The Future of Driving?

Posted Posted by Harding Humphries in Comments 0 comments

     Unless you live under a rock, chances are you've heard of the recent developments in autonomous or "self-driving" cars. Many companies are taking a swing at creating a car that drives itself and many are succeeding in doing just that. One auto manufacturer, Tesla, has done a surprisingly great job at creating the perfect mixture of normal and future. See for yourself, most self driving cars look like this:
complete with scary exposed cameras & lasers!

While Tesla's "Model S" with an autopilot function, looks like this:
There isn't much that needs to be said about the look of the Model S, it just looks good.

Now, to be fair, the Model S technically isn't self driving. You can't simply type in an address and watch the magic happen. It does have an autopilot function though. This means that it can park itself, stop itself in the event of an emergency, switch lanes, and it can drive itself completely while on the highway. This means that, once you're on the road you need to be on, you can sit back, relax, and let the nice robot car do all the work. On top of that, according to Tesla's website, it also has a "summon" feature which "lets you 'call' your car from your phone so it can come greet you at the front door in the morning." That. Is. Awesome. 

This picture serves no purpose. But who doesn't like seeing dogs drive cars?

This advance in technology comes with many critics. Accidents have happened involving Tesla's autopilot software and one such accident was fatal. In each accident, it is somewhat unclear as to whether or not it is the car's fault. In any case, drivers probably shouldn't put all of their trust in a somewhat experimental autopilot system just yet. Not having to pay attention all the time on a road trip would be awesome, but the technology is simply too new to be perfect yet. Building software that can handle the chaotic environment of the road is a real challenge. 

Tesla's Model S may not be completely autonomous or completely without flaw, but the company has made great strides in making this advanced technology more available to people. Self-driving cars still have a long way to go before they are commonplace in the world. It is hard to tell when the self-driving car will be perfected, but because of recent advancements made by auto manufacturers, it may happen much earlier than we think. 

4 Easy Ways To Destroy Your Laptop

Posted Posted by Josh McAlister in Comments 0 comments

Laptops are an integral part of our everyday lives.  We use them for homework, social media, listening to music, gaming, and many other productive and entertaining things.  As expensive as they can be, a laptop is one of the most useful (if not necessary) items to own, easily justifying the hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars needed to buy one.

There will always come a time, however, when each laptop must die.  This is a sad and unavoidable truth, a law as inviolable as the rising of the sun.  Intimidating as that may be, look on the bright side - who doesn't like sucker punching their wallet to buy a new computer every couple of months?

With this idea in mind, I've prepared some tips to help you end the life of your current laptop more quickly and violently than ever before.  Following my guide, you will learn some quick and easy ways to harm your computer during every day use and probably have some of your own current practices reinforced as well.

1.         Rest Your Laptop On Your Bed

I can think of no better way to overheat a machine than by burying it under a comforter that traps enough body heat to scramble an egg.

When your laptop is running, the processor generates a lot of heat - enough to ruin or flat-out melt some of the hardware components.  This heat is normally dispersed by fans on the machine to keep cool air flowing through the system.  Blocking these fans with a blanket or even allowing them to become permanently clogged with dust from your bedding is a great way to ensure that your machine gets hot enough to cause irreparable damage.

2.     Pick Your Laptop Up By Its Screen

I know what you're thinking - this one is too obvious for a list like this.  While I'm inclined to agree, I think it's important to at least touch on the fundamentals out of respect for the damage they can cause. Anyway, if you like the thought of your display shattering, or at the very least the idea that your hinges will snap, then this one is for you.  Instead of lifting the computer from underneath the base as is recommended, tug the corners of your screen with your fingers until the device is totally off the ground, and then set it down forcefully every time you need to move it.  This is most effective for bulkier laptops and is a good way to jostle sensitive components loose.

3.     Yank Your Power Cord Out By Its Cable

Don’t worry about grabbing the base of your charger to unplug it from your laptop gently; this will protect it from being separated from the rest of the cable, or worse, it will reduce warping the charging port itself.  What you want to do is get a fistful of cable, stand ten feet away from the computer, and jerk backwards with the power of ten thousand storms.  

Do it enough times, and the cable will eventually fray, and if you’re really lucky, it could even rip the head off of your cord, leaving its tip to clog the charging port until Christ returns to call us home.

4.     Eat Every Meal Using Your Laptop As A Plate

We’re all naturals when it comes to eating food while using a computer, but many of us don’t even realize just how sound a practice this is in terms of instantly breaking a perfectly good device.  Think about it this way: slosh a little Dr. Pepper over the keyboard just one time, and the laptop you got for your birthday yesterday is instantly useless.  If you’re not into Dr. Pepper, you could at least keep enough crumbs on the keyboard to sate the hunger of a small animal.  That way you can tear up the keyboard and risk causing damage to internal parts when you end up having to open the case to fix or replace malfunctioning keys.

So there you have it: four simple yet effective ways to ensure that your next computer won’t last long.  I can guarantee that given enough attempts, following these instructions will harm your laptop beyond repair, giving you good reason to buy a new one with all that money you were planning to flush down the toilet.

Of course, if for whatever reason you were planning on saving your money instead of wasting it, then you can do the exact opposite of what I described above to extend the life of your computer, which just seems kind of cheap.  But who am I to judge?

Apples new A10 chip

Posted Posted by Jerred Shepherd in Comments 0 comments

Two weeks ago, Apple unveiled a few new products -- The iPhone 7, AirPods, and a refreshed Apple Watch. While most attention was focused towards the new iPhone, including its stereo speakers, a new chip for wireless audio, and water resistant design, however one of the its overlooked features is its new processor, the A10 Fusion.

The A10 Fusion, found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is 50% faster than the A9x in last years iPhone 6s, and significantly faster than any ARM chip used in any Android phone, including the blazing-fast Exynos 8890 in the Galaxy S7.

Just how fast is it? According to Geekbench, the iPhone 7's single threaded performance beats the 2013 Mac Pro, a $6500 workstation. This is a huge milestone for mobile computing, and while the A10 and ARM chips in general won't be seen outside of mobile devices for a while, it's amazing to see just how far mobile processors have come in such a short span of time.

Getting Started with the New Pipeline

Posted Posted by Daniel Norwood in Comments 0 comments

Out with the old, and in with the new. Whether or not you had the chance to delve into the new version of Pipeline during its short-lived existence at the beginning of the year, hopefully this article will help enlighten you to some of New Pipeline's cool features before its permanent release.

To begin, I suggest checking out the Introduction Video available at the top of the page. It gives a brief overview of some of the new features.

An important feature in the New Pipeline is the addition of a search bar at the top of the page. After selecting either the "Content" or "People" filter, you now have the ability to search all of Pipeline. This function proves especially helpful when you aren't sure where certain resources have been placed in the new interface. Simply type in items such as "Parking Permit," and the appropriate section will be provided to help you out.

This then leads to my favorite feature, the "Favorites" tab. This function allows the user to "star" those parts of Pipeline that he or she is constantly using, therefore making it easier to navigate without having to go searching for a specific resource every time one opens Pipeline. For example, if you've been waiting for that final exam grade to show up on your transcript, you can simply favorite the "Student Records" section of Pipeline and navigate there with just a couple of clicks.

Once starred, the "Favorites" tab will appear, and your favorited sections will be visible.

Regarding the other tabs, the "Messages" tab will be the new version of Whiteboard. All school-wide messages, classifieds, and prayer requests will be available under this tab.

Lastly, students will mainly find what they need in the "Student" tab (obvious, I know). The designers of New Pipeline have tried to categorize all resources as efficiently as possible. Yes, it is still a work in progress, but the New Pipeline does a great job of streamlining its various capabilities. The sections are alphabetized under the Student tab and are labelled accordingly. And of course, if you ever have trouble finding something, you can always search for it using the search bar.

In the end, the easiest way to learn more about the New Pipeline is to check it out for yourself. It might take some getting used to, but hopefully this article has helped to get you started. Good luck!

The Future of Wearable Technology

Posted Posted by Jake White in , , , Comments 0 comments

Nowadays, Google is much more than just a search engine. They have a multitude of exciting projects going on, and under the parent company Alphabet, there are many different smaller companies that are working on bringing innovation and incredible concepts to different areas of the tech world.

Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) is the group at Alphabet that is responsible for developing crazy, short term projects that focus on innovative technology. ATAP is headed up by the former director of DARPA, Regina Dugan, and each development team only has two years to bring a project from its concept to a proven product ready to be thrown into the market. According to Dugan, the ideal ATAP project combines technology and science, requires a certain amount of novel research, and creates a marketable product within a two-year time frame. ATAP has a lot of exciting projects going on right now, but we’re going to focus on the two that deal with wearable technology.

Project Soli
Project Soli is a gesture-recognition technology that uses miniature radar signals to detect touchless interactions from your hand. The team that is developing Soli says they envision a future where the human hand becomes a universal input device for interacting with technology. They’re creating a gesture interaction language that will allow people to control their technology using intuitive, simple gestures. I don’t know about you, but this is pretty exciting to me. Imagine the possibilities that will open up as this technology gets more advanced! Some of the gestures they have created include turning a virtual dial by rubbing your thumb and index finger together, pressing a button by pressing your fingers together, or sliding a virtual slider by sliding your thumb along the length of your index finger.
All of this awesome technology is bundled into a tiny chip about the size of a dime, so it can be incorporated into many different technologies, making the future applications from this technology countless. It will be especially useful for smartwatches, because of their limited space that is available for user-input. This will enable smartwatches to show more information on their small screens because they don’t have to account for a finger being pressed onto the screen.  

Project Jacquard

Project Jacquard is another user-input technology, only this time it is actually embedded into your clothing! They use conductive yarn to embed interactive fabric into specific areas of clothing. The other components of the technology are built to be as small and discreet as possible. Using wireless technology, the fabric transfers the captured touches to other electronics, allowing the user to control various applications and functions.

The team working on Project Jacquard is collaborating with Levi’s to produce their first piece of clothing that will have their technology woven into it. They recently announced that they will release a jacket in the spring of 2017 that will allow its wearers to control various applications, including maps and music, by touching an area on the sleeve of the jacket. Marketed specifically to urban bikers, this will allow them to control apps without having to mess with getting their phone out of their pocket.

The Future
Jacquard and Soli are paving the way for the future of wearable technologies. They are making interacting with technology more seamless, enabling consumers to effortlessly interact with their phones and other electronic devices. We are entering into a virtual world, one where you can control the volume by simply rubbing your fingers together, or skip to the next song on your playlist by swiping the sleeve of your jacket.

But can I shower with it? A look at how waterproof your phone REALLY is.

Posted Posted by Mack Peters in Comments 0 comments

Are you a frequent phone user? Do you like to take your phone with you everywhere you go? As a result of this, has your phone ever found itself in places where maybe only fish and monsters of legend (Ogopogo, Loch Ness monster, Aquaman, etc.) belong?

Oh no...

As tech companies seek to make us able to bring our devices with us more and more places, it has become far more likely to see a phone advertised as 'waterproof'. Imagine, being able to call your friend while scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, or getting a snapchat video of yourself jumping off a cliff at Heber Springs! Oh the possibilities! But, realistically, how waterproof are these phones? And how do we find out?

Hmm, should I or shouldn't I buy this phone basing my opinion solely on how well I'll be able to play Pokemon Go while deep-sea diving...

What you need to do is look for the International Protection Rating (IP Rating) most likely on the box your phone came in, if not you can check the manufacturer's website. It will be the letters IP followed by two numbers, or potentially Xs. The first number after the P is your phone's solid particle protection, or the degree of protection your phone has against stuff entering it like dust and fingers. These numbers will range from 0 to 6. The second number is the degree of protection against moisture, and this will range from 0 to 8. If there is an X in the place of either of these numbers, it means the device has not been tested for that kind of protection (solid the first, moisture the second). Below are two charts of what the numbers mean:

In terms of solid particle rating, you should only pay attention to ratings of 5 or 6. As a frame of reference, a standard electrical outlet has an IP rating of 22, meaning it's protected from the insertion of fingers (thankfully) and vertically dripping water. The iPhone 7 is IP67 and the Galaxy S7 is IP68, just for more reference.

Seems pretty simple. Unfortunately, that's not all there is to it. Just because a phone has a moisture rating of 8 doesn't mean it passed tests 0-7 to get there. They are only required to pass the test that the manufacturers want to project as the moisture of solid particle rating for the device. The iPhone doesn't have the 5 or 6 rating for moisture, meaning you should keep it out of the shower. This is true unless the manufacturer explicitly states that it can handle these other scenarios (which Apple evidently did not). Some devices will give multiple ratings, like the Sony Xperia Z5 with its IP65 and IP68 ratings, meaning its reading to be immersed or sprayed by water.

A few things to remember:
-These tests are performed in fresh water. Unless stated by the manufacturer, it would be wise to keep them out of salt water, even if they have a 7 or 8 moisture rating.
-Showering, even with IP rated devices, isn't recommended, but you're not totally ruined if you forget to take it off. But, with continued exposure, the device could leak and cause extended damage that likely won't be covered by the warranty.
-Most tests are carried out in 60-95 degree environments. Saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs could damage the device.
-Make sure all flaps are closed before submerging the device.
-Unless stated by the manufacturer, do not press any buttons while the device is submerged. This can create openings that allow water to get in.
-Make sure your phone is COMPLETELY dry before charging it.

Whoooooa, radical underwater selfie dude! Surf's uuuuup!!

Removing a WiFi Network on Windows 10

Posted Posted by Garrett Holmes in Comments 0 comments

Sometimes People find the need to remove WiFi networks from their computer, such as HUWA-GUEST/HU-GUEST once you've hooked up to HUWA-SEC/HU-SEC. To do this is a slightly convoluted method, but we're here to guide you through it.

To start open your start menu

Then type "PC settings"

Click on "Network and Internet"
Scroll down to the bottom of the Wi-Fi tab and find "Manage Wi-Fi Settings"
Scroll down to "Manage known networks" find the one that you wish to remove, click it, and select "Forget"
Now you won't have to deal with your computer automatically connecting to a network you don't want, or are free to setup that network again from scratch.

For all your tech needs as students feel free to call DormNet at (501) 279-4545, check our blog for guides, or visit us in the Administration Building Room 205!