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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, …

Metro PCS Cell Phone Service Review

Metro PCS Cell Phone Service Review


I recently switched cell phone providers thinking that Metro PCS would give me a better deal. I’ve seen Metro PCS posted on billboards and online advertisements stating that their cheapeast phone plan with unlimited local calling and text is only $30 a month. I figured I would try it out since it sounded like something that might fit my budget.

I decided to sign up for the $35 a month plan because it included unlimited long distance calling and texts. After taxes, it turns out to be about $43 a month. While first trying to activate my phone, the customer service was not very good. Apparently they had a problem with the computer system and they told me I had to go to a Metro PCS store to have it activated. I understand that problems can happen and I was very patient and courteous about it. 
I decided just to wait a couple hours and call back. The lady on the phone was very hard to understand because of her accent and I had difficulty understanding how to activate the phone. Finally, the computer systems were running so she was able to activate the phone.

After a week or so of using the phone, I noticed some defects. While I am texting to someone, it sometimes says “message failed”. Then there are times when I send a text message and the recipient will not receive the text message until the next day. It also messes up the times that the messages are sent. I called Metro PCS to explain the situation. I was hung up on several times in an attempt to speak to a human customer service representative. I spent about two hours on the phone trying to speak to someone. I called from both my house phone and my cell phone. Each time I called, I was hung up on. So, needless to say, the customer service is very poor.

After many attempts, I was able to reach a man who explained to me that I cannot return the phone because I had already used it for one hour of airtime. Well, if that is their policy, then fine. I did not complain to him. I barely could understand his accent. It makes it difficult when it’s hard to communicate.

After a few weeks of having this phone, I am realizing that I made a bad mistake by switching to Metro PCS. I do like that there is no contract and that your first month of service is free, but I’ve done research and have heard from other people that there are much better cell phone service providers out there that do not require a contract to sign up for their service.

Here is another negative thing about Metro PCS. You have a few options to pay your bill. One of the options is going to the store to pay directly. I went to the store to pay directly and they charged …

How to Unlock a Samsung Omnia II Phone

How to Unlock a Samsung Omnia II Phone


The Omnia II is a high-end smartphone developed by Samsung that is marketed as a competitor to other feature-rich phones, such as the Apple iPhone and the Motorola Droid. The Omnia II offers a wide array of features, such as an integrated MP3 player, microphone, quality camera, large touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity, and is available on several different carrier networks. Most carriers only offer an Omnia that has been flashed and locked to its own network, making it impossible to use it on a different network until the phone is unlocked. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to unlock the Samsung Omnia, and, once unlocked, you’ll be able to use it on any network that supports its GSM radio type.

Step 1: Open your Web browser via either your smartphone or your laptop and type “cellunlockcodes.com” into the URL field, then press “Enter.” This website contains hundreds of cell phone unlock codes that can be purchased, including the code for your Samsung Omnia II.

Step 2: Scroll down the page. Locate and click the “Unlock Your Samsung” link. Fill out the phone details for the unlocker. Choose your carrier from the first drop-down menu on the page, such as “AT&T;,” then wait for the page to automatically forward to the next item. Enter your personal information, including your payment info, into the field. Make sure your phone number and email address are correct, since you’ll need that information to receive the unlock code. Submit the form.

Step 3: Take the battery cover off the back of your phone, then remove the battery. You should see the SIM card, which is a little plastic card located within a slot. Take the SIM card out carefully, then replace the battery and battery cover. Turn your phone on. Open the dial pad as if you were making a phone call, and enter the code you received during Step 2. On most Omnia II phones, the code is: #7465625*638*#. Press “Call” as if you were placing a call. The Omnia will process the unlock code and unlock itself.…

How to Get All the Promos from Steam’s Linux Sale — On a PC or Mac

How to Get All the Promos from Steam’s Linux Sale — On a PC or Mac


My brother once dismissed the whole Linux gaming scene as “minigames about Tux the Penguin.” At the time, he wasn’t far off.

But now Steam has officially arrived on Linux, or at least the Ubuntu-flavored version of it. It’s out of beta, and is available through the Ubuntu Software Center, its equivalent of the App Store. There are more than 50 titles available for it right now, many of them PC or indie smash hits, like CounterStrike: Source and Team Fortress 2.

That’s all well and good, you say. But how can you get in on it if you’re on a Windows PC or a Mac?

Option 1: Buy the games for Windows or Mac

Don’t tell anyone, but you know how it says “Save on all Linux games” on Steam’s page? That doesn’t mean you can only buy the Linux version. It means if you buy those games from Steam, you can use them on any platform Steam runs on.

So if you haven’t picked up, say, the original Half-Life yet, now’s a perfect chance to do so at only $2.49. Same with indie smash hits Bastion, Eversion, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, or at least they’re priced in that same ballpark.

All of the games in Steam’s “Linux games” sale are also available on Windows PCs. Nearly all work on the Mac OS. Just look at the icons beneath each game’s name, and log in with Steam on a machine running that OS if you want to play it. (In case you can’t tell from the sale banner, the penguin icon is Linux, even though the only “Linux” that Steam supports right now is Ubuntu.)

Option 2: Install Linux yourself

Why would you do this, when the games all run on Windows PCs or Macs? Besides the fact that a lot of people find it fun to try out a new OS, you get a free Tux (Linux penguin) item in Team Fortress 2 if you log in to the free-to-play shooter from Linux. Obviously this isn’t a big incentive if you’re not into Team Fortress 2, but if you are it might be worth it, both for the chance to test out Ubuntu and for completionism’s sake. Besides, everything’s better with penguins.

The Ubuntu home page will explain how to download and install Ubuntu for free. You don’t have to replace your Windows or Mac installation with it; you can instead put it right alongside the existing OS. You’ll want to backup your personal data first, though, if you aren’t already using Time Machine or a similar backup utility. …

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.…

Movie Projectors for the Cell Phone

Movie Projectors for the Cell Phone


Isn’t it amazing the age we live in? We can download movies and television shows into our cell phones, and watch them no matter where we are! Of course, it’s all on a 2 inch screen! Portable Media Players may give us a few more inches, but still, you’re watching something designed for a big screen on a little one.

Well, there may be another outlet. At this year’s CTIA Wireless show, Texas Instruments (TI) demonstrated a Digital Light Processing (DLP) “pico” projector, a tiny movie projector that is able to fit inside the tip of a cell phone. This projector has three lasers, a DLP ship, and measures about 1.5 inches long. It is the same technology that is in projection TV sets, but miniaturized.

A company called Upstream Engineering in Finland is also attempting to create a projector in a cell phone. Only their projector uses a Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, but still has the same problems. There are concerns whether the light will be bright enough, as projection technology requires quite a lot of lumens (units of brightness) to create a succinct image. The DLP, which uses lasers, could be the one that can produce quality images and still remain a small piece of hardware.

None of my sources say just how large an image the DLP can project. Apparently, the image will be “DVD quality”. Hopefully, they found a way to make it focus clearly, because the idea of holding it continuously in my hand for extended periods of time already makes my muscles sore. TI has not provided pictures of what the projected images look like, but then again, they probably are something that you would have to see in front of you in order to really appreciate.

TI has also not said when these cell phone/projectors will be available. Right now, the picture that I have is one that was released to the press about a week ago. The phone on it is fake, and I’m guessing that it will take a while before TI perfects how to integrate a cell and projector in the same little box. I also haven’t heard anything about sound quality, so I am assuming that any sound would be as good as what comes through the wearer’s headphones.

I’m not certain how this new technology will change mobile entertainment as we know it. Having a mini-movie projector probably won’t help if you want to watch it on a bus. Unless the bus happens to have a good section of white wall that it will let you use. That, or maybe the driver will let you lie down on the floor so you can project on the ceiling. That might work for mini-van passengers.

I also don’t know if this would work on an airplane, because don’t they ask you to turn your cell phones off? Still, assuming they let you use the projector, you could project your own in-flight movie on …

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.…

How to Increase the Battery Life of Your Phone

How to Increase the Battery Life of Your Phone


Are you sick of your phone running out of battery when you need it most? Ready to make an important phone call, but can’t because your phone screen is blank and you’re not even able to turn it on?

I’ve had this problem, as I’ve been working with a Razr V3m.

As with most razrs, the v3m has horrible battery life. I can typically expect to talk on my phone for about an hour before the battery goes completely dead. Of course the manufaturer doesn’t recognize this and claims that the phone has 2-4 hours battery life as far as talk-time goes. However, I have never seen this and don’t plan on the phone ever meeting this standard.

Anyways, you have to know that there really are a few ways to fix this. Battery life can really get you down. Don’t let it, fix it!

Get a New Phone 
This is definitely not the best option as far as extended your battery life goes, but it’s definitely an option. Some phones just plain-out stink for battery life. There isn’t much of an alternative but to either buy more batteries, or buy a more battery efficient phone.

Update Phone Software 
Often times, phone software is updated. My Razr v3m battery life greatly increased with a new update recently. You can usually find phone software updates somewhere within the settings menu of your phone. If you need more help with updating the software of your phone, I recommend calling the manufaturer or servicde provider.

Update Service Towers 
Sometimes finding service is horrible on the battery. Turning your phone off and then on in sequence can re establish a better connection with towers, as well as update the connection. Different service providers have different methods of resetting the tower updates. I’d recommend calling your service provider for the best answer possible.

Get New or Extended Batteries 
You’ll find that when you go to buy a phone battery from your manufacturer or your service provider, the prices are huge. They’ll range anywhere from 30-60 bucks. 
Online, you can get extended life batteries, which can even hold twice the charge that the manufacturer-grade batteries do, for around 10 bucks.

Ebay is a great place to do this. Buy off brand batteries. They function, charge, and hold charges the same. They typically are just bigger and will last much longer, for a fraction of the original cost. This is a great way to go!…

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?…