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10 Gadgets to Help You Catch More Fish

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Fishing has changed dramatically over the past decade with the increasing popularity of smartphones and other technology. Even those who have strongly resisted the change are giving into the pressure to adapt. Once there is a smartphone in your pocket, it's difficult to keep refusing time-saving, fish-catching options. 

10 Gadgets to Help You Catch More Fish

Here are 10 tech tools that will make your outing both safer and more successful without ruining the great outdoors.

Find Where to Go

Fishing Hot Spots Maps: It's an old tool in a new format. You no longer have to track down paper maps for the water you want to fish but rather this company provides digital maps for both freshwater and saltwater. You can even get maps that work with older units and handheld devices.

The Fishidy Mobile App: This app provides maps as well as a community for sharing tips and up-to-date reports. You can track your fishing successes on a map using GPS in addition to identifying water depths, underwater contours and fishery data.

Learn How to Get There

Broadband RADAR: This tool boasts that it is the most significant radar breakthrough since 1940. It has much lower power requirements and crystal clear images, which helps for limited visibility situations or tight maneuvering. Plus, it does not require a license.

SIMRAD: This tool is very similar to Broadband RADAR. It also has clear imagery, low power consumption and low emissions. Whether you combine navigation with your fishfinder or separate the two, broadband technology is taking hold quickly.

Locate the Fish

Lowrance HDS-5x Gen2: There are plenty of fishfinder models to choose from, but the new Gen2 model uses a broadband sounder, supports wireless signals and uses Spotlight Scan Sonar, making it a top-notch gadget.

Raymarine Dragonfly: For CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) lovers, Raymarine Dragonfly is the tool for you. This new unit delivers incredibly clear images and includes Navionics charts on microSD in addition to a temperature sensor and 50-channel GPS.

Play it Safe

Iridium Satellite PhoneWhether speaking with family or getting out an emergency call to the Coast Guard, you can always contact land and other satellite-equipped vessels when you pack a satellite phone. They also claim that their call quality is three times better than their competitor's.

C-pod Security: The C-pod sends current status information about location, heading, intrusion, battery voltage and other vital statistics to your phone or computer. Remote on/off capability allows you to be in control of C-pod sensors from the helm.

Stay in the Game

XPand: If you are you taking a green seafarer along on the next voyage, consider the Xpand anti-motion sickness glasses to keep queasiness at bay. Pills and patches often cause drowsiness and confusion, but the sunglasses use electro-optical systems to reduce motion sickness in a noninvasive way. They are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer cell.

Gomadic Solar Charger: Stay prepared with a solar charger to keep any of these gadgets charged and ready to use. It can charge multiple devices simultaneously, and does it just as quickly as a wall outlet would.

Prices in each category can vary widely, so be sure to do your homework. Many times you can cut back on features to make a tool better fit the budget. Yesterday's top-dollar fishfinder or navigation aid, for instance, can often be found at rock bottom prices as others switch to broadband units. So, get ready, be prepared and fish on!

SEE ALSO: Science Nation - Electric Fish Charges up Research on Animal Behavior

Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #OFFICIALANDREASCY. Let me know what you think.

*by andreascy*

The Battle between Windows, Chromebook and Mac

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Hi friends! We are friends by now, right? If you haven't before, I would be grateful if you follow our page on Twitter. Please share with others. 

Chances are that you’re already quite familiar with all the options that the technological world provides us when it comes to computers and their operating system. 

The Battle between Windows, Chromebook and Mac: Which one is best

In stores, you have a choice between 3 operating systems: OS X by Apple, Chrome OS by search engine giant Google, and Windows from former software monopoly Microsoft. Each OS has their own pros and cons, and when choosing the right fit for you, there are a few things to consider for each one of them. 

Windows

Everyone has probably used a Windows computer at least once in their life. Windows is still the most popular operating system out there, used by companies, governments, and individuals worldwide. Because of its huge user base, Windows has an advantage over the other OS’s, as almost all software on the internet is made for Windows. Another pro of Windows is its usability. Just about everyone is able to use a Windows computer. A final pro is that you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to the computer that runs the OS.

Microsoft Canada

But on the con side, Windows needs a lot of extras when it comes to security. Its big user base makes it a target for hackers, and it’s incredibly easy to get a virus when surfing the web. Physically, Windows computers are quite heavy when you compare them to Chromebooks and MacBooks. Finally, most of the best working Windows computers are above the $400 mark. This doesn’t exactly make it the most affordable computer out there. 

Chromebooks

When comparing Chromebooks and Chrome OS with that of the big guys (Windows and Apple), Google’s computer is still in diapers. Nevertheless, it is growing rapidly in popularity. Chrome OS is based entirely around Google’s web server, Chrome, and this is both a gift and a curse. It’s a gift in that everything goes directly into the cloud, making it impossible for you to lose files even when something happens to the computer itself. Another reason it’s a gift is its usability. Even your grandmother could handle a Chromebook! It’s nowhere near as frustrating as using a Windows computer can be for the older generation. A Chromebook is also highly affordable, with most computers sold at under $400. The screen quality is way better than that of a MacBook. 

However, as I mentioned before, the way the Chrome OS runs is also a curse. You are unable to download any software or hardware onto your Chromebook, and while you are able to make a lot of apps available offline, it definitely can be a pain in the ass. Another definite con of the Chromebook is that you can’t fully download Skype. If you want to use Skype, you have to make do with the IM+ messenger, which comes without the option for video calls. For those of you who can’t live without video calls, there is the option of Hangouts, Google’s very own version of Skype. Google Hangouts comes with a few extras, like free group calls and the ability to draw on the person you’re calling with. 

MacBooks

When Apple decided to make the MacBook Air, they were aiming for something portable and high performance, with a great design and usability. An Apple MacBook is often the first choice for designers, graphic artists, and anyone else who has made it their job to bring you high quality media. All of your files, pictures, etc. get stored into iCloud, which makes it incredibly easy to transfer a file from one device to another. MacBooks are lightweight, which makes them great for travel or just moving about at home. 

The biggest con of MacBooks is their price. Apple has always been about the exclusive feel that you get from their products, and the MacBook Air is the perfect example of this. Prices range from $800 to $3000. So, is it worth the price? Yes, it can be. Contrary to popular belief, Mac OS X is not immune to viruses. The threat just isn’t as big, because like stated before, most hackers focus on Windows computers. Just as with Apple’s other products (like the iPhone and the iPod), it is nearly impossible to make any changes to the MacBook itself, which can be a little impractical when it comes to having to change the battery or upgrading the internal storage space. 

So which one is the best?

That is up to you to decide. Don’t mind a computer that’s completely based around internet and Google? Then the Chromebook will be a great choice for you. Are you a gamer, or do you like to mess around a bit? Then the obvious choice for you is a Windows laptop. A designer or artist? The MacBook is your perfect match.

*by andreascy*


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

Be sure to leave your thoughts. We appreciate your feedback on this kind of research!

*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*