Tech Talk Thursday: Apps & Gadgets Bonus Edition!

This Monday the library hosted its annual Winter HSL Info Expo. As always, our Apps & Gadgets segment was a crowd pleaser. Because there are so many great apps and fun gadgets out there, it’s hard to cram them all in to a 15 or 20-minute presentation. Inevitably some of these don’t make it to the final Info Expo. But because we know how much everyone loves Apps & Gadgets, for this month’s Tech Talk Thursday, we’re bringing you four bonus apps and gadgets for your perusing pleasure!

Read on  for more apps & gadgets for your holiday shopping lists

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Tech Talk Thursday: The Best Apps for Better Sleep

The end of Daylight Savings time, another tell-tale sign that we are swinging into the autumn and winter months, is this Sunday – don’t forget to reset your clocks! My favorite part about the end of Daylight Savings (besides the fact that it means the holidays are coming), is that we get an extra hour of sleep as the clocks fall back an hour on Sunday morning. I personally always can use an extra hour of sleep, and chances are, you can too – according to the CDC, more than a third of American adults are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis, causing chronic sleep deprivation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. To encourage you to focus on getting better sleep, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite sleep apps to help you track your sleeping habits, fall asleep faster, and sleep more soundly.

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Tech Talk Thursday: Say Hello to the New iPhone(s)!

By now you’ve probably heard about the new phones Apple has announced this year, the Apple iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus,  and the Apple iPhone X.  The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have just been released, while the iPhone X  is available for pre-order. If you’re in the market for a new phone, you may be wondering about the differences between the devices and if it’s better to buy one over the other. Today, we’ll break down the options with an overview of some key similarities and differences in Apple’s latest iOS mobile devices.

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Tech Talk Thursday: Tips for a Healthy PC – Part 1: Hardware Maintenance

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it can be easy for us to forget that as good as our computers are to us, we should (every once in a while) try to return the favor. Even if you are not the most tech-literate individual, it’s a good idea to know and practice good PC hygiene.  Over the next three months, our Tech Talk Thursday posts will share some easy to follow tips for keeping your computer clean. Up first: hardware maintenance!

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Tech Talk Thursday: TREK Talk – Real Trek-nology from Star Trek

For a futuristic show that aired in 1966, Star Trek was ironically ahead of its time. Along with being one of the most popular and long running Sci-Fi TV series, multi-million dollar movie franchises, and widely versed references in popular culture, Star Trek seems to have had the ability to predict the future. Arguably, there is technology in existence today that made its appearance in Star Trek’s mythology long before it became reality. Some devices are popular today, while other things are still being worked on. But undeniably, Star Trek definitely had a premeditative pulse on the tech community.

Here’s a look at the technology Star Trek predicted that is now here, and some soon to come. You might ask: Did Star Trek creators see into the future, or are we just using the past as inspiration?

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Tech Talk Thursday: Whatever happened to Google Glass?

Oh hey, remember this thing?

Perhaps not, the device didn’t have a long life in the consumer world. This is the Google Glass. A few years back as wearable technology was enjoying massive popularity, Google developed this headset that would allow users to access the internet and do things like check email and make phone calls all with a simple voice command: “Ok Glass”.  Released originally as a beta product, a buzzing community of “Glass Explorers” was created to play with and test the device, developing apps and exploring ways in which the Glass could be useful. For various reasons (including the limited way in which one could get their hands on a pair), the device didn’t exactly take off, and the program fizzled out (fun fact – our very first Tech Talk Thursday blog post discussed the end of the Glass Explorers program if you’d like to read a little more).  But what’s become of the Glass since then?

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Tech Talk Thursday: Apps for People Living with Disabilities

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Today we are living in the future. What seemed like science fiction and myth 20 years ago is actually here. We have smart phones, smart cars, and even smart houses! Okay, so we’re still waiting on warp speed and that hover board but civilians are actually taking trips to the moon just for fun (thank you SpaceX!).

In the midst of a technology-driven civilization, it’s hard to think that anyone could be left behind. Unless you are one of the 12.6% (in 2015) of North Americans living with a disability it probably doesn’t cross your mind that often. Society’s underdogs are a small but mighty population with an entirely different set of needs when it comes to technology.

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