Its “Zen” week on Knightwise.com where we are going to give you some tips on turning you hyper connected lifestyle a little more towards the “pool of tranquility” that is a state of Zen.
Lets start out with a cool little app called F.LUX.
The screens on our devices (laptops , tablets, phones) are designed to mimic the blue hue of daylight as much as possible so we can enjoy a clear an crisp image and be “productive”. However, our brains and our sleep cycle are triggered by the presence or absence of daylight. As the sun sets it gets darker in the evening, our brain tells our body to get ready for bed and once we lie down we hopefully doze off. But RIGHT before you go to bed you quickly check your Facebook feed on the super-daylight-bright display of your laptop. Your eyes notice the “Daylight color” and your brain thinks .. ” F*ck ! It’s noon ! ” and completely resets your bio clock. Result : You have a hard time getting to sleep ! And this is BAD for you !
So enter F.lux. F.lux will adjust the color temperature of your screen according to the time of day. In the morning your screen will have a much “warmer” color to match the rising sun. As the day progresses F.lux will adjust the brightness and color tone to “daytime” only to “wind it down” back to a warm tone in the evening. This puts less strain on your eyes and makes your laptop much more sleep-cycle friendly.
You can disable flux from the menu-bar icon for an hour or until the next day to prevent it messing up your colors when you are doing video editing or photoshop.
The MK802 is just one example of Android “hopping over” to more different kinds of devices then the phones and tablets it was designed for. In essence the MK802 is a little computer that comes with a couple of USB ports and an HDMI port so you can hook it up to any TV/Monitor and instantly turn that machine into a ‘smartscreen’. With devices like the MK802, you can easily turn your television into a media center using applications like PLEX or Boxee who let your Android ‘stick’ become your media front end.
The only thing that is missing is that those applications should ‘start up’ automatically whenever your android device of choice boots. In order to make that work we found the free app called “Startup Manager” (how DO they come up with these original names).
You can either tweak your Android device by removing applications that run on startup (nice way to clean out some branded cruft) OR add some auto starting applications of your own. (perfect for launching VLC, Boxee or Plex at bootup).
Co-worker Joost pointed me to this video of a product he had recently ordered for his Samsung NX10 Netbook : A touchscreen “upgrade” you can install by yourself. I haven’t played with it yet and he still needs to receive and install the touchscreen kit, but I did want to share this cool demo video of the product with you guys…. * Geek-Sigh : Imagine running Unity on this ! 🙂 * Looks like you can order the kit HERE.
This week we talk Macs and Mommies with the Charming Melissa Davis. We dive off the deep end in this 90 minute interview on technology, education and how she uses tech in her daily life AND introduces it into those of others. A delightful spontaneous interview that you will surely enjoy.