Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New Year

.Happy Solar New Year! Our offices will be closed until 2018.

Friday, December 29, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

Parallels started life as a one-trick pony, a utility for speakers of
a minority language–Mac–to translate from the majority
language–Windows. The Parallels on display at Pepcom’s
Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco on October 28 has grown
into a Swiss Army Knife of utilities for both platforms. Parallels
still runs Windows programs and apps within the Mac environment.
But it does a whole lot more.

Windows natives will be particularly impressed. The major tools
in the Parallels Toolbox for Windows are:
Archive: Create compressed archives from your files to save
space or easily share files
Block Camera: Block the built-in camera
Capture Area: Take a screenshot of a part of the screen
Capture Screen: Take a screenshot of the entire screen and save
in different formats (PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF and GIF)
Capture Window: Take a screenshot of a single window
Convert Video: Convert many video types to MP4 so they can be
played on phones and tablets
Do Not Disturb: Disable notifications and animations that would
interrupt your work or presentation
Do Not Sleep: Prevent the computer from going to sleep
Download Video: Download video from the Internet to the computer
Eject Volumes: Eject all external hard drives, memory cards,
network volumes and mounted disk images with one click
Hide Desktop: Hide icons on the desktop for clutter-free presentations
Lock Screen: Lock screen to prevent unauthorized access
Launch: Open several items—such as applications, folders, links
or other files—all at once with just one click
Mute Microphone: Mute the computer’s microphone
Record Area: Record video from a selected area on the screen
Record Audio: Record audio from the microphone
Record Screen: Record video of the entire screen
Record Window: Record video from a single window
Take Photo: Take photos immediately using the PC’s camera

For Mac users, the Parallels Installation Assistant will automatically
install a Windows 10 demo into a virtual machine (VM) with a single
mouse click. (Windows users might wonder why it’s so much harder
for them.)
The OS can be purchased later without losing data or installed
Buy and automatically install Windows 10 from Microsoft
Add an existing copy of Windows
Move their PC to their Mac
Operate in Full Screen mode or make Windows invisible
(Coherence mode), and launch Windows apps from the Mac Dock,
Launch Pad or Windows Start Menu
MacTouch Bar integration for Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and
PowerPoint, as well as browsers including Internet Explorer, Microsoft
Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera
Using the Windows Start Menu or Desktop, Parallels Desktop 13
features Taskbar pinned elements, along with Cortana, Task View
and settings in the Touch Bar
Windows applications that run in Parallels Desktop can be
customized with Touch Bar actions
Mac Dock doesn’t limit favorite contacts in the People Bar and
enables larger photos.
More Productivity Tools
Picture-in-Picture (PiP) View
Coherence mode (Windows is invisible while using Windows apps
on a Mac)
Full Screen mode, and Window mode (Windows in a window in

Thursday, December 28, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

The idea behind Spire is that your breathing controls your
mood, mind, and ability to focus. And you can control your
breathing. Unlike devices that are first and foremost step
counters that operate in the background, the Spire app
brings breathing to the foreground on the screen of your
phone screen or other device so that you can do something
about it in the moment. Furthermore, whether you’re “active”
or sedentary, you’re always breathing. The Spire cues wearers
about stressors–a snarky boss, a slow grocery store line, fill in
your list here . . .

Clip the little gizmo to a belt or bra strap if you have one of
those. The idea is to keep it close to your trunk. The Spire app c
ategorizes breathing patterns as Calm, Tense, or Focused and
sends notifications about sudden changes so that you can do
something about them even before they take over. Once attached
to your clothing, at less than an ounce the tracker becomes pretty
much invisible, so knowing that it’s washer-machine-proof might
reduce your laundry stress.
Like so many devices with medical implications, the Spire is
available to the general public. Package offers make bulk
purchases less costly and encourage the family, however
defined, to “play” together. The website also offers a Professional
section, with both bulk sales and suggestions for use in
counseling and similar settings.

Just because the world around you is going nuts doesn’t mean
that you have to go with it. Spire is a common enough term in
English that you might appreciate knowing that the website is might reduce your stress in shopping.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Norton by Symantec

By Bayle Emlein

Norton and Symantec are among the many names on products
that have evolved as far from their roots as your iPhone is from
Alexander Graham Bell. At Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in
San Francisco on October 28 Norton by Symantec showcased
Norton Core, a secure, high-performance Wi-Fi router for the
connected home.  Norton Core was built specifically with smart
homes in mind. It is a secure WiFi router that helps protect home
networks - and an unlimited number of connected devices,
including computers and mobile devices –against malware, viruses,
hackers, and cybercriminals.  With network packet inspection
combined with intelligence from a global threat database, Core
can help block threats before they infiltrate a home network.

In addition to strong security Norton Core offers customizable
parental controls. Daily internet usage limits for each child,
filters for accessible content, and a pause button are some of the
features parents may want to use. It’s also easy to set up a secure
guest network that is time delimited. Time can be extended if the
visitors stay longer than planned; or just let the guest network
When a customer buys a Norton Core, a complimentary
subscription plan that covers an unlimited number of connected
personal devices is included. If the Norton Core Security Plus
subscription is not renewed, Norton Core will continue to function
as a router. However, all network, IoT and device level security, as
well as parental control features, will no longer be available.
Of course, all these features can be managed via a smartphone app,
from anywhere.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day to all. We should be back in the office tomorrow.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas to all

Our offices will be closed to allow everyone to enjoy the Christmas
Holiday with their family and friends.We’ll be back next week

Friday, December 22, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

UnGlue recognizes that screen time is a part of life, even
before kids start school. The unGlue app for both Android
and iOS helps parents set limits, help kids learn to control
and budget their screen time, and learn to balance screen
time with other aspects of life. Simply parsing them out helps
kids become aware that there is more to life.

The unGlue team suggests that parents work with each
child to define the areas of life to be addressed and how
to value them in terms of the screen and internet time that
kids value. It’s sort of like negotiating salary or a pay raise.
While the unGlue app cannot check that the dishes are
done, and really clean, or that your room is cleaned up
to specified standards, if task completion is misrepresented,
parents have the option of shutting down WiFi and/or
internet access. The Steps 4 Time feature does actually
count and report steps taken. Parents learn to set boundaries,
rather than barriers. Kids learn that choices have
consequences and how to control results that matter to them.
For many kids, the parent/child interpersonal interaction
becomes entwined with activities of daily living. Using an
app can take the scolding out of helping kids grow into
responsible adults. UnGlue makes the process objective
and easy for both parent and child.
Getting nagged about a hot new device for the holidays?
Making it come with UnGlue could help both you and the
recipient get more value. Excuse me while I go check the
unGlue website to see if there is a feature that limits
Facebook and cat video time.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

NETGEAR®, Inc., featured their growing array of networking
devices that power today’s smart home and small- and medium-
sized businesses at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San
Francisco on October 28. Growing the family of switching
products, they featured this new also showcased flagship
products from their diverse lineup of WiFi routers and Arlo
security system offerings.

Nighthawk routers continue to advance the leading edge of
WiFi coverage. They limit dead zone and dropped connections
with the newest and fastest WiFi. High-performance active
antennas to give full coverage everywhere on your network.
A powerful processor optimizes user experience on each
device--phone, security camera, 4K TV, et. al., without suffering f
rom buffering or lag.
The NETGEAR Orbi Home WiFi System makes it easy to
manage the entire network from a single interface on your
Android or iOS phone. This can include pausing device
access to the internet (maybe you suspect a problem or a
need for enhanced parental control). Get the system that
matches your needs: An Orbi WiFi System (RBK50) AC3000
provides up to 5,000 square feet of WiFi coverage and works
with Amazon Alexa; Orbi WiFi System (RBK40) AC2200 covers
up to 4,000 square feet; Orbi WiFi System (RBK30) AC2200
covers up to 3,500 square feet. With the holidays coming up,
the ease of setting up separate internet access for guests can
make the visit more fun. No more needing to reset passwords
as soon as the party is over.
The Arlo home security system features HD video quality,
two-way audio, live streaming, free cloud recording, instant
alerts. Arlo smart security cameras let you keep watch from
any angle, indoors and out, day and night. Arlo Bayb cam
starts the connected generation with the ability to monitor in
darkness, record and play back your voice and other soothing
sounds, and report to your smartphone whether or not that
noise in the baby’s room was crying. And it’s cute.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

I wish I had one of these. You wish I had one of these, because
then I could rise above the crowd and take truly awesome,
clear, well-framed pictures.

The AirSelfie comes under the category of “drone,” though
with a flight time of about three minutes, by the time you’ve
got it positioned to snap a photo, it’s more like a virtual Selfie
Stick. You control this 61 gram (2.15 ounce) with an app
from your smartphone. At 67.4 millimeter (2.7 inch) by 94.5
mm (3.7 in) by 10.6mm (.42 in), it fits easily into most hands,
pockets, and handbags.  
AirSelfie is the lightest, thinnest, flying camera integrated in
your phone cover. Making it wonderfully portable. After each
three-minute flight, you can slip it back into the phone cover
accessory that doubles as a charger for up to 20 cycles,
giving about an hour of total air time. The AirSelfie can also
be charged via a USB cable. The  5 MP video camera sends
pictures directly back to that phone, ready to become instant
social media.
The rules about operating this device in various kinds of
airspace are a bit unclear. They seem to vary according to
location and date. So it’s up to each user to find out what
can and can’t be done from venue to venue. But we’d all
be happier if this 1498.6mm reporter could get eye-level
with the displays where IoT Group’s AirSelfie flew around
Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco this October.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


By Bayle Emlein

Pepcom’s annual Holiday Spectacular in San Francisco marks
the perfect occasion to start shopping for the holidays and for
developing opportunities for blatant hinting. This year
Plantronics chose to show-case its lineup of travel, fitness,
and gaming headsets available for the holiday season.

The new BackBeat FIT portfolio of wireless listening that is
geared to active sports without sacrificing style or comfort.
Water and sweat resistant, the BackBeat FIT 300 Series of
earbuds stay put and provide immersive sound for workouts
indoors or out. The BackBeat FIT 500 Series offers the same
engulfing experience in an over-the-ear format. Memory foam
earcups that block out noise without while ensuring that
you’ll be happy wearing them for the whole 18 hours of their
battery life.
BackBeat FIT Training Edition and BackBeat FIT Boost Edition
each feature an exclusive partnership with the PEAR Personal
Coach App. The Boost adds an IPX5-rated water-resistant
charging pouch to the BackBeat FIT Training Edition. The
charging pouch gives up to 10 additional hours of listening
time. A touch-sensitive battery meter shows the status of the
headphones and pouch.
For the person who wants the same level of comfort and
environmental noise blocking at work, the Voyager series can
be managed with the optional Plantronics Manager Pro service,
which helps evaluate sound quality and effectiveness of calls.
The Voyager 8200 UC includes four “beam-forming” microphones:
two to detect and amplify the speaker’s voice and two more to
detect and block environmental noise, creating the Voyager
family’s business-grade audio experience. That equals
crystal-clear call quality, in a boomless form-factor. Enhanced
voice alerts, and up to 24 hours of listening time and a
wireless range of up to 98 feet (30 meters) from supported
Class 1 Bluetooth® devices add value to the Voyager 8200
UC as a work or play companion.