App Spotlight – 1Blocker

Advertisements are really frustrating, aren’t they?

On the one hand, they allow us to enjoy a large variety of content found on the internet for free. Videos, news articles, and pictures are readily available for almost anyone to see, all with the benefit of not having to pay for a subscription. On the other hand, many ads can be quite obtrusive, impeding how swiftly we can absorb content or even breaking our immersion with a piece of content entirely. Sometimes it feels like they’re impossible to avoid.

Ever watch a lengthy YouTube video that is interrupted halfway through with two lengthy ads? Try to read an article but had to wait for the webpage to load because of several ads? Obstacles like this can really hamper your experience with the internet, but they don’t necessarily have to. No matter what device you use for your computing, there are several ad blockers out there.

1Blocker

Image by 1Blocker via Tools&Toys.

If you use the Safari app, it likely means that you’re using an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac. It certainly is nice for browsing the internet, but there aren’t many extensions or plugins available to make the browsing experience better and more personalized for users. This means that Safari is missing the wonderful AdBlock Plus, which prevents ads on numerous websites from ever appearing without sacrificing the speed of your connection.

In response to this, a similar app was developed for Safari users – 1Blocker. 1Blocker has a high number of overwhelmingly positive reviews, meaning it’s a lot more trustworthy than some of the more shady apps out there.

1Blocker prevents most ads from appearing while you watch videos, search for memes, read various blog posts, and anything else you might do on the internet. It also prevents the majority of trackers and cookies from collecting little bits of information about you (e.g., stuff you search for on Google). This should hopefully clear up many of the annoyances you experience while browsing the internet.

Keep in mind that this is not a recommendation to block all ads; if you want to help support your favourite content creator on YouTube or continue reading the news from a specific website, why not turn on ads for those you feel deserve it?

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At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

TechKNOW Tomorrow – Drones are Changing Dangerous Jobs

Image by Iewek Gnos via Unsplash.

Most of us have heard our fair share of horror stories relating to accidents at work. What many might not know is that one of the worst offenders for work-related accidents is a confined space.

Take the case in which three workers died from poisonous gas while working underground in Florida. Or the two men in Ontario who died in an underground vault while trying to install fibre-optic cables for Bell. Numerous jobs require workers to get into confined spaces that may be incredibly dangerous: electricians, rescue workers, welders, construction labourers, inspectors… the list goes on and on.

And while there are safety protocols in place to avoid these types of accidents, they still happen more frequently than they should. So what if there was a safer approach to this type of work, a method of inspecting confined spaces before having to enter them? One company may have the answer.

Elios 2 for Dangerous Work Conditions

Image by Daniel Tausis via Unsplash.

This nifty little invention takes your average flying drone and places a safety net around it, allowing it to reach spots that humans shouldn’t have to. At the same time, it prevents any possible damage to the drone for continuous efficient use.

Image by Flyability via Flyability.

It can be used inside of chimneys to look for cracks, storage tanks to search for corrosion, oil tanks to detect anomalies, caves to find trapped spelunkers, or even burning buildings to save civilians.

If the Elios 2 is actually capable of surviving extreme heat or cold, it can literally be lifesaving for both workers and people in need of rescue. If you ask us, that sounds pretty cool!

Elios 2 for Special Forces and Coast Guards

Image by Flyability via Flyability.

Another awesome application for the Elios 2 is in how it aids in public safety. For Special Forces operations, it can fly rapidly through a building with a thermal sensor (“heat vision”), allowing it to detect hostiles through walls and minimize casualties. This is particularly useful in cases involving hostages.

Similarly, it can minimize coast guard casualties by clearing rooms and capturing tight corners or angles of opposition. It can even reduce the time it takes to search a ship for illegal cargo!

While most of us won’t be using these drones, some of us may find ourselves on the receiving end of a rescue involving one. With the Elios 2 available now, we can only speculate on the future of mechanical drones as they make efficient use of our time and, most importantly, prevent serious injuries or fatalities.

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At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

TechKNOW Tomorrow – How Technology is Improving Exercise

After World War II, fitness transformed from something you could only do at the gym to exercises you could finally perform from the comfort of your own home. Yet while home fitness was around decades before, it didn’t really catch on until the 1980s. As a result, the world has embraced fitness for both its health and appearance benefits, a wealth of information behind a simple Google search.

What’s the problem, then? Despite these innovations in diverse activities, exercise is still largely boring or difficult for many people. It’s hard to remain motivated when you have children, spouses, work, and other hobbies that you’d rather spend your time on.

The spread of COVID-19 just makes things even more difficult for people that relied on gyms or fitness centres. That said, many companies are looking at new ways to not only provide people at home with reliable workout routines, but also innovative ways to have fun while exercising.

BlazePod

Imagine a fun workout you program into an app that provides stats and multiple options for any muscle group. Trying to improve on your “rep record”? You can do that. Want to compete against a friend to see who can score the most points? That’s available, too. Want to try new exercises without the steep learning curve? That’s one of the main features of the BlazePod.

What is it exactly? The BlazePod is essentially four to eight palm-sized electronic devices that allows you to create your own workouts. There are LEDs built in that change colour once you touch them. When it’s blue, for instance, you touch it with either your hand or foot; orange, you avoid it.

By placing the Pods strategically, you can make a workout tailored for anyone from beginner to pro. You don’t need any workout gear besides the Pods and the free app. People have gotten really creative with their workouts if you want to check some of them out. There are actually eight colours to choose from, so you can program them any way you’d like.

One of the coolest features about the BlazePod is that it isn’t exclusively a fitness device. It can be utilized in a wide range of sports, martial arts, and even physiotherapy from those long hours working construction or at the office. For example, basketball or soccer drills can be programmed to improve your game if you’d like. With its adaptability, there are some pretty unique activities you can perform; all you need is creativity.

Image by BlazePod via Blazepod.

Price Point

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. Here’s the biggest issue with the BlazePod – the cheapest package will still cost about $310 U.S. The device is clearly geared towards fitness trainers rather than home use… for now.

While the price is quite steep, however, it’s important to note that the technology is still in its infancy. As the first of its kind, it’s only a matter of time before there are a bunch of affordable alternatives or knockoffs. But to know that the future of the fitness landscape is about to change forever is pretty exciting!

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At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.