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Refurbished CDs Support Youth Empowerment Programs In South Carolina

CD-R, DVD-R, Electronics, Special EventsNancy Woo30 November 2012

Who says the days of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray are over? Certainly not AbundaTrade.com, an online retailer of gently used CDs, DVDs, books and games. AbundaTrade offers cash for these used items and more, and sells them on their website at an affordable price. Recycle culture has sprouted full force in AbundaTrade, and everyone wins.

This year, AbundaTrade is treating a non-profit group in South Carolina especially well. They are offering 110% of donation profits to the youth mentoring program, Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina. What this means is that anyone can donate their old CDs, DVDs, books and games to AbundaTrade and absolutely every cent of profits, plus more, will go to helping Junior Achievement reach their fundraising goal of $262,750 to reach 10,000 students.

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that helps children and young adults realize their full economic potential as viable, contributing members of society. Their aim is to empower young people to own their own financial destiny and gain the tools to become independent, successful adults through valuing entrepreneurship, free market enterprise, and the special skills of every individual.

The partnership of AbundaTrade and Junior Achievement show how good intentions and great ideas can come together to form a positive working relationship. In a time when economic conditions are not altogether certain, it is collaborations like these that help spur forward new thought and innovative solutions. The youth of today are the leaders of the future.

If you’re interested in donating your used CDs, DVDs, books or games to fund Junior Achievement’s mission goals, follow these steps. And if you are donating CDs or DVDs, that doesn’t mean you lose the content forever – just back it up on a blank CD or DVD and give the rest to a good cause.

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MicroTech Named #1 8(a) Small Business

MicroTech, a technology integration company based in Tysons Quarter, Virginia, was just named the country’s #1 8(a) firm by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Federal Computer Week released the list of Top 50 8(a) companies yesterday, and MicroTech tops the list with $280 million in prime contracts and an additional $62 million in sub-contracts. The data analyzed is compiled from government sources.

An 8(a) business is a special status given to firms designated socially or economically disadvantaged. They are eligible for financial assistance, mentoring, training and other forms of assistance in order to help their growth and development through the SBA. The SBA was established in 1953 in order to help small business grow, and also to give them a voice in Congress.

President and CEO of MicroTech, Tony Jimenez, had this say after being notified of the honor: “Our status as the No. 1 8(a) business is really heartening. It reaffirms that if you surround yourself with the right people and stay on the cutting edge by focusing on innovation, businesses like MicroTech will continue to succeed,” Jimenez said.

MicroTech is a thriving company that offers a wide array of services and products in the realm of technology integration, social media, cloud computing and cyber security to both the commercial and public sector. In 2011, MicroTech launched multiple new directives, including the MicroKloud line of cloud computing services and MicroPodd solutions for mobile data. MicroTech also has an exciting array of new ventures happening in 2012 in addition to their tried and true products and services. MicroTech manages more than 500,000 users daily and is a prime contractor for over 100 federal projects.

Their mission statement reads: To discover, design, develop and deliver innovative and emerging technology solutions including infrastructure services, systems integration, unified communications and cloud offerings maximizing customer success.

MicroTech is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business and National Minority Supplier Development Council supplier of quality products.

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Epson Wins RetailNOW Award For 3rd Year In A Row

Electronics, Epson, Technology, UncategorizedNancy Woo31 July 2012

Epson, a leading manufacturer and innovator of point of sale (POS) solutions like printers, cameras, projectors and scanners, swept the Retail Solutions Providers Association’s (RSPA) annual RetailNOW conference in Las Vegas, NV this weekend. Epson took home the gold award for excellence for the third year in a row. This award is the only award where dealers vote for their favorite vendors.

Epson America, Inc. has been leading the industry since the company’s inception in 1975 and has been a part of RSPA for 30 years. Epson is well known for their high quality printers and constant innovation in the field of printing devices.

Here are some of the innovative things Epson has been doing recently:

  • Back to School Buying Guide: highlights favorite customer products for the beginning of the school year, including all-in-one printers, scanners, photo scanners, projectors, printer ink and printer paper.
  • Epson Gear Up! Giveaway Contest: as an incentive to loyal customers, Epson is holding a back to school contest with a grand prize of $1,000 for schools, teachers and students to purchase products from the Back to School Buying Guide. Enter at EpsonStore.com
  • Two new solvent papers for the SureColor S-series of high quality signage printing for high-resolution backlit film to provide a satin finish with less surface gloss.
  • New multipurpose WorkForce WF-7010 printer with two trays that hold 13 by 19 inch paper for larger than legal size purposes.
  • New PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e projector with both 2-D and 1080p 3-D capabilities that connects to Blu-Ray, TV and wireless HD for high quality 3-D imaging.

As you can see, Epson continues to innovate and provide its customer base with new and exciting products for many different purposes all across the technological landscape. Congratulations, Epson on a great third year of RSPA excellence, and a sustained 37 years of brand success.

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5 Tips For Preventing Data Loss

Electronics, Flash Memory, TechnologyNancy Woo29 June 2012

Who has rooms full of paper files anymore? Increasingly, information is stored in cyberspace or at least in computer space, and while this can be a tremendous convenience, space-saver and organizational blessing, storing data in virtual reality also comes with a risk: irretrievable loss.

Especially for small businesses, data loss can be a huge impediment to success rates and goal achievement. In a study conducted during April 2011, the back up storage company Carbonite found that about half of small businesses with between two and twenty employees had experienced data loss.

Here are the top 4 reasons cited for this data loss:

  1. Hardware/software failure
  2. Accidental deletion
  3. Computer viruses
  4. Theft

Yet, about a quarter of respondents said they don’t regularly back up their important files. A significant number of businesses even reported they thought it was too much of a time consuming activity to regularly back up data. But here is where preventative risk management is extremely important, because taking the time to back up important files can save time and money in the long run.

Here are a few tips for ensuring the best possible data storage and back up habits:

  1. First of all, recognize the importance of spending a little time to regularly back up all important files. It may seem like a drag to do this all the time, but the long-term benefits will outweigh the miniscule inconvenience, especially when the computer crashed and you can breathe easily knowing everything you need is stored on a secure hard drive.
  2. Invest in a hard drive. Whether it’s a personal USB device or a heavy duty external hard drive, having a secondary storage vault for virtual files is instrumental to preventing data loss and improving recovery rates.
  3. Optimize Internet security. Changing passwords regularly and making sure anti-virus software is up to date goes a long way in protecting your documents and sensitive information from cyberspace hackers.
  4. Educate the workforce. In a business setting, it takes teamwork to make sure everyone is on board with regular information back up. Educating people about the importance of saving files is the most important step to actually doing it. Creating good back up habits is key to protecting valuable information.
  5. Consider dedicating resources to regular back up. Whether you create a job description for an employee to regularly monitor back up activities or hire an outside source as insurance against data loss, it might help to allocate resources specifically for the purpose of ensuring critical information safety. Employing someone to take over this part of the job might make all operations run a little more smoothly and take the weight off your chest so you don’t have to worry about unexpected data loss or prolonged down time.

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Verbatim Satisfies Desire For Longer Battery Life With USB Dual Power Pack

Accessories, Electronics, Technology, VerbatimNancy Woo20 June 2012

Haven’t we all cursed the little red flashing light on our phones that signify less than 15% battery life remaining? Technology has taken us far, but we still want more – more apps, more games, more features, and most importantly, more battery life so we can do all the things we want as long as we want.

Well, Verbatim has one solution to our craving for more battery time. The Dual USB Power Pack was released earlier this month, and it can actually increase the battery life of electronic devices by an astounding amount. Using a 10000 mAh lithium polymer battery, this powerful puppy can add 42 hours of talk time, 120 hours of music time or 30 hours of video play to most chargeable devices.

The slim, sleek device has two USB ports so you can double-charge your iPhone, iPad, e-reader, Bluetooth headset, micro-USB charged phone or other USB device. The only phone-carriers who might be out of luck with this one are the non-micro-USB users, but these outlets fit a wide range of USB devices. One of these is even a charging port specifically for the power-gobbling iPad. It does seem like this battery pack caters to Apple products, so if you’re not a Mac fan, this might not be the supercharger for you. But if you’re sporting iThis and iThat, the Verbatim USB Dual Pack could give you the long-lasting charge for your devices you crave.

It’s small and portable enough to fit in a laptop case or computer bag, and the $89.99 might be worth the peace of mind that comes from not worrying about a drained battery. This product comes with a one year warranty.

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Verbatim’s Clip-It Drive Does Double Duty

Electronics, Flash Memory, VerbatimNancy Woo25 March 2012

Verbatim just keeps pushing the envelope forward when it comes to unique USB designs. The company just announced their most recent release – a USB drive that doubles as a paperclip. That’s right. They don’t fail to mesmerize consumers with their hip, new and funky takes on portable data storage. Both original and functional, the Clip-It USB drive is perfect for the office aficionado who prioritizes finding the best ways to cut down on clutter and stay organized.

The Clip-It USB drive kills two birds with one stone – it’s an ultra stylish and sleek USB drive that is built in the shape of a paper clip so you can carry both paper and electronic records with you in one organized and unique way. The Clip-It drive comes in sizes of 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, and includes a lifetime warranty when bought through Vertbatim. It’s designed with the typical Verbatim durability, capless but resistant to dust, water and static discharges, and the familiar Verbatim style: you have the option to purchase it in black, white, green, pink, yellow, blue or orange. Red Dot Online recognized the unique durability of the Clip-It USb and awarded it 2010’s “Best of the Best” in the product design recognition category. Furthermore, the Clip-It uses secure and reliable System in Package (SIP) technology, but Mac users beware, it’s only compatible with Windows operating systems.

Released officially by Verbatim Marketing India Ptv. Ltd., this awesome little paperclip USB is available in the Indian marketplace for 300 rupees, or you can find it online for about $11 U.S. Small, convenient, vibrant and unique, this double-duty USB is a great choice for office personalities. Have one shipped to you and surprise your co-workers with your high-tech paperclip. Electronic storage and classic functionality have never looked so good.

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Highlights from CES 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show is an annual gathering of companies unveiling their latest techno-gadgets for all consumers to enjoy. With 140,000 visitors and 2,700 exhibitors in the flashiest place on the planet, Las Vegas, it’s nothing less than a 4-day long spectacle, a giant toy room and a zoo full of the latest and greatest.

Here are some of the most interesting highlights:

1. Earbuds that Monitor Heart Rate:

Gym fanatics and runners are going to love this one. Instead of having to deal with all the extra weight and wires that come with carrying a heart rate monitor around the chest or arm, plus an iPod tucked into an arm strap with headphones, a company called Valencell demoed some of their 2-in-1 earbuds this year. The earbuds would monitor heart rate without the need for additional equipment. Talk about being light on your feet! And cyclists note: only one earbud is needed to check pulse, so you can still listen for traffic. Let’s hope the demo went over well so we can see these available for purchase soon.

2. Microphone USB:

As gadgets get more and more streamlined, here’s one to add to the list. Rather than using recording technology and then transferring it over to the computer, Blue Microphones propose using their handy dandy microphone USB. It plugs right into the computer so you can record and then plug in with one single motion. The company touts the Tiki device as having as-good human voice recognition through voice isolation and noise-cancelling technologies. Tiki goes for $59 on the consumer marketplace.

3. A Projector for iPhone Photos and Video:

Epson, the leader in printing technologies, now adds iPhone projectors to its long list of technological advancements. White it’s great to look at photos and watch videos wherever you are by powering up the iPhone or other Apple devices, it’s even better to watch them in full big screen glory. Now you can share photos and videos with friends by popping your iPhone into the Epson MultiPlex, which has a dock for Apple products and can also be connected to any laptop or Blu-ray player. Then you just need to find a nice big white surface, and voila! Instant projection of your favorite media. These bad boys retail between $599 and $699.

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Year End Wrap Up for Blank Media Trends in 2011

Blu-ray Media, Electronics, Epson, TechnologyNancy Woo30 December 2011

As technology continues to move forward at a relentless pace, new gadgets arise and some old ones fade away. To conclude 2011, let’s recap some of the major topics from the GotMedia blog in the past year as we anticipate all the fascinating advancements of 2012:

  • Recordable Blu-ray: Verbatim announced a new nationwide supply of rewritable double layer blu-ray discs.
    • The wrap up: Whoever said Blu-ray would fade into obscurity was wrong. Even though DVD is still the primary form of media-watching technology, Blu-ray fans know the advantages of watching films on Blu-ray: higher quality audio and video, 3-D imaging, high definition compatibility, gaming, Internet connectivity and all sorts of extras. When you can record films onto your own Blu-ray discs, it’s even better.
  • The tiniest USB device ever: In August 2011, Verbatim released the smallest USB thumb drives the world has ever known. More aptly called “penny drives” because they are roughly the size and thickness of a penny, the Verbatim Tuff’N’Tiny are water resistant, durable and guaranteed to last a lifetime.
    • The wrap up: Technology keeps getting tinier and tinier! These Tuff’N’Tiny USB devices are the answer to any tech geek who misplaces things because it fits neatly onto a keychain – just don’t lose the keys. You never know when you’ll need to transfer files on a dime.
  • The rise of archival discs: This year, the holographic discs touted to last thousands of years gained more prominence. The Millenial Archival M-disc is at the forefront of the game, with a tagline of “Write Once, Read Forever.”
    • The wrap up: Do we really need data discs to last for 3,000 years? Who knows what Earth will be like then? But still, the idea of permanence is fascinating. And these discs have been proven to be virtually indestructible.
  • New devices revealed at Korea’s Electronic Show: The 42nd annual Korean technological convention featured major names like Samsung, LG, Mach and Taiyo Yuden all showcasing their new gadgets for the theme “Be Smart,” which focused on smartphone technology.
    • The wrap up: Who knows all that 2012 will have in store, but smartphones getting even smarter is a sure thing on the list. Some of the wild devices revealed were “smart” vacuum cleaners, “smart” washing machines and “smart” fridges that do the shopping themselves. Here we come, Jetsons!
  • Moverio revealed the world’s first 3-D mounted head display: Powered by Android technology, this crazy little device is essentially a headband that allows the user to see two fields of vision at the same time, whatever is in front of him and a streaming 3-D video in surround vision and sound.
    • The wrap up: Seeing double isn’t just for drunk Uncle Harry anymore, but the question is: will it confuse the brain, or pave new pathways for even greater multi-tasking? With the world’s information overdrive hitting full speed, let’s hope it’s the latter.

We also covered important how-to’s like:

  • How to choose a conversion cable
  • How to compare DVD media
  • How to choose the right media for different projects
  • How to prep master discs
  • How to utilize technology to master any presentation
  • How to determine the right printer

Some of the other topics touched upon include:

  • Lightscribe disc labeling
  • Trends in disc packaging and disposal
  • The issue of piracy under federal law
  • New printers and label makers from Epson
  • Faster disc reproduction technology
  • Verbatim pocket CDs
  • The Android iPrint app
  • A consideration of DVD vs. Blu-ray
  • Easy to make holiday gift ideas

So as you can see, we’ve had a busy year in 2011. Stay tuned for more great media news updates and techie information in 2012!

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Last Minute Gift Idea for Dad or Brother

Electronics, Special Events, VerbatimNancy Woo24 December 2011

So it’s a few days before Christmas (and the middle of Hannukah), and you still haven’t figured out the “wow” gift for dad, husband, brother or boyfriend. You know he’s just as mesmerized by his techie gadgets as the kids are by their talking toys, and you want to get him something that’ll really give him a kick. Here’s a great stocking stuffer idea for those last-minute shoppers.

He’ll probably be a little confused at first, then as it slowly dawns on him what a cool little thing this is, you’ll watch his eyes light up:

It’s not just a wallet, it’s a wallet drive by Verbatim. Shaped exactly like a black leather wallet with red “stitching,” following the look to the tee, it’s actually an external hard drive with 640 GB of storage. Measuring in at only 4.5 in. by 3.5 in., with a clever design to amuse and almost unbelievably fast write times, this one is sure to be a keeper. With one review[1] clocking a 6.5 GB transfer in at just under three minutes, it doesn’t seem like this drive is going to be testing anyone’s patience.

This clever little hard drive is backed by a seven year warranty and includes a short USB 2 cable. Super easy to use (you just plug it in and go), it won’t be fooling anyone with technical tricks – the only trick is its cover design, and that’s a fun one. While it officially retails at around $193, Amazon and other big stores chop the price down to around $100. For a stylish, sleek and fast hard drive with a lot of storage, that’s a pretty good price. And the chuckle in his eyes when he sees it? Priceless.

 


[1]http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/review/verbatims_wallet_drive_puts_640gb_in_your_pocket/?utm_campaign=feature

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Black Friday: Worth the Wait?

Electronics, Special Deals, TechnologyNancy Woo25 November 2011

Every year it seems like the Black Friday madness gets crazier and crazier. Since the U.S. economy took a nosedive in 2008, holiday shoppers may be on an even more constrained budget than usual, making the drop-down prices of Black Friday even more appealing. What are the crowds like this year?

While the economy is still struggling after the crash of 2008, Black Friday sales are expected to rise 2.8% from last year, as 150 million people try and snag the best soon-to-be-expired bargains.[1] Since the U.S. Census Bureau currently calculates the U.S. population to be 312 million[2], that means about half the country will be partaking in the mad holiday dash, and to the tune of roughly $465 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.[3] This year, even Apple, a company infamous for never having any deals, offered certain meager holiday discounts.

 

2011 is a year of many firsts – it marks the first year that many retail stores across the country opened their doors at midnight, instead of opening early in the morning as usual, while some stores simply never closed. How soon until people forego their Thanksgiving meal altogether in order to wait in line for a half-priced toy?

The term Black Friday was supposedly coined in the 1960s after Philadelphia police officers had to deal with massive traffic jams on the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the term solidified in the 1980s, when the popular theory became that people were taking their checkbooks out of the red and into the black.

Black Friday could have another meaning as well. The ferocity and violence that possess many consumers on the Friday after Thanksgiving has given many a crazed shopper a black eye – or worse. Perhaps the worst case of shopping violence occurred in 2008, when a retail worker at Wal-Mart, 34-year old Jdimytai Damour (weighing in at 270 pounds, 6 feet 5 inches), was trampled to death by the savings-hungry mob.[4] Has the economic meltdown taught the U.S. consumer base nothing about balancing our bank accounts, other than to become more and more vicious?

Half the country is out shopping ‘til they start dropping, but is it really worth it? Some truly think so, and for families on a budget, this may be the one day of the year when they feel they actually have a chance to buy Timmy the video game system he really wanted or embellish the home with a new TV. Some people have even been reported to have started waiting in line for Black Friday deals since Monday.

There may be solid reasons for struggling families to endure the biting cold and banality of waiting in line for days, just to grab a limited-time only deal, but there may also be other ways to save the pocketbook while ensuring a happy holiday season.

In 2005, Cyber Monday was born. Whether it is complementary or competitive with Black Friday, Cyber Monday marks another holiday bargain-busting day, this time bringing Internet retailers into the mix. Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after Thanksgiving when most people return to work, and when a massive number of Internet retailers offer their special holiday deals.

The advantage of Cyber Monday is that no one risks serious injury, no one has to wait in line for days, and no one is wearily shopping up and down the aisles at 3 in the morning, a time when some bad shopping decisions might be made. Cyber Monday allows shoppers to browse deals from the comfort of their home or office, and while there may be a limited amount of items or an expiration date to the deals, the stressful frenzy is not nearly as present.

So far, the Internet hasn’t seemed to change things too much on Black Friday, since this year already shows 150 million people out shopping, but it is nice to know that some great deals can be found online without having to battle through barbarous crowds.


[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/nov/25/black-friday-sales-stampede

[2] http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html

[3] http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/nov/25/black-friday-sales-stampede

[4] Ibid.

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