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Cars Of Tomorrow: 3 Technological Advances That Will Change Driving

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The cost of gasoline has steadily risen since the economic crash of 2008, and car manufacturers have responded by making more fuel efficient vehicles. Toyota and BMW formally agreed to collaborate on perfecting hydrogen fuel technology in 2013, while Ford, Nissan, and Daimler said they would team up to completely revolutionize fuel cells in their vehicles by 2017, according to the Economist. 

New car technology is usually dictated by economic conditions or public demand. The 1973 oil embargo by several OPEC member nations caused long lines at the pump, while a barrel of oil quadrupled in price within a 12 month period. The following year GM, Ford and Chrysler all made cruise control a mainstream option for their vehicles to help drivers save gas, while lawmakers pushed conservation and domestic energy efforts, including the enactment of the national 55 mph speed limit in 1973. 

Cars Of Tomorrow: 3 Technological Advances That Will Change Driving

The technology of tomorrow will continue to make cars more efficient and safe, and will bring more comfort and convenience to the driver. These three features are the next big advances that will soon be just as common as rear-view mirrors in most U.S.-made vehicles:

Forward Collision Avoidance Systems

Most DMV practice tests online will advise drivers to keep a safe following distance of about 3 seconds between your car and the one ahead of you. But new technology will soon remove human judgment from the driving equation altogether.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates forward-collision avoidance systems reduce crashes by up to 7 percent, and up to 14 percent if they include auto-braking features. An alarm will sound when the system senses the speed and trajectory of a vehicle is likely to lead to some type of collision. The IIHS rates all manufacturer system, from basic to superior, based on its capabilities.

A basic rating, for instance, is given to vehicles that meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's criteria on at least 5 of 7 test runs. There are 74 vehicles with forward-collision avoidance systems, including the 2014 models of the Cadillac ATS, Mercedes C-Class Sedan and Subaru Legacy, that have earned the organization's advanced rating. The 2014 Acura MDX SUV and 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Cherokee are among the models with superior ratings.

David Zuby, the chief research officer for IIHS, said auto-braking features will help inattentive and older drivers avoid fender benders, and ultimately lower insurance costs.

Camless Engines

A typical four-stroke piston engine utilizes camshafts to run the followers and open the valves that regulate gasoline flow. But if Christian von Koenigsegg of Sweden's Koenigsegg Automotive has his way, camshafts will be a thing of the past by 2020. He told Jalopnik.com at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show that his company has been working on a camless engine for several years and believes it will be the rule rather than the exception for automobiles in the near future.

All the valves in a camless engine will function independently, translating to better fuel efficiency and horse power. Several manufacturers, including BMW, GM, and Ford have been tinkering with the idea, but it appears the technology may still be a few years away from being available to the masses.

Cargines and LaunchPoint Technologies are currently the leaders in camless engines. Brian Paden, the lead designer for the LaunchPoint, told Car-Engineer.com that this type of valve timing technology will increase fuel efficiency by 20 percent, reduce emissions by 10 percent, and improve torque by up to 13 percent.

Hands-Free Driving

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers predicts 60 percent of cars will be connected to the Internet by 2025. This first step is essential to the organization's other major prediction: that 75 percent of vehicles will be self-driving by 2040.

Autonomous cars not only have to be able to communicate with one another, but also with the satellites that safely route them. These vehicles will enable blind individuals, along with the handicapped and elderly, to drive to the grocery store and even take cross-country road trips. Google announced in April that its driverless technology completed over 700,000 miles of driving without an accident.

The National Highway and Safety Administration estimates car accidents cost the country nearly $900 billion a year. The International Organsation for Road Accident Prevention estimates more than 90 percent of accidents are caused by human error. Driverless technology can eliminate most accidents, the need for traffic lights, and lower insurance premiums for all drivers.

Driverless vehicles are currently only being tested in the states of California, Nevada, Michigan, and Florida.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Cars of 2014 Under $60K

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*by andreascy*

Samsung Offers Hot Line of Products This Fall

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This year's IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, was dominated by wearables, slim lines, super curves and a whole lot of innovation. Nearly all the big players had smartphones to showcase – some derivative and some surprising. 

Samsung Offers Hot Line of Products This Fall

Samsung, arguably one of the biggest players in the consumer electronics world, brought its’ A game to Berlin with four new devices custom-made to take the wind out of competitors’ sails. While there's no way to know if the brand revealed everything it has up its sleeve at IFA it certainly showed that it hasn't lost its edge. Here's what had people talking about Samsung and has fans excited for fall:

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

While the device is similar to the Galaxy Note 4, it does contain a standout feature that will push the boundaries of today's mobile display technology. The Edge features a 5.7-inch screen and adds a seamless 1-inch second screen that curves beautifully around the left-hand edge of the phone. The Galaxy Note Edge screen, which uses a Youm flexible display, may very well change how people interact with their devices. Everything from alerts to apps can be accessed without any interruption to other mobile experiences. Even with the phone locked and the case closed, notifications and messages are accessible. Its release near the end of 2014 could mean an unprecedented level of connectivity with less screen time. Users interested in the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge should sign up at T-Mobile for an alert when the device becomes available. 

Galaxy Note 4

While it still sports the 5.7-inch screen of the Note 3, the screen has gotten a boost with a Quad HD Super AMOLED (2,560 x 1,440 resolution) display that's adaptable to changing lighting conditions. That's super good news since a more powerful camera offers 16MP and lets in 60 percent more light resulting in image quality on par with most users' point-and-shoots. A lightning fast 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, an improved S Pen with Smart Selection and a quick charging battery are also among the high-quality features. This flagship Galaxy Note 4 has a forecasted October release. 

Gear VR

Virtual reality is finally coming to consumer's pockets thanks to the Gear VR, which is powered by the Note 4 and slated for end-of-year release. What sets this device apart is that the immersive audio and 3D video experience users enjoy is provided by the Note 4's Quad-HD screen technology. Simply slide the Galaxy Note 4 into the headset to deliver superb gaming environments, cinematic settings for movies and TV and larger than life sound. 

Gear S Smartwatch

This is the company's third smartwatch and its codename – Solo – says a lot about why it's a game changer. Unlike nearly all other smartwatches and wearables that can only be used when linked to a smartphone, the Gear S is a 3G capable standalone device that's so smart it's brilliant. A dual-core 1GHz processor, 4GM on internal storage and 512MB RAM mean it can have its own apps and programs and can even send texts and make calls – all using Samsung's own Tizen portable OS. Though experts disagree on the viability and longevity of the wearables market it's pretty clear the Gear S is going to be a hit. Watch for it in October.

The takeaway? Changes to mobile technology are happening faster than ever and Samsung is keeping pace admirably. It remains to be seen whether the competition will keep up but it's clear fans have plenty to look forward to. 

Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer who enjoys covering everything from helpful apps, to fun gadgets to the hottest tech news. Follow her on Twitter to see what tips and tricks she unveils next.

*by andreascy*

Top 3 Tech Tools for Managers That Mean Business

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What sets a successful business apart from one that closes its doors after just a few short months? The numbers 20 and 80. These two figures make up what is known as the Pareto Principle, which is named after an Italian economic expert named Vilfredo Pareto. At the turn of the century, Pareto realized that just 20 percent of the people in Italy owned 80 percent of the land. What is interesting about the Pareto Principle is that it applies to all sorts of business-related statistics. 

Top 3 Tech Tools for Managers That Mean Business

For example, 20 percent of clients are typically responsible for 80 percent of sales, and 20 percent of employees usually help to bring in 80 percent of the customers. The 80/20 Rule, as it is commonly called, can be so powerful that smart business owners can use it to help grow their company. If they can figure out who their top sales people are, they can arm them with whatever tools are needed to help bring in the lion’s share of the clients.

In order for sales people to succeed in business and help become part of the incredible 20 percent who are responsible for bringing in 80 percent of the business, the following technological tools can help them, and managers, stay at the top of their game.

Mind Manager

Successful salespeople typically juggle a lot of plates at once. In order to keep ideas and projects organized, a software program like MindManager will come in handy. In addition to helping sales people brainstorm, it also allows them to create business plans, organize all of their tasks, manage meetings and much more. Essentially, MindManager helps salespeople keep tabs on and map out the dozens of ideas and plans they have in their heads in a cohesive and helpful way.

Salesforce Reporting

In order to grow their business, company owners need to know a variety of facts and figures, including which areas of the state or country have the most clients and which regions are less active. Salesforce reporting with InsightSquared allows business owners to effectively analyze how their salespeople are doing. In addition to showing in black and white which employees are doing the best, Salesforce will also help managers identify which team members need to step up their game and bring in more clients. As a bonus, while looking closely at regional sales and employee performance can take up a lot of time, Salesforce will do all of the heavy number crunching. This will give leaders more time to effectively manage and encourage their team of salespeople and inspire them to bring in as much business as possible.

ClearSlide

Unlike the days of yore when being a successful salesperson only required having good powers of persuasion, these days each employee needs also to be aware of the various tools that can help his or her company succeed. Keeping tabs on the latest innovative tools can help salespeople get into that coveted 20 percent from the Pareto Principle. One Web-based tool that will help salespeople and managers succeed is ClearSlide. This tool allows sales reps to easily share presentations about products and services while also getting an accurate indication of their clients reactions with automatic alerts when links are clicked, or emails are opened. This helpful information can impact how effective a sales team can be, and allow them to make changes to their sales pitches as needed.

RECOMMENDED: 3 Best Tools For Construction Project Management

Whether you are new to business sales or you have been in the market all your life, put the power of top notch, detailed, unbiased research in your hands with The *Official AndreasCY* Newsletter. Thank you all, it means so much!

*by andreascy*

The Hottest Fitness Gadgets on the Market

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Wearable fitness technology is all the rave right now from wristband trackers to electronic compression shirts. These, plus other gadgets, help monitor every aspect of a person’s workout from checking vitals and tracking weight goals to meeting and connecting with others. 

The Hottest Fitness Gadgets on the Market

If you’re looking for something to help bring your workout into the 21st century, check out these new and awesome fitness gadgets.

Benefits of Fitness Technology

Between wearable technology, smartphones and mobile fitness apps, fitness technology has the potential to revolutionize the world of workouts. For personal trainers, these devices can free up one-on-one time with clients and help them manage their fitness businesses. For consumers, fitness technology can help them meet whatever personal training or health goals they have from losing weight to just feeling better about themselves. The benefits of fitness technology are extensive. 

 They are convenient to use.

 Consumers can monitor their own activity and fitness goals.

 They can bring fun and excitement into a person’s workout routine.

 Fitness gadgets enhance the experience of physical exercise.

 They help consumers make the best use of modern technology.

Some of the coolest new fitness gadgets come with smart technology, which allows consumers to connect them via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and that have social sharing features to keep consumers motivated and informed. Some of the newer fitness gadgets with smart technology feature processors from Snapdragon, which include integrated CPU, GPU, DSP and sensor processing. 

This technology lets users connect to their smartphones or tablets to upload and keep track of fitness activity. Items to consider when purchasing fitness include ease of use, battery life and purpose of measurement. 

Popular Wearable Fitness Gadgets

There are many fitness and exercise gadgets on the market, with the most common being:

 Wristband fitness tracker: There is a wide variety of wristband trackers from detecting sleep quality to measuring calories. The best trackers are the ones that sync automatically and can be used with all your devices. The Fitbit Flex tracks steps, distance and calories burned during the day, and sleep quality at night. It also gently wakes you in the morning.

 Samsung Gear Live: This Android smart watch acts as a personalized fitness manager by providing real-time information on the results and progress of your workout through its optical heart rate sensor. The Samsung Gear Live can be worn 24/7 to keep track of your activities throughout the day and runs on a Snapdragon 400 processor. It is dust and water resistant. 

 Notch Body Tracker: This wearable fitness device is worn in tandem with a number of trackers to provide even more detailed data. It tracks not only the number of steps taken in a day, but also their speed, acceleration and force. 

 Sports Sensors: Zepp’s Sports Sensors connect to baseball bats, golf gloves and tennis rackets and provides real-time data about the swings, angles at impact, speed and more. 

Whether you’re training for a marathon, want to lose a few pounds or you’re simply motivated to live a healthier lifestyle, wearable fitness gadgets have many benefits. This technology can help anyone with their fitness goals, and this fad doesn’t appear to be losing traction anytime soon.

Jennifer Thayer is a technology writer who enjoys covering everything from helpful apps, to fun gadgets to the hottest tech news. Follow her on Twitter to see what tips and tricks she unveils next.

*by andreascy*