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Sleep Cycle/SleepBot

Sleep CycleSleepBot    

 

 

Have you ever wondered how well you actually sleep? Or wish that when you woke you didn't feel so tired? Well, there is an app available in iTunes and the Google Play Store that can help with just that. iTunes offers an app called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock that is available for $1.99 and in the Google Play Store there is a similar app called SleepBot- Sleep Cycle Alarm available for free.

There are quite a few similarities and very few differences between the two apps. Both apps were created to track your sleeping patterns and see how well you are sleeping. Another great feature is the alarm clocks on both apps. The apps find a pattern in your sleep cycle where you are in a light sleep and will gradually wake you up during that time to make you feel more rested and ready to get up. Both apps also feature detailed graphs of your sleeping patterns. The differences between the two come into play with the different features offered. SleepBot through the Google Play Store has an option to allow you to record your movements and sound during the night and get quick solutions to help you fall asleep or stay awake. Sleep Cycle through iTunes offers different alarm melodies, soothing sounds to help you fall asleep, a customizable wake up window, and sleep notes to record what type of day you had which could correlate with how well you are sleeping at night.

Both apps have a lot of great features that help you analyze your sleep patterns and cycles. So whether you are curious as to how you are sleeping or want a little help getting to sleep, either app has the reputation to do both!  

 

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lslk.sleepbot&hl=en

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep-cycle-alarm-clock/id320606217

Tech Tip of the Week

Do you have any strange noises or audible disturbances emanating from your device? If you do, that device needs immediate attention to save your data properly and ensure data does not become lost forever. Such noises can be clicking, buzzing, “clunking”, “whirring”, beeping, etc. Failing hard drives can make many different distress sounds. The sooner we get these failing devices into the hands of capable individuals the greater the chances of successful data retrieval become. It’s sometimes our worst nightmare to think about losing all the data we have saved, but it happens quite often, and sharing this info with friends or family can help them hold onto their important data!

NOAA Hi-Def Radar

NOAA  

 

As the weather is changing, it comes along with the impending probability of snow. Keeping that in mind, this week’s App of the Week is NOAA Hi-Def Radar to help you track all the weather changes in the forecast. NOAA Hi-Def Radar is available through iTunes and the Google Play Store for $1.99.

NOAA Hi-Def Radar has a variety of different features and functions that will be helpful all throughout the year. Some of the features offered include: images with hurricane tracks and lightning strikes, severe weather warnings, storm track arrows with hail information, wildfires and fire fighting updates, drought severity and snowfall, on a fluid responsive map. NOAA Hi-Def Radar also allows you to bookmark unlimited locations on the map to view the radar and forecast each location. The NOAA Hi-Def Radar app that automatically augments land-based radar images with the latest images from NOAA satellites covering the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in one single screen.

Whether or not you are happy about the weather changes in store, this app is a helpful tool to always know and prepare for what weather is heading your way.  

 

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.weathersphere.noaa_hidef_radar  

 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/noaa-hi-def-radar/id458225159?mt=8

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 has arrived! Yesterday Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 update package for free through the Microsoft App Store. As a new user of Windows 8, and now 8.1, it is a welcomed update by many users who were seeking the beloved “Window” or “Start” button. It has returned and also includes updates and upgrades to the Windows 8 platform, and makes the interface even nicer and more user friendly. If you were undecided on Windows 8 before, the 8.1 update may put in place what you’ve been looking for to make the transition smoother. As always, we recommend checking software compatibility before upgrading and also make sure you have good backups in place in case some catastrophe happens. Between the chilly temperatures and forecasted rain, this weekend might be a good time to do some updating on your PC!

Springpad

springpad  

 

If you are still looking for the perfect electronic organizer to help keep track of life’s many activities and tasks, Springpad might be just what you are looking for. Springpad is available for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store.

Springpad allows you to organize your life through notebooks. These notebooks are customizable according to what you have going on in your life. Make a notebook for recipes you want to make, a trip you want to plan, movies you want to watch, or books you want to read. Springpad will also offer personalized suggestions based on the additions you make to selected notebooks. Create a task list to help keep daily activities in check, as well as reminders for appointments, and a checklist to really breakdown what needs to be done.

There is a lot to explore and discover on Springpad, the only way to know if Springpad will work for you is to try it out! Download Springpad and see if you life becomes a little more organized!  

 

https://springpad.com/about

Cloud Storage

We’d like to take this week to mention the popularity of cloud storage. Cloud storage is great for saving pictures, documents, music, etc across multiple networks and servers so that we can access our information from any device that connects to the internet. Cloud storage is a great way to keep your data safe since the information is stored on “cloud servers” and can’t be damaged by a fire or lightning strike at your home or office. Apps that use cloud storage are sometimes built-in to your devices like iCloud on Apple devices, Google Drive on Android devices, and SkyDrive on Microsoft devices. Cloud storage can make for easy backup solutions on your mobile devices. We've stressed the importance of backups before, and cloud storage can be thought of as a live backup that syncs automatically so that you don’t have to manually move your data from one place to another on your device. It never hurts to have multiple backups of your most precious data!

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus  

 

Generally when fall rolls around, it comes with the season premiere of a lot of hit shows. It’s not always easy to keep up with everyday activities as well as being in the right place at the right time to watch your shows. Just in case you don’t utilize your DVR, we wanted to remind you of an app that lets you watch the shows you missed. Most shows are even available the next day after they are aired. The Hulu Plus app is available for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store. A paid subscription to Hulu Plus is only $7.99 per month.

Whether you are looking for Family Guy, Glee, or Grey’s Anatomy you can watch the full current season of these popular shows and more. Hulu works across numerous devices that it is downloaded on, so you can watch it on your phones, tablets, and PCs. Not only does Hulu offer your favorite hit shows, but you can also watch an assortment of movies and utilize the kids browser for younger viewers.

Hulu Plus is a great alternative to turn to if you missed some of your favorite shows, but the features do not end there. Hulu Plus is highly recommended and definitely worth the $7.99 subscription fee.

Be Aware of Attachments

It seems to happen more and more often. We see an e-mail from a somewhat familiar address, with an attachment. We think “Hey! It’s an e-mail from my friend/family/coworker and they must have something to show me”. However, this is not always the case, and more often we see HORRIBLE virus infections and corrupted machines due to opening attachments when we aren't certain of the content. Malicious intruders also disguise themselves as law enforcement or another governing entity in order to deceive us thinking the attachment is trustworthy or something we need to address. Be vigilant in going through your e-mails and if you aren't 100% certain of the contents or that the source is trustworthy, you’re better off not opening the attachment. Along with the ever-increasing usage of mobile devices, it will soon be common to see corruption with these as well. In this case, practice makes perfect applies! Practice keeping an eye on e-mails and attachments as they come through, to become more familiar with educating yourself and friends/family about what to be on the lookout for!

Zillow

zillow  

 

Zillow is the greatest real estate tool available on your mobile devices. You can download Zillow for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store.

Zillow allows you to find homes for rent or sale in your area or any other location across the United States. Zillow has some features that really set it apart from any other mobile real estate app. Zillow shows you a map of all the homes in the area you are searching with a price pinpoint. Slide through pictures of homes that interest you and see the location on a map. Save any of the searches that catch your eye. Search specifically for foreclosures and even pre-foreclosures. Check home values, mortgage calculator, affordability calculator, and refinance calculator. Zillow will also send you notifications when a new listing hits the market, drop in price, show an open house date, or when a house is sold.

Zillow is the ultimate real estate app whether you are looking to buy or rent, the information made available will help make your search easier.          

 

 

http://www.zillow.com/

Tech Tip of the Week

With the release of a new wave of next generation processors from Intel, we thought we’d take the opportunity to briefly touch on how much improvement has happened over the course of a few short years. Typically, recommended life cycles for PCs are 3 years (at least in our recommendations). A couple reasons would be that the warranty is typically up by this time, as well as the technology relationship between hardware, software (operating systems – Windows, Mac OS X, etc) and peripherals (printers, scanners, etc) have greatly changed as well. For example, this year’s Intel I3 processors are performing just as well as late 2008 / early 2009’s Intel i7 processor. To explain, this means that your mid-level “one size fits all” processor performs as well as or out performs the “high-end” or “gamer” processor of a couple years past. However, the new processors also consume much less power, and are “greener” (if you will). Another reason would be that with the improvements between generations in hardware, the user experience is enhanced. Whether it’s faster speed, less heat producing, a smaller case/chassis, or possibly a touch screen, added benefits are never hard to find. Just a helpful hint when you’re shopping for that new item in your technological arsenal!

Featured Review

Jeff Johnson

Quality service - and they don't make you feel like you're unwise if you don't know the computer lingo!

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