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Hey, Apple Watch User: Don’t Be That Guy!

AAaBADgFor a quick refresher on the importance of good body language, revisit the 1992 town hall-style presidential debate between George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot. In the span of two seconds, the incumbent President Bush made what is now regarded as one of the biggest blunders in presidential debate history. He checked his watch.

Pundits and commentators spent weeks analyzing how the gesture made Bush seem disengaged, aloof, uninterested in the concerns of voters. The president, of course, went on to lose the election to the far more engaged Bill Clinton. It’s a reminder that body language matters, and something to keep in mind as Apple Inc. readies the release of its highly anticipated Apple Watch, the company’s first wearable device, which beings pre-orders Friday and goes on sale April 24.

If you’re planning to be one of the first in line to buy the new gadget, etiquette experts urge you to heed the lessons of the one-term President Bush: There’s a time and place for checking your watch, and it’s not during a conversation.

“It signals ‘I’m bored,’” said Diane Gottsman, owner of the Protocol School of Texas and a nationally recognized expert on manners. “Even a few seconds is too long when you’re with another person. We always have to be aware at the distraction.”

AAaBw2TWhile that was true with a regular wristwatch, it’s doubly true with a smartwatch, which delivers a whole host of new alerts, prods and other tantalizing bits of information pleading for a nanosecond of attention. Forget trying not to look: the minute you even think of looking at that watch, your eyes lose focus and whoever you happen to be sitting with immediately knows: I’m less interesting that whatever it is that just hit your wrist.
Worse Than Smartphones

Since the cellphone explosion of two decades ago, each new evolutionary shift in mobile technology has made engaging with our devices easier and more convenient, but embracing new technology shouldn’t mean abandoning basic social mores, according to Elaine Swann, a lifestyle an etiquette expert.

“The person face-to-face with us should still have top priority in our lives,” Swann said. “A simple glance to check your email, or check to see if a call is coming in, that glance really breaks the line of communication with the person in front of you, or the individual you’re engaging with.”

Fortunately, much of the etiquette surrounding mobile technology has already been hashed out. Every group of friends has that one person who won’t stop fiddling with his iPhone at a dinner party or out at a group brunch, but most of us don’t need to be told that too much phone-fiddling is considered rude.

The Apple Watch, accessible with just a twist of the wrist, will make it that much more tempting to sneak a glance, but Swan said your friends will know when they don’t have your full attention, even if they don’t say it. “Our phones have paved the way for recognizing that behavior,” she said. “We now know the body language, when a person has literally left the conversation. We can identify that now. The same is going to ring true with the watch.”

Shut It Down

The same is also true for one-on-one interactions like business lunches or dates. For instance, if you’re wearing the Apple Watch on a first date, don’t use it to surf Tinder while you’re waiting on the appetizers. And if you’re at a job interview, Gottsman said it’s better to be safe than sorry. “I would turn it off completely,” she said. “You don’t want any of the alerts or the fancy bells and whistles going off. If there was a clock on the wall in the office, I wouldn’t be looking at that clock, just like I wouldn’t be looking at the watch on my arm.”

Whatever your thoughts on smartwatches, you won’t be able to avoid them. Global sales of smartwatches are expected to skyrocket to more than 26 million units this year, up from only 4 million in 2014, according to research from GfK, a retail tracking firm.

Don’t be surprised if our manners take a few years to catch up. Anyone who remembers what dining out was like in the mid-1990s — before restaurants instituted no-cellphone polices — will remember the abject horror of being seated next to the bullhorn-voiced Nokia brigade. “With the advent of cellphones, we got worse before we got better,” Gottsman said. “It was new to us. As something because the norm, we learn and we adapt and we start to realize how we’re affecting others when we use that device.”

And while we may not all agree on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior, Swann said she doesn’t see technology ever moving us to the point where we sacrifice our innate need for face-to-face connections. “I think we’re always going to have that Ying and Yang to it,” she said. “There are the ones who are so addicted that they just can’t stop, and then the ones who are saying, ‘This is rude and disrespectful, and I need your time.’”

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Windows 10 coming to Xiaomi, Lenovo handsets under new Microsoft China deals

Microsoft is turning its attention towards China, striking partnerships with local companies to extend the reach of Windows 10.

At the WinHEC conference on Tuesday, Microsoft announced that Chinese company Lenovo will build at least one Windows 10-powered smartphone for release in China. The device, or devices, will be available through China’s largest carrier China Mobile from the middle of this year.

The deal adds a new smartphone partner to Microsoft’s roster – the announcement marks Lenovo’s first Windows or Windows Phone handset – at a time when over nine in 10 smartphones running Microsoft software are made by the company itself, following its acquisition of Nokia’s devices business last year. It also follows a decision by Huawei, China’s fourth largest smartphone seller, to stop producing Windows Phones.

Perhaps the most interesting announcement to come out of WinHEC, however, was a project to bring Windows 10 to Xiaomi phones. Xiaomi is now the biggest seller of smartphones in mainland China, according to some analysts reports, and one of the fastest growing: it sold 61 million handsets last year, representing year on year growth of over 200 percent.

Microsoft said that it had been working with Xiaomi to allow Chinese users to flash Windows 10 to their Mi 4 handsets.

“Through a new program with Xiaomi, one of the top smartphone distributors in the world, a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview – installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft,” Microsoft wrote in a company blog post.

Windows Phone currently has around 0.8 percent share of the smartphone market in China, according to researchers Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Away from the smartphone space, Microsoft is also working towards shifting more Chinese users onto Windows 10 for tablets and desktops. The Redmond giant said Lenovo will be offering upgrade help to users in 2,500 outlets in China, while social network TenCent will be offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to its users and will build a Windows 10 universal app for its QQ messaging service.

Security company Qihou, with whom Microsoft agreed a partnership to jointly develop artificial intelligence and mobile web products, will also offer its users a free upgrade to the next version of Windows.
Ibestek: Smart Home Solution Provider from China.

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Leave It to Denmark to Make a Sleek, Solar-Powered, Electric Bicycle

bike

There was a time when riding a solar-powered bicycle meant covering yourself with so many voltaic contraptions you look like a crazy spy satellite.

But folks who dream of cruising on the power of the sun—and not smashing into low overpasses—can rejoice at the Solar Bike, an electric cycle that can whiz up to a face-chilling speed of 30 mph.

The bike, produced by Denmark’s Jesper Frausig, looks normal except for a couple alterations. There’s a torpedo-shaped battery cannister mounted in the front triangle. And the wheels are solid-black circles, due to solar-paneled skins that look like bike-polo spoke covers.

A full battery can allegedly propel a cyclist for just over 40 miles. When it putters to a stand-still, that’s when the “highly efficient” and “shadow optimized” panels come into play, writes Frausig. They can suck up enough juice on a sunny day to go for 15 more miles. On a cloudy one, though, that distance shortens to about 1 mile.

Frausig is gearing the bike toward city riders, the elderly, and people who get sweaty when they huff and puff on a standard cycle. There’s no word on whether he plans to sell it as a whole or a conversion kit; developments might move forward on that front if the Solar Bike wins at this year’s Index awards.

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Friday’s classy smart lock speaks many languages

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The attractive Friday Smart Lock trims off the bulk found on many other smart deadbolts and still manages to pack in plenty of features. Currently it’s only going to be shipped in the US and Scandinavia, but given that it’s designed to work with Thread for Google and Nest, as well as Apple’s upcoming HomeKit, Friday looks poised to be a key — or keyless — part of a larger smart home.

With both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in, the Friday Smart Lock offers remote functionality via an iOS or Android app, as well as a Web dashboard. You should be able to lock and unlock your door from anywhere, and Bluetooth will help with geofencing so it can automatically unlock when you get close.

Attractive possibilities
The Friday Smart Lock should not only unlock when you get close, but should also be able to tell your Nest Thermostat you’re home so it can adjust the temperature accordingly. Alternatively, you can tell Siri to unlock the door or have your Friday lock signal the lamp you have plugged into a HomeKit-compatible switch to turn on. With Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a foot in both Apple’s and Google’s smart home camps, it’s ready to be broadly functional
Ibestek, the professional smart home solution provider from China, welcome to contact with us!

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5G mobile is far from us?

As said 5G mobile wireless will go even faster than fibre. 2001, the third-generation swapped clunky old circuit-switching for efficient packet-switching. Around 2010, fourth-generation networks adopted IP (internet protocol) technology in a big way, providing mobile devices with broadband access to the internet. Each generational change brought new frequency bands, higher speeds and greater emphasis on streaming data rather than simply transmitting voice. Recently, wireless operators have begun wondering what to include in fifth-generation (5G) networks. There is a feeling of urgency as outside heavyweights like Google and Facebook threaten to upset their cosy business. If the mobile carriers can agree among themselves, they hope to have their fifth-generation networks in place by 2020.