Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Tasks Fit for a Machine

    If you’ve been waiting years for Alex Trebek to welcome you as a contestant on Jeopardy, you might have to keep waiting, because Watson, the newest Jeopardy star, just ushered in a new breed of game-show superstars. Or should we say supercomputers? Yes, as you’ve probably already heard, a supercomputer named Watson beat top contestants Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at their own game last week.

    Watson’s reign has sparked a wave of questioning: “What else can machines like Watson do?”, “Are computers really smarter than humans?”, and “Are robots going to take over the world?”

    Here at Aluratek we’re embracing these new technologies. From eBook Readers to high resolution adapters and multimedia players, technology makes our lives easier (and more fun!)

    In the spirit of Watson’s victory, here are three more tasks we’d love to see taken over by machines:

    1.    Cleaning behind the refrigerator. Do you know what’s under your refrigerator right now? If you’ve ever moved your refrigerator you know about the nastiness that always seems to collect where we can’t see. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a little machine that could crawl under there and clean all that up? (A little less glamorous than Watson’s gig on Jeopardy)

    2.    Folding laundry. Folding is arguably the worst part of doing laundry. Though there have been machines invented for the sole purpose of folding t-shirts, the idea of a laundry-folding robot still hasn’t gone mainstream.

    3.    Sports Commentating. How many times have you been watching your favorite sports team only to hear the announcer mispronounce your star-player’s name? What about when you find your team on the losing end and suddenly everyone is rooting against you (including the commentators!)? When it comes to knowledgeable and completely unbiased sports commentators, robots might be our last hope.

    After he lost to Watson, Ken Jennings said, “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.” But we don’t think a computer take-over is going to happen any time soon. (Watson doesn’t even know he won Jeopardy, how could he process world domination?) So until then, lets make the most of all the great tech products the world has to offer!

    Learn more about how Aluratek embraces technology, check out our Company page.

  • Multitasking at its Finest

    Multitasking, or the act of handling more than one task at the same time, is a common way of life in America today. In fact, you might be doing it right now! Many studies have been done to try to measure the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of multitasking. The results are inconclusive, but one things for certain, multitasking is here to stay.

    In honor of Single-Tasking Day, a holiday that celebrates a simpler time, I invite you to completely stop what you’re doing and consider some of these activities that would be a lot different without multitasking:

    1.    Driving
    The ramifications of distracted driving have been highly publicized. We know that talking on the phone while driving can be dangerous and texting while driving can be downright deadly, but could you imagine not being able to listen to the radio while driving? If driving is one activity, listening to your favorite radio station is a second. You probably multitask every day on the way to work without even thinking about it!

    2.    Working
    You might be multitasking at work right now. How many windows do you have open on your computer at this very moment? If you said one, thank you for your undivided attention, but chances are more likely that you have multiple tabs or windows open right now – that’s multitasking.  Think of how hard it would be to monitor your fantasy football team and appear like a dedicated employee without multitasking!

    3.    Dishes
    Washing dishes might be the most boring household chore ever invented. If you stand at the sink staring in silence at soapy dishes, your focus is outstanding. However, chances are you’re doing something else (watching TV, talking to your family, cooking, reading The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on your eBook Reader… anything) while cleaning dishes. At the least, you’re probably at least thinking of the dozens of things you could be doing, other than dishes.

    4.    Showering
    Some people shower quietly, but for many others the shower becomes their own private performance stage. Add playing your own personal backup recording on your digital music player and you’ve increased your “tasks” to three. Spend most of your shower time singing a cappella? Consider adding the third task we mentioned, your roommates, family and neighbors will thank you.

    No matter how many tasks you’re undertaking Aluratek has gadgets to help simplify your life. Want to see more? Check out our website!

  • Technology, History and Our Presidents

    The Internet played a huge role in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, but the 44th and current president of the United States wasn’t the first to use technology in a progressive way. Many presidents were early adopters of technology. In honor of President’s Day on February 21st, Aluratek takes a look at some other famous presidential technology firsts:

    May 10, 1877 – Rutherford B. Hayes welcomed the first telephone into the White House. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, gave him instructions on how to use it. President Grover Cleveland, who took office 16 years later, was said to have answered the White House phone personally.

    1891 – The White House was first wired for electricity in 1891. Though Benjamin Harrison was in office, he and his wife were said to be so fearful of this new invention that they continued to use oil lamps, rather than electric lights.

    June 14, 1922 - Warren G. Harding was the first president to give a speech over the radio. He also had the first radio installed in the White House in February of that same year.

    October 5 1947 – Harry Truman made the first-ever televised presidential address from the White House. The first televised presidential debate didn’t occur until almost 13 years later during the 1960 Presidential Election.

    October 21, 1994 – The First White House website was launched during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Bill Clinton was also the first president to send an email.

    From AM radios to Internet radios and from books to eBook readers, it’s easy to see that technology has come a long way since the first telephone was installed in the White House over 130 years ago.

    What will be the next Presidential technology first?

  • Aluratek Salutes Library Lovers

    The library: home of high school study halls, stacks of musty books and The Breakfast Club. February is Library Lovers’ Month, which means that this month Aluratek is saluting libraries and all of their literary goodness.

    Though libraries are known for the extensive number of books available to borrow, in recent years, many libraries have expanded their offerings to books on tape, CDs and even eBooks. While it’s easy to tell if a library’s book on tape or CD will be compatible with your music player, understanding what eBooks are compatible with what eBook readers can be a little more challenging.

    All versions of the Aluratek Libre support EPUB, PDF, TXT and FB2 format eBooks, but what does that mean? Here’s a quick overview to help the library lovers out there decode the eBook format mystery:

    Potentially the most popular eBook format, many popular eBook readers support this format. EPUB is also the eBook format of choice for many libraries.

    PDF = Adobe Portable Document Format
    This file format is popular for exchanging documents on the computer.

    TXT = text
    This simple format is typically used for storage of information, but can also be read on some eBook readers.

    FB2 = FictionBook
    This popular XML-based eBook format is also supported by a number of free readers.

    Some book lovers aren’t ready to surrender their paperbacks (and we think that’s just fine), but many other libraries lovers are embracing digital readers as hands-free, sleek way to enjoy their favorite stories. Are you ready to make the switch to digital? Check with your local library to find out what the format of the eBooks they have available to borrow.

  • This Valentine's Day Say "I Love That You Love Me" with Aluratek

    Valentine’s Day is the annual celebration of love. So what better way to show the people that you love how much you care, than by sharing the gadgets that you love? Remind the people you love how much they love you by giving them these awesome gifts from Aluartek:

    1. A Mix Tape Upgrade
    Nothing says love like a mix tape. However, unless the love of your life is trapped in 1995, you might want to consider upgrading them to a Bump Portable MP3 and FM Radio Boombox this Valentine’s Day. Pair his or her new Bump speakers with an SD card filled with all of your favorite tunes and you have a Valentine’s Day gift that says, “Hey, I love you, but don’t forget about me!”

    2. A Family Photo for His Desk
    There’s no better way to show to the office who you love than with a picture of your significant other. Tell those cuties in your boyfriend’s office “hands off”, by giving him an Aluratek Digital Photo Frame preloaded with pictures of the two of you together. Can’t pick between vacation pictures and the picture you created of your future family by superimposing your faces together? You don’t have to (though we might suggest avoiding the latter)!

    3.  A Digital Video for Forever and Always
    Looking for a way to record all your Valentine Day memories? Give the one you love their own Cinecam Digital Video Camcorder or buy one for yourself. It’s an easy way to record memories of a romantic walk in the park or candlelight dinner. Create a video your valentine can watch again and again so they never have to be without you. Not for a minute. Not even for a second. Never.

    With Aluratek there’s something for everyone, (even the somewhat ego-centric gift-giver) so share the love and have a happy Valentine’s Day.

  • Going Green for National Green Week

    If you’re feeling particularly eco-friendly today we might know why: this week is National Green Week! Being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to involve buying expensive solar panels or swapping in your car for a hybrid; there are lots of little ways you can be more environmentally friendly. Here are three easy ways to go green today:


    Recycling doesn’t have to just be about sorting paper and plastic (though that’s a great way to help the environment). Recycling is also about repurposing what you already have to meet your needs or finding others who it can help. Before you run out and buy new throw pillows for instance, consider making some out of your old t-shirts (a great option for favorites that have been out-grown or have holes).

    When you no longer have a use for something, like that ugly sweater your Great-Aunt Mildred gave you; consider donating it to Goodwill or Purple Heart. Even worn tennis shoes can have a second life. Companies like Nike use old tennis shoes to create surfaces for athletic tracks and tennis courts!

    Eat Local

    Buying locally grown produce doesn’t only benefit farmers in your area and your local economy, it’s also a great way to be more environmentally friendly. Food that’s grown in your local community doesn’t have to travel as far, which means less gas expended in transport. In addition, local foods often don’t go through the amount of processing that other food need to go through to get it ready for storage and transport. In short, the less the distance between the field and your mouth, the better food tends to be for you and the environment.

    Go Paperless

    We’re not meaning to imply that you should live a life without paper, but using less paper is an easy way to be more environmentally friendly. Think before you print—could you email that document instead or reduce the font size so that you don’t need to print as many pages? Another way to use less paper is to buy fewer books. Did you know that it takes roughly 12 trees to produce one ton of paper? Instead of buying a new book, consider purchasing an eBook reader instead. EBook readers are a sleek and practical way to reduce the amount of paper you use on a daily basis.

    Whether you’re repurposing instead of buying new, purchasing locally grown produce or reducing the amount of paper you use, remember that making environmentally conscious decisions, not only betters our communities to today, but also helps to preserve our planet for future generations. Happy National Green Week!

  • Happy Children's Authors Week

    There are a lot of great authors in the world, who have influenced popular culture though their literature. When we say “great literature” some of your high school or college reading assignments might come to mind. Stories like The Call of the Wild or Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you think of Charles Dickens or Mark Twain. While these are all great authors, let us not forget about the first authors that inspired us: children’s book authors.

    Whether it’s Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss, children’s authors were an important part of our youths. Without children’s authors we might never have learned the story of Harold and his purple crayon or Alexander and his horrible, no good, very bad day. Children’s authors inspire kids to do something that no other type of authors can inspire kids to do: read!

    This week is Children’s Authors Week, so take some time to show the kids in your life why reading is valuable. Grab your eBook reader and spend some quality time with a hungry caterpillar, some wild things and the people you love. You just might find yourself inspired all over again.

    With Aluratek you can take hundreds of your favorite stories with you everywhere you go. Want to learn more? Check out eBook readers.

  • What Will You Do With Six More Weeks of Winter?

    Sure, Groundhog’s Day isn’t until tomorrow, but forecasters have been suggesting that we’re in for more wintry weather for days now (historic snowstorm, anyone?). So, what are you planning to do with six more weeks of snow and cold?

    You could succumb to cabin fever and spend six weeks staring irritability at a wall. You could take up a new hobby like basket weaving or re-alphabetize your spice rack. You could do those things… but why live like it’s pioneer times when you have these options for beating cabin fever?

    Weeks 1 & 2 - Scan all your family photos.

    Sure it sounds tedious, and almost as much fun as re-alphabetizing a spice rack, but wouldn’t all those pictures look great in an Aluratek digital frame? Besides, you only have six spices you use anyways, right? Right. That’s what we thought.

    Weeks 3 & 4 – Catch up with Scarlett O’Hara.

    Chances are Gone With the Wind hasn’t changed since you read it for the first time in 1992, but you never know what Scarlett might have been up to in the past fifteen years. Sure that book was 1024 pages long and took you almost a month to read, but thanks to your new eBook reader there will be a lot less page turning this time around.

    Weeks 5 & 6 – Learn a new language.

    So what if you weren’t so great at Spanish the first time around, you’ve got some time on your hands now, so how about giving it another try? Find your favorite Spanish station on your Internet radio alarm clock and you’re ready for a heavy dose of language immersion.

    Regardless of what the groundhog sees tomorrow, make sure you’re ready. Don’t get suck out in the cold, make Aluratek part of your cabin fever remedy.

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