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Debunked: Four Phone Charging Myths

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You have probably heard some old wives’ tales about smartphone charging, like only charging when the battery is completely empty or leaving your phone charging overnight.

While we can’t pinpoint how these myths and misconceptions about phone charging came to be, we’ve all heard of a few that we probably believed at some point in our lives. We are here to debunk a few phone charging myths, answer questions you may have, and help you to practice safe phone charging habits.

  1. You Should Not Charge Your Phone Overnight

There are no risks involved in charging your phone overnight. Your phone won’t overcharge, and the power won’t kill your battery, destroy your charger, or start a fire. (We’re assuming over here that you’re not using a defective charger and that your electrical wiring system is in a top-notch state.)

Modern smartphones have lithium-ion batteries with built-in devices to stop your phone from absorbing power once the battery is fully charged. This means that, even though your phone is full and plugged in, it’s technically not in use. However, you shouldn’t leave your phone plugged in throughout the night, every night.

If your model isn’t built to withstand consistent heat exchange, you can overheat your phone and cause real damage. To be safe, read the manual and reviews. For some, the jury is still out on whether to charge your phone overnight or not.

  1. You Should Only Charge Your Phone When It’s Completely Dead

Here’s an essential piece of information: Lithium-ion batteries have limited charging cycles; for an iPhone, it’s typically around 500. A cycle is a full charge from 0 percent to 100 percent. So, if you only charge your phone when it’s completely dead, you’ll exhaust the charging cycle pretty quickly. But if you charge the phone from 90 percent to 100 percent, you would have only used 1/10 of the cycle.

This is why experts recommend keeping the charge between 40 percent to 80 percent so you can charge your phone multiple times a day, getting the most out of one cycle. This practice extends your battery life and increases performance.

  1. You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone While It Charges

While there are legitimate fears behind this myth, it’s not true. You can use your phone while it charges, as long as you’re using a manufacturer-approved or legitimate off-brand charger and battery. Of course, you must also have confidence that there are no problems with your electrical wiring.

Real-life stories of a phone exploding while plugged in and subsequently electrocuting the user or starting a fire have contributed to this myth. And while these unfortunate situations have occurred, the authorities revealed that, in most cases, the victims used unapproved third-party or defective chargers. External factors also contributed to the explosion.

To reiterate, using your phone while plugged in is completely safe. Just make sure you’re nowhere near water and are not using a sketchy third-party charger.

  1. An Off-Brand Charger Will Destroy Your Battery

Off-brand chargers by legitimate retailers, such as Vinsic, RavPower, Powergen, Anker, KMS, and Belkin, are not only inexpensive but perfectly fine to use.

We can’t argue that off-brand chargers are as great as the manufacturer’s, but they are, at the very least, safer and better than cheap brand knockoffs. So, if that’s what you want, feel free to purchase an off-brand charger from a reputable retailer. It will not destroy your battery or melt into the power outlet.

However, it’s the brand knockoffs you should be careful about. Unfortunately, they are sometimes marketed and packaged as the real deal, even though they can barely get the job done.

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A Beginner’s Guide To 3D Printing

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In a shell, 3D printing works by blending layers of material to build an object. In this process, the 3D printer works under the direction of a computer 3D modeling software that regulates the process with high precision and exactness.

3D printing manufacturing includes several types of manufacturing technologies, all of these work in the same way by creating models layer by layer essentially. Each one of these types of 3D printing manufacturing processes may utilize a different type of material, finish, and cost.

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that uses thin layers of filament (in most cases, plastic) to create a physical object from a three-dimensional model. A digital file creates the model which eventually transfers to the printer. The 3D printer creates thin layers, one on top of another, until a 3D-printed object is formed. 3D printing also allows the production of models of more complex shapes with less material than traditional manufacturing techniques.

Research shows that 3D printing was first introduced in the ’70s. It was not until 1980 that early additive manufacturing equipment and materials were developed. Hideo Kodama initiated a patent for this technology but, unfortunately, never commercialized it. In the ’90s 3D printing began to attract attention from technologies around the world. These years also saw the invention of fully functional human organs for transplants in young patients using 3D printed methods covered with particles and cells from their very own bodies. It was a major success for the medical industry.

Despite these advancements, 3D printing had limited functional productions until the 2000s, when additive manufacturing gained popularity. Additive Manufacturing is the process of adding materials together to produce an item. The procedure of additive manufacturing is in stark contrast to the concept of subtractive manufacturing. Subtractive manufacturing is the process of removing material by carving out a surface to create an object. This process also produces a great deal of material waste. In this regard, the term 3D printing still refers more to technologies that use polymer materials and, additive manufacturing refers more to metalworking. But by the early 2010s, the terms of these two processes were used in popular language across the market, media, companies, and manufacturers.

Around 2008 the first self-replicating 3d printer model was created. That means a 3D printer was able to recreate itself by printing its parts and components. This enabled users to produce more printers for others. Studies show that later the same year, a person successfully walked with a 3D-printed prosthetic leg fully printed in one piece. Then in the 2010’s the additive processes matured, and 3D printing work began to create objects layer by layer. In 2012, with the addition of plastic and other various materials for 3D printing, several authors began to think that 3D printing could be important for the developing world.

During the following years, more applications for 3D printing have emerged, including the world’s first aircraft. Makers using 3D printers agree that this method is faster and cheaper compared to traditional methods and are ideal for those who need rapid prototyping (RP). Terms such as desktop manufacturing, rapid manufacturing, and rapid prototyping have since become synonymous with 3D printing.

The market offers a wide variety of 3D printers. Sophisticated machines are expensive, but there are also more affordable models available with high-quality printing and features. 3D printing also offers easy-to-use desktop printers, which are increasingly popular among schools and engineers.

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Five Ways On How To Transform Your House Into A Smart Home

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There are no specific requirements to make your smart home, well smart. Installing one or more different smart devices into your home would categorize your home as a smart home. You can make your home as smart as you want it to be. There are many different devices that can be installed to enhance your home living.

  1. Choose your smart home assistant

The first step to making your home into a smart home is choosing your assistant. The most popular voice-controlled assistants are the Google Home and Amazon Echo. These devices are similar but still have differences. The assistant will help you to use your other smart devices. Say “O.K Google, turn on the lights” or “Alexa, play music”.  

When selecting other devices for your smart home, make sure that those devices are compatible with your assistant. 

  1. Invest in Smart Lights

With smart lighting you can walk into your home and say “Alexa, I am home” and program which lights you would like to turn on once that is said. Some of the options can dim and have multi-colors. Smart lighting can also be controlled from a phone app which allows you to control your home lights even when you’re not at home. This is a great security feature if you’re away from home or on vacation but don’t want your home to appear empty. Some systems require a bridge to connect the device to Wi-Fi. The bridge allows you to control multiple devices all at once and when you are outside of your home. 

  1. Smart Plug

The smart plug is a great way to start turning your home into a smart home. These plugs can be found for as cheap as $15 a plug. You will be able to use an app to turn on/off what is plugged in or use voice activation from your assistant when you’re at home. For example, the app will allow you to turn off your bedroom light from miles away. You can control when your plugins are using energy or not to stay energy efficient. Schedules can be created to turn on/off certain devices at specific times. There are also smart plugs designed for the outdoor elements so you can conveniently control your patio or holiday lights with ease. 

  1. Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is a great way to be energy efficient by tracking your usage. This thermostat will allow you to improve your energy use by sensing patterns in the home to adjust the temperature based on movement at certain times of the day. You can see on your app the daily and monthly energy history and where you can cut back to save energy and money.

  1. Home Security

Smart cameras can be placed inside or outside of the home. These cameras connect to an app allowing you to watch what is happening inside or outside of your home wherever you are at. The app will notify you when motion is detected on the cameras. If you choose to install cameras, make sure that you are on a secure network to keep your private life confidential.

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Top Three Programming Languages You Need To Learn

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Whether you’re looking to begin coding as a hobby, a new career, or just to enhance your current role, the first thing you’ll have to do is decide which programming language you want to start with.

There is no right answer, of course. Choosing the first language will depend on what kind of projects you want to work on, who you want to work for, or how easy you want it to be. Hopefully, this guide will help give you a better idea of which one you should pursue.

  1. Python

Python is always recommended if you’re looking for an easy and even fun programming language to learn first. Rather than having to jump into strict syntax rules, Python reads like English and is simple to understand for someone who’s new to programming. This allows you to obtain a basic knowledge of coding practices without having to obsess over smaller details that are often important in other languages.

Python also is ideal for web development, graphic user interfaces (GUIs), and software development. In fact, it was used to build Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify, so it’s clearly in demand among employers in addition to having a faster onboarding.

Though it has its advantages, Python is often thought of as a slow language that requires more testing and is not as practical for developing mobile apps as other languages.

  1. C#

While C is one of the more difficult languages to learn, it’s still an excellent first language pick-up because almost all programming languages are implemented in it. This means that once you learn C, it’ll be simple to learn more languages like C++ and C#.

Because C is more “machine-level”, learning it is great for teaching you how a computer functions. Software Developer Joel Spolsky compares it to understanding basic anatomy before becoming a medical doctor, making it the best way to code efficiently.

In this way, C is an exceptional choice to become a master coder and a talented developer from the get-go if you’re willing to take on the challenge.

  1. Java

Java is an object-oriented and feature-heavy programming language that’s in high demand. It’s been built under the premise of “Write once, run anywhere,” meaning that it can be written on any device and work cross-platform.

This makes it one of the most desired (yes, we mean high-paid) language skills. So, if you’re looking to learn a language that’s going to get you a great career, this might be the one, especially since top employers for Java programmers include eBay, Amazon, and IBM.

Additionally, Java is often used for Android and iOS app development, as it’s the basis of the Android operating system, which makes it one of the best choices if you want to build mobile apps.

While it may not be as easy to pick up as Python, Java is a high-level language, and so it’s still relatively beginner-friendly. However, it has a slow startup and will take beginners much longer to deploy their first project.

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