ToughTested: Finally, the best headphones that will last!

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(We are giving away 1 brand new ToughTested’s Jobsite Headphones’. See the end of this article for details)

Noise can be stressful and it can be addictive as well. Being constantly exposed to excessive noise can make people partially or wholly deaf, irritable, and increase the tendency to speak in high volume. ToughTested earbuds are made for people who live and work in such environments. The problem is more acute when the person receives an important phone call in such noisy environments. In the US there are noise limits acceptable in any workplace defined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Also, the Environment Protection Agency has prescribed limits for noise in public places, and surroundings. Earbuds and other products used for sounds have to conform to the standards stipulated by the American National Standards Institute and ToughTested earbuds not only conform to these standards, but exceed them.

best headphones
Brand new headphones, not opened yet

We thoroughly tested the ToughTested’s Jobsite earphones, retailing for $47 on Amazon. They come in a big hard plastic box (see picture above). Needless to say, we were blown away. These are the first headphones that we can say will last forever! Every headphone we have tried ends within a year (we are rough and careless with those things). Usually one of the ear stops working. But these ones never gave up, no matter what we tried (we didn’t put it in water though), pulling, sitting on them, keeping them in the pocket for a whole day and sleeping with them, burying them in mud, but boy these are really “Tough Tested”. These earbuds will help the user to hear communication and sounds without the outside noise, effectively improving the clarity of the phone call. We even tried taking a call on the firing range, and weren’t disappointed at all.

toughtested
Source: ToughTested.com

Some of the main features of these ear buds include –

a. Cords that do not get tangled. There are ear buds with straight and long cords that can be connected to the telephones or other music devices. These are thin and tend to get tangled easily, effectively requiring time and patience on the part of the user as without entangling, the length may not suffice for the distance from the instrument. Another problem because of such tangled wires is that they damage the internal sound carrying wires if not untangled with patience. ToughTested earbuds have cords that do not end up getting tangled easily. The cords are Kevlar reinforced (2.5 mm heavy gauge). The nylon outside is also braided because of which they are more durable and have more strength.

b. There is a memory foam surrounding the main ear bud. This memory bud prevents the sound waves from dispersing in the surroundings, and vice versa, sounds from the outside interfering with the sound that comes from within the ear buds. This foam can, therefore, reduce noise levels by almost 30 percent. Because the foam is a softer material, it can also be worn for a long time unlike harder plastics.

c. The ear hooks in these ear buds are very flexible.

d. To ensure that the reception is the same from all directions, these ear buds include Halo 360 degrees directional microphones;

e. There are the usual ear bud controls, i.e., play, volume, pause, back, skip, answer, and end;

f. Includes the EQ or Voice technology which ensures optimal of any calls or music. This technology also maintains the music volume at 95 DB, which is the optimal level that does not damage the hearing;

g. These ear buds have also been tested almost 10,000 times to conform to the features and ability to reduce noises as desired.

tough tested 2

Recommendation: Great value for money. If you are the sort of person who is careless with their headphones or if you work in a noisy place, these are definitely a must have earphone.

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Velomobile – Economical and Ecological Vehicle

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At the end of the 19th century, across many countries in the Europe used a new special and easy to manage vehicle for their day to day operations-a bicycle. Various companies around the world are committed to making their Velomobile customers more productive through their global offering of motion control products together with other systems. This simple gadget became a loyal assistant in various tasks such as agriculture and other activities such as travelling especially if the distance was short. However, with time there has been the bike has been developed to something better and that is the Velomobile.

Velomobile van

This van is described as a vehicle that has combined simplicity, environmental friendliness and cost-effective features with stability and better usability as that of a car. The Velomobile is used on paved roads. The bike has a streamline shape, weather protection and very comfortable compared to a standard bicycle.

What is the principle behind Velomobile?

The Recumbent is usually controlled using pedals movements of either the hands or feet. Some of these vehicles are usually equipped with an additional electric unit, which is typically propelled by an accumulator. These machines are easy to operate and not difficult to maintain. The greatest advantage of these machines is the streamline shape which increases the speed and has a weather protection and other injuries. This is a critical feature compared to the bicycles. The appearance of the Velomobile increases the speed which has brought unprecedented excitement and a lot of interest to the fans of fast driving. However, the speed is not just the major factor that makes the Velomobile better that the bike but also it is more comfortable.

Velomobile can be single or even double. The most important aspect is that the Velomobile has various sizes of two, four or even a whole family while riding on the simple machine allows an exchange of information with fellow colleagues. Also, the Velomobile can also be fitted with a child seat of up to 40 kilograms [88 pounds] and luggage of about 100 kg [220 lbs] or truck-trailer.

velomobiles model

To understand how to ride the Velomobile is easier compared to a bike since you just get in the machine and start pedaling. Physical or any other special training is not required. A More interesting aspect is that it is important to know how to drive a Velomobile than getting to learn the traffic rules.

velomobile car

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The Wonders of a Browser Based Game

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The games that are browser based are games that are played on a web browser and cannot be played on a video game console or on other platforms. The games that are browser based can be played through different computers and these games can involve different players who play the game at the same time. These games can be in the form of simple puzzles or could be detailed games that require skill and precision through the process. Web browser games simply define the way the games can be accessed, unlike the consoles and other gaming platforms.

Features of these games

The games that are played through the web browser need an internet connection as well as a certain web browser and its version for playing. Hence, if one has an outdated web browser the game might not load on such a system. Again, without internet connection these games cannot be played. Hence, every time one wishes to play the game, they need to log online through the specified web browser software. In most cases the common web browsers found in the modern computers are sufficient for playing these games like friv games.

Benefits of web browser games

The access to games that are simply played on the web browser is much easier than when you need to have a certain gaming platform for the same. Hence, the web browser games are popular for these reasons. Many basic games are offered through different portals and the system requirements of these games are minimal. That leads to more people enjoying the games who would not be spending money on getting separate gaming consoles at higher prices. Many web based games also come for nominal fees and these make sense for getting superior gaming experience at a small price to pay.

System requirements 

It is necessary to ensure that your system is protected with comprehensive browsing security software when you are playing games online. Often, many sites introduce spurious software in your system while your system remains open for gaming at the site. For these reasons, it is necessary to have an updated web browser as well as an active antivirus coverage for your system before you indulge in browsing the different gaming platforms.

Finding a reliable site

As it is known, that many people face problems in their computer when they try online games, people have become wary of trying any gaming portal. It is better that you read up reviews before you decide to look up games and try a certain site. The well-known gaming sites have reviews written by many users. By going through the reviews one will understand the pros and cons of the site. Accordingly, one can decide on trying a site and be confident of the programs that are loaded on it.

 

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Google To Reject All Flash Based Ads From July

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Advertising and search giant Google has taken yet another step in relegating Flash to the pages of history. From July 2016, it’s not going to accept Flash display advertisements.

From June 30, developers with Flash-based display advertisements can forget uploading them to Google’s DoubleClick Digital Marketing or AdWords. Instead, they will have to upload display adverts in HTML5.

Phase two of Google’s plan to go “100% HTML5” begins on 2nd January, 2017, when Google will no longer run Flash ads on Google Display Network or via DoubleClick.

google flash html5

Nonetheless, Google stated that “video advertisements built in Flash won’t be impacted at this time” on its ad networks.

The new deadline is Google’s latest move to wean the online community off Flash, which has been the source of many a security scare, with countless stream of bugs affecting the Flash Player browser plugin that has been required to view much of the web’s video and animated content.

Just a couple of days ago Adobe patched 22 critical flaws affecting the Flash Player plugin on all browsers and desktop operating systems.

Adobe stated that it was not yet aware of any attacks on the flaws. Nevertheless, attacks that exploit the bugs are prone to show up in exploit kits in coming weeks and months.

On the advertising front, Google has since 2014 provided free tools to convert Flash adverts to HTML5 and last year started to automatically convert Flash ads to HTML5, a move designed to assist advertisers reach smartphones that do not support Flash.

Additionally, to enhance Chrome’s efficiency, Google updated the browser in September 2015 to automatically pause Flash-based ads while permitting Flash video to continue running, drawing a line between ‘central’ and ‘non central’ content.

While Google hasn’t moved completely off Flash for advertising, the deadline is another milestone on its demise on the internet.

Both YouTube and Facebook have now moved completely to HTML5 for video on the respective platforms, and Adobe helped Netflix prepare its recently released HTML5 player for Firefox, bringing its support in line with the existing HTML5 players for IE, Edge, Safari, and Chrome.

flash dead Related: Users of Yahoo hacked because of Flash

 

Even Adobe is shifting away from Flash, releasing Animate CC, a more HTML5-friendly output tool replacing the older Flash Professional.

 

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Review of a selfie stick from Xshot

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(We are giving away 1 selfie stick, repacked after the review. See the end of this article for details)

One of the most recent samples we got was a Deluxe Selfie Stick from X-shot. It retails for around $29.9 and can be bought from X-Shot’s website. It is obviously useful for taking selfies, no prizes for guessing that. Basically for those of you who have never used or seen a selfie stick before (those people do exist, seriously), it is essentially a pole on which you can lodge your camera or smartphone, and this pole raises it to the desired level, without dropping it, irrespective of the weight dimensions and size of the device mounted on it.

packed selfie stick by xshot
The Deluxe Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Remote Shutter, in Golden. Packed again for the giveaway!

When someone takes a ‘selfie’ picture alone or along with friends, they need some distance between themselves and the camera, otherwise some friends will have their faces cut in half, or others may end up not being included in the picture at all. Another common problem that the selfie stick can help you overcome is that your faces are not far too large as you are too near to your camera, often blocking the view behind you. With a selfie stick, one could easily take a picture from a distance or from a height with the person looking upwards.

The reason we decided to include this selfie stick in our review is that we thought it stood out from the crowd. It is incredibly light and is very compact (only 8 inches when closed) making it easy to be carried anywhere. The length of this pole can be adjusted up to 31 inches (some models extend up to 40 inches); and unlike the cheap Chinese selfie sticks we experimented with, this one stays in position. The extended part of the shaft stays firmly in place with a twist locking arrangement. It also extends easily, just like folding umbrellas.

We played with the golden coloured Deluxe Selfie stick, but it is available in 5 other colours as well, including black, yellow and red. The stick includes the phone holder, as well as a tripod adapter, apart from the paracord lanyard. Cameras can be fastened on the top of the pole with different types of mounts.

For operating the photographic device at a distance, we would naturally need a remote, and so X-shot has included a small bluetooth remote as well, which can also be attached to the stick or kept separately, and it pairs with your smartphone so that pictures and videos can be made from a distance of up to 10m. Apart from the silicone handle, which is perfect for holding the pole, the stick is made from aluminum which has been anodized and colored. The fact that it is made from aluminum and is painted makes it safe even inside water. It is also supposed to be safe from salt and corrosion, though we yet to check it in those conditions. On the whole, an interesting and desirable product.

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Safedome – A credit card sized gadget to secure your wallet

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Conveniences such as credit cards, debit cards, emails, and smartphones come with an inherent risk of identity theft. If the credit or debit card is lost or stolen, the person who finds it or steals it, can easily make use of it till they it gets reported and blocked. Similarly, emails can be hacked or compromised. Crucial information can be extracted from emails and used in a way that is detrimental to the interests of the person whose email it is or was. Some even go so far as impersonating the person whose identity is stolen. Such crimes require new ways to prevent them. Safedome is one such effective tool that can help prevent identity theft.

What is Safedome?

We were given a sample of Safedome to test out for this review [We are giving it away, and you can win it! See the end of this article for details]. Basically it is a well thought out gadget, a device, the size of a credit card and it has some cool technology integrated in it. The thing that surprised us most was the thickness of the card. It is as thick as a normal credit card! The battery, LEDs, microcontroller, antenna and button have all been packed inside a water resistant casing in this thin card.

InsideTheSafedomeCard bk

It connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth. If the wallet (or bag) containing this card is lost or stolen, then the card issues a warning to the smartphone so that appropriate measures can be taken immediately. It also tells you the last known location of the card. Quite often people do not realize when they lose their purse or wallet, and it is only after a considerable amount of time has passed that they become aware of this. The card and cell phone are integrated using Safedome software. When the distance between the two exceeds a specified distance, then the alert is given on the cell phone. The built in battery may last a couple of years!

safedome app

Another security feature possible with Safedome app is the Safedome Identity feature. It regularly scans a database containing thousands of breached credentials, monitoring any email addresses you have entered in the app. If the email is found on the breached database, Identity informs you and requests you to take action. Emails can also be scanned manually by tapping the ‘Manual Scan’ button in the app. One of editors did find her email in the database. Upon further investigation, we found that one of the forum that the particular editor visits had been hacked and all the passwords were leaked in another forum! Hence the app saved her some frustration (she says the passwords were only used on some forums, and no other data was at risk. This is the reason we suggest to use good password managers and/or use different passwords for all your logins).

wallet black bgThe card can currently be bought from the Safedome website and it retails for $49. Currently it is only available for customers in the US and Australia. It comes with 12 months of customer support, available 24/7. According to their website

We’ll help you if you become a victim of fraud, but we’ll also help if you lose your passport, your driver’s license, or anything else you need to keep moving.

The people behind Safedome specialize in remediation, restoration and recovery – things you’ll need help with if your identity or accounts are ever compromised – and can help you with everything from paperwork to contacting your bank.

We did not get a chance to get any actual support, but we did call a couple of times at different hours and always got connected to a real human within seconds.

win safedome

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Linear Actuators to Get Your Robot Moving

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Introduction

Actuators are parts or things that enable your robot to move. Without actuators, your robot would remain to be just a collection of pipes or boxes. There are two varieties of actuators, rotational and linear actuators. Rotational actuators convert electricity into rotational motion hence enabling your robot to roll or move its arms in a clockwise or anticlockwise manner. Linear actuators enable your robot to move objects in a straight line, lift things, pull or push objects among others. They are reliable and long lasting. This article seeks to explicate five types of linear actuators which you can help your robot to move.

 

Motorized Threaded Rods

A threaded rod, a drill operated using a battery and some matching nuts can be used to make a powerful linear actuator. A stepper motor, like the one used 3D printers could be used if a precise linear actuator is needed. To make a simple version of the linear actuator, recycle a glue stick cylinder and use a potentiometer and a modified servo used.

Linear Actuators
Figure 1: Threaded rod. Source: http://ift.tt/1o8YVGG

 

Pneumatic Cylinders

Pneumatics uses pressurized gasses. They control fluid using these gasses. The end result is that pneumatic cylinders produce a force from the pressurized gas or any other fluid, especially air. They have an advantage over motorized threaded rods in that once they have been pressurized, they can retain their position without demanding for any extra power. They have many applications because of their durability and strength. Pneumatic cylinders allow the gripper of the fork to close and open as the motor lifts.  The motor that uses such cylinders can lift and stack items.

Linear Actuators 2
Figure 1: Pneumatic Cylinder: Source: http://ift.tt/1o8YUCp

Scotch Yokes

This actuator works by converting rotational motion into a linear motion.  It is mostly used in reciprocating robots.  It has a rod that has a slot at the middle. The slot cut is rectangular in shape.  A pin, which is contained in a wheel which is rotating, is inserted in the rectangular slot.  Once the wheel turns, the pin, which is inserted in the rod, makes the rod to move back and forth. Scotch yokes have many robotics applications, most of which are advanced.  For instance, they are used in propulsion by mimicking the dorsal movements of the fish, particularly the dorsal. This occurs in dolphin- like robots.

motors for robots
Figure 3: Scotch Yoke: Source: http://ift.tt/1o8YUCx

 

Solenoids

This is a coil which is used to pull or push heavy plungers once energized. The coil is electric in nature. The plungers that it pushes or pulls are mostly made up of steel or iron.   Once pulled or pushed, the plungers return to their original status since they are spring-loaded. Some of the applications of solenoids include valves that are electrically controlled, door bells, and in electric locks in security doors and cars.

robot motors
Figure 4: Solenoid. Source: http://ift.tt/1o8YUSR

 

Pneumatic muscles

Pneumatic muscles are mostly used in soft robots. A braided mesh tube which contains a skinny balloon and whose ends have been clamped can be used to create a pneumatic muscle. Once the balloon is inflated, the clamping prevents it from expanding lengthwise. It therefore expands radially. This radial expansion of the balloon causes the braid to connect.

Robots
Figure 5: Pneumatic muscle. Source: http://ift.tt/1mfBNoc

Pneumatic muscle is mostly used in personal robots or robots which are meant to work in a close relationship with human beings. A set of such actuators can be used to bend an arm.

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