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10 Ways to Restore Your Creative Energy Using Technology

Whether you’re a DIYer trying to solve a problem, a writer working on a new story, or a designer looking to spice up an old model, perhaps you need help restoring your creative energy.

This article is designed to help you restore your creative energy when it has upped and left you. Maybe one tip will do the trick, or perhaps you’ll have to work your way through the list.

1. Go for a Walk

If you’ve been working on the same thing for a long time, your creative juices may be running dry. If so, it’s time to take a break by doing something else entirely.

One simple idea is to go for a walk. It might not sound like much, but a short walk can reset your system and break the monotony of working.

If you’re feeling lazy, fitness trackers (the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitors


The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring




The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring

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) can be of great help. These devices can help keep you motivated when doing exercise. Their constant feedback about the calories you burn will help you go the extra mile. You can even add friends on some of these devices and compare your activity data.

2. Get Rid of Distractions

digital-entertainment
Image Credit: MikeRenpening/Pixabay

If you’re unable to get creative because you open Facebook or check your messages every five minutes, you need to get rid of these distractions.

While smartphones are amazing devices, they can also make us less productive. To fix this problem, you can uninstall the distracting apps from your phone or disable notifications on your phone


How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android




How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android

Here’s how to turn off notifications in Android, plus how to fine-tune the notifications you do want.
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to work free from distractions.

You can also try apps that limit your time on social media. We recommend OFFTIME, Moment, or Flipd.

3. Have a Snack

Hunger can play havoc with our ability to get things done. A research paper published by Science Daily shows that our stomach produces ghrelin, a hormone that affects our decision making abilities and can lead to impulsive choices.

There are several helpful apps such as Noom that will not just find the right snack according to your cravings, but also find a way for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Once you’ve satisfied your stomach your brain may just let you get back to work.

4. Come Up With 100 Bad Ideas

Instead of coming up with something good, come up with something awfully bad. And a lot of it. So that there’s no pressure on you.

If you’re a writer, come up with 100 bad story ideas. If you’re a musician, come up with a 100 awful tunes. And if you’re an architect, come up with 100 bad designs for buildings.

You can create your list of bad ideas on apps like Evernote or Google Keep. These apps store all of their data in the cloud, meaning you can revisit it at any time.

The logic behind this method is that out of those 100 ideas, a couple will always turn out to be good. When you try to create something absurdly bad, you utilize a creative side that you hadn’t ever explored before.

5. Change your Surroundings

reorganize workspace
Image Credit: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

You don’t have to make big changes. Just change something in your environment. Replace the items on your desk and reorganize the space you’re in. If you work in a typical office cabin environment, try adding some colors to your cabin.

Make use of apps such as Houzz to give your home workspace a virtual makeover before investing any real money. You can also get ideas from Pinterest or Tumblr.

Fresh surroundings make way for fresh ideas.

6. Organize Your Thoughts Visually

There are several platforms that let you organize your thoughts in a better way to help your creativity. Websites like Coggle, Popplet, and MindMaster help you visualize your ideas using flowcharts or drawing tools.

This lets you get a better picture of your ideas and reach solutions faster.

7. Discuss Your Ideas Online

You’ll find several forums where there are experts who will happily share their opinion on your creative piece. For example, if you are an artist, you can showcase your art on DeviantArt and interact with other users. There’s a thriving community that can offer you support and inspiration.

Reddit is full of great communities on every subject you can think of. And you can either be a passive participant reading other people’s threads or an active member starting conversations. Either way, as you discuss things with others, you might find a creative angle you didn’t consider earlier.

8. Listen to Happy Music

Research suggests that listening to happy music can trigger creativity. Music is known to enhance cognition and improve memory and learning, which boosts creativity as well.

Maybe all you need to restore your creative energy is a little dose of happy music. And all you need to do to find it is open up your favorite streaming service—whether it’s Apple Music or Spotify—and search for “Happy Music”.

9. Meditate to Regain Focus

meditation apps
Image Credit: akiragiulia/Pixabay

It sounds cliche but if you get rid of all thoughts (or at least try to clear your current thoughts), you get to reach your spiritual side. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s the consistency that matters and not the duration. If you can spend just 3-5 minutes a day meditating, it can help your creative energies.

While most people have heard of meditation, many don’t try it because they find it difficult to focus. If you’re one of these people, you can seek help from meditation apps such as Insight Timer and Calm.

10. Enjoy a Little Humor

If you’re planning to reap the benefits of technology to be creative, have fun while you’re at it. Research suggests humor can enhance creative thinking as it lets you associate ideas more broadly and freely.

So don’t hesitate to watch funny videos on YouTube or to browse funny GIFs on Giphy.

Creativity cannot be forced. Let go of the pressure and have a laugh. But make sure online entertainment doesn’t become too much of a distraction for you. Remember, everything is good in moderation.

Carry on Training Your Brain

Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it for a long time, it will lose its strength. You need to flex it every day so that it stays healthy. While some people are naturally better at it, others can build it with practice.

To flex your creative muscles, keep training your mind constantly. You can do this by playing brain exercise games on your smartphone


The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS




The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS

These free brain games will challenge your mind and keep you sharp. Check out these challenging puzzles, word games, and more.
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.



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Everything you need to know about 10G, the future of broadband technology

With the emergence of more connected devices and immersive content experiences happening alongside an unparalleled boom of video streaming platforms, there’s never been a more critical time to have a powerful and reliable network than can meet the demands of the future. And that next big leap for digital mankind is 10G.

What is 10G? 

Not to be confused with the cellular industry’s 5G (meaning fifth generation), the “G” in 10G means gigabits per second, a blazing fast internet speed. 10G is the cable industry’s vision for delivering a remarkable 10 gigabits per second to homes in the U.S. and around the globe. Home internet speeds will be 10 times faster than today’s fastest broadband networks, staying ahead of your digital demands, especially as technology becomes even more integral in our day-to-day lives. 

Why is 10G important? 

Think about how many connected devices you own at the moment — iPhones, gaming consoles, speakers, voice-activated assistants, smart TVs, among them. Projections show that by 2020 the number of connected devices in the average household will be close to 50. And those devices are being used more throughout the day for everything from streaming music and TV to keeping us secure. 10G is going to play a major role in ensuring that all of these devices work to their full potential. Online video gaming will have richer graphics and no lag, binge-watching your favorite shows in every room will be a breeze, and even your video chats with loved ones will be enhanced with high-definition video displays. 

But it’s not just about speed that makes the need for 10G so critical; this advancement also promises reduced latency, enhanced reliability, as well as increased security features. And 10G isn’t solely focused on recreational usage; the platform aims to transform consumer experiences at pretty much every touchpoint and in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education and agriculture.

When will 10G roll out?

The good news is that 10G isn’t too far away. The technology is currently being tested in the lab and field trials will begin in 2020. After the field trials, we can expect to see 10G being offered to consumers within 12 – 18 months. 

How can I learn more about 10G? 

The 10G Platform site (which you can access here) will keep you up to date with the latest news and progress about  the platform. Don’t forget to sign up and stay ahead of the curve on the future of technology.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.



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Which Computer Technology Derives Its Name From Greek Mythology?

18th century woodcarving of daemons
Public Domain

Answer: Daemons

In computing, a daemon is a background process that handles tasks without the user’s direct input. Print daemons spool up documents to be printed, HTTP daemons return data to the web browser issuing the inquiry, task scheduling daemons fire off tasks when the clock triggers them, and so on.

These daemons derive their name, in a roundabout way, from Greek mythology. During the 1960s, programmers working on Project MAC (Mathematics and Computation) at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory were searching for an appropriate name for the background processes they were creating that carried out functions with no input from the user.

They decided to call the background processes “demons” after Maxwell’s demon—an imaginary being from James Clerk Maxwell’s 19th century thought experiment that was responsible for the sorting of molecules in Maxwell’s theoretical chamber. Maxwell had, in turn, called his little thought experiment helper a demon as a nod to the daemons of Greek mythology—supernatural beings (helpers) who carried out tasks for the gods.

Although the spelling reverted from demon to the more traditional daemon over the years, the term stuck. Just like the Greek daemons helped carry out tasks quietly in the background, modern computer daemons continue the tradition of quiet and invisible assistance.





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What Is Cloud Computing? How Does Cloud Technology Work?

“It’s in the cloud.” That common phrase still causes confusion. Here’s another one: “It’s a cloud service.” Why isn’t the service firmly rooted to the ground?

Cloud computing is everywhere. Most major online services use cloud computing in some manner. Cloud computing powers Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, iCloud, Google Drive, and countless other day to day services.

Wondering what cloud computing is? Here’s how cloud technology works, the different types of cloud services, and how you can use cloud computing.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. Those computer services include servers, online storage, databases, networking, analytics, intelligence, and even whole cloud platforms (more on these in a moment).

On the development and services side, cloud computing is predominantly pay as you go. That means you only pay for the cloud computing resources you use. The switch to cloud computing was a marked change from existing internet business infrastructure where an organization would purchase and maintain its own hardware.

Cloud computing allows for the sharing of hardware resources, helping to lower costs, increase infrastructure efficiency, and scale with the demands of a business. In that, cloud computing also refers to the sharing of resources and infrastructure over the internet to the benefit of businesses, customers, and other users.

Cloud computing has existed since the 60s, when organizations could rent time on a mainframe. However, it wasn’t until Amazon popularized the concept in 2006 with its ground-breaking Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that the term “cloud computing” hit the mainstream.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

Websites and applications run using a front end and back end. The front end is the part you interact with, like your Facebook account or Google Drive.

The back end is the cloud computing aspect, which contains the service or application code, monitoring services, databases, storage, and much more. The largest cloud computing providers have enormous warehouses filled with servers dedicated to providing cloud services. The core aspect is that cloud computing is easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. It doesn’t matter if you’re in London or Lebanon, a cloud computing service can deliver the same service.

These days, cloud computing has several different models, which deliver different types of services.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a common cloud computing service that provides a site or service with the infrastructure backend. The infrastructure varies between deployments and is very flexible, making IaaS one of the most popular cloud computing models.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) helps organizations deliver an entire online platform, taking care of the hardware and operating system. One of the major differences from IaaS to PaaS is the range of development tools and frameworks available to developers, allowing for the creation of complex applications and services.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) is the use of cloud computing to deliver an application as a service. SaaS is the cloud computing model you are most likely to have used.

There are two primary cloud computing deployment models, too:

  • Full cloud deployment exists entirely in the cloud environment. Applications are developed in the cloud or migrated to it.
  • Hybrid cloud deployment allows existing infrastructure and applications to use cloud computing technology without full migration. Hybrid deployments allow existing products to adopt some major benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing an existing internal system.

What Is a Public Cloud?

A public cloud is a cloud computing service, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud, that is open to anyone to purchase and use. Typically, public cloud charges for the resources consumed during a specific billing period.

Conversely, a private cloud is a cloud computing environment only accessible by certain people. Private clouds are sometimes referred to as an internal or corporate cloud, because they provide the same benefits of a public cloud—infrastructure, scalability, cost management—without as much exposure to the negatives, such as security and privacy issues.

What becomes slightly confusing is that many major organizations use the same cloud computing services as the public. For instance, you can head to Amazon and create an EC2 instance right now. At the same time, Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many more global tech companies are also using the same cloud computing technology to power those sites and services you use daily.

At a basic level, everyone is using the same cloud computing services. It is just different models, deployments, and products separating them.

What Are the Advantages to Cloud Computing?

There are several advantages to cloud computing for end-users.

The main advantage, and one that most people are familiar with is that your work and data is available on any computer. Once you login to your Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or otherwise, you can access the same files and documents as if you were sitting at your desktop.

Cloud computing extends into other services like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, allowing you to start working at one terminal and finish at another, with very little difference between either.

Cloud computing has also changed personal hardware requirements, too. Instead of dragging a powerful laptop everywhere, users can opt for cloud services. Users of all kinds can opt for smaller, less power-hungry devices safe in the knowledge that at least some of their work will take place using a cloud service, predominantly via a browser or web app.

A prime example of this is Google’s Chrome OS and Chromebook models. Often much cheaper than a similarly sized laptop, Chromebooks are a cloud-focused computer that’s primarily aimed at users on the go and the education market.

Another facet of cloud computing is the vast quantities of cloud storage now available to end-users. Uploading and storing hundreds of gigabytes of photos is now commonplace. It is a cheap and easy way to backup your digital files.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Cloud Computing?

The biggest disadvantage of cloud computing is requiring an internet connection to access certain services. If you haven’t synced your files, you could find yourself locked out of them at an inopportune time. Similarly, if your internet connection suffers an outage, getting into those cloud-based files and services is impossible.

Adding to internet downtime, latency plays a significant role in cloud computing.

Users of cloud computing services also face issues with security and privacy. As cloud computing services and apps are constantly online, there is the threat of a security breach from either the user or the service. For instance, did you know that some ransomware types can encrypt cloud storage


Yes, Ransomware Can Encrypt Your Cloud Storage




Yes, Ransomware Can Encrypt Your Cloud Storage

Several ransomware variants not only attack your main hard drive, but other system drives — including cloud storage! The time has come to consider how you backup your files and where to keep them.
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?

Also, many of the most popular cloud services are completely free, which on the one hand is great for consumers. However, on the other hand, many services hoover up user data, in turn creating security and privacy issues.

By extension, cloud computing services also remove control from the user. You can download your photos and sync your files to your computer. But you don’t control the service, nor do you own it, regardless of your subscription or otherwise. If the service goes offline, you’d better hope you receive ample warning to extract your data. Depending on the cloud computing service, finding an alternative can be difficult.

Cloud Computing Is Everywhere

Cloud computing and cloud services are everywhere. Global research firm, Gartner, estimates that worldwide public cloud spending will increase from $182 billion in 2018 to a whopping $331 billion in 2022.

cloud computing revenue growth 2018 2022

“Cloud services are definitely shaking up the industry,” according to Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “At Gartner, we know of no vendor or service provider today whose business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies in organizations. What we see now is only the beginning, though.”

Even with the phenomenal amount of spending on cloud computing, the market will continue to grow. The introduction of faster internet connections across the globe and the imminent expansion of 5G technology provides the opportunity for even more services to switch to a cloud model.

Despite the rise of cloud computing and cloud services, there is still a lot of confusion. Check out these seven common cloud computing myths


7 Common Myths About the Cloud That Need Busting




7 Common Myths About the Cloud That Need Busting

It’s hard to think of a buzzword that’s as misunderstood as “the cloud”. Most people use the cloud on a daily basis without even realizing it, but what does that really mean?
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, so you can finally put them to bed.



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Which Bit Of Sci-Fi Technology Was Created To Get Around Network Regulations?

Dr. McCoy on Star Trek: The Original Series, holding a hypospray
NBC/CBS/Paramount Pictures

Answer: Star Trek’s Hypospray

In the Star Trek universe, the Hypospray is a needleless medical device designed to transfer liquid medicine and other substances into the patient without the use of a traditional needle-based injection. At first blush, it seems perfectly natural to have such a device on Star Trek; such devices have long been considered a future invention waiting to happen and their appearance isn’t limited to the Star Trek universe.

And yet, the inclusion of the Hypospray wasn’t driven by the desire of Star Trek writers to be cutting edge in all technological matters. In early scripts, the doctors and attendants on the show used regular old 19th century-era hypodermic syringes to inject medication. It was brought to the attention of the writers, however, that the use of hypodermic syringes on the show was strictly forbidden by NBC’s broadcast standards and practices guidelines. While such a restriction seems absurd to the modern viewer (who lives in a time of wildly popular medical dramas that feature not only syringes, but all manner of blood and mocked-up medical emergencies), the broadcast standards for television networks in the 1950s and 1960s were far more conservative, and the presence of syringes and injections, even in a legitimate medical situation, were considered too inappropriate for public consumption.

As a result, writers created the Hypospray, a tool that allows for medical injections without a visible needle since the tool used a burst of focused pressure to push the medication through the skin. Although never formally confirmed, it was long rumored that the prop used in the original series was a repurposed and slightly modified automotive fuel injector. If so, that would be slightly ironic given that one of the first recorded incidents of a person being injected with something via the mechanism the Hypospray works on was in 1937, when a worker was injected with diesel fuel from the fuel injector of the engine he was working on.





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Privacy Precautions for Travel, Use Technology for Vacations

Planning a trip this summer? Looking forward to a hot vacation, or simply traveling to see family and friends? Whatever you’re up to, it helps to plan in advance, stay secure, and not share your activity online.

In this Really Useful Podcast we take a look what precautions you can take for travel and vacations and how technology can help.

Really Useful Podcast Season 3 Episode 9 Shownotes

In this week’s show:

Want to hear more from James Frew and Christian Cawley? They’re on Twitter, so why not give them a follow?

This is the tech podcast for technophobes. It would be great if you could share our podcast with any friends or family you think would benefit from clarity and honesty about technology. Show them how to subscribe to the Really Useful Podcast on:

We’re taking a few weeks off for the summer—we’ll see you in September.



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