The Top 5 Gadgets of 2012

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. Believe it or not they make the world go round. Whether we love them, hate them, need them, use them, or just plain want them; gadgets are cool. Yes, if nothing else they’re cool! Life can be tough at times and gadgets are there to make things a little easier (and have fun while doing so). It was a real shame to hear “Q” in the new Bond movie, Skyfall, say that gadgets are a thing of the past, part of an “old” generation and have gone out the window for Double “O” agents. Why do that? We want to see a gun doubling up as a homing beacon, or a trip wire dispenser. The bottom line is we all love gadgets and here are few to look out for this Christmas season.

HOME: – liGo BlueWave

Given the popularity of mobile phones, landlines are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But for those unwilling to carry their “hand extensions” everywhere they go so as to not miss a call, need look no further than the new liGo. Connect liGo to your mobile via Bluetooth technology and simply plug-in your landline. Now you can answer up to 3 different mobiles via your home phone (corded or cordless) and make use of dialling out with those 1000′s of unspent inclusive mobile minutes from anywhere in the home. Impressive, right? Especially useful for those of us whose mobile carrier signal suffers severe paralysis anywhere except for the most cumbersome of places. It’s fully iPhone Voice Dial and Siri compatible as well. What more could you ask for?

HEALTH/FITNESS: – Garmin 910XT

Looking to get fit and stay healthy? This little device may quickly become your best friend. Sporting all the goodness of Garmin that runners have come to love, this GPS watch will do more than just track your run. Non-runners, or those keener on other disciplines have swimming or cycling mode fully supported, along with multi-sport and triathlon mode – you’ll be sure to find fitness indoor or out a pleasure whatever the weather. With ANT+ wireless technology you can connect your foot pod or heart rate monitor (HRM) or both if you fancy and get instant feedback on up to 4 different workout statistics at once and full workout review upon completion at your PC. With accurate GPS tracking you’ll soon be pushing yourself harder, faster, and further than you ever have trying out the Xbox Kinect, and be “cool” while doing so. Although it comes with a steep price tag compared to simpler and cheaper models for fitness newbies unsure of whether fitness is for them, it’s a good a multi-sport fitness aid and one you’ll be sure to hold onto for many a year, the 910XT gives great bang for your buck in the long run.

FUN: Archos Gamepad

This 7-inch 1024×600 resolution device is truly built with gamers in mind. Packing Android 4.1 JellyBean straight out of the box, the Gamepad is a fully functioning tablet with a lot of twist. Under the hood, it boasts an impressive 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with a Rockchip RK3066, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with Micro SD support for more. The major appeal of the device is the built-in dedicated gaming buttons that most console and handheld gamers are used to with controls, buttons and triggers to keep everyone happy. Due on the market at any day, at a possible price tag of just over £100 this is one to look out for. Okay, it’s no PS Vita, but with an Android platform, HDMI port and all things tablet worthy, it’s not trying to be a one trick pony handheld console. An awesome gamer tablet it surely is.

TV: LG EA93 21:9 monitor

For the serious cinematic experience seekers look no further than the LG EA93 21:9 aspect ratio monitor. Sporting 1080p HD resolution but on a massive 2560 horizontal pixel display making it a visual utopia bettering the 16:9 by a mile and then some. Imagine coupling up 2 of these babies via its Dual-Link connectivity and we are talking one major screen viewing area. There’s the standard HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and others, giving you everything you need from a screen. Bear in mind though, it’s not the same height as an IMAX screen, but nothing is, so you’ll still get a little cropping here and there, so be warned. Otherwise, welcome to cinema at home.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Sony NEX-6

Although a love for film and all the darkroom developing fluid goodness that comes with it still has a place in many a heart, there’s nothing like having a good quality digital camera to hand when you want a good photography experience without lugging around your DSLR, and no, an iPhone simply won’t do. As a step between the NEX-5N and NEX-7 the NEX-6 is perfect for those wanting beautiful 16 megapixel photos in a small package. The APS-C sized sensor produces wondrous low light pictures, preferable over the NEX-7′s 24MP offerings, and you can pixel peep til your heart’s content on the flip out screen. Using the same amazing OLED viewfinder found on the NEX-7 and Alpha A99 models, manual focusing is a doddle, whilst if autofocus is your preferred modus operandi then it’s as fast and accurate as you can get in mirror-less technology, even if not quite beating the competition in the higher price bracket. With Wi-fi included in the body, uploading your pics couldn’t be faster or easier, using the PlayMemories app. Using Sony adapters you get compatibility for all your Alpha, Leica and third-party Tamron/Sigma lens offerings, meaning you can use your favourite lenses as usual just on a smaller scale.

So there you have it! A little something for everyone to dip their hands into. One thing’s for sure with these gadgets, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you’ve tried them so jump on board, the ride is wild!

Oxford- A City Guide

Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England,
With a population of 134,248 (2001 census). It is home to the
University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking
World. It is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by
Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of the
University buildings. The Oxford suburb of Cowley has a long history of
Carmaking, and still produces BMW MINIs.

History

Oxford was first employed in Saxon times, and was initially known as
"Oxenaforda". It began with the foundations of St Frideswide's nunnery
In the 8th century. The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th
Century records. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College
(1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).

During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in
1642, after the king was expelled from London, although there was
Strong support in the town for the Parliamentaryarian cause. In the 19th
Century the controversial surrounding the Oxford Movement in the Anglican
Church drew attention to the city as a focus of theological thought.
Oxford's Town Hall was built by Henry T. Hare, the foundation stone was
Laid on 6 July 1893 and opened by the future King Edward VII on 12 May
1897. By the early 20th century Oxford was experiencing rapid
Industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing
Industries becoming well established by the 1920s.

Places of interest

Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the
University and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the
Town center is home to Carfax Tower and a historical themed ride, The
Oxford Story. In the summer, punting on the Thames (sometimes called
The Isis as it flows through Oxford) and the Cherwell is popular.
Other notable attractions include:

  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin (the University Church)
  • Martyrs' Memorial
  • Ashmolean Museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of the History of Science
  • Science Oxford
  • University buildings
  • The University Parks
  • The University Botanic Garden
  • Cornmarket Street, Oxford
  • Turl Street, Oxford
  • Little Clarendon Street
  • Oxford Covered Market
  • Westgate Shopping Center
  • Museums and Art Galleries

    Oxford has a large number of museums and galleries open for public.
    Following are the world famous and a major tourist spot in Oxford:

  • Ashmolean Museum, Britain's old museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History, home of (the remains of) the Oxford Dodo
  • Museum of the History of Science, in Britain's oldest purpose-built
    Museum building
  • Museum of Oxford
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Science Oxford
  • Shopping

    Golden Cross, an arcade of first-class shops and boutiques, lies
    Between Cornmarket Street and the Covered Market. Parts of the colorful
    Gallery date from the 12th century. Many buildings remain from the
    Medieval era, along with some 15th- and 17th-century structures. The
    Market also has a reputation as the Covent Garden of Oxford, with live
    Entertainment on Saturday mornings in summer. In its way, Alice's Shop,
    Played an important role in English literature, it functioned as a
    General store (selling brooms, hardware, and the like) during the
    Period that Lewis Carroll, at the time a professor of mathematics at
    Christ Church College, was composing Alice in Wonderland.

    It is
    Believed to have been the model for important settings within the book.
    Today, the place is a favorite stopover of Lewis Carroll fans from as
    Far away as Japan, who gobble up commemorative pencils, chess sets,
    Party favors, bookmarks, and in rare cases, original editions of some
    Of Carroll's works. The Bodleian Library Shop, specializes in Oxford
    Souvenirs, from books and paperweights to Oxford banners and coffee
    Mugs. Castell & Son (The Varsity Shop), is the best outlet in
    Oxford for clothing emblazoned with the Oxford logo or heraldic symbol.

    Food and Drink

    Oxford offers European and Middle-East and Asian cuisine. Some of the
    Restaurants are:

  • Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant
  • Gee's Restaurant
  • Le Manoir aux Quat 'Saisons
  • Rosamund the Fair
  • Al-Salam
  • Browns.
  • Exceed these restaurants Oxford hosts some traditional and historic pubs

  • The Eagle and Child
  • The Turf Tavern
  • The Lamb and Flag
  • The Bear
  • Education

    The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is
    The oldest university in the English-speaking world.
    Events and organizations and institutions officially associated with the
    University include:

  • Worcester College, Backs of medieval cottages
  • The Oxford Union Society
  • The Oxford University Press, the world's oldest and largest
    University press
  • The Bodleian Library
  • Major Research Libraries (including the Sackler Library)
  • Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
  • The Taylor Institution
  • The Oxford University Student Union
  • Oxford University Newman Society – Catholic speaker society
  • The OICCU, the undergraduate Christian union
  • The Oxford University Museum of Natural History (sometimes called
    The Oxford University Museum)
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum
  • The Ashmolean Museum
  • The Bate Collection
  • Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum
  • Oxford University Sports Federation
  • Oxford University Boat Club
  • The O'Reilly Theater
  • Moser Theater
  • Rothermere American Institute
  • Said Business School
  • The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
  • Computing Laboratory
  • Isis Innovation
  • Sports

    Oxford City FC and Milton United FC among others are two famous
    Football club and play regular club and league matches. Oxford
    Cavaliers Rugby League Club is the rugby club playing for Oxford city.
    Drayton Leisure Golf Driving Range is the golf course with 9 HOLE (PAR
    3) COURSE and 6 HOLES FLOODLIT. As a city in UK it has a number of
    Cricket teams and hosts tournaments like Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire
    Cup, National Cricket Club Championship, The Cricketer National Village
    Championship etc

    Tours and Sightseeing

    There are a number of tour operators in Oxford. The tourist information
    Center is also very helpful to find out a way to enjoy the visit
    Of Oxford.

    Hotels and Accommodations

    Accommodations in Oxford are limited, although recently, motels have
    Sprouted on theirts – good for those who want modern amenities.
    In addition, if you have a car, you may want to consider country houses
    Or small B & Bs on the outskirts of town
    Some of the notable hotels are:

  • Victoria House
    Hotel
  • Cotswold Lodge
    Classic Hotel
  • Westwood Country
    Hotel Ltd
  • Holiday Inn Oxford
  • The Oxford Hotel
  • Oxford Thames
    Four Pillars Hotel
  • Express by
    Holiday Inn Oxford Kassam Stadium
  • The Bat &
    Ball Inn
  • The Upper Reaches
  • Abingdon Four
    Pillars Hotel
  • Oxfordshire Inn
  • Days Inn Hotel Oxford
  • The Plow at Clifton Hampden
  • Marlborough Arms Hotel
  • The FEATHERS
  • Macdonald Bear Hotel
  • White Hart Hotel
  • Transport

    Oxford is located some 50 miles (80 km) north west of London; The
    Cities are linked by the M40 motorway, which also links northwards to
    Birmingham.

    Rail connections include services to London (Paddington), Bournemouth,
    Worcester (via the Cotswold Line), and Bicester. The city also has
    Regular train services northwards to Birmingham, Coventry and the
    North. The railway service connecting Oxford and Cambridge, known as
    The Varsity Line, was discontinued in 1968.
    The Oxford Canal connects to the River Thames at Oxford.

    Oxford Airport at Kidlington offers business and general aviation
    Services.
    Local bus services are large provided by the Oxford Bus Company and
    Stagecoach South Midlands.

    What Is Digital Marketing? A Guide to Marketing in Today’s Digital World

    In the world of business development and branding, going digital is all the buzz. So just what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

    Digital Marketing Defined

    Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of businesses and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at the moment, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile and even forms of traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially any marketing media that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

    This leaves only various forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising and direct marketing outside of the digital marketing umbrella. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards and posters are all starting to connect to their digital counterparts. With items like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always has a digital marketing connection.

    Why the Focus on Digital Media?

    The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners and consumers alike. The ever-increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes going digital a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media and mobile advertising is much easier to track than traditional marketing media such as print advertising.

    For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media and e-mail marketing are low cost alternatives to print advertising and direct mail. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size, and help to even the playing field for start-ups, small businesses and independent consultants seeking new business.

    For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a must. When consumers are in need of goods and services, gone are the days of thumbing through a phonebook to find them. Now, we whip out our mobile devices or head to our computers for answers – and we find them fast.

    Using Digital Media to Build Your Business and Brand

    No matter what size your business is – large or small to medium sized business / enterprise (SMB or SME) – you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely in your website, and be sure that it does the following:

    • Adequately represents your business and brand (look and feel, messaging)
    • Adequately speaks to your target audience
    • Can be found by searchers on top search engines
    • Is up-to-date and easily navigable
    • Provides multiple channels for customer communication
    • Connects to other marketing efforts

    It is recommended that you work with a professional web design firm that is skilled in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your top business investments.

    Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch regular monthly or bi-monthly e-mail campaigns, and connect with customers via social media. If you are truly on a shoestring budget, these are efforts that can be done in-house (by someone with the proper knowledge) or for a low cost by an outside digital marketing agency. Be sure that all of your efforts lead customers back to your website where they can fully engage with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they contact you.

    If you’re interested in getting aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside some digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Many businesses today rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common misconception among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific key words and phrases, meta data, page content and linking strategies that will help it reach top search rankings.

    Because many key words and phrases have stiff competition for top search rankings, you will need to supplement your organic search engine optimization efforts with pay-per-click advertising. Getting established with pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be a little daunting, but with a little time, effort and instruction, that too can be accomplished in-house, or for a reasonable cost through an outside digital marketing agency.

    Beyond e-mail, social media marketing and search engine marketing, you can venture into a host of other digital marketing efforts. Mobile advertising, radio, television, electronic billboards and much more are available as marketing outlets. Whatever digital efforts you choose, they should all connect and tie into your foundation – your company website.

    If you have the means, a wise investment would be to engage the services of a digital marketing agency to assist in your marketing efforts. Today, many digital agencies offer multiple levels of service to accommodate businesses large and small.

    Five Superior Patio Furniture Types For Summer Living

    When you are looking for the perfect patio furniture to enhance the quality and comfort of your outdoor summer living, you need to invest in something that will hold up over time, yet still provide a comfortable lounging experience.

    While many think they are getting a good deal with discount chain brands that cost very little, the reality is that these types of furniture simply do not hold up well over time, and can actually cost you more in the long run if you must replace them Every year.

    By investing a little more in quality, you will find your budget for furniture stabilizes over a short amount of time.

    Here are five of the best options for your money:

    Iron Furniture: With a history that dates back as far as the second millennium BC, iron has been serving mannered for thousands of years. It is a terrific substance for meeting your patio furniture needs as it produces a strong product that will stand up over time and support the wear-and-tear that furniture naturally experiences through use and the elements.

    Teak Furniture: Wrought deep from the heart of the monsoon forests, teak is a thick wood that builds in both durability and comfort when used for furniture designs. And as furniture, it is a great choice if you are looking for something that will resist the weather, as teak patio furniture choices are sanded and polished to perfection.

    Rattan Furniture: A wood family that includes over 600 species of palms, rattan is a natural at making your furniture strong and comfortable at the same time. It is a substance easily shaped and adjusted for a variety of looks and designs while still maintaining the properties that make for one of the most relaxing pieces of patio furniture on the market.

    Wicker Furniture: There is a reason wicker patio furniture is one of the most popular styles for your outdoors living needs. It has an antique look that adds style, grace, and elegance to any backyard or covered patio environment. There is just something about the look of a wicker weave that encourages admiration for its careful craftsmanship. Sometimes that is why furniture enthusiasts continue to make it one of the most popular.

    Plastic Furniture: What plastic patio furniture lacks in choice and durability, it makes up for in comfort and maintenance. With plastic patio furniture, you do not have to constantly take action to improve or maintain the quality of the selection. It is lightweight, easy-to-move, and in its own way just as relaxing as its more expensive counterparts. It is perfect if you frequently host outdoor activities, or if you just want something at a lower cost.

    Crack a cold one open and meet the family on the patio. It is time for summer, which means it is time to relax. With patio furniture that suits your tastes and your budget, you will be able to kick back and enjoy these days for all they are worth with your friends and family. And that, you can not put a price tag on!