- Created on 30 May 2013
(StatePoint) Smartphones have become such integral parts of our lives that when we see those low battery warnings our hearts sink right along with the power of our mobile devices.
And as most smartphone owners use their mobile devices for way more than just calls or texting, this can take a serious toll on battery life.
“One of the biggest pain points for smartphone owners is battery life and power efficiency,” said Tim McDonough, vice president of marketing at Qualcomm Inc. “This is especially true when you look at the battery-intensive activities people regularly do on their devices, like surf the web, play games and watch video.”
Sixty-nine percent of smartphone owners and 67 percent of tablet owners play games on their devices, according to a 2012 survey conducted by Qualcomm. And approximately one-third of smartphone or tablet owners watch movies on them at least monthly, with that number increasing to 47 percent among males 18-34.
But by following some simple tips and taking advantage of free tools, you can help extend your battery life.
• Dim your screen to the lowest comfortable level. Exact levels will be different for every person and circumstance, but keeping this in mind when you need a little extra battery life can make a big difference.
• Disable your Wi-Fi, Data or Bluetooth capabilities when not using them. Some phones’ default settings have all these enabled, but you usually only use one or two of them. Take note of which are appropriate for you and disable others in your settings menu until needed.
Alternatively, disable this setting in certain applications, like weather apps, which constantly access your data connection. This way you maintain access, but limit power used.
• Download a battery performance app or system optimizer. Perhaps the quickest, easiest way to manage power usage is to have an application do the work for you. Getting an app designed specifically to monitor and conserve energy usage will help increase battery life with minimal effort.
One way it will save power is by proactively adjusting smartphone settings without disabling features that make it smart. For example, if you’re using an Android device powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, you can download the free Snapdragon BatteryGuru app available in your phone’s app store. This app extends battery performance and improves overall user experience by intelligently making changes that optimize your smartphone’s functionality.
• Set synching to the widest internals you can live with. Common settings for email accounts and active applications tell phones to check every 15 or 30 minutes, to sync continuously, or send “push” notifications. The latter means your phone is constantly checking on multiple applications, which can suck up lots of power.
• Turn off vibrate. Vibrating uses extra energy that may not be necessary. Reducing the volume on your ringtone also saves a bit of power.
Heeding these tips will help you save your battery for when you need it most – like when locating that gas station when you’re on empty, or pulling up trivia in the middle of a bet with your best friend.
- Created on 30 May 2013
(StatePoint) With food costs on the rise, people everywhere are looking for ways to reduce grocery bills. Here are tips to help your family save:
• Re-evaluate the way you eat: Growing your own food can help you become more self-sufficient. On a quarter acre of land, an average family can produce 85 percent of the food they need and save money in the process. Check out “Maximizing Your Mini Farm: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre,” by Brett L. Markham to take your garden to the next level. Visit www.markhamfarm.com for more information.
• Use coupons: Don’t just trash your supermarket circular. There are tons of savings to be had.
• Go vegetarian: Meat prices are trending upward, but vegetables can be grown at home.
- Created on 29 May 2013
Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is headed to the private sector to work for one of the most recognizable brands in the U.S. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Tuesday night that the company had brought Jackson on to serve as vice president for environmental initiatives.
Jackson, who stepped down from her post as head of the EPA in February after four years, was the first African American ever to head the agency. She confirmed the news to Politico late Tuesday.
"I'm incredibly impressed with Apple's commitment to the environment and I'm thrilled to be joining the team," Jackson told Politico via email.
The news was broken Tuesday night by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the website All Things D's D11 tech conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., according to the news outlet.
"Apple has shown how innovation can drive real progress by removing toxics from its products, incorporating renewable energy in its data center plans, and continually raising the bar for energy efficiency in the electronics industry," Jackson continued. "I look forward to helping support and promote these efforts, as well as leading new ones in the future aimed at protecting the environment."
Apple made waves in October 2009 — when Jackson was head of EPA — when it quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the group's opposition to mandating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Apple had worked to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions "because we believe it is the right thing to do," Apple wrote in its resignation letter. "For those companies who cannot or will not do the same, Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort."
Other organizations, including the utility Exelon and Pacific Gas & Electric, also left the Chamber over climate disagreements.
Since leaving the Chamber Apple has significantly increased its renewable energy use, according to the company. In 2012 it reportedly got three-quarters of its power from renewable sources, up from 35 percent in 2010.
Despite recent waves over the company's efforts to skirt U.S. tax collections by using offshore tax havens, Apple has drawn praise for its work to lower or cut completely toxic substances like lead and mercury from its products, as well as for energy efficiency and tech recycling.
- Created on 30 May 2013
Jobseekers in the Atlanta area searching out a tech job now have Sandy Springs' Airwatch to consider.
The mobile device management, application management and mobile content tech company plans to bring a total of 800 new jobs to the metro Atlanta area.
The tech company has already hired 200 new employees and expects to hire 600 more by the end of 2013.
"We basically help people be more productive with their entire fleet of iPads or tablets or smart phones," said CEO John Marshall.
The company is best known for its innovation and has Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and The Home Depot for clients.
Marshall tells the Atlanta BlackStar that the Atlanta area is attractive to tech companies because of three main factors: it has access to talent from local universities like Georgia Tech; it's on East Coast time; and it's assessable to international transportation. He says because they're a global company, it's very important that they can get nearly anywhere in the world directly.
Because of factors like these a 2012 study showed there are more than 13,000 tech companies in the state of Georgia.
Considering the mobile app industry is having a billion-dollar effect on the state, it will be no coincidence if tech jobs spearhead the path to a global economy.
- Created on 29 May 2013
(StatePoint) The cost of car ownership is on the rise again this year, according to a new report from AAA. And if you’re a family on a budget or a senior on a fixed income, you may feel the impact already.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. From avoiding unnecessary insurance costs to reducing pain at the pump, savvy drivers can take practical steps to make driving a more economical mode of transport:
• Shop around for better insurance rates. If you have a good driving record, talk to your insurance company about reducing your premium. And if you are a senior and take a refresher course in driver safety specifically designed for seniors, you may be able to negotiate lower insurance rates.
• Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure as indicated on the sticker on the inside of your door, not the number on the tire sidewall. Underinflated tires car can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 percent.
• Preventive maintenance, such as changing your air filter, can go a long way toward smooth, efficient performance. A clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent.
• Keep record of your vehicle maintenance, including oil changes. Try using a high performance synthetic motor oil, as opposed to conventional oil, to allow for more miles between oil changes. Premium synthetic motor oil, such as Royal Purple, can reduce maintenance costs and time spent out of service. To learn more about the benefits of using synthetic lubricants in your vehicle visit www.RoyalPurpleConsumer.com.
• Take a deep breath and change the way you drive. Aggressive driving is not only unsafe and stressful to your health, it can also reduce your fuel economy -- as all that stop-and-go uses more gasoline than smooth braking and acceleration does. You can also improve your fuel economy by reducing idling time and lightening your car’s load.
• If you’re handy, you may be able to do some regular maintenance work on your car yourself. But for those jobs that are beyond your know-how, be sure to hire a reputable mechanic. Don’t be afraid to get quotes. Knowing the going rate for the service performed and parts replaced can help you from paying unnecessary costs.
Just because the cost of driving is on the rise, doesn’t mean you need to hand over your car keys just yet. With a few phone calls, a bit of preventive car and some tweaks to your driving habits, even those on the tightest of budgets can afford to keep on motoring.