Tag: technology

How Does Chlorine Work To Clean Swimming Pools?

Chlorine is the chemical most often used to keep swimming pools and Jacuzzis free of bacteria that can be hazardous to humans.

Chlorine kills bacteria though a fairly simple chemical reaction. The chlorine solution you pour into the water breaks down into many different chemicals, including hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite ion (OCl).

Both kill microorganisms and bacteria by attacking the lipids in the cell walls and destroying the enzymes and structures inside the cell, rendering them oxidized and harmless.

The difference between HOCl and OCl is the speed at which they oxidize. Hypochlorous acid is able to oxidize the organisms in several seconds, while the hypochlorite ion may take up to 30 minutes.

The levels of HOCl and OCl vary with the pool’s pH level. If the pH is too high, not enough HOCl is present and pool cleaning can take much longer than normal.




Ideally, the level of pH in the pool should be between 7 and 8; 7.4 is ideal — this is the pH of human tears.

Once the HOCl and OCl are done cleaning the pool, they either combine with another chemical, such as ammonia, or are broken down into single atoms. Both of these processes render the chlorine harmless.

Sunlight speeds these processes up. You have to keep adding chlorine to the pool as it breaks down.

While the bacteria-killing properties of chlorine are very useful, chlorine also has some side effects that can be annoying to humans, and possibly even hazardous.

Chlorine has a very distinctive smell that most find unpleasant, and some find overwhelming. There is also the “itch factor” — chlorine can cause certain skin types to become itchy and irritated.

The hypochlorite ion causes many fabrics to fade quickly when not rinsed off immediately after exiting the pool. This is why your swimsuit looks faded and worn so early in the summer.

Extremely high amounts of chlorine gas hovering above your pool can be hazardous to your breathing. Some companies have developed alternatives to chlorine, including other chemicals and ion generators.

Some of these are good alternatives, but they don’t achieve the cleanliness, oxidation levels or low price that chlorine provides.

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Why Do Websites Break? 4 Common Culprits

Picture this…

You’ve just launched a shiny new responsive website: it’s slick, it’s sexy (hyperbole, I know, but sometimes it’s apropos) and then something breaks.

Why? Why?!” you ask while frustrated that you just invested a substantial amount of money into a now defunct website. It just doesn’t make sense…right?

When reasoning about issues with your website, consider the analogy of a new car. Even with that “new car” price tag, your new vehicle will soon require regular maintenance and care to continue running in top fashion.

And when something unexpected eventually occurs (like a stall or odd noise), the cause could be anything from a needed oil change or loose connection.

In order to get your car up and running again, you’ll need to take steps to correct the issue, which usually requires reinvestment and patience. The same can be said with your website.




4 Common Culprits of Broken Websites

Browser Updates & Compatibility: From Chrome to Internet Explorer and beyond, internet browsers frequently push new updates to provide users with improved experiences.

These updates reduce vulnerabilities to viruses, hackers, etc. and help reduce the likihood of site crashes. With that in mind, most new websites are developed to support the most current browsers.

If you don’t update your browser regularly, you’re probably not viewing websites as they were intended to be seen (not to mention, you probably experience more crashes that most users).

Software Updates: Websites are hosted by computers, which run on… you guessed it… software! Just as your personal computer requires updates to its operating system and programs, the same is true for the software hosting your website.

These updates may need to be performed directly to your website’s content management system or to its software environment, which includes its operating system, database, etc. In order to maintain your site’s security and performance, updates are essential.

Keep in mind, however, that updates always have the potential to cause compatibility issues so it’s important to work closely with your “mechanic” when installing them.

User Error: Websites that utilize a content management system (CMS) are a convenient way for admins without programming knowledge to easily update a website.

With that benefit, there is also potential for untrained or hurried users to break items within a site. To limit user errors from occurring, I recommend limiting website admins to one or two people.

Admins should receive proper CMS training from your website creator before stepping into this important role.

Lastly, it’s important to request documentation from your website creator to reference when you have questions about updating your site; then remember to use it!

Third Party Updates: Similar to browser updates, third party applications like plugins typically push regular updates, which improve security features and provide fixes to aging programming code.

As mentioned above, it’s possible when you update your WordPress website, that a plugin used by your site may be built for an older version of WordPress and will no longer be compatible.

In this case, you would need to either update the plugin or replace it if an update is not available.

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Adobe Has Confirmed That It Will Release A Full-Fat Version Of Photoshop For iPad Next Year

Photoshop is one of the most well known and widely used pieces of software on the planet. And in 2019 it will be coming to iPad.

This will be the first time Adobe has released anything outside the confines of traditional computing platforms. It is also a testament to just how significant Apple’s iOS platform has now become.

Photoshop for iPad will be announced at Adobe’s MAX creativity conference in October, before a release sometime in 2019.




It is NOT A Mobile Version of Software

Mobile versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere have been available, in a limited capacity, inside the App Store for a while.

But this Photoshop release will NOT be like these apps; rather, it will be a fully-fledged, complete program that has all the same features as the desktop software.

Adobe embraced the cloud back in 2012 and now, six years later, it is once again looking towards new areas for expansion.

The iPad – most notably the iPad Pro – is a clear path into the hands of millions of new customers.

The iPad Pro is insanely powerful and perfectly suited to Photoshop, so it’s no wonder that Adobe is targeting it with Photoshop.

Why So Long?

Most likely because applications like Photoshop require A LOT of processing power, and iPads have only just started catching up with desktop computing in the last couple of years.

Photoshop For iPad Release Date?

The launch of the software is still 5-6 months away, according to reports.

This means an actual release for Photoshop for iPad could still be 12 months away.

Still, work is now underway, so that’s something.

There’s no word on pricing just yet either, but it’s likely to be in the same ballpark as Photoshop for PC and Mac (meaning it’ll be pricey).

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Do I Really Need To Eject USB Drives Before Removing Them?

Life’s too short.

We’ve all been guilty of ripping our USB Drive out of our computers instead of ejecting them properly, only to receive the judgemental pop up telling us we really shouldn’t have done that.

But when everything on the USB works fine next time you plug it in, you can’t help but wonder: does it actually do anything when you safely eject your disk before removing it?

Well, we’ve done a little background research, and it turns out that it does.

In fact, waiting those extra 30 seconds to safely eject could help to properly save your data and software. But the risk really depends on your operating system, and what you’re actually doing with your USB Drive.




Of course, modern operating systems are getting better and better and preparing for us to pull the rug out from under them by trying to write and read files as quickly as possible.

Windows has even introduced a feature called “Optimise for Quick Removal” that you can select to make sure files are written quickly, rather than by write caching, which is the most efficient way.

But you can still never be sure exactly when your computer is done with your external flash drive, and that makes pulling it out a big gamble. Bottom line?

So go on and continue living life on the edge, ripping those USB drives out with abandon if you really don’t have the 30 seconds to spare.

But just remember what’s at stake next time you’re saving precious information onto your USB drive.

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2018 Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation

Supply and demand be damned. The principle of a self-regulating market is clearly too vulgar for the rarefied world of classic Aston Martins.

The all-new, all-old “Continuation” DB4 GT—a factory-built facsimile of the original—manages to goose Adam Smith by turning the long-established economic theory on its head.

The arrival of 25 more DB4 GTs represents a substantial increase in the total supply: Just 75 were produced the first time around between 1959 and 1963.

Yet rather than depressing the values of the existing cars—not even to the equivalent of $2 million that Aston Martin Works is charging for the Continuation cars—it has actually boosted values of the originals.

Since Aston announced plans to build this car in late 2016, you’d have needed to find at least $2.5 million for a half-decent GT and even more for one of the ultra-rare Lightweights that the Continuation model is patterned after.




A 1959 example, the first built, sold last August at a Pebble Beach auction for $6.77 million.

The GT isn’t a restoration or one of those attempts at a made-better restomod. Every part is new, including frame, engine, and gearbox. Concessions have been made to safety, equivalent to those an original DB4 would need to compete in vintage racing.

The prototype we drove had a modern roll cage, racing-grade bucket seats, and six-point harnesses, plus a fire extinguisher and a battery-cutoff system.

Everything else is as the original, with the cars hand-built by Aston Martin’s in-house restoration division, Aston Martin Works, implementing the same techniques used for the originals, including hand-beaten aluminum bodywork.

Some parts have even been made by the same suppliers, more than half a century on, including the Borrani wire wheels.

Paul Spires, Aston Martin Works’ managing director, reckons about 4500 hours of work go into assembling and painting each car.

Not that improvements haven’t been made. The new cars are built to more exacting standards, after scanning of several original examples showed that they were all substantially different from one another.

The Works engineers also realized that the earliest cars had all been built with a slightly kinked chassis, possibly because they were produced at one of David Brown’s tractor plants, and this has been corrected rather than replicated.

These new cars are built at the Aston Martin Works facility in Newport Pagnell, England, making them the first “new” cars assembled there since 2007.

Panel gaps and shutlines are assembled to tighter tolerances, and the paint finish is to a far higher standard than you’d find on any car in 1959.

The Continuation has also been required to pass the same intense durability tests as Aston’s current endurance race cars, including a 2500-mile drive completed at Italy’s Nardò track last summer.

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3 Ways To Cure The Cell Phone Dead Zone At Home

Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me now?” If most of your cellphone conversations begin this way — or if you’ve taken to hanging out a window just to get a signal — you’re not alone.

Spotty cellphone service can be especially frustrating when you have full bars in your building’s lobby or hallway but one measly bar as soon as you set foot inside your home.

It turns out, there are good explanations for why this occurs (no, the cellphone gods aren’t trying to punish you for posting too many selfies) and solutions that renters can easily implement. Here’s how.




Cause #1: The position of your building’s cellphone antenna

Cell carriers in all major cities position their cell sites close to the ground because that’s where most of the people are,” says Graham Caparulo, principal consultant for Diligex, a New York, NY–based managed IT services provider.

On the corners of buildings, you’ll see them 20 to 30 feet up, and they’re angled toward the street.” That doesn’t do you much good, especially if you live on the 30th floor of a high-rise.

Cause #2: Building materials can block radio signals

Tinted windows (especially the ones found on “green buildings”), concrete, and metal all interfere with cellphone reception — which is why you can often get more bars if you hold your phone out your window or step onto a balcony.

Cause #3: You live in a densely populated area

Have you ever noticed that your service is slower at night or on weekends, or when you attend a packed basketball game? The more people using a network, the slower it runs.

Each cell tower only has limited radio channels it can use,” says Caparulo. “When it’s full, you’ll have bars but can’t make a call or use data.

Solution #1: Invest in a cellphone booster

Invest” is the right word here, because a cell signal booster will typically set you back between $400 and $1,000.

A traditional cell signal booster takes in a signal on one end, amplifies it, and spits it out on the other end,” says Caparulo, who cautions that you have to have a good signal to work with in the first place, which may mean putting the booster’s antenna outside your window — a no-no in some apartment buildings.

Solution #2: Enlist a femtocell

A femtocell, also called a microcell, basically uses your Internet connection to back up your cellphone,” says Caparulo.

The device plugs right into your modem or router and uses your Internet connection as a cell signal booster.

Solution #3: Enable Wi-Fi calling on your smartphone

This feature, available on the iPhone 6 series and many Android phones, allows your phone to use your in-home Wi-Fi connection to make calls. (On the iPhone 6, go to “Settings,” then “Phone,” and it should be the first option.)

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The American Museum Of Natural History Goes Digital

The display is referred to as the “meta-message.”

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of New York’s most famous institutions.

Founded 145 years ago, moviegoers may recognize it as the setting of “Night at the Museum” and its sequels.




While the dinosaurs don’t actually come alive there, the museum has recently embraced digital technology to breathe new life into its attractions, which includes a plan to construct a $325 million science center close to Central Park in New York City.

Curators hope the interactivity of the exhibit will help visitors get a grasp on the data.

Using technology permeates every aspect of what we do,” AMNH president Ellen Futter said.

Ellen Futter has been at the helm of the museum for over two decades. When she took over in the early ’90s, she recognized a lot needed to be done. However, there was one project in particular that needed urgent attention.

The hall also features a new exhibit about mantle convection.

You know, when I first got there, I was worried about getting the museum air-conditioned,” Futter said.

Since then, the museum has not only added air conditioning, but Wi-Fi throughout all the buildings, in addition to 21st century technology to million year-old artifacts.

It’s also attracted a lot more people, with crowds swelling from 3 million to 5 million per year.

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Water Resistant Gadgets Aren’t Waterproof

The terms water-resistant and waterproof get bandied around quite a bit in the gadget market, but that doesn’t mean you chuck your gadgets into the nearest pool with impudence.

Water-resistance is most definitely not waterproof by any measure.

Last week we dove deep into the nomenclature and standards surrounding the testing and production of water-resistant gadgets.

This week we’re back with a lighter overview that’s perfect for people looking for a broad overview of water-resistant gadgets without so many tables and technical specifications.

Let’s take a look at the most important things you need to know about water-resistance and your gadgets.




What’s the Difference?

Every year thousands upon thousands of consumers fry their supposedly “waterproof” gadgets because of a poor understanding and poor marketing.

Understanding the basics of water-resistance is key to keeping your gadgets safe as well as purchasing the right gadgets for your outdoor and sport needs.

The most important thing you need to understand about the entire concept of “waterproof” is that it isn’t a real thing outside of very misleading marketing material.

There is no waterproof gadget on the market.

Every single phone, watch, sport band, GPS device, portable speaker, or the like that bills itself as “waterproof” should really bill itself as “Water-resistant within the parameters specified by the manufacturer.”

Think of it like “earthquake proof.” It is impossible to build a structure that is completely impervious to earthquakes.

No matter how well-built and over-engineered a structure may be there is always a combination of earthquake intensity and duration that will bring it to the ground.

Water-resistance is exactly the same. Every “waterproof” gadget has a point where the it has been submerged too long, too deep, or in water too hot or too cold, and the seals on the device fail allowing water inside.

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Jaguar Unveils Its First All-Electric Vehicle, Designed To Take On Tesla Model X

Jaguar revealed its first battery electric vehicle Thursday, and it appears to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle.

During the reveal Thursday, Jaguar even staged races between the two vehicles.

Like the Tesla Model X and Model S, the I-PACE is powered by two electric motors. Like a Tesla it has a trunk where the engine would otherwise be.

Notably, the car is available now.

As of this moment, it is available to own,” said presenter Jack Whitehall, at the unveiling event held at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.




The car has a single-speed automatic transmission, common in electric vehicles. Jaguar estimates the I-PACE has 240 miles of range on a single charge. It goes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Jaguar designed the battery to last 10 years, said Ian Callum, director of design.

The car is also loaded with tech inside, like a navigation system that suggests nearby charging stations, and the ability to learn and adjust settings inside the vehicle to match a driver’s preferences.

The I-PACE also has an Amazon skill that works with its affiliated mobile app.

The I-PACE first debuted as a concept vehicle in 2016. Thousands of customers have already expressed interest in the I-PACE, Jaguar said.

The I-PACE’s battery will be capable of reaching an 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes, Jaguar said, and the vehicle has been tested in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 104 degrees.

The official public debut of I-PACE will be at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. Jaguar Land Rover is a unit of India’s Tata Motors.

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Why Are 2″ x 4″s Not Two Inches by Four Inches?

Many do-it-yourselfers have discovered that the two by fours (or 2 x 4s) they bring home from the lumber supply store are not actually 2 inches (5.08 cm) thick or 4 inches (10.16 cm) wide.

The actual dimensions of this lumber can vary somewhat, but a true measurement of 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) by 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) is not unusual. Still, the designation is not necessarily a misnomer.

The lumber industry is nothing if not consistent with its measuring system. When harvested trees are brought to commercial sawmills for processing, the first cuts can be rough.




Many of the irregular outer planks are discarded immediately. The usable lumber is often cut into easily divisible multiples of two, such as 24-foot (7.3-m), 12-foot (3.6-m), and 6-foot (1.8-m) lengths.

Indeed, at one point in the milling process, two by fours actually do measure 2 inches by 4 inches. This is the measurement of the planks just before they are run through a machine called a planer.

A planer uses sharp blades to shave off all of the imperfect edges left behind by the rough sawing process.

Commercial lumber mills may have to plane off as much as 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) of length and width from two by fours to provide a quality product for carpenters, roofers, and homeowners.

Older boards recovered from 100-year-old homes and other buildings may actually be true two by fours, however. Carpenters routinely planed their own lumber onsite to create a better fit between individual boards.

Sawmills did not always use planers to create perfect boards — framers and carpenters were accustomed to working with rough-sawn planks of variable thickness and appearance.

Planks were generally cut to standard measurements such as eight by eights, two by eights, and one by twos. The measuring terms still remain a popular reference, even if the actual dimensions are not entirely accurate.

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