July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

This premium wall-charger from Anker features 5 ports that pump out 63W of power — enough for the whole family to simultaneously charge multiple devices at the highest speed possible. Right now it’s discounted 70% to just $27 on Amazon, where it averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 500 customers. Right now when you buy this item you’ll also activate a 10% discount on other select Anker products including their power bank and bluetooth speaker. See this deal on Amazon.

This story, “70% Anker Quick Charge 3.0 63W 5-Port USB Wall Charger – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

I strapped on a pair of virtual reality (VR) goggles and looked around the room. There were three PageWide printers sitting off in the corner, so I reached out and pressed a lever to open the paper tray. A voice off in the distance, like a ghost in the fog, told me to try lifting the copier lid as well.

I was at HP in Palo Alto, California, and the demo was meant to show me how their multi-function printers work. Interestingly, VR and augmented reality (AR) today do not take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) as much as you might think. I wasn’t able to ask a question and have a bot respond. The VR looked ultra-realistic, but it was all self-contained within a structured environment. The demo was more like a 3D-rendered slideshow with some interactions. But in the future, AI will play a much bigger role.

Microsoft knows this, and that’s why a recent announcement about adding an AI co-processor to the HoloLens 2 caught my eye. The chip will help with tagging data in the real world, which sounds just as complex and compute intensive as you can imagine. Also, this processing will work much faster when the chip runs locally instead of in the cloud.

You can picture how this might work in a printer demo. The HoloLens is not VR; it uses AR instead. In a real office, the kit might show 3D-rendered printers and you might still reach out and interact with them. With more processing power for AI, the HoloLens 2 might show you stats such as how many sheets you can print in a minute. It might be able to take data from the office floor plan and calculate whether the printer will fit on a desk. You could see how much power the printer would use over a week, a month or a year. You could see other animations that show the network infrastructure and the actual wiring installed. And you could correlate all of this data and see how it all could work in your office, in real time.

July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

We have no way of knowing why Microsoft released the driver updates last Friday or what they’re supposed to accomplish. What we do know is that the last set of patches came just 10 days earlier, on July 11, when Microsoft added support for the new Surface Pro Type Cover and Signature Type Cover.

With two dozen major firmware and driver updates pushed onto the Surface Pro 4 since its release in October 2015, and a new Surface Pro 2017 currently on offer, it’s noteworthy that Microsoft is still trying to get the SP4 and SB drivers right.

Commenter Bespin on the OnMsft forum has a screenshot of the drivers just installed on his Surface Pro 4:

  • Surface driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Surface driver update for Surface Pen Pairing
  • Marvell Semiconductor Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Bluetooth Radio Adapter
  • Surface driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Accessory Device
  • Surface driver update for Surface Embedded Controller Firmware
  • Marvell Semiconductor Inc. driver update for Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
  • Intel(R) Corporation driver update for Intel(R) Display Audio
  • Surface driver update for Surface Integration

I’ve also seen reports of a new “Intel Corporation driver update for Intel(R) HD Graphics 520.” Of course, until Microsoft graces us with a change list, we’re reduced to speculating about the changes.

July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

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Nomad designs and manufactures excellent mobile products, and has recently released a new color for its iPhone leather case and an Apple Watch sport band. I’ve been testing both for a couple of weeks and am extremely pleased with each accessory.

A couple of months ago, I purchased the Nomad Modern Leather Strap for my Apple Watch Series 2, as I wanted a band in leather instead of always wearing the simple black sport band that came with my Apple Watch. The Horween leather, black buckle and securing pins, and wear over the past couple of months confirms it was $60 well spent.

Let’s take a closer look at the two new Nomad products I used over the past couple weeks.

Nomad Leather Case for Apple iPhone 7 Plus

There are an incredible number of case options available for the Apple iPhone, from stick-on skins to rugged bulky protective cases. I prefer cases that add some personal style while also offering some corner protection while also not adding much in size to an already overly large phone.

Nomad’s brown leather case has been very popular with Apple iPhone owners. The new one has the same design elements, but with a midnight blue Horween leather.

Horween leather comes from Chicago and clearly meets my desire for a unique case due to the fact that it ages differently over time. I personally like the rugged patina look that develops as you use the case. We’ve seen this leather used popularly on Motorola phones in the past and people tend to either love the look or hate it. I think it imparts some character to the case and look forward to long term use of the Nomad case.

The interior of the Nomad leather case is lined with soft black material with the Nomad branding on the inside. Your iPhone 7 Plus snaps securely into the Dow Dupont polycarbonate core frame and ensure the case will not fall off the iPhone. There are ample openings for the cameras, flash, Lightning port, speaker, and mics. There is also an opening for the ringer switch, but I had a hard time flipping the switch because I have short fingernails and the case is a bit thick around this opening.

The frame wraps around all four sides and protrudes just a bit above the display so that your screen is protected when you set your phone down on a table. The back and sides are covered in midnight blue Horween leather and look fantastic. The leather even smells good and holds up well to daily usage.

The Nomad Leather Case is available now for $39.95 for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Nomad also has a midnight blue Leather Folio Wallet case for the Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Nomad Sport Strap for 42mm Apple Watch

My Apple Watch came with the black Apple sport strap, which sells separately for $49 if you want another color. I’ve been satisfied with the Apple strap, but it’s nothing special. I’ve been thinking of picking up the black/volt Nike sport band from Apple, but haven’t done so yet. Nomad sent along its new Sport Strap in black and volt (highlight yellow) that is priced at $49.95.

The Nomad Sport Strap is constructed of vulcanized LSR silicone material. This is a naturally biocompatible, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic material so should be safe for everyone to use.

The first thing I noticed about this strap is that it matches the width of the 42mm Apple Watch with interesting chamfered edges that transition into the Apple Watch. The rest of the surface of the band has a crosshatch finish that adds a nice look to the band.

The volt color is present on the underside of the watch band and is visible through the openings in the strap so it is a very subtle sporty look. The securing mechanism is similar to Apple’s sport strap with an oval post that fits into a notch and then an opening where the remainder of the bitter end of the strap slides down and into for a closed loop band experience. It is a waterproof band designed to withstand a 72 hour salt mist test.

The Nomad Sport Strap is very comfortable and I was able to wear it daily for about 18 hours and barely even noticed I was wearing my Apple Watch.

July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

As it’s been said, every company – from manufacturing to retail and healthcare – is a software company today, since software is a strategic driver of their business success.

Yet let’s face it: if you’re a pharmaceutical manufacturer, you still need to spend most of your time developing innovative drugs.

And this is where outsourced application developers come into play. Many firms rely on the expertise of these developers to help them build technology solutions that are customized to meet their specific needs. Since choosing to hire an application developer is still a significant investment in time and money, it’s important to make the relationship a productive one.

So what does your application developer really wish you knew to make it a successful collaboration?

July 24, 2017 brianradio2016

When working with applications, you will often want to know the memory allocation, garbage collection (GC) overhead, and throughput of the code. Your application might be slow, or it might be consuming a lot of resources, and you want to find out what’s wrong.

Although you can detect functional problems and code defects using unit tests and code reviews, you might still need a way to isolate performance issues. Here’s where NBench comes in handy. This article presents a discussion of NBench and how we can use it to write performance tests for .NET applications.

What is NBench? Why should I use it?

NBench is a popular performance testing framework that can be used to profile the performance of methods in our application. NBench can measure the throughput of your application’s code, the memory allocation, and the GC overhead involved in reclaiming memory by cleaning up unwanted objects.

You can leverage NBench to “unit test” your application’s performance much the same way you write unit tests using the XUnit or NUnit frameworks. The thing I like best about NBench is that it can be integrated into your build pipeline. And even though NBench has its own runner, you can still run NBench using NUnit or Resharper. It feels just like running your unit tests.

July 23, 2017 brianradio2016

Efforts to turn two looming cell towers in Toledo, Ohio, into faux pine trees to help them blend in with their surroundings are getting mixed reviews from residents, reports the AP . Some residents in Springfield Township have derisively dubbed the towers “frankenpines,” the Toledo Blade reports. Adding branches to the…

July 22, 2017 brianradio2016

The first-ever Pokemon Go Fest—held Saturday at Grant Park in Chicago—was forced to refund its approximately 15,000 to 20,000 attendees after it proved near-impossible for them to actually play Pokemon Go at the event, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to TechCrunch , every cell network was down…

July 22, 2017 brianradio2016

In the 1989 comedy Back the Future, Part 2, Marty McFly travels into the high-tech, space-age future of 2015 where he encounters, among other dazzling wonders, a shark hologram advertising Jaws 10.

That kind of advertising is called experiential marketing, where consumers are deeply immersed in a brand in a way that’s novel, emotional and memorable.

Advertising on the web, TV, radio, print publications, billboards and elsewhere is here to stay. But it’s being supplemented and boosted by the rise of experiential marketing with the aid of powerful newly ubiquitous technology. Unlike more traditional forms of advertising, it appears at first as if experiential marketing doesn’t scale.

But it does.

July 22, 2017 brianradio2016

“Focusing is about saying ‘No.'” — Steve Jobs

The iPhone started out as a simple idea — a device that reinvented the smartphone. All a buyer needed to do was decide how much storage capacity they needed — 4, 8, or 16 gigabytes — and they were an iPhone owner.

Jump forward a decade and buyers are faced with choices galore, ranging from handset size to color.

You can see a similar lack of focus when it comes to Macs. For example, if you’re in the market for an Apple laptop you first have to choose whether you want a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro (anyone care to outline the difference between the MacBook and the MacBook Air?), before next having to choose from an assortment of system specifications.

Same can be seen with the iPad. Lots of different devices, but poor differentiation separating them.