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Epson Releases New POS Printing Device With Bluetooth

Epson, News, TechnologyNancy Woo19 December 2012

Mobile POS technology is a $5.5 billion industry worldwide, and it’s the fastest-moving retail trend since Internet was added to brick and mortar locations. It makes sense because in a world that’s on the go more than ever before, portable POS systems allow anyone from servers to corporate managers to take their business with them and complete transactions anywhere. Mobile POS systems generally connect easily to a smartphone and allow online transactions to be completed through a credit card slot.

Now, Epson has added Bluetooth capabilities to their leading line of mobile Mobilink POS printers to make virtual transactions and printing receipts even easier. The Mobilink P60 Thermal Printers are compatible with all iDevices, including the iPad, iTouch, and iPhone. The wireless connection is through Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless networking standard. The Bluetooth open wireless connection protocal makes connecting to the Internet safe, secure and reliable from practically anywhere.

Mobilink is not just for Apple; Mobilink devices also support Android and Windows operating systems with options for Wi-Fi 802.11 and Bluetooth. Mobilink was originally launched in 2003 and is the leading mobile POS system for retail and hospitality environments. The device is perfect for efficient, high-speed, reliable POS printing with an autocutter and label peeler, depending on the version. Belt strap and shoulder strap options are also available.

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Black Friday Sales Begin With Blu-Ray

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the States, which means it’s also the start of the holiday shopping season.

News broke a few weeks ago that the majority of the latest Apple laptops are devoid of any optical disc drive, suspiciously pointing to Mac’s subtle intention to do away with the technology. Though Apple may be moving away from hard disc storage in favor of USB or cloud-based storage (or maybe they just decided to sacrifice disc drives in order to make the Macbooks even sleeker and slimmer), it’s not impossible or even difficult to still play CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays on these driveless Macs.

All it takes is an external disc drive. For those die-hard DVD or Blu-Ray fans, you’ll still want a way to play your discs on a new Mac, and this year on Black Friday, there are a slew of sales that will surely help you find that special piece of technology you’ve been looking for. While Apple retails their external disc drives for around $79, other brands offer a better deal.

We’ve tracked down one great Black Friday deal so far that will allow any new generation Mac user to play their collection of Blu-Ray:

Click on the ad to be taken to the site.

Macgo is offering a special discount for their Mac Blu-Ray Player up until November 25th. The Macgo Blu-Ray Player will be available for $39.95, a 33% markdown from the regular $59.95. The same price discount applies for the Windows Blu-Ray Player for PCs. Also, the Blu-Ray Suite for both Mac and PC is marked down from $119.99 to $54.95. Who doesn’t love Black Friday deals you can buy online? You don’t have to worry about long lines or pushy soccer moms to get this great deal.

This year, the Blu-Ray Association authorized Macgo, a leading multimedia company, to become an official Blu-Ray product manufacturer. Macgo’s Mac Blu-Ray Player is the first Blu-Ray player for Mac OS, supporting versions 10.5 up to the latest 10.8. The newly upgraded version of this player allows Blu-Ray streaming from a Mac computer to Apple mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad and it also has a built-in wireless AirX function. Just plug in the USB from the Blu-Ray Player to your Mac and watch high-quality Blu-Ray without any frame loss. There is also a function to recommend movies on Facebook or Twitter.

You’ll also need free Blu-Ray player software, which is available for free online. And why not pick up some blank Blu-Ray discs to record your favorite memories and maybe even get started on that holiday slideshow you’ve been salivating over?

Happy Black Friday!

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Apple Tries To Phase Out CDs With New Line Of Macs

Blu-ray Media, CD-R, DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo30 October 2012

Talk of the end has been happening for a few years now – no, not just the end of the world, but the end of the familiar data storage devices known as CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. With more digital downloads, virtual space creation, mp3 players and storage in the cloud, rumors have been spreading that the inevitable end of CDs is just around the corner. Vinyl and cassette tapes have faced their inevitable demise, so are CDs going down the same path?

Apple plays no small part in the shift from optical disc drives to alternative storage. Since 2008, Apple has been starting to phase out optical disc drives in their computers, but it has generally been slow and gradual. CDs are still a primary method of information transference for many people.

However, just a few days ago Apple announced their newest line-up of computers, and only two out of a slew of new computers contained a drive for discs. One of the reasons for this is that Apple is somewhat like a beauty pageant princess going for the gold – their computers just keep getting slimmer and slimmer, and the Macbook Air has long been too thin to contain room for a disc drive. But except for the Mac Pro and Macbook Pro without a Retina display, all other lines of Apple products, including the iMac, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro with Retina displays, all astonishingly lacked an optical disc drive.

The sleeker, slimmer models come at a price – there is no convenient way to use CDs, DVDs or Blu-Ray. While it’s true that other types of data are available, many people own collections of musical CDs, DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. And what about when professional data discs need to be accessed? If the end of the CD is in fact headed our way, the time has not come yet.

It’s not, though, impossible to access discs with any of the new Macs. All you would have to do is buy an external disc drive. Apple sells their USB SuperDrive for $79 and other brands are even cheaper. Is the transition to sleek worth the hassle? Many will think so, but the CD isn’t out of sight yet – Apple is just making us work a little harder for it now.

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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 Announces 3 New Home Projectors

Epson, TechnologyNancy Woo09 September 2012

Epson, leading manufacturer of printers and technological innovator, just announced three brand new home projectors to their line of products. They’ve been leading the pack in this arena for a while, and many spectators and business folk alike were excited to see the company unveil these three new puppies at last weekend’s CEDIA EXPO in Indianapolis, Indiana. So if you’re in the market for new home theater devices, take your pick of the options below.

Here are the 3 new projectors announced for the Power Lite series:

1. Home Cinema 3020/3020e:

The 3020 is the basic home movie projector, starting at $1,599. Here are some of its stand out features:

  • 1080p display resolution
  • 2,300 color and white brightness
  • 230 watt lamp
  • 40,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 2D and 3D viewing, with 2 pairs of rechargeable glasses included
  • built-in 10 watt speaker system

The 3020e, which retails for $1,799, includes all the features of the 3020, except for the built-in speaker system, plus wireless HDMI connectivity and 5 outlets for HDMI devices, along with a wireless transmitter.

2. Home Cinema 5020UB/5020UBe

Moving on to the mid-range home movie projectors, the 5020 boasts these features for $2,599:

  • 1090p display resolution
  • Both 2D and 3D viewing options with glasses included
  • 2,400 lumens of color and white output
  • 230 watt lamp
  • 320,000:1 contrast ratio
  • horizontal and vertical lens shift for easier placement

As you can see, the quality of picture is significantly clearer. For wireless connectivity and 5 HDMI outputs, the 5020e offers these same bonus features for HDMI advancement, for a total of $2,899.

3. Pro Cinema 6020UB

For those serious cinema lovers, the best of the best (for now) is the Pro Cinema 6020UB. For $3,499 this high-end projector comes with all the features of the 5020/5020e (excluding wireless connectivity) and adds these additional bonuses:

  • THX 2D and 3D certification
  • ISF calibration
  • Color isolation
  • Ceiling mount
  • Cable cover
  • Extra lamp

With these three options, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your home theater from the renowned printer and technology company Epson.

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New Macs Rumored To Lack DVD Drive

Blu-ray Media, DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo22 August 2012

Though uncertain, some recent rumors have been floating around that Apple’s newest iMac and Macbook Pro will lack something that every computer nowadays has: a DVD drive. It may seem shocking, but remember the bygone days of the floppy disc? Will the DVD go the way of the dinosaur, VHS and the floppy, eventually fading into a distant technological memory?

Some clues this might be happening:

  • Not yet released desktop Apple computers, iMac and Mac Pro, have model numbers that are listed on retailer websites under the “non-disc” categories.
  • AppleInsider notes that newer Macs will be equipped with USB drives for reboot and recovery, with no mention of the traditional CD/DVD reboot and recovery drives.
  • Newer Mac Mini and Macbook Air models are also listed under the “non-disc” categories.
  • Apple has a business model based on the iCloud, encouraging a move toward cloud-based storage.

It doesn’t seem out of the question that Apple may forego the familiar DVD drive in favor of ramping up USB or Cloud opportunities, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the DVD is dead. PCs will surely still have DVD drives for a long time to come, and with HD technology still high on the priority list of videophiles, there is still great incentive to have access to DVD drives. Plus, if a shift will happen, it will be in slow phases, as the technology curve is slow to reach those on the lower-income side of the scale.

If technology is moving forward and leaving DVDs behind, we’ll all have plenty of time to prepare, and until then, it’s still just a rumor. Still, disc-printing technology is one of the most affordable and accessible ways to duplicate information, not to mention that Netflix and other video sharing organizations supplement their Internet streaming capabilities with a physical DVD, and DVDs are undoubtedly more functional than the obsolete floppy. Also, an optical disc drive encompasses more than just a back up DVD – cutting out this drive also cuts out the possibility for CDs, Blu-ray and HD DVDs. It might just be a good idea to have both DVDs and USBs on hand, since each have their advantages and disadvantages.

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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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How To Turn Home Movies Into DVDs

DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo22 July 2012

One of the best things about modern technology is using it to suit your personal needs. Making your own movies has been on the top priorities list of homegrown American families since the VHS recorder was invented, but these days technology has allowed for so many grassroots movies to sprout. Just look to YouTube for evidence. Yet, the Internet isn’t the only place to store those precious homemade movies. It’s a great idea to have personal movies stored on DVD, not only for safekeeping but also to showcase proudly in your physical library.

So, how can this be accomplished?

First of all, most movies recorded on mobile phones, camcorders or handheld cameras will appear on your computer as .AVI or .MOV files. We’re going to go through the basic process of converting .AVI files to DVD.

1)    Connect your video source (camera, camcorder or phone) into your computer using the appropriate USB cable.

2)    Download the files to your computer. Depending on the quality, length and speed of your transfer, this can take anywhere from minutes to a couple hours. Be patient, and try not to use the computer for other purposes while the transfer is taking place.

3)    Once the .AVI files are successfully stored on your computer’s hard drive, you’ll need video editing software to touch up the movie and then burn it to disc. Using your choice of editing software, open your .AVI files with the software and import them into the library. Make sure to save the file with a unique name you will remember.

4)    Here comes the fun part! Using your editing software, you can tweak the footage to your liking, removing unwanted scenes, fixing shaky images and even adding special effects, transitions and title scenes. This is a far stretch from your mom’s home movies of the 80s.

5)    Save your new edited footage with a different file name than the original, so that you can always have the raw footage to return to should you ever wish to return to original scenes or start anew. You can save it as a .AVI file or as a DVD project.

6)    Next, you will need DVD authoring software and a high quality blank DVD. Using the DVD authoring software, import your edited file into the program and save as a new file.

7)    You can then create a DVD menu page and add scenes, creating a professional looking DVD file just like the ones you buy off the shelves. Except, this time, the movie is about you!

8)    Once you have the project finalized to your liking, burn the movie to a blank DVD.

9)    If you want to go all out, you can use professional DVD printing to print a customized color label to the surface of the DVD, imprinting your own title and images.

10) Store it in a case and put it on your shelf, ready to show any wayfarer who enters your home!

This process is so easy and fun, and all you need to create your own professional looking movies and DVDs is to invest in editing software (some computer come with basic programs, like Apple iMovie), DVD authoring software, and a stack of reliable blank DVDs. Once you have these in your bag, you’re ready to go. Happy movie-making!

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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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