Video conferencing: what it is and how it works

The business world is slowly waking up to the fact that video conferencing such as that featured on conferencegenie.co.uk could help to improve their operations in so many ways. You may wonder what video conferencing is, and what makes it so good, but there are reasons why your business should use it.

As with Conference Calling at conferencegenie.co.uk, it’s designed to make meeting with clients a breeze. It allows those with the technology to talk to people from different locations worldwide, meaning that a meeting can be arranged and held almost straight away, which takes the traveling and expense previously involved in meetings out of the equation.

Video Conferencing is a must for any company looking to save money, save time and boost levels of productivity. However, you may wonder how it works, and whether it requires a lot of work to set up.

To get started, you need the following equipment:

• Two or more webcams or video cameras
• The same amount of microphones
• A large monitor or projector, but a TV will work just as well
• A strong internet connection
• Speakers
• A data compressor
• Video conferencing software

Once you have all the right equipment, you need to decide whether you want to just do point-to-point or multi-point video conferencing. The former is for one-to-one meetings between two different locations. Meanwhile, multi-point video conferencing is for three or more locations.

Multi-point video conferencing is very useful, not least because it makes potentially complicated meetings easy. It requires a multi-point bridge to help make it possible, as this will ensure that real-time conversation can go ahead as planned. Usually, connection to a server is the way to go about it.

As soon as everything’s in place for you to make full use of video conferencing, you’ll be free to enjoy its many benefits.
Your business could save money and time by not traveling to meetings. Also, workers who get tired from traveling will be less prone to tiredness during working hours, while communication with clients will be streamlined and much easier to keep going over long periods of time.

Great gadgets holiday gift guide

USA Today has a great gift guide for gadgets, covering cameras, video cameras and more.

Father’s Day: Facts and Figures

Father’s day is the day where you put your best foot forward and try to find something your dad will really like to have as a gift or spend his day doing. Some dads are really into sports, some are really into fashion (believe it or not) and some are motor-heads. With over $11,000,000,000 dollars spent yearly on Father’s day gifts, it’s a huge industry and because of that, there is a ton of data surrounding it.

The infographic below shares some interesting information regarding what consumers go with when they’re looking for the absolute perfect Father’s day gifts. Take a look (Click the image for a full-size view).

Best of Black Friday

Black Friday deals.I’ve never been the type to get up ass-early the day after Thanksgiving, but there are some undeniably great deals out there that could make be worth it were I ever not sleeping off my vitamin T. I’ve scoured all the ads this year to find my personal favorite deals in the hope that it will help some of you last minute planners.

Amazon’s got the Blackberry Bold 9700 (Bold 2 for those of you keeping track) for $149.99 on new contracts, but you can do better. Wirefly has the same phone on AT&T for FREE with new activations and just $29.99 for existing customers. It’s a perfect deal for your favorite Blackberry fan (and probably yourself if you’re so inclined).

According to blackfriday.info’s many, many ad leaks, Office Depot has a Seagate 1.5TB external drive for $99.99. There are cheaper deals for smaller drives out there but, dollar for dollar, this will get you one of the best storage deals available. As someone who recently had to restore a machine from a backup drive, I’d highly recommend this option. It’s also great if you know someone working with large amounts of audio and video.

Dell’s working a little Black Friday love this year, my favorite being the 23″ Full HD (I’m assuming that means 1080p) widescreen monitor w/webcam for $219. Gamers would love this thing, whether it’s for a PC or, if they’re really desperate, that brand new Xbox 360 bundle they picked up. At 23″ it’s plenty big enough for extended MW2 sessions, especially in a dorm room.

If you’re in the market for a new computer, check out the Acer Aspire One at Office Max. It’s 10.1″ with 1GB of RAM, a 160GB HD, and Windows XP – all for $149.99. That’s about as cheap as you’ll get for a ten-incher, which is as small as I can go before my hands cramp up.

Black Friday just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Best Buy. The house of blue and yellow has the Nikon D3000DX bundle for $499.99. It’s a 10.2 Megapixel DSLR with a 10-55mm VR lens just a penny under the $500 mark. It’s 10% off list for most retailers, and as low as anyone wants to go for a DSLR this season.

There you have my favorites. There are plenty of sites where you can find the rest of the deals if you don’t get the paper. I’d recommend checking out www.blackfriday.info. Now, go get some rest. You’ll need it for the maddening crowd.

Give Gmail Ads The Cement Boot Treatment

Gmail logo.I enjoy the massacre of ads. This sentence will slaughter ads without a messy bloodbath.

It’s two sentences actually, but appended to emails, it kills the ads in Gmail without bothering with any special coding. How?

Gmail uses the words contained in your emails to generate the ads on the right side of the screen and those integrated into other locations. But Google also blocks words related to tragic or catastrophic events in all of their advertising. Adding the sentence above attempts to query an ad pool that simply does not exist. Instead of advertisements you get a nice blank space, like you are using your email client of choice (which Gmail is (sort of), for many).

The trick comes from LifeHacker via the personal blog of one Joe McKay. His coverage of the “hack” is much more extensive than the LifeHacker post, but LifeHacker gets authorial credit for the two sentence phrase that seems to work for every email. As McKay points out, email length does matter, and to ensure an ad free experience, you’ll need one blocked word for every 167 acceptable words. LifeHacker says they’ve tested different length emails with the two sentences at the top of this post and they’ve worked every time.

Source: Joe McKay