Nest Thermostat

Without going into too much detail, this is without a doubt the coolest and easiest to install and use thermostat I have seen. It also was bought by Google for a cool 3.5 billion so that says a lot too!

Nest Thermostat

 

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360 Panorama

There are a ton of websites, software and hardware for creating and viewing 360 panoramic images, and as usual, Google has some pretty cool uses for this technology. It is also built into Google maps which makes it another really great tool for exploring locations and really feeling more like you are really there. Much more on this to come. While this sphere is easily viewed right on my website, to really appreciate panoramic views, it helps if you view them full screen. You can click here to see a full screen experience, and you will see what I mean. Any of the embedded versions will usually have an icon in the upper right of the view that looks like arrows pointing 4 different way that will allow you to view that in a full screen as well.

http://www.360cities.net/embed_iframe/leadenhall
Leadenhall in London in london-england
http://www.360cities.net/embed_iframe/pratinha-cave
Pratinha Cave in brazil

I shot this one with my iPhone!
https://www.thesphere.com/direct_embed/318127
http://www.360cities.net/embed_iframe/henna-art-gallery-mar-2014-nazila-minbashi-01-tehran
Henna Art Gallery Mar 2014 Nazila Minbashi 01 in tehran-iran

360 Panorama

3D Art Galleries

3D Art Galleries can be used in some creative ways and these are just a couple of samples of how these can look.

This first sample is a web-based presentation sample and the user can choose from 3 modes for viewing the gallery, this gallery is under construction.

https://www.in3dgallery.com/viewerembed/6Y333J

3D Art Galleries

This gallery is fully interactive and the user has complete control over the experience. It’s the next best thing to being there!

Whenever I want to see the latest technology for just about anything on the web, I first look to Google because they are always innovating and creating amazing things that never cease to amaze me. This link shows an online art gallery combined with their street level detailed mapping to give a very realistic “virtual visit” to a site.

Visit it here

Another 3D Art Gallery example

http://www.artsteps.com/3d/white_pack.swf

This gallery is designed to be downloaded and viewed outside of your browser

Neon-Mermaid-Gallery

This Gallery is embedded in the website, is fully interactive and they have apps to view the gallery on mobile devices.
http://3dvas.com/galleries/gallery_embed.php?ex=7575

DVR Backup

A new trend that has been happening lately, to home DVR systems, is that criminals have gotten smarter and started stealing the DVR when they break into a home or business, and all evidence recorded by the cameras is now gone.

So, what do you do to protect yourself?

This problem has been around for quite some time but most people don’t really do anything about it until disaster strikes them in some way.

Many things can and will happen to data on computer storage devices, DVR, etc and there are a few things you should do to protect yourself.

The number one thing you need to do to truly protect yourself is to store the data off-site to another location, and it needs to be a real-time backup, not once a day, or some other scheduled time. This is especially true for security cameras because data backed up even only moments ago may not provide the evidence you need to catch the thieves.

The new terminology that you will hear that provides this is called “Cloud Storage”. This is the most secure method of backing up your data to a location that you can access from anywhere in case of disaster.

There are of course many more choices and methods of backing up your data which I do not want to overwhelm you with here. Using an off-site location such as this, is the simplest and cheapest way to provide real-time backups, and all that is needed to get started is to sign-up for a monthly or yearly plan that provide enough storage for the data that is important to you.

These services rely on an internet connection to work and there are minimum recommended speeds that your service should be at. More information and sign-up here

DVR Backup

Copyright Issues

I get asked to come up with images for people when I am designing websites, so I thought it would be worth mentioning briefly about copyright issues.

This is really all you need to know.

If you did not create the images yourself or buy the rights to use it don’t do it.

There are enough places to get legitimate images for you to use, and if you just copy an image you found on the Internet, you run the risk of being sued for copyright violations. I know from personal experience, because I got fined for an old image that was not even on my site any more, but when they had run their scan that finds violations, it showed an unlicensed image and that’s all they need.

Some people incorrectly assume that if the image does not contain a copyright symbol it must be OK to use it? Not any more, consider everything you find that does not explicitly grant you some sort of legal use of the image to be off-limits.

One more thing worth mentioning is that regardless of where an image came from that is on your site, the responsibility lies with you as the owner of the site.

Photo and Video Light

The KICK is a lightweight, feature rich, affordable and fun photo & video light for smartphones and SLRs.

The app is simple to use, but it has advanced features if you want to go crazy. For example: you can pick any light or light effect from any video online or from one you’ve got stored on your phone, and the KICK will stream it and emit exactly the same light. Thus, you can recreate candle flicker without lighting any candles, simulate the glow from a television screen without one to hand, or sample any other light effect you can come across.

It is like sampling music and sound effects, except you sample LIGHT instead of music. – Imagine the range of creative opportunities!

T-Mobile Ripped Me Off

1-24-2014 – Yah! Finally have a phone that works reliably again. Hopefully my complaint will be noticed so others do not get ripped off!

The last thing I am still dealing with, is now that I have paid for the phone, (Almost $500 plus another $110 bill) they said it will take about 2 weeks for them to unlock the phone, which if I am to take the phone to another provider I will have to stay in service with them until they unlock the phone! This is almost comical at this point and seems like a scam. Does it make sense to anyone else that it would take two weeks to unlock a phone! Highly unlikely!

As much as I was disappointed with AT&T and  I was looking for an alternative Cell Phone providers, I decided to give T-Mobile a try, here is what happened.

They told me my area had great coverage when I signed up for new service, and after three months of trying they were unable to provide coverage at my location and their tech support even determined that indeed my area does not have coverage. A fact which supposedly they would tell anyone new signing up in this area. I am tempted to call as a new customer and test this theory but at this point I am sick of dealing with this issue and am only taking the time to tell others so they do not get defrauded as well.

The only option they ga ve me was to buy the phone from them outright for almost $500 plus what I have already paid them which will amount to over $1000. They told me I could have turned the device in earlier without this “penalty” – funny how they kept recommending different “troubleshooting steps” until they kept me as a customer and I was not told until everything had been exhausted,  that they do not offer coverage in my area right now. This is outright fraud and is just not right!

I have filed a complaint with the FTC and it will probably go nowhere but I think if enough people who have had similar issues take the time to complain, then these giant companies might be held accountable!

If you have been scammed or defrauded in some way, please take the time. My last Google search for “TMobile Fraud” showed over 216,000 hits!!!

T-Mobile Ripped Me Off