Why You Need a Universal Remote Control

Universal remote controls can almost replace all the remotes that control your home theater and surround sound system. By consolidating to one remote, you can simplify many tasks and gain more control over other aspects of your system.

Remote Control Replacement

Universal remote controls, in the most basic way, replace the remote that came with your electronic device. They can be very simple and do basic functions such as on/off, channel up/down, and volume up/down. Often the remote that came with a component gets broken or lost and a universal remote is an easy alternative to buying a replacement from the manufacturer. More sophisticated remotes can do much more than act as a replacement.

Remote Control Macro

One of the most powerful features of a universal remote control is the macro. A macro is a command executed by the remote that replaces several clicks from multiple remotes. For example, you might have a macro to turn your HDTV on, go to input one, turn on a cable box, turn on a home theater receiver, and select a cable box on the home theater receiver. Instead of using each individual remotes to go through the process, you can have a macro on the remote that only requires one press of a button to send out all of those commands to your electronics.

Macros can be very customized and sophisticated. One macro could turn on the home entertainment system, another turn the HDTV on to a kids television channel. The remote can keep track of what is turned on and off. A simple “off” button can turn everything off when you are finished.

Hard Buttons and Touch Screens

Universal remotes come with different types of buttons. The most basic have hard buttons, like the ones that come with most electronic components. Others move up to a color screen with labels that you can design or select from to go next to designated hard buttons. The high end models have touch screens and hard buttons. The touch screens can be highly sophisticated with pictures and graphics to guide you through your options for components.

IR and UHF

Universal remote controls communicate with your equipment in two basic ways, infrared (IR) and ultra high frequency (UHF). IR is the way traditional remotes communicate with electronic components. The remote sends a beam across the room to a receptor on the component. UHF remotes send a signal through the area that can actually go through walls and work throughout your house. UHF remotes need a receiver that has an IR emitter to send IR signals to your components.

Programming a Universal Remote

There are different ways to program the remote. The basic ones require you to enter codes for each component in your home theater system. The nicer remotes have a program that runs on a computer. The program allows you to select the components in your systems by model number. You can then program a macro by selecting what settings each component should be in for each macro to work. Then you simply connect your remote to the computer to transfer the settings.

Universal remote controls can make the home theater experience better. By making the operation of your HDTV easy enough for anyone, it is a smart buy. With a wide range of prices, universal remote controls can be found for any budget.

Environmentally Friendly Ways for Recycling a Laptop Computer and its Parts

electronic recyclingDisposing of old laptop computers is a complex process that is not always environmentally friendly. This article discusses how to safely recycle laptops and their parts.

Every computer will eventually reach the end of its useful life. If it is simply and older model that is still in good working order an individual might want to consider cleaning the hard drive and then donating it to a worthy charity.

If, however, the laptop is no longer functional, has a broken screen, or is simply beyond repair, recycling of the computer is far preferred over simply sending it to the landfill. This article presents a basic guide on how to recycle a laptop in an environmentally friendly way.

Environmentally Friendly Ways For Recycling A Laptop Computer and Its PartsHow To Prepare A Laptop For Recycling

Before trying to recycle laptop computer components it is always important to either wipe the hard drive with a special software utility. If possible remove the hard drive altogether and keep it if there are any concerns about privacy. Some laptop recycling programs ship equipment overseas for processing and may or may not have privacy concerns as a top priority.

How Does Modern Industry Recycle Laptops and other Computers?

Remember that all laptop computers (and all electronic components in general) contain heavy metals that in most cases are soldered onto the motherboard or incorporated into the various components. Some of these metals are toxic to the water supply (lead, mercury, and cadmium) while others are valuable as a reclaimed resource (gold, copper, etc.). A good laptop recycling program will remove as much of the heavy metal components as possible before ultimately crushing the remaining pieces.

electronic waste management

Hewlett Packard is one of several computer manufacturers that operate recycling programs for old laptop and desktop computers. As mentioned previously the discarded computers are scavenged for parts then crushed. These pieces are then passed through magnets and other similar processes that remove the aluminum and other easily extracted metals before leaving the plastic remains to be sold as scrap. Other facilities remove the crushing steps and instead melt down the entire device, skimming off and extracting the copper for use in other applications.

Always Verify How The Laptop Is To Be Recycled

If being environmentally friendly and socially conscious is important then verifying the methods and subsidiaries of a recycling program is important. Before handing over the broken hardware find out where the recycling facility is located and whether that facility does the work on site or does partial processing then sends the pieces on to another facility.

Many companies with lofty goals have sent used computers to other countries under the guise of helping to spread the technology to those that cannot afford it. In some cases these scrapped computers wind up being torn apart by individuals hoping to process the metals on their own, often with deadly or debilitating side effects.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)?

CVS is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for long, uninterrupted periods of time. Symptoms transpire since the visual strains of computer-related tasks go beyond the visual proficiencies of the person to carry out the tasks comfortably, in most cases.

Viewing distances and angles used for computer work are also different from those commonly used for other reading and writing tasks. This can place additional demands on the visual system as the eye focusing, and eye movement requirements are different. Special eyeglasses or lenses with implemented rebates could help abate the problem

CVS can a be a painWorkers of the age 25 to 45, in particular, may find adjusting to these work requirements difficult.

Important: Work that is visually and physically fatiguing may result in decreased work performance, increased error rate and is a source of worker discomfort and reduced job satisfaction


Vision problems experienced by PC users are generally only temporary and will cease after stopping computer work at the end of the day. Some users may, however, experience prolonged effects such as blurred distance vision and headaches after work. It is vital to address the cause of these problems, as continual uncorrected visual fatigue may worsen with extended computer use.

Common symptoms include:
  • Eyestrain
  • Fatigue
  • A headache
  • Blurred or double vision at a distance and/or near
  • Dry or irritated red eyes
  • Loss of concentration
  • Increased error rate
  • Worker discomfort
  • Reduced productivity
  • Reduced job satisfaction


It is important that there are no underlying vision problems, as even a minor problem can significantly affect worker comfort and performance at a PC.

Normal specs or contact lenses designed for fashion purposes may not provide adequate correction for computer work. Specific occupational lenses prescribed to meet the unique demands of computer work may be indicated. Specific accommodative support lens designs and high-performance HDV lens coatings can help to maximize visual concentration and clarity and reduce visual fatigue and discomfort.

Smartphone Trends to Watch Out For

Every year, smartphone brands are coming up with new features and technology that makes smartphones exactly what they are: smart. In smartphone technology, companies are developing the best innovations that are now changing their shape. In fact, 2019 is the year the world will now have access to flexible, bendable, and foldable smartphones.

Smartphone buyers have plenty to look forward as devices will be faster, thinner, bendable, and even smarter than you think. With virtual reality spreading to budget-friendly options, they also provide the best graphics, store and higher screen resolutions.

Here are the top smartphone trends that launched last year.

Foldable smartphones could be possible in 2019New Styles

It seems as if all brands are taking a new facelift to smartphone designs. Apple is said to be giving its iconic edgy design a facelift with soft edges, while Samsung is releasing their first-ever foldable smartphone. The hottest trends were the customizable smartphones like LG G5 and Moto Z. The CPlus folding smartphone from Lenovo is also a device that is to be expected for release.

Fast Chips

Graphics are becoming smaller and smooth as applications are still running faster than ever. The Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 835 to be installed on the premium Android smartphones from the top mobile companies. Many are also choosing mobile processors to increase the overall performance of the smartphone.

Virtual Reality

The primary goal of speeding up smartphone devices is to allow applications to run smoothly without issues. This is particularly true for virtual reality as VR requires resources for optimal use. The plug headsets enable you to watch movies, play games and explore VR worlds on your smartphone device.

While VR is still limited to few handsets, it is expected to grow into more mid-range and high-end phones by 2017. The VR smartphones require high-resolution displays to deliver the quality visual experience.

Fast LTE

LTE speed is also getting a boost as smartphones like Apple’s iPhone 8 will allow you to download data quicker than ever on LTE networks at a premium speed of 600 Mbps. You can also upload data at 150 Mbps. However, achieving speeds will also depend on the carrier’s network capability.

Better Storage

It never hurts to add extra storage. The internal storage is said to reach SC cards with high capacities.


The USB-C will replace the decade-old Micro-USB ports. The USB-C is found to be extremely useful as it can connect mobile devices to high-definition flash drives, external storage devices, headphones, and monitors.

Wireless Headphones

Smartphones are taking a different route to headphones as some brands like Apple and Motorola have removed the jacks and switched to Bluetooth headphones instead. While this means that you will also need to recharge your wireless headsets, this will also get rid of the pesky headphone wires and jack.

Quick Charge, Long Battery Lifespan

As Smartphones will charge twice as fast with USC-C cables, smartphones will also carry more batter as the technology like the Quick Charge 4 Qualcomm will help smartphone devices run for as much as five hours after a mere ten-minute charge. This technology is set to reach devices by 2017.

Smart devices at homeSmart Devices

The augmented reality in smartphones can now recognize objects, present information that is relevant to the objects seen on the handset’s screen and map out rooms. This itself is a great example of just how much smartphone devices have evolved since their development to help enhance the user experience.

Other deep techniques can play a role in making smartphones user-friendly A device could learn how the internal drive is being used and develop a better modulate power usage over time. This will improve the battery life as smartphones can recognize speech and image recognition through online services as well as offline.

Bluetooth 5

Smartphone devices will soon upgrade to the new Bluetooth 5 specification, which allows the device to have as much as four times the range of its predecessor and speed. The Bluetooth 5 can connection will reach as much as 400 meters, even with obstructions. Users will be able to use their smartphone devices to unlock a car or operate a wireless Bluetooth speak, even from a distance.

Contacts vs. Glasses – Vision Correction Supremacy

Even though corrective procedures like Lasik surgery are becoming more popular and affordable, contact lenses and glasses are still the top choices for vision correction. They’re convenient, relatively easy to care for, and affordable for most people. Choosing between contacts vs. glasses isn’t always a choice. Most people who wear contact lenses also have a pair of glasses on hand for “emergencies” such as allergy attacks, lost contacts, or delayed shipping on contacts by mail. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who have glasses and don’t bother with contacts because they’re satisfied with just glasses.

glasses vs. contact lensHow do you choose between contacts vs. glasses? Here are some pros and cons of contacts, and some pros and cons of glasses that may help you decide.

Pro Arguments for Contact Lenses

First of all, even though glasses come in some very attractive styles now, some people simply don’t like to have things on their face. Those who wear strong prescriptions may find glasses to be bulky and heavy, even with newer high-index lenses. And some people don’t like the way they look in glasses. With contacts, your face looks natural, and you have the option of a wide array of non-prescription sunglasses too. With the easy availability of contacts by mail, stocking up on contacts is very convenient.

Contact lenses are great for playing sports. Because you can now get one-day disposable contacts, it’s not even a hassle to wear contacts for sports where losing contacts is more likely (like swimming). People enjoy contacts for playing sports because there is generally no distortion as there can be with eyeglasses lenses, and because the field of view is larger with contacts, granting better peripheral vision, which can be a competitive edge in many sports.

Foggy glasses dilemmaContact lenses don’t fog up when you get out of an air-conditioned building and step into sweltering summer humidity. When it’s raining, you don’t have to worry about your contact lenses getting wet, while with glasses, you will have to clean the raindrops from the lenses. And despite it being a sit-com staple for decades, it’s not that easy for a contact lens to fall out. This was a big deal back when contact lenses cost several hundred dollars and were expected to last a year or two. But with disposable lenses, contacts by mail, and lower prices in general for contacts, losing a contact – which isn’t that likely – is not usually a big problem.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons people choose contact lenses is that you can have so much fun with them. They come in a wide choice of colors that can turn even the darkest eyes another color. That means if you want to have green eyes to go with your green sweater on St. Patrick’s Day, you can do so. There are also some theatrical and special effect contact lenses that can be made with or without prescriptions. With colored and special effect contacts, vision correction can be made to coordinate with fashion and taste.

Pro Arguments for Glasses

Some people prefer the simplicity in eyeglasses and find it to be enough of an argument in itself to choose glasses over contact lenses. After all, if you forget to clean your glasses for a week, you’ll have smudged lenses, but if you forget to clean your contact lenses for a week, you could have an eye infection. Glasses can be put on and taken off easily while inserting contacts requires a mirror and good lighting for most people. Glasses can do a much better job of coping with astigmatism and complex prescriptions than contact lenses do. While there are bi-focal contacts, bi-focal glasses without lines are the “gold standard” for vision correction as people get older.

But glasses have their place in fashion too. A great pair of glasses can help a person look more sophisticated, more learned, and more competent (whether it’s true or not!). Some people have two or more pairs of glasses to go with different outfits. Some have a pair of “casual” glasses and a pair of “business dress” glasses, and some people get glasses in many colors to go with many different looks. A great pair of glasses can be like flattering jewelry for the face, and opticians are more than happy to help you pick out the best pair for your needs.

Cons of Contact Lenses

While contact lenses are well loved, there are some downsides to choosing them. Learning to insert and remove them can be difficult for some people, particularly younger people who have never tried them before. Regular cleaning is mandatory for all but daily disposable contacts. The consequences of improper lens care can be serious, such as eye infections. Unless contact lenses are specifically made so that they can be slept in, you can’t sleep in them. If you drop them, they’re hard to find, and you can’t open your eyes underwater if you’re wearing contacts without a sealed pair of goggles on top. Those with allergies may find their contacts uncomfortable during hay fever season, and cigarette smoke can be extra irritating to the eyes of contact lens wearers. And even though they cost much less than they used to, the cost of contact lenses and the solutions needed to keep them clean and safe can add up quickly, even with contacts by mail.

Going to the optometrist for adjustmentCons of Glasses

Glasses can be bulky, particularly for those with really bad eyesight. The weight of even the lightest frames can hurt the ears and nose, and the pain is worse with bulky or heavy prescriptions. Glasses will fog up in many situations such as opening the dishwasher, stepping from an air-conditioned car into hot humid weather, or stirring the boiling pasta. If it is warm enough to cause you to sweat, few things are more annoying than glasses that persist in sliding down your nose. When it comes to the field of corrected vision, glasses don’t fix your side vision, and what peripheral vision you have can be distorted. Unlike contact lenses, glasses can break, leaving you in a pickle if you’re away from home and don’t have a backup pair. At least once a year, you’ll probably need to get your glasses readjusted to your face from everyday wear and the resulting stretching that commonly occurs. And glasses are not the best for sports because of the bulk, the problems with sweat, and the distorted peripheral vision.

In the debate of contacts vs. glasses, there are a lot of arguments for both sides. Many people who can afford it, have contact lenses that they wear primarily, and “backup” glasses for those occasions when they can’t or don’t want to wear contacts. For the most simplicity, glasses are the clear winners. But when it comes to cosmetic options and the freedom of having great peripheral and side vision, contacts prevail. Perhaps the one argument that may push things in the direction of glasses in the contacts vs. glasses situation is that if you have contact lenses, you need a pair of backup glasses, while if you have glasses, you don’t “need” a backup pair of contact lenses. Perhaps the best way to decide is to try on several styles of eyeglasses and several trial lenses until you find what suits you best.

Best 6 Smart Watches to Look Out For

As the high market competition continues to grow, more and more companies are trying their best to sell their products. Every day, innovations are being presented from different brands. With that, also come the latest smartwatches that offer great features and additions.

Here are the best six smartwatches last year.

1. Asus Zenwatch 2

Asus is known for adorable devices without substituting quality. The Asus Zenwatch is considered as the best smart watch under $100. Asus has spent a durable amount of time on making the watch resistant to damage. With the Asus Zenwatch, you can expect to find the steel quality is durable as well as water resistant. The smartwatch also comes in multiple colors and straps.Asus Zenwatch 2

2. Fitbit Blaze Smartwatch

The Fitbit Blaze was designed to provide the best fitness tracking features in the world of smart watches. The reviews of the smartwatch proved that the Fitbit had achieved its mission as it is currently ranked as the top smart watch on sites like eBay and Amazon. This smart watch is also made exclusive for bodybuilders and fitness trainers who are keen to keeping track of their activities. The battery life lasts as long as three days without charge.

You can track your sleep cycle, heart rate, steps, and fitness. The Fitbit Blaze Smartwatch also has a GPS ability that makes it easy to use even without a phone. It can connect to your iPhone, Windows, and Android phones efficiently. It also allows you to reject messages and calls with a simple step.

3. Huawei Watch

Huawei understands the problem of design that many may find in wearing smartwatches. The display of the Huawei watch is a favorite among users as it is made comfortable for the viewer’s eyes, especially when compared to Apple Watches. The Huawei watch is also upgradeable to Android, which also gives it a better advantage over other smartwatches. The one downside to the Huawei watch is the short battery life which will require you to recharge at least once a day. Typically a 100% fully charged battery will last around 18 to 24 hours at most.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that looks more like a watch rather than a tech gadget, the Huawei SmartWatch is an excellent choice.

4. Motorola Moto 360 2nd Gen

The Motorola Moto 360 is nothing less than fashionable. As the first generation had no vital functions, Motorola took the criticism into stride as enhanced the second generator Moto 360 with a style that suits the unisex and all wrist sizes. Currently, the Moto 360 2nd generation is the best-selling smartwatch in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is recommended for swimmers who like to use smart watching in the water without facing any problems when in use.

5. Samsung Gear S3

Currently, the Samsung Gear S3 offers two versions of the smartwatches online: the Class and the Gear S3 Frontier. Aside from the Gear S3 Frontier offering LTE connectivity in most major cities, there are no significant differences between the two versions. The original Samsung Gear Smartwatch provides a tonne of features that may overwhelm some users. With the Samsung Gear S3, the Android smartwatch takes it to a whole new level, especially when compared to the Gear S2’s battery life and app functionality.

The Samsung Gear S3 has a large battery life and a bigger size of the 1.3-inch display. While the size may be large, it isn’t as heavy as the Fossil Q. The RAM size also increased to 768 MB from a mere 512 MB. The Gear S3 smartwatch is also waterproof, which allows you to swim or use in water for at least thirty minutes without worrying about potential damage.

According to tests given by Samsung, the Gear S3 can survive over freeze, overheat and even falls from great heights. This makes it a durable, smartwatch to use while traveling.

6. Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony is known for its revolutionary devices, and the Sony SmartWatch 3 speaks for itself as the first Android wearable. The smartwatch improved its functionality as it has 512 MB of ram along with a quad-core processor. The 1.6-inch screen size may seem large, but the 4 GB internal storage and the smooth strap make up for it. There is also a built-in GPS technology that works ideal for runners or using the phone while driving.

Interested in purchasing a smartwatch? Planning on buying any of the ones you saw on our list? Comment below and share your opinions with us!