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Active Noise Cancellation Technology

You must have heard the term Active Noise Cancellation; many of you might be using it on a regular basis.  But, the majority of the populace is still ignorant of what exactly active noise cancellation is all about. In this article we will be trying to demystify active noise cancellation.

A few decades back in time active noise cancellation was first introduced in the cockpit of the fighter jets in the mid fifties. But the technique that was used in cancelling unwanted noise did not get the popularity among common folks until in the year 1970 when Dr. Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation, bring the technology in the market for the users. The same technology is used in the noise cancelling headphones in order to keep the unwanted noise of the outside world at bay.

Now, the question is how does a headphone is able to cut the noise from the outside world and till what degree it can do the same. In order to be able to understand this we should first learn a few things beforehand.

How Active Noise Cancellation technology works?

Noise, as we know, is a mixture of compression and refraction phases of waves. Active Noise cancellation technology creates what is known as antiphase, which is a wave of amplitude similar to that of the outside noise; but with an inverted phase. This antiphase wave, created by the internal circuitry,  comes out of the speakers and mixes with the noise.  Now, it should not be difficult for you to imagine that what will happen when the noise from the outside world meets the noise created by the headphone with inverted phase – you guessed it right folks, they will negate or cancel each other. This phenomenon is known as destructive interference. The term “active” means, the noise cancellation technique required energy, and this energy is derived from an inbuilt battery in the headphones.

Now, going back to the other question that how much noise can the ANC reduce, well, the active noise cancellation technique can cut 100% of the unnecessary noise, but, at the present moment, companies, keeping the angle of  cost effectiveness in eyes, make such headphones that are capable of reducing the noise till 80 to 85%.

Active Noise Cancellation Functionality

You don’t need to doubt, whether the sound waves created by the headphones will interfere the music you want to listen. Headsets with active noise cancellation are good in distinguishing between the audio sources a user wants to listen and undesirable outside noise that annoys him. It is interesting to know that these headsets can be used even when you don’t want to listen to music; by wearing these headsets, you can have a peaceful sleep in a noisy environment.

Hey, the real feel is in experiencing the ANC first hand and not reading articles about it; so, don’t wait guys, go get one for yourself, something like Nokia-BH905i

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in New Age Technology

 

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Buying a Bluetooth Headset? – Features to Consider

Bluetooth is a common connectivity technology that enables two devices to connect with each other, wirelessly. The technology is also used by Bluetooth headset that allows the user to use the cellphone, hands-free. The biggest advantage of a Bluetooth headset is that it gives you freedom to roam around while talking, eliminating the need to keep the phone on your ear all the time.

Today, even a low-end phone is Bluetooth enabled, which means you can pair it with a Bluetooth headset and talk with all convenience. A host of options are available in market, when it comes to Bluetooth headsets but there are a few things one should consider before making a purchase.

So, here’s the guide to a smarter Bluetooth headset purchase:

Type of Bluetooth Headset – Stereo or Mono

Most of the buyers overlook this feature as they are not aware of the difference between a stereo and mono Bluetooth headset. A mono headset has one earpiece and a microphone & is generally used for voice calls. But manufacturers such as Jabra are including A2DP profile in some of their mono Bluetooth headset, so that users can listen to music and podcasts on them. Stereo headsets generally come with two earpieces and are used for both voice calls & listening to music. So, figure out what your requirement is, before settling down for a product.

Design Type

In-Ear or Over-the-Ear

The in-ear type Bluetooth headset offer a comfortable fit as it fits inside the ear perfectly. These headsets are ideal to be used in noisy conditions. But, you might find it slightly discomforting to wear the headset for a long time. Over-the-ear type Bluetooth headsets on the other hand are suitable to wear for long period because they give ample space for ear to breathe.

Circumaural Bluetooth headset

Also called as full size headset, a circumaural Bluetooth headset has circular or ellipsoid earpads that completely enclose the ears. These headsets are more comfortable to wear and have excellent sound quality as well as better external noise reduction capability. Since, a circumaural Bluetooth headset is large, it is most commonly preferred by music lovers and audio enthusiasts & professionals.

Connectivity Standard in Bluetooth headset

It is always a safer option to check if the Bluetooth headset you are buying has same connectivity standard, which your cellphone supports. There are different Bluetooth standards: 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, and 4.0. Almost all the cellphones and Bluetooth headsets are backward compatible.

Other Factors:

  • It will be an added advantage if the Bluetooth headset comes with noise cancellation or say wind cancellation technology. This will filter out the unnecessary sound and improvise the incoming/outgoing calls quality.
  • Check out the transmission range of the Bluetooth headset. Higher the operation range, more comfortable it gets to use the device. Generally, Bluetooth headsets support up to 10meter transmission range.
  • All the wireless devices including Bluetooth headsets are battery operated, therefore, check-out the talktime & standby time of the device. If the talktime offered is less, you will have to charge the device more often.
 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Benefits of Defragging of Hard Drives

Defragging or defragmenting hard drive on a regular basis increases the overall health and speed of computer system. Defragging is a process of reducing the amount of fragmentation. Fragmentation makes inefficient use of storage space, reducing storage capacity and performance of the hard drive.

How fragmentation happens?

When a new file is saved to a hard disk, it is placed in the free space at the end existing saved data till the hard disk is full or you delete some previous files. When a file is deleted from the hard disk, it leaves a free space. More files deleted, more free space is created. Over the time, free space is spread all over your hard drive in small amounts here and there, not in contiguous section in one spot. This stage is termed as disk fragmentation and here starts the problem, which also causes file fragmentation. File fragmentation means a single file isn’t located in the same physical location on the disk, but is scattered around. It slows down the speed of computer as it has to look in many different places to open a file.

What happens while defragging?

The process of defragging consolidates fragmented files on your computer’s hard disk.  It rearranges the data and reunites fragmented files on your hard disk to make it run efficiently.

Why is defragging of hard drives essential?

To improve the performance speed – Programs run faster and files loads quickly when the data is clubbed together. Quick access can be made when the data is grouped together as computer need not search the data all over the disk to perform a task.

To extend the life of hard drive – Mechanical parts of hard drive travel less when the disk is defragmented. A system needs to work hard to collect fragmented information across the disk. Defragmenting can help a hard drive last longer.

To obtain high level of security – Anti-virus program can scan files in small time when the drive and files are less fragmented. It can capture virus quickly and delete them before they spread.

To improve battery life – Since defragging simplifies the file retrieval function, the energy used also decreases.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Laptop-Technologies

 

Tips on Extending Battery Runtime in Laptops & Tablets

One of the common issues that annoy any laptop or tablet user is the drained battery. When it’s brand new, you might not face any problem with the battery of the laptop but within a few months, you will find yourself looking for a plug-point more frequently.

But, you can extend the battery life of your laptop or tablet by following these tips:

Regular defragging

If your hard drive will work faster, less battery would be consumed. You can make the hard drive work efficiently by defragging it on a regular basis. Defragging means, re-arranging the file systems, so that a single file is stored in contiguous space, instead of putting parts of it in the gaps between other files. Defragging simplifies the file retrieval and reduces the energy consumed by hard disk.

Remove external devices, when not in use

External devices like USB will drain down your laptop battery. It is suggested to shut them down, when not in use. If you are charging devices like iPod or cellphone, the battery will discharge even more quickly.

Lesser use of CD/DVD

CD and DVD drives consume lot of power because they spin continuously, even if they are not being used actively. If possible, avoid using these devices and run programs on hard drive of the laptop. Ideal thing is to copy the data to the hard drive and save on battery.

Avoid multitasking

Programs running in background like Desktop Search or iTunes add to the CPU load, resulting in lesser battery life. It is suggested to shut down all the backgroud programs, if battery is crucial. When you have to finish off the important work and battery is low, avoid multitasking. Running lot of applications at the same time will definitely consume battery faster. So, you should not work on the spreadsheet, check emails, and listen to songs at the same time, else the battery will drain out completely before anything gets completed.

Optimizing the power options

You can always customize the power options in your laptop to get maximum battery life. If you have a Windows XP, you will find the “Power Options” in control panel. Mac devices have “Energy Saver” in System Preferences.

Dim your laptop screen

Most laptops have the option to dim the screen. Select the lowest level or the one that delivers optimal viewing to get some extra battery minutes.

The memory effect

If your laptop is very old, you must prevent the “memory effect” by fully charging and then fully discharging the battery, at least once in a week. This doesn’t apply on laptops with Li-Ion batteries because they do not suffer from memory effect.

Hibernating, a better option

Prefer to hibernate the laptop instead of keeping it on standby mode. It is true that putting the device on standby mode saves some power and you can resume instantly. But, hibernating will actually save the power because your laptop will completely shut itself down.

Controlling the operating temperature

A battery will drain faster at extreme temperature. Make sure that you charge the battery and use the laptop at room temperature. Apart from this, always clean the keyboard and air vents for keeping the device cooler.

Good care of battery

It is important that you take care of the battery, if you want it to give maximum output. Clean the metal contacts of the battery by rubbing with alcohol. Also, make sure that a charged battery is not left dormant for longer time. A charged battery should be used at least once in 2-3 weeks. Moreover, a Li-Ion battery should not be left to get discharged completely.

Switch off wireless

Always switch off the wireless network if you do not have plan to access Internet. Plus, disabling Bluetooth is really important because both these applications are battery consuming.

Lower volume level

Lower down the volume level or mute it, if you are not playing music on the laptop.

Care while selecting wallpapers

If your laptop has an OLED display, avoid displaying white images (as wallpaper).These screens consume less power displaying black images.

Disable autosave

MS Office application’s autosave function is of great help because the data you enter gets saved automatically at a regular interval. But, it makes your hard drive to put-in some extra efforts. If the battery is less, turn off the autosave feature. For example in Word 2007, there is Word Options button which helps you to customize save options. 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

GSM Frequency Bands

Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a digital cellular network that enables cellphones to connect with each other by searching for cells in the immediate vicinity. Being a fully digitized technology, GSM offers better speech quality to the cellphone users.

GSM is the second generation (2G) technology, which enables full duplex voice telephony. In a full duplex technology, a cellphone user can use one frequency for talking and another for listening. In simple words, both people on call can talk at once. The GSM technology, which started with full duplex voice telephony expanded over a period of time and started offering packet data transport via GPRS. Later on, the data transmission speed increased and EDGE was introduced. 3G is the new standard in the cellular technology, which offers better call & service support to users.

GSM is the largest mobile communication technology worldwide and the radio frequencies used for cellular networks are different in America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. A portion of radio frequency spectrum is allocated for cellphone usage and all mobile phone manufacturers develop products that support these assigned GSM frequencies.

What Provides GSM, Worldwide Acceptance?

The major advantage of GSM is its ubiquity. The technology supports multiple frequency levels i.e. 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz.

850 MHz (U.S./Canada/Latin America/Brazil)

• 900 MHz (Africa/Europe/Brazil/Africa/Australia/Asia (ex Japan and S. Korea)

• 1800 MHz (Africa/Europe/Australia/Asia/Brazil)

• 1900 MHz (U.S./Canada/Latin America)

Since, GSM has acquired worldwide acceptance, it enables users to use single number with international roaming. So it is always better to use a cellphone supporting multiple frequency bands, because the device can seamlessly function if it supports at-least one of the network frequencies.

In simple words, if you have a GSM handset that supports multiple frequencies, you will not be required to change the number or handset, in case you are travelling to another country.

GSM Frequency Bands

There are different GSM frequency band combinations on which mobile phones operate.

Dualband

Asian/European version – Dualband 900/1800 provides complete coverate in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Brazil but does not cover U.S./Canada/Latin America.

American version – Dualband 850/1900 provides complete coverage in U.S., Canada, Latin America, and Brazil but does not in Africa/Europe/Australia/Asia.

Triband

Asian/European version – Triband 900/1800/1900 gives complete coverage in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia & main cities in the U.S. and in some parts of Canada, Latin America, and Brazil.

American version – Triband 850/1800/1900 gives complete coverage in U.S., Canada, Latin America, Brazil and some parts of Africa, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Quadband

A quadband supports four frequencies – 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz. A GSM phone with quadband support can be used anywhere in the world.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Defining LED Display

LED screen is a type of video display where small diodes are used, which emit light, that is what is quite conspicuous from the name itself- Light Emitting Diode (LED). It is not that the LED is only used for the video displays but it is widely used for the lightening purpose too like general illumination, stage lighting, and task lighting. But here our heed will entirely be upon the display aspect of the LED.

But before going into the LED display, we should learn a thing or two about the LED panels as they play a vital role in the display system of the LED screen. There are two types of LED panels – one that uses the discrete LEDs and other which is called SMD or Surface Mounted Device. All the big outdoor screens sport discrete LEDs whereas most of the indoor screens wear the SMD. The SMD now is being used by numerous outdoor screens as well.

LED Display

The SMD comprises of three different colored diodes namely red, green, and blue, which are clustered together into a single package, after that the single package is mounted on the driver PC board. These individual diodes are pretty minute in size and are gelled fairly close against one another.

The LED display generally needs to have a screen that is built on the SMD technology and has minimum brightness of 600 candelas (the unit that measures light intensity) per square meter. But if the surroundings sport extreme brightness then this brightness might have to be enhanced. Similarly, if the surroundings are of low light then the brightness requirement might dwindle a little.

A Mobile Handset with LED Display

In today’s time, friends, there are different types of LED displays are found in the market such as: WLED, OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED, and Super AMOLED Plus.

Today with the advancement of technology some of the mobile phones also sport top quality LED display like Super AMOLED and AMOLED display, of course they are high end thing meant for the big boys/girls!

In my next post I will be comparing the LED and OLED display one against another for our readers to get properly acquainted with either type of technologies.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in New Age Technology

 

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What is Mouse DPI?

Mouse DPI is the number of steps it reports while moving on one inch surface. Dot per inch (DPI) is actually the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the extent of one inch. It determines the sensitivity of mouse. Factually, the expression of movement of mouse in terms of DPI is incorrect. Correctly, it is expressed in counts per inch (CPI).

The higher the CPI, the faster the cursor moves with mouse movement. However, software can adjust the mouse sensitivity, making the cursor movement faster or slower than its CPI count.

DPI is fraction of an inch of mouse can count when a mouse moves. A mouse with 800 DPI can count up to 1/800 of an inch of movement while a mouse with 5000 can count up to 1/5000 of an inch. Better say, if a mouse has 4 CPI, it means mouse has to move four times for every inch it travel.

A standard mouse has DPI in range of 400-800 while it can go up to 10,000 in high end mouse. It is to be noted that DPI also depends on screen resolution. Higher the resolution of screen (number of dots/pixels on the entire screen), the curser will appear moving slower as it has more pixels to cross.  

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Laptop-Technologies