A new survey from the UK has thrown up some interesting results, on the technology knowledge of US Citizens.
UK consumer electornics company liGo surveyed 2,999 male and female adults asking them to answer questions on a number of technology and non-technology related acronyms. Almost 2 in 10, 19.8%, of the participants could not identify the well-known acronym SMS which is used with in the cell phone market for “Short Messaging Service” or more commonly known, text messaging.
The reason it is so surprising is the fact text messages were the most widely used data application in mobile phones with an estimated 3.5 billion users in 2010. Traditionally text messages only meant that users could send a short 160 character message via their handsets, but in recent years and with the improvements in the space this limit no longer really applies.
Of those surveyed 8% believed SMS to be a form of internet slang and more surprisingly over 11% believed that there was a more sinister connotation thinking that SMS was short hand for sadomasochism.
One of the weird non-tech acronym results was when the participants were asked to identify UKIP, which as a right-wing political party in the United Kingdom. 17% of the American participants thought that it was an acronym for a type of ‘urinary tract infection’.
The survey asked about some other common technology acronyms such as:
DECT – which was correctly identified by 71% of participants as a digital communication standard used in cordless telephones. Unfortunately 14% thought that it was an Australian government quango and 15% said that DECT was an area of dense population in Eastern China.
ISDN – 55% of the people surveyed got this correct as it is an integrated digital communication standard used to deliver data, video and voice over the telephone network. 35% confused this with ISBN which is a unique numerical identifier for a book and 10% thought it was a UK civil order for anti-social behaviour, which is actually an ASBO.
VoIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a method to deliver voice and video communication over the internet. Most people will recognise this by the service names such as Skype or Zoom. 19% thought that VoIP was a social network and 13% thought it was viral infection that impacted puppies.
ADSL – was recognised by 60% as a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional voice band modem can provide, or more commonly known ‘broadband’. 20% incorrectly assumed it was a disability standard from the European Union (EU) and the others guessed it was a brand name of a pet insurer.
A spokesperson for liGo commented on the study, “This was an internal market research exercise to identify the use of technical acronyms we use in our day to day business.
It was quite surprising to see just how many people have difficulty identifying quite well known terms such as VoIP and SMS. There is clearly a lot of education to be carried out by the telecommunication industry.”
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I am so happy with this great find and have used it every day at least three times a day since I downloaded it. Simple MP3 Downloader is exactly what its name suggests and is in my opinion the best mp3 download app available. I work from home so this means I have full reign over what I feel like listening to all day. As great as that sounds I find myself often stuck with no idea what to listen to. I have resorted to audio books and as fun as that may be nothing beats being exposed to a song you have never listened to our finding a new favourite band.
The Simple MP3 Downloader app is so easy to use it makes me wonder why I ever streamed off Youtube or downloaded from torrent sites. Sometimes you just want the music at your fingertips right now and that is the service this provides. It has three menus on the top, short and to the point. You have the Music search tab, your Downloads tab and the Library of your music. That is all you need to have hours of endless auditory pleasure.
To download a song you simply type in the name or the artist. What I particularly love is that if you type in a song name and the artist name it gives you every possible version of that song. I found myself getting exposed to some phenomenal remixes by DJ’s I had never heard of with a rock band I love. I even ended up finding some hidden treasures of songs that I never even knew an artist had done before. This app gives you all the musical information you could need. How many people loved it, how many downloaded it, song length and what genre it falls under.
This for me is one of the best apps for downloading music. You can even type a genre into the search bar and a list shows up of all the most downloaded songs in that genre. A great feature to add as often the people who rate the music are fans of that particular sub category of music.
Let us not deny how many times you have had a song stuck in your head and all you want to do is instantly listen to it. This is a daunting task as I now have to scroll through all my music folders, of which there are thousands, to find that one song. Now I can just type it into the search bar and there it is, along with every possible version of it that you could fathom.
I spend a lot of time searching for new music and I often leave empty handed. I also get a lot of random songs stuck in my head. It is almost as if the developers of this app had me in mind as their demographic and for that I am thankful. I see the Simple MP3 Downloader being the one essential on every smart phone so we can get smart and efficient about our music.
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On 10 July Microsoft released its latest brainchild to the app market, Climatology. I took a big sigh of relief and thought to myself ‘It is about time’. Microsoft’s research team has decided to put all their long and hard work into an app so everyone can be aware of Climatology. This is at least what I thought when I first installed the app. I had recently watched the award winning ‘Chasing Ice’ documentary and hoped that this type of footage and information would be made available. All the information about our climate and global warming awareness would be at my fingertips I thought. I was wrong.
You open the app and it really does not have much to it. There is a spread out world map with colours ranging from blue to red on a grid. This is from -5 degrees which is the lowest to 51 degrees which is the highest. You can select any point on the map and it will show you the temperature as well as which months of the year. On the bottom are three different climate icons you can look for. There is a temperature gauge to show you the average temperature in that region; rain drops to show you the average number of days of rain in a month, and the sun to show you the average percentage of sunshine per day.
That pretty much sums it up and I am needless to say slightly disappointed. I would have thought that if you were going to create an app to show the Climatology of our world that you would use this to your benefit. This could be such an extraordinary platform to create global awareness. There is no point in trying to debate global warming anymore as we can see its effects daily and if not then you are either blind, ignorant or both.
How great would it be if this app could give you useful guides on how to save power and how to cut down on carbon emissions. You could even go as far as adding links to websites or research and really give people a reason to want to keep this app open for more than 10 minutes. It takes so long to scroll to a particular area and for it to load the map, users will get frustrated in no time. I would have loved the option of a search bar on the top to type in the name of a destination.
The Climatology app feels like it does not deserve the hype because it was not made to create awareness but to be a great way to plan events such as holidays and weddings. You can now feel confident in making plans for the future as you can see what the weather might be doing on that day. It is a climate based app so it deserves the name but then it is not much different from other weather apps out there and anyone who has used them can tell you how bad they are at predicting the weather forecast. This app needs a lot more work.
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In a new age where everyone is starting to embrace a universal consciousness it is no wonder meditation has shot up in popularity. This ancient practice has now been making headlines for its amazing potential on healing the human body and mind. I even read an article about how Hugh Jackman has meditated for over 20 years. I mean this is Wolverine we are talking about. It got me thinking that there must be something to this. What better way to come to terms with something than to try it out yourself.
I started meditating about a month ago after having been exposed to the incredible writings and teachings of Deepak Chopra. What I found to be most amazing was that he describes how most people are brought into spirituality from having felt extreme suffering. I had been exposed to very negative people and this had over years brought my soul great unrest. Indeed it is true then that suffering is what lead me to this point.
Seeing as I am normally incapable of sitting still for more than five minutes I decided to download a guided ten minute breathing meditation. Before I knew it, on my first ever try I got it right and carried on into a deep meditative state for an hour. Maybe my soul just really needed that time out more than what I knew. Since then my life has honestly changed for the better and my emotions do not govern me even a tenth as much as they did before.
I started doing the Hemi-Sync Gateway Experience designed by Robert Monroe but those each take quite a bit of time. I often wished I had other audio meditative assistance that I could set on a timer. Low and behold I find this newly released app called Meditator. The app is so simple but yet provides what every start out meditation student is looking for.
You can select which meditation session you are looking for from silent to with music, to binary beats and guided meditations. You can even select from a drop down menu of selections for each. For myself though the winning feature is the ability to just set a timer and relax knowing that you will be awoken from your meditation by an automated system. I live a very busy lifestyle and sometimes can only squeeze in 10 minutes and other times I have an hour. This app enables me to plan my meditation schedule to suite my lifestyle.
There is a section where it monitors your achievements however I find this totally unnecessary. If you are doing meditation in order to gain approval than you are missing the entire point of why it has been around for so many years. They should just keep it to the basic layout as that is all you really need. I like the fact that you can select different types of meditation as well, this really makes it more interesting. If you meditate, this app is an essential when you live a busy lifestyle.
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Amongst my search for the latest in apps that have been released on the market I stumbled across this little treasure. The Voice Changer 2 app was released today and even though I have never used the first one I was intrigued. Especially as it is so entertaining to get a helium voice but always at the expense of some balloons.
I decided that only pure fun could come from trying this app and I was right. It is as simple as the name suggests, it changes your voice to a variety of different sounds. You first press on the microphone icon and record what you want to say. Once recorded you choose to save it and then select which effect you want your voice to have.
There is a helium option which was my first choice and then I found myself having hours of entertainment trying them all out. There is minion, drunkard, smurf and even alien. It was so easy to just push play and listen to which one I liked and then select OK when I want to save it.
In no time my friends were getting sent really creep voice notes as it is as easy to share as it is to record. You just save your option, click on share and choose the multiple options to spread your strange voice messages.
Call it a cheap thrill and there is no way this app will entertain me for much longer. It did however keep me entertained just long enough to give my friends a good laugh. If you looking for some mindless kicks that do not take much time but provide much laughter then this app is for you. I just hope they keep it alive and add even more voices, some famous people couldn’t hurt I guess. Overall a fun experience.
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I have been using the Duolingo app for three weeks now and know how to say more in Spanish than I ever thought was possible. The best part is that I do not sound like a complete idiot and my pronunciation is not too shabby at all. It is as easy as creating an account and advancing step by step through the language skills system. You progress through the different levels from basic language to tense and verb phrases. It can all be done at your own pace which makes it even better.
The true testament to this apps success is how extremely fun it is and how learning eventually feels like you are playing a game. In essence you actually are playing a game. You get three hearts to start with on each level. Each time you answer a question incorrectly, you lose a heart. If you get the answer wrong four times then you need to repeat the level.
Duolingo is a highly motivational app as it allows you to earn points that can be spent on making your own character owl look really cool. You can even get your friends to join you on your quest for knowledge and end up making really great challenges to help you learn. Making the learning experience fun and interactive whether on your own or in a group.
It is designed to teach you from the basics in the beginning to the more advanced in the end. No being thrown in the deep end and forced to swim. The lessons start with basics like male/female and move on to food and phrases. Once the easy part is over you move on to sentence structure and more challenging tasks. What I personally enjoyed was that it not only asked you to translate from Spanish to English but from English to Spanish as well. This really helped me grasp the language as I was now forced to write in it, not just merely guess the words.
My favourite and hands down best attribute to this app is the daily reminders that I receive reminding me of the winning streak I am on and why I should continue with my awesome progress. There is just no beating cheap compliments and a good nudge to keep you motivated. It is either you feel this way or extreme amounts of guilt for having ignored the message.
Duolingo is an entirely free application that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or ipad. It is structured in the best way that I have seen a language course layout. I am a walking and Spanish talking testament to how good this app works. I now feel confident and am determine to follow my three week not one day missed streak of language success. This app will continue to grow into an even more popular sensation once it adds more languages. Duolingo is the best language platform out there and everyone should be using it.
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The Line app is the best in multi platform communication apps. It was designed in Japan after an earthquake when all communication systems were down. Since then it has spread globally like wild fire and has become one of the essential apps for every phone. It can be used on android, OS or Blackberry. It has a comprehensive platform of features and can satisfy any way you wish to get your message across for free.
Once you install the app you can sign up with your mobile number, no need for unnecessary accounts to be created. You can add your friends from a contact list or make group chats, you can even scan a barcode or simply shake your phones next to one another. A very fun feature I might add. If your friends don’t have Line it is as simple as sending an sms or e-mail to invite them.
What makes this app so efficient and well liked in my opinion is the multiple platforms you can choose from. You can make free calls or send contact information, images, videos or voice notes. It incorporates all the ways we like to communicate with each other into one app. The quality may not be as great as Skype but it still works and does not lag.
You can add cool games or buy stickers to send to your friends. There are even a few freebies in between for you to take advantage of. You will even find the option to leave a voice message if the person misses your call. As well as it provides a timeline to keep you up to date with what your friends are doing. The nice thing is that it does not go off with notifications but instead only opens when you open the Line app. No annoying updates going off every two minutes.
The only possible thing I could think of that would make this app better would be if it could call landline numbers. I have total faith though that with time the popularity will keep growing and the developers will find a way to fix this one small issue. Line allows you to create your own social network and offers you the ability to make groups of up to 100 people or more.
There is not one bad word that can be said about an app that combined the best of all the other apps and made the best communication network out there. Born from a disaster and destined for great success, you should delete all the chat apps you knew before and switch to the new revolution. You should ensure you have a good internet connection so that you can fully take advantage of all the cool features and to make sure you call quality is always at its best. You will find yourself spending more time on Line than you would on Facebook. It allows you to share with those who matter the most to you in the best way possible.
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I want to laugh so hard at the fact that I actually predicted what I am about to write about. In my first review I stated that I could see something going wrong with the Amnesty International Panic Button App. I stated that we have all made accidental pocket dials so it is only a matter of time until an accidental distress signal is sent. Low and behold that is how my poor parents were shocked this fine Monday morning.
I mentioned the problem I felt this app would face would be with the slide unlock function on the android phones of today. I decided to go to the Post Office this morning and put my phone into a pouch on my wallet. Upon arriving home I got a phone call from my mom ‘Are you in trouble?’. I respond ‘No why? Did you get a bad feeling?’. She informs me that her, my dad and boyfriend all received a distress signal.
I began to apologise profusely for the false alarm and proceed to let everyone know that I am in fact alive and okay. At no point had I opened my wallet or touched my phone so the concern I had in the beginning with the slide action happened to be true. Somehow the touch sensitive screen rubbed against my wallets fabric and opened the app and pushed buttons. As crazy as this sounds to have occurred so perfectly, it did.
There is no reason to believe it will not happen again. I was tempted to uninstall this app and told my parents this after apologising profusely for giving them such a massive fright. They made a very wise point and said that if it did anything it just proved that the app works. They were sent my location as well so they knew where I would have been. It even went as far as contacting my boyfriend on Viber as his text would not go through.
The advise that I would give however is that the app has to be opened with a passkey, just to prevent the touch screen from doing its own thing. It causes quite the scare when the panic button is activated by accident. By adding a simple pass key of even two numbers it could prevent this from happening.
Amnesty International’s App is still a brilliant idea and has been tested to work, even if it was not intentional. Luckily I had told my contacts that they were on the list so they were fully aware of what was going on. Well done to Amnesty International, this is a great way to notify the ones you love that you are in trouble. It is essential that this becomes a must on everyone’s phone and that they really consider the passkey option. This simple adjustment would make things run a lot smoother especially when our phones are so smart that they do their own thing.
I have been using this app for the past two weeks now and honestly feel like the layout is just something that cannot compete with other learning institutions. The courses they offer are no t really bursting with variety anyhow. I am not a technologically or mathematically minded person and it seems that Udacity is focused on that. I firstly had to search through each and every course available before I could find the one I could do. This happened to be Intro to Psychology. This was not by choice but because there was not really much available to choose from in the creative fields.
So I start with my first module and immediately it takes a while to load and this is already annoying. The course is broken up into a combination of exercises and videos. I would advise that if you are doing the course in public places to bring headphones. The course work is made up of videos and you do not want to be listening to this in a crowded coffee shop. The videos range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The coursework is not available on Android so in order to do the exercises you need to log into the website. Once again this seems like too much admin and makes the easiness that this app is supposed to deliver, to be lost.
Fair enough some of the questions are interactive on the app but I do prefer having everything a bit more on the easily accessible side. Having to link an app to its website becomes a burden as now you have accounts all over the place even long after the app has been uninstalled. I could just be a fussy app user but I also believe in giving something a fair chance. At least I can say I have tried.
My main issue with this app is that it is so easily compared to better learning programmes available. My favorite being the Khan Academy that has multiple categories of free courses to choose from and subjects that can suite any walk of life. This establishment has been around a long time and has mastered the way that we should learn online. It is a brave move for Udacity to step on this territory especially when they do not offer as much. I have been a member of the Khan Academy for a long time and have gained many different certificates. These qualifications have gotten me much further, in big part due to the fact that the Khan Institute is already so well known and established.
There is not really much for a creative person such as myself to benefit from the Udacity app as most of the courses are more focused on mathematics, programming and web design and development. If this is your interest in learning than the Udacity app is definitely for you. If not then you will have far better luck looking elsewhere.
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