A Step Closer For Self Driving Cars

I drive quite often during the week and the steering wheel is an intimate part of my driving but I wonder what the future of driving would be like and I got my answer with the release of Google’s self driving cars. Some technology experts say that self driving cars are environmentally friendly because they give off fewer carbon emissions and it could mean fewer accidents, which all contribute to air pollution in my opinion. Another thing I like about the idea of a self driving car from Google is that I no longer have to worry about getting lost because I didn’t know where I was going. With a self driving car I can program my destination and I can focus on enjoying the ride rather than driving and dodging inconsiderate drivers.

An Extension of What Cars Are Like Now

Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised that the self driving car is in development because most of today’s cars have lots of state-of-the-art gadget such as built in GPS systems, satellite radio, built in DVD player and CD player, ability to receive phone calls through the car’s indoor display screen and child protection locks. Many of the cars I’ve had in recent years came with remote controls and I had airbags on the drivers’ and passengers’ sides. I’ve been trained to accept the benefits of a self driving car.

Other Impressions of Google Self Driving Car

The thing that stood out for me regarding the self driving car is that according to Google, the car drove up to 700,000 miles on major city highways and busy streets without causing accidents or breaking down. I’m not sure if what they said is all propaganda or actually the truth; you can decide on that one.  I also found out that this car has built in sensors and 360 degree camera, which can read stop signs and other symbols that give directions.

Don’t Expect To See These At Car Dealerships Real Soon

After researching the cool features and capabilities (such as pre-defined routes and simplicity of the interior design), I think that a self driving car would be fun and beneficial for me. But to my disappointment I read in several publications that these cars will not be available for sale to the public for at another five or more years since it is undergoing more testing by the geeks at Google.

Conclusion

When I told my  ten year old cousin about the possibility of a car that can go around the city without a driver in it, he appeared afraid. And this is the reaction of other Americans according to some technology insiders. However, I see the self driving car as the wave of the future for automobiles and that soon this concept will be embraced my more people. I also know that our state governments will need to give Google the green light on releasing them in their communities and this could be a few years.

Nonetheless, I’m so waiting for future development of artificial intelligence and real world recognition by computers, so one day (imagine that) I can sit in a self driving car, drinking my coffee and talking with my foreigner friends via live video call, displayed on front mirror. Sounds cool, yeah?Finally, I think this car will gradually become mainstream in the future.

Skype’s Real Speech Recognition Hits Pre Beta

Skype's Real Speech Recognition Hits Pre BetaI use Skype all the time when having conversations with my clients and one new thing that Skype came up with recently was real speech recognition features, which I thought was cool. With Skype’s real time speech translation, It will first start off as a beta Windows 8 app and then it will expand to other markets within two years. I then researched this new service further and here is the information I gathered. Skype’s real time speech translation is based on a study from a few years back when researchers from the University of Toronto along with Microsoft developed a method by which a person can talk into a microphone in English and through “artificial brains” , they can recognize your speech and translate it into another language. Basically this is the inspiration for Skype’s new service.

Good For International Clients

A bulk of my clients are based in other countries and even though we use Skype, sometimes it is a challenge to translate or understand what clients say when I correspond with them through the service so I’m excited to find out about Skype’s real time speech translation service because it makes translation easier for me, and since the service may also include text translation I can can work with my clients efficiently. When the official service is released two years from now, it will offer translation in 40 languages, which is good news because I have clients from more than twenty countries currently.

Innovative For Our Time

The collaboration between Microsoft and Skype is innovative in my opinion because this another example of how globalization affects business and other aspects of our culture. A few decades ago people mainly had interpreters and those who worked as translators to communicate with those of other countries but thanks to this kind of technology the world appears smaller than in previous decades since it is easier to translate numerous languages.

This Could Boost More Skype Subscribers

Skype’s collaboration with Microsoft to create the real time speech translation service is beneficial for me and my clients but it will also mean higher revenue for Skype because currently 300 million people worldwide use Skype and once this translation service is available to everyone, I expect a huge increase in new customers for Skype.

Conclusion

Skype is getting ready to become more than just a way for people like me to communicate through video to others within this country and all over the world; now thanks to the real time speech translation services, I can get quick translation of others’ words and they will get translation of what I’m telling them. Geeks will love this service because it allows them to have closer communication with those who speak a different language without the hassle and misunderstandings. I predict that it will be around for a long time and this will forever be etched in our world’s globalization efforts. Skype’s new service gives diversity a whole new exciting meaning and I’m happy about it.

photo credit: Marko Raaphorst

First Impression on LG G3

First Impression on LG G3So I’ve always been a fan of LG phones and when I found out that the new LG G3 smartphone will be released soon, I got excited. Well, it’s weeks later and I now have the LG G3 smartphone, and here are my thoughts on it.

Some Of The Main Specs of The LG G3

My new LG G3 smartphone looks really sleek but it’s not just the aesthetics I love. This phone has a 2,560 by 1,440 display screen which means I’ll be able to see just about anything on the phone without the hassle. In addition to this I’m impressed with the high resolution that goes well with the screen. Another great feature of the LG G3 is the “laser auto focus” and this means that the phone measures the distance of photos you take on the phone using a laser beam. As a geek I love the feature because I’m always taking pictures with a phone. I don’t have to deal with dull and boring pictures ever again.

Smart Keyboard

It seems that so many electronics companies put the word “smart” behind products to make you think that their gadgets are useful and on the cutting edge, but at least with the LG G3, I can say that real smart technology is a part of it. For example, I read my owner’s manual a few days ago and it says that the phone has a “smart keyboard feature”. This feature is designed to reduce typing errors while you use the phone and it does so by analyzing the way you type.

Other Things I Like About The LG G3

The design of the LG G3 also appeals to me and I like the arch design it has as well as the metallic finish and bold colors to choose from. I have the red phone since red is my favorite color. The user interface on the phone is also simpler so it’s not hard for me to navigate around it. The 2GB memory along with the Snapdragon processing system is also a plus and allows for greater speed and storage for me. There is also the built in speaker that I enjoy and this speaker gives out the best sound.

Conclusion

Some people feel that the new LG G3 can’t compete with some of the most popular smartphones on the market but I disagree. Based on the features that this phone has, I believe that this phone will compete well with the current phones on the market. It’s true that the LG G3 doesn’t have the exact capabilities as the other smartphones but overall it works well for me and this is a good option for those who want a different type of smartphone. With this phone I can multitask by pulling up multiple apps at once and the Smart Notice feature recommends certain things to me regarding the phone. How cool and convenient is that? Finally, this phone just looks with my backpack and laptop.

360 Degree HD Camera Is Awesome

360 Degree HD Camera Is AwesomeBeing the digital geek that I am, I always get excited about the latest cameras and camcorders and it is no different with the 360 degree HD camera. This camera allows you to get a panoramic view of different surroundings through capturing photos and videos, and there are also audio capabilities included in this 360 HD camera. You save your photos and videos to a micro SD card and then you upload the card to your computer, and finally you would transfer them to this camera. When I use the camera I’m excited about the images I see from it, and now some of my relatives are hooked on it.

Sharing Your Photos With Others

Since I purchased the 360 degree HD camera, I captured hundreds of panoramic images and I now upload a few of them to Google Maps to friends in certain neighbors. There was an incident when I captured panoramic images of some of the new condos that are being built in my friend’s neighborhood and he couldn’t believe what he saw when I shared the images with him.

Other Aspects of The 360 Degree HD Camera

I like that this camera comes with three lenses and three microphones so that you’ll have efficiency in your recording of video and so that the audio comes out right. I’m also able to stream videos in real time and in fact this is my favorite thing about the 360 degree HD camera. Since my neighborhood has experienced a rise in petty crimes over the past few weeks, I bought a second camera so I can install it near my roof and it serves as excellent surveillance while I’m away from home. I’m enjoying the GPS module in the camera that allows me to geotag my photos or videos.

Pocket Sized

Forget about the bulky HD cameras of the past; the 360 degree HD camera is so small that it can fit in your purse or bookbag. This was another thing that made we want to buy the camera. I don’t have to worry about setting up a tripod in other to record video or take amazing pictures. As an amateur photographer I find this aspect of the camera very useful.

Conclusion

The 360 degree HD camera is one of the best gadgets I purchased this year and it’s easy to see why. I can create videos and take pictures in such a way that it gives me a panoramic view of the things, places and people I capture using this device. I’m impressed with the clarity of the photos and videos and I turned these into a collage that I have in a scrapbook I created. This camera is also waterproof so if it’s raining or if I’m near the pool, the camera will not be destroyed by water splashes. I bought three of these for my relatives and now they’re talking about starting a side gig taking pictures. I’m going to have a great time with my camera over the next few weeks.

photo credit: Kevin Baird

The Pragmatic View on Linux and Windows Differences

The Pragmatic View on Linux and Windows DifferencesWhen you’re trying to compare two things that are so radically different there can be no good comparison, that’s called comparing apples to oranges, or something similar to that. When comparing the differences between the Linux and Windows operating systems for computers, I really can’t tell which one is the apple and which one is the orange. I know neither one is like the other in many ways, so there’s a whole world of difference to cover between the two. Here’s what really stuck out for me.

Linux is More Accessible

In terms of the source code being free for anyone to grab and modify at any time, Linux and its inner workings are far more accessible than what makes Windows tick. However, there’s not much amateur users can accomplish with this increased level of access. For those who don’t know what they’re doing, this can actually be a bad thing, but thankfully I’ve been working with Linux for long enough that I know what to do – and what not to do.

Linux is More Affordable

This is another one that goes without saying. The latest Microsoft operating system usually costs hundreds of dollars fresh out of the box. These costs go down over time and as newer operating systems release, but they tend to hover around the same amount for years after the software’s release. On the other hand, the source code and basic version of Linux are free, as are many of the custom versions created by savvy users. Even those versions of Linux which do come with a cost sell for pennies on the dollar when compared to Windows software.

Windows is Easier

There are countless guides on how to access and implement Linux, but nothing beats the pick-up-and-play capability of most Windows operating systems. If you thought it was hard teaching grandma or grandpa how to use their Windows-operated machine, just imagine if you had been trying to help them understand the intricacies of Linux.

This is only a short list of the very glaring differences between Linux and Windows; there are many aspects not covered here, and I’ll be the first to admit that.

The point of all this is that I was installing Linux for a friend of mine who is a pet groomer on the go, and I had to ask why she didn’t just want Windows like 95% of people. It got me thinking about the differences between the two, and I just started writing, pretty much.

It’s not a bad salary that she makes grooming pets for people, but I’ve been browsing the Net and I just don’t think I could get into that sort of work. I mean, really? Everyone needs to do something, but I couldn’t do this. Even after I looked at the salary information, I still wasn’t impressed.

I mean, yeah, my friend makes more than enough money to live comfortable. But who wants to smell like other people’s dogs all day? Dirty dogs too, I’ll bet, if they’re being taken in for a grooming.

Selling the Stuff: Using Personal Website vs. Service Based Platform

Selling the Stuff Using Personal Website vs. Service Based PlatformThis is a big question that comes up with every budding salesperson when they finally decide to try their hand making money by trading people things they want for cold, hard cash. Should they make their own website, store or other sales medium to broadcast to the buying public, or should they go with a service based platform that already has thousands of users, lots of traffic and plenty of fees to go along with both of those things?

First, you need to realize that you can sell almost anything: from motorcycle boots to handicraft jewelry. The Internet was the marketplace of the future at one time, but that future is here in the present now. Without the overhead costs of rent, heat, electricity, plumbing, employees and more, selling over the Internet is a great way for you or anyone else to make money from home. There’s just one thing to figure out – do you sell over a website of your own creation, or through an established medium?

Using Your Own Website

There are many inherent benefits to operating through your own website. For starters, you can operate without the oversight of some other agency telling you what you can and can’t include in listings. You can supply contact information as well, and that makes forming those personal connections with customers much easier. In addition, you can change or modify a website you own whenever you want, without worrying about someone giving you an allowance to do so.

On the other hand, if you don’t have much design experience, making your own website can be impossibly difficult. You may need to hire professional help to get the job done, and web design isn’t exactly the cheapest thing to buy. Besides investing money, you will need to invest time and other resources to sell through your own website. Perhaps the alternative would be better for you.

Using a Third Party Website

There are benefits to selling through a service like eBay, etsy or Amazon, too. These websites present you with an established platform that many people already know about and use regularly to try and find things they wish to buy. For this great convenience, you can expect some heavy fees, up to 20% of the final sale amount, and that’s just the start.

These big websites have a big name they want to protect and maintain, so they’re going to expect you to act a certain way while using their services. Step out of line once and you’ll probably be suspended for a time; multiple infractions can get you a lifetime ban from some sales sites. If you make your main income through a website like this and that pathway to wealth is suddenly cut off, it can literally destroy you and your business.

See, it’s not just about what you sell, but also about where you sell it. The best thing you could do for your young business is to perform a thorough examination of costs when operating alone vs. costs when operating with a third party, then follow the path which leads to the most profit for you.

How Power Training Makes Women Gorgeous

How Power Training Makes Women GorgeousI enjoy music festivals. Hearing the sounds of various parts of the planet all gathered into one place can be an enlightening experience, to say the least. Sometimes, that enlightenment has relatively little to do with the music being played. For instance, this last time I was checking one out, I happened to run into a pretty buff female bodybuilder, someone who had obviously been at it for a long time, someone who know plenty about lifting weights and physical conditioning.

Naturally, I started off by complimenting her on her powerful physique. In my experience, ladies do enjoy compliments related to their bodies, even if they’re big and buff and not exactly feminine. She explained that it was no small feat to make her body look like it did.What followed was a short but informative conversation between myself, Austin, and the lifter, Jane, about the topic of female bodybuilders.

A: So, how long have you been lifting?

J: It has been a few years now, at least three since I finally decided to commit to working out and being physically fit. It’s not something you can just do part time – you have to be committed to get results out of it.

A: Do you think it’s any more important for you to be training, as a woman, than it is for a man to be fit?

J: Well, no. It is my belief that everyone should take good care of himself or herself, and that most people just don’t do what needs to be done for their physical health. Physical activity and fitness are important for everyone, and not moreso for men, women, the young, the elderly or any other group.

A: Is there any advice you have to offer to people looking to improve their fitness levels?

J: Yes, of course. Willpower is one of the most important parts of any exercise of diet program. You just have to want it, more than you don’t want it. If that doesn’t make sense, then you haven’t been stuck between a need to cut 500 calories out of your day and a big, fat piece of chocolate cake that will never help you to do that.

A: Well, I’ve actually been there before. It’s hard to say no to the things we like, isn’t it?

J: It sure is. There are other limitations on a person too, like the amount of muscle mass they can build, or how strong they are when they just start out exercising. I think women should strength train not just for fitness benefits, but because it can really help curb the bloating, discomfort and pain during a woman’s period. It also helps reduce sagging, wrinkles and other signs of aging, without expensive makeup.

A: That’s not something I’ve heard before. You mentioned limitations a moment ago. How would you get over those?

J: Besides a weak will, there’s one major dilemma for most people when it comes to getting fit – they just don’t have enough protein to build muscle. I would tell anyone who’s exercising and losing weight but failing to build mass that they can increase muscle tone with protein shakes. Here’s a site I often check for information on that.

The Way of an Active Lifestyle

The Way of an Active LifestyleFor too long, I had kept telling myself I would “eventually” get into shape, or I’d start working out “next week”. For too long, that eventually and that next week kept not coming for me, month in and month out, until I finally got tired of it and decided to really do something, just recently. After doing lots of research on the subject of getting fit, I feel like I’m finally ready to put my knowledge into action to improve my state my being. I’ve been looking at both Crossfit training to cover the exercise, and the Paleo Diet to switch up what I’m putting into my body.

Crossfit is like a lot of other exercise programs because it emphasizes getting up and getting active as a means to boost one’s metabolism, lose weight and build muscle. However, Crossfit is very different from most traditional exercise programs because the part of the body being exercise is always up in the air. Various workouts of the day are provided by an instructor or through other resources, and the person doing the exercises will be working their entire body each day, with a few minutes spent on upper, lower, middle, limbs and elsewhere.

It’s also nice because even the longest Crossfit workouts don’t go for more than 30 minutes. It’s not a big demand on time, which makes Crossfit more accessible to busy people. For a good Crossfit training, you need marvelous Crossfit sneakers and a healthy diet plan. You’ll want something that fits well, usually with a sole made from rubber or another non-slip material.

Combining Crossfit training with the Paleo Diet just makes sense to me. If I’m supposed to get up, move around a lot and act like some kind of restless Paleolithic man, then I should eat like one too. Now, don’t get me wrong, it has nothing at all to do with the exercise regimen. Eating minimally processed foods and opting for farm-to-table fare whenever possible is just a good way to stay healthy and avoid introducing toxins like pesticides, fungicides and other poisons into your body.

I got some information about the Paleo Diet over the net, there are plenty of other resources about the subject available for browsing as well. I’ve covered the basic here thoroughly though. Still, that and other websites are good sources for meal plans and other advice. Many using the Paleo Diet complain about bland and tasteless food, so learning how to cook and season things isn’t a bad idea.

What kind of workout or exercise regimen are you using in your life? I welcome questions about this topic, as well as any information viewers may have about alternative exercise programs which work as well as Crossfit. Admittedly, that will probably be hard to do, since Crossfit is working out so well for me and many of the other people who finally decided to try it. If you’ve got something good though, I sure want to hear it.

How to Be Another Person for a Week

How to Be Another Person for a Week

Today I want to tell you about what it’s like to be another person for a week. I’m not talking about living in somebody else’s house, or stealing their identity or anything like that – just making a small change and seeing where it goes. After all, every change you make results in the death of the old you and the rebirth of someone new.

First, I had to find something interesting enough that I wouldn’t just give it up before the week was through. I hit up Google and just started looking for the first thing that really jumped off the page for me. It didn’t take long; I was only looking for about fifteen minutes when I came across an ad for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that seemed to just speak to me.

I had never taken any self-defense classes before, so I was a little intimidated at first. I like to think I know how to handle myself when I get backed into a corner, but more knowledge is never a bad thing, so I decided to try it out for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results of my little endeavor.

Without any ado I quickly ordered a jiu jitsu uniform – fuji gi from amazon after reading few reviews on the internet. Very soon after few classes I quickly learned that Jiu Jitsu isn’t the kind of thing that you can just try for a little while. It’s tough and even cruel sometimes, especially when sparring with someone significantly more skilled; I can’t count the number of times I hit the mat under my feet. But after a few days, I was making others hit the same mat too.

It was surprising how quickly those moves and positions which seemed foreign at first became like reflexes for me.

If I had the opportunity to go back and do it again, would I? Sure I would. It was a lot of fun and also a kind of life changing experience, because it led to other changes in my daily routine too. I started working out more, not really trying to bulk up and look like the Hulk or anything, but slimming down and getting lean.

I’m not gonna say that a week at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu made me into a health nut all of a sudden, because it didn’t. It did help make me a better person overall though.

I’m quite convinced now that everyone should be in some kind of physical fitness class. It doesn’t have to be learning self-defense; it could just be an amateur sports league or running or, well, anything really. The point is getting active, because once you do that, it becomes easier to stay active and keep moving.

I have more energy now than I can remember having in a long time. Not that I’m old or anything like that, but you know how you can just get stuck in a rut where you don’t want to go anywhere or do anything? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has helped me to have fewer moments like that.

How I Won a Trip in to the Ultimate Data Center

What a Data Center isRecently, something that only a modern geek would consider amazing happened to me: I won a ticket to tour a Citrus data center. And I thought it was amazing. So much so that I decided I would dedicate a blog post to what data centers are, what’s inside of one, and their role in modern day society.

What a Data Center is

Modern data centers are basically just large facilities used to store computer systems. These systems are used for any number of purposes, including servers for businesses, providing off-site back up to businesses, and plain old operations architecture, which is the ongoing support and management of all IT services.

Simply put, if you’d like to just think of a data center as a building full of computers that do what computers usually do, you wouldn’t be too far off base.

What’s Inside a Data Center?

Computers of course. Next question? No, I’m kidding. Actually, there’s quite a bit going on inside a data center like Citrus. For one thing, the entire sight is designed to maximize energy efficiency. As you can imagine, data centers can suck a lot of energy, meaning that if they are going to be profitable, they’ve got to be designed to be as efficient as possible. Without going into the details, suffice it to say that every single component inside of a certified data center is made to use power as little and efficiently as possible.

Another great thing you’ll find inside a data center like the one I toured is the people. I know that when most everyone thinks of a data center, they probably think of lines of computers that are working away without any help from anybody. While this is true to an extent, data centers are also full of great, hardworking engineers that make sure the center runs smoothly. Meeting with them was one of my favorite parts of the tour.

The Role of Data Centers

Coming away from the Citrus tour, I really had a newfound appreciation for the role that data centers play in keeping our society running. Literally, almost every large business you could think of has to have them. Have you ever wondered where the 20 billion pages that Google indexes exist? The answer is inside of their data centers. How is Amazon able to run and operate one of the largest stores on the internet? Once again, the answer is the same.

If you look at it, our entire society runs off of two key things: petroleum and computing power. Data centers are what makes the second of these a possibility.

Final Thoughts

Winning a ticket to tour a data center may not seem like the most thrilling thing in the world, but it was a great and enlightening experience that I wouldn’t trade if I could. Data centers really are one of the main components that keep modern day society running smoothly, and I hope this post has helped to shed a little light on their unknown roles.

photo credit: Intel Free Press

Meeting With My Blog Fans BBQ Time

BBQ PartyHey everyone! Last saturday I held a BBQ at my home in celebration of the blog’s anniversary. My good friend and frequent blogger Josh was at the event and he played a ton of Nirvana tunes on his guitar, which everyone liked. The BBQ menu included juicy and thick steaks, barbecue chicken thighs with my special raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce, grilled shrimp, grilled bratwurst sausages, and turkey burgers for a healthy flair. I’m now going to write about the conversations I had with my blog fans over delicious food. We used a Smoke Hollow 30162E Electric Smoker from http://www.smokerjudge.com and some of the fans liked the geeky smoking equipment from DIY TV show :)

Discussions About Computers and Linux

At the barbecue one of the fans, Melanie, talked about her iPad quite a bit and how she likes this better than a laptop or desktop computer. She showed me the many financial literacy apps that give her advice on everything from from how to budget for family vacations to how to prepare for retirement as soon as you get your first job out of college. She also has this extensive music playlist on her iPad from iTunes and most of the music is grunge rock. Another fan, Bertrand, talked with me about how he likes to use Linux on his computer and how it helps him perform a variety of tasks.

Google’s Mega Takeover

Some of the fans at the barbecue also discussed the latest news concerning Google’s growing empire. Dannielle, a blog fan, talked about the self driving cars from Google and she mentioned that she would feel uncomfortable driving them because should something go wrong with the built in GPS system and motion sensors inside the cars, an accident may occur. Another person talked about how he just purchased a pair of Google glasses and that these glasses are helpful for him as the manager of a retail outlet. I mentioned that Google is probably going to get into other industries such as home appliances and even NASA technology soon.

Heavy Metal Music

Josh may have been playing grunge music from Nirvana but my blog fans and I were discussing heavy metal music. Andrew is fanatical about Metallica and he owns both their recent and much older albums. Patrick talked with me about how the arena rock scene in the 70s was a forerunner to heavy metal and I would agree with his observation. He said that groups such as Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin as well as Genesis (prior to Phil Collins’ sleek and sappy sound with the group) all had some of the dark and at times melancholic nature of what we now call heavy metal.

Conclusion

As a blogger I want to do more than just inform my readers about the latest technology and other topics; I also want to invite them into my world on a personal level and this is why I hosted a barbecue in my yard for the fans who live in my area.

 

 

The Geek’s New Bike: Meet Visiobike

The Geek's New Bike Meet VisiobikeWhile talking to a fellow geek friend at a local fast food joint, he told me about this cool bike called the Visiobike and on the inside of the bike you’ll find a Panasonic lithium ion battery. The Visiobike operates on a 5.1 electric motor and you have the choice of either the bike that runs on 250 watts or on 500 watts. The pedals on this bike run smoothly and they go between 15 and 20 miles per hour, which is good for many bike riders who want to ride on an electric bike long term. I like the fact that I can ride up to 100 kilometers in distance before it’s time to recharge the battery and I was also pleased that once I charge the battery I can ride my bike for three to four hours. I always valued a sustainable lifestyle and with the Visiobike, I can live this way on the go everyday. In addition to this my Visiobike powers my smartphone and there is an app with the bike that lets me check my battery and get directions to places where I need to be.

Theft Proof And Helpful In Accidents

Another cool thing about my Visiobike is that it comes with motion sensors that alerts me via text message when my bike is being tampered with while I’m in a building or at home and the GPS feature on this bike helps me find out the where this bike may have been taken. In addition, if I get into an accident this bike captures the first few images so that I can assess what happened.

Comfortable To Ride On

The Visiobike may be lightweight and sleek, but it doesn’t take away from the comfort level. I liked the padding on this bike and I can go for two to three hours without feeling uncomfortable. The handlebars on this bike are also really comfortable and it is nice overall.

All In One Bike

The Visiobike is an all in one bike that not only powers your smartphone but helps keep track of it if it gets stolen and the battery lasts an adequate amount of time. This bike also doesn’t break down easily and it can last for many years. I told my friend that I am definitely will purchase the bike and he told me that he gonna borrow it from me every few weeks.

Conclusion

The Visiobike is an excellent bike for those interested in green living since it’s electric in nature but apart from that it operates just like most bikes. It is not hard to maintain and you can ride long distances on it, which is why I bought it. As a geek I’m always on the lookout for different innovative gadgets and I’m glad I discovered this bike. I no longer have to keep the smartphone in my pocket while on a bike because the Visiobike allows me to power the phone. Finally, the bike looks somewhat stylish but not very fancy, which is my kind of bike.

photo credit: Pedal_Power_Pete

My Mad-Scientist Friend’s Indoor Garden

Myles Grow RoomA week ago I visited my good friend Myles and he was tending to his indoor garden, which is in the upstairs basement. I looked at the blue and green grow lights right above his tomato and basil plants and he showed me seed packets for other crops he’ll grow in the future such as green onions, garlic and parsley. He also installed a hydrophonic system in the basement and this keeps the indoor garden going strong for days and even weeks. He got creative and used empty milk cartons and old milk crates to plant the vegetables in and he used organic potting soil since he grew organic vegetables in the indoor garden.

LED Grow Lights

As Myles and I discussed while standing  in the indoor garden, he talked about how he loves to use LED grow lights for the indoor garden. When I asked where he got all those lights from he said that finding the right LED grow lights is not that simple and recommended to check out http://plantozoid.com for reviews and guides on grow lights that he used himself when he was looking for LED grow lights for his indoor grow room. He said that LED grow lights do not give off too much heat that may destroy the plants unlike the regular grow lights. LED grow lights also burn adequate amounts of energy without running up the electricity bill each month and these lights can be moved in any direction that works the best for the plants to grow.

About Ideal Indoor Plants

I know I can save money on buying produce and flowers by growing my own but I don’t have a huge backyard so I asked Myles which were the best indoor plants to grow. Myles told me that poinsettias are red and ideal for Christmas, and that these plants are not hard to grow indoors. He also said that I can grow ferns and fresh herbs such as basil, thyme and oregano. I received a book from him that pertains to indoor gardening for beginners.

He Even Has Names For The Plants

The funny thing about my visit to Myles’s indoor garden is that he has pet names for some of his plants. For his cucumber plant, he gave it the name Julia after his great-grandmother who always preserved cucumbers and sold them during the year to her neighbors. He called his cacao bean plant Antioxidant because dark chocolate contains antioxidants and he wants to create his own line of real unprocessed chocolate bars one day. He named his garlic plant Italiana because whenever he thinks of Italian food, he thinks of the widespread use of garlic in those recipes.

His Indoor Garden Was Inexpensive To Start

Myles started his indoor garden in an inexpensive way and he obtained funds for the garden by applying for grants through local environmental nonprofit organizations that seek to promote sustainable living among Montreal residents. Myles received close to $15,000 in funds and he used all of them to build the indoor garden in his basement. None of the funds came out of his own pocket and he took advantage of sales online and at garden supply stores. In conclusion, I was impressed with Myles’s hard work in building and maintaining the indoor garden.

photo credit: Rachael & Zane Ross