Category Archives: Technology Reviews

Attractive, Modern, and Customizable Restaurant Templates

Wp Theme


No one likes to eat at a restaurant that looks bad on the outside.

The website of a restaurant is a direct insight into it’s quality and experience. A website that looks good can dramatically improve the initial perception of a restaurant to perspective patrons.

To achieve this on a small budget, a restaurant owner can choose from the best restaurant themes made for WordPress.

Other platforms will not subsists because they are not Open Source, or have millions of freelance developers working with it, and most of all they cannot be extended with tens of thousands of plugins like WordPress.

A modern, attractive, easy to customize template made for WordPress can provide exactly what is required in quality and experience right out of the box.

So here they are – and in no particular order

1. Rosa Restaurant Theme – $58.00


Rosa

This theme was made by Pixelgrade. It’s rated 4.87 average based on 367 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution ready. This theme has 1 column, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.0+, WordPress Multilingual Plugin, and WooCommerce 2.3.x. It’s provided with Layered PSD, PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Parallax Scrolling, gorgious product menus, Open Table integration, and a style and content customizer.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

2. Chicago Restaurant Theme – $43.00


Chicago

This theme was made by WPCharming. It’s rated 4.89 based on 18 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution (retina) ready. This theme has 2 columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This bar & restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1, WordPress Multilingual Plugin, and WooCommerce 2.2.x. It’s provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Visual Page Builder, Event Booking Management, and Open Table or Custom Reservation Form.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

3. HG Restaurant Theme – $43.00


HG

This theme was made by LivelyGreen. It’s rated 4.83 based on 12 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution ready. This theme has 4+ columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This bakery or restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1, WordPress Multilingual Plugin, WooCommerce 2.3.x, Bootstrap 3.x. This theme was built on the Underscores Framework. It’s provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Reservation Panel, various headers, flexible food menu layouts, featured events, and Revolution Slider.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

4. Elixir Restaurant Theme – $43.00


Elixir

This theme was made by JellyThemes. It’s rated 4.80 based on 10 reviews. It’s high resolution (retina) ready. This theme has 2 columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This Asian or Italian restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1+, and is provided with PSDs, PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Visual Page Builder, 4 homepages, video background slider, Filterable Photo Gallery, and Parallax Sections.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

5. Grill Parallax Restaurant Theme – $48.00


Grill Parallax

This theme was made by Net-Labs. It’s rated 4.81 based on 48 reviews. It’s comes widget ready. This theme has 2 columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This events and/or restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1, and is provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Parallax Pattern, Visual Page Builder, Appointment App, and 50+ video tutorials.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

6. Malibu Restaurant Theme – $48.00


Malibu

This theme was made by ThemeTonic. It’s rated 4.96 average based on 25 reviews. It’s high resolution ready. This theme has 1 column, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This lounge bar and cafe theme is compatible with WordPress 3.6+, and is provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include one page design, parallax effects, and 40+ shortcodes.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

7. Garnish Restaurant Theme – $58.00


Garnish

This theme was made by BoxyStudio. It’s rated 4.88 average based on 25 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution (retina) ready. This theme has 4 columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 3.9+, WooCommerce 2.0+, Facebook, and Events Calendar Pro 3.x. It’s provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Exclusive Menu Builder, Unique Garnish Slider, Visual Composer, and Reservations.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

8. Munch Restaurant Theme – $48.00


Munch

This theme was made by EugeneO. It’s rated 5.0 based on 10 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution (retina) ready. This theme has 3 columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.0+ and WordPress Multilingual Plugin. It’s provided with PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include reservation forms, Parallax Effects, Product Menus, and Instagram feed.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

9. Berg Restaurant Theme – $43.00


Berg

This theme was made by YoSoftware. It’s rated 4.69 based on 54 reviews. It’s widget and high resolution ready. This theme has 4+ columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 3.8+, WooCommerce 2.1+, and WordPress Multilingual Plugin. It’s provided with Layered PSD, PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Visual Composer, Translatable, Food Mega Menu, and Gallery/Portfolio.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

10. Hungry Restaurant Theme – $43.00


Hungry

This theme was made by SubatomicThemes. It’s rated 5.0 based on 6 reviews. It’s widget ready. This theme has 4+ columns, is mobile responsive, and compatiable with IE9+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

This restaraunt theme is compatible with WordPress 4.1+. It’s provided with Layered PSD, PHP Files, CSS Files, and JS Files.

Additional features include Menu Creator, Recipe Post Type, Animated Slogan Rotator, Full Screen Background Slider, and Open Table integration.
-> Buy on ThemeForest

Customization

Any level of customization is possible with these themes including custom CSS and JavaScript, and without compromising the integrity of the theme.

Therefore, when building your restaurant’s website, it’s important to select from the best WordPress restaurant themes to find the right design to represent your restaurant or bar.

How often have we missed great food and experience because the outside was miss-judged?

Traditionally people get recommendations from friends and family, and more recently they started to look up where they want to go online directly. They often do several points of research before choosing one.

According to a survey conducted by Read more »

Is the Tesla Powerwall Overpriced?

powerwall


What is the Powerwall?

The Powerwall is a new commercial battery pack powered by solar energy and made for the common home. It will be produced by Tesla Motors Inc. and can be reserved on the Tesla Powerwall Website.

Powerwall batteries are made from lithium ion, available in 10kwh and 7kwh capacity, and outputs 350 to 450 volts. These units are mounted on the wall and are rechargeable. They require installation by a trained electrician and do not come with an AC-DC inverter.

What are some alternatives to Powerwall?

Cheap silicon batteries are in abundance these days. China produces millions every month. One example is deep cycle 6V lead calcium batteries which you can buy on Amazon. These can be combined with 120 watt solar panels and a 1700 watt inverter and produce more power than one Powerwall.

One drawback to using what’s currently available is performance and lifespan. The Powerwall is designed to last over ten years, something many batteries cannot match. These batteries also cannot regulate their own recharge cycles which helps save money by charging when costs are lowest.

How can the powerwall change the world?

Changing the world is a big claim. But this battery might very-well do that. It’s a bit premature – but Elon Musk explains how people in remote parts of the world can skip over existing power systems and adapt this technology faster.

Is the powerwall overpriced?

The Powerwall battery is priced very high at $3000 and $3500 for the 7kwh version. Compared to the currently available batteries and additional equipment cost, this product does come at a premium.

Regardless, when comparing performance and lifespan, this product promises to last as much as 20 years and performs very well if not better than other options.

I don’t think the Powerwall is overpriced – in fact it may be perfectly priced.

Save your Data and Sanity with an External Drive


One day just like any, you open your favorite browser and the screen goes blank. You press a bunch of buttons hoping it’s just a glitch, but nothing happens.

After several minuets of waiting, you decide to restart the computer. On start up, you get a blue screen displaying an error message. In short, your computer has crashed, taking thousands of family photos, videos, prized music, and even movie collections.

Even worse, your tax, other important documents, business related data, shortcuts, favorites, bookmarks, applications, and software are all gone.

You can try a data recovery service, but there is no guarantee the files can be retrieved.

You can get Read more »

5 Downloadable Logo Creation Software


Great logos are like super talented people. Many will be loyal to the brand becuase of it, and this can equate to millions of additional revenue for a company.

That’s why this list of the best logo creation software was assembled. Crafting a top performing asset that represents your company is not always easy.

The Logo, is the most powerful and dynamic attribute of a business. It can be central, or foundational. If the company is lucky enough, their logo can even become a pop culture icon.

Everything must be considered when designing a logo. Everything! From the name of your company, the uniqueness of the logo, various media type compatibility, and the future use of the logo. It’s like a face.

People get it wrong all the time, including me.

Logos are not always good as Read more »

What is SharePoint?


SharePoint is a collaboration software platform used by more than 75% of all Fortune 500 companies. This according to Microsoft who publicly launched it in 2001.

In those days it was used for intranets and managing documents. Today, its capabilities goes significantly beyond the original core features. This is possible because SharePoint is an Application Platform. This means third party developers can create plugins for it.

I must admit, I have very little experience with this software. So this article is mostly an exploratory piece. I want to examine it from the perspective of a Newbie and give you my initial review without bias.

What are the main features of SharePoint?

Cloud Collaboration: This software is a Read more »

Why Should I Buy an Ipad?


Over 100 million unites sold within 24 months. And we still have to ask this question?

The world went crazy for the Ipad Tablet. Except me of course. Yet it seemed like everybody wanted to buy one of these things. That’s why Apple Inc. moved so many of them when it was first released. Now that’s an impressive launch.

I don’t think people are still as excited for that particular product as they were a few years ago. With respect to it’s place in history, there are other options on the market now.

You can’t release a ground breaking product like the Ipad and not expect Read more »

Features of the Best Web Hosting Companies Reviewed

Hosting servers


Would you build a house on land that was unstable? I’m guessing the answer is no.

This same principle applies when reviewing services and looking for the best web hosting company for your website business.

Think for a moment if a server has a hiccup and the entire website is wiped out. Will the host be able to help?

A few years ago websites went down constantly whenever they were promoted on Digg. This happened because of the sudden spike in traffic that came from this site.

How will the host handle a similar problem if it was your website?

These are just two common problems. But don’t underestimate them. Having an established site crash while money is being made and customers are using the site is the worst case scenario. And this alone can drive a person crazy.

So it’s critical that you choose the right host from the start. Because Read more »

10 High Quality Webcams for Streaming

Logitech C920 Webcam


Buying a webcam is like buying a used car. It can turn out to be a lemon or your “old reliable”. Even if you bought a used cam, my list of the best webcams will not include any lemons.

In the last decade, video chatting and video publishing has skyrocketed. And although most online videos must be downloaded before viewing, live streaming videos are also very popular.

So I started thinking about what are the best webcams for streaming and not just for recording. I’m not referring to Camcorders, but specifically about cameras made for live broadcasting.

So here they are, and in no particular order:

1. Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam

logitech_c920_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 1920 x 1080p. It has Logitech Fluid Crystal Technology and noise reducing dual stereo mics build right in.

It allows uploading to Facebook and YouTube with a single click. It also has 15 megapixels photo capture and is Skype, Yahoo, Live compatible.
-> Buy on Amazon

2. Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam

microsoft_lifecamstudio_webcamThis webcam is made by Microsoft. It’s video resolution is 1920 x 1080p. It has Auto Focus lens, TrueColor technology for any lighting situation and ClearFrame technology.

It also has a high-fidelity microphone and is Skype certified. This cam is also Microsoft Lync ready and has 4 GB of Ram for fast streaming. It’s rated 4.1 out of 5 stars.
-> Buy on Amazon

3. Mevo Live Event Camera for iOS

Mevo webcamThis webcam is made by Mevo. It’s video resolution (VGA) is 720P. It allows live streaming virtually anywhere via Wi-Fi or LTE.

This device is made for iOS devices with iOS 9 or higher, and is the first camera to stream to Facebook Live. It also features built-in stereo microphones with dedicated DSP.
-> Buy on Amazon

4. Logitech B910 Hd Webcam

logitech_b910_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is (720 x 1280p) at 30 fps. It has a 78-degree wide-angle field of view. It also has 5 megapixel photo capture capabilities.
-> Buy on Amazon

5. Apple iSight Video Conferencing Webcam

apple_insight_webcamThis webcam is made by Apple. It’s video resolution is 640 x 480p at 30fps. It has a Built-in noise-suppressing microphone. It only weighs 2.3 ounces.
-> Buy on Amazon

6. uCorder IRDC250 Wearable Video Camera

imgThis webcam is made by uCorder. This is more of a portable device. It’s video resolution is (640 x 480p) at 25 fps. It comes with a built-in Flash memory of 2 GB. It weighs only 1 pound.

 

7. iHome MyLife Notebook Webcam

ihome_webcamThis webcam is made by LifeWorks. It has a 5.0 megapixel max resolution. It also can track motion and comes with a built-In microphone. It weighs 1/4 of a pound.
-> Buy on Amazon

8. Logitech B990 HD Webcam

logitech_b990_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 720p at 30fps. It has a 78-degree wide-angle field of view. It comes with dual mics for natural wide band audio. It weighs 14 ounces.
-> Buy on Amazon

9. Logitech 2Mp Hd Webcam Pro 9000

logitech_9000_webcamThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 720p. It has 8 mega pixel photo capture capabilities. It also has a 75 inch wide-angle lens. It has RightLight2, RightSound and AutoFocus Technology.
-> Buy on Amazon

10. Logitech HD Webcam C310

imgThis webcam is made by Logitech. It’s video resolution is 1280 X 720p. It comes with a built-in mic with Logitech RightSound technology. It can do up to 5MP photo capture. Another feature is 1-click Facebook and YouTube HD-upload.
-> Buy on Amazon

Compatibility

The biggest problems with webcams is video quality and hardware encoding. These become serious concerns when considering the output of live streaming video for video chats, seminars, and other important broadcasting.

Often the specific problems include speckling and color gradient inconsistencies. These issues are usually a result of severe processing of the video before it gets to the end user.

The processing of these streams includes compression of the video to allow smoother streaming on multiple devices, which is often done by YouTube when a video is uploaded. These types of treatment is done to live video as well.

If the video is low quality at the time of production, then gets processed a few times before delivery, it will produce a very low grade user experience. Try to create the highest quality videos when possible.

There is also potential USB compatibility and performance issues. Specificly with high quality video, the hardware on your computer must be able to handle the device. It’s the first level of processing and critical.

Community streaming websites like Twitch often require h.264 encoding for improved framerates, which cams like the C920 may be perfect for – read more about this here.

The top webcams on the market can do 720+ pixel HD Video at 15-30fps.

And computers have live firewire and live USB inputs to receive the video data. Most computers have USB 2.0 ports, so no need to worry about that.

Firewire based cams are great for streaming and can be used with Camcorders as well.

Check your computer for the Firewire port before buying anything. Check the package of your webcam or camcorder for the Firewire connector, it is often supplied.

No Firewire port? You can install a PCI card with Firewire ports. There must be an available slot on your motherboard for this upgrade.

Remember, it takes lots of CPU power to encode videos in real time for good quality streams.

You should review the detailed technical specifications of these cameras on retail websites to make the best choice for your situation.

Conclusion

These are some of the best webcams for streaming, but there may be better cams on the market. I didn’t personally try all of these webcams. Based on the specs, user feedback, and my personal experience with webcams, they stack up well against lesser quality/cheaper devices.

The device you choose to go with is based on your situation. I guess the only way to find out is with trial and error.

Remember, choose a cam that is compatible with the provided input of your computer.

H.264 video compression is the popular encoding format today, so make sure your camera can do this as well.

Why are Search Engines so Stupid?


How search engines work today

Search engines today are not very smart. I say this because, face it, many searches do not return exactly what we want.

They offer a seemingly random list of related content, that’s usually not on target. We often have to refine and re-enter our search.

In a paper published in the Journal of Information Science by A. Uyar, multi word queries can affect search results accuracy by 50%. And as the number of words increase, the accuracy drops.

Search engines use a number of factors to rank websites. In many cases this method fails.

This is partly the fault of the user as well. The user often enters vague keywords that the engines cannot properly interpret. This issue is not handled gracefully.

The problem with the current search engine model

The problem is Search Engines do not know what a user mean or intend in their query.

The search engines are now experimenting with live suggestions to help the process. But this method must be refined.

Another problem is search engines don’t always rank sites based on relevance to search. They try to make a guess at what is really expected from the request, and offer the best based on their very imperfect ranking methods.

Ideas that might help improve search results

There are a number of research projects currently trying to tackle this issue.

For example XFN (XHTML Friends Network). Using hyperlinks we are able to represent human relationships. Website owners can state who they are linking to and how they know that person or site.

Also FOAF (The Friend of a Friend), with their method we are able to do similar relationship declarations as XFN, but with more control over information. And with more access to deeper attributes and connections of each relationship.

There is also Hakia. This is a Semantic Search Engine. Their method is based on the idea of more credibility than popularity. They use librarians to judge the content among other factors.

These are just three examples of the next generation of technology that will make search engines just a little more intelligent.

How these can be implemented

Implementing some of these new technologies might not be so practical. For one, there needs to be far more options available through XFN and FOAF. The Hakia search engine uses humans, and this might not be easy to scale.

There are other projects that might prove more reliable than presented here. But currently no one person or company has made significant strides to building something remotely as smart as a child.

How will the future of search engines look

The future of search might prove to be revolutionary. The right information will be instantly available in a streamlined and natural way.

For example, we speak our query and have the request taken by our in house computer system, and then give us the answer in voice, video, text or any number of other formats. This would of course be highly intelligent and would return only the most relevant and credible results.

Conclusion
The search engines are not smart enough. Their ranking methods are faulty and need serious upgrading.

There are technology being researched and developed that might help. There exists the problem of scaling because the amount of information required cannot be handled effectively at the moment.

In the future, search will be radically more intelligent. They will give almost perfect answers to our questions, instantly and in any format we desire.