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IFA 2017: Highlights Of The Newest Tech From Berlin

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IFA 2017

IFA is the largest consumer technology trade show in Europe. Each year in Berlin, thousands people flock to see some of the latest announcements from the some of the biggest names in the tech industry. Let’s take a look at the top five products to come out of IFA 2017:

LG V30

The star of the entire show at IFA 2017 was definitely LG’s successor to 2016’s V20. The V30 is an important milestone for LG. While LG’s earlier flagship, the G6, was a great phone it could not compete with the newer phones from Samsung and HTC. Apparently, even LG admitted that the G6 underwhelmed in sales. However, the V30 may end up being a serious contender among Android phones, especially with content creators.

The screen switches from an LCD to OLED. This results in vivid colors, sharp contrasts, and a screen that should result in better battery life. Like the G6 and almost every other flagship this year, the V30 has minimal bezels with an 82 percent screen-to-body ratio. Also like 2017 flagships, the V30 also has the latest Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB or RAM which makes everything snappy.

The camera is probably going to receive the most buzz. It sports an f/1.6 aperture lens as part of a dual camera setup that is the largest in a smartphone. A larger aperture allows more light to reach the sensor which ultimately leads to better low-light performance and better pictures.

Garmin Vivoactive 3

For the more fitness conscious among us, Garmin announced the new Vivoactive 3. This update to the former Vivoactive HR tries to turn it into a true smartwatch with a rounder body, NFC payments, and more. A new feature called “side swipe” allows users to scroll up and down the display and is activated by running a finger along the left side of the watch.

Garmin is also bringing Garmin Pay to the Vivoactive 3. Garmin Pay is powred by FitPay, a third-party developer of contactless payment systems. Like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay works with Visa and MasterCard from select banks.

Sony LF-S50G Wireless Smart Speaker

Sony introduced quite a few number of products at IFA 2017. One of which was a wireless smart speaker called the LF-S50G which has the Google Assistant built in and looks suspiciously like Apple’s HomePod but costs much less.

Design-wise, the HomePod similarities are clear. A grey or black speaker mesh encircles the entire device while the sides have an LED clock display. The top contains various sensors that allow gestures for playback and volume control if using your voice isn’t feasible. The unit itself is a 360-degree, vertical two-way facing system that includes a dedicated subwoofer for bass along with an omnidirectional two-stage diffuser that provides “maximum sound coverage” in an average-sized room.

The LF-S50G can pair over Bluetooth, NFC or Wi-Fi and supports multi-room controls for audio. Users will also be able to control other smart home devices including wireless speakers that have an integrated Chromecast.

Sony is positioning the LF-S50G as a kitchen assistant and touts its superior audio as the primary differentiation from Google Home. Of course, other major players in the game such as Amazon and Apple will offer significant competition. However, given the LF-S50G’s price tag of $199, it may just sway over people who aren’t keen to live in Apple’s ecosystem or prefer the intelligence of Google over Amazon.

Moto X4

Not be left out, Motorola/Lenovo announced the Moto X4 at IFA 2017. Many astute readers may remember that the Moto X line used to be Motorola’s flagship line of smartphones. That title now belongs to the Z2 lineup. Instead, the X4 covers the midrange. The two new features on the X4 include a dual-camera setup and support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

Being a midrange phone, it doesn’t the latest and greatest specs but the included Snapdragon 630 chip and 5.20-inch, 1080p display is probably good enough for quite a few people. While it may not be as powerful as the high-end phones, Motorola claims that the X4’s 3,000mAh battery should last up to 24 hours of use. The TurboPower charger also provides six hours of use on just 15 minutes of charging.

The Moto X4 has a 12-megapixel camera paired with an 8-megapixel wide angle camera. This will allow depth of field effects such as selective focus and color. The front facing camera is 16-megapixels and has an “adaptive low-light mode” that trades better low light performance for resolution.

Samsung Gear Sport

After launching the excellent Gear S3 last year, Samsung is following up with the Gear Sport at IFA 2017. As implied by the name, this smartwatch is focused on fitness. As such it comes preloaded with the Speedo On app to enable recording of swimming sessions. Samsung partnered with Under Armour to give Gear Sport owners a yearlong premium membership as well as access to Under Armour’s suite of apps including MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun. The watch is also does the usual fitness tracker stuff like heart rate tracking, activity detection, and customizable fitness goals and alerts.

Like most of Samsung’s smartwatches, the Gear Sport runs on Samsung’s Tizen operating system instead of Android Wear. The watch itself has a 1.2-inch AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a 360 x 360 resolution. It also comes with a dual-core processor, 4GB of onboard storage, 768MB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC for Samsung Pay support. Samsung claims that the Gear Sport will last four days on a single charge although that’s without GPS. With GPS on continuously, that battery life number shrinks to 14 hours.

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Home Office Safety Tips

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home office safety

Here’s some home office safety tips. In today’s digital world more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home. The employees can increase their productivity when they do not need to commute daily. The only requirement is an internet connection. However, there come some security issues with this freedom and flexibility. You need to create a safe home office environment to reap the benefits of telecommuting.

Security of sensitive data (Home Office Safety)

Cyber security is a big concern for the business houses as more and more people are electing the ‘work from home’ option for freedom and flexibility. It is vital to work from a secured Wi-Fi connection to keep all the sensitive data away from the prying eyes. The companies provide VPN access to its employees, but if someone hacks the home Wi-fi connection or public hotspot, your data could be compromised. Make sure you secure your sensitive data to have proper home office safety.

So, you need to be extra cautious about other devices connected to your wi-fi. You should also invest in a robust anti-virus software. Do not let your family members use your work laptop. You should always follow the company policy of accessing the company network remotely. Your computer should have up-to-date operating systems, antivirus software and regular scanning programs. You should take extra care about storing office files and backup. The storing location should be approved and accessible by your company.

Workstation safety

Many organizations ask their employees to read and sign a telework agreement. These agreements clearly mention the home safely checklist. People who want to telecommute must have a separate and secure workstation. The work area should be peaceful and quiet. Your desk height and chair should be proper. You cannot work for longer periods if your table and chair are not comfortable. Your back should be adequately supported. Floors should be dry and free of hazards. You must also keep a first aid kit at your workplace. To avoid fire hazards, there should be more than one exit. You should keep a fire extinguisher too. The workspace should be free of clutter and trash. You should keep your work devices far from flammable items. Your office furniture and equipment should be ergonomically correct. Your table should have enough space for computer, printer, document holder, and phone.

Electrical safety

In recent years, computer-related accidents and falls have increased quite a bit. Experts suggest placing the computer or any other work devices away from the edges of desks. You need to organize and secure the open wires to avoid tripping over them. You should install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. You should keep your computer equipment connected to a surge protector. You should not keep any damaged or exposed wiring. Avoid use of extension cords. Keep the electrical plugs and panels in good condition.

The employer often overlooks the health and safety issues of a telecommuter. The teleworkers should have a proper understanding of the hazards of working alone at home. There should be a safety surveillance program to check the ‘work-at-home’ arrangement. Monitoring the safety of every telecommuter is difficult for the company, but they can provide proper safety guidelines to every teleworker. The employees can do self-inspections and send in regular reports to the company HR department.

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Customer Satisfaction Should Be Your Number One Priority

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customer service

No matter what your product or service is, without customers you don’t have a business. This is because customers are the backbone of any business. In fact, customers are so important many businesses have adopted a “customer is always right” policy. Many companies strive to keep their clients happy. However, there are businesses that do not know why customers are important. Here are reasons why your customers should be your number one priority.

No Business

Let’s say that your product is so cool it solves many problems. This is very good but without customers to patronize it, you have no business. Customers are important because without them, your company does not need to exist. Businesses exist to provide products and services to customers. In the entrepreneur world, businesses exist to provide products and service that customers consume. Prioritizing customers will let you learn what they want so that the cycle is unbroken.

Helps You Improve

Customers are important not only because they consume your goods and services, but also because they help you improve. By listening to their feedback, you will learn what can make your product/service better. Many companies spend millions of dollars on R&D but there is no better source than the people who patronize your product. By listening to your customer’s feedback regularly, you can improve and tweak your product so that it gets better each time.

More Customers

Loyal customers are the best brand ambassadors for your products. If they really like your product, they will tell their friends about it. This is good news for businesses because it is free advertising and because it will bring in more customers. Having loyal customers rave about your product to other people is a good way to measure success. By listening to what they want, you are establishing a relationship with your customers. Prioritizing their feedback will gain their trust and they in turn will recommend you to other people.

Quality Feedback

Customers are also the best source of quality feedback. Remember that they are the ones who are using your products on a regular basis. Prioritizing customers means that you are engaging them. You will have good sources for feedback which allows you to analyze quality information. Following this strategy will let your company analyze and respond better to make your products or services improve which could help boost sales.

Make You Rich

When consumers are happy they consume more of your products which can make you rich. How? Customers like to buy from a brand they trust. They are happy to use a product that is of good quality and will recommend your product so that their friends are happy thereby expanding your customer base. The more people that buy from you, the more potential for profit. Most of the time, more profit means more money inside your pocket.

Ensuring that customers are happy and are prioritized is a good marketing plan. Making them number one is a good way to make your business successful. Prioritizing them could start a chain reaction that can propel your business forward.

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Business Insurance And Why You Need It

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business insurance

Business insurance is a requirement that you should not ignore even if you are in a low-risk workplace. For certain business sectors such as healthcare industries, mechanical workshops or amusement parks, getting a liability insurance is essential. Finding the best insurance can be a challenging and complicated process, but it is better to get an insurance coverage. Disasters happen, and you need an authorized protection to save you from severe economic loss.

Why is business insurance necessary?

If you start a business and employ some people, you need to have business insurance. It is a legal requirement. The insurance coverage varies from one country to another. Almost all countries have made it compulsory for the companies to get a liability insurance. You may think that your business is small and has less risk. You can also think that you can afford the losses your companies might face. The business experts always advise getting a proper insurance for every kind of business. There can be natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Fire accidents and thefts are not the only risks. Your business can incur massive losses due to disruption of work. There can be cash crunch, skilled labor crisis, road work, police barricades and criminal acts too. You should consider all the aspects before buying an insurance coverage for your company.

General Liability Insurance

Almost all trades have some liabilities. So, a general liability insurance is essential. Before you hire some employees for your business, get a liability insurance first. Your company becomes the ‘employer.’ It becomes a legal need if you wish to make your business a limited company. If any of your staff falls ill or faces any fatal accident during working hours, your company becomes liable. You need to discuss with your insurance broker about the amount of liability insurance cover your business needs. If there is any death because of their work in your company, you need to arrange appropriate compensation. So, you should avoid any expense trimming while buying insurance for the company.

Professional Liability Insurance

It is also known as errors & omissions (E&O) insurance. This is not a one-size-fits-all insurance. Each industry has different concerns while running the business. So, you need customized coverage for your business. The professional liability insurance protects the business from the claims that the company was negligent in performing their services accurately. When you buy the E&O insurance, make sure you appoint an attorney for your company who can defend the lawsuits filed against the company.

Property Insurance

Property Insurance is a must when you run a business. Be it your own building or leased property, you need coverage. This insurance covers your business inventory, equipment, signage, and furniture from any losses due to fire, storm or burglary. Home based businesses still do not get much coverage from property insurance. You need to ask your insurer for extra coverage.

Product insurance

Apart from the above-mentioned insurance policies, you should get an additional product insurance to cover your manufacturing business. It covers any loss due to manufacturing, distributing and retailing hitches.

Buying insurance for your business is complex. You need a trustworthy insurer. Every business needs a unique package based on the requirements of the company. You should always review your insurance policies and keep them in active status.

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