Technology and gadgets in the workplace.

We’re interested to hear and talk about how small businesses today are using technology in the work place. The caveat is we are interested how to use technology outside of actual work activities. What we mean by this is what type of TVs do you have in the office? Do you have a chrome cast or some type of streaming device connected? Do you have any video game consoles hooked up in the break room? Things like that are what we’re interested in.

If you don’t have any of the things mentioned, you may want to consider picking some things up. Having technology such as those can give employees a better break and help them feel more refreshed going back to work rather than just sitting there, eating and coming back. Some may argue having these types of devices may lower productivity but if they are located in a community break room then it won’t be easily abusable.

Mavidea Technology Group is a technology services firm focused on managed IT, web design and internet marketing. As you can probably guess, they try to be a bit tech-savvy. They have a Flat screen set up in the conference room, small meeting office and in the kitchen/breakroom. They also have an Amazon Fire stick with a controller to stream. This allows people to watch some netflix or get together and play a group game like Fibbage during break time. It increases employee happiness and also builds employee relationships when they get to do these fun activities together.

Emerging Roofing Technologies

There have been a decent amount of new technologies coming into the roofing industry lately. Innovation has created affordable and awesome new roof options for both commercial businesses and consumers.

The biggest piece of roofing innovation that you should be aware of is green roofing technology. Engineers and scientists are working on creating roofs that are lighter, stronger, more durable, cheaper and less impactful on the environment. Green roofing may also positively affect your home’s insulation, effectively reducing energy costs every month!

Another interesting piece of new roofing technology is called cool roof coating. It is made to prolong the life span of a roof by a large amount. It’s use is to reflect UV rays from the sun and increased protection against all types of stressors of the environment. It can severely decrease your roof temperature, up to 70 degrees. It is also a very affordable upgrade.

Flat roofing has also received some technological advances that has made it a better option than it has been in the past. Modified butimen membranes can offer hybrid built in option for your roof. Single ply EPDM is really good value, flexible and extremely lightweight.

Sundown Exteriors, a roofing contractor in Bloomington, IL, does excellent work and may employ some of these technologies in the future.

Advances in robotics will allow for improved material creation as they are more precise. This will also speed up the manufacturing process and make parts cheaper. Aerial imaging and drones may be increasingly used for inspections and estimations.


What is Geothermal HVAC?

Geothermal heating is some what of a new phenomenon and is beginning to catch on especially in the commercial and industrial markets.  The ground of the Earth absorbs a lot of solar energy and maintains a stable warm temperature.  Through the use of “loops”, an underground piping system, circulates water from the ground to your home and heats your water, house, and operates your AC.

The best part of Geothermal Heating and Cooling is the extreme efficiency and money savings it provides.  Installing this particular HVAC system can save you up to 80% of your usual HVAC costs!  The installation of such systems is quite a bit more expensive, but after you factor in the cost savings monthly it’s a no brainer.

The Nest Learning Thermostat: A Futuristic Look at Heating and Air

The Nest Learning Thermostat

Knowledge is Power

This new breakthrough in home heating and cooling has been turning heads. Nest is a company that has made customers take a second look at the simple thermostat. Nest has been able to create an interactive thermostat that not only heats and cools the customer’s home, but it learns when customers need temperature adjusting the most. This learning process continually updates itself without having to be constantly programmed. Teaching your Nest thermostat is as easy as a few turns of the nozzle.  Nest also provides an easy to use user interface that simplifies the act of heating or cooling a home. Features such as the Nest Leaf make it easy for customers to see at what temperatures cause them to save money by heating and cooling their house efficiently. This revolutionary thermostat can lower a customers heating and air costs by 20%.

Smartphone = SmartHome
Nest has been able to implement smartphone integration into their thermostats. Nest includes a free iOS or Android download to accompany their learning thermostat. With this app, customers can change their thermostat anywhere they have an internet connection. Nest also sends you history reports to your smartphone or tablet to show you how the thermostat has been heating and cooling a home. This convenience factor is something that traditional thermostats simply can not match. This type of technological integration is what makes Nest’s Learning Thermostat ahead of its time.

Nest’s 2nd Generation Learning Thermostat will cost a significant amount at first. The thermostat retails for $249.99. Now for some this would be too steep of a price to pay for a thermostat. However, after looking at the savings and the overall product features, it’s hard to argue that this thermostat would not add a futuristic aspect to a home’s heating and cooling system for customers who can afford it.

The Verdict
Nest provides a fresh and new look to a very outdated technology. This fun and easy to use thermostat can provide cost saving benefits that outweigh the original sticker price. Hopefully this new technology will be here to stay and continue to drastically improve the way customers look at heating and cooling a household. If you’re looking to further improve the cost and efficiency of your home’s HVAC systems and are in the Bloomington, IL area, visit House’s Services for free quotes and more information on how to cut costs.

Nest Thermostat

New Storage Technology

With technology and wants and needs evolving, it’s critical that certain businesses revamp their strategy and services offered.  One of those businesses that has become more tech-savvy as well as introducing new tech is the self-storage and moving service.  In the past, self-storage companies rarely had websites, online payments, video surveillance or even the availability of convenient moving services.  Being in a world of automation and instant gratification, most of the moving service businesses were way behind the eight ball.  That doesn’t ring true anymore, with the introduction of things like PODS, U-box, and many local companies.

The ease of moving your personal belongings into storage is amazing. These companies drop off storage boxes directly to your house and even pick them up and keep them in storage.  This system not only makes things easier but is useful in a lot of other events.  If you’re a college student moving into a new apartment and are stuck in a week of no residency, these companies are a perfect option.  If you’re a commercial business wanting to store mass amounts for a small period of time as you move buildings, this option is perfect for you. Central Illinois Courier has some small package and pallet storage options that you may want to check out.

3D Printing and Fabrication

3D printing has really taken off in the past few years. Although you may have just started hearing about it, many people would be surprised to know the process and invention of 3D printing began as far back as 1983 by Chuck Hull.  Already it has greatly impacted life as we know it, being able to create guns, working organs, decreasing production times, and stimulating imaginations everywhere.  There are many uses for 3D printing the World hasn’t come up with yet, but industrial fabrication can benefit greatly from this technology.

Let’s take a look at what some industrial fabrication companies usually create:

  • Shipping pallets
  • Carts
  • Stairways
  • Spouting
  • Dust collection
  • Conveyors
  • Structural pieces

A lot of these industrial fabrication processes require stainless steel, which can’t be replaceable by 3D printing, but there are plenty that can be.  An entire conveyor belt system has the opportunity to be put together with 3D printing pieces.  Combined with stainless steel, 3D printing could create a more efficient fabrication system.  Companies like The Micar Company in Decatur, IL are well known for their fabrication services as well as concrete, roof coating, and more.  3D printing could end up being a system they use in the future.

If you’re looking for an industrial fabrication company in Illinois then head over to The Micar Company’s website and see what they have to offer.

New BlackBerry 10 Phones’ BlackBerry Q10 And BlackBerry Z10 Revealed

The new BlackBerry 10 phones’ Q10 And Z10 was announced today by BlackBerry (formerly RIM). Let’s take a closer look at BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Z10 smartphones, shall we?

BlackBerry Z10 Features and Specs:
• BlackBerry’s new flagship smartphone on the BB10 platform
• Dual-core TI OMAP 4470 1.5GHz processor
• 2GB of RAM
• 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD card)
• 4.2-inch LCD touchscreen HD display (1280 x 768 pixels) with 356 pixels per inch (ppi)
• microUSB and microHDMI ports
• 8MP main camera with LED flash
• 2MP secondary camera
• 720p HD video capture
• Near Field Communication (NFC)
• Long Term Evolution (LTE) support
• 9mm thick
• 1800mAh battery
• 3.5mm headphone jack
• Support for 4G mobile hotspot, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS
• Comes in black or white color option
BlackBerry Q10 Features and Specs:
• BlackBerry’s first BB10 smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard
• Dual-core TI OMAP 4470 1.5GHz processor
• 2GB of RAM
• 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 32GB via microSD card)
• 3.1-inch screen display with 720 x 720 pixels
• 8MP main camera with LED flash
• 2MP secondary camera
• 720p HD video capture
• LTE support
• Support for 4G mobile hotspot, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS
• microUSB and microHDMI ports
• 3.5mm headphone jack
• Comes in black or white color option
BlackBerry says the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will be available in the coming weeks, with the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone to follow about a month later. There you have it, folks. Enjoy!Technology

Apple’s New iPad 128GB With Retina Display Officially Unveiled

The new Apple iPad with 128GB storage and Retina display features was announced by Apple today. Let’s take a closer look at some of the featured highlights of Apple’s new 128GB iPad with Retina display, shall we?

According to Apple, the 9.7-inch with Retina display on the new iPad 4th-generation makes everything looks crisp and lifelike. Text is razor sharp. Colors are vibrant. Photos and videos are rich with detail, thanks to its 3.1 million pixels — a million more pixels than an HDTV.

The new A6X chip inside the new 4th-generation iPad is up to twice as fast as the previous-generation A5X chip, and it delivers up to twice the graphics performance, without sacrificing battery life, which means even the most advanced apps are smooth, responsive, and incredibly lifelike.

Furthermore, the new iPad 4 with Retina display features advanced Wi-Fi that’s up to twice as fast as any previous-generation iPad. And access to more cellular data networks globally makes it fast in more ways than one, and in many more places. The iOS 6.1 includes support for additional LTE around the world, and iTunes Match subscribers can download individual songs to their iOS devices from iCloud.

In addition, the 4th-generation iPad features FaceTime HD camera, 5MP autofocus iSight camera, 1080p HD video recording with video stabilization and face detection, and ultrafast wireless performance. The 128GB iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular models provide twice the storage capacity of the 64GB models to hold even more valuable content including photos, documents, projects, presentations, books, movies, TV shows, music and apps.

The iPad also has access to more than 300,000 apps specifically designed for the device. Additionally, the iPad also supports more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand, and more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore.

The new 128GB versions of the 4th-generation iPad will be available starting Tuesday, February 5, in black or white color. The price starts at US $799 for the iPad with Wi-Fi model and US $929 for the iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model. All versions of the 128GB iPad will be sold through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Google I/O 2013: Agenda, Sessions + Live Stream of 2013 Google I/O

Google I/O 2013 will kick-off on May 15 through May 17 at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Le’ts take a quick look what to expect with Google’s annual technology conference. By the way, all the tickets are sold out for the event.

According to Google, here’s the daily schedule of their agenda for the 2013 Google I/O. The times are in PDT (GMT-7) and are subject to change.

May 15 (Day 1) – On-site check-in, Bike and Coat Check, Breakfast, Keynote and Break, Sessions, Developers Sandbox, Google Store Hours, Lunch break (no sessions), Lunch, Break (no sessions), and After Hours.

May 16 (Day 2) – On-site check-in, Bike and Coat Check, Breakfast, Sessions, Developers Sandbox, Google Store Hours, Lunch break (no sessions), and Lunch.

May 17 (Day 3) – On-site check-in, Bike and Coat Check, Breakfast, Sessions, Developers Sandbox, Google Store Hours, Lunch break (no sessions), and Lunch.

Meanwhile, here’s the daily schedule of the sessions for the 2013 Google I/O. The times are in PDT (GMT-7) and are subject to change. The following general topics will be covered. There are also sub-topics in each of the general sessions.

May 15 (Day 1) – Android, Chrome and Apps, Google+, Google Cloud Platform, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Wallet, Knowledge and Structured Data, and Tech Talk.

May 16 (Day 2) – More Android, Chrome and Apps, Google+, Google Cloud Platform, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Glass, Google Ads, Google Wallet, Knowledge and Structured Data, and Tech Talk.

May 17 (Day 3) – More Android, Chrome and Apps, Google Cloud Platform, and Tech Talk.

The Google I/O 2013 event will also stream live here on this website starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. PT. Don’t forget to come back here tomorrow for all the 2013 Google I/O goodies and stuff. I’d like to thank Google for giving this humble site rare access and privilege to stream their annual tech event live!