Come on, Time to Green Up Your Cell Phone Life

Green Up Your Cell Phone Life

Our modern society has placed an emphasis on giving back. Giving to those less fortunate, giving to charities and, perhaps above all, giving back to our planet. Where do you start? This is a question that often confounds people so much that they never start at all. One of the simplest ways to give back to mother earth is with your cell phone. Over 4.6 billion people worldwide have a cell (or mobile) phone gone are the days of the phonebook its all at our fingertips but most of these people aren’t aware that their phone could be the easiest way to begin their quest in saving the planet.

Recycle

We all know we should recycle but that doesn’t mean that we do it. Often, recycling isn’t convenient and, if it isn’t easy, we don’t want to do it. Many communities are taking the initiative with free recycling centers, recycling days or even recycling bins for each household. We replace our cell phones at an average of one phone every two years. What do we do with those old phones? Most times they take up room in a junk drawer or get tossed in the bin. People may forget, or never have been aware, that they can recycle those old phones. If you need a new phone, why not give your old one to your child? Kids often want, but don’t need, the newest gadget; your phone will be new to them and won’t take up valuable landfill space.

Monitor Energy Use

To leave as small a carbon footprint as possible, compare the energy use of different mobile phones when deciding on which to purchase. If you can’t bring yourself to buy a phone that uses the smallest amount of energy, either because of its style or features, take a look at the settings in the phone you do choose and try to adjust them to lower its use of energy. You often won’t have to give up functionality to better utilize the phone’s energy.

Green Applications

Different apps can help you reduce your carbon footprint, live greener or even scan products as you’re shopping to see what their environmental impact is. Other apps may help you decide on the greenest vehicles, the greenest appliances and even give you tips on how to reduce your energy consumption inside the home. Finding green apps couldn’t be simpler; log onto your app store and search ‘green’. The choices are virtually limitless.

Green Broadband

When deciding on which provider you will utilize, look for one that donates a portion of their proceeds to different charities or that seek a carbon neutral status. By partnering with a green provider, you are being about as environmentally friendly as you can get.

Written by Firespin Jay a Eco and Tech enthusiast from London also enjoys playing with fire (POI) so come say he @FirespinJay and hope to chat soon.

Telephone Systems For Small Business Are Facing A Revolution

If you’re running a small business and still using a static phone line, where have you been for the past few years? Telephone systems for small business have undergone somewhat of a revolution, all thanks to the rising popularity of VoIP.

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Voice over Internet protocol, more commonly abbreviated to VoIP, is the process of using internet connections to establish voice communication with others. With online communication playing a major factor in business success, VoIP allows you to instantly connect with other users free of charge.

Telephone Systems For Small Business
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Gone are the days of needing a static BT phone line; if your business has access to the internet, and almost 99.9% do, then your businesses can start using the services of one of the many VoIP Providers UK. VoIP providers are able to offer businesses a cost effective way of communicating with customers and business clients across the globe. Before VoIP, businesses were faced with large communication bills and often struggled to communicate effectively with overseas clients and customers. The development of VoIP has radicalized the way in which companies now communicate with each other.

It is not always necessary to be logged onto a computer terminal to receive VoIP calls. There are many providers who provide adapters that can be used to convert conventional telephone handsets into VoIP receivers. As well as these adapters, it is also possible to buy dedicated phone units primarily for VoIP communication.

With communication being of vital importance, providing telephone systems for small business has become big business. The internet is full of websites offering the services of an abundance of VoIP providers UK who are currently at the forefront of this new and exciting technology and offer some of the best deals around. A quick internet search will guide you to VoIP comparison sites that will allow you to compare current VoIP pricing and offers.

If you’re a small company looking to utilize VoIP for your business, then are several things that you need to consider. When choosing a VoIP provider it is vital to ensure that they can offer your business the reliability and technical support your business requires.  It is no good jumping into bed with a provider just because their price is cheap; if they are unable to provide you with a reliable service then your business will ultimately be the one to suffer. Almost all telephone providers in the UK, including Virgin Media and Sky, offer VoIP services for its customers.

The benefits of using VoIP are endless. Three way calling, conference calling and call diverting are just a few of the benefits that companies can experience. Of course, the main benefit of VoIP is the huge financial savings that can be made. Several companies, like Skype and Virgin Media, offer free unlimited calls to other users anywhere in the world. In fact, many VoIP users have seen their communication bills reduced by almost 90%!

Telephone services for small business have undoubtedly been revolutionized by VoIP providers UK  and all sizes of business  are benefiting from this new way of communicating.

This post was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Maintel. Amy writes on a number of subjects but has a particular interest in communications and how modern businesses can make best use of them.

Five Bits of Technology for Mobile Phones

The first generation of mobile phones dates back to the 1970’s when bulky hand-held mobile radio devices were first developed. Since this time, mobile phone technology has expanded exponentially. Here we look at just five pieces of mobile phone technology that have changed the way we use our phones.

Batteries and Technology for Mobile Phones

Battery technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and has contributed to the constantly reducing size of the phones. Traditionally, the batteries were made from nickel but more recently these batteries are being made from lithium, which is famously the lightest metal known to man. These are lighter and can hold their charge for longer, which make them an ideal candidate for mobile phones. The future of phone battery technology is thought to be in solid-state batteries and the race is on to create one that can be mass produced. These would potentially massively increase the length of charge that a phone battery could hold and greatly decrease the manufacturing costs.

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Liquid Repellent
There is now technology for protecting mobile phones from the effects of liquids. Much like waterproof watches, these range from those that can withstand a few splashes of water, such as being caught a light rain shower, to being resistant to being completely submerged in deep water for long periods of time. This technology is a godsend for many people. For example, anyone who works in the great outdoors, sportsmen and women and boaters, amongst many others. These phones are currently being made by several of the most well-known mobile phone manufacturers, including Nokia and Samsung, and it is very likely that more will join them. The phones are made water resistant using advanced nano-technology and coating them in a chemical water repellent substance that does not add weight or change the look and feel of the phone.

GPS
One greatly used piece of technology in mobile phones is GPS or ‘global positioning system’. Many people are familiar with GPS, a technology that has been used for many years to provide reliable location and time information on the go in mobile phones. Using satellites phones with GPS can pinpoint your location anywhere in the world very accurately, up to around 10 metres. More and more phones have included GPS and many can now double up as satellite navigation systems in cars. This ability to have an accurate worldwide map in your pocket, with your precise position at any one point is a much over-looked piece of technology.

Technology for Mobile Phones photo
Photo by mikecogh

3G and HSDPA
Many phones now use 3G technology, the third generation of wireless technology, which allows high-speed transmission, worldwide roaming abilities and enhanced audiovisual streaming on the previous 2.5G technology. Recently, HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) has started to replace this technology in more advanced mobile phones. It has also become known colloquially as 3.5G or turbo 3G due to its significantly faster download speeds with a massive theoretical maximum speed of 14.4Mbps. In effect this maximizes productivity without requiring a wireless network to connect to.

Touch Screens
Ever since Apple brought their massively successful iPhone to the market, touch screens on mobile phones have become more and more popular. There are two types of touch screen typically found on mobile phones – capacitive and resistive. Resistive touch screens work by sensing pressure on the screen, whether that is from your finger or a stylus. Capacitive, the newer technology, uses electrodes that sense the conductivity of your finger when placed against the screen. Each has their pros and cons, the ability to use a stylus means that you can make more accurate selections on the screen, whereas capacitive screens are typically more intuitive and sensitive, requiring only the gentlest touch or swipe. Users have enjoyed using touch screens in new and inventive ways, from pinching the screen to zoom out to ‘double clicking’ to select and copy text. This technology is changing the way we interact with our phones forever.

Article by P2i.com – Market leaders in nano-technology and water repellent coatings.

Mobile Apps Meet Privacy & Security Concerns Among Consumers

Geolocation sharing services like foursquare, MyTown, Loopt, and others have been getting a lot of press lately in marketing circles.  Geolocation is still in early adoption stages, but it is growing rapidly among mobile users.  Unfortunately, privacy concerns are growing with it.  You might think that the eagerness of location sharers to distribute data about their lives to other users and to companies is a sign of ignorance or unconcern, but it is neither.  These users are choosing to accept a certain loss of privacy in return for certain benefits. But, they expect certain boundaries to be observed.

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Below you can see the results of a study by privacy services TRUSTe and Harris Interactive.  The smartphone owners they surveyed stated that they were most concerned about their privacy.

The reason that these users agree to participate in many apps with advertisers is because they still feel as though they understand the agreement and are in control of the situation.  In fact, 36% of the survey participants said that they felt in control of their personal information.  How do participants assure themselves?  By setting strong passwords and by reading privacy policies thoroughly before opting in or signing up, users feel safe.

Even though other surveys show that many mobile device users could potentially be interested in opting into advertisements which target their location based on tracking data, three quarters of the population surveyed in this study indicated that tracking by advertisers disturbed them.

Mobile Apps Meet Privacy
Photo by IntelFreePress

White iPhone 4 displayed at a Softbank mobile store in Omotesando, Tokyo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mobile privacy and security issues will only continue to receive more attention and press as mobile location sharing services grow into the mainstream, particularly with the opening of Facebook Places, which is introducing location sharing to more and more users.  Just a couple weeks ago, there was a lot of press surrounding a log file that tracks and records the movements of the iPhone it resides on.  If a person should acquire the iPhone, he can view all this tracking data unencrypted, and discover the movements of the iPhone (and its user) since the log file was introduced onto the device.

In reality, this problem has been in existence for a long time.  In the past, it was revealed that government agencies make regular use of these types of log files in mobile phones to find out where users have been and what they have been doing.  These searches are often conducted illegally without a warrant.

When a user signs up for an app and reads the privacy policy, it may include an agreement to be tracked by the company.  What it does not include is an agreement to submit to illegal search and seizure by the government.  These are the kinds of fears that permeate the consciousness of a mobile user though, and not unreasonably.

What this means is that until these broader legal dilemmas are more resolved, mobile users will be concerned about privacy and security issues; tracking in particular.  This doesn’t stop a lot of people from signing up or opting into apps with companies which track movements though.

If you are starting a geolocation campaign, it is crucial that you understand the privacy and security concerns of your patrons and that you take steps to protect their privacy.  Make it very clear in your user agreement what your policies are and how you are protecting the security of mobile users.  Let them know that you share their concerns.

Mobile users can benefit from geolocation targeted advertising.  The tricks is to make sure that they are benefiting from it, will ensuring their data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Spencer Belkofer is a blogger, researcher, and follower of anything related to Internet marketing. He recently founded Lumin, an Alabama-based Internet marketing firm. Lumin has recently included infographic design as one of it’s service offerings.

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Five iPhone Apps to Help in Addiction Recovery

Technology has proven itself useful in many areas of human healing, including addiction recovery. While they not to be used as a replacement for treatment, several iPhone apps can be a handy means of support for someone right when it is needed most.

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Pocket Sponsor The Pocket Sponsor is an iPod application that offers wisdom, inspiration, and hope. Daily support alerts arrive automatically, but the user can also read additional support messages with a simple tap of the screen. The app provides 31 days of unique morning and evening routines that develop emotional stability and calm. These routines involve meditations, positive mantras, and supportive messages that can be used throughout the day. There will be times when the addict cannot reach a sponsor or other trusted support person, but the Pocket Sponsor will be there day and night.

addiction recovery photo
Photo by JoeInSouthernCA

iPromises

This iPhone app provides three separate features. First, it allows the user to track his or her recovery with journals and charts that document accomplishments, challenges, triggers, and time spent sober. For many users, the ability to document there feelings in a readily available journal provides great motivation. The second feature is “One Day at a Time.” Users can use these daily messages to build unique recovery programs based on which messages speak to their hearts. The final aspect of iPromises is the Geo-Positioning feature. The iPhone’s built in GPS makes finding a nearby meeting easy.

12 Step Programs Ann-e creates several apps designed to help addicts stay connected to others who understand their struggles. An application exists for all 12 step programs, broadening the sphere of support beyond individuals to reach the entire recovery community. The app offers tree types of communication, including anonymous peer-to-peer instant messaging, connecting anonymous users by phone with conference bridges, and facilitating personal meetings between trusted peers.

Guided Mediation Apps There are numerous apps for the iPhone that assist in guided meditations, an important part of maintaining a calm mind during recovery. Apps generally provide various themes such as “Mindfulness” or “Being Happy” with multiple sessions ranging from 2 to 20 minutes. Those in recovery can download a single meditation or acquire a small collection to find those most useful in stress management.

Cognitive Therapy Apps Cognitive therapy helps addicts reprogram their negative thoughts and behaviors to create a more positive mindset going forward. These apps typically include a journal for users to write down negative thoughts and behaviors as they notice them. They can then notice patterns of thought and behavior that can be corrected and improved. The journal is also helpful during therapy sessions, allowing the user to more readily communicate issues with the therapist. Unlike a traditional notebook, the cognitive therapy apps have locks to protect the user’s privacy.

Jessica Bosari writes for TherapistSchools.com, a site that helps students find the right therapy education, whether they seek behavioral, physical or addiction therapy schools.

Five Occupational Therapy Apps for iPhone

Occupational Therapy Apps

Technology available for the iPhone can be a boon for occupational therapists and their patients. But with Apple supporting over 140,000 applications, how can you wade through the trash to find the treasure? We have put together a list of the five best apps available for the iPhone that can be of tremendous value to therapists, doctors, and patients.

MedAlert – $0.99

This app is perfect for anyone who has trouble remembering to take their medications due to ADHD, the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, or simple forgetfulness. Fully programmable and customizable, you can input the drug name, patient, and the dosing schedule for multiple users. When it’s time for medication, the iPhone will alert the user. Therapists can recommend this app to patients who they suspect are missing doses, even if they will not admit it. This happens most often with elderly Alzheimer’s patients who try to avoid letting their symptoms show for fear of being taken from the home setting. Setting up this app for a patent allows them a greater sense of security and personal dignity in a difficult situation. The app is designed to be easy to use to avoid overwhelming the patient with new technology.

SoundAMP – Price Varies By Features

Not everyone with hearing loss is ready for hearing aids, but many still need help with clarity in certain situations, such as crowded areas. This app helps the hearing impaired by letting them record and playback. It also offers sound magnification, which is an excellent substitute to hold patients over until they can replace a lost hearing aid or dead battery. Therapists can suggest this app to anyone suffering from an auditory processing disorder or hearing problems.

Locabulary – Free

People who are deaf, stutter, or otherwise have difficulties speaking may benefit from this free app. It helps them communicate when they need assistance, instructions, or need to make simple statements. Through a menu of customizable simple phrases, the patient can tap the appropriate phrase and the app will speak on the patient’s behalf. The patient can also input the phrase to speak, making communication easier for the patient wherever he or she may go.

Occupational Therapy Apps
Photo by Carolyn Coles

Accessibility

This is already included with the new iPhone 3GS. This feature, available in 21 languages, speaks aloud to tell the user what each button or option on the screen will do. The patient need only touch the button to hear the function. This is great for anyone with vision problems, and also works with text input.

Islet Diabetes Assistant- $2.99

Therapists can recommend this handy app for anyone with diabetes, especially for the newly-diagnosed. This program allows the user to enter their blood sugar levels, insulin dosage, exercise, and carbohydrate intake. The results are then placed on a graph that can be shared with healthcare professionals. This method is far better than keeping hand-written logs or making unreliable guesses.

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Jessica Bosari writes for TherapistSchools.com, a site that offers tips and advice for becoming a therapist and finding the best Occupational Therapist Schools. The site also helps students in other therapy fields such as Child and Addiction Therapies.

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