Let Halifax Uncover Your Dream Vacation!

Not sure where you should go on your next vacation? With so many places to choose from, it’s hard to know what destination suits you best. That’s why there’s the Halifax Holiday Matchmaker: find out the “right spot” for you in just a few seconds!

This clever little tool pores over your Facebook profile to figure out your personality, interests, and the activities you enjoy. Then, it takes that information and matches you to a destination city you’re sure to love. Whether it’s Cairo, Istanbul, Venice or Tokyo, you’ll find your dream vacation in a minute.

The Matchmaker goes much further than that: it gives you a super-personalized travel guide that’s filled with the things YOU enjoy, whether that means seeing a match or a museum. The Matchmaker will help you gather loads of recommendations about things to do and places to stay once you’ve arrived. Find info on the relative costs of getting around in the city, see what the weather is, discover great restaurants to check out… even find reasonable hotel rates.

The Matchmaker can even help plan your evenings, highlighting bars and nightlife activities that match your personality and letting you know just how much you can afford to drink each night…

About the only thing this app can’t do is pay for your trip, but Halifax CAN do the next best thing: bringing converted money right to your door–for free. How’s that for making your travel plans even easier? Now there’s no need to visit currency exchanges on that weekend getaway– you can hit the High Street the moment you step off the plane.
Sponsored by Halifax

Google Science Fair. Calling All Jr. Scientists!

What is the Google Science Fair? It is one of the biggest online educational and science related events ever done before. It is something that encourages kids of all ages to use together. It is learning and good competition for the real world of today. A look at the future of science from the eyes of the next generation of scientists and scholars, what will are they inventing. Science can be fun and Google is out to capitalize on this idea in a big way.

Just take a moment to look at the great opportunities being offered to young people through the Google Science Fair website. The web pages challenge young people to be involved with science experiments, video tape them, let others see their experiment being conducted, share ideas with others, and be judged in a worldwide competition. The reality is that this is a great way to promote learning and spread the good will of communication with other students everywhere.

Google seems to be trying to expand its horizons and creating new applications that are not just good for the Internet, but promote the benefits of science to a new generation. There are submissions only for a short time, so interested participants should hurry if they want to meet the contestant deadlines. This will likely be a regular event within the Google network of interests. There is something for everyone if you take a look. Visit the Google Science Fair website.

You can find more info here http://www.google.com/events/sciencefair/

This is a sponsored post but the views and content are fully my own!

NOKIA N8


The Nokia N8 – an amazing smartphone that lets you take stunning photos, capture true HD movies and play them all back on your HDTV! Nokia N8 is the first phone to have a large 12 Megapixel camera lens and Carl Zeiss Optics, for flawless photo quality. It also bosts a HD video recorder and HDMI out, so you can be the movie maker, and share movie time with family and friends on your HD TV. The brilliant touchscreen and sleek aluminium casing are just what you’d expect from such an impressive phone, and with apps, maps and more to delve into, the Nokia N8 is easily one of this year’s most exciting phones. It’s exclusive to The Carphone Warehouse in silver. The Carphone Warehouse eye openers – http://www.carphonewarehouse.com
Nokia N8 has the largest camera sensor of any phone to date, and a high-quality 12 Megapixel lens complete with Carl Zeiss Optics and a Xenon flash. You can take flawless photos and record HD videos of your favourite people and places, then post your pictures and movies straight to Facebook™, or show them off on your HDTV – as the N8 has a HDMI port.
The Nokia N8 is a high definition entertainment centre, 3D gaming device, digital camera and smartphone rolled into one. It’s not all of this impressive technology that matters though; it’s what you choose to do with it.

USB TV Tuners

usb_tv_tuner_image191

It wasn’t that long ago that the only way to watch a High Definition TV
(HDTV) broadcast was to own a TV with a HDTV tuner.

PC’s are perfect for anything digital so it wasn’t too long before cards
for your PCI connection in your computer became available. The USB TV
tuners in your PC basically enabled you to turn your PC into a HDTV. Today
the technology is small enough to fit into a box that slots into a spare
USB port.

SASEM Co., Ltd., a South Korean company, were the first to launch an
external USB HDTV dongle in December of 2004 called the OnAir USB HDTV.
OnAir is a software-decoding USB HDTV receiver that connects to the PC via
a spare USB port.

It is meant to play live analog and digital TV hassle-free and record them
in PVR format. These units were first introduced to the American and
Canadian markets in January 2004.

The biggest advantage of USB TV tuners is that they are plug and play. You
don’t have to open up your PC to install them. The earlier PCI cards are
limited to run only on desktop PCs. Disassembling and reassembling the
computer to plug in PCI tuner cards on motherboards is also risky.
Some PCI cards fail to install on certain desktop PCs because they collide
with other hardware devices. Keeping the signal external and away from the
interference on the inside of the box also helps you receiver a clearer
signal.

With a USB TV tuner and an LCD monitor (which most people have nowadays)
you can enjoy full HDTV of 1920×1080(ATSC) resolution images. Like having
the TV on all the time? Well now you can have a dynamic wallpaper on your
computer that is actually the TV image playing (with sound as well of
course). So you won’t miss any of the sportscast or the latest news while
you work on your spreadsheets.

With and MPEG2 Encoder chip on most USB TV tuners users are able to record
directly to DVD in MPEG2 DVD format (720×480). Using DVD-RW it is easy for
the user to create DVD titles for recorded live analog TV.
Need more detail? You now have the ability to zoom into a particular part
of the image in real time.

These days you don’t even have to be sitting at your desk to control your
USB TV tuner. Just about every model will have an included remote control.
The time shift offers the ability to record live TV while playing the live
analog TV for pre-defined period of time.

Portability is king in the new world of computers

laptops
Sales of laptop computers took over sales of the dependable but boring
desktop computer some years ago, stemming from better transportability and
ever more powerful processors. The variety of cheaper laptops nowadays has
also been a godsend to the mobile computing world, allowing for students,
professors and travellers to utilise a one-size-fits-all portable personal
pc which can be undeniably personal.

Yet, not all mobile computers are used on the move and due to many
developments in computing power from companies like Intel and AMD, as well
as graphics processing technology from nVidia and ATI, laptops are more and
more being employed as desktop PC replacement computer systems.
That being said, why would you use a fairly low powered laptop computer if
you can find quad core, multi-threading, powerful fiends around at little
cost in larger form factors? The obvious benefit is the portability,
meaning people won’t really need to carry around an external hard disk
drive so as to always keep your documents readily available. Whilst
full-sized laptop computers are heavier compared to an ultra-mobile netbook
computer, the option is at the least available.

With laptop computers more and more having home entertainment capabilities
including iTunes along with additional support with HDMI outputs, while
conversely TVs often today include DVI inputs, laptops are additionally
great as DVD & Blu-ray players for services which include Netflix and
iPlayer. This tends to make a notebook far more appealing since it is often
brought from the home office to the front room and accomplish a full work
and leisure purpose.

Shoppers seeking a desktop substitute have to be hunting for no less than a
dual core processor (like the Intel Core i5), and at a minimum 4 GB of RAM
(remember that to utilize more than 3GB of RAM you must have a 64 bit
processor. A brilliant and razor-sharp display together with at least 2 USB
inputs are generally additionally advised.

Yet when would a desktop be more desirable compared to a laptop? The
conclusion has to be primarily really for computer nerds. The fantastic
thing about desktop computers is they’re painless to improve – you can swap
the graphics card, RAM, or motherboard in under 30 minutes. Therefore a
desktop is a longer term option, and always useful as a computing base
station for notebooks to satellite around. Those that travel around a great
deal yet have got one base, a blend of the desktop and netbook computer
might be a great compromise, as lumbering about an expensive, heavy laptop
might not be perfect for long train journeys and aeroplane journeys.

Encoding Video Files To Portable Devices

screenshot-rockpod2009Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve taken my original RockPod 2008 and combined it into RBT2009. I’ve added extra features not seen in RockPod 2008, such as the ability to encode at different frame rates as well as change the level of the audio track. There are also other changes, but without going into them all, the ‘Video Encoder’ section is aimed at quickly getting your audio and video files into any one of a range of formats.
The first thing you should aim to do here is choose your video codec. As I said up front, the video codec really determines just about everything in a video file – 90% of the data in an audio/video file is video, and it sets the file container and audio codecs that can be used with it. You can choose wither by codec or by device, whichever is easier for you. However, learning the codec options is far better because I can’t include every video-capable device on the list.
Where possible, selecting the video codec will automatically select a suitable corresponding audio codec. For example, if you choose H.264 video encoding, the audio codec option automatically changes to AAC and the file format when you save will default to MP4 – all three will combine happily to ensure you get a workable file at the other end of the process.
You’ll notice that for most settings, the default option is ‘Use original’. That’s because the key to fast encoding is to do as little as possible with the original video on its way through to your desired format. And really, mucking around with it is unlikely to make it better. The only case where that might not be true is when using the Deinterlace switch. Deinterlasing combines interlaced half-frames into single progressive frames to get rid of the comb effect, and it can make a difference on LCD screens.
The last thing that may need some explaining is the audio level shift option. I’ve set the audio amplification factor by default to 0dB, which means it won’t change anything. Move the slider into positive territory and you’ll increase the audio level. Move it to the left and it will reduce the audio level. Don’t go overboard in either direction because too much amplification (or grain) will cause overload distortion and make it sound dreadful.

New XBox 360

Visual Studio 2010 Documentary 4

Online Password Security

Online Password Security

No matter what way you turn your head these days, there’s a high chance you’ll see someone entering a password somewhere, whether it be someone getting cash from an ATM, sending messages through Bluetooth, a person in a coffee shop connecting to a wireless network, or just someone sitting somewhere by a good old fashioned computer hammering away at the keys as they punch in their password. The trouble is the majority of the people you see entering these passwords are all under the illusion they are safe, even when their password is just a good old 123456. So I’ve made this article to show you some of the most commonly used passwords and give you some tips on making your passwords much more secure.

First off, the importance of a strong password online is similar to the difference between life and death, well not quite. As more and more people are now venturing into online banking, online shopping and just regular online activity, it has never been more crucial to have many passwords so your money and identity can’t be stolen by some hacker in a foreign country that can barely speak a sentence of English. I know the amount of information in your head is probably already overflowing and the idea of having to remember not one, but several passwords is probably overwhelming, so make it easy on yourself and use one of the many programs made specifically for remembering passwords.

hackerThese programs are mans new best friend, as the amount of usernames, passwords and personal information you can put into them to recall at another point in time is often unlimited. Firefox itself has a built in password bank, so when you enter a password to a new site for the first time it offers to remember the password for future visits. This is great and saves the hassle of having to install another program or manually stretch your brain to remember the password next time you visit the site, but the best part about it would be the master password that controls the memory of all the other passwords. For example, if you had a friend around and they use your internet, you wouldn’t have to worry about Firefox recalling your passwords so they can login as you, as every time you start a new session, Firefox prompts you for the master password. By all means you can choose to install another program but Firefox’s master password and general password security should be enough for most people.

So now if you have some of the most common passwords, as your password, like secret, password, 123456, dragon, charlie, qwerty, abc123, letmein, monkey, myspace1, password1, blink182, god, sex, money, love, manchester, liverpool, arsenal or thomas (these are some of the most used I kept coming across on the net that were taken from surveys and studies) then it might be time to change them. Many people are even stupid (unknowing) enough to use their username as their password. So if you have one of the above or a variation of it, then change it today. Remember you no longer have to remember them as there are programs to do that tedious work for you.

When selecting new passwords, your primary ones that should be different from all the other forums and social networking sites, and from each other, are your email and bank passwords. The reason they should be 100% unique is if someone hacked one of your accounts from another site and then the passwords were the same, well they could get all your money and then take control of your email and hence change all your passwords on other sites. When this happens to someone it is the worst feeling, therefore to stop it from happening make these few passwords very strong by throwing in something only you would know, for example try adding CAPS and/or !@#$%^&*()-_  and/or regular lower case and/or numbers into it. Mix them up and make it something you could remember if needed. So maybe the first letter of everyone’s second name in your family in CAPS then a – then the day your mum and dad were born then a * and finally the last letter of the first name of everyone in your family. So it might look something like this: JSPB-12023004*eraf. With a password like this even your closest friends that know you inside out won’t be able to guess what it is.

Hopefully you’ll follow these few simple but effective guidelines and act on them today, this will likely save you from being at the mercy of some hacker from another country, who once has your details, can exploit you in ways you dare not imagine. Just remember, be creative and don’t be afraid to try software to help you remember those passwords.

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