Must Have Technologies for Bug out Survival

Were you ever a Boy Scout or Girl Scout as a kid? I was a Boy Scout, and I had a blast going out in the outdoors with nothing but a knapsack. I found it so rewarding to know that I could survive in the wild with just a few different items and I would be safe.

This is something I’m still proud of to this day, but times are changing.

Technology Meets Survivalism

Now, I still appreciate a true survivalist. Someone who can live off the fat of the land, making shelters out of nothing, hunting, fishing, cooking with a fire built by your own two hands. That is awesome.

But there are so many cool different technologies out there, that I had to greatly expand my emergency bug out bag backback to include a whole lot more than my Boy Scout knapsack included in it.

Energy in the Outdoors

The coolest innovation in outdoor survivalism since I was a kid has got to be in the energy/electricity generation department.

Energy is essential to life, and for people who don’t go camping, they don’t really understand just how many of us take things like electricity for granted. In some places it can get dark by 5 p.m. Imagine ending your day at 5 p.m.

Heck, I don’t even get out of work by 5 p.m.

Anyway, there have been some really cool developments in electricity generation using solar panels and other technologies that I have marked as essential survival gear.

The coolest thing, in my opinion is a generator tool that takes the energy from a small wood lit fire and converts that into electricity that you can use to charge your phone, a GPS, or anything via USB. How awesome is that? I can make a fire to warm myself, cook my food, and charge my phone! That is incredible.

Now I know a lot of purists will get mad at me for bringing a phone, but honestly if you’re in an emergency/survival situation and you can get out of it by just charging a phone, you’re stupid not to.

Water Consumption Gets Tech Upgraded

Another major thing they taught me when I was in the Boy Scouts was how to identify clean drinking water.

Well, today, water filtration has come a long way, and there are some amazing filters on the market. The coolest one is a straw of sorts that you can literally just drink out of from any lake or stream. It removes 99.9% of bacteria from normal stream water.

This is the coolest hiking and camping water filter I have seen on the market to date.

More Efficient Nutrition

Lastly, the food that we now bring in emergency situations has so radically changed from when I was a kid.

Today, you can pack several thousand calories into an energy bar—even food tablet! These can keep you sustained for far longer than the old emergency food supplies that they used to give soldiers in WW2.

You can last for weeks on this stuff. Granted, the taste still isn’t there, but you can carry weeks worth of supplies with you, and the shelf life is crazy. Twenty plus years for some of it.

All of the tech upgrades have really made it easy on the kids of today, but for an adult like me who can appreciate it, it’s really cool to see how far we have come.

How Cloud Based Apps Can Help In-Home Water Softeners

Water Softeners and Filters Clean the EarthWe’ve all been there before. We’re at work all day long, come home and we notice that the water softener hadn’t kicked on, so there isn’t any ready for dinner.

Okay, maybe we haven’t all been there, but this actually is a problem in a lot of rural and country communities that don’t have municipal water to use.

You see, for people not living in highly urbanized cities with city water treatment systems, they get their water from a well in the ground. Imagine that!

The only problem is, depending on where you happen to live, this can be hard water that is difficult to drink and doesn’t taste very good.

Enter the modern cloud based app.

How Apps Can Solve Hard Water

With the use of a simply smart phone app, users of compact water softeners can completely control their water system from running an app on their home.

This brings a new level of efficiency and convenience to homeowners using these kinds of water softening filters.

By using a computer algorithm, users can customize and optimize when the best time for their water softener systems to turn on and begin their process.

How does all this help?

Well, the biggest impact this will have on homeowners is cost savings. By optimizing the best times to turn on your water softener system, you can make sure it’s not kicking on at peak energy consumption times, saving you potentially hundreds of dollars each month on electricity.

Not many people think that this kind of customization makes that much of a difference, but when you average it out over 5 to 10 years, it can save you thousands and thousands of dollars. If you figure it this way, you can basically buy yourself a car every 5 to 8 years with the energy savings from your water softener system.

How Does This Save Money on Water Softening?

In case you’re not too familiar with the electricity market (and, let’s be honest, why would you be?), I’ll give a brief explanation of it here.

Electricity is just like any other commodity or product or service that we buy on the market and when there is a higher demand for it the price goes up. When there is a lower demand for it, the price goes down.

The peak electricity consumption is in the early evening, and the demand goes down to almost nothing late at night when people are sleeping. This means prices are much less expensive late in the night. If you can schedule your softening schedule around this time, you can save boatloads of money.

With this new app, you can do just that. You can completely customize your schedule to save the most money possible.

As an added bonus and convenience too, you can run the system virtually from your phone from anywhere. This helps if you just forget to run it one day or if you don’t have it set up to run automatically.

It’s wonderful to see how much easier technology makes out lives each and every day.

Cloud-Based App Services on the Rise


There was a time in the not so distant past when people could not have even dreamt of such a thing as cloud-based application development services. Only with recent technologies in the last 5 to 8 years have these kinds of possibilities become a reality.

In order to make cloud-computing work you need fast Internet connections and hardware that is powerful enough to run the software on the server end and display it to the end user in good way. This technology just simply wasn’t around that long ago. For instance, the first computer I have had a 5-gigabit hard drive on it and the sticker that came on the desktop tower read “Never Obsolete.” If that is not an incredible testament to how far the world of computing, I don’t know what is.

Here’s another example. Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple Computers, said that when he and Steve Jobs started building their first computers, the idea that these machines could hold a single song let alone tens of thousands of songs never even entered their minds. But how could it? The operating system on some of these early computers was less than 10 kilobytes.

But now we are seeing an entirely different world emerge. As people stocked up on large amounts of hard drives and big towers to house all of their files in the mid 2000s, now people are ditching all of that equipment and opting to store everything on the cloud. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it’s out of their way.

Now there are certain companies in the marketplace that have really taken a hold of this strategy and tailored many of their services to it and others have not. Microsoft is, again, another example of a company that is desperately trying to find its way into the marketplace of cloud-computer application services. Consider one of their best all-time selling products, Microsoft Office. This program is now available in any number of avenues for free, whether to download on your hard drive or to use over the cloud.

Companies are now producing entire laptop machines with this new trend in mind. If you can house all of your programs and files on an external source, your laptop does not need much power at all to run its internal operating system. The Microsoft Surface has been making steady progress on this front as well as a few other tablet/laptop providers.

The key thing that needs to be thought of, from a market perspective, is how to align your own company with this new trend. It’s always best to be ahead of the curve and beat the mad rush to the finish line.

Ask yourself, how can you take advantage of cloud-based applications to seize an increased market share or gain a leg up on your competition? Should you develop a smart-phone app? This depends largely on your demographic audience, so only you can truly answer this question. But these are where the world of business and design is going. It’s best to get on the train now.

Smart-Phone Apps That Help You Teach English in Nanjing

teaching english jobs abroad in china

There is a huge rise in the smart phone app marketplace. What was thought impossible just a few years ago is now commonplace in the app world.

Apps are changing the way we use our phones and what we use them for, and these changes are happening in everyway from how we travel, where we live, to what job we want to do, all three of which are incorporated into a new app service that is being discussed in the education field.

It’s long been known about educational professionals about the lack of good, quality teaching instructors. Schools all across the country and all across the globe are looking to fill teaching positions, but doing so requires getting in contact with the right applicant. This need for good teachers is compounded even more in foreign markets like China, Japan, and Indonesia.

Imagine all of the troubles that American schools face when trying to find a teacher to fill a classroom opening, but then apply it to a Chinese school looking to find a native English speaker to fill a job opening. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of schools across China that have English teaching jobs in Hangzhou and elsewhere.

So, the question that app developers have been asking themselves, is how do we connect these two groups of people? How can we connect those people in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and elsewhere who want an English teaching job in Nanjing with the schools in China who are looking to employ teachers?

The answer is simple: smart phone app technology.

College students all across the world find their smart phones to be an indispensable part of their person. People feel connected to the phones in a very real way. Schools need to find a way to develop apps that can make a network connection of people trying to enter the teaching profession, because trust me, there are plenty looking for jobs.

What we here are do is work with companies that are trying to develop such a technology for these schools. We are working primarily with schools in China and other parts of Asia, but we are willing to work with any educational institutions that are interested. Our number one priority as app developers is to get people using the platform, listen to their feedback, and develop a system that works for people on both ends of the spectrum: the students/teachers looking for English teaching jobs in Baotou and the schools there looking to find the teachers.

And we’re open to new ideas. What are your thoughts of such a platform? What would you, a potential employee, a potential employee, be looking for in usability? What type of interface fits the theme of the app? These are all questions that go on in an app developer’s before a concept can be brought to the forefront.

Those are today’s thoughts from the desk. I’ll keep you up to date as things progress with the teaching app and as more schools join on to start using the platform.

Staying Current in an Ever-Changing Marketplace

innovateThe world of design is constantly changing. Everywhere around you, things look widely different than they did just a few years ago. Take a look at the styling of cars from the 1990s and compare them to the cars of today and you will notice a sharp contrast in the line designs that were preferred then compared to now.

The same goes for the digital world. What was once popular and even considered a necessity in the area of basic website design is all but obsolete now. Add on top of that the vast new considerations that must be added to accompany technologies no one thought possible in the 1990s. Who would have thought that the capabilities to stream, wirelessly movies, TV shows, video clips directly onto your phone from websites and apps. These considerations add on a layer of technological requirements to build mobile friendly and responsive websites that can adjust to a smaller screen that a phone or tablet might display.

So, how do you stay ahead in a marketplace that is constantly changing?

The short and unappealing answer is you don’t.

Even the most innovative companies cannot continuously time and time again be ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating market moves. Apple is a classic example. From the first release of the iPod is 2001 to 2010 they were on the vanguard of virtually every new and innovate product. They dominated the tech market for nearly an entire decade. However, after the death of founder and CEO Steve Jobs, the company has struggled to prove itself as a true innovator and has released products that are not exactly on the cutting edge of the mobile phone market. Some even say that Apple has fallen beyond its competitors and is desperately trying to play catch up.

Microsoft is another classic example. Microsoft anticipated the personal computing boom and Internet browser market like no other company. In the 1980s and 1990s, they were able to completely seize control of the market, yet throughout the 2000s they lost their competitive advantage and continue to this day to lose their once dominant market share.

So what’s the point of all this? What is the solution?

The solution is creative destructive. In the technology space, there will always be ebb and flows in the market and new technologies emerging and it’s our job to anticipate them. Companies may not always be right, but when they are, they will reap the rewards. Failure is never a bad thing in business—so long as you learn from it. The most important thing in technology is to never place all of your eggs in one basket because before you know it that basket may become obsolete.

Of course there is a risk-reward calculus that needs to be made. If you put out all of your eggs in one basket and you turn out to be right, you will likely see the Microsoft-type results of the 1990s. Shortly thereafter, however, you might experience the Microsoft-type results of the 2000s. In technology, in design, and in web development, we need to embrace creative destruction more so than any other sector. Our future businesses depend on it.