Boogie Board is a different and popular tablet

Kent Displays, the company that makes the Boogie Board tablet, is getting more VC money and is hiring 40 more employees in Ohio.

The Boogie Board is a modern equivalent to the old-fashioned chalk slate – a device that allows users to write and quickly erase messages on a screen the size of a sheet of paper. Company spokesman Kevin Oswald said orders for the boards have forced the plant to run three shifts a day for much of the year.

He added that he expects orders to increase this fall when the company adds a version of the board that can save images for later use.

“[The expansion] will allow us to meet worldwide demand for the Boogie Board tablets for the foreseeable future,” Oswald said.

Sales of multimedia tablets, such as Apple’s iPad or Motorola’s Xoom, have boomed this year, but Oswald said Kent’s product doesn’t compete with those. Boogie Boards cost $40-$60, depending on size, and are meant as a replacement for notepads and paper, not computers.

It will be interesting to see if this technology eventually finds it’s way into the all-purpose tablets.

Some tips for your online dating profile

Here are some tips for creating your online dating profile. The article is aimed more towards advice for women, but men can benefit from some of the tips as well. Online dating is becoming more and more popular, so everyone should check it out if you’re looking for love or even a hookup.

Read the whole article, but here’s one of the tips:

7. Don’t Provide A Laundry List Of Things You Don’t Want

“No ultimatums,” says Davis.

Starting out with “Don’ts” and “Nevers” makes you sound negative and also tends to induce oversharing. If you say you could never be with a guy who isn’t as loyal as Lassie, odds are someone will read between the lines and figure out your last boyfriend cheated on you.

This is pretty good advice, as many profiles created by women seem to have plenty of ultimatums.

Another tip we think women should consider involves picture of their dogs. So many women seem to be obsessed with their pets, and then litter their profile with photos of the dog. Really? Unless the guy is a real dog lover, this is going to turn him off. Let him meet your pet and then see how it goes, but pictures of dogs, particularly those tiny designer dogs, are going to chase many men away.

4 Things You Can Use PayPal For  

The internet has given you a lot of convenient ways to handle your money, but there may be no way that is better than PayPal. PayPal has made it possible to give out money to merchants, friends and charities without having to use your credit card number and run the risk of identity theft. This system is one of the most sophisticated in the world. But, there are still a number of things that you can do with PayPal that you might not even be aware of. Here are those things.
 
1. Reach Card
 
You can put money on the Reach Card with PayPal. The Reach Card is a prepaid debit card, and like all cards, it’s possible that you can run out of money. With the use of PayPal, you can simply add money to your card any time you need to do so. It makes PayPal easy and the Reach Card even easier.
 
2. Mobile
 
These days, your cellphone can do anything, and the use of PayPal is a testament to that. With the PayPal app, you can simply log onto your account, pay people, and transfer funds to your checking account without ever having to log onto your home computer. This app makes payments and money management so simple that you will wonder how you ever lived without it. The best part about the app is it’s totally free. This way, you can get convenience at a completely affordable price.
 
3. Facebook
 
If you are online, then there is a good chance you are signed up with the world’s biggest social platform. Facebook is the number one site for people to stay connected with the people in their world. By using the Facebook app for Paypal, you can request money from up to 20 of your Facebook friends at one time. Additionally, you can set up an icon on your page that will allow your friends to send you money through PayPal. This is great whether you are collecting money for a charity or collecting cash for a bachelor party. It makes getting a group of people together a breeze.
 
4. Toolbars
 
Let’s say you run a blog that sells something you make. Collecting money can be difficult. You may not know how to set up a credit card processing system and you may not want to pay the fees. Luckily PayPal has a toolbar that takes the struggle and stress out of selling things on your site. This gadget allows you to place a PayPal toolbar into your blog so that anyone who is interested in purchasing something from you can do so without hassle.
 
PayPal is a great invention that is making your life easier. With these simply applications, it’s revolutionizing the way and the ease with which you pay for your goods and services. If you haven’t explored these wonderful conveniences, it’s a good time to start. 

From 1G to 4G- Cell Phones Making Moves

The famous Grateful Dead lyric is, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” While those words were describing the drug-fueled events of the 1960s, they could easily be attributed to the evolution of the cell phone. For one, the size of cell phones has changed dramatically with each generation.

They were first manufactured in a size similar to a brick (think Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell) and then shrunk to the scale of a cracker. And then there is a cell phone’s capability—at their inception they could only make static-filled phone calls, while today we use them for anything but calls.

However, the advancements of cell phones themselves are only half the story. Their popularity helped revolutionize data and communication networks; like the latest satellite technology from wildbluedeals and wireless communications. So from 1G to 4G, here is a recount of the trip travelled thus far, and where the journey may be taking us next. 

1G

In the 1980s, man made the first cell phone network for mass consumers, and it was fairly decent. The first generation of wireless telephony was completely analog based, unlike its progeny that runs on digital systems.

In the U.S., cell phones operated on the AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) network (TACS and NMT in Europe), which basically modulated calls to a higher frequency around 150MHz or more. Hardly what one would call advanced; it was as if your cell phone was just as powerful as your ham radio.

Meanwhile, the phones themselves were bulky and had nearly no data capability whatsoever. That meant no texting, no cameras and no apps. Teenyboppers in the 80s sure had it rough. 

2G

The digital age finally arrived in the second generation. In the early 1990s, digital TDMA-based systems were introduced—GSM first in Europe and D-AMPS in the U.S. With digital technology, voice quality improved, security was stronger and power was increased, while equipment became less expensive and more refined (i.e. phones that could really be considered hand-held). Read the rest of this entry »

When a Business Website Revamp is Necessary

Websites play an important role in the success of businesses. Over time, though, you could find that your site lacks the features that will serve your customers best. That could mean that you quickly start to lose those customers to your online competitors. Knowing when a business website revamp is necessary, however, will help you stay abreast of the latest design features so that your site can reach its maximum potential.
 
Acquiring New Products or Services
 
You already pay attention to the latest trends to make sure that your business offers the products and services that your customers need. Make sure that your website matches the changes within your company.
 
If, for instance, you start to sell a new line of products, then you will need to update your site to keep visitors informed. Revamping your site at this time serves multiple purposes. First, it will allow you to tell your current customers about your newest products. Second, it will help new customers find your site with search engines.
 
Rebranding Your Logo
 
Without the right approach to online marketing, something as simple as rebranding your logo could confuse your customers. Customers quickly grow accustomed to your company’s appearance and methods. When you make changes, they need to happen consistently. If, for instance, your website has your old logo, but your packaging materials show the new one, then you could confuse your customers. You want a cohesive approach to marketing your business. That means making uniform changes across all platforms.
 
Redefining Your Company
 
At times, you might want to redefine your company by creating a new corporate personality or making slight modifications to the ways that you have met consumer demand in the past. Much like rebranding your logo, you need to implement company changes across all platforms at the same time. You don’t want some of your products presenting the company’s old personality while others use the new one. That’s not only confusing, but an ineffective use of resources that could have a negative impact on your sales.
 
Keeping Up With New Technologies
 
Even if your company remains constant, your website will need to evolve. Imagine encountering a website that hadn’t been updated since the 90s. It would look out-of-date and, quite frankly, untrustworthy. Keeping up with new trends in technology can help you reach new customers and offer improved services to those you already have.
 
The recent Metrofax website redesign for instance, makes it easier for customers to explore their online and mobile fax options. This appeals to small business owners and managers that don’t have a lot of time to search a company’s website to learn about service options. Instead, they can instantly see the features that they might use for their Android and iPhone devices in addition to standard Internet access.
 
Redesigning your website requires a big commitment, but it can quickly pay off by improving the services that you offer your customers. What are some of the newest website designs that would help your customers most?

Top 8 Social Media Trends to Expect in 2011

Social media has inundated our lives. It has allowed us to stay connected to friends and family at all times. In fact, many users check sites like Facebook and Twitter several times a day. What can we expect from social media in 2011? Here are eight of the top trends to expect:

1. Increase in Content

As companies become closer to their customers through social media and try to connect with them on a deeper level, there will be an increase in valuable content. The idea is to give customers content that is important to them and will be shared with friends through Facebook and other social media platforms. 

2. Monetization of Twitter

We’ll see Twitter becoming more monetized in the next year, just as Facebook has in the last 18 months. This could include promoted tweets, adding ads to the site, and making deals with mobile carriers. 

3. Purchasing on Facebook

A big trend you’ll see is companies selling items on Facebook through commerce software. This is a big benefit to companies. For small businesses, this will give them the opportunity to build an e-commerce site to reach customers. It will help drive traffic through customers sharing what they purchased with their friends. 

4. Group Buying

You’re bound to see the power of group buying grow with sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. When you can get an item for free just by getting three of your friends to purchase the same item, there is a lot of promotional power through social media sites. 

5. Location-Based Apps

Applications such as Foursquare are bound to become more popular this year as more and more companies utilize them to promote themselves with things such as discounts just for checking in. As a user, does it make you nervous for your friends and family to know where you are all day every day?

6. Mobile Applications

Social media will become more accessible from mobile devices, increasing the need for apps that connect to social media in new ways. It’s hard to say what direction this will take us, but with smartphones becoming more like mini-laptops, we’re bound to see them used in imaginative and innovative ways.

7. Facebook Credits

The use of Facebook credits will increase this year, becoming a huge boost for Facebook since it will receive a percentage for every credit purchased. Besides social media games, they’re likely to be used to purchase products and given out as prizes in promotions by companies.

8. Questions Answered

Q&A sites are popular, but soon the power of social media will be used to help its users get answers to questions. This will be something that you’ll be able to add to your profile page, allowing you to get answers from the collective knowledge of Facebook users.

One thing’s for sure: social media is not going away. It will only become more and more a part of our lives — evolving and changing in new, fun ways.

Shaq retires on Twitter: #thismeansnothing

Jeff Morgan isn’t too impressed with Shaq’s Twitter announcement that he’ll retire.

Shortly after the announcement – a 15 second video clip in which a cheery Shaquille said “I’m about to retire. Love you.” – the tech blogosphere lit up, thrilled that such a mainstream event had been announced over the web. Some said it “proves the power of Twitter.” But how? Perhaps the only thing bigger than Shaquille O’Neal’s physical form is his online presence. He has nearly 4 million followers on Twitter and 2 million Facebook fans. His real world celebrity status still exists on the internet – what is so powerful about that?

Check out the entire article. In the end, Shaq was hyping a new service called Tout which let’s you upload 15 second video clips and send them out on Twitter. It was really just a PR stunt, and in that sense it worked!

How Media Sharing is Enabled Across All Platforms

Media Sharing.

Our world is getting smaller and smaller, but not just because planes are getting faster and more people than ever live in the cities. One reason the world is getting smaller is because everything is shared, no matter where you go or what you’re doing. Even things as simple as movies and music collections can be shared easily through the use of companies like www.directstartv.com and a variety of platforms all over your home.

While some people think that media sharing is somehow brought about through fairy dust or phases of the Moon, this is just silly. In reality, it concerns a completely non-magical cloud and the settings on a variety of devices you might already have in your home. While it can be a bit of work to set up things initially, ultimately, your reward will be a lot of easy transferring.
Let’s look at how your media files get shared through various devices.

Apple’s Home Sharing

Apple is well known for making everything work with everything else for the most part. While the Apple Store occasionally has an issue with buying something on one platform and sending it to another, this is a fairly small issue that can easily be worked around. Ultimately, most Apple products perform extraordinarily well together and share efficiently.

For instance, sharing media files with Apple products such as the iPod, iPad and iPhone is a fairly simple matter. Since the later versions of these products are all equipped with wireless capabilities, all you have to do is enable file sharing in them and in your iTunes account. From there, assuming you have the right operating system installed for all of your hardware, sharing is as simple as clicking on the album or song you want to listen to.

Naturally, additional steps are required to store songs or other files on a wireless device in order to take them out of your home network’s range. However, they’re pretty simple, and the transfer process takes mere minutes if your connection is solid.
 
Home Streamers

There are a lot of different products that allow you to play your favorite media files without having to use your computer for such a task. While you can always hook up your computer to a TV and essentially use it as an external monitor, most people’s home theater setups are a lot different than their computer area setups.
Read the rest of this entry »

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