Category Archives: Tech News

How To Keep Your Online Accounts Safe From Hackers

With all the news about large companies getting hacked, it can be easy to feel like your online accounts are not safe. However, there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself and keep your information secure. Here are a few effective tips to help you stay safe online.

1: Use a strong password

One of the most important things you can do to keep your online accounts safe is to use a strong password. A strong password should be bigger than 8 characters, and ideally, it should also contain a mix of letters, numbers, or symbols. Avoid simplistic words like a name or birthday. It’s certainly wise to change your passwords often, too.

2: Don’t click on suspicious links

If you receive an email or message from someone you don’t know, be wary of any links that are included. Hackers will often send out phishing emails that look legitimate but contain links to malicious websites. If you hover over a link, you should be able to see the website it will take you to. If it looks suspicious, don’t click on it.

3: Use two-factor authentication

This technology refers to a layer of security that can be added to your online accounts. With this turned on, you’ll need to enter not only your password but also a code that is sent to your phone. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.

4: Keep your software up to date

One of the most common ways that hackers gain access to people’s accounts is through vulnerabilities in outdated software. That’s why it’s important to keep your computer, phone, and any other devices you use to access the internet up to date with the latest security patches. If you own a business, companies like Applied Cyber Solutions and others can help in this area.

How Do Magnetic Stirrers Work?

Just about any well-equipped laboratory, these days should have magnetic stirrers on hand. Magnetic stirrers are easy to use, affordable, and allow for consistent mixing and dispersion. Perhaps best of all, you can set up magnetic stirrers and ensure that substances continue to mix even as you move on to other tasks.

Show magnetic stirrers to a young child, and he or she might think it’s magic. While technology often does seem magical, magnetic stirrers aren’t particularly mystic. These stirrers use rotating magnetic fields to spin a stir bar that’s been placed in your beaker or another container. As the stir bar spins, it’ll mix up the liquids.

If you’re going to use a magnetic stirrer, you’ll typically need a power source. That may include batteries, a simple plug, or whatever else. Electric motors are normally used to rotate the magnet fields (often simply by moving the magnets) thus spinning the stir bar.

Magnetic stirrers generally work best with smaller amounts of liquid (4 liters or less). While magnetic stirrers are very effective and easy to use, there are some limitations. The center of your solution, for example, will often be very well mixed. The top and outside of your solution may not be.

Particularly thick, or viscous, materials also won’t mix well with magnetic stirring. Thin, watery substances, on the other hand, are often very easy to mix with magnetic stirrers.

In some cases, you can use different stir bars to improve mixing. One stir bar may work better with a solution than another. Fortunately, science and chemistry supply companies often sell a variety of stirrers. This way, you can select the one that works best for you.

Magnetic stirring devices often come with hotplates and other features too, making them multi-faceted tools that are useful for a range of applications.

5 Things To Consider When Using Power Combiners

If you work with RF, microwave or wireless technology, you are probably familiar with both combiners and dividers. They are useful in either splitting signal or combining to amplify a signal. Combiners can link radio signals together or separate them depending on what you want to accomplish.

Power Combiners

1: Most Combiners Are Also Dividers

The first thing that you have to remember when working with high power combiners is that they are the same thing as high power dividers, reversed. A combiner becomes a divider when they are hooked when the input is used as an output. Most are universal.

2: Consider Your Bandwidth

In most cases, a narrow bandwidth does not matter. You can use combiners to increase your bandwidth if necessary, but unless it is done properly, you can cause the signal to degrade in a way that makes a wider bandwidth useless. You should note that some combiner configurations can extend bandwidth, but it may not be necessary for your application.

3: Pay Attention to Efficiency

It doesn’t do any good to combine or divide power inputs and output if you have signal or power degradation. Too many links often equal a loss of power. If you are losing too much power, your signal may not be strong enough once it reaches its destination.

4: Consider Size

It might seem obvious, but you have to consider the size of the unit you are working with. If the size does not matter, you can use a combiner with stripline instead of the much smaller radial design. 

5: Noise Isolation 

This is not the kind of noise most people worry about. Isolation is extremely important because it can also cause a signal to degrade no matter how your combine it. You do not want signal crossover from each component.

To combine or divide a signal, you have to consider each of these five things. If you don’t, you subject the system to what is at best a degraded signal and at worst complete signal loss.

How Ultrasonic Waves Can Be Used for Welding

Ultrasonic waves are sound waves above the limit of human hearing and can be put to practical use in manufacturing everything from car computers to medical equipment. This is because these vibrations cause plastics and thin layers of metals to melt in predictable and controllable ways which can be channeled into a weld. The equipment and process for ultrasonic welding are highly specialized, easily adapted for automation and provide quality welds.

Ultrasonic Waves

Equipment

To use this type of welding, you will need some basic equipment such as Dukane ultrasonic converters, boosters, horns, and anvils or fixtures to hold the items being welded together. You will also need a power supply and a way to apply pressure to the pieces. The type of fixture and pressure will largely depend on which materials you are using and the sizes of each piece. Those same factors will change the way your computer or microprocessor configures the frequency, temperature and pressure of this process as well as the timing and how the waves are directed.

Process

The process of ultrasonic welding can be boiled down to some basic steps. The parts to be welded are placed on the fixture and the horn contacts the materials. Pressure is applied to keep the horn and parts in place, usually air pressure from a pneumatic arm. The horn then emits sound waves either up-and-down or side-to-side for the length of time dictated by the materials being used. Once the weld is set, the horn and materials can be removed. For metals, the sound waves are applied parallel to the plane of the materials, and the metal is heated but not melted. This removes films and metal oxides from the surface and allows the molecules to flow between parts to form the bond. Plastics, on the other hand, have ultrasonic waves applied perpendicular to the plane of the materials to melt and fuse the parts together.

Ultrasonic welding harnesses the vibrations of sounds above the limit of human hearing to bond plastics and metals together. Manufacturers use this type of welding to make electronic components, medical equipment, and even shoes or toys.

Tips for Working From Home

With the spread of coronavirus and most of the country on lockdown, more people than ever are transitioning to working from home full time. Working from home is convenient, but it can prevent its own challenges. Here are a few tips to help you stay productive at home. 

Tips for Working From Home

Stick to Routine

One of the best ways to help your productivity at home is to maintain regular working hours. Having a routine will help you be more productive during work hours, and help you get the proper break you need after work. Stick to your schedule and don’t let personal life interrupt.

Know Where to Get Help

Being away from the work environment might create a sense of isolation, which is exacerbated when you don’t know who to ask for help with day-to-day issues. Know which of your bosses or coworkers you can email and get a quick response from. You also might need help with IT issues, like a slow internet connection or Macbook repair Odessa TX. Make sure you have a support system in place that will respond quickly and get you the help you need. 

Schedule Breaks

Working from home makes it even easier to work through lunch or other breaks. While that might seem more efficient, in the long run, it can cause you to burn out. Be strict with yourself and take 15-minute breaks throughout the day, as well as a long lunch away from your computer. 

Get Out of the House

When you are at home all day with no reason to leave, it is easy to forget to get out of the house. Even if you don’t have anywhere to go, try to at least go on a short walk every day. The fresh air will help your mind and body, and light exercise will help your mental health. Even just a short walk to the mailbox can significantly improve the way you feel.

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