Take your summer to the next level with these tech finds.
As we're entering into the summer months, our thoughts turn to all the fun to be had, so we're starting out a summer series with a different focus each week. And we're encouraging our readers to join in! This week we're looking at technology and how it can add to your summer fun.
Whether you're planning a great getaway or just hanging out in your own backyard, technology can help you make the most of the summer season. Here are a few of our favorite finds:
Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers:
It's not summer without some music to keep you company. Whether you're rocking out to the Beach Boys on the beach or lounging by the pool with your favorite tunes, there's no companion better than a waterproof bluetooth speaker. There are a variety of options to choose from, and some are even designed to float right alongside you. (Check out some options here.)
While we're talking about waterproof devices, you can't beat a waterproof camera to record all of your best summer moments. One of the better options is the YoCam camera which is waterproof in up to 20 feet of water. It's also equipped with P2P connection capabilities so you can connect from anywhere and share in real time. The app allows you to control the camera from a distance, edit videos and see live previews. (Find the YoCam here.)
Making the most of all of the summer fun can quickly drain the battery on your devices, and if you're out and about you may not have a plug nearby. But you can make the most of a sunny day with a solar panel charger for your phone. They come in wired and wireless options and charge your device using the power of the sun rather than a power outlet. (There are a lot chargers to choose from.)
Take your photography and videography to new heights without the expense of a drone. The Birdie aerodynamic accessory for GoPro cameras makes your camera fly. Set your device to take continuous photos or videos and simply toss the Birdie into the air. Your device with float safely back to the ground while taking pictures on the way up and on the way down. And it runs under $100 - a lot less expensive than your standard drone. (Get one here.)
Speaking of drones, you can now purchase nano drones at a fraction of the cost and size of a regular drone. Fly your drone through narrow nooks and crannies and keep track even in low light with built-in LEDs. If you want to explore the world of drones without a big investment, nano drones are a great place to start. (Buy the latest here.)
If you're not into spending a bunch of money on summer tech, there are great cheap (and free) app options to make the most of your summer. The Project Noah app features an interactive field guide that sends your kids on missions to discover local flora and fauna. They can then upload photos to learn more about what they've found. And if you're into star-gazing, check out Sky Guide. Point your phone toward the night sky and the app will help you spot constellations, planets and satellites. It even works without a data signal. And with Field Trip, you can carry a tour guide in your pocket. This app points out places of interest, historic sites and more - wherever you are - and provides you with fun facts and details about your location.
As tech geeks, we love to see how technology can make a good summer even better! Send us an email and tell us how you plan to enjoy the warm weather and summer fun and we might just feature you in next week's newsletter.
Referral Incentive for Qualified Candidates*
Have you been looking for a little extra cash? Maybe you're saving up for a jet ski or camper. Whatever it is, we know everyone appreciates a little extra money in their pockets. That's why Spud Software is offering a $1,000 finders fee to anyone who finds a candidate to fill one of our .NET Developer positions*.
We're looking for the best of the best to join our ranks - great people who fit our culture and are as dedicated as the rest of our awesome staff. We want to continue to build the best software development team around and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring in people with integrity and commitment that is unmatched.
We also offer a competitive benefits package, including healthcare, 401k with 4% company match, and true flex time, including working remote. Employees have the ability to set their schedule with the flexibility to manage both their work and home life in a manner that makes sense for them.
If you know of a candidate who is a perfect fit, contact us! If we hire them and they work at Spud Software for a minimum of 90 days, we'll give you $1,000!*
The recruits we're looking for should be familiar with these technologies:
There's an app to help you with almost every summer fun activity.
Last week we asked you, our loyal readers, to share some of your favorite summer activities and we received a treasure trove of ideas. As we got to thinking about all of the fun things there are to do during the summer, we realized that there is an app for just about everything you suggested. So we pulled together some of our favorite suggestions and paired them with apps that will help you have the most fun this summer.
Let's take a look at how you can maximize your summer fun and maybe find your new favorite app.
"Things I really enjoy about the summer are Flip Flops, fresh Peaches and Watermelons. Trips to the beach." - Tiffany Horn
Going to the Beach:
A trip to the beach was one of the most recommended summer activities. And if you're going to be spending all day out in the sun and sand, you'll want to watch out for the dreaded sun burn. The Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference app is the perfect beach companion to make sure your skin stays golden rather than lobster red. Just enter your skin type, location and the SPF level of your sunscreen and the app will tell you how long you can stay out before you burn.
"I love camping in the summer and the smell of fresh morning air." - Patti Bohms
Camping was also very popular with our readers, and whether you're pulling an RV or roughing it in a tent, the Recreation.gov Camping app gives you all the tools you need to find just the right campsite. Use the app to locate available campsites at national parks, forests and other federal recreation facilities, then reserve your site right in the app, even if you left finding a spot until the last minute. It also provides you with details about each available campsite and photos to help you pick the ideal spot.
"Going to the lake with friends to talk about everything." - Sam Rumbo
Camping may not be your thing, but summer is a great time to gather up your family or friends and hit the road. Road trips are an American classic and no summer is complete without one. If you're packing up your vehicle and taking it to the streets, GasBuddy is a great companion. It's a free app that gives you detailed gas prices along your route, and who doesn't want to save on gas? There's even a $100 daily contest for those who report gas prices.
"Catching fireflies, going to the beach, walking outside at night in the warm air, picnics at the lake, smelling fresh mown grass." - Laura Siefken
Go for a Walk:
Whether you're an avid hiker or you just like a stroll around your neighborhood, summer is the perfect time to get out and stretch your legs. But if you need a little something more to entice you to strap on those tennis shoes, try turning your trip into an adventure with The Walk app. The Walk is a fitness tracker that turns your daily trip around the block into a game, making each outing another episode of a 500 mile thriller.
"Sitting around a bonfire with a book, or ten." - Suzan Stengel
Read a Book:
Summer reading is a long time favorite, but it's not always practical to tote around ten books on your camping or road trips. This is where technology can once again save the day. With the Kindle app for your mobile device, you can carry over a hundred books without the added weight. And if you think e-reading seems impossible on a sunny beach, the Kindle Paperwhite is designed to be as readable as your favorite paperback on a bright day.
Whatever you're doing this summer, we're here to help you find ways to blend the latest technology with all the fun.
Is your data working for you?
Scott's business is working. He's put all the pieces in place and has all the right employees. Sales are up, expenses are down. And to prove it, every month he spends hours compiling spreadsheets full of facts and figures to share with his partners and investors to show them just how well the business is doing. It's a cumbersome job and requires a meticulous eye for details.
But what if reporting didn't have to take hours? What if he could generate all the reports he needed with the click of a few buttons? And what if he didn't have to worry that he put a comma in the wrong place or forgot an important decimal? What if he could be sure the output was correct every time?
Accurate reports are vital to the growth of any business, but many companies are relying on manual processes to generate these reports. Still, as the demands for our time and efforts increase almost daily, it's important to consider the value that automated reporting can bring to a company.
Even if you have the best employees and a great business model, without accurate reporting it's difficult to know just what is working and what could be improved. Automated reporting allows companies to run real-time reports that provide valuable insights into not only the big picture of the business, but also the everyday details that determine the success of the business.
Here are a few ways automated reporting can make a difference in your company:
Improved Accuracy and Decision Making:
Inaccurate reporting can cause a snowball effect. If one detail is off, it can throw off the entire report. And if you're using those reports to make important decisions that influence the future of the company, your decisions are likely to be poor as a result of poor data. By reducing the chance of human error, your company's data will be more consistent and reliable, saving you time and money.
Resource Utilization and Allocation:
Real-time and automated reporting allows your company to allocate resources where they're needed, when they're needed. It provides insight into trends within the business and the current state of projects, allowing you to target where you need additional support and which teams are working best together. This can result in making the most out of every opportunity and each employee to improve overall performance.
If you have determined the goals for your company, but have no way to measure whether or not you're reaching your goals, you're operating in the dark. Accurate, real-time reports allow you to see where your company is operating in relation to your goals and make the necessary adjustments in the moment, rather than waiting until you fall short.
Most employees prefer a level of stability in the workplace. They want to know what to expect and what is expected from them. Having accurate reporting on your data allows your company to put processes in place that will not only save you time and money, but provide your employees with actionable goals and strategies to reach those goals, increasing not only their productivity, but their satisfaction as well.
With the right reporting processes in place, you can achieve all of this and more. At Spud Software, we help companies turn their data into actionable intel with comprehensive reporting solutions. Whether you need a birds-eye view of your company or detailed day-to-day statistics, we can provide you with the reporting solutions that can drive your business to the next level of success. We tailor reporting solutions to your company's needs and offer flexible systems that turn your data into opportunities to grow and set yourself apart from your competitors.
If you're looking to convert your data into useful metrics, contact us to find out how we can help you.