Categories
Designs & Invention Energy Green Energy

Can Your House Rely 100% on Solar Power?

Solar energy hasn’t always been available to homeowners, but in the past few years more and more people have looked into the option of replacing the traditional energy sources. Since solar power provides cleaner and more sustainable energy, it lessens the impact that each individual living in the home will have on the environment. It can also provide significant cost savings over the life of the panels.

How to Start

You may know people at work or in your neighborhood who have installed solar panels on their homes to help save energy and cut costs. The process does require an initial investment; you have to pay to have the panels installed on your roof. You can learn more about the pros and cons of solar energy, as well as gain information about how many panels you might need on your home, by asking an expert or doing some research. Some homeowners choose to install solar panels themselves, but this can be a dangerous undertaking since you will have to be on the roof.

Is It Really Possible?

A Typical solar panel installation in a home
Image via Flickr by Tim Fuller

Some people use solar power to provide small amounts of energy to specific parts of the home, such as a solar-powered heater for a swimming pool or spa. It hasn’t always been available to provide power to an entire house, but improvements in the technology have made this feasible. Homeowners who want to go solar will have to switch out their incandescent light bulbs to low-watt fluorescents or LED lighting to reduce the amount of energy that each light uses. You might also need to look at other options to reduce energy usage, but after making these small changes, you can power your home completely with solar energy.

Also Read: Alternative energy? Why even Comparing Electricity Prices with Other Fuels?

Things to Consider

If you live in an area of the country where sunshine isn’t very common, solar panels may not be the best option for you. Foggy and overcast climates won’t allow the panels to produce enough energy, which means it will take a lot longer to make the investment worthwhile. On the other hand, if your area does get a lot of sunlight and you choose solar power for your home, laws may require that the utility company pay you for the excess electricity produced by your solar-powered system.

When discussing options for solar panel installation, be sure to talk about warranties and other issues up front.

Also Read: The advent of Solar powered AirPlane by Bertrand Piccard

Other Benefits of Solar Panels

Aside from saving money and reducing the amount of energy you use to power your home, adding solar panels also offers another key benefit: drastically increasing the value of your property. Real estate agents throughout the country are looking for homes that already have solar panels so they can provide this as a selling point to customers. Federal tax credits and other rebates can also help offset the cost of the initial investment you made to get the solar panels. The estimated point at which a homeowner breaks even on the cost is about 3.6 years after installation.

Facts and Figures about Solar power

According to recent studies, the installation and usage of solar panels on your home can decrease your family’s carbon usage by over 35,000 pounds per year. You would have to plant nearly 90 trees every year to offset that much carbon dioxide. You may also be able to save a monthly average of $84 for electricity costs, although the number varies based on size and energy usage of your home. The price of solar panels has also decreased by about 60 percent in the last four years, making it more affordable to choose solar energy.

While there is an initial cost associated with solar panel installation, it is undoubtedly worth the investment if your climate is sunny throughout most of the year. Not only will you save money each month, but you can also feel good about using energy that is completely sustainable and produces no carbon footprint. With the advancements in solar technology, it is now easier than ever to find an experienced professional in your area who can help you determine the best course of action for converting your home to rely on solar energy.

So, my question is, can you solely rely on solar power as the main source of energy in your home? Tell us why.

Categories
Business Internet Access News

Time Warner Cable acquired by Charter Communications for over $55 billion

Time Warner cable acquired by Charter

US cable company Charter Communications has officially made a public announcement on Tuesday that it is acquiring Time Warner Cable with a much fancy offer than the failed attempt by Comcast a year ago. Last year, Comcast offered $45 billion (£29.22 billion) to buy off Time Warner Cable but the offer didn’t see the other end of the tunnel – it failed, until now that Charter Communications have gotten ahead in reaching a $55 billion agreement, equivalent to £35.71 billion, to take over the company, according to the lead we got from Bloomberg.

Comcast failed to nail the previous offer due to its inability to get regulatory authorization.

Time Warner cable deal
With the new agreement, Charter Communications has placed a value of $195.71 on each of Time Warner share — 14% higher than how much the company shared was priced at the closing of the market on Friday. The acquisition of Time Warner cable has up its worth to $78.7 billion (£51.10 billion). Embedded into the agreement is another cable company called Bright House Networks.

Charter Communications

According to the official announcement released by the Charter Communications today, it reads:

“The merger of Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks will create a foremost broadband service and technology company providing services to more than 23.9 million customers in 41 states.”

The unification will make Charter Communications the second largest cable company in the US, offering its services to about 20 million cable and internet subscribers.

Source: BI

Categories
Business Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Featured

Expand Capacity, Increase Coverage and Lower Costs by Using Remote DBA Support Services

Major Benefits of Remote DBA Support Services for Startup Business

The balance between cost, capacity and coverage defines effective infrastructure management. Most companies normally rely on their computer database to store important electronic files and information. The integrity and organization of a database is crucial. It determines either the success or otherwise of a company.

There are many reasons why companies should hire the services of a remote DBA. The following are the major reasons why you should employ remote DBA support services:

Purpose

Increase Coverage by Using Remote DBA Support Services

In most companies, a database administrator manages a database. He or she is tasked with the job of installing, maintaining, and updating the systems. Primarily, organizations had a full time or internal DBA. However, with the modern, lean times, companies are embracing remote DBAs. Most companies nowadays prefer to outsource their DBA support to companies providing remote DBA support services.

For this reason, the staff payroll position is reserved for the individuals that work directly in the company’s service or product specialization. This helps companies put their effort and funds on sales, fabrication and administration.

Also Read: The Results Are In IT! Let’s take a Look at IT Salaries in London

Role

Lower cost of hiring technical support operator using Remote DBA Support ServicesA remote DBA does similar things to an on-site administrator. However, he or she does not need any sick days, payroll taxes, breaks or vacation time at your company’s water cooler. Employing a remote DBA to handle and manage all your technical and logistical issues normally ensures that the specialist will always handle such issues in the most professional manner.

Quality

Expand Capacity, Increase Coverage and Lower Costs by Using Remote DBA Support Services

Remote DBAs are always available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. This means that in case your database has any issue regardless of the time of day or night, there is always someone on standby to address it. In case there are any queries, or issues with a system, the remote DBA will always be available to help. Ensure you strictly employ trained, professional and certified DBAs.

They should always have the passion, interest and time to stay up to date with the intricacies of the daily operations of a database. The professionals you employ should know a thing or two about the effects of updates and upgrades as well as firewall changes on a system. He or she should also be well versed with the potential glitches that may arise when a system or software system is upgraded or added.

Experience

Using remote DBAs guarantees that, should your organization face any database issues, the problem will be fixed appropriately and in time. This is especially true if you hire a consulting firm that specializes in specific databases such as Oracle database consulting, MySQL or dBase.

Installation

Whenever a new version of a database system is available, a remote DBA specializing in it will be able to know how to set it up as well as enhance its performance. He or she will know how to handle the installation within the least amount of downtime and interruption.

This piece was contributed to TechAtLast by Jenny from Remote DBA, the company specializes on remote database infrastructure management. 

Categories
Africa Internet Access News

MTN SMS spams: How to stop MTN frustrating and intrusive advert messages and calls

If you are a Nigerian, and you’re one of the customers of MTN, the largest service provider in the country, you must have been familiar with the recent stealth and desperate marketing efforts used by the communication company in siphoning money off their customers. Two of these very deceitful techniques commonly used is by making intrusive and unexpected calls to customer’s phone to advertise new or existing products and services. In most cases; call back ringtones, caller feel, caller tune, SMS chat promotions, quiz lottery, latest news about entertainment artists, sports, religious leaders, private organizations secret leak and politicians are popular among these services on offering with the user mobile phone’s # or * key programmed as the hot button for activating these services by default. So, if one by any chance presses any of these hot keys while on calls, it will trigger the activation system to subscribe the line for the advertised product or service, and obvious fact is, the customer will pay for it consciously or unconsciously. Even though he did not intentionally subscriber for it, he will still have to pay the due payment from his balance, and in the case there wasn’t enough credit on his account with them [service provider], he might be billed at a later time upon recharging his SIM card.

MTN disturbing and intrusive spam sms and calls needs to be stopped
MTN disturbing and intrusive spam sms and calls needs to stop

Obviously, some of these illegal advertising schemes do not, and in most cases, cannot add any realistic value to the user – instead it reduces the customer’s to a less lower than his/her previous pocket value. The action sparked an uproar some months back and it has prompted Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) into sanctioning the company and several other providers in the country in the wake to curb this unbecoming situation, yet none has proven to be effectual. In fact, it is none-action for me, because, even while the sanction was in place, yet I still received about a couple of adverts in form of text message and intrusive phone calls from two popular service providers in Nigeria which I will not name here for personal reason.

Aside from been a form of disturbance or call it intrusion, it is also a devilish means of ‘harvesting where there wasn’t an ounce of investment’ and it is totally wrong to take away deceptively from an innocent customer by enforcing product and services on them without prior dissemination of information and proper orientation.

I, myself have been a victim of the same campaign targeted towards the customer’s pocket. You can say I’m writing out of anger or somewhat being revengeful against these network service providers, but you are wrong! In retrospect, there are many injuries and wounds which have been inflicted upon users through this purported schemes and it will continue to be there for a very long time – unless something is done. This time, it is not just about MTN Nigeria.

In order to curb this illegal advertising, I’d be sharing with you a simple shortcode trick that will help you stop MTN’s frustrating messages and calls once and for all.

Before now, to disable this form of advertising, you’ll need to visit their call center and request for “deactivation of DND”. DND stands for “Do Not Disturb,” but I bet if people would ever have such time to waste at the call center where they’re going to be on queue for an hours time.

How to Stop MTN SMS spam and frustrating and intrusive phone calls

If you get text and calls from these short codes: 5021, 5020, 5030, 5031 and 4100, follow these steps to stop these intrusive and irrelevant messages and calls.

Just send STOP to 33111. You should get a text that reads:

“You will be removed from our campaign database within 24hrs. Thank you.”

Doing this means no more interrupting SMS or calls from MTN. We’ll post about other service providers as we unravel them.

Please share this with everyone and save someone’s pocket from MTN sms spam. Do have a fun-filled weekend ahead. #TGIF.

Categories
Apple iOS Computer Tips & Tutorials How to Guide

How to Restore deleted files on the Mac OS using the power of Mac Terminal

A brief about Mac OS and Terminal

We all have knowledge on Macintosh computers. Don’t we?

Macintosh or simply Mac OS is one of the most well-known Graphical User Interface based operating system developed by Apple for Macintosh computers. The concept of Mac OS is different from system softwares like MS DOS as it expertizes more in simplicity to make it easier to be used through mouse gestures and graphic controls performed by the user.

TechAtLast TTX  App Apple Calendar

Did you know?

The Mac OS is credited to be one the earliest graphical user interface concept on which a system software has been developed and is a part of the Macintosh clone program. Since then Apple has integrated major revisions to its design, the latest being Mac OS X.

It is quite difficult to utilize the Mac OS to its full potential without the knowledge of Mac Terminal.

So what is a Terminal?

A terminal is a text based interface where commands are given by the user to execute a certain task. Improper usage of command lines in a Mac Terminal can prove to be bane than bliss as it may mess up with your system. But to execute difficult tasks like restoring files deleted mistakenly, the Terminal can be your best friend.

Did you lose important files too? You surely made the worst mistake of your life!

Losing important files often make us regret of our actions. Most of us are too reliant on the computer to keep hard copies of important documents and hence mishandling of such files can cause great damage to our work putting us into trouble. The loss of important data might also occur from formatting or partitioning, both indulging in deleting user files without our knowledge. If we are working on a Mac OS, our mistakes can be corrected if we have enough knowledge about commands and terminal. Hence, as we progress, we shall delve into the process of restoring files using Terminal on a Mac OS.

How to Guide to Recover Deleted Files from the Mac Terminal


How to open the Terminal?

[bctt tweet=”Unless you know how to ignite an oven, you can never cook food.”]

The simplest way to open a Mac Terminal is by opening Applications followed by clicking on Utilities and selecting Terminal from the drop down menu. Once you are able to access the Terminal, your task of recovering the deleted files comes into effect.

TechAtLast TTX MacdTrace01

When a file is deleted, it is sent to the trash to be cleared by the memory later on.

Trash? What does it mean? Trash refers to the location where the deleted files are kept and is equivalent to the Windows Recycle Bin. Open the trash from the Terminal using the command:

ls-a.Trash

That’s a simple command isn’t it? But won’t you decipher their meaning?

‘ls’ displays the list of files in the Trash while ‘a’ ensures the visibility of all files present. The ‘.’ symbol in the command line implies that the Trash of the Mac OS is a hidden folder.

Half your work is done. Now simply recover the files – How? Keep on reading!

After you have the list of files, chose the ones you want to restore and type in the command line:

mv.Trash/file or simply mv file ~/file.

While the former command is in use when your Terminal is executing your default home directory, the latter comes to effect when your terminal is in the Trash directory. Understand the difference.

When you first open the Mac Terminal as stated above, the Terminal’s default location is the home directory. Now in order to move files from another directory, you either have to shift to that respective directory using a command like cd.Trash, where cd stands for change directory, or you have to include the name of that directory in order to move a file to your default home directory. If you have already changed your directory prior to or during listing of your deleted files, then simply use the move command to move your deleted file from the Trash.

It is quite obvious that ‘mv’ stands for moving a file or folder. It is one of the frequently used commands used in Mac Terminal like ‘cp’ which stands for copy. The ‘file’ syntax in the command line has to be replaced with the name of your desired file you want to restore. But it is has to be noticed that the name of the file is not present in the Trash list, it means that the file or files have been permanently deleted and there is no way of recovering without using third party apps which may or may not be able in successfully executing the desired task.

TechAtLast TTX Port MacOSX Terminal

Restoring File Using Terminal – Overview

We are now well aware of the procedures involved in recovering a deleted file by using the Terminal. It can also be concluded that not only for the purpose of recovering lost files, the Mac Terminal can also be used for various root purposes which enables the user to get the most out of the Mac OS.

Able to recover your deleted file using the guide? Cheers on your success!

Categories
Discovery Featured News World News

US Army developing “Invisibility Suit”? Can this be true? Another World War looming? or What?

The US Army “Invisibility Suit” project! Isn’t this a strategic World war preparation in the making, or it is just a “Dodge and Fire” or “Boju Boju”kind of children’s play ideology?

It is no longer NOW YOU SEE ME”!

I believe you must have heard or see the blockbuster American fictional film directed by Louis Leterrier which features Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley. If you haven’t, I will be forgiving, it is not your fault, but you’ve got to see it!

Stepping back into the past a bit, I think I have been a devoted student of learning and cherishing other people’s cultural backgrounds – including mine. This has helped me to have a vivid memory of some of the childhood plays and games that we used to play back in the days such as Boju Boju, Dodge and Fire (or say “dojin faya” because that’s how it is well known for and pronounced mostly by kids in my native Yoruba language), and I will continue to, as long as I’m alive! – it pays.

This kind of children play requires children hiding from each other; one group would hide while the rest will embark on a Guinness Ultimate Search quest kind of a thing to find them and probably ambushed and shoot them with the fake gun upon sighting their whereabouts. I bet you’d enjoy this type of children “hide and seek” play if you were lucky to be born in Nigeria, especially in the South West part of the country where Yoruba culture is at its best.

What amazes me now, after many years that this kind of play has gone into extinction owing to latest technological advancements replacing old time memories at a rocket speed ( so, so fast), the US Army has embarked on a mission to stylishly bring back my old time dodge and fire game play into the furrow of its operation.

US Army developing Invisibility Suit - Can this be true

[bctt tweet=”The US Army also wants to start playing Boju Boju and Dodge and Fire with the Invisibility suit? “]

According to the news emanating from our partner and an intelligence source, there’s plan to develop an invisibility suit for the US Army troops underway. The US Army has call for firms that are into developing stealth fabrics to get in touch and provide the first prototypes within 18 months. They hope that the stealth suit will have advanced military functionalities like ability to work in all terrains such as in ice caps to desserts, in bad weathered area, and in any kind of temperatures at any point in time.

The companies that will be selected will have to submit 10 different suits for testing within one year phase, and all the stealth suits that will be submitted must be conformable with, and function properly in, all environment from all angles.

You’d wonder how possible this could be, knowing fully well that the suit has to maintain its invisibility status at all times, that means there has to be source of power to run it. In response to this, the US Army has categorically stated that if need be, that the suit will requires power supply to work, it must have a battery lifespan of at least eight hours of uninterrupted power supply. And in relative to weight, it must not weigh higher than 0.45KG.

The US Army declared their intent and would want the following configurations for the Invisibility Suit:

  • Has 360-degree coverage and ‘can dynamically react to different ground location under varying light conditions.’
  • Can be built-in into the soldier’s equipment.
  • Preferably, will not require a power supply to work. But if it does, it ‘must last at least amount of 4hrs and weigh no more than two pounds’ including in-built batteries and connections.
  • Reveals infrared light just the same way like other army uniforms.
  • Functions in a range of terrain, as well as desert, urban areas, jungle, forest, and mountains.
  • It must works below freezing point and at temperatures that’s above 95° degrees Fahrenheit, in high storm, in tempestuous weather, and in dust, fog, or smoke.

The invisibility suit demo on the field

Watch the video below featuring Guy Cramer of Hyper Stealth, one of the companies that might be working on the proposed prototype of the Stealth Suit. He may be one of the selected few people who have their supplies used to help the military. He says he has verified and demonstrated its efficiency to the Military sometime last year and that the newly launched project will enable him to move forward on it. I’d expected him to talk more on how the technology behind this stealth suit works but Guy Cramer could not provide much detail on that.

I guess he didn’t want to expose the secret.

Conclusion

Looking at this invisibility suit project by the US army, I strongly believe there’s going to be a kind of upgrade in the military and it will encourage so many stealth war activities. Inability to see the enemy afar off means you stand the chance of been annihilated sooner than expected.

I’m afraid, this invisibility suit introduction into the army system might be exploited for personal gains by those in higher authority. What do you think?

I’d like to know your reaction, and probably, an update about the post. Thanks

Image Credit: Associated Press, Hyper Stealth

Categories
Mobile App

What Role can Parental Controls Play in Keeping Children Safe?

No matter how modern or cool-headed parent you are at times kids push it too far and it they can become a bit handful. Just pointing out kids’ mistakes isn’t a solution to your parental challenges. It’s better to mentor and monitor them and keep them safe with the best possible effort. Keeping children safe is parents’ priority which could be made easier with parental apps.

Keeping children safe in the 21st century era of smart kids; smart technologies


Keeping Children Safe

Importance of keeping an eye

For kids to grow better, both the support of a parent and positive self-image are important. You have to be their role model and guide and train them to excel in this challenging world. The kids who get the attention and supervision from their parents are less likely to become victims of low self-esteem and depression. Moreover, if your will keep a friendly relationship, they can share any problem they face and you could fix it.

Have a look at the Infographic showing the importance of mentoring and monitoring kids.How does Mentoring Help Kids

Well, see how interesting this Infographic is. It’s quite motivating. So instead of looking only at the challenges, try to concentrate on positivity as well. It shows that 46% teenagers who are mentored make less mistakes and abuse drugs than those who don’t get proper counseling. Moreover, 27% are less likely to use alcohol and 52% are less likely to skip the school. Mentoring and monitoring both are linked, so keep the pace with changing time and be a wise parent and avail the opportunities of this digital age.

Mentored and monitored kids are safer

You can keep your younger ones happier and safer by monitoring them 24/7. Monitoring and counseling is so convenient today to monitor kids. So don’t hesitate to try something new and “be a smart parent in this smart world.” I heard of a parental app from one of my friends and got to know that it worked very well for her. Then I made my effort to test this and found it pretty useful. Have a look at these and you might like to give it a shot.

FamilyTime app with parental control features

FamilyTime can enable you to:

  • Check their location.
  • Check their entire Web history.
  • Check their mobile activities including the call logs and their contacts.
  • Watchlist any harmful contacts or websites.
  • Block any dangerous app on their phone.

Go on being a caring parent – keep kids safe!

We are living in the world having risks at every next turn so try to mentor your kids closely and monitor them round the clock. Keeping children safe is becoming a vital need of the time and for this you can enjoy FamilyTime app very economically. Let the good time rolling with this friendly app.

Keeping children safe in spite of all odds is a bit overwhelming, but that shouldn’t make you think it is not worth it. It will all be worth it if you spend enough quality time to study how your children could be kept safe using the FamilyTime app.

Let us ruminate together and discuss more keeping children safe in this 21st century era of smart kids, smart technologies.

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Uncategorized

Smart Home: Top Accessories to Complement Your “Smart Home” Setup This Year

A “Smart Home” is a streamlined, high-tech sanctuary. It does not have to be a cluttered room with wires snaking around corners and bulging from interconnected devices. An HDTV and sound system are the centerpieces of the entertainment system and are a major focal point of the home. There are three major must have “smart home accessories” that comprise a well-designed, sleek entertainment center: the sound system, the wall installation system, and compatible devices. These devices will be professionally installed in such a way as to look as “smart” as they really are. Now, let’s look at these smart home accessories one by one, and do much more justice to them.

Amazing smart home accessories worth craving for


Smart home accessories and technologies you need
The era of analogical way of living is vastly diminishing. Today, we have smarter ways of doing things including living in our homes. Let’s talk about three major must have smart home accessories that must be in home for it to be consider as smart home!

The Sound System

HDTV manufacturers are primarily focused on the quality and sharpness of the display; good sound is not the major priority. When you watch movies or your favorite shows, you want the theatre quality sound. An affordable sound bar can be the cheapest upgrade that can be easily connected and installed below your HDTV. These sound bars have specially designed speakers and subwoofers that are compact, yet clear and loud. Unlike the old speakers in your garage, sound bars can incorporate technologies like Bluetooth wireless, tablet and smart phone connectivity and Wi-Fi control. That means when you are curled up on your sofa watching your favorite movie, you can control the volume and equalizer controls using your phone or tablet. New soundbars are designed to process and output clear, digital sound and some even provide surround sound capabilities. If you have more to invest in your home entertainment, a surround sound receiver (which receives, processes, and amplifies the sound) and speaker system can be an excellent upgrade.

Also Read: Do you admire having these transparent technologies in your home?

Smart Home Technologies you should crave
Smart home accessories and technologies you should crave for your newly designed home setup. With these tools, you could have an heaven on earth kind of living experience. This is the kind of innovation you need in your home right now!

The Wall Installation System

New home theatre systems can include many components that need to be connected together. In the past, this would mean a tangled mess of wires going from one component to the other. With professional installation, wires can be concealed in the walls or through outlets so that your home does not look like a jungle off with wires hanging from the ceiling. Additionally, some receivers or HDTVs can be programmed or controlled with devices to allow for wireless connectivity of components. Same goes for your interconnected smart door lock or CCTV monitoring system which could as well be controlled right from your mobile device or remotely. With wireless systems in place, devices sync together using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology to transmit or receive clear digital signals. With smart phones, many home theatre component manufactures also produce apps to control HDTVs or sound systems, making your phone a universal remote. If your components do not sync with your phone, you can also consider interfacing a universal remote with all your components. These are manufactured to communicate with the majority of brands of HDTVs and components like Blu-ray players and sound systems. Having a single remote control greatly simplifies your “Smart” entertainment system.

Also Read: World Best TV Manufacturers According to Their Rankings

Accessories to Complement Your Smart Home sketch
A good smart home technology architectural design with aesthetic feel of the indoor from outside the building.

Compatible Devices

Make sure to examine the specifications of accessories that you are purchasing for your home theatre system. With a little research, you will be able to find must have “smart home” accessories that contain similar interconnectivity technology that allows them to easily sync with one another. Consult with a professional to get the best devices to fit your setup and budget. The specific ports needed on your HDTV are vital for ease of use and for clear, high definition video and audio.

For your “smart home,” make sure to invest in high quality accessories for your entertainment system that are easily controlled, concealed, and create the clearest picture and sound.

How does your home look like? Do you have some gigantic smart home accessories that you’d be proud to talk about?

Let’s have your experience, and discuss a better way of having a kind of home that would become the talk of the town below.