Articles about Digital Lifestyle

DIY data recovery -- challenges and alternatives

Modern laptops and desktops can hold a massive amount of information, including tens of thousands of pictures and millions of pages of text. Despite their storage capacities, these devices should not be used as a means to permanently store digital information because they’re prone to breakage and data corruption. Recovering data from one of these failed devices is difficult, and requires a high-level of expertise that’s not always accessible to the person that likes to fix things themselves.

Older laptops that were constructed with traditional hard drives were fairly simple to pop open and fix. You could unscrew a few screws holding the case together, and then plug into the drive via a universal SATA port to retrieve the data. Opening the actual drive itself is not without risk or advisable as dust could and will enter the drive causing contamination and it can always cause additional damaged during the process. 

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Technology killed my imaginary friend

The use of technology is harming children's imagination and leading to a reduction in the numbers of imaginary friends according to new research.

The study by face paint company Snazaroo finds only 17 percent of children have imaginary friends, a steep drop from 2001 when nearly half of British kids had invented an invisible playmate.

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After a brief absence, CBS returns to DISH

For those who have cable or a satellite TV service, you may be used to the occasional channel, or a few of them, disappearing. This is most frequently due to contract disputes as large conglomerate networks attempt to prop up channels that aren't doing so well. It's usually worked out, though it can take some time.

That scenario recently played out between CBS and DISH. The former yanked its channel package off of the satellite provider's service in an effort to extort more money.

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Amazon knocks big discounts off Nest products for Black Friday, deals start now

Feeling cold, hot or insecure? There are many solutions provided by the Internet of Things, from lights, cameras, locks, thermostats and much more. You need to choose carefully though as not all work as claimed, and some have rather glaring security problems. But, if you're up for the challenge, then you can set up a fairly cohesive and secure system in your home.

One of the top purveyors of some of these products is Nest, part of Google/Alphabet. If you have been looking for a smart thermostat or security camera then this may be a good time to pull the trigger.

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CBS blocks its network from DISH subscribers

While many people opt for cable there are also a fair amount who go against that grain, subscribing to a satellite provider for various reasons -- maybe it's location, perhaps it's NFL Sunday Ticket. There are two major players in that market -- DirecTV and DISH.

All sorts of problems can interrupt service, both to an entire system, or just certain provided networks. One of the biggest reasons for providers and customers alike is contract disputes. That's something we see all too often. The mess is generally sorted out, but it sometimes drags out for too long.

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Verizon to offer discounted deal on FIOS for a limited time only

Internet, TV and phone have become, perhaps sadly, some of the most important services in our lives. The problem for many of us is getting the service we want as it's limited in most areas -- in fact, many people only have one choice thanks to monopolies by area.

If you live in a location which has Verizon then you have access to one of the faster connections in the United States and now you can get a better deal on the service, although it's for a limited time only.

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SmartThings introduces Lock Codes to help friends and family

Smart locks have become another popular product in the market commonly known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. It's designed to make a home safer, but also more accessible. It has its limitations though, and companies are constantly working to overcome those.

Now SmartThings has a solution which utilizes Lock Codes. These allow the user to create temporary codes for friends and family, which will give the owner more control of comings and goings from their abode, hopefully leading to more peace of mind.

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Ecobee brings voice control to its thermostat through Google Assistant

While the Internet of Things, or IoT, has been around for several years, voice control is a more recent development. It is convenient for performing all sorts of actions, such as switching lights off and on, changing the settings on a thermostat, and countless other things that you may never have thought of.

Of all the IoT devices on the market, the thermostat is one of the most popular and there are several competing brands on the market.

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Almost half of consumers are in the dark about AI

Confused woman

According to a new study, 43 percent of consumers in the US and 46 percent in then UK say they have 'no idea what AI is about.'

The research by business management software specialist Sage looks at major public concerns about AI and reveals what consumers and the tech community believe to be the greatest areas of potential impact.

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Home tech gifts: Which products are topping consumer wish lists?

Our ongoing obsession with electronics shows no sign of cooling off, but consumers are showing an increased interest in connected devices, according to CES trends, market research from Parks Associates, and Amazon Wish List rankings. While gaming and mobile devices continue to be favorite gift items, many consumers are just beginning to embrace the idea of a smart home. As they do, smart and connected products are seeing a rise in popularity. Some consumers shop independently for smart products, while others seek to purchase easy-bundled solutions from home security companies and ISPs.

As consumers are creating wish lists for housewarming presents, wedding gifts, and holiday surprises, here are some items that are emerging as trends this season. 

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Something you gotta know about iPhone X

I consider myself lucky, although some commenters (you know who you are) will disagree, by successfully ordering from Verizon Wireless the iPhone X for delivery on launch day—November 3rd. A FedEx driver brought the anticipated package to my door yesterday afternoon. I hauled down to Apple Store to purchase AppleCare+ before my grubby paws caressed the steel rims (vroom)  and generous glass (screen measures 5.8 inches diagonally).

Replacing iPhone 7 Plus, which features and benefits greatly satisfy, is a bit extravagant. But I wanted the X to review and for its smaller size but larger display—understanding caveats: Home button's removal changes fundamental interaction and means adapting habits (oh my aching muscle memory).

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Gender divide opens up as mobile apps become the preferred way of booking travel

The latest annual Mobile App Engagement Index from app marketing platform Liftoff shows that travel reservation bookings on mobile have finally hit critical mass adoption.

Users are becoming accustomed to doing more on mobile and reservation apps are increasingly popular. This year's data shows that for businesses the cost-per-first-booking has dropped. In 2017, the peak cost to acquire a mobile user who made a reservation was $36.95, nearly half of last year's peak cost of $61.09. What's more, the average cost-per-reservation in 2017 ($27.98) was $16 less than the 2016 average ($43.88).

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Move out of the dark ages of lighting with LED bulbs

As Americans strive to be greener and more conscious consumers, ironically, the ordinary light bulb has found itself thrust into the spotlight. First, there was the "ban" on incandescents. Then, as CFLs slowly made their way into the mainstream, LEDs were also becoming more economical and practical for home use. Now, with so many factors to consider -- from lumens to watts to kelvins to CRI -- it’s tough for some consumers to confidently choose between CFLs and LEDs.

In the era of "smart" technology, things can get even more complicated -- so much so that many consumers would rather just avoid change altogether. Unfortunately, that means that they’d also be missing out on a number of outstanding benefits that come from simply changing a light bulb. Still unsure if it’s worth making the switch? Here are 7 ways LEDs outperform CFLs and why you should get on the brighter path with LEDs:

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59 percent of business processes could be automated by 2022

According to a new survey of IT decision makers in the US and UK, 59 percent of business processes could be automated within the next five years, with 70 percent believing that robotics have become more of a priority.

The study from robotics specialist Redwood Software identifies the key benefits of automation as speed of process and reduction of manual effort, while the key risks are security and cost.

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10 tips to minimize data loss after a storm

As tech users, our primary concern is the durability of our devices and their longevity. With the hurricane season continuing its wrath, I have provided ten quick recommendations to minimize data loss on damaged storage devices after a storm. This can be anything from mobile phones and tablets to computer equipment.

In addition, as business professionals, educating employees ahead of time on preparation and best practices for data will significantly improve the possibility for a successful data recovery. It is imperative that preparation is a top priority for businesses and employees. Investing in a strong business continuity program will benefit you and your employees, particularly when it comes to data recovery. Some might be surprised by the fact that data loss is mostly caused by incorrect precautions taken rather than the actual damaged devices themselves.

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