Next Gen Televisions – Time to Get a Flatscreen?

If you’re one of the Flintstones, you may still be using an old-fashioned curved-screen television. It’s time to switch up to one of the new flat-screen televisions, don’t you think?

All types of flat-screen televisions – from LCD display televisions to plasma TVs and projector units, are superior to old screens in a variety of ways. They don’t lose definition when seen from the edges, making those least-desired seats in your living room perfectly acceptable. They also have significantly better resolution than old-style televisions. You may still be able to make out the pixels when you sit close, but because flat screen television sets use digital technology instead of less-accurate analog, they have a much superior picture, either in still frames or motion. And they are designed to work well with all the latest technology, from blu-ray to HDTV.

Up until recently, flat-screen sets have been on the expensive side, and a lot of people who needed a new set were waiting until the prices came down a little. Well – it’s time. Small LCD TVs cost what an old-fashioned television would cost, if you could still find them, and even the large screens are often under a thousand dollars.

Before you buy, though, you need to understand a little bit about these new technologies.

LCD TVs use a liquid crystal display (LCD). Watches using this technology in monochrome have been around for decades, but only in the last ten years have researchers figured out how to create good-quality color liquid crystal that is reliable and long-lasting. An LCD TV has a nice thin appearance, and is basically a layer of liquid crystals sandwiched between transparent layers, with a backlight behind everything. The light shines through the liquid crystals, which have been polarized to show up in the different colors for your display – and there’s your television. LCD TVs, when kept dim, use very little electricity, making them great for a darkened TV room. And they are among the cheapest flat-screen televisions you can buy.

LCD TVs do have a couple of drawbacks: first, older models are subject to “ghosting”, where a dim image of a previously-displayed picture can be seen through the new picture; for this reason, it’s wiser to buy LCD TVs new. They may also not be the best choice for a fast-paced game, as they often have a lag time that can mess you up. Blacks aren’t always as sharp and dark as you might like, another reason to view in a darkened room. And if you mistreat it, you can wind up with “dead” pixels, where nothing will display because that segment of LCD has been destroyed. In most new LCD TVs, though, these problems are minimal or nonexistent.

Plasma TVs are also flat-screen televisions, but work very differently from LCD TVs and have a very different set of strengths and weaknesses. While you can lay an LCD TV on its back – carefully – without ruining it, a plasma television can be destroyed if it is laid flat. That’s because instead of liquid crystals, it uses an inert gas sandwiched between two pieces of glass to create its display. Seals more easily come loose when the plasma TV is laid flat, allowing the gas to escape right then or over time.

Provided you care for it well and mount it properly, your plasma TV will function well for years. Unlike LCD TVs, plasma TVs display blacks very well (one selling point) and most will also work great for fast-refreshing games. Plasma TVs are often advertised as having the most realistic, highest-resolution, best-contrast display of all televisions, and this is probably true in almost every situation. Drawbacks include the expense – plasma TVs are not economical to make in small sizes, so you’ll have to buy a large one – and the relative fragility of these televisions.

Both plasma and LCD TVs usually need good wall mounts. The last thing you want to do with your high-def TVs is install them, only to have them fall down a couple of weeks later! Quality wall mounts for HDTVs should include very good hardware, preferably made by the same manufacturer that produced the television, and excellent directions so you can easily put it up yourself. If you are at all worried that you will not install it right, it may be wise to have someone install it for you.

DLP TVs are the third major set of television displays in use today. These are also called rear-projection televisions, and while they are significantly cheaper than either LCD or plasma TVs, they also are larger and bulkier (though not as bulky as projection TVs were in the past) and have a somewhat less impressive display. Still, for most uses DLP TVs do fine, and because the light source in a DLP TV is usually replaceable by the consumer, they have a much, much longer lifespan.

Very similar to DLP TVs are projector units. These gadgets are often small enough to carry by hand, but can project a movie-screen-size picture if they have a high enough resolution. Similar in appearance to an old-fashioned slide projector, projector units are a great choice for a small area, for someone who needs a portable large television, or for someone who wants a television without having an obvious television.

Your Home Theater

Plasma TVs, LCD TVs, DLP TVs, and projector units are all high-def TVs, as long as they have the appropriate tuner. Once you have them set up, you need to think about other components of your home theater. After all, what’s a large-screen television if you have to sit in your old uncomfortable couch to watch it?

Your first thoughts should be for electronics to enhance your viewing experience: good surround-sound speakers for a great theater experience, and universal remote controls to sit in comfort as you control everything in your environment yourself.

Once you have your electronics in line, go for the last thing on your list: theatre furniture. Your home experience, with comfortable chairs that don’t fold up when you stand up, can be superior to one at the local movie house. Look for spacious, durable seats that can handle spills as well as roomy cup holders and somewhere to put snacks, remotes, and anything else you habitually keep close while you’re watching your favorite flicks.

Raising Well-Adjusted Kids in an Age of Instant Everything Book Review

Modern parents are concerned about the effects of technology on their kids. Younger and younger children are spending more and more time interacting not with human beings, but with gadgets – cell phones, computers, video games, and other devices. Do we have reason to be concerned, and if yes, how do we go about setting limits?

In the book Generation Text, Dr. Osit reveals how the combination of high-tech interaction and immediate gratification is putting our children at risk for developing distorted self-image, poor work ethic, a sense of entitlement, and weakened social skills, as well as aggressive tendencies. Parents owe it to their kids to set boundaries when it comes to the use of gadgets, for their kid’s long term physical, emotional as well as social health.

Statistics show that kids spend more than half of their playtime in front of screens. The effect of this is that kids are less connected to the family. Why should parents be concerned about this?

1. Impairment of social skills – when machine to machine interaction replaces person to person interaction too much of the time, kids will not readily learn nuances essential to social skills. For example, texting eliminates many challenges socially that contain important lessons for kids and teens to learn.

2. Changing values – the attitudes and behavior of kids has declined because modern kids have access to the world. The messages they get are not always appropriate.

3. Anonymity – we get more brazen and nervy when using technology. That is not always healthy for relationships.

Dr. Osit refers to access and excess in his book. Access refers to easy availability of the world and other people. Kids can be all over the world in their bedrooms. Children can be exposed to ideas and concepts that are disturbing and that can change their developing brains. In the past, parents tried to protect their kids from these influences until they were more mature and could make better decisions. Now it’s harder than ever to do so.

Excess – kids who live in economically privileged parts of the world have too many privileges and possessions. There is often is a sense of entitlement with these things. What is acceptable and common for the age group is not always appropriate. Parents need to think about what’s best for their child and family, not what the neighbors are doing.

Instant Gratification

Too much technology can lead to weak delayed gratification muscles. As parents we need to help our kids learn how to delay gratification in order for them to be happy, healthy adults. Many parents are going overboard in expending too much money, time and resources. Parents are operating in a busier, fast paced world and because of guilt we say yes, sometimes to compensate for a lack of time.

Studies show that kids – even teens – really do respect and admire their parents and want to please them. They also crave to spend more time with their parents. We need to start creating more balance with our kids and give them the gift of our focused attention instead of more gadgets.

When used the right way, technology can be an asset. For instance, shy kids can use technology to boost their social ability. It can compensate for their weakness. What is needed is to establish limits and boundaries with your kids before you give your child the privilege of using technology such as the internet. Instruct them on what they should do for example, if they come across pornography online.

Computers should be kept in a public area of the home and the rules of use posted nearby. Parental controls are easy to implement and some of these are free from the internet service provider. Kids should be coached to come to the parents if they stumble on something inappropriate online. Encourage them to come to you if that happens and help them understand that you will not get angry but will talk about it. This is an opportunity for you to hand down your values to your kids.

Dr. Osit suggests eliminating distractions during family times and setting a good example by turning off cell phones at the dinner table and on family outings. Model the behavior you want. If a parent is addicted to their Blackberry, then they can hardly criticize their child for being addicted to their handheld gaming system.

Samsung Tocco Lite – Hi-tech Gadget For the Advanced Generation

Technology has touched every corner of our life. It has also influenced our communication needs and desires. A mobile phone today is not just a gadget meant for providing mobile communication but it is much more than that. With the changing trends and increasing demands of the consumers, the phone company’s have also changed the stream of their focus. They have now started manufacturing the handsets with hi-tech features and sleek appearance. The Samsung S5230 Tocco Lite or the Samsung Tocco Lite is one such stylish and sophisticated device that has been specially designed for the Gen Next.

This handset has been beautified with a stunning TFT resistive touch screen that measures 3.0 inches and is capable of showing 256 thousand colours with 240 x 400 pixels resolution. The large size of the display is ideal for watching videos and pictures because it provides excellent viewing experience to its users. The touchscreen comes with an in-built accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate that uses the Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. The user can have an easy access to the popular social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook or YouTube with the aid of the TouchWiz UI, which is comfortably navigable.

Underneath the fascinating looks, the Samsung Tocco Lite, is the 3.15 mega pixel camera that has been embedded with a hi-end feature, Smile detection, that clicks images automatically when a person smiles. There is an auto focus option that helps the user to focus on a particular object before deciding to click it and captures more focused images. Enhanced with all these features this camera phone is the perfect choice for the camera lover. Additionally it has been laced with a stereo FM radio with RDS that enables the user to listen to good quality music over the speaker phone with DNSe (Digital Natural Sound engine). Other features of this gadget that can be used as a source of entertainment include MP3 /WMA /AAC player, H.263 /H.264 /MPEG4 player, Organizer, Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF), Shazam Find Music service and Handwriting recognition.

The exterior of the handset has been attractively done in a slim case measuring 104 x 53 x 11.9 mm and weighing approximately 93.5 grams. Owing to the compact size of this device it can easily fit in the user’s pocket or handbag. It comes with a 50 MB internal memory and the users can store contact details, messages & pictures on their phones memory. Also, there is an option for expandable memory through a microSD (TransFlash) card slot which can hold up to 16 GB of memory, allowing the user to add the memory size to best suit their requirement. This handset is available with latest connectivity options like the EDGE technology, GPRS, Bluetooth and USB, which enhances the data transfer rates between Tocco Lite and other compatible devices. It works on the quad band GSM network and can automatically switch between network bands when the users is traveling to a different region, thus enabling him/her with worldwide roaming.

This magnificent mobile phone has been laced with several outlandish features and and multi-tasking capabilities that makes it perfect for the modern day user. The Tocco Lite has earned huge accolades form the users and it is now being acknowledged as a user friendly equipment that delivers complete value for money.

Hiring Gen Y for Contingent Work

There are times when I get into a ‘could have been’ mode and wonder what I could have done differently with my life, if only I had access, during my college days, to things like Wikipedia, Google and Google Scholar! As a septuagenarian friend of mine put it, history needs to re-written with times counted not as B.C. and A.D. anymore – but as B.G. and A.G. (standing respectively for Before Google and After Google). So, the green-eyed monster is hard to keep at bay when I look at today’s young generation or Gen-Y. Look at their parents terrified of inflicting any lasting psychological trauma on them, their access to and comfort with groovy tech gadgets, and the works – but, their access to knowledge at the tip of their fingers is what really differentiates them high-flyers against the landlubbers! You must believe me when I say I actually saw one of them casually ‘Googling’ a query as to how porcupines manage their romantic lives – and sure enough, pat came the response within a nanosecond: very carefully!

I just love temping:

Many of the predictions, of future growth in contingent workforce, factor in the added infusion of many such Gen-Y candidates to the pool. Given the Gen-Yers’ amazing confidence levels (in part – thanks to their access to a vast amount of knowledge, whether deep or superficial), and their energy, enthusiasm and ambition, they are expected to love the autonomy provided by flex hours and the liberty to live life to the fullest, to travel between assignments and be their own boss. They are not expected to be ruffled at all by the idea of getting introduced as temps or consultants. On the contrary, they can take pride in their ability to handle their work-life balance better (or the ability to run a small business on the side) – thereby removing the stigma people generally associate with being temps labels and make them not only acceptable but actually the fashionable thing to do!

Play Safe:

The Gen-Y’s attitude to work as a phase rather than a way of life means shorter tenures, which proves galling to any organization that values its workforce and wishes to have a longer term relation with them. Their refusal to be tied down has been directly correlated to the uncertainties of these times where competition is tremendous, job guarantees non-existent and loyalty not considered an inseparable part of the work-ethic. Organizations which have a strategy of hiring Gen-Yers may initially go the contractor/temp/temp-to-hire route during which time they could test the candidate’s suitability while instituting measures bound to engage the loyalty of the candidate and improve the chances of retention. Staffing experts recommend measures like mentoring, a clear growth/career path, offering tasks with a social/environmental bottom-line, incentives, state-of-the-art technology for use, training programs extending all the way to offering massages and yoga classes at work. It is must also be remembered that the Gen Y want to be rewarded and recognized in the short term and will not be caught waiting around till retirement day!

It is a connected world out there!:

Today, an incredible 75% of persons in the 18-24 bracket use online social networks while 57% of the 25-34 group do so. They value social interaction and growth and their addiction to networking online and penchant for flaunting the latest gizmos and smart phones makes them hands-on 24×7 employees.

A word of caution though! Whoever is managing them had better be on guard to watch out against violating the stipulations on work hours and overtime pay rates.

Money-Making Careers and Strategies For the Gen Y Workforce

Typical tried-and-true job hunting and money-earning techniques don’t seem to work very well when you’re big on desire but short on experience. Despite appearances and reports to the contrary, the 2010 job market promises a bright future for a “Gen Y” workforce armed with major social networking power and the know-how and drive to wrest hold of their careers.

Strengths that Outweigh Weakness

Cloud computing, phone apps, do-it-yourself video and more, all put the Gen Y workforce on firm 2010 job and money-making career ground. You’re at ease with technology; you see the world as a global community; you’re comfortable with diversity and working in teams; and, you’ve gained self-confidence through revolutionary communications and interactions unheard of just a few years ago. Write a keyword-focused functional resume that includes words on your personal strengths list. Make sure they’re included in targeted positions like fund-raisers, tech and gadget sales and repair, adapting businesses to social networking, web marketing and alternative communications jobs.

You’re not tied to tradition and you’re free to roam the planet. That means you are capable of bringing innovative thoughts and ideas into tired products and markets, and you can go where the action is. Your enthusiasm list for creating a better, safer, greener, healthier and more peaceful world matches the top government funded job stimulus programs. Expand your search to include jobs that offer education and training programs, and require travel to places where demands for your strengths are high.

Remember that summer job at camp or after school on the playground? You’ve got solid experiences that can help turn our education system around. Take a look at teaching and education jobs in a variety of settings; charter, public and private schools, non-profit community education and after-school learning centers all share top job growth forecasts in the coming decade. They’re also perfect places to land part-time and contract positions that can earn extra income and add to your resume while you’re pursuing your own education in specialty or technical fields.

Still having troubles kick-starting your career money machine? Keep looking; but, while you look, don’t miss the cash-generating opportunities that can pay the grocery bill while you’re polishing up your career. Check major metro sites like Craigslist “gigs” for endless ideas about what people need and what you can provide in your own community. You just need to take time to think through the market and what you have to offer.

Teaching & Training: Teach basic, fun skills to the over 50 set. Subjects to consider include: texting and sending pictures with a phone; setting up and using a free email account; internet banking; setting up a social networking page; digital photography and webcams. Teach a weekly homework, math or writing class for the neighborhood children, or through the PTA.