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Windows 10 and the stress of Windows 8

Those of you who know me or follow our company's social media may know that I had to recently purchase a new laptop and was forced into using Windows 8.    And if you look at the amount of social media and company blogs that have been written, you can tell this happened in early August since there are very few blogs and other posts.    My laptop is a vital tool for what I do.     It's like the handyman who carries a tool box - we need these tools to get the job done. Yes, we have thought of going backwards to Windows 7 since that actually worked, but the new operating system and having to reload has caused software problems.    Some stuff is missing and we can't find the disk or some crazy software company has said we could only have one install despite the fact that we purchased the program and own the darn disk.     It's nothing but nightmares.    I hate reloading the laptop, which also causes nothing but nightmares.    Yes, I can hear someone out there saying to store stuff on the cloud and use software on the cloud.     That's okay for people who don't write novels and want to protect their property and people who don't use software like Photoshop and ACAD software.    These programs need to be on the hard drive and not relying on some Internet connectivity to make it work correctly.    Work can be too easily lost.     And being an artist - we don't react well to losing hours of work and then losing the zen moment of creativity that is lost by malfunctioning tools.    Having to be connected to the Internet to do anything removes one's

Not Born in the Last Century – Change in Technology

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy with friends and family this past weekend, and it was good fun.  And after the matinee was over, we all went out to get something to eat.  Now the range of ages in this dinner party was from age 11 to 67 and the topic of technology came up since one of our dinner companions was pleased to find out that We Are Technology does do Mobile App Development.  But the discussion did not end there with the normal, “Oh good, I will let my friend know that you can help her with that project and so forth.”  The topic eventually morphed into what technology we had when we were kids - or more accurately – what technology we did NOT have as kids. It was at this point that our eleven year old companion that was enjoying his plate full of shrimp became more interested in the topic at hand.  We proceeded to explain to him that there were no cell phones when we were kids and that we had to go to a phone booth and pay for calls away from home.  We also explained that computers as they are now did not exist and one had to type letters and papers on a typewriter, and that it was sometimes frustrating when one made a typing error because it forced the typist to start all over again at least until liquid paper was invented.  Teachers did not have copy machines or printers available, they had to use ditto machines or mimeographs to make handouts or tests for their students. This change in technology has probably broader implications than what is fully realized at the

By |August 18th, 2014|Categories: Culture, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Not Born in the Last Century – Change in Technology

Take Me Along Shoes – Lechal Smartshoes

Wearable technology has another innovation to share. This time it is a pair of smart shoes that are designed to work with Google Maps to aid walkers and joggers to stay on route. Apparently one can simply link their shoes through a smart phone and select a path on Google Maps and the shoes will buzz vibrations to the left or right foot depending upon what direction the person planned to go. The space slipper, aka Lechal smartshoes, developed by Ducere Technologies. The product was originally designed to aid visually impaired people. And the name Lechal means “take me along” in Hindi, but the designers realized during development that this product would be great for the fitness industry. The shoe design looks more like a space slipper than a running shoe, and it appears that the company is offering an insole to work the same way and can be put in a person’s currently owned shoes. So don’t throw away your fancy walking or running shoes yet. Personally, this is not a product for me, but it could be an interesting aid for those that are in assisted living locations and can easily get lost. I would suggest geo mapping a complex were assisted care units are. People with health conditions are often encouraged to take walks or get fresh air, but due to medication or health problems sometimes people can become disorientated. Perhaps the space slippers might have a more useful application in a place like that. Too bad they are still tied to a cell phone, which residents of such a facility may not carry along with them. To read more about the latest in “take me along shoes” just click

By |July 28th, 2014|Categories: Technology, Wearable Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Take Me Along Shoes – Lechal Smartshoes

Questions about Digital Storage

While the User Friendly Team decides on if they want to do any more episodes for this season of the radio show, we have some questions from our website and social media that Bill Sikkens, our Technology Expert, had planned on answering. The first one was from Gary Lanson of Nashville, TN: – Should USB drives be used for storing files? There is a wide variety of USB drives available, and as time goes on larger drives are becoming more affordable. And Bill Answers: - USB Memory sticks are designed for temporary storage and transfer of files. These devices can be easily lost or damaged and as such are not recommended for long term storage or archival purposes. Bill makes a very good point, but I have to admit that I keep a good many files on USB drives for quick and easy access just because I don’t have my backup drives sitting around at arms reach. These drives tend to house the same files for many years. I am pretty good about not losing items, but some of these drives can be incredibly small. So if you are a person likely to lose stuff, perhaps it would be wise to select a drive that is more colorful and bulky. Our next question is from Betty in Atlanta, GA: - I have a number of CD’s with personal information. How do I destroy them so they can’t be stolen out of the trash? Can they be erased? Bill’s response: - CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-ray media created is in most cases permanent to the disc once written (there are some exceptions to this, but for this purpose rewriteable media works the same way). For

Drones, Drone, and Drones

So when is a drone a drone? And an RC helicopter an RC helicopter? We have been hearing a lot about drones lately and I keep wondering if people are mixing up drones with RC flying helicopters and planes. So I searched on the Internet to see if there was any established definition of what a drone was. You see, I had always thought of a drone as being a large military or commercial industry oriented flying device that did not house a pilot and was controlled on the ground by a sophisticated computer and could fly outside of the operator’s line of sight like a large airplane or helicopter. But the article I found on arstechnica.com referred to a small flying device that did have a limited distance as being a drone. Check out this fun article and watch the video they put together, it is actually quite interesting if you love technology and cool toys of tech. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/06/flying-and-crashing-a-1300-quadcopter-drone/ So is a drone a design style or something defined by technological abilities? So I checked Wikipedia to get an idea of what the basic parameters are and here is what I discovered. There were three categories for this type of usage of the word. The first one that I thought was the definition was basically described as thus… “An unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), also known as a combat drone or drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is usually armed. Aircraft of this type have no onboard human pilot. Drones are usually under real-time human control, with "the human's role in UCAV system [varying] according to levels of autonomy of UCAV and data communication requirement[s]" The modern military drone as known today

User Friendly the Radio Show

Yes, the We Are Technology Team has developed it's first technology radio show called User Friendly.  The original concept was for a TV Technology show that was brain stormed by the California We Are Technology Team, but since Bill Sikkens appearance on live radio had been  well received, a decision was made to first put together a radio show and then consider the TV show project. Today will be the first airing of the User Friendly Radio Show with Bill Sikkens as the host and several We Are Technology Team members filling the roles as co-host and interviewer.  Bill Sikkens has become well known for his appearances on Tech Tuesdays with host Dan Mason on KKOH on 780 AM radio.   The User Friendly Radio Show is currently set to air on Tuesday mornings at 10 AM PT on Fox radio 101.3FM and will be played on Fox Stations throughout the US.  If you can't get a chance to listen to the show on the radio, go to our Media Library page to find the YouTube links to the various appearances. Media library - click here. G. Winkler - Technology Artist - (c) 2014 Cumulus Technology - the "We Are Technology" people

How “now” is wearable technology?

Being a writer for a company site such as We Are Technology forces me to be on the constant lookout for new topics and old topics to write about concerning technology. I have to ask myself what does our audience want to hear about? And what do they need to know about? These are important questions since as the company writer, I want to serve our clients, company followers, as well as the company itself. And in the past we have discussed wearable technology and I think it has a future, but my question is….how soon is that future? So I started asking myself how often have I seen people in everyday life wearing and using wearable technology? And I was forced to respond that I only know one person who owns and uses such a device and that I have not seen anyone wandering around wearing Google Glasses or other smart devices. So what is happening? Am I too isolated to know the reality of how the market place has responded to these devices? Also, why have I not seen these products prominently displayed in stores either, and the items I see online are often Photoshop concept type drawings made to look very real to present the idea of the potential product, but not something actually produced and ready. So I have asked one of our top software programmers, Devin R., who happens to own a smart watch what he thought of the item. And this is what he shared with me. He purchased a Pebble from Best Buy since he had been following the item’s progress since it was on Kickstarter in 2012. The purpose behind the smart watch to be able to

By |May 1st, 2014|Categories: Wearable Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on How “now” is wearable technology?

Antigravity Technology Anyone?

If you ever want a truly humbling experience, try reading the CERN COURIER, which is the International Journal of High-Energy Physic produced for CERN by IOP Publishing Ltd.   I have browsed through it before only understanding glimpses of what they are discussing.  Some articles leave me feeling like a giant blank canvas, but when I do understand a few tidbits, there is a certain strange feeling of accomplishment like I had just survived climbing some high steep cliff.  One certainly develops a new appreciation for the people who do truly understand what is written within its pages. So some of you may ask, where or how did I gain access to such a journal of intense technology?  Well, you know that technology expert that we are always bragging about…. Bill Sikkens, well, he receives it, and that is because he is a quantum physicist.   So all that hubbub about him being an expert isn’t a marketing ploy or drama, it’s real.  So he had me read an article from the latest issue of the CERN Courier because it is about technology and the kind of technology that the rest of us regular folks can get excited about.  The only problem was after I read it, I wasn’t sure I understood enough to have anything to say. So here’s my take on the article…. Participants at the WAG 2013 meeting basically discussed a massive group effort from labs all over the western hemisphere to study gravity and antimatter.  It appears that different facilities can observe different levels or aspects of the study and the scientists have to go through many intricate procedures to create the right environment to be truly sure they are measuring what they

Dropbox – scanning for copyright?

How does that innocent looking icon on your desktop really work? Everyday new tools come out of the cloud for us to use to make work and everyday life just a little bit easier, and Dropbox is just one of those neat tools that did just that.  One no longer has to be networked together, or have a huge email file capacity, or a giant thumb drive to pass documents between computing systems.  One can simply use Dropbox, but is there something insidious going on?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  With so much concern about privacy and Internet rights going on perhaps you should read the article posted on techcrunch.com and make a decision for yourself. Here's the link to read all about the latest concerning Dropbox.

By |March 31st, 2014|Categories: Data Storage, Mobile Apps, Security|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Dropbox – scanning for copyright?

Interview with Larry Page at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

The We Are Technology Team has a good relationship with Google and I found this wonderful interview with Larry Page on the Business Insider website.   I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Larry Page, but hopefully someday I will get that opportunity, most especially after viewing this interesting interview that really gives one an overview of what kind of future he hopes to see.  I love how sharing information can inspire other people emotionally, creatively, purposefully, and altruistically.  This is what I do for the We Are Technology Team – I write, organize ideas, and do art to help share information not only about our company and products but what is happening in the world of technology.  There is so much going on out there and I learn things everyday when I search for trends or advancements in technology.  I know I miss so many stories.  One can only read or listen to so many news articles before becoming over saturated, and that is why we re-share the ones that we find that capture our imagination and inspiration for technology. Technology should be about inspiring the mind to realize its full potential whether that would be in science, art, business, or even politics.  Regardless of the path of the individual, it should help one go in a direction of positive achievement. So please take a few minutes to allow yourself to dream and imagine how technology can inspire and help your goals for the future.  Watch the video or read the article.  It’s good to know what people are dreaming about around you.  Click here for the link. G. Winkler ©2014 Technology Artist Cumulus Technology – the “We Are Technology” people

By |March 24th, 2014|Categories: Google, Larry Page, Technology|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Interview with Larry Page at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)