Laptop Batteries: Caution is Better

Consumer recalls on popular products are something we’re all very familiar with. We’ve witnessed major recalls on everything from cars to smartphones and computers are not immune to errors in the manufacturing process either. It might seem like a pain to the consumer to have to return their devices even temporarily because of a recall, but in many cases it’s in your own best interest. One case in point is the recent announcement by HP computers that they’re recalling laptop batteries from many of their popular models sold between 2013 and October 2016 due to overheating.

Why You Should Err on the Side of Caution

If you have any doubts whatsoever about whether your laptop is included in any type of recall you should always err on the side of caution and contact the manufacturer. We’re also available to help if you’re not sure and even if you’re having any performance issues not related to a current recall we’ll get you back up and running in no time.

A battery is one of the most critical components in making sure your laptop functions properly. If you do feel it’s running too hot shut it down immediately and get in contact with us at (647) 478-9245. A laptop battery running hotter than its normal operating parameters is not only a fire hazard, but can potentially cause serious injury with very little advanced warning.

We’ve all see stories in the news in the last couple of years of cell phones, tablets, and laptop batteries exploding on the user without any previous history of issues. It’s a scary scenario and the only way to prevent it is to be vigilant and know the reputation of your devices. If you experience an issue with a device that is not on any recall list you should still contact the manufacturer – it might be something they’re simply not aware of yet. We’re always here to help in any way we can.

Turn Your Phone into an Extension of Your PC

After spending a frustrating few minutes trying to send some simple information and links from my phone to my PC I started to think there must be a better way to do this. The endless cutting and pasting was driving me round the bend and I’ve no doubt there’s a lot of people out there that have shared this frustration at some point in time. With a steely determination I set out to scour the search engines for a better way of performing such tasks and it turns out there is one.

The solution to the frustration of trying to share information and tasks between your various devices is a free service called Pushbullet. They have an app for your iPhone, your iPad, and a download for your PC as well. With this app you can save a link on one device and open it on another. You can also use your laptops nice big keyboard to send text messages by using the app in conjunction with your phone. It really opens up a whole new world of collaboration between your devices.

Freedom at Last

For such a great service you might expect to pay a hefty price, but fortunately that’s not the case. Pushbullet is 100% free and they’ve got no plans to change that anytime soon. Now if this service takes off you never know whether or not it will remain free in the future so now’s the time to add this little gem to your online tools collection.

If you’re tired of constantly switching between devices this is the software that can get you past that. You can put your phone down, get to work on your laptop, and answer messages as they come in all on one device. It’s an eye opener and well worth a closer look.

Universal Translation: The Future is Now

For anyone that’s old enough to remember the original Star Trek, or anyone that’s explored the very depth of their geekism by seeking out and watching this 1960’s classic show, you’re probably very familiar with some of the amazing technologies first introduced on Star Trek that have become a reality. Smartphone’s are the answer to the shows handheld communicators, there are medical devices that do a lot of the things that the medical tricorder’s did on Star Trek as well, and the recent rise of virtual reality is starting to make dreams of a holodeck seem that much more real (Okay this was from Next Generation, but you get the point). It turns out the steady pace of Star Trek like advancements aren’t done with us yet. Recently, thousands of the world’s leaders in many different fields gathered at the economic forum in Davos. This may not seem all that exciting, but what made this such an innovative forum was the introduction of a new app that allowed people from all different corners of the globe to communicate instantly in their native tongues. Sounds a lot like Star Trek’s universal translator technology doesn’t it?

Instant Text Translation

The app was introduced by a company called Layer in partnership with Microsoft, It’s not quite as good as the technology on Star Trek which instantly translated the spoken word into a language you’d understand, but it’s pretty cool just the same. This app lets you send a text in your native language to someone that speaks another language and gives them the option to instantly translate it into their native tongue with one tap. Think about the potential that such an app has. With this technology in hand you can now communicate and collaborate with colleagues all over the world – no more misunderstandings and language will no longer be a barrier to human potential. The only real question is what piece of technology from Star Trek will become a reality next?

Riding the Quantum Computer Wave

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Computer manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve the computing power of their machines and until recently that’s never been a problem. In the mid 1960’s Gordon Moore one of the founders of Intel noticed that computing power seemed to be doubling every 18 months. That observation came to be known as Moore’s Law and has accurately predicted the rate of computing power growth ever since. The problem is this law was based upon our ability to continue making smaller and smaller transistors (little switches or circuits at the heart of a computer). Our technology has advanced so far that transistors aren’t much bigger than an atom, which means they’ve just about shrunk as far as they can go. Moore’s Law is about to break down. Where does that leave the computing industry? They’re scrambling for another way of doing things.

D-Wave Leading the Way

The solution as a lot of scientists see it is quantum computing. Transistors perform calculations in sequence using binary code – each bit can either represent a one or a zero. The smaller the transistors the more you can cram on a circuit board and the more calculations a computer can perform. As we approach the limit of this technology the potential solution is quantum computing which works on a subatomic level and uses qubits which can actually represent both a one and a zero simultaneously. The problem is we haven’t really been able to get this technology to work yet. A company called D-Wave is leading the charge to find a solution and they’ve developed a computer model that uses quantum annealing. It’s not true quantum computing, but it still has the potential to perform calculations that standard computers simply can’t manage. This innovative company recently released a new chip that’s 2000 qubits – doubling their previous chip. We may not have achieved true quantum computing yet, but it’s encouraging to see companies like this that aren’t willing to accept that we’re reaching the limit of computing power. Perhaps Moore’s Law has some life left in it yet.

Chromebook Gets an Upgrade

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Is a Chromebook for Me?

Laptops are powerful machines, but depending on how you use a computer they may a little bit of overkill. Some of us are only interested in having instant internet access and a way of communicating with friends and family using a bigger screen than our smartphones can offer us. Google’s answer for people like this is the Chromebook, which runs on a trimmed down operating system called Chrome OS. If you’re leaning towards one of these machines you should be aware that almost everything you do will rely on the Cloud. There isn’t a lot of storage capacity on a Chromebook. If you don’t like the idea of storing your documents, photos, apps, and any other information remotely then these are not the machines for you. When you’re out of Wi-Fi range you’re severely limited in what you can do with a Chromebook. There are a few of its custom apps that do work offline, but not many. If you almost always have access to the internet anyway this isn’t a major concern.

An Android Upgrade

If you still think a Chromebook sounds like the perfect solution to your home computing needs it might be because you assume you’ll have access to all of the great apps in the Android Google Play store – after all it’s all part of the Google universe right? It might surprise you to know that until very recently that wasn’t necessarily the case. This week Google confirmed that it will be including access to all of the apps available in the Google Play store on any new Chromebook device. This has the potential to be a game changer for the laptop market as Chromebook is already challenging traditional laptops in sales. With Chromebooks now having access to the entire Android catalogue there isn’t much you can’t do with one of these devices now and they’re typically a lot more affordable than traditional laptops. It might be time for the computer industry to take a long hard look at their current business model.

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