понедельник, 25 января 2010 г.
Knowing the weather might not be crucial if you live a pretty comfortable life in the city, but those who spend a whole lot of time in the great outdoors might find it to be an essential survival tool, knowing the kind of upcoming weather will greatly affect how far one travels, and you are better able to make the necessary arrangements before the big one this. The Weather Station Key Ring does just that, being close to you wherever you are.
This amazing survival tool combines time, temperature, weather forecast, humidity and moon phase onto its easy-to-read display; it also adds an alarm clock, calendar, compass and LED flashlight. A must-have for campers, hikers, or anyone who needs to know the forecast at a glance. Includes batteries and a large key carabiner.
Of course, it would be cooler to see solar-power incorporated in this $24.95 device as well since you never know when its batteries might run out of juice. If this was built to be tough, that would be even better.
пятница, 15 января 2010 г.
With a barrage of fly-by-night VoIP service providers popping up daily, business owners are having an increasingly difficult time sifting through the mess to find a legit service. With this in mind, I’ve decided to create a quick and easy checklist so when it comes time for you to choose the right hosted VoIP provider you know what to look for.
1. Make Sure Voice Quality, Is “Business Voice Quality.”
Many companies out there, ourselves included, have put serious time and money into developing and refining call-handling architecture in-house to cut out jitter, echoes, and the other disruptions. Today, a hosted VoIP provider can easily deliver the same type of call quality as a premise based system or the public telephone network. Before committing to a hosted service, make sure you confirm that the call quality is up to your standard. The best ways to do this are to take a test call using their service or to ask a current customer about their experience with the product.
2. Double Check the Feature Offering
One of hosted VoIP’s big draws is the range of features offered. Here are some features that should come standard with your system:
- 3-Way Calling
- Call Transfer
- Hold Music
- Do Not Disturb
- Speed Dial
- Off-Hook Call Placement
- Call Mute
- Distinctive Rings
3. What Additional Perks are Offered By the Service?
Many hosted VoIP services have additional perks. These usually come in the form of added features and services, which, depending on the service, can come at no extra cost to you. Here are some perks to keep an eye out for.
- Unified Voice & Fax Messaging: Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a single phone number for both voice and fax. How about if you could send all voicemails and fax messages as email attachments to the addresses of your choice and access everything through email or an online control panel? There are services out there that provide these unified communications capabilities at no extra charge.
- Outlook Integration: Make sure your hosted VoIP service integrates with Outlook. This will save you time and you’ll love the easy to use click to dial feature.
- Recorded Calls: Can your hosted service record some or all of the calls you receive? With this feature you can cut down on taking notes, improve quality control, and review disputes..
- Advanced ACD & Call Queue: Advanced automatic call distribution allows you to choose how your calls are forwarded, including round-robin, simultaneous, least-time, and skills-based distributions, while advanced call queue lets you better control calls during peak hours. Some services offer these capabilities, allowing you to better manage call volume and get calls in the appropriate peoples’ hands.
- Internet Control Panel: Hosted VoIP phone service runs over the internet, so why wouldn’t you have the benefit of an Internet control panel to manage things like call routing features, voice and fax messages, call reports, account information, and more. Make sure your hosted provider gives you this level of access, you and your employees will enjoy being able to easily manage voicemail and change personal settings online.
- Visual Call Reports: These reports allow you to clearly see everything taking place on your business phone system at anytime. With this feature you’ll be able to generate, filter, and export detailed call reports online with easy-to-read spreadsheets and graphs. You’ll also be able to view a display of which employees are logged into their phones and be able to listen in on live calls. A select group of providers offer these features, make sure it’s part of your service.
- Voicemail Transcription: This technology is coming onto the scene fast! Imagine being able to convert your voicemail messages to text and deliver them to your email or mobile phone. This is a great feature, but not every provider offers it, make sure to ask!
4. Is the Service Compatible with the Right Phone?
There are a variety of phones that work with hosted VoIP service, some are obviously better than others. We’ve always found Polycom to be a top notch VoIP phone. Make sure that the phone you want to use works with the service you are interested in purchasing.
5. How is their Customer Service?
When you’re using a hosted provider customer service is key. Remember, you’re not going to have someone onsite to help you troubleshoot issues, so you’re going to want to have access to a qualified representative over the phone. Make sure your hosted VoIP provider prides themselves on customer service, because if something does go wrong, you want to make sure there is someone available to get you back on track.
6. Finally, How Much Does it Cost?
You can’t shop a hosted VoIP provider on just price alone, the saying that, “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. At the same time, you need something that fits within your budget. Make sure you pick a product that is not too cheap, and at the same time does not seem overly expensive after you have evaluated the complete product offering. The good news is that you will undoubtedly be saving money once you switch to VoIP. Remember, a professional phone system tells customers they are dealing with a professional business. You’re going to want a hosted VoIP service that makes your company shine. When picking a hosted provider, make sure the provider fits your company.
PC Magazine recently tested a number of VoIP solutions designed for the home and small business. There’s no doubt that VoIP can be a money-saving alternative, but finding the right solution - the best solution - can be tough. Here’s a sampling of their picks:
- Best for Home: YMax magicJack
- Good Ready-to-Use Solution: Microsoft Response Point
- Good Serviceable and Scalable Solution: Avaya Quick Edition/Netgear Voice over IP
- Good Pricing: RingCentral
четверг, 14 января 2010 г.
How to buy the best computer is a question that almost all of us face at frequent intervals of time. It is but natural that people replace their computers, every couple of years or so. The problems, along with the question, "how to buy the best computer?" arise when you need to make a choice from among the numerous brands that are on offer. With increasing competition, there are offers galore available right now in the market when it comes to computers. It is in this scenario that choosing the right one may seem a daunting task. It need not be so if you were to do your homework properly.
It is important that you do thorough research of the various brands available in the market. Make sure that you ask some hard questions and take a real close look at the quote, particularly the fine print. You should look carefully for clauses which talk about a return policy, repairs and shipping costs, to mention only a few. You need to make sure that you understand what you are getting into before you make a choice. You should never make the mistake of taking the salesman's word to be final. After all, they are paid to do that and it is their job to promote a particular brand. It is you, after assimilating all the information that needs to make the right decision.
How to buy the best computer need not be a perplexing question, if you were to do your research thoroughly. Make sure that you enquire with multiple dealers. This will help you make a comparative analysis of the features, as well as the price. You can narrow down your choice this way and finally arrive at the right choice. Once you follow these steps, you no longer need to wonder how to buy the best computer and instead make a decision with all the confidence in the world.
I got a chance to try out the Wikireader that we reported on earlier, and I will have to say that I am now the know-it-all. I’ve become like Cliff Claven from Cheers, who seems to know all the useless facts in the universe, and comes off as amazingly annoying.
The Wikireader by Openmoko is a device with a tiny black-and-white screen that uses 2 AAA batteries that are included. It requires no internet connection as all the 3 million entries are inside.
There are no illustrations, and the touchscreen allows for scrolling. Scrolling up and down creates a blurry effect that makes it easy to lose your place. Find out after the jump how Cyber Monday got its name.
I found that the information seemed up to date, but only for a little while. I checked the most recent history, and yes, Michael Jackson is dead. Perhaps I should spend the $29 a year and get the latest version, just like printed encyclopedias have to be updated each year.
Even if you don’t get updates, there is some information that won’t change. It makes the Wikireader perfect for learning more about your favorite subjects. In fact, there is even a random button to spew out a random fact when it is pressed. Think of it as channel surfing an encyclopedia.
The touchscreen is about as good as the iPhone touchpad, and it was perfect for me to find out this fact about Cyber Monday.
The term “Cyber Monday” is a neologism invented by Shop.org, part of the U.S. trade association National Retail Federation. It was first used within the ecommerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined based on research showing that 77% of online retailers reported a significant increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004. In late November 2005, the New York Times reported that “The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”
If you are looking for a good $99 stocking stuffer, this could be it.