Dec 19

Exploring Technology

TechnologyWhat a wonderful world we live in! The technological advances we’ve made in the past few years have been amazing. Our parents and grandparents are seeing digital gadgets and technical gizmos that they never would have imagined possible in earlier years. Each year we make new leaps and bounds in scientific discovery. Who knows what cool new devices will be available to our children and grand children.

Further Tech-Xploration is made possible by contests and programs sponsored on both national and local levels. Summer space camps and other extracurricular activities help to ignite within our children and future generations a sense of excitement about the future fields of technology. Such programs help kids to understand the importance of their normal curricular classes such as math, science, and computer-related subjects.

Not only are such programs available to elementary educational students, but high school and university students are also catching the same spark. As we expand the current levels of globalization, information gets passed along at amazing rate. The students of today have a much better grasp of modern technology than did those of 10 or 20 years ago. With the invention of the internet, sites like this keep everyone interested up to speed on the newest technological advancements, and give us an idea of what to look out for in the future. (Some high schools even offer courses in robotics!)

What Can You Do To Help?

Obviously the better educated today’s students are, then the better prepared they will be to continue making wonderful advancements. So what does this mean for you if you are not a student? Well if you are a parent then there are a number of different thing that you can do with your children to help make them better students. Ultimately the goal should be to help students increase their natural interest and also their knowledge of technological topics. These students need to know what career options are available in regards to working with modern technology. Not that they should be pushed or coerced into any such fields, rather they should at least know that they exist so as to understand all possible options. As a parent you can help your students research career choices, and help keep them up to date with exciting new advancements.

Another goal that we have to help prepare students for tomorrow is for them to increase they science and math skills. Science and math are the foundation of knowledge needed for all careers leading the way into the world of tomorrow. You can help students with this by making sure you are aware of their homework and what they are learning. Take an interest in their studies, and make sure that they are understanding the material that is being taught.

Lastly, we want to make sure that students know what resources are available to them. As a parent teaching your children how to utilize school and government sites to access information when helping to make schooling and career choices can make a big difference for them in the future. After all they the future!

Sep 11

Inventions that Stood the Test of Time

digital penWith so many new gadgets coming out each year, it’s safe to say that technology is an ever changing world all its own. From televisions to computers, from tablets to cell phones and even phablets, our modern society enjoys the luxuries of advanced engineering on a daily basis. But where did it all really start? The truth is that if it weren’t for inventions from days old, we wouldn’t have any of the great technology that we have become so reliant upon today.

There have been a plethora of inventions over the years that are still widely used today, even though some of them may presently be in an altered form. The wheel, for instance, started out centuries ago as a primitive chiseled stone, and now has become so advanced that it provides safety for the passengers it helps to carry along. Another great example is the light bulb, which for the most part hasn’t changed much in the years since it was patented in 1879. That’s the mark of quality engineering – inventions that stand the test of ztime.

One of the most notable of these inventions is the pen. With crude beginnings in the form of rocks that were beaten against stone to create hieroglyphics, the fountain pen has definitely come a long way. People have always needed a way to record information, and from its modest beginnings centuries ago, the pen has morphed from a simple rock to a far more useful chisel, to a feathery quill and ink, and finally to the ballpoint pens that we still use frequently today. It’s a strange thought to consider what we would do if it weren’t for these magical writing utensils! And how many times has someone fumbled around in his or her bags only to ask you, “Can I borrow your pen?”

Although some people may argue that even the best fountain pen has been made obsolete by the invention of the stylus, or even a computer for that matter, nothing can provide the pleasurable experience of writing quite like a fountain pen and quality stationary can. While the stylus may be convenient and easy to use, the pen and the ink flowing through it connect the writer with his or her words in ways that the stylus could never dream of. Another great thing about the pen? It’s extremely affordable and readily available, which is something the stylus has yet to master.

There have been countless inventions over time that we, as a society, have begun to take for granted, and the pen is definitely one of them. Good inventions make our lives easier, while great inventions find a way to stand the test of time. The pen, in all its forms, is the perfect example. No matter how technologically advanced our world becomes, there are ideas and inventions, like the light bulb and the pen, which will never go out of style. From its most basic, rudimentary form to the hundreds of options available today, the pen is here to stay.

Mar 20

The Science of Unplugging

UnplugFor thousands of years the fastest method of communication between two distant locations was written parcel sent via horse. With the advent of telegraphy, and other forms of alternative communication information started being able to be passed at previously unheard of speeds.

If past inhabitant of our world could have glimpsed into our time, they would have never imagined the communication methods and devices that we have today. Even for a time following the invention of electronic communication, users were limited to how far their cables could reach. Once science got to the point of developing such devices that could communicate through wireless technologies such as the fine tuned radio frequencies of bluetooth and infrared, we began experiencing an exponential boom in new capabilities, especially in the realm of information technology.

Now we tend to think of wireless communication as being between two people, but it’s important to realize that the wireless communication of data can be performed independently. Consider for example one of many recent inventions, a non-contact infrared thermometer. Such devices work by projecting infrared waves at a given object and measuring the energy that object is emitting. Most of us don’t think of this as a communication, but data (in the form of waves) is sent to an object, and that data is sent back to these thermometers with numeric data which can be calculated into a temperature. Now obviously some of these devices work differently than others, so there are actually sites that review these non-contact thermometers and compare their quality, prices, and degree ranges. Obviously some work faster and some are more accurate than others, but it sure beats using an old school mercury thermometer and having to hold you hand very close to a very hot object!

There are indeed thousands upon thousands of different ways that becoming physically unplugged from technology has affected our lives. No one knows this better than online games. At any given time an avid gamer could be using any number of wireless communication devices. For example, there is a good chance that their internet router is broadcasting Wifi internet to their gaming console. If they have a gaming system that was built in the last 7 years, than the controller, mouse, and/or keyboard at their fingertips is probably connected to their gaming console or computer system via bluetooth. If they are playing online, then undoubtedly the headset in their ear is also connected to their system through this same technology.

Now even the most technically unsavvy of people will benefit from and use wireless technology on a daily basis because with the point that we are at right now, the devices are so user friendly and intuitive that we often utilize such technology without even thinking twice about it. This is one of the biggest reasons that smartphones needed a device such as an iPhone to become mainstream. The technology had been there for a few years, but no company had put it into such an easy to use way with simple application the way that Apple did. Just considering this fact leaves us wondering, what other amazing developments are currently available and just waiting to be streamlined for the commercial market?

Jan 27

New Superfast Speeds Tested Across The World

Rate of Technology IncreasesNew superfast broadband speeds are currently being tested across the world. With news that Korea is investing heavily in the next wave of mobile internet communications and that over one terabyte download speeds have been achieve in the UK, the world is moving towards a world in which super-fast internet is the standard for many people. This is great news especially when you take into account that one of the biggest limitations found in modern technology is the speed at which information is transmitted. With both download and upload speeds reaching untold heights, the possibilities which this offers for businesses are plentiful, but exactly how can this new wave of high speed access change the way in which business is conducted throughout the world?

Video conferencing

One of the chief possibilities offered by the high speed broadband is the ease with which video conferencing can become a major facet of day-to-day life. Already, voice over internet protocol telephony and video calling is a feature of many people’s lives, but with the increased capacity and speed, higher definition and more and more simultaneous conversations can be conducted at once. With increased quality and capability comes the ability to communicate with more and more people, breaking down the limitations of current conference calling facilities, as well as reducing the cost and making it a more accessible option for a greater number of smaller businesses who might not have been able to afford the infrastructure before the speeds were suitably high.

Working from home/mobile offices

Building on from the possibilities of video conferencing comes the opportunity for a greater number of people to work from a location which suits them. As the speeds and capabilities of internet systems become better and better, the ability to send and receive large files, quickly, becomes more apparent. Currently, a worker could complete something like Article 2 and email it to the office. Quicker speeds will allow him to send video, music, large data files or whatever he wants in a similar amount of time. This allows those people who do not necessarily need to be at their desk to achieve the same level of productivity. This could mean reducing commuting and its damaging effect on the environment or it could mean a greater ability for workers to visit off site locations and follow up on business while maintaining the same level of productivity they managed in the office.

Offsite Workstations

With an increased bandwidth and the ability to transmit a large amount of information at once, less and less emphasis is being placed on the need to store and maintain on-site computing hardware. Similar to how better internet can allow more people to work away from the office, cloud computing and high bandwidths can remove the need for dedicated hardware to be housed on site. As can be attested to by the IT specialists at ifeeltech.com, by allowing many of the more difficult computing to be handled in specialist data centers, offices will no longer have to constantly maintain and upgrade their hardware, thanks to the ability to access the same facilities via the internet.

Sharing more and more information

The key benefit of bigger bandwidths, both mobile and fixed line, is the ability to share more and more information. Whether this is exclusively in house, in a business to business manner or allowing companies to share information with the public directly, great broadband typically means great communication. While higher speeds will not only increase productivity, they will also allow a great deal more original thought and innovation. With the ability to share information at increasingly higher speeds, we are constantly inventing new ways to make use of all of this data in exciting ways.

 

Jan 19

Modern Miracles in Health

Health TechnologyWho can argue that the leaps and bounds we continue to make in the fields of science, robotics, and computer engineering benefit all of us, regardless of our field of study. While many of these benefits are those of convenience or efficiency, there is one field that benefits from these advancements in a way that others do not. In the field of health and medicine, discoveries and innovation are literally the difference between life and death.

Computer science and very complicated algorithms can now detect the onset of certain types of sicknesses that were previously undetectable until a time when it was too late. These breakthroughs, no matter how recent, may seem to some like the answer to the prayers of those in the past. It’s not a rare occurrence for patients to be told that the situation they find themselves in would have been fatal only 10 or 20 years ago. For many modern medicine seems to be a modern miracle.

It’s not just advancements in medicine. The technology that we all enjoy and connects us all, now does the same for doctors, surgeons, and nurses. Just as we can figure out the name of the song we just heard on the radio. Computer and internet resources now allow health care professionals to quickly research and diagnose sicknesses and conditions that they may have never dealt with in the past. Not only this but they can look up research and treatment that have been performed all over the world by other physicians recently and start weighing and discussing treatment options with patients.

Training environments are also unbelievably better than they were previously. Through complex programs and virtual reality environments medical school students can practice procedures and surgeries until they reach perfection without ever putting a patient at risk. This means better prepared health care professionals entering our hospitals and clinics. Each generation of doctors seems to be more skilled than the previous. This no doubt is having an effect not only on the longevity of life (as demonstrated by rising life expectancy numbers), but is affecting quality of life as well.

Even with all of these modern advancements, it’s important not to forget how important other things are too in the treating of the ill. Words of encouragement towards the sick can take a patient miles past where science and medicine can. It’s amazing how important compassion from others is in our recovery process. Get Well quotes have been know to brighten a sick patient’s day more than any medicine could. The effects are not just mental, but also physiological. A strong support system and a “never give up” attitude have led more than just a few people to a full recovery, even after being given a grim prognosis by doctors.

When you think of what achievements in technology mean for those in the medical field and those that they treat, it’s hard not to feel like the entertainment benefits that often accompany such developments are much less insignificant than previously thought. Either way, new discoveries will continue to benefit all of us in the many different facets of our lives.

Jan 11

Devices That Make Our Life Easier

dream machineWe all benefit from technology whether we decide to realize it or not. While the act of traveling to the moon in 1969 didn’t have a direct affect on most people, it changed history. It changed our world. Many of the devices we use today use technology that was discovered and perfected as a direct result of NASA striving to push the envelope on human achievements. The mission caused us of necessity to address questions and problems that we wouldn’t have otherwise taken on and the result was astounding. Of course the discoveries and computer design have been many times perfected to get us to where we are today. How many businessmen or teenage girls do you think even consider the circumstances culminating in their smartphones and tablets? How many of us even do?

Often times this technology is taken for granted. This, of course, is understandable. Aside from computer technology, there are many way too many important discoveries and historical events that have led to where we are and what we have. To constantly try to keep them in mind wouldn’t really be constructive. However, considering an event or a discovery in the field of technology or robotics every once in a while can help you bolster excitement in yourself or in others about the discoveries of tomorrow.

So how do these advances benefit us directly? While there are a million possible answers, let’s consider a few. These smartphones that we have by themselves have thousands of uses, as attested to by the tens of thousands of apps available to download and install on them. For example, most major smartphones have apps available to fulfill the purpose that a “dream machine” would. These apps make nature or other sounds to help users fall asleep, also known as white noise apps. It’s no surprise that with all of this modern day technology the population in general has a harder time falling asleep at night than did previous populations. While we may lie in bed and feel tired we often turn to our smartphones or laptops and stay on Facebook or Twitter into the wee hours of the night. It’s no surprise that sites like IAmAlwaysTiredAllTheTime.com exist to give tips on how to fall asleep instantly, and combat the epidemic of insomnia that is becoming more and more present. It’s also ironic that in order to fix the problems caused by technology we turn to technology. These “sleep aid” apps are cheap or even free and are much more accessible than “sound machines” of the past. In the past if you were having a hard time falling asleep you may need to wait until the next day to go to a store and purchase a separate device with sleep sounds. Today, within minutes you can start taking the steps necessary to quickly fall into a deep slumber.

Of course, this is just one example in a million, but it’s always exciting to think what solutions (and problems) will come of the technology that will be created in the next 5, 10, and even 20 years. While it’s fun dreaming about that future, it’s important to recognize that we are the ones shaping it. Our contributions (or those of our children) will greatly affect future generations. It is both an inspiring and a heavy responsibility that we bear.

 

Jan 08

Effects of Technology on Globalization

IMG_0029Stop one second and ask yourself this question: “How has technology impacted the world we live in?” It’s true that there are a million different answers that you may come up with, so let’s get a bit more specific. What effects have technology had on globalization and how does has that impacted your life?

Once again answers may vary, especially in response to the second part of that question. The first half of the question is probably pretty similar for most of us. With the development of the internet and the usability and affordability of devices that connect to the internet, We are able to communicate with other people on the other side  of the world. This is such a wonderful benefit that we enjoy. Think about it! For thousands of years that fastest method of communication was to physically deliver a message from one place to another. Now we wait a few seconds for our laptops or tablets to boot up and almost instantaneously we can Skype call family and friends iin New Jersey from virtually anywhere. Sometimes if feels nothing short of a miracle.

In addition to standing in awe of the technological wonders that we have accomplished to date, its important for us to consider what impacts these advancements have made on society. There’s no question that the world wide web has made our globe much smaller. First of all it’s easier for us to not only communicate with other geographical areas or countries, but it;’s also easier for us to learn about them. People of different cultures and in different areas all go to the same websites, we all listen to the same top 40 radio songs, we all watch the same movies, and we all play the same video games. In a way, this process of globalization is causing a uniformity in some of our ways of thinking and even how we talk. Popular meme and gif sites cause people of different backgrounds to use the same jokes and form the same types of humor.

These globalization behaviors extend beyond how we talk, or what we know. They are even leading to a uniformity in looks and styles. Probably because westernized music and movies tend to gather more hype in our current society, the same fashion trends can pretty much be see throughout the world. Of course they haven’t completely replaced the native apparel in local areas, but they are definitely different than they were even 10 years ago because of the technological communication.

In addition to fashion trends, grooming and care habits seem to have changed as well. Hairstyles and different looks created with eyeliner and other makeup seem to be making their way around the world. This might be attributed to the fact that world wide websites accessible anywhere give makeup tips to everyone who visit. For example people around the world may visit the same site giving tips on the finding foundation for different skin types. That site might recommend an Este Lauder or MAC makeup foundation product and suddenly all these people are using the same makeup and application methods adding to the already rising levels of globalization. Now this same idea applies to people with all sorts of different skin types (oily, dry, acne-prone, combination, etc) and with all different types of makeup products (foundation, moisturizer, toner, eyeshadow, etc). Now this obviously extends way beyond the realm of makeup or even fashion. This same scenario applies to music, businesses, and food.

There is no doubt that the effects of globalization are largely positive. It is interesting to watch these changes unfold, and who knows what changes the future will bring.