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Science Experiments in Tech - Episode 206

Piltch Point

Science Experiments in Tech - Episode 206

2019-09-29

This week, Avram Piltch discusses a pair of interesting science experiments that have been conducted by Tom's Hardware over the past few weeks. The first involves the publication's favorite tech gadgets: the Raspberry Pi. The site has done a lot of projects using the board, but this one was unique. Rather than building something with it, they waterproofed it and used it completely submerged underwater. The result is accomplished by dipping the board into a bath of a chemical called CorrosionX. This chemical is incredibly toxic and should be used with care.

From a usefulness perspective, this project probably doesn't rank high for most consumers. However, there are some real-world applications. Raspberry Pi boards are used in a lot of robotic applications, and robots can get themselves into potentially damaging situations, completely outside of their control. Even if the case is already waterproof, adding this process on top of the case can protect the board in the event the case is damaged. Think of a product like a Roomba where the electronics could be protected from moisture even if the body is damaged.

The second experiment, which will be published this week, involved AMD, Intel, and pancakes. It's common knowledge that a computer CPU gets hot, and the chips have been used to cook before, but Tom's Hardware decided to test which manufacturer cooks better. They used comparable processors, one from Intel and one from AMD, and removed their processor fans. Adding thermal compound to a skillet, they placed it over the processor and ran a test to kick the processor to 100%. While both have similar operating temperatures, the Intel processor continued to run through the heat while the AMD Threadripper turned off for protection.

Again, the usefulness of the test is probably pretty low, but it is an interesting experiment. From a results perspective, it's important to know that an Intel processor will continue to run without proper heat dissipation. If you're building a computer and need it to keep running in extreme heat, potentially to the detriment of the hardware, Intel would be a good choice. If you're looking for a system with a strong self-preservation instinct, AMD might be the better choice.

September 29, 2019 - Episode 539

F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

September 29, 2019 - Episode 539

2019-09-29

This week, Apple's phones can be broken, Microsoft's streaming can be tested, and Google's news results can't be previewed.

Grabbing pick up game has never been easier than with Javelin Sports

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Grabbing pick up game has never been easier than with Javelin Sports

2019-09-29

So many of us live for sports. We love to watch and cheer on our favorite teams, and we also love to play. Getting out and active is important for so many reasons. It helps to keep us fit, of course, but it also keeps us engaged in social settings with like-minded peers. The benefits of getting out there and staying active are important to our physical, mental and emotional well being. So whether your favorite sport to play is basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball or any/all of another myriad of athletic choices out there, you're going to love this next app.

Maybe you are new to the city and don't have your usual crew to meet up with for a quick game. Or maybe your work schedule has changed and that is keeping you from being as active as you would like. Justin Ford, Founder and CEO of Javelin Sports has just the solution that will bring you closer to your goals and will connect you with players of any sport you wish. Javelin Sports is a mobile application designed to help users find sports leagues as wells as pick up games in their area to fit their busy schedules.

Justin discusses how he felt it was becoming more and more challenging to stay active playing the sports that he had come to fall in love with. He decided to work with his co-founder, Coleman Chan to develop an easier way to keep up with your active life with an easy outlet to join leagues and meet sports enthusiasts in your local community. Javelin Sports includes cool features such as being able to chat with your teammates, receive game notifications, schedule your games on your own time, as well as sharing your experiences with your friends that may want to play.

Javelin Sports is currently live in Toronto, Canada on the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. To find out more about this application, you can visit their website.

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CardCruncher finds you the best credit card for your spending

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CardCruncher finds you the best credit card for your spending

2019-09-29

There are so many credit cards available that it is nearly impossible to choose which one is right for you. Which ones will give you a good rate? Which have the best cashback options? Which ones have cashback that matches your spending habits? To help you wade through all of this information and make an informed decision, we've got CardCruncher.

This platform helps you find the right credit card for you, based on real-life information. All you have to do is attach your bank account, and CardCruncher will look at your spending, how much you spend, where you spend it, and how often. Using that information, they compare your habits with the details of every credit card in their database to find what will give you the best return on your spending.

The service is provided to users entirely for free. They accomplish this because they get paid per new card signup that they refer. This is a pretty common business model for a free product. Sometimes referral businesses will lean towards the products that make them the most amount of money, but with CardCruncher, there is no doubt that this is not the case. The value of their platform is based on the value they provide through their algorithm, and to stray from that mission would damage their value. This is good news for everyone involved.

The idea, like many ideas at Collision, came about from a personal need. Mike Bonfigli, the company's co-founder, found himself sitting in front of a computer with a spreadsheet and a lot of research, looking for his best deal. He realized that he couldn't possibly be the only one who wanted this information and set about to bring the idea to reality. Now, you can find out which card is best for you in just moments.

To get your free credit card recommendation, head over to the website.

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Nicole Holland is all about connecting the right people together

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Nicole Holland is all about connecting the right people together

2019-09-29

One of the most fun aspects of Collision Conference is getting to interact with the other press and influencers in the Media Village. We get to meet people from the big publications who are always interested in our indiscrete studio setup, and we meet influencers who are looking for contacts and pointers. This year, we got the opportunity to speak with Nicole Holland, a "traffic generation rockstar." She sat near out studio and started talking with the staff. During a break, I had the opportunity to talk with her and she did exactly what her title suggests - brought traffic to others. She lined up our interview with GenM and worked to bring us others.

But, the reality is, Nicole is an interesting person with a very positive personality. She is always looking for ways to connect people, which is a trait that our team admires because it is something that we try to do as well. It's no wonder that people can connect with her easily and listen to what she has to say. That is the at the core of being a successful influencer in the modern age. If you can genuinely connect with people, they will trust your recommendations.

One of her big topics is podcasts, which is a perfect fit for us. She facilitates inspiring success stories, gives tips and tricks, and more on her show. She also helps others get started in telling their own brand stories through podcasting. Right now, podcasting can be a great way to reach your audience, either through your series or by guesting on someone else's. Nicole Holland can help you use this medium to grow your influence.

To learn more about Nicole, hear her podcast, or engage her services, head on over to her website.

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PromSocial reduces the stress of planning your perfect prom date

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PromSocial reduces the stress of planning your perfect prom date

2019-09-28

In the past few years, the world surrounding the high school prom has changed significantly. While it was once a school dance and a right of passage (for some), today it has become almost as involved as a wedding. There are dresses to buy and suits to rent or buy, limos to rent, flowers to buy, parties to plan or attend, and that's after you've got a date. Just asking someone to the prom has become a production on the level of a marriage proposal, even being called a "promposal." This would be intimidating for an adult, let alone a high school student. Fortunately, PromSocial is trying to make this a less stressful experience.

PromSocial is a platform that brings the difficult parts of prom under one roof, minimizing the "running around" aspect of planning. Currently, the app allows students to look for a date to their prom, in a similar fashion to a modern dating app. You can see profiles, indicate interest, and communicate with people you match with. When you're ready, the platform also allows you to plan and execute your perfect promposal. You can also plan your after parties, whether that be in a limo or elsewhere. It also is a full social network, with the ability to chat with others going to prom, share your outfit, and post pictures of before, during, and after prom.

In future updates, additional features will be introduced. The primary new feature will be a marketplace of products and services specifically for prom. You'll be able to buy or rent a dress, suit, or limo, or purchase flowers. Being able to find the local shops or online stores that provide the services you need in one place will take even more stress out of the process.

The app is available now for both iOS and Android. To learn more or download the app, head over to the website.

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BinoViz is building technology to expand the reach of human vision

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BinoViz is building technology to expand the reach of human vision

2019-09-28

Vision is a tricky thing. We usually think of it as a constant, where everyone sees the same thing the same way. However, the reality of vision is that many people see things differently. One of the biggest differences is caused by color blindness, which causes people to not be able to distinguish between two colors. Red-green color blindness alone is present in 1 in 12 males. Despite this high percentage of the problem, we still use color as a primary part of daily life. BinoViz is building technology to help people who see colors differently differentiate colors.

The company has developed the first Binocular Video Tone Mapping (BVTM) framework, which takes advantage of the way the brain fuses paired images into a single visual. By using this technology, which is similar to how movies produce a modern 3D visual, they can extend the range of color that is perceivable. For those with color issues, it can produce a different contrast to the colors that are presented, allowing them to determine the difference between red and green, or blue and green, and the colors produced by combining them with others. For those who see colors normally, it does not negatively impact the visual.

The company is starting with the entertainment industry, as it affords the most opportunity to apply color technology. Nowhere else do we see as many varying colors in such a short period, and nowhere does color have such a huge impact. Think of the movie Avatar, which revolves around blue people on a green planet. For someone who cannot distinguish blue from green, the movie didn't get exciting until everything caught fire, introducing red. But, by introducing a new level of contrast, even these people can enjoy the film.

To learn more about BinoViz, check out their website.

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Coinbask makes investing in cryptocurrencies easier and safer

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Coinbask makes investing in cryptocurrencies easier and safer

2019-09-28

It's hard to believe that it's been a decade since the original whitepaper describing Bitcoin was first released. In the last ten years, the technology has grown from a concept to a global household name. However, the adoption of cryptocurrency technology in the mainstream has been somewhere between slow and non-existent. While there are many reasons why this is the case, the two primary issues involve ease of use and breadth of choices. Coinbask is working to address both of these issues.

First, there are a lot of coins available on the market. How do you choose which ones to buy? If you want to buy a variety to diversify your portfolio, how do you do it and how do you manage the whole collection? That is the point of the basket aspect of Coinbask. By purchasing a tokenized basket of currency, you get the ability to invest in a collection of coins. A more diverse portfolio can mean you can absorb the loss of a volatile coin's price fluctuation.

Second, interacting with cryptocurrency isn't easy. Each platform can require a separate wallet, making the management of a diverse portfolio difficult. With Coinbask, you only need a single wallet to buy and sell a basket. Plus, the process of buying and selling is peer-to-peer, meaning you don't have to wait for hours or days for a transaction to complete. It also means that the process is more secure because you don't have to move your coins from a private wallet to a public wallet, through an exchange to sell, only to be reversed on the other side.

Coinbask is currently in early access and the company is looking for testers. If you want more information on the platform, or want to sign up for early access, head over to the website.

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Hostaway is making private vacation rentals easier to manage

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Hostaway is making private vacation rentals easier to manage

2019-09-27

The business of vacation rentals has grown quickly in the last few years. Platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, and more have made it easier for people to bring attention and customers to their private rental properties. However, the process of running the business is far more difficult than bringing in customers, and it only gets more difficult when you're managing more than one property. You have to interact with tenants, possibly on multiple platforms. You need to have the property cleaned after each visit. You have to deal with maintenance requests promptly. These are exactly the challenges that are being addressed by Hostaway.

Hostaway is a platform for vacation rental property managers designed to bring all of the regular tasks that are involved in the running of the business into a single management dashboard. It integrates with all of the essential tools of the trade, including Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, and more. That means that the tasks that happen through those platforms can be generalized, reducing the need to bounce between sites. Now you can interact with the tenants in a single dashboard, no matter where they booked. But it also integrates with other tools that are designed to improve your tenants' stay, like smart locks, allowing the tool to change the lock code between visits.

On the inside of the business, Hostaway also allows you to manage contractors, like cleaning services, repair services, and more. Schedule your cleaning service based on booked stays, schedule repairs when visitors have a problem. By creating efficiencies around all of these regular tasks, property managers can save a lot of money, resulting in lower prices and higher profits.

Hostaway is available now for managers to try out. To book a demo or learn more about the service, check out the website.

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Global Tutoring Hub aims for mastery through personalized learning

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Global Tutoring Hub aims for mastery through personalized learning

2019-09-27

Hailing from Barbados, Michael Husbands, CEO of Global Tutoring Hub, was motivated to create his company because of his daughter's learning challenges. When his preliminary searches for some solutions for his hands-on learner didn't net anything helpful, he knuckled down to create a solution that worked for his daughter as well for others who learned like she did - which turns out to be most of us, since the majority of learners, Husband's research showed, are visual learners.

Tutor Now was the first iteration of the service, providing one on one tutoring online. After that became more popular, Global Tutoring Hub was born, offering a personalized and adaptive learning experience for young adults and adults, based on each user's learning style.

Global Tutoring Hub takes the subscribing institution's content and breaks it down into visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic components which are then delivered on their Podium learning platform. Students, meanwhile, take a learning styles test before they start, and Global Tutoring Hub customizes their learning experience based on the student's personal learning style, with no two users having the same learning experience.

Content can also be modified by the tutor and content developers based on real-time user feedback. If students are continually struggling with a particular area in a course, administrators can address the issue by redesigning content for better delivery and understanding. Additionally, tutors are trained to look for areas where students are struggling and make suggestions or guide learning based on that real-time feedback.

The platform also provides companion learning material based on each user's style and preferences, from note-taking to studying techniques. Global Tutoring Hub is also working to re-engage mature learners with their user-friendly, personalized learning service for continuing education and older students looking to upskill or reskill for new job markets. While they generally work with colleges and universities, the platform can be employed for businesses, as well.

Global Tutoring Hub's ultimate goal for students is mastery. If you get the fundamentals right, Husbands believes, people will move at a much faster rate, ultimately reducing the amount of time it takes for them to accomplish their learning goals. Global Tutoring Hub wants to create the type of user engagement where students feel they've truly achieved something, which in turn inspires a greater desire to keep learning.

The company is starting to bring more partners on, with the idea that they will become a knowledge hub, aiming to become a place where anyone can find the best course that suits each person, in the style of learning that suits each best.

To learn more, go to Podium or visit Global Tutoring Hub.

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Boss Insights is bringing investment data to private companies

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Boss Insights is bringing investment data to private companies

2019-09-27

For almost any company to grow, investment is a key to success. For public companies, investors can easily get the information they need to make an informed decision because their information is, by definition, public. However, for investors to get information about a private company, they need to interact directly with that company. It also means that they are subject to the information that is presented to them. Boss Insights is bringing the benefits of public information to private investors.

Using data connectors, Boss Insights can hook into a wide variety of data producing platforms, such as accounting software, customer relationship platforms, and more. By combining this data, the platform can provide similar insights into a private company that investors would need to make a smart decision. Investors often compete with one another, especially when choosing to invest in a high profile company. That competition can cause investors to over offer funds, take less equity in trade, or simply make hasty offers. With the edge that data can give to these investors, they can prevent those hasty decisions.

For startups, working with Boss Insights can also provide a lot of value. Not only does it bring attention and trust between investors and the company, but it can also reveal information to improve their operations. In the startup world, most people have multiple roles, and people can be in a position for which they have less than optimal training. Some of that knowledge gap can be filled by an AI-powered platform that reveals cracks in the foundation or places for improvement. If it is a red flag for an investor, it should be a red flag for the company's management.

Boss Insights is available now for startups and investors to use. For more information on the platform or to sign up for an account, head over to their website.

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EMOTAI is using biofeedback to improve competitive videogaming

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EMOTAI is using biofeedback to improve competitive videogaming

2019-09-26

Over the past few years, the technology behind brain tracking has gotten better. As the tech has improved, the usage has gone from toys and gimmicks to real-world problem-solving. We have seen drones controlled by thoughts and we've seen dream and mood analysis technology come to market. Now, the technology is being applied to videogame performance by tracking response during gameplay, thanks to EMOTAI.

This team of biomedical engineers came together to use biofeedback to analyze and improve performance for professional and semi-pro competitive gamers. Using a headband with 5 sensors and screen scraping on the videogame, the company can determine the gamer's mental state during each phase of gameplay. By combining this data with artificial intelligence, the system is also able to make determinations to help improve your state during those situations.

The prototype that Carolina Amorim, the CEO of EMOTAI, brought with her is similar to the hardware that will come to market next year, with one major difference. Heart rate is being moved from an ear clip to the forehead so that the device does not add any additional issues to your gameplay. With an ear clip, it could get in the way of headphones, which are essential to competitive gameplay.

While the technology is currently being applied to videogames, the company is aware that it could be adapted to other areas as well. Some of the industries that have been interested in their technology have been professional sports and racing. Bringing the tech to new industries would require a new set of AI training, but it is on the roadmap for the future.

If you are interested in getting your hands on the EMOTAI headband, they will be offering a preorder opportunity with hardware set to launch in 2020. To get more information or to sign up for notifications about the preorder process, head over to their website.

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