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Depending on which state you call home, you may be spending anywhere from 28 to 46 minutes on average on housework every day. And while this may be significantly less than the amount of time that was generally devoted to home-upkeep half a century ago, it’s still more than most of us would like to be spending on things such as vacuuming, doing laundry, etc. Thankfully, as technology continues to advance and our homes become more automated, we’ll soon see even more of our time being freed-up for more interesting, entertaining, or rewarding pursuits. Here are five soon-to-be-commonplace home devices that will free us all from the merciless task-master that is housekeeping.

  1. Robotic vacuum cleaners

The air you breath may seem clean, and for the most part it is. However, hidden within the drafts and gusts that circulate through your home are tiny bits of particulate matter. Dirt, lint, flakes of dead skin, insect parts—all are small enough to be carried easily through the air without your noticing, but they still have weight. Eventually they settle down, and when they do, they collect on surfaces, especially the floor. We combat this menace by hauling out the vacuum cleaner or broom, but it’s a war that is ongoing. Roomba is an automated weapon designed to help you fight that war. In essence, it’s a robotic vacuum cleaner which regularly patrols your home, vacuuming up dirt and debris as it goes. When it runs low on battery power, it simply returns to its docking station for a recharge. It can even be set to only operate at night, so you won’t have to worry about tripping over it while you’re moving around the house.

  1. Smart washing machines and dryers

Thanks to the washer and dryer, most of us will never have to worry about breaking our backs over a washboard or dealing with frozen laundry on clotheslines during the winter. But just because our laundry appliances are already amazing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no room for improvement. LG has been developing smart washers and dryers that make it possible to monitor laundry status remotely, communicating the remaining time directly to your mobile device, and sending messages when cycles are completed. They also feature Smart Diagnosis, which means that should something go wrong, the machine itself will do its best to solve the problem on its own. You can also directly download updates as well as specific instructions tailored to wash-types.

  1. Smart Sprinklers

Sprinkler systems that automatically turn on at specific times are probably the only thing keeping our lawns green throughout the long, hot days of summer. Of course, having sprinklers that turn themselves on at the same time every day isn’t always a good thing. For example, if a rain storm is currently dumping gallons and gallons of water into your yard, running your sprinklers is only going to waste money and resources. Skydrop has created a smart sprinkler controller which not only allows for remote operation of an entire sprinkler system, but one that also keeps track of local weather patterns, thus ensuring that lawns and gardens get the right amount of moisture, without forcing homeowners to manually deactivate the system every time dark clouds appear.

  1. Smart dishwasher

Speaking of water, there aren’t many chores that are as water-wasteful as washing dishes. But what can you do? Water is the universal solvent, which means that if you want to be able to reuse those dishes in any state of cleanliness, you’re going to have to run the faucet, one way or another. Still, even if you can’t wash dishes without wasting water, you can reduce the environmental impact of your need to eat off of clean surfaces. The Whirlpool Smart Dishwasher, in addition to featuring remote access via smart devices, keeps track of how much energy is being used by the appliance. They also feature ultra-efficient running cycles, which means less water waste overall.

  1. Smart refrigerator

Grocery shopping is a pain, and never more so than when you don’t know what you need to get. Sure, you could keep a list, but that only helps with items that you consider before you leave the house. If you happen to walk through the pickle aisle and then can’t remember if you have pickles at home, then a list isn’t going to help you much. An internet-connected internal refrigerator camera, on the other hand, could save you some confusion. LG is currently developing a smart refrigerator with a built-in internal camera, so that if you ever need to see what’s happening inside your icebox, all you’ll have to do is log on through a mobile smart device. The refrigerator will also feature LG Homechat, which allows users to actually communicate with their refrigerators regarding fridge contents. The touchscreen located on the outside of the refrigerator door keeps inventory of what food is available and what’s likely to expire soon, and can even offer recipe ideas based upon what foods are inside.

So, stop wasting all of those minutes on housework. Smart technology is giving you back the time you need to follow your dreams…even if those dreams consist of taking a half-hour nap while your robotic vacuum cleaner sucks up your spilled Dorito crumbs. Hey, we didn’t say that you have to use the time well, only that smart devices would be giving you more of it.

Norwich University – Master of Arts in History Online

Today’s students are profoundly different than those of twenty years ago. These students come to class equipped with powerful technology. As personal devices become increasingly accessible, they begin to impact students’ educational experiences and expectations. As a result, BYOD (“bring your own device”) policies have become common in the higher education classroom.

Top Hat is a mobile student engagement system that allows students to use their personal devices to interact with course material. Instructors are able to harnesses the multi-functional and robust features of mobile devices to enhance the learning experience for students of this generation. The lecture transforms from passive to active.

Top Hat can be used to conduct assessments, collect feedback, administer quizzes and more. Results are aggregated and displayed in realtime while synchronously updated in individual student gradebooks. Its design is simple and intuitive for students and professors. Beyond these fundamental student response features, Top Hat is the most versatile solution on the market — instructors can create 6 different question types, students can initiate questions, and either can launch long-form discussions that continue beyond the classroom. In addition, it has unique features, such as a “tournament” module that allows students to go head-to-head in a fun competition to demonstrate their knowledge.

Top Hat is a tool for 21st century educators and students. In addition, they have recently published a few ebooks on The Modern Student and The Modern Classroom. Browse their resources page to learn more about opportunities to learn more about their mission and their product here: www.tophat.com/modern-educator-resources.

The Next Billion Internet Users: What Will They Look Like?

I love  infographics in general.  I learned much from this one!

Attribution: InternetServiceProviders.org

The Next Billion Internet Users: What Will They Look Like?

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knowyourmobile.com (1)

Samsung’s current move on the market is more aligned with producing devices that are well-designed to look fancy on any user’s hand. It usually comes with large and powerful screen as well as cameras that mimics the DSLR features. However, we were surprised when they finally introduced a phone that can withstand drops and water splashes – introducing the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. It’s a rugged phone that can be submerged into deep water and can take drops and bumps that common smartphones cannot take. In June, we witnessed the launch of this device in the United States and rumors have it that it will be available to Verizon Wireless  sometime this year. Below, we’ll have a look at this one of a kind piece of gadget from the Korean mobile manufacturer.

IP certified

Sources claimed that the S4 Active is IP67 certified, which means that it passed the standards for Ingress Protection (IP) against dust and immersion between 15centimeter and 1meter.  However, it can only be submerged in freshwater for not more than 30 minutes.

Waterproof design

Not too large and not too small, this device fits perfectly in any user’s hand with a dimension of (5.5 x 2.81 x 0.36 in) at weighs 153 grams. It’s heavier than the original variant by 23 grams due to the extra waterproof case on this handset. Samsung has included a rubber seal on the inner part of the back plate for added protection. The second seal is located at the bottom part of the case to cover the MicroUSB port slot. The 3.5mm headphone jack is sealed from the inside of the device.

Just like the original model, this phone also comes in two colors. But instead of the White Frost, the developers gave it an aquatic look with the splash of Dive Blue color.

Take underwater photos and videos using Aqua Mode

Since it can be submerged for up to 1meter deep, this is a perfect companion for underwater photographers, especially with the inclusion of the Aqua Mode. Before activating this mode, you have to remember to snap the cover in place by pressing the edges of the back plate and just below the camera and flash openings. This procedure ensures that your gizmo is ready for an underwater activity.

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When in Aqua Mode, your device’s buttons are not functional. In order for you to start taking photos or record a video, you need to use the volume keys. Now you can take clear underwater photographs and videos for 30 minutes. Make sure not to exceed the time limit, to ensure no damage is done on your device.

With a ruggedized features, the Galaxy S4 Active is truly one of a kind piece of device that Apple hasn’t tried to combat as of now. Will this handset give the Korean Manufacturer a full edge over the Cupertino Company? Are we going to see a rugged smartphone from Apple soon? Share us your thoughts about it and your own review of this rugged phone.

Courtesy of ShareATT

About the Author:

Sookie Lioncourt (1)

Sookie Lioncourt is a freelancer interests including gadgets, wireless technology, latest mobiles and fashion and design. You can find her where the two intersect, at TechieDoodlers, or follow her on Twitter.

Accident forensicsGuest blogger Denise Hewitt wants to claim “forensics” all for psychology (we know its all applied anthropology) in the following post:

Face to face with our nation’s most reviled citizens, it’s not government officials or law enforcement diving into deep, murky, psychological waters of alleged criminals — it’s a relatively new breed of cognitive analysts. A recent slew of high-profile crimes has brought mental health to the forefront of our national conversation, and a growing number of specialized psychologists are leading the way. Dubbed “forensic psychology,” it’s likely to become a rapidly growing field. Criminal justice and psychology students alike may find themselves filling out a job application form to work in this new arena. The mental health experts in this field play key roles in the outcome of heart-wrenching trials, much to the chagrin of a vocal opposition.

What is It?

Dr. Christina Pietz, a forensic psychologist tasked with analyzing the gunman charged in killing six people and injuring U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., testified that the then-23-year-old was competent to stand trial, according to Azcentral.com. Her testimony followed six months of evaluation that weaved together psychological assessment with the legal process.

According to the American Board of Forensic Psychology, these professionals apply science and psychology to issues relating to law and the legal system. This broad description leaves room for many roles, including competency evaluator, personality assessor and criminal therapist, among many others.

As evidenced by the Tucson shooter’s trial, forensic psychology plays a significant role in the legal process without a precisely defined role. That doesn’t mean the field is immature, however. The American Board of Forensic Psychology released its fifth draft of specialty guidelines in 2010, which outlines methods and procedures, conflicts in practice, privacy mandates and commenting best practices, among other things.

How Does It Work?

Unlike more conventional psychological assessment in which a professional explores the psychology of a willing subject, forensic psychologists often assess subjects that have no intention to assist the process in any way. Criminal profiler and serial crime expert Deborah Schurman-Kauflin described her basic approach to profiling violent criminals on Psychologytoday.com. Schurman-Kauflin has three questions in mind as she evaluates a suspect: What evidence is present at the scene? What is the motive? Who is the suspect?

In high-profile cases, the media relentlessly report evidence and potential motives, but forensic psychologists have intimate, exclusive access to the accused, making their testimonies all the more intriguing.

After the shooting in 2011, Dr. Pietz diagnosed Jared Loughner with schizophrenia. She stood by her diagnosis during her August 2012 testimony, revealing that medication led him to feel remorse for what he had done, according to Azcentral.com. Pietz’s conclusion that Loughner was competent to stand trial was a significant step in advancing the case.

Significant Opposition

Predictably, this new justice system resource has considerable opposition. Psychologytoday.com explored a particularly strong opinion posted on its website, which described forensic psychology as “a whore subspecialty until otherwise proven, as it is doing what is financially convenient for the M.D…”. The comment implies that forensic psychology is susceptible to corruption and experts will say what they are paid to say. With the amount of influence these professionals have in the justice system, it’s certainly a fair concern.

Most forensic psychologists are American Board of Forensic Psychology certified, and board guidelines define clear processes to promote transparency. For example, the guidelines indicate the forensic psychologists should strive to have all data they considered when forming an opinion readily available for inspection. While the potential for corruption may always loom, forensic psychologists have the ability to offer undeniable astute opinions when assessing violent criminals.

The following story is good to read in that it illustrates our value outside of our field.

Ethnographic stories can help brands connect better with consumers By MG Parameswaran

Does a bank really know how the consumer will use its mobile banking solution? Can traditional research tell us the truth or will it just evoke ‘intended’ behavior? Or does a soap brand know which other products really co-habit in the consumer’s bathroom shelves? Will traditional research tell us the truth or will it just produce what the consumer wants us to believe to be the truth? Read on

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