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Fire Moon Studios Pvt. Ltd.
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7 Things You Didn't Know Your Smartphone Can Do
Sure, making phone calls, texting and surfing the web are crucial tasks you can do with your smartphone. But did you know your handy device can also do this?
1. Start your car
With Delphi Connect, you can start your car from your phone, lock and unlock your doors and trunk or even activate your horn—all from your smartphone. It’s perfect for warming up the car on those cold winter mornings!
2 Manage your thermostat
Why walk into a house that’s too warm or too cold? With the Nest Learning Thermostat, use the compatible app on your smartphone to adjust the temperature away from home. Nest also learns and adapts to your schedule, and emails you monthly energy reports.
3. Control your lights
Replace your standard light switch with a smart one such as the WeMo Light Switch. Sync it to your smartphone, and you can turn your lights on and off if you forgot to after leaving the house. You can also program your lights to turn on or off at specific times each day. The Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Kit also lets you gradually dim, brighten or even change the color of your lights.
4. Measure speed, height and distance of objects
Have you wanted to get your hands on a radar gun, like the ones used by baseball scouts or the police? With your smartphone, you can measure the speed of moving objects with the apps Speed Gun (Android) and SpeedClock (iOS). Great for sporting events like baseball, football or track and field.
5. Identify images
If you’re using an Android device, the Google Goggles app lets you search an image taken with your smartphone. You can identify famous paintings, find information on products or learn more about a historic landmark.
6. Share apps, contacts, photos and music by tapping devices
Most smartphones released within the past few years are equipped with NFC technology. Two NFC-ready devices can be tapped together to share whatever is on their screens. Here’s a quick guide on how to use NFC.
7. Monitor your heart rate
Some newer smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 6, have integrated heart rate monitors. But there are also apps that work with a number of smartphones that allow you to measure your heart rate. That includes Instant Heart Rate and Runtastic Heart Rate (both available for Android and iOS)—which can take your workout to the next level.
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Microsoft to offer three new ways to store big data on Azure
Microsoft will soon offer three additional ways for enterprises to store data on Azure, making the cloud computing platform more supportive of big data analysis.
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Azure will have a data warehouse service, a "data lake" service storing large amounts of data, and an option for running "elastic" databases that can store sets of data that vary greatly in size, explained Scott Guthrie, Microsoft executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise group, who unveiled these new services at the company's Build 2015 developer conference, held this week in San Francisco.
The Azure SQL Data Warehouse, available later this year, will give organizations a way to store petabytes of data so it can be easily ingested by data analysis software, such as the company's Power BI tool for data visualization, the Azure Data Factory for data orchestration, or the Azure Machine Learning service.
Unlike traditional in-house data warehouse systems, this cloud service can quickly be adjusted to fit the amount of data that actually needs to be stored, Guthrie said. Users can also specify the exact amount of processing power they'll need to analyze the data. The service builds on the massively parallel processing architecture that Microsoft developed for its SQL Server database.
The Azure Data Lake has been designed for those organizations that need to store very large amounts of data, so it can be processed by Hadoop and other "big data" analysis platforms. This service could be most useful for Internet of Things-based systems that may amass large amounts of sensor data.
"It allows you to store literally an infinite amount of data, and it allows you to keep data in its original form," Guthrie said. The Data Lake uses Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), so it can be deployed by Hadoop or other big data analysis systems.
A preview of the Azure Data Lake will be available later this year.
In addition to these two new products, the company has also updated its Azure SQL Database service so customers can pool their Azure cloud databases to reduce storage costs and prepare for bursts of database activity.
"It allows you to manage lots of databases at lower cost," Guthrie said. "You can maintain completely isolated databases, but allows you to aggregate all of the resources necessary to run those databases."
The new service would be particularly useful for running public-facing software services, where the amount of database storage needed can greatly fluctuate. Today, most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings must overprovision their databases to accommodate the potential peak demand, which can be financially wasteful. The elastic option allows an organization to pool the available storage space for all of its databases in such a way that if one database rapidly grows, it can pull unused space from other databases.
The new elastic pooling feature is now available in preview mode.
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WhatsApp has received plenty of new updates over the past year or so. The most recent update for Android involved the addition of a new Material Design user interface, keeping in line with Google's UI philosophy.
It seems like WhatsApp has also made some under the hood changes to the app, with the addition of a new 'report spam' feature. This has been spotted on both Android and iPhone versions of the app.
This feature lets you block and mark users as spam if you feel they're coming from a marketing agency and not individuals. Alternatively if you know the users, you can add them to your contacts. If you simply want to block a user and don't want to report them for spamming, you can do so by heading over to the settings button on the top right of the screen and tapping 'Block'.
This is a very interesting feature and will ensure that you aren't spammed with marketing messages on a regular basis. WhatsApp already had a similar system in place where it automatically blocked users from its database after a select number of users have blocked them, thus treating them as spam. But this is for the first time that the developers have made this feature more prominent and visible to the users.
The feature should be available on the latest version of WhatsApp, which at the time of this writing is 2.12.56 (Android), so make sure you download it from the company's official site to test out this new feature for yourself. The addition of this feature should reduce the likelihood of marketing teams bombarding your inbox with unnecessary messages.
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