The best laptops for battery life

There are several features and specs that people base their decision on when buying a laptop. There is the processor speed, graphics cards, screen size, and other upgrades. However, nothing is more important than battery life. Thanks to recent advances in battery technology and power efficiency, the minimum benchmark is at least ten hours of battery life on a full charge. The models below have battery life well more than the minimum.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470

The Lenovo ThinkPad T470 comes with an optional extended battery that takes the laptop to a staggering 17 hours and 25 minutes. The battery life is not the only thing great about the laptop. You get a best-in-class keyboard, fast SSD and durable chassis. The only drawbacks are a screen that lacks brightness and anaemic speakers.

Lenovo ThinkPad X270

The second best laptop regarding battery life is another ThinkPad. Again, you get a good keyboard, swappable battery and unlike the above, a better screen. However, you need to select the correct battery options to get the 13 hours and 51 minutes of battery life. The three cell batteries provide mediocre battery life.

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 clocks in with approximately 13 hours and 49 minutes of battery life. The XPS 13 is one of the best allround laptops you can buy today and that includes great battery life. The XPS 13 has an amazing display, good Wi-Fi and is very light. The only drawback is odd placement on the webcam.

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Dealing with a server room cooling crisis

The biggest nightmare for anyone operating a data center is a failure of the server room air conditioner. All server room environments will have some form of redundancy, but even if you test the infrastructure for failure, there is a high chance that both the primary and the secondary systems will fail.

A computer room air conditioner is a piece of mechanical equipment and anything mechanical, however well-built, is in danger of failure. The best course of action is to prepare all the information you need emergency cooling.

The most basic information you will need are the dimensions of the room. No need for exact measurements, most server rooms have floor tiles that you can use to approximate the size. Note the potential locations for portable a/c units. MovinCool.com haas units that fit in even the smallest of spaces.

Next, you will need a list of all the equipment in the room, including servers, switches, routers, and UPS units. Make a separate list of equipment that you can shut down during an emergency, which will save on the amount of emergency cooling.

Note the amount of power you can supply to an emergency cooling unit. Industrial cooling requires a lot more power than domestic devices. If the power levels are not adequate to run proper portable a/c units, then upgrade the circuits as quickly as possible.

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Smart speaker news

For most people, their first smart home device will be a smart speaker. It makes sense that you will buy a device that can control others before you invest in smart lights and appliances. The current market leader in the smart speaker space is the Amazon Echo. A lot of people who bought the original Echo also bought Echo Dot’s to complement the device and place around the house. In fact, most reviewers rate the Echo Dot as the best smart speaker because it is cost-effective, compact, and has the same functionality as the larger Echo. A lot is going on in the smart speaker space at the moment, here are some highlights:

Amazon will release several new Alexa-enabled devices this year. There is the Echo Plus, the Echo Spot, the Echo Show, and the new Echo. All of these devices form a complete line-up of devices that hit every price point and feature. Some devices are touch-enabled while others are voice-only.

Apple will start selling the HomePod, its smart speaker powered by Siri. The initial focus is on the integration between the HomePod and Apple Music. Apple is looking to the millions of Apple Music subscribers as an initial market before making the device more smart-home capable.

Even Samsung is jumping into the smart speaker market. “Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it.” Says Samsung Mobile president DJ Koh. Samsung acquired personal voice assistant Bixby which powers the assistant on the S8 smartphone.

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Basic computer security mistakes you should avoid

Most Hackers are successful not because they have unknown methods of breaking into other computers, but because most end-users of computers and organizations make common and basic mistakes. Here are the most common mistakes everyone should avoid:

Updates

Updates to Microsoft and Apple products are free. All you need is internet access and a bit of time to download and install the updates. Most users ignore the update popup and continue to use the computer. Always update all your devices, apps, applications, operating systems, and computers.

Older versions

Another issue that is similar to the above is keeping older versions of the software. Most developers only maintain the latest version of the particular application. Most users keep older versions to avoid buying a newer version. Just remember that the older application could be a vector for an intrusion into your systems.

Downloads

Downloading random applications online is another threat. There are so many download sites that you need to ensure that any program you download is from a known developer. Also, when you download known applications, always do so from the official site. Third-party download sites often add Malware and Adware to downloads before making them available.

Piracy

In a recent study, security researchers found that almost 90% of pirated software came with Malware. The offending Malware was written into the applications, making it impossible to remove. Saving a few bucks by downloading a pirated applications might open your computer up to Malware and even Ransomware.

 

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How Security Personnel Can Improve Productivity in a Command Center

Summary: By addressing specific needs, a command center can be more productive and efficient.

With the increased use of video surveillance for any organization, along with computer-based systems, it’s crucial officers that are working in these centers be trained correctly.

Training the Officers

Security officers that work in a command center must be trained in using the security cameras as well as identifying suspicious activity. This includes what is happening in both the foreground and the background of a video image. They also must be taught how to interact with the dispatch and patrol team, as well as understand all the policies associated with it. Providing them with this training will increase their productivity levels as well as provide them with a well-rounded repertoire that they can pull out in emergency situations.

Balancing Technology With Other Duties

The increased volumes of information generated by command centers demand that security officers be trained to balance technology and paper-based tasks appropriately. They must learn how to monitor control systems, answer phones, report incidents, and more. It’s crucial that the officers that are working within the command center have a basic knowledge of their technical surroundings which allow them to be more versatile in the case of an incident.

Limiting Video Monitor Time

The quality of attention by officers monitoring live video feeds tends to drop significantly after a an extended amount of time. To counter this, officers that are scheduled for the same shift will switch duties every couple of hours. Monitoring in the command station and patrolling are two entirely different, but equally important, tasks for an officer. Balancing this can provide improved efficiency and productivity for the organization.

Blog submitted by Constant Technologies, Inc.: For a quality showpiece video wall or LCD video display design for a command center, trust the experts at Constant Technologies, Inc.

 

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Three drawbacks of the new Pixel 2

Google took the wraps off its new Pixel 2 phone lineup last week. The phones have what the best Android camera and maybe the best smartphone camera on the market today. The problem lies in choosing between the Pixels and the competition. Here are some of the drawbacks of the new Pixel phones.

Camera

The first drawback is that the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have the same camera. It is good to provide the same technology and capabilities across the two models. However, there should have been more differentiation between the Pixel 2 and the XL. As it stands, all you get for $200 extra is a bigger screen and battery.

Headphone Jack

Like Apple, LeEco, and Lenovo, Google removed the headphone jack from the Pixel 2. Google does provide an alternative to the AirPod but does not address what happens when you want to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time. It is a pain point for iPhone users and Google should have addressed that as part of the presentation.

Bezels

The screen on the Pixel 2 XL is not as impressive as some of its peers. The screen is not edge-to-edge as some of the others. Also, to make room for the dual speakers, there is a larger forehead and chin. The screen itself is amazing with vibrant colors and proper blacks. However, if you want an edge-to-edge screen or a bigger screen for the form factor, then you will want either the iPhone X or the Note 8.

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