A Simple Introduction on Setting Up a Smart Home

Many Singaporeans already utilize some level of integration into smart homes. But it really is a whole different experience controlling your lights, TV, and aircon with just your voice! Now, more and more people are starting to set up their smart homes. If you want to get on the hype train, here are some things you need to know first.

The smart assistant

When setting up a smart home, the first step is to get the main voice assistant. There’s Google Assistant, Siri for Apple, and Alexa for Amazon. These are basically the devices you speak to when you give voice commands. Because Android devices typically dominate in Asia, Google Assistant should be one of your first choices.

In America, on the other hand, more people choose to use Alexa for their smart homes. Either way, this is one of the first things you should focus on. Do your research regarding these different products to find out which one will be the best for you.

Smart speaker

These assistants are usually already a feature of smart speakers. Smart speakers, as the name suggests, deliver audio content from your media library or even other platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Or when you ask for a recipe, your smart assistant will also dictate the instructions through those speakers.

Smart lights

Too tired to get out of bed and switch the lights off, well, this won’t be a problem anymore once you’re done setting up your smart home. You can simply use your phone or issue a vocal command to your assistant and voila, you can switch your lights on or off without standing up.

When installing smart lights though, you’ll have to change what you already have in your home. If you think your lights are still fully functional or you just don’t intend on spending money there, you can opt for smart light switches instead.

Security system

You can also get smart locks that will allow you to lock your doors with your phone. This can be especially advantageous because you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys. You can also integrate cameras, doors sensors, and even a siren for better security as well. You can even set up a doorbell camera system too so that you can see who’s at the door without having to go out anymore.

Do I need the internet?

Most, if not all smart devices are controlled with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In essence, you do need the internet for your smart assistant. And because the smart assistant is where you issue commands, the internet is all the more necessary. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to turn on your lights or adjust the aircon temperature without it.

How Blue Light from Devices Hurts Your Eyes

While everybody already knows that too much exposure to sunlight and air pollution can affect us and it’s sometimes just better to stay indoors, not many people really understand that the same indoor environment can also be damaging to the skin and eyes.

This is because of blue light, which more studies are showing to be responsible for creating free radicals that can harm both skin and eyes much like ultraviolet light.

And because nearly all of our workdays are spent exposed to signficant amounts of it, the effects can compound and result in significant damage over time. But what exactly is blue light, and how exactly can it damage you?

Photodamage and Blue Light

Blue light is the light on one end of the visible spectrum that has the shortest wavelength, with yellow and red lights on the other end of that spectrum and having the longest wavelengths.

However, blue light has a really high energy, giving it the name “high-energy visible” light. This high-energy light usually comes from sunlight, but it can also come from the screens of different devices, such as computers and smartphones, as well as fluorescent lights commonly used in offices.

Negative Effects of Blue Light

While our eyes are capable of blocking out ultraviolet light, it’s not as good at blocking blue light. This means that it can have some pretty bad effects after exposure to significant amounts over time, such as the following:

  • It increases the risk of eye strain
  • It contributes to macular and retinal degeneration
  • It can cause uneven skin pigmentation

Reducing Blue Light Exposure

Keep in mind that not all blue light is bad, however – more studies are also showing that a certain amount of it is essential for good health. In fact, in the right levels, it can boost alertness as well as help with memory and cognitive functions.

What makes it bad is too much exposure, so the best thing you can do is to limit your exposure when you can in order to reduce the harmful effects that it can have. You can limit your exposure to blue light by using two things:

  • Using blue light filters on your devices – The good news is that there are now more devices that include a feature that filters the blue light emitted from the screen, especially in the case of smartphones and tablets. You can even have physical filters installed for your phones and computers installed for this purpose.
  • Investing in protective eyewear – Special pairs of glasses dedicated for use around computers have yellow lenses in order to decrease the wavelength of blue light, and they are usually available without a specific eyeglass prescription.

Introducing the 3D Computer Cursors  

 

3D is the new black not only here in Singapore but around the world. When we hear 3D, we usually think of a movie or a video game. Actually, 3D is much more than that because it has other applications. Before anything else, we should know what 3D means. 3D means three-dimensional space.

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In science and technology, 3D refers to computer graphics, stereoscopy, 3D modelling, 3D scanning, 3D printing, 3D rendering and 3D projection. For consumers, 3D makes life more interesting. So, what’s new with 3D?

Scientists at the University of Montreal moved one step forward in 3D technology. Scientists are now developing techniques that will enable computer cursors to interact in 3D. According to the lead researcher, the new technology defies the notion of the function of cursor.

Cursors refer to a mark on our computer screen that shows the place where information is being read or entered. Researchers now utilize cursor for controlling and drawing plane. The researchers call this Hyve-3D system and 3D cursor through Hydridlab Inc., a startup company.

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The technique of using a cursor was revealed at SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles. The cursor does not only cater sketching but it can also be useful to different fields like medical imaging, architectural design and computer games.

For others who are in the field of dimensional projection, this is good news. With this, things like navigating, modifying and manipulating objects and creations will be easier for the artists and the designers.

The cursor is not yet available in the market but soon it will be. We will have to wait and see.

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Facebook Breached EU Law  

 

Almost everyone here in Singapore has a Facebook account. Facebook is a platform for socialization and its influence transcends through territories and time. Although there are Singaporeans who do not consider Facebook for security reasons, more and more people sign up in Facebook.

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Facebook is facing an obstacle because there was a study showing that it is tracking users using cookies which breaches European Union privacy law. Belgian Data Protection Agency commissioned groups of researchers from Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography Department and Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT of the University of Leuven.

It revealed that Facebook tracks the browsing of everyone who visits a specific page on its site even if users do not have an account or selected the tracking. The issue spins around the use of Facebook’s plugins such as “Like” button. “Like” button is imbedded on more than thirteen million sites including government sites.

Facebook imbeds tracking cookies when users visit any sites within the Facebook.com domain. When users visit third party sites, the cookies will be sent back to Facebook even if the users do not directly interact with the “Like” button.

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According to EU law, consent should be given before distributing a cookie or other tracking tools unless it is necessary for the network to provide such. Furthermore, the law also requires websites (including Facebook) to notify their users on the first visit to their site that it is using cookies and needed consent from the users.

Cookies are a small file attacked on the computer of the users by a website that specifically stores the settings and prior activities. Singaporeans are not particularly fond of cookies. Knowing this, it is important that we learn how to protect our data from sites.

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8 Apple Watch Apps to Download Now!

 

Now that your Apple Watch is here, for sure you’ll never be looking into wearing any of your older watches again. However, before you start flaunting your new watch, load it up first with these cool free apps.

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1. ESPN – ESPN for Apple Watch brings the latest news and live scoring of your favourite teams to your wrist. It also gives you updates on player stats and lets you know which team is up at halftime.

2. Uber – With this app, you can see any nearby cabs, book a ride, check booking status, and even see who your driver is and what car to expect.

3. Citi Mobile Lite – Citi is among the first banks to launch an Apple Watch version of its app. This app allows you to check your current savings and credit card balances, as well as your most recent purchases. You will also be notified for every transaction made with your card.

4. Twitter – Twitter app for Apple Watch brings your 140-character messaging to your wrist. It doesn’t only let you send and receive messages, but also compose tweets using voice command, as well as retweet and favourite tweets.

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5. Instagram – The Apple Watch version this app allows you to browse your stream, receive notifications, like photos, and post comments with emojis on photos. Just make sure to put your reading glasses on.

6. RunKeeper – With RunKeeper, you can keep track of your pace and the distance of your run, as well as adjust your training interval. Whether you’re a professional runner or just someone who jogs for fitness purposes, this app is essential for you.

7. Lifesum – This app stores all your health reminder and tips on your wrist. With Lifesum, you can easily check your daily activities, get reminders to drink more water and move around, see how much calories left to burn, and keep a record of the food you eat each day.

8. Citymapper – If you like exploring new places, you’ll need this app in your Apple Watch. Citymapper lets you know when the next train or bus arrives, broadcasts service disruptions, and informs you which stop to hop off to get to your destination.

There are a whole lot of functional and entertaining apps available for the new Apple Watch. These are just a few we think are the most useful for every Apple Watch user out there.

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Outshining Other Beat Makers

In Singapore, there are only a small number of people who appreciate the beauty of making beats. One example of a beat is the hip hop beat which is very difficult to do. Hip hop beats are too complex that only imaginative and creative minds can do. There are also beats that can be easily learned by people. However, this cannot be achieved in just one snap. You need to familiarize the music first and then determine its tone and all other aspects to perfectly perform a beat.

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There are beat makers online that enables you to create a bunch of beat. It depends on what tune would you like to create. If you are a beat lover and you want to have a beat that is perfect for you, don’t waste your time on recording studios because there are beat makers online that creates a specific beat – A one-of-a-kind beat that you can say that it is made by you. As simple as it seems, beat plays a vital role in music. Although it is difficult to make, it can still make anyone rich. Beat is marketable. In music industry, beat is considered as one of the biggest money-makers. For beat makers, they must have the excellent talent and skills with additional creativity and patience.

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There is no beat maker who can surpass the wave in music industry if he doesn’t have a quality to be a beat maker. A beat maker must have complete qualities to compete other beat makers. Talents and skills are always important but when a beat maker is bagged with knowledge, it makes him an extra-ordinary beat maker (credits to online beat makers).

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Music in Singapore: Different Drum in a Drum Set

Drum is one of the most popular instruments in the world. It plays a vital role in bands and orchestra. This kind of instrument is very loud and powerful. It can make your head bang. It is really a fantastic instrument that makes your feet stamp. As being said, drums are fun; however, it needs talent and skills to be a good drummer. Moreover, you have to undergo training that may take months or even years before you can master the beat.

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Like any other instruments, drums can be difficult to learn. It is not just a plain hitting with the stick. But if you are patient enough to learn how to play the drums, there are online tutorial on the internet. They provide easy-to-understand steps that will enable an individual to easily learn drumming.

Online tutorial or called the online beat makers tells everyone who wants to learn that playing drums is not difficult. There are different kinds of drums in a drum set that is why it is not easy to play a drum. One is the bass drum. It is this big drum that makes a booming sound and is located near the ground. It is controlled by a foot using the foot-pedal. Another is the Snare drum.

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This is usually located to the left side of the drummer that makes a crisp sound. Cymbals are also part of a drum set. It is round in shape that makes the tingling sound.. There are also different types of cymbal used and these are the high-hat, the ride, the splash, and the crash. Last is the China cymbal. This is not a common cymbal but it is part of a drum set which makes a trashy sound.

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