Category Archives: Technology Reviews

Choosing the Right Web Conferencing Service for You


With the price of gas, airline tickets, and other travel related items on the rise, more and more companies are looking for cost effective alternatives to sending their people around the country to attend meetings.

For many smart companies, the answer is a web conference, and there are many advantages to having employees meet one another from the comfort of their own offices.

Some of the many benefits of web based conference technology include:

  • Lower costs and fewer travel related delays
  • Greater productivity since employees do not have to leave their offices to attend meetings
  • Greater employee satisfaction
  • Ease of use
  • The ability to train large numbers of employees efficiently
  • No need for expensive conference rooms or meeting space

There are a number of companies who

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Attractive, Modern, and Customizable Restaurant Templates

Wp Theme


Would you eat at a restaurant that looked horrible on the outside?

The website of a restaurant is a direct insight into it’s quality and it’s experience. Just like the front area of the restaurant itself.

If it looks bad, nobody will want to come in and give the great food a try.

A website that looks good can dramatically improve the initial perception of a restaurant to perspective patrons – again just like the actual front.

To achieve this on a small budget, a restaurant owner should 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

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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

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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

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5 Best Downloadable Logo Creation Software


Have you ever tried to make a logo, but failed in frustration?

It’s surprisingly hard to design a logo.

I’ve spent hours, and even days trying to create something I can be happy with. It’s just not an ideal way to get something this critical done.

If you’re just like me – not a graphic designer, consider looking through some of the best logo creation software currently selling.

What kind of logo can you create if you had thousands of elements to choose from?

From font styles, design templates and examples, and various graphic elements – the possibilities are endless with logo applications.

You should be able to develop something great in no time. And save some money doing it too.

I’ve personally used freestyle graphic software for years, and although I can get a decent logo made, I’m no expert even after all that time.

Great logos are like super talented people.

We are attracted to brands because of logos, and that adds directly to their bottom lines.

That’s why this list of logo makers was assembled. Crafting an asset that represents your company can be easy, and cost very little.

So here they are – and in no particular order:

1. Logo Design Studio 4

Logo Design Studio 4

This software is made by Summitsoft Corp. It includes over 1500 logo templates, 5000+ graphic objects and hundreds of font types and tag line examples. It has special effects for actions, animations, balloons and more. It's currently only available for PCs and weighs 484 MB.

2. Logo Design Studio Pro Vector

Logo Design Studio Pro

This software is made by Summitsoft Corp. It's much more robust than #1 above. It includes more than 2000 logo templates, over 6000 graphic objects, and over 500 tag line examples and font types. This software is also Vector based which is useful in producing broadly compatible logos. This software also has a sales dashboard that allows graphic designers easy management of their business. It's currently only available for PCs and weighs 1200 MB.

3. Xara 3D Maker

Xara 3d Maker

This software is made by Magix. Not exactly a logo maker, but works practically the same. It allows you to create 3d based animations. It includes over 1000 graphic elements, font types and textures. It also comes with 700+ animation layouts. This software is useful for flat, 3d or animated logos and banners with various export formats and image import capabilities. It's only available for Windows XP or Windows 7 based systems and weighs 20 MB.

4. Macware Logo Design Studio Pro v 2.0

Mac Logo Design Studio Pro

This software is made by Macware. It's specifically made for the Mac Computers. It includes over 1000 logo templates, 2000+ graphic elements that are editable. It also has 500 plus textures and backgrounds. But one thing I didn't notice is the amount of font types included. This software is not available for download but I listed it anyway because of the limited mac based software in the market.

5. Logo Designer for Mac or PC

img

This software was made by Individual Software. It available for both PC and Mac. This software was made to be simple and easy to use. It comes with over 150 font types, a step by step tutorial, animation features and 3 logo applications (whatever that means). It weighs 850MB.

Why is the design of a Logo important?

The Logo is the most powerful and dynamic attribute of a business. It can be central, or foundational.

When I say central, I mean, it feels like the value of the product comes from the logo. When I say foundational, I mean the logo feels like an institution supporting the product or service.

If the company is lucky enough, their logo can even become a pop culture icon.

cc-1907

Everything must be considered when designing a logo.

Everything, from the name of your company, the uniqueness of the logo, color scheme, main icon or artwork, font style, 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.

Your logo’s uniqueness

A logo should be one of a kind.

But, that does not mean every element of it must be unique.

It could be using a common font that many other logos have. Or a common object, like the sun, or a dog.

But the combination of fonts, an original graphic icon, and any other elements, is what will make your logo unique.

microsoft logo

Take a look at this logo above. Do you see how unoriginal the elements are?

Your logo’s color scheme

Colors are critical in your logo.

Colors have a subconscious influence when you are exposed to them.

For example, as you can guess, red evokes passion and excitement, while blue makes us feel warm and trusting.

Every color, from Yellow to Black makes us feel different, or interpret differently.

This article published by CoShedule is a comprehensive guide to color psychology in marketing. A must read if you care deeply about your branding strategy.

Your logo’s main icon

Most logos have a graphic icon. This is often very helpful but not absolutely required.

People remember images better than words.

This is the primary reason so many logos have a graphic next to the main text. The logo must leave an imprint on the people who come into contact with it. It must be memorable.

Your logo’s font style.

The font you chose for your logo must match the type of business you are in – usually.

But it should always be as simple as possible.

Unless you are in the Events business, stay away from those big fancy curly fonts.

Pick a font that looks good and looks the same everywhere.

When I say everywhere, I mean on the web, in print (magazine, business card, newspaper, letter head), on a store front signage, painted on grass – you get the idea.

Basically, it’s best when the font is standard, with clearly defined edges, strokes, and thickness.

Also keep in mind, logos are not always good as vector. Vector is limited.

Logos are more dynamic when you maintain a master copy that can be edited by an application.

This gives the you greater flexibility in producing logos of any size, and resolution.

And it also makes it print ready, or compatible with limited color devices if needed.

Problems with Freestyle graphic software.

You might be a person who need logos all the time, or just need a logo for one business.

You may not even have graphic design skills, but you still want to do it yourself.

It’s very nice to try Photoshop or Gimp, but ultimately, there is a freestyle aspect to these platforms.

Often they will not produce anything worth telling your wife about.

What you need is a solution made specifically for logo design.

You need something with thousands of elements, design options, layout templates, and various import and export features.

Conclusion

There aren’t that many options to help you with your logo creation efforts. And the list gets even slimmer for downloadable versions.

But I feel this list is very good and I would be satisfied with any of these options myself.

By the way I do use The Logo Creator V5 from Laughingbird.

But I don’t think that software is nearly as good as any from this list. This is because of the limited graphic elements, and font type options.

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

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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

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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

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10 Quality Webcams for Live Streaming

Logitech C920 Webcam


Buying a webcam is like buying a used car. It can end up being 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 popular.

I needed a webcam for a video project and decided to research the best webcams for streaming and not just for recording. I’m not referring to Camcorders, I’m speaking about cameras made for live broadcasting.

So here they are, and in no particular order:

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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.