on how mobile Android development works.

Android applications are Java based. Written through SDK in the Linux operating system, Android app development is very open to those who wish to use this platform to display their application. The best feature in the Android app development is the ability to use other applications with a new creation. It means that developers do not have to “re-invent the wheel” to get an application out. It saves time and money. The applications are really useful too. Here are some of the best ones to date.

“Google Talk” is the first application that is a must. If you do not have it already, then you need to get it installed. You can text for free through gmail. The best feature is the fact that it is free. Just go to the Android Marketplace and hit “download.” In fact, while you are there, get Google everything. They have a mobile Android application for nearly anything that you would do on your desktop.

Then download “Advanced Task Killer” for your phone. It allows you to use your phone with far less memory. It allows you to kill any applications that you do not need. In fact, it helps you prevent the pesky applications that you end up deleting. You know, the ones that say they do this and you discover that they really do “that.” Those applications can be easily put in check with this application.

“Shop Savvy” is next on the list. This application is really fun. You use your camera to snap a picture of a product that you wish to buy. It then shows you the competitions price. The prices are listed starting with the cheapest price available. You can even get local listings. That way, you save money.

“Scan Doc” is another useful mobile Android application. You can scan documents through a picture. Then you can save or send any document that you have on the road. This one is very useful if you are self-employed. Snap a picture to scan any document that you need to file away.

“Drop Box” is another of the Android applications that you really need to have. It is perfect for travel between home and work. Anything that you have on your computer at work or home can be accessed through this application. That way you can always stay connected to your life at work or at home.

“VRecorder” is perfect for taking voice notes or recording anything. It allows you unlimited vocal recording time. Then you can email or text the voice notes to anyone. It is really handy to have on your phone. This saves your voice notes to your memory card. That means that you …

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth


As mobile carriers roll out more advanced mobile data networks, including the current 4G, which delivers wireless data Internet speeds comparable to cable broadband, many users are shirking their wired Internet connections and tethering their cell phones to their laptops instead. Tethering is the act of connecting a cell phone to a computer so that it functions as a modem. Once connected, you can then access the Internet on your laptop via your cell phone. While most tethering apps require the phone to be physically connected to the laptop via a USB cable, you can use a simple app to connect via Bluetooth instead, turning your Android smartphone into a Wi-Fi router.

Step 1: Turn on your Android smartphone and tap the “Google Play” icon, which is the new replacement for the previous “Marketplace” icon. This will open the Google Play (Marketplace) store. Tap the button with the picture of a magnifying glass located in the top right-side of the screen. Type “PDANet” into the search field, then tap the magnifying glass button again to find the app.

Step 2: Tap the “PDANet” listing when it appears in the search results. Once the app’s page opens, tap “Download.” PDANet is free for the first 14 days, at which point you must pay for the app. You’ll receive a notification at the top of your smartphone when the app has downloaded and been installed.

Step 3: Open the list of applications on your phone and select “PDANet.” The app will open. Tap “Turn on Bluetooth DUN.” If Bluetooth is currently disabled on your phone, the app will prompt you to enable it. Once Bluetooth is enabled, PDANet will attempt to connect with your Bluetooth-enabled laptop for 120 seconds.

Step 4: Click the “Wireless Networks” icon on the bottom right-side of the Windows taskbar on your computer. Select “Dial-Up” connection. You will have to set up the connection for the first time. Select your wireless carrier and enter your phone number into the appropriate text fields when prompted, then click “Connect.” The computer will dial into the phone as if it were a dial-up modem. Once dialed in, you will be connected to the Internet n your computer via your smartphone’s data connection and Bluetooth. 

How to Tether an Android Gingerbread Smartphone to a Laptop Via Bluetooth

As mobile carriers roll out more advanced mobile data networks, including the current 4G, which delivers wireless data Internet speeds comparable to cable broadband, many users are shirking their wired Internet connections and tethering their cell phones to their laptops instead. Tethering is the act of connecting a cell phone to a computer so that it functions as a modem. Once connected, you can then access the Internet on your laptop via your cell phone. While most tethering apps require the phone to be physically connected to the laptop via a USB cable, you can use a simple app …

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows


Some people have taken the Linux ‘Text Drive’ using a Linux Live media. Now they want to go the next step further but are not comfortable with swapping out Windows completely yet. Well these people have the choose of keep using the Live media and or they can install Linux as a virtual machine under Microsoft Windows. That is to say, Linux will run as a Microsoft Windows’ application, an application that Windows gives complete control to. Linux, the Windows application, at install time, will create a file of a length set at install tie. This file will contain the Linux file system. A smaller file will be created to to be used as a swap file. With the Linux Windows application having complete control of the Windows system Linux runs effectively under Windows.

Some things should be note such as the Linux virtual machine runs a bit slower especially when accessing the hard disk drive. Note that this virtual machine then can run in the same partition as Windows.

For those who would like to install Linux as a virtual machine under Windows should follow the steps listed below.

1.Obtain a copy of the Linux Live media.

2.Burn that copy, usually in an ‘iso’ file onto the appropriate media (CD/DVD/USB Flashdrive).

3.On the Live media there will be a file that runs under Microsoft Windows. Execute this file while in Windows. This file will give you the option to install Linux under Windows. Choose that option.

4.Follow the prompts during the setup process.

5.Once the setup process has been completed and system has been restarted you will be present with a Boot Menu that allows you to choose the Windows or Linux.

At the time of this writing only the only Windows version tested was Microsoft Windows 7 and only Ubuntu and Linux Mint were the only Linux distribution tested.…

Extending Battery Life of Your Android Phone

Extending Battery Life of Your Android Phone


Power-hungry GPS, large and brighter screens, thinner designs, faster dual-core processors are just but a few of the modern Android phone`s designs that make its battery deplete so quickly. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can succeed in extending battery life of your Android phone.

1. Automatic brightness 
Setting the display brightness to adjust automatically will allow the operating system to dim in darker environment thus saving on energy.

2. Switch off extra features

Keep unnecessary hardware features off while not in use. Features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and more, consumes extra power that can be saved.

3. Disable widgets

Dump unnecessary live wallpapers and widgets. Some of these constantly pull updates from the background and keep consuming power.

4. Reduce applications that pull information regularly

Reduce applications that consistently pull information such as Facebook, email, twitter and the rest. You can change the settings to manual and always activate them when necessary or when there is a new message in the inbox.

5. Stay up to date

Keep applications updated. Up to date application use less power. Check to always confirm that all get automatic updating from the internet.

6. Disable flash

Adobe Flash is set to load flash content from the web and therefore keeps connecting to the internet which consumes power for no reason. You can adjust the settings from the Internet browser`s menu.

7. Adjust RSS feeds frequency

Default settings of some third-party application keeps checking for updates constantly in the background without indicating the cost on the battery life.

8. Check the signal strength 
Stationing in an area with low signal strength will over work the phone as it keeps trying to latch onto enough cellular signal which will cost extra power.

These are some of realistic ways of extending battery life of your Android phone rather than putting it off or charging it multiple times a day.…

I Need a Phone Number for Amazon.com: Help Me with My Moral Dilemna, Please!

I Need a Phone Number for Amazon.com: Help Me with My Moral Dilemna, Please!


I am facing a moral dilemma. I bought my boyfriend an Izzy booklight for Christmas. I ordered it at Amazon.com on December 18 and it never arrived. I decided someone must have stolen if from our porch or it was simply lost in the mail.

I logged in to Amazon in early January, found a phone number listed in the My Account section and called to explain the situation. They said they would send me another one, no questions asked. It arrived a few days later.

Now, this is where the dilemma comes into play. Last week the original Izzy turned up! Apparently, our usual mail person was away during the holidays and her sub was horrible. As a result, the Amazon box was misplaced.

I went back on Amazon, but I can’t find the phone number for the life of me. I’m afraid that if I just keep the light, the guilt will tear me to pieces. At the same time, I don’t know how to give it back or pay for it if I can’t contact Amazon.

So, I leave it in your hands. Post your comments below. What should I do?…