Aluratek Blog

  • Thanksgiving, A Time for Mis-giving

    Thanksgiving is a week from today. So in looking to find a topic to write today I decided to just throw a bunch of stuff out there - just like a Thanksgiving meal. I am always one for historical facts so I looked up some facts you may know, or not know, or be shocked to know about Thanksgiving so you can impress your dinner guests when there's nothing to talk about.

    • In 1953, someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that Thanksgiving by 26 TONS! They sliced up the meat and repackaged with some trimmings on the side and voilà, the first TV dinner was born!

    • Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for plumbers according to Roto-Rooter, the nation's largest plumbing service

    • There are four places in the U.S. named Turkey. Louisiana's Turkey Creek is the most populous, with a whopping 440 residents. There's also Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona

    • Only male turkeys are called toms. Females are called hens and they do not gobble

    • If Ben Franklin had is way the turkey would be our national bird. In a letter he wrote he described the eagle as having "bad moral character" and that a turkey was a "much more respectable bird"

    • Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving as well on the second Monday in October.

    • Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving but probably Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish . They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also didn't eat mashed potatoes or cranberry sauce, but they probably ate cranberries

    • President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941

    • The turkey is the only North American bird ever domesticated

    • Farmers in the 1800s engaged in “turkey drives:” herding domestic turkeys along country roads to bring them to market, similar in ways to herding cattle

    • The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 42.2 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend

    • Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 46.5 million in 2011

    • Snoopy has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade

    • Each year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947

    • The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944) since 1934

    Which fun facts surprised you? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • You're Invited To Our Open House Liquidation Event!

    Happy Monday! Wow! Days are flying by so fast and before you know it the holidays will be here! Have you thought about what gifts you are planning to wrap up this year? It's the perfect time to start shopping, and we are so excited to announce that Aluratek is having an Open House Liquidation event this month.

    openhouse

    We need to clear some space in our warehouse to make room for all the great new products coming in 2015. We know how expensive holiday shopping can get so we want to help you save some dough and still get awesome, thoughtful gifts for your loved ones! Check out our low prices on many of our Certified Refurbished products from our Outlet Store!

    Happy shopping - Oh, and better hurry, while supplies last!

    What products caught your eye on our Outlet Store? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Veterans Day

    Veterans-Day1

    Over the weekend, I finished the HBO series, Band of Brothers (hey, better late than never!) and I was completely blown away. The series follows a group of World War II soldiers that are fighting against the Germans in Europe.  More than the cinematography or the acting, I was more amazed by these men who put their lives on the line in numerous situations for their country and their fellow brothers in war. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for these heroes, and then I realized this morning that tomorrow is Veterans Day.  Each November 11, the nation stops to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces, but not everyone knows the history and traditions behind this significant national holiday. Here are some facts to help you understand why we are celebrating this special day:

    - There are 21.8 million veterans living in the U.S.

    - There are 1.6 million female veterans

    - 71% of veterans cast their ballot in the 2008 presidential election. 61% of non-veterans turned in their ballots. Vets still beat the national average. In 2010, 57% of veterans voted versus 40% for the national as a whole.

    - 7.6 million Vietnam-era veterans are living in the U.S. right now. Another 4.8 served during the Gulf War, 2.6 million in Korea, and 2.1 million during World War II. There are no living American veterans of World War I.

    - If you live in Florida, Texas, or California, chances are you have a neighbor who is a veteran. Each of those 3 states has more than a million people who served in uniform.

    - The postal service is the largest employer of veterans. 130,000 veterans work for the Post Office which makes up 22% of their employees.

    - Elvis Presley, Montell Williams, MC Hammer, Tony Bennett, Chuck Norris, Bill Cosby are just a few celebrities who have served the country.

    - Veterans Day is often confused with Memorial Day. While Memorial Day honors American service members who died in their service to their country, Veterans Day honors both but gives special thanks to living veterans.

    Last November, a entry was also written about Veterans Day and how technology has made a huge impact on how the soldiers perform today. There are many different phone applications that allow you to contribute and to help out our soldiers who are out on the field:

    1. World War II Memorial App. This smartphone app helps you explore the World War II Memorial, sharing war stories as part of a virtual tour and offering a database to pull information up on those killed. The App is available on iTunes & Google Play.

    2. The Honor Wall. This website from ancestry.com is based on more than 20 million records and personal memories uploaded by loved ones, which honors service members who served from current wars all the way back to the Revolutionary War. The Honor Walldocuments letters home, photos and awards of veterans.

    3. TroopTreeTroopTree is a free private video messaging platform for military families to stay in touch with their loved ones overseas. KeepTree provides the free service which allows soldiers or their family members to leave messages for each other to be viewed at any time. The videos can be stored and saved forever so families can rewatch the videos.  Message can also be made ahead of time for family to watch at a later date.

    4. Cell Phones for Soldiers. This service recycles old cell phones and turns them into calling cards for soldiers. Since its inception, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided 181 million minutes of free talk time for soldiers as well as help recycle 10.8 million cell phones! Find out how you can recycle your old cell phone today.

    5. Cup of Joe for a Joe. For just $2, you can send a cup of coffee to a soldier. California based coffee company Green Beans Coffeehas several cafes serving soldiers at military bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti East Africa, Oman, and United Arab Emirates.

    6. DiscountsMilitarybenefits.info lists discounts, sales and everything free for vets and their families, ranging from free dinners to haircuts and oil changes. There is also a meal guide of deals for not only veterans, but also active duty and retired military. Many offers require a valid military ID or proof of military service.

    The number of veterans is huge! Veterans Day means more then taking a day off from school or work. Veterans Day marks an opportunity to pay our respects to those serving during times of war, and to honor the soldiers who return from war. Our heroes deserve our respect. Many of these brave soldiers are battling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and some haven’t seen their family in years. Let’s remember to support, understand, and thank a veteran not just tomorrow but every chance we get!

    How are you honoring Veterans Day? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Live Audio and Video to Your Mobile Device

    AIPC100F_lifestyle_mount

    Aluratek is happy to introduce our new Wireless, Wired Pan -Tilt IP Surveillance Camera with Night Vision and Two-Way Audio. This mountable device is designed to deliver live audio and video right to your smartphone or tablet. You will have the confidence in knowing that your home or business is protected and safe 24/7. Enjoy the convenience and precision of mobile control anytime and anywhere with the ultra-smooth rotating and elevating functionality along with integrated night vision, motion detection and two way real time audio communication with the built-in microphone and speaker.

    Monitor What Matters Most
    With dozens of applications, the IP Camera is an inexpensive way to watch over your home, business or anything that is most important to you. Have peace of mind knowing that you are able to protect your home or business with its 24/7 monitoring features including integrated motion detection, night vision and two way real time audio.

    AIPC100F_lifestyle_tablet_pan-tilt

    Sharp Imagery from Different Angles
    Bring clear video to your smartphone or tablet anywhere there is an internet connection. The IP Camera allows for full remote control with sharp imagery so you can swiftly scan an area with the swipe of a finger across your device's screen. Insert a Micro SD Card into the IP Camera and save recorded videos directly to the card. Adjust video settings for quality, orientation, environment, motion detection and recording modes.

    AIPC100F_portable devices

    View Anytime Application
    Simply connect the IP camera to your wired or wireless WiFi network. Download the free View Anytime app from iTunes or Google Pay stores to record live video and audio streaming to 4 different viewing devices at the same time. The installation is very quick and easy! After installing the app, simply scan the user ID that is on the camera with your device, and enter the default password (customizable after connection). Supports up to 8 cameras per app for full access to start monitoring anytime, anywhere!

    How would you use your IP Camera? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Election Day - Old School

    vote

    Tomorrow is the first day of Election Day! Gregory, our creative director here at Aluratek, wrote a blog entry back in 2012 about why the voting process is still putting voters in line for hours. Why hasn’t anything changed? We had a conversation earlier this morning and he expressed that the process is still the same, and questioned why so little is being done to make things more convenient for voters. Let's try to move away from the 1950's way of doing things!

    You would think that living in a digital world we would be up to date in making our voting process more tech friendly, right? The registration process has definitely improved since you can now take care of that online, but with telephone-based polls of homeowners, hanging chads from paper ballots, or even the good old snail mail means too few people are voting and it is too difficult for business to register and operate.

    So what is the reason for not having a digital voting system? I personally think that if people were able to do so in their own home, more people would actually vote. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate waiting times. People have a hard time finding time for themselves let alone a couple hours at the voting polls. Also being able to vote online would cost less as it would eliminate paper and printing expenses. Online voting can bring up concerns of fraud, but if the election officials can find a way to create a secure and safe system that blocks out any hackers it can easily be doable!

    Ha! This entry sounds very similar to the one Greg wrote and I wonder why?! Things have yet to change, and who knows…maybe in the next election something will be done to make our voting system more modernized and tech-friendly instead of doing it the old school way. One day…

    How many hours have you waited just to put your vote in? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • AZIO Keyboard Makes Appearance on TV

    Mini Wireless Home Theater PC Keyboard

    We all have our favorite TV shows. One of mine happens to be Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. I am a huge fan of the comic genre so I began watching this show from the beginning. Season 1 was OK - though it did get better towards the end. I was curious how season 2 would begin and I think they have done a much better job introducing new characters and better plot lines. Anyway, I was watching an episode last week (which aired several weeks ago - I love my DVR) and my eye caught one of our AZIO keyboards in a scene. To be specific, its the Mini Wireless Home Theater PC Keyboard.

    How cool I though that one of our products was being used in the TV show. Ususally they just cover up the logo but not here - its as plain as you can see (though grainy because I took this pic right off the paused TV).

    I thought this would also be a good opportunity to remind everyone that we have an entire product category dedicated to AZIO by Aluratek Keyboards and Gaming Accessories. Here you will find several gaming keyboards and multi-use keyboards along with a gaming headset and a couple gaming mice.

    Which AZIO product looks good to you? Are you enjoying Season 2 of SHIELD? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Tech- Halloween Part II

    Memes are huge this year.  So are superheroes, iPhone and social media bodysuits. Ditch the boring bloody fangs this year and create a costume that will turn heads and make others go “aha!”

    Earlier this month, I blogged about social media costumes that were quite impressive! But you can push yourself even further and have your entire night of Halloween be tech themed!

    So here’s part 2 of my Halloween entry =)

    Host a Halloween party!

    - Invitations: Unless it’s for a wedding, I haven’t seen many physical invitations being mailed or hand delivered in a while. Facebook has become the main source of invitations for all sorts of events. Birthdays dinners, Bridal showers, and Halloween parties are a few invitations that I’ve received in the past couple of weeks! It’s the easiest way to reach out and get a fast response from people! It will make sure it gets to all your friends, and it is convenient because it helps you keep track of RSVPs. You can create a fun Halloween themed look of your invitation using imagery as well!

    - Music: I love making a playlist for any event! Creating a playlist for your party is a place where Spotify can be used to its fullest potential. As long as the computer / laptop is connected to the internet, you can search unlimited music on Spotify. Whether it’s Halloween music or the latest hit by Taylor Swift, there's something for everyone.

    - Tricks: Halloween is an occasion where simple tech special effects and a little bit of showmanship can go a long way. If you’ve got wireless speakers or even one where with a cord that’s easy to hide, then you’ve got pretty much everything you need to scare the living nightmare out of your party guests.

    Example: Concealing a speaker under a chair or an unexpected location and queuing it to play screams at random intervals is a perfect way to make your guests jump.

    - Decorations: Just watch this video and be amazed.

    Do you have any ideas for a tech-Halloween? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Fresh And So Clean, Clean!

    Today is National Clean Your Virtual Clean Desktop! Have you ever heard of this day? I haven’t, but what a good excuse to clean out your computer or at least organize your files! Remember when you got your computer, and the neat, empty desktop looked clean, productive and well-organized? Take a look now – I bet that it’s scattered with icons that you don’t even look at, that there are documents and a ton of files around folders that are in frantic need of organization. I’ll be the first to admit that I am in need of some desktop organization! Take a look at my desktop! Don’t judge me!

    Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 10.07.15 AM

    Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day encourages you to put things away, delete files that are not required, and to make it a habit to stop things getting so messy!

    Here at Aluratek, we can help you get organized. We have a wide variety of hard drive duplicators to help you store and back up your files. Is your computer starting to run slower? Are you worried that your hard drive may crash you may lose all your valuable data? I’ve been in one terrible situation when my external hard drive crashed the night before my big project was due!! I should’ve backed it up because those files were long gone! Sad, sad day! Aluratek’s hard drive duplicators can definitely lend a hand and would have been of use for me. All it does is simply duplicate information from one hard drive to another. Not only will you have a fresh new copy of data, but you will be able to eliminate unwanted files and keep things organized. You can even find some of our duplicators in our Outlet Store!

    So start organizing so your computer can be fresh and so clean, clean! ;)

    How messy is your desktop? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • Follow Us On Instagram!

    Instagram-Message

    Hey folks!

    On behalf of Aluratek, I would like to give a friendly reminder that we are now on Instagram! We have posted up lots of behind the scene photos as well as sneak peeks on our new products! It has been a lot of fun and getting great feedback, and we don't want you to miss out on any of it!

    Here is how you can connect with us on Instagram:

    1. Download the Instagram app on your mobile phone.

    2. Find @aluratek on Instagram and follow us.

    3.Double tap our photos to show us you like the photo! You can also upload your own photo and share it with us by using the hashtag #Aluratek.

    Come and join us on Instagram for creative and fun photography, new stories, updates, and unique behind the scenes photos!

    What would you like to see on Aluratek's Instagram? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

  • How Protect Your Phone From the Cold!

    Winter is coming. (Yes, I just recited a Game of Thrones quote!)

    If you’re cold and freezing, your cell phone is too! Smart phones are not built for the extreme cold. If you’re in California then your phone should be fine, but for other states especially where it snows a lot this blog entry is for you!

    The last thing you need is a busted phone, especially if you are stuck in the freezing cold weather. It can drain your battery quickly as well as shutting them down. When lithium-ion batteries are exposed to cold temperatures, their performance drastically goes down. When cold, a phone battery can drain faster than normal, or it can suddenly go dead, but once it is warmed up, the device is brought back to life!

    Here are some tips on how to protect your phone and other electronic devices in cold weather:

    - Keep your phone / tablets tucked in something warm. You can wrap a small towel or blanket around to make sure it doesn’t die in the cold. You can also have the device close to your body so it can absorb some body heat. If you need to leave the device behind, turn it off instead of leaving it to sleep.

    - Cases help keep phones warm. There are some that are built to regular a phone’s temperature in extreme cases (no pun intended).

    - For laptops, you have the screen AND the hard drive that could easily crack if dropped in the cold. Let them warm up before turning them on. Otherwise the drive can crash which may lead to loss of data.

    - Have a car charger or a power bank to help with battery life. You can use ones that have additional USB ports to charge multiple devices. You can find both at our store.

    - Have an external battery for back up.

    Have you ever experienced a phone malfunction due to the cold weather? Visit our FacebookTwitter and Google+ pages to let us know, or leave a comment below!

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