Tech Talk

Tech Talk

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

By the I.T. Guy

Click aqui para español- > Viernes Negro y Lunes Cibernético

What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday? These are the days when stores have their lowest prices of the year. Black Friday started back in the early 1950’s and was introduced to get stores out of the year-end’s red numbers and get them to profit. Cyber Monday started in 2005 as a need to get the most out of the long weekend and to profit from those who prefer to shop digitally and avoid the crowds.

This year’s Black Friday is on November 23rd and Cyber Monday is on the 26th. These take place after Thanksgiving opening the holiday shopping season.

These special offer days happen with stores lowering their prices on most of their electronic items for deals that entice people to camp outside the store fronts. Most of the time stores have limited quantities of stock on their best deals, which creates the high demand.

It is worth noting that big brands have special models that do not include all the features, so they can have these discounted items on these days. You can find out ahead of time which items will be on sale in a store through apps and local newspapers.

Some people refrain from purchasing electronics during the whole year, waiting for these days to score a great deal. Which of these days is better for shopping? Black Friday has better deals, but stock is limited, and you must be there fighting the crowds to take advantage of the deals.

With more and more stores closing and filing for bankruptcy because of online retailers having better deals, it all points towards eventually having an only online-sale holiday in the future. Last year’s “Black Friday” sales fell 4% while “Cyber Monday” sales rose 18% as people were shopping comfortably from a computer and avoiding the crowds.

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A ‘new’ device every year?

A ‘new’ device every year?

By the IT GUY

Click aqui para español->¿Un dispositivo "nuevo" cada año?

With the quick changes in smartphone technology we find ourselves expecting a new gadget every year. Apple released its new version of the iPhone during their Keynote presentation from the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12th, 2018. Now the big question is...Is it worth upgrading devices every year? Are you willing to spend $1000+ every year for a smartphone that looks almost identical to the previous one and has just a few minor upgrades? Big cellular companies even now offer plans that allow you to swap your cellphone every year with a premium monthly cost. The new set of iPhones was released with its versions XS, which arrived in stores on September 21st, and the XR which will be available in stores on October 26th. Let’s take a look at the specs and the main differences from the iPhone X released last year.

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Call Centers

TECH SUPPORT: Call Centers in Latinamerica

By the I.T. Guy

Click aqui para español->"Call Centers"

The massive use of technology nowadays requires a more and more advanced level of knowledge to solve and overcome technical problems with the different devices that we use.

To offer technical support to users, many American companies have found that Latin America has an ideal workforce to support this mission, as it not only offers high quality technical support, but also offers service in Spanish to the more than 35 million Spanish speakers who reside in the United States and who have an annual purchasing capacity of 432 billion dollars.

Thanks to the American influence in Latin America and to the fact that many Latin Americans have resided in the United States, it is easy to find bilingual personnel in this region. Multinational companies find qualified employees and manage to save costs in salaries when operating in Latin America, and although this practice causes controversy in the United States because it takes jobs abroad, outsourcing benefits these companies and Latin American countries.

With VoIP technology, or over-the-Internet calls, call centers can operate from any country and receive multiple calls, as if they were taking place within the same geographical area. Call centers are not limited to offering technical support. Call centers can perform other functions like telemarketing, sales, surveys, appointments, cell phone activation, fund-raising, and reservations, among others.

Many people who lived in the United States and who return to their country of origin, either by choice or in many cases by deportation, seek employment in these call centers because their English proficiency allows them to get a competitive job, and also because they get to work with peers who share similar interests and lifestyles influenced by their time living in the United States.

In some cases, the English proficiency of these representatives is so good that the customer never realizes that the call is being answered in a different country. The countries in Latin America where most call centers are located are Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. 65% of calls from the United States are answered outside of the country.

The high demand for call center jobs in Latin American countries has created a need for schools to offer higher level English classes since many college students seek part-time call center jobs while pursuing their careers. A full-time job at a call center is well seen in Latin America. These jobs created by American companies have become a great source of employment and contribute greatly to the economy of Latin American countries.

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Foldable Screens

Trend Watch: Foldable Screens

By the I.T. Guy

Click aqui para español->Pantallas Flexibles

With smart phones becoming smarter and bigger, the next step in the improvement of this technology is the incorporation of flexible screens. This shift in screen technology is being applied beyond telephones to a wide range of devices, which are becoming thinner and bigger. Television sets are the other electronics that get many advantages of developing flexible screens.

Rumor has it that Samsung and LG, the leading television and smart phone manufacturers, are planning on releasing a dual screen smart phone and a television with a foldable screen by next year.

What does this mean for the consumers? As usual, it initially will mean customers who need to have the latest technologies will pay top prices for the new features, but in the long run, everyone will get to enjoy the advantages of flexibility, space-saving, and bigger surfaces, not to mention the technology will open the world to a whole new set of apps.

While screens get bigger on smart phones, they also demand bigger batteries, which will come with more weight. While we are already seeing smart phones with curved edges and curved televisions, a flexible technology will allow the user to flex the screen on demand.

These rumors leave us with a pile of questions and expectations and what we know for a fact so far is what LG revealed during the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show (CES). LG unveiled a 65-inch foldable screen television. This device uses OLED technology for its screen, which is composed by tiny lights that power each pixel individually allowing the screen to bend. In the demo video (Scan QR Code to see it) the flexible screen gets rolled into a cabinet-like case. As exciting as it sounds to have this technology, the bulky encasing of the LG product defeats the space-saving purpose derived from its ability to fold.

 We are hoping in the near future; the company improves this aspect in a way that will allow for the screen to roll itself into the wall and completely disappear when not in use.

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Technology in your emergency kit

Technology in your emergency kit

By the I.T. Guy

Click aqui para español->Tecnología en su kit de Emergencia

Technology has become a part of us. The Hurricane Season is upon us, having started on June 1st, and will last until November 30th. As residents of South-eastern Louisiana, we must always be ready for the worst-case scenario.

Technology can save our lives and there are several ways we can use it to be prepared for this active season. An effective way to approach hurricane preparedness is to think of it as preparing for a family camping trip.

Of course, having a smartphone with a data plan is necessary nowadays, especially during an emergency. Even though social media is not a necessity, it serves as a method of reaching everyone in your network instantly to let them know that you are safe after any catastrophic event. It also serves as a great platform to perform massive calls for help and also to better direct helpers in the right direction.

Data plans allow the possibility of texting family and friends, but for your smart device to work you must have access to a power source. Because electricity is one of the services that we lose easily during a hurricane due to strong winds and electrical storms, it is wise to add power banks to your emergency kit. It is important to remember to check that they are charged prior to the event, and to use power banks only when necessary during the storm.

Solar chargers may also be used to power telephones and other small devices, which can be plugged in through USB ports. Technology makes many things easier and relying on its assistance during an emergency can improve any dire situation. You can use a variety of apps on your smartphone to check the weather forecast, to listen to official communications, and to get local information from news stations.

Some apps can even be used to provide rescuers with your location during search operations. Hurricane Katrina served as a clear example of how telephone lines could fail. During and after Hurricane Katrina it was almost impossible to make regular phone calls.

Only through the use of data were people able to reach relatives and friends via text messages and emails. If there is a mandatory evacuation, people should understand the danger of staying behind. But for other events that have not warranted a mandatory evacuation, the use of technology can save your life. Having a reliable data plan and using technology should be incorporated into your traditional emergency kit.

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Cutting the Cord

By The I.T. Guy

Click para español ->Cortando el cable

In today's world, having Cable TV at home does not seem like a viable option anymore. Instead, having high-speed Internet has become a "must" for average households in America.

It was not long ago when Cable TV exclusively provide at-home entertainment. Everyone's wish was to have the fanciest Cable TV package to have access to their favorite shows or sports events. Those days are long gone! Nowadays, consumers can purchase off-the-air antennas (OTA) to receive open broadcast television channels from the airwaves. In the Metropolitan New Orleans area, an OTA can pick up roughly 45 local channels, three of them being Spanish broadcast stations.

Cable TV is usually offered at high monthly prices, especially if a person opts for the premium packages. The streaming era has made it difficult for Cable TV providers to keep their customers hooked. For some time, they have been trying desperately to keep       their customers by creating bundle packages with cable, telephone, and Internet services at lower prices prevent customers from

"cutting the cord".

There are ways to keep yourself entertained at home. A convenient setup for those to decide to forgo the cable bill is simply purchasing an OTA antenna and pairing it with a streaming device such as the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, or even a Smart TV. With such a set-up, you can easily watch almost everything and feel as if you had a full Cable TV package.

The biggest downfall of "cutting the cord" is getting reliable sports programming. Sports broadcasters have managed to keep Cable TV alive by getting exclusive rights at a hefty price for sports events. Even though some digital platforms have gained access to major sports contracts, they won't be able to push broadcasters aside anytime soon.

Streaming sports events is also difficult because of its live nature, fast-moving camera shots, the use of elaborate animations and the need for a national reach.

Depending on the Internet to get all your programming content will require your investment in a reliable high-speed connection, which may come at a high price and can be an issue for some. However, eliminating that burdensome Cable TV bill offsets that cost.

At the end of the day, if you are not an extreme sports fan, cutting the cord is the way to go. Eventually, television content will be streaming-only. Let's just hope the price for Internet service fees go down.

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Raspberry PI

By The I.T. guy

Click para español - Raspberry Pi, la computadora más pequeña 

Raspberry PI is the smallest and most economic computer in the market. It was developed in the United Kingdom in February2015. The microchip computer was developed to promote the teaching of computing. 

The Raspberry PI, which can only be purchased online, has become the center of attention for developers and “Open Source programmers.” The tiny computer has been well adopted by gamers because it allows them to enjoy playing thousands of retro games from popular consoles and even classic arcade gaming. 

The Raspberry PI is also getting popularity for home automation such as security camera systems and robotics. Users are finding all sorts of ways to use this credit card-sized computer. 

This is one of the best-selling general-purpose computers. With a low price of $39.99, the Raspberry PI has sold over 19 million units in 3years. All the software that has been developed for this small form factor computer is available free and runs a version of Linux. Home media centers are another popular way customers are using this tiny, versatile computer at home.

 

RaspberryPi 3b+ Technical Specs

- 1.4 GH Z 64-bit Quad Cor e Processor

- 1Gigabyte Ram

- Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5GH z IEEE802.11b/g/n/ac Wireless Lan

- 1Ethernet port-

- A micro SD card Class 10 will function as the hard disk

 

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Publisher's Note

As the holiday season approaches the first thing on my mind is "I can't believe the year is almost over!"

Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to count the many reasons why we should be grateful, so I take this opportunity to thank first, our readers and supporters. We are still a young project and it is very rewarding to hear your comments and to receive words of encouragement. I feel very grateful and flattered every time someone says they love what we are doing.

 I'm thankful to be doing something I enjoy, to get to know amazing people in our community, and to continue to learn new things everyday.

To our writers, editors, and contributors, I am honored you believed in VIVA NOLA since its birth and that you have stood by it, continuously sharing your talent, knowledge and skills with us and our audience.

We are growing stronger with the support from our advertisers that make this project possible. To all of you who have chosen to reach our audience and to entrust us with the responsibly of bringing your message across to potential customers, we are grateful and honored to partner with you.

I hope you all have a very special Thanksgiving celebration! Remember to remain calm and sane through the busy holiday season coming ahead.