Friday, September 22, 2017

This portable 7000mAh power bank from VicTec can charge your smartphone with no wires



Portable batteries are a dime a dozen on Amazon.com. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and charging technology. Most importantly, they all keep you going when you’re away from a wall socket.

Specs
7000mAh Li-ion
Qi wireless technology
Dual USB ports
Input: DC 5V/2A
Output: DC 5V/1-2A
Compatible with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Note5, S7, S7 edge, LGG4, and Nexus 6
Dimensions: 5.68*2.76*0.66in


I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge for about a month now, and one of my favorite features it has is Qi wireless charging.

“Qi (pronounced chee; IPA: /tʃiː/, coming from the Chinese word meaning “natural energy“) is an interface standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for inductive electrical power transfer over distances of up to 4 cm (1.6 inches).” – Wikipedia

Wireless charging is great, because you don’t have to worry about cables. You also don’t have to worry which direction to plug them into your devices. Simply place your Qi compatible smartphone, in my case the S7 edge, onto a charging pad or wireless battery and let the two work their magic.

The VicTec Qi Wireless Portable Power Bank (like GOAL ZERO YETI 150 SOLAR GENERATOR KIT ) runs $25.99 from Amazon.com, and offers 7000mAh of power. To put that into perspective, the S7 edge has a 3600mAh battery which means you should be able to get about two recharges out of it. The battery has a large rubbery “plus” symbol on top that acts as a grip for your device. Two full-size USB output ports sit in the front, with the input microUSB slot in between them. There’s a simple power button on the front as well, with a four LED power indicator off to the left Plainly put, the VicTec Portable Power Bank is just like every other battery, yet this one has wireless charging built into it. That makes it special.It’s incredibly easy to recharge my smartphone with this battery since I don’t need to bring a cable along with me. The power bank does not have fast wireless charging technology, but that is easily overlooked considering the ease of use. I get just over one and a half full charges using this battery – wireless charging is less efficient than wired charging. What is also great is the size of the VicTec battery as it is roughly the same size as my Galaxy S7 edge. It’s extremely pocketable, light-weight and comes with me when I know I need more power.


Conclusion

The VicTec 7000mAh Wireless Portable Power Bank is a bargain at just $25.99. It’s not made from fancy materials like aluminum or glass, but it is well-built for the price. With wireless charging it’s nice to not have to carry cables around with me, but with two full-size USB output ports, I can charge up other devices as needed. Wireless headphones, cameras, smartwatches, and similar devices are all compatible with this battery.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trail Camera Placement Strategies for Different Times of the Year



It’s no secret to deer hunters that as the season progresses things change. Food sources, travel routes, available cover and stand placement (just to name a few) all change with the turning of the calendar. So why would anyone think it was a good idea to keep their trail camera hanging in the same location year round? They shouldn’t.

If you’ve made the mistake of leaving your trail cameras hanging on the same tree from opening day until post-rut then it’s time to start looking at the calendar and designing a better trail camera strategy for different seasons. Moultrie All In One Timer Kit is ideal for anyone who is willing to have a smart feeder that makes practically no scaring noise for animals. Moultrie All In One Timer Kit is the best helper for hunters.

Early Spring Trail Camera Strategies


Even if you like to track spring gobblers during this time of year (and who doesn’t) you can still kick off your trail camera tour. The only thing needed is a little attractant to get the ball rolling. For the most part this includes one ingredient - salt.

Not only are minerals a good attractant but introducing an intruder into the area is a great way to arouse a buck’s interest. This can be accomplished with a licking branch and some natural, pre-orbital gland secretions.

As soon as the leaves start to gobble up the landscape buck antlers will start growing and they will naturally seek out salt and other minerals. Does and fawns will also be attracted to these sites and capturing them on camera is a great way to determine how many new deer have been added to the herd as well as how many does are in the area. This info will be highly valuable in a few short months when the rut kicks in.

Doe bedding areas or suspected big buck hideouts are great locations to start mineral sites in early spring. Look for pinch points and funnels that will drive deer to your salt block and ultimately your trail camera. If you live in agricultural areas then field edges are a great place to start. Once travel routes have been revealed you can always choose to delve deeper into cover and start a new mineral site in order to get closer to bedding or staging areas.

Summer Trail Camera Strategies


By now your food plot should be in full swing. If so, a trail camera set up along the fringes would be a great way to capture that nocturnal buck who only hits the fields at night. In areas where baiting is legal, trail cameras could be set up over bait in order to get the same results.

Either way, food will be the primary driving force for deer movement so it only makes sense to hang your trail camera in areas where deer will be feeding. Summer is also a good time to consider staking out a water source with your trail camera. Don’t dismiss the value of a central hub of H2O in your hunting area. Hang that camera.

On a side note this is also a great time to conduct a trail camera survey if you have a private tract of land you will be hunting on. We'll save the details for another post but we couldn't obmit this as it's hands-down the best way to monitor your deer herd population. You'll be able to estimate your deer density, fawn recruitment, sex ratio, the age structure of your bucks and more.
Early Fall Trail Camera Strategies

As I eluded to earlier, things change. Those locations that proved so good in early and late summer are now proving to be different. This is simply due to changes in food and cover. Leaves are turning and falling and deer are ready to find alternate food sources - like acorns!

In addition, testosterone is gradually starting to build in male deer. This causes a variety of behavioral changes which will ultimately change deer movement and sightings. In order to keep up with these changes you must move your trail cameras.

Food sources can change throughout the course of a season so become familiar with all types; especially those that are appear naturally in your hunting area.

Food can still be a hot ticket but bedding areas, travel routes and staging areas are usually where you are going to find a lot of buck movement. Some of the images you capture will be in daylight but expect a large amount of them to occur under the cover of darkness. That’s just the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with mature bucks.

Nevertheless, you can’t formulate a plan of attack until you get conformation a big buck is in the area - day or night. So start by capturing the image first, then move on.
Pre Rut/Rut Trail Camera Strategies

Things get hectic during this time frame as bucks move with reckless abandonment looking for a hot doe. In the weeks leading up to the actual breeding phase bucks will leave a bevy of sign announcing their aggression and intentions. Look for that sign and consider hanging your favorite trail camera somewhere nearby.

Once the actual breeding begins you can expect a drop in mature buck movement as they are pushing does into more secluded areas to not only avoid the pressure from other bucks but the onslaught of hunting pressure as well. Your trail cameras and treestands should be moved as well.

I like pinch points, oak flats, logging roads, secluded ridge top saddles, field edges, and the fringes of doe bedding areas or anywhere else the females congregate. A camera hung somewhere along my entry and exit route means I can check it on days that I hunt without disturbing the bucks I am chasing before the hunt. This also allows me to decide if the area I am hunting is worth coming back to or if I should pull up stakes and move on.
Post Rut/Winter Trail Camera Strategies

Everything old is new again as the urge to breed is over and the focus once again shifts to food. And while you may want to keep a few cameras hanging over remaining food sources it wouldn’t hurt to keep one in the areas you used during the rut. There is always the chance that the buck you’re after hasn’t given up hope and is still searching for love. Only your trail camera will tell you if that is the case or not.

In addition this is a great time to conduct an end of the season or winter trail camera survey. With deer searching for food you'll be able to get a tally of the bucks that made it through the year as well as an understanding of your properties deer density, buck to doe ratio, age structure, and more. This information, just like the trail camera survey you should run in late summer, is critical to understanding how you should approach the upcoming season.
Conclusion

Movement is one of the most important keys to getting the most out of your trail camera. Adjust your trail camera strategies to match each phase of the whitetail season and you will gain a plethora of knowledge that will ultimately lead to more filled tags. The trick is finding a way to manage all of that trail camera knowledge and data. Once that happens, all of the pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place. Best of luck.

PS - If you're using trail cameras and haven't tried DeerLab's trail camera photo management service we invite you to sign-up for our free 14-day trial. We think it will completely change the way you view trail camera photos.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Opioid problem creates spike in foster care



LISBON — The cost of Columbiana County’s foster care program increased by nearly 40 percent between 2015 and 2016, with the growing opioid problem largely to blame.

That was the message delivered when Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services Director Eileen Dray-Bardon met this week with county commissioners to ask they adopt a proclamation declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month.

As part of her presentation, Dray-Bardon provided commissioners with some statistics on the foster care program, which is run by the Children Services division of the JFS. According to the report, the number of children placed in foster care increased by 22 percent over the past year, from an average of 67 per month in 2015 to 82 last year.

Dray-Bardon pointed out that the number of children placed in foster care, after remaining relatively stable in recent years, began to steadily increase in 2016 and the trend has continued into this year. The number for February was 100, which is the first time in eight years foster care exceeded the century mark.

Dray-Bardon and Children Services administrator Rachel Ketterman attributed the increase to the growing number of neglect cases involving parents unwilling or unable to care for their children because of their opioid addiction. Of the 16 new foster care cases this year, nine are due to drug abuse.

“It’s hit us right here in good old Columbiana County,” Dray-Bardon said.

In many instances, children in foster care are placed with relatives, but all receive compensation for assuming responsibility, and not surprisingly, those costs have increased in recent years. According to the JFS, foster care spending skyrocketed by 39.6 percent, from $1.89 million in 2015 to $2.65 million last year.

A Supervised Child Visitation Services Seattle levy passed by voters years ago generates $900,000 annually, all of which goes to pay for foster care. The JFS received a little over $1 million in direct federal reimbursement for foster care, with the remaining $1.55 million coming from the JFS’ annual allocation of federal and state public assistance dollars.

While not a problem for now, it could be if the trend continues. “When foster care numbers were low … we had a bit of a (financial) cushion, but now that is starting to go away,” Dray-Bardon said, adding their association has been lobbying the state legislature for additional funding to address the problem.

This is just the latest example of how the opioid problem is taking more public assistance dollars. Last June, the JFS expanded its gasoline voucher program due in part to the increasing number of grandparents who have legal custody of their grandchildren because the parents are non-functioning drug addicts. This is for those grandparents who travel to Akron Children’s Hospital because their infant grandchildren are being treated after having been born addicted to drugs because the mother continued to use opioids while pregnant.

Two months ago, the JFS contracted with the Community Action Agency to help provide supervised child visitation services because Children Services does not have enough staff to adequately do the job because of the increase in foster care cases, as more children are removed by the courts from their drug-addled parents.

“This is costing government everywhere,” noted Commissioner Jim Hoppel.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

7 Tips for Building Your First Business Website


In this day and age, businesses cannot afford not to have a website in order to operate effectively. Regardless of what products or services you sell, there will be many customers who will only purchase from you after they have checked your website or blog. In many ways, having a website for your business is just as necessary as having a business card, because without either one you may not seem perfectly legitimate.

If you’ve never had to put together a business website before, it’s important that you know the fundamentals of what to do so you don’t walk into it blindly:


Cover the Basics


First and foremost, you’ll want your website to cover all of the basics such as the name and brand logo of your company, your contact information, an ‘about us’ page, directions to your retail location, and so on.

Communicate How You Can Help The Customer


The reason a person is visiting your website in the first place is because they are seeking a product or service they hope will fix a problem of theirs. Therefore, rather than use your website just to inform the customer of what kinds of products you sell, focus your attention on how your products will help or benefit them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3 Reasons Why You Still Need Print Media for Your Business


If you own a small business you are probably juggling everything from managing your daily operations, to hiring, payroll, marketing, and managing your team. If you have a physical brick and mortar store, a consulting firm, an online business or a service-based business you also know how important social media marketing is to driving business and traffic to your website. As we move into the new year, social media will become even more large scale as studies have shown that it drives consumer buying decisions at ever increasing rates.

While social media is extremely important, remaining an omni-channel business is the way to go in today’s competitive business climate. You don’t want to put all your focus into the digital space and lose your human element. Having an advertisement in printed marketing materials and print media is still something that many customers and clients respond to. From leaflets and flyers, to business cards, and to high quality presentation boxes and more, print media marketing is highly relevant to business today, especially for the reasons below.

Effective for Specific Geographic Areas


If you are a local business owner and you are looking to promote a specific event or promotion for your business, advertising in local magazines and newspapers is the way to go. You will be attracting a highly-targeted group of local returning clients as well as potential new clients that may be able to attend your event or take part in your promotion by coming into your store. This is also cost effective for you as a business owner because you are not wasting time or money reaching people that are out of range from a geographic perspective.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

8 Secret Elements to Success in Retail Business


Retail business is in many ways very similar to any other kind of business. You are looking to draw in as many people as possible, keep them there by delivering a top-notch service, and hopefully encourage them to tell their friends and families, in the hope that they will do the same. In many ways, retail has it even easier than some other kinds of business. After all, you are looking at a physical shop, and it is often much easier to get people to walk into your shop than to get them to come to another kind of business. Of course, it is not all rose-tinted – retail also has its own set of unique challenges. In this article, we are going to focus solely on the shopping experience itself. It goes without saying that we want this to be as good as possible for our customers – but how do we actually go about achieving that? Let’s take a look at some of the things we need to do to make the shopping experience more memorable and enjoyable for our customers.


Engage


You might have already heard of the concept of engagement; put simply, it is the process by which the customer services staff interact positively, playfully, with the customers. For retail businesses, engagement begins the moment that the customer steps inside the door. From the word go, you want to be sure that they feel welcomed and as though they are a part of things. You achieve this simply by training your employees to respond positively to the customer the moment they step through the door. Engagement can sound quite cold on the face of it, but it is actually a normal, human process when it is done properly. Engage with your customers, and they will feel happier to be there straight away.
Simplify