Tips To Using Solar Power While Traveling or Hiking

Carrying power banks could prove to be a bit heavy when you are hiking or traveling. That’s when the idea of harnessing solar power comes to the rescue. Making use of solar power is not only economical but eco-friendly too.

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If you too are thinking of making the best use out of solar power while traveling or hiking, we got you covered!

The best gadgets to harness solar power while traveling

 The Tag Along Solar Battery with USB port enables you to charge your phone or any device. It operates on an inbuilt Li-Polymer battery like the batteries available in mobile phones. It constantly stocks sunlight to the inbuilt battery when placed in sunlight.

The 3.5Watts foldable detachable solar panel and 2000mAH battery gear from main backpack has an innovative design. Your phone will simply not run out of power day or night.

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Caption : 3.5Watts foldable detachable solar panel

The 22% high effective transfer solar cells in a secure anti scratch hardened covering and sewn into high-wear PVC fabric for weather-resistant exterior durability.

Another notable gadget is the solar/dynamo waterproof LED flashlight equipped for all terrains and situations. It is water-proof, flood-proof, floats on water and constructed of sturdy casing to avoid shock from loose wires.

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Caption : Dynamo waterproof LED flashlight

The flashlight can also be recharged with solar power or by hand crank, so as to never leave you in the dark.

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel has a nice, compact size which snugly fits in a backpack and offers a reasonable charge time for most tiny gadgets. It contains a dedicated USB port and 12v port with adaptor cable.

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Caption : Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel

With the panel, you can charge any USB powered gadget such as iPod or GPS or with the Goal Zero Guide 10 kit, 4 AA batteries can be charged for headlamps.

How a solar powered phone charger can help you?

Solar powered phone chargers provide users the freedom and adaptability to use their smartphones and portable mobile devices everywhere without incurring any danger of draining of battery juice. For heavy smartphone and gadget user power management is a major hurdle influencing your ability to operate your smartphone. Smartphone draw hugely on power and need to be frequently recharged to function optimally. Functionality of a smartphone and its power utilization are positively correlated. It requires increased power with additional features. Present day smartphones incorporate cutting-edge technologies to aid them preserve and handle power better.

Apollo 2 is a charger with a smartphone type  battery and a solar panel. If you need slight charge and a small solar recharging power, the Solar-5+ 5000mAh charger made by Creative Edge is very useful for outdoor and is water and dust resistant.

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Caption : Apollo 2 charger

Equally reliable and portable is the SunFerno Flintstone that is custom made for hikers and outdoor lovers. The Goal Zero, 2 Port 21 W Anker and the Instapark Mercury 10 can hold your phone, additional battery pack and USB charging cable.

To charge a phone what you require is a lightweight gadget with a USB port. However, for charging many and bigger devices such as laptop it is necessary to choose a versatile device. The Goal Zero Venture 30 battery charges your high energy gadgets in a powerful manner. Both USB ports will emti 2.4 A simultaneously.
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Caption : Goal Zero Venture 30

The Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer is 2-panel chargers that is weatherproof and has a “daisy-chain” feature that make it easy to charge your appliances while the internal battery is getting charged through the solar panels.

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Caption : Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer

It is able to charge iPad and iPhones. The Brunton Power Essentials Kit which is not light and lesser versatile, but is reliable for low performance grades.

How a solar panel can help you while traveling?

Solar panels create voltage quite smoothly and that also under minimum light conditions. Some of the ratings given may not correspond to the real power output because when the manufacturer’s rate panels they put more importance on flash testing. Testing devices estimate the voltage generated by the cells and after that the watt rating is evaluated by multiplying it by current or the amperage. If there is over estimation of the amperage, than the general rating will be misleading. The panel may generate huge voltage to make your phone charge, but it may have have ample current for it because of the tiny size if the unit and the panel’s efficiency. Thus, it is very convenient for manufacturers to make people believe based on their testing process that 8 watts are being produced by the solar panel when actually it does not produce that much.

 The Instapark Mercury 10M18U containing battery is a portable solar panel with 2 USB ports and is a wonderful option for charging your mobile or small electronic gadgets.

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Caption : Mercury 10M18U

When it is integrated with an external battery you get a smartphone and tablet charging storehouse.

Various latest solar panels contain a USB connector, while others come packed with adapters, alligator clips, charging lights, extension wires or carabiners. It is not easy to say what accessories are paired with a panel or which have to be bought exclusively or the exact connection for a panel. This becomes a hassle while attempting to charge older cameras specially the ones that cannot be charged through USB. So, always make certain that you know the accessories required and the exact ones that accompany your panel.

Many people like to use the mono and multicrystalline technique compared to the thin-film design as they are more efficient and provides rigid surface treatment to the cells and do not delaminate with the passage of time. The polycrystalline panels are not so pure and are less efficient. The monocrystalline panel is becoming the industry grade due to its superior quality and it saves weight and quickly charges at camp.

Always figure out the panel size and type of system you need for charging your phone. Find out the number of appliances for charging and then compute the required wattage for charging them. If it’s half cloudy or the panels are extremely dusty in that case you may actually require double the wattage. You should also consider the days you have to rely on the charger and the “days of autonomy” in off-grid mechanism where you have to continue for days with no sun input.

Author Bio: Wanda Greaves is the co-founder of BatteryChargersExpert.com – a website that helps people to find, use and do anything with their batteries, chargers or related electricity devices.

You Could Soon Be Shopping On Facebook Messenger

If you are a business owner, you may soon be able to take customer orders and attend to support tickets right from your Facebook window. The Menlo Park based social network company has recently filed a patent application that provides a hint of this upcoming feature.

The patent application is titled ‘Techniques for Automated Messaging‘ and essentially describes different ways a business may use Facebook Messaging to automate order taking and communication with their customers. This includes allowing customers to make new orders via Facebook Messaging and letting businesses communicate the status of these orders back to customers. In addition to this, businesses may also set predefined responses to frequently asked questions which is kind of similar to what helpdesk services offer on their platform.

So how does all of this tie in with what Facebook does currently? From the various demo images provided by Facebook on their application, a typical transaction could be something like this.

1. Businesses advertise on Facebook like they do now. Only now, users may also chat with the business or buy from within the Messenger platform

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2. The target user may now click on ‘Chat Now’. This should take them to the Messenger where they deal with an automated messaging system set by the business.

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3. The user may pick and choose their product of choice from within the Messenger window

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4. From the business end, the Facebook Messenger could work like a helpdesk tool that comes with template responses.

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How to Use YouTube to Sell Your Products

Video is one of the most engaging ways to attract customers while enhancing the reputation of the business. YouTube provides you with a wide range of tools that will help you sell more products while creating a deeper connection with your viewers. If utilized correctly, you can easily create an intricate method to expand your reach to more than just those who see your ads in search results on Google.

The Right Video Content

You want to create more than just an advertisement regarding a specific product. To engage those on YouTube, you want to explore different facets of what the item is capable of doing. For example: proper procedures, tips, how to videos and other informative methods may help you engage those interested in what the product can do for them. If you can add an entertaining flare to the content, it may have greater potential for being shared by those viewers.

Descriptive and Succinct

Statistically, shorter videos are often the most effective and fully watched on YouTube. For instance: You don’t want to spend 10 minutes trying to convince someone that they need to buy your style of smartphone cover. However, showing a short video about how to install it can strengthen the trust in the consumer while encouraging him or her to buy it from you.

Sharing On Other Social Media

After you upload the content, you can share it with some of the most popular social media sites on the Internet. With a few clicks of the button, you may engage a very large number of users in a very short amount of time. It is important to note that these videos will be shared on the profiles you created for each social site. For example, you need a Twitter account if you wish to share the video on Twitter.

Intro and Outro

Intros and outros are sections of video that can be useful to keep the viewer engaged. Your intro needs to be able to hold a viewers attention and shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds. The outro can incorporate a call-to-action to inspire people to act such as clicking on links, liking, sharing and subscribing to your channel. Essentially, the intro sets the mood of the video while the outro engages people to act.

Embedding Video Onto the Product Page

YouTube provides you with the website coding to embed the video into virtually any webpage. If you develop a how to or other informative video regarding the product, adding it to your eCommerce site in the product’s description may help convince the potential buyer that he or she needs it. In this method, you’re showing your video to viewers on YouTube as well as people visiting your site – all from a single upload.

YouTube includes a great deal of versatility when it comes to marketing your products. When combined with online shopping cart software that can support various social media integration, you can attract consumers from a wide range of different online platforms. Explore the tools of the streaming-video giant and maximize the potential for engaging a wider target audience.

How To Find The Email Address Of Your Prospects Quickly

We have all faced the need to email a stranger at some point in our lives. Be it while reaching out for a job opening, or reaching out to a prospect customer for an appointment, cold-emailing is as ubiquitous as cold calls today. However, finding the right email to reach out is often a nightmarish process. For one, it is a tough job tracking down the emails one after the other. And even if you do, a couple of bounces could potentially ruin the credibility of your mail server. Which means, newer emails you send could potentially be going to the recipient’s spam box.

There are a number of ways to find the right email address of a recipient. One of the most popular ways is to use the Rapportive Chrome extension to try out various email combinations. An alternate process is to use a site like Verify-Email to try out IDs one at a time. These are however lengthy processes, and in the case of Verify Email, you can also exhaust your quote pretty quickly. So is there an easy way out?

FindThatID.com is an exciting tool that solves a problem in this niche. Using the service is simple – you simply enter the website URL and the full name of the person (without spaces) and the system will engage with the MX server to track down the right combination. Looking for bulk solutions? That is available too.

Here is how you do it.

Step 1 : Click here to visit the Find That ID website

Step 2 : Enter your own email address in the ‘Your Email’. This is the email where the processed emails will be sent to.

Step 3 : Depending on your email extraction request, you can pick the free or one of the paid options. Free option lets you check up to ten emails one by one.

Step 4 : If you have selected the free option, then you will find an input field below. Enter the domain name and full name one after another separated by space. For instance, if you want to check Bill Gates’ email, you would type: microsoft.com bill gates

Find Email of any person

Step 5 : Alternately, if you want to check multiple emails at one go, pick one of the paid options. You will now be shown an Excel form where you can simply copy-paste the domain name and full names from your local spreadsheet document.

Step 6 : Click ‘Proceed’ to continue.

Step 7 : If you have picked the free option, you are displayed the email in the following window. Otherwise, you are now taken to the Payment page. Once you complete the payment, the email request is queued and sent to you within the next few minutes.

FindThatID says the time to process an email list can take up to an hour or two. However, in all the tests I made, we got the output file in less than a couple of minutes.

As someone who writes to hundreds of prospects every week, FindThatID is a wonderful way to increase productivity and minimize your email track-down time. Check out the tool and let me know what you think.

How To Use Google Apps For Business Communication

If your business makes use of Google Apps for in-office communication, you should already be well aware of the endless possibilities that come with these applications. Besides their mail functionality which has been made popular through Gmail, Google Apps also allow you to share, collaborate and exchange information seamlessly with your network. A typical business user will be aware of using Google Drive for file storing, Google Docs for creating and sharing documents, Google Chat and Hangout for real-time communication, Google Contacts for basic CRM functionality and so on. But do you know there is a host of amazing things possible when you combine Google Apps with Unified Communications?

But before we get there, you must know what Unified Communications, or UC as it is popularly called stands for. Basically, UC is the integration of a host of communication platforms like telephone, videoconferencing, email, text messaging, instant messaging and so on. In other words, UC makes it possible to bring together real time communication channels with non-real-time alternatives. This way, depending on what the user wants, it is possible to access communication via non-real-time platforms through real-time platforms and vice versa. Unified Communications is a huge industry with a number of major players like AT&T and Cisco in the United States and business internet provider, AllStream in Canada. According to an estimate by ResearchMoz, UC is expected to become a $61 billion market by 2018.

So how do you bring Google Apps and UC together? Here are some tips:

Click to dial : If you have a CRM like Zoho or Salesforce to handle your leads, then you are provided with browser tools that connect your apps to your phone system. So this way, when you receive emails on your Gmail inbox, you only have to click on the phone number for your CRM to connect you to the target over phone. It is not just Gmail though. The click to dial functionality can be enabled across the various products and services that is available on Google Apps.

Checking Voicemails from Gmail : With Google Voice, you no longer have to check each of your phone devices for missed calls and messages. Instead, you can set your service to automatically email any voicemails you receive. What more – Google also transcribes these voicemails for your so that you can simply read those in text instead of having to listen to them.

Faxing : You can now have faxes sent directly to your inbox via Google Apps. You can also return the fax. It’s as simple as sending an email.

Scheduling Conferences : If your business already uses video conferencing services like WebEx, scheduling conferences become a breeze with Google Apps. You can mark the time for videoconferencing on Google Calendar which can directly integrate with WebEx and send notifications and handle the operational aspects for you.

Unified Communications is the future of business networking. With Google Apps, this becomes all the more easy and efficient. Have you tried integrating Google Apps with UC? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

 

 

5 Cloud Testing Tools That You Must Check Out

What started as a buzzword is today a primary infrastructural concept. Cloud computing has made business simpler and more efficient; not to mention the cost advantages that it provides over legacy systems. With the proliferation of cloud, there has been an increase in the number of SaaS based tools and services that cater to various industries and business functions. If you are part of your company’s IT quality control, then cloud based testing tools are definitely a part of your arsenal. Given the plethora of options, which one do you choose? Here is a brief rundown of the five best cloud testing tools that you must look into.

CloudTest : QC teams routinely perform multiple kinds of testing. These various techniques can be categorized broadly into performance testing and functional testing. SOASTA CloudTest is a reliable tool that provides a single integrated platform for both these testing requirements. One of the unique selling propositions of CloudTest is what they call ‘visual test creation environment’ that provides a simple interface to create complex test cases. With the availability of real-time analytics, scalable infrastructure and intelligence systems, CloudTest is our first choice for cloud based testing tools.

GCLoad : If your test case includes checking for the load handling capacity of your application, then look no further than GCLoad’s Proxy Sniffer. This is, by far, the best cloud tool for load testing applications. This is a service that is available in both cloud and legacy formats; depending on how you want to use it. For load testing web applications that reside on hosted servers, the cloud-based Proxy Sniffer is a great bet to ensure the server can handle sufficient load. The scale of load testing can be varied on demand – from 100 concurrent users to as many as several thousands. If you are the kind who would like to get a free trial before buying the license, there is a free version of the tool available for short duration tests.

PractiTest : Best suited for startups and emerging IT companies, PractiTest is a test management solution offered as a ‘SaaS’ service (that is, Software as a Service). The benefit of such a tool is that it combines the robustness that comes with the legacy QC software applications with the scalability and affordability of present-day SaaS tools. PractiTest is built keeping the typical testing team in mind – it not only offers a testing solution, but also includes planning tools to schedule and manage various testing tasks, manage the tasks at hand and delegate various responsibilities among team members. Also, since it’s SaaS based, you do not have the heartburn that licensing software brings.

Besides the three cloud testing tools discussed above, we have several other tools like Parasoft, CloudTesting, LoadStorm and BlazeMeter. All these tools are built keeping specific requirements of the tester in mind. What tools do you use? What has your experience been with the tools? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 

 

What Is “Internet Of Things” And The Challenges We Face

If you have been following the technology section of news, you may have come across this term quite a few times. Notwithstanding the massive changes to our lifestyles since the advent of the internet, technology gurus have predicted that we have barely scratched the surface of the possibilities. “Internet of Things” is expected to be the next massive revolution in the technology space.

So what exactly is IoT? At a simplistic level, it refers to interacting with various devices and gadgets over the internet. For instance, did you forget to switch off the lights while you started off on your long vacation? A simple tap on a mobile app should do that for you with IoT. But that’s again the tip of the iceberg. Here is a quote from a recent article on Metro that should give you a better idea of where we are headed:

“Your alarm wakes you at the correct time after checking your schedule and adjusting itself for traffic and transport delays. Your coffee machine begins brewing, the heating and hot water turn on (adjusting the temperature according to the weather) and the car starts de-icing the windscreen.”

The Internet of Things, or Thingternet as we like to call it will definitely revolutionize the world over the next decade. According to a Gartner study, IoT will bring in close to $1.9 trillion worth of economic value add by 2020. That’s nearly 30 billion devices connected to the internet by then.

While the prediction appears exaggerated at the moment, we will get there with the right infusion of technology infrastructure. Enterprises today have already connected through high speed business internet plans to make them ready for the deployment of IoT at the workplace. This however cannot be said for domestic consumers. Although the average broadband speed in the US is a good 24.5 Mbps, some parts of the country still have extremely low speed internet connections. A lot of potential use-cases with IoT come in a domestic household environment and in the absence of a sufficiently good internet infrastructure, IoT may not take off.

The priority for governments across the world over the next 5 years needs to be on enhancing their internet infrastructure. Going by Gartner’s prediction, we are predicting a scenario where nearly 30-50 billion devices could be fitted with IoT within the next six years. That’s a massive addition of client devices to an already crowded ecosystem. It will be interesting to see how governments act on building the infrastructure in time for us to truly bear the fruits of the IoT innovation.

The UKs Changing IT Landscape: Where Does Cloud Fit In?

Owning and running a business in today’s ever changing and technologically advanced environment is not easy. It requires knowledge, skill, patience, an eye for detail and most importantly the ability to see advantages in your environment and go with them. The way we work has changed over the years and as technology is growing and becoming more complex it give us the ability to do new things in relation to both our business and personal lives.

Cloud is one of these recent technological innovations that will help to make the day to day running of your business and management of your data and information simple and straight forward. With Cloud your business has the potential to become more productive which will in turn improve your chances of growth and success. There are a number of other advantages to using Cloud services, including:

The Flexibility of the Service

As a business your needs are always changing and increasing and it is important that you have a service provider that can keep up with these needs and changes and work with you to ensure the smooth running of your business. The capacity that the cloud remote servers have is second to none and can provide almost instant action if your organisation needs extra bandwidth; and this is one of the reasons that many businesses choose to move to the cloud system.

Fast and Effective Disaster Recovery

Before cloud-based services, companies required complex plans in place in case of the need for disaster recovery. The cloud system is able to take care of most issues quickly and effectively, and faster than many other systems. As all the information is stored in one  place and is Internet-based rather than being computer-based, it is also possible to recover lost information in some cases, if the need arises. So you no longer need to worry about keeping all of your company’s information backed up by a separate organisation or in a different place as this can all be done through the innovative and useful tool that is cloud.

Control of Documents

In many organisations it is important for individuals and members of the company to collaborate and connect with people in different regions and countries; and without the use of cloud these individuals would have to work on one file at a time constantly re-saving it and amending it before passing it back to the other person. This makes the task of updating or changing a document extremely time-consuming for all those involved. With the help of cloud you are able to keep all of your files in a central location so that you can work off one copy. If you need to discuss anything with your colleague then you are also able to do this which can improve collaboration results and increase productivity and performance; which is ultimately what an organisation should be trying to do.

Completely Mobile

An extremely useful benefit of cloud services for Microsoft and other software is that no matter where you are in the country or the world, as long as you have access to the Internet it is possible to connect to cloud. This enables colleagues in different countries and time zones to connect effectively without having to go to the time and expense of travelling to meet each other.

With all these benefits it is easy to see why cloud is such a popular choice for companies throughout the world today. So isn’t it time for your organisation to reap the benefit of a simple and state-of-the-art system.

Kindle Case Stand From Snugg – Review

I’ve owned an Amazon Kindle for over a year now and love the bare look and feel of this device. If you are someone who reads a lot during your daily office commute, it makes sense to invest in a good cover for your Kindle – it protects from the avoidable scratches. While Amazon needs to be commended for providing us with a great device that is mostly resistant to scratches and accidental falls, the scratches caused by the keys and other metal objects in your purse or bag are not always expected. And when the scratches do happen, it simply ruins the reading experience; at least for me.

The Snugg Kindle case is a pretty stylish accessory that you should check out if you own a Kindle. Costing just about $10, this case also acts as a stand if your hands are full and you would still like to read from your Kindle. Snugg were gracious enough to send me a cover for review. Here are some noticeable aspects of the case:

Material : The case is made of genuine leather and comes in a stylish professional looking black color lined with white threaded stitches. While I love my Kindle for the sleek frame, it can be a problem when you are carrying it alongside several other stuffs – many times resulting in me dropping the Kindle. With the stiff cover made with an easy-grip texture, it is really hard to miss the Kindle. You actually can store your Kindle alongside your other paperbacks.

Kindle Case

Easy Read : If you are that guy or girl who loves to read on the move, this is a feature you would love. The inner fold of the Snugg Kindle case comes with a sort of strap where you can let your palms through to keep a firm grip on your Kindle even on the move.

Holding grip on Kindle case

Flip Stand: Like mentioned earlier, the outer case can also be flipped to set your Kindle on a stand and viewed at a convenient reading angle. This is a very good feature if you would like to read while doing things like chopping vegetables or even working on a computer.

Kindle stand for reading

Overall, this is a great product at a very reasonable price. You can check out the Kindle case on the Snugg website here. Would you be buying one? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Tips And Tricks To Regain Your Stolen Identity

Stolen identity is a frightening experience, and it causes a lot of headaches and frustration. The trick is to stay protected whether you’re shopping online or simply giving out your credit card to a live cashier. If you’re already a victim of identity theft, here are a few tips and tricks for regaining your identity:

Understand Identity Theft

Identity theft is more than just a stolen credit card number. Many thieves are now using private information, such as your social security number, birthdate, and/or name to commit fraud, such as applying for loans or credit cards under your name. Approximately 9 million Americans are part of an identity scam, but most aren’t as extreme. Even mild cases of identity theft are difficult to resolve, but with the right support, financial experts can help.

Act Fast When Your Identity is Stolen

The first thing to do is contact each of the credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They can put an alert on all of your open accounts, and can also freeze your social security number from any other accounts being opened or accessed. Next, utilize resources on the FTC website. Many of the forms available on this site will help expedite the process. Depending on the type of theft, you may choose to file a police report with your local precinct.

Keep Track of all Your Information

Next, close any fraudulent accounts and if there are suspicious charges on your own accounts, close them out too. You can do this by calling your banks, credit card companies, and any other businesses with which you have accounts. Keep detailed records of how much time you spend, because if the case ends up going to court, you can seek damages for these hours. Several months after the loss, obtain a credit report to make sure that all the fraudulent charges are gone. Once you complete these steps, your credit will return to its original status.

Learn to Prevent Future Identity Theft

You can also take preventive steps to avoid identity theft before it happens. One tip is to never carry your social security card. If you use a debit card, don’t keep the Personal Identification Number with it. Some experts recommend that you never use a debit card for online purchases. Since this links to your checking account, a thief can drain your bank account in just a few transactions. A credit card is much more secure, since it’s much easier to reverse a charge and issue a credit instead of trying to replace stolen money. Be cautious when using websites to shop, and make sure they have valid security and encryption.

Use Tools That Help

If you receive credit card applications, bank statements, or other personal documents by mail, make sure to shred them instead of tossing them in the trash. Keep careful track of your credit card and bank statements, and report any unauthorized activity immediately. Another great tool is LifeLock id protection, which helps monitor your patterns and alert you of any changes in spending.

With so many resources, identity theft becomes more manageable, and those affected can resolve the problems and return to financial freedom.