Simple ways to add smart technology to your home

If you like the idea of adding smart technology to your home, but are worried about complications or expense, you’re in luck. All you need is a smart phone and high-speed internet and you can easily add “smart technology” such as thermostats, smoke detectors, garage door controls, home security cameras, doorbells and locks to your home. The good news is that a lot of this kind of tech can be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner and without spending a lot of money.

Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas for smart home-tech upgrades that are easy to DIY.

Kristy CooperSimple ways to add smart technology to your home
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The best sports streaming services for fans who cut the cord

If you’ve cut the cord but aren’t sure what your best sports-streaming options are, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the top sports-focused streaming services (as of summer 2019) to choose from.

Streaming for the casual sports fan

For fans who like to catch the game of the week, or watch shows like SportsCenter for an overview of the world of sports, most streaming services like DirectTVNow, Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, will give you access to channels like ESPN or Fox Sports as well as a variety of live sporting events.

Kristy CooperThe best sports streaming services for fans who cut the cord
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The difference between 4G and 5G

Everywhere you turn, companies are singing the praises of 5G technology and how it will “revolutionize” everything pretty much everything we use that’s connected to the internet. If you’re not sure about what the difference is between 4G and 5G, though, you’re not alone.

What is 5G?

In short, the G stands for generation, so 5G is the collective term for the fifth generation of mobile network technology. At it’s most basic, 5G promises much faster speeds, but it requires a lot more equipment to do that. 4G LTE, the service that Softcom provides, relies upon relatively few large towers that are positioned miles apart. This is what allows us to bring stable, high-speed internet access to rural and remote regions.

Kristy CooperThe difference between 4G and 5G
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How AT&T plans to use private customer info you may not be aware of

If you use AT&T, they are probably aware that you are reading this article right now, where you are reading it, what you click on before and after you read it, and storing all of that information to use in targeted marketing and advertising later on. It’s not just AT&T, either, but we’re sharing this info with you after a recent profile of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in Fortune magazine in which he openly laid out the mega-company’s plan to profile and target customers for advertising.

AT&T has transformed itself into a media colossus by buying Time Warner, adding to its incredible array of content from holdings including HBO, CNN, TNT, and others in combination with a huge distribution network across mobile broadband, DirecTV, and U-verse. Stephenson shared his vision of permanent, across-the-board surveillance of all those customers for extremely targeted – and personal – advertising.

Kristy CooperHow AT&T plans to use private customer info you may not be aware of
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Why keeping up with technology is good for business

Keeping up to date with technology is important for every kind of business – even ones that have nothing to do with technology. Technology is inescapable part of life and business. Farmers carry smart phones, vineyards utilize drones, and brick-and-mortar businesses have sophisticated security systems. Crafters use the online shopping carts to sell their products, and cupcake makers use tablets to accept payments on the road. These are just a few examples of how everyone needs access and familiarity with technology to help their business thrive.

The risks of ignoring or trying to do without technology can harm a business in many ways, but the rewards can mean getting ahead of your competition and thriving in the long run. Here’s a few reasons why.

Kristy CooperWhy keeping up with technology is good for business
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Election security concerns for 2020

From checking in at your local polling venue on a computer or tablet, to registering to vote by smartphone, or using an electronic voting machine to cast a ballot, computers have become an important part of voting in America. As election time nears, however, concern about the security of those computers is high, and everyone from politicians to engineers are addressing ways to keep the process safe from hacking or harm.

Even though touch screen computers have been in use for more than a decade, the last four years have brought so much news of foreign and domestic computer hacking, disruptive social engineering, and potential election rigging that many people are asking to return to systems with paper receipts.

Kristy CooperElection security concerns for 2020
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How the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits

A war started last year that may have escaped your notice. The players: Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Prime, Apple and more. The issue: A full-scale battle for your attention, in what’s being called the “streaming wars.” Options are increasing, pricing and platforms are changing, and some of your favorite shows are bouncing from one service to another. Here’s a quick overview of what’s going on and how it can affect you.

Costly, contentious, and with all the drama of the latest Kardashian scandal, the streaming wars are what you see happening as various studios, media giants and tech companies are trying to position themselves to become long-term essential streaming platforms. Low-cost subscriptions, mega-budget original programing, and non-stop jockeying for who gets licensing rights for popular shows like The Office, Seinfeld, and Friends are just a few of the moves that are being used to try to stay on top. Too many options can equal viewer fatigue, and streaming companies know that they need to rise above the crowd when households decide they want to only deal with a few at a time.

Kristy CooperHow the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits
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The magnetic North Pole is moving

We’re adding a little science to our blog today to bring you news that the North Pole is moving! We’re not talking about reindeer and elves here, but rather the magnetic North Pole, which affects everything from navigation systems to military operations to apps on your smart phone.

What is the magnetic North Pole?

The magnetic North Pole’s location is used as part of the World Magnetic Model that both civilian and more sophisticated mapping systems are based on. It’s actually one of several “north poles” on our planet. One is true north, which is the northern end of the axis on which the planet turns. But the magnetic North Pole is actually the place where you could stand with a compass and all the magnetic field lines would be pointing vertically down. Magnetic north is susceptible to the movement of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. These currents tug on the magnetic field, which is what makes it move around. In fact, since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has traveled more than 1200 miles from the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada to high in the Arctic Sea. This wandering has generally been quite slow, around five to six miles a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to around 34 miles a year.

Kristy CooperThe magnetic North Pole is moving
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How to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area

If you’ve inquired about internet service with Softcom and we were unable to help, don’t give up! We want you – and we’re working hard to bring speedy, stable and secure internet your way as fast as we can.

Softcom currently provides internet service to the following cities: Acampo, Clements, Collierville, Courtland, East Stockton, Elk Grove, Galt, Herald, Isleton, Lake Camanche, Lockeford, Lodi, Morada, North Stockton, Thornton, Victor, Walnut Grove, Wilton, Woodbridge and Youngstown.

Kristy CooperHow to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area
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How social media played a role in the measles outbreak

Many medical breakthroughs of the past few decades can be attributed in some part to contributions from technology and the internet. But did you ever think that it would be the internet that might be possible for sending us backward when it comes to fighting disease?

Measles, a disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared as eliminated in the U.S. as of the year 2000, has suddenly skyrocketed to outbreak status this year. As of Wednesday, April 25, there have been 695 cases of the vaccine-preventable illness reported in 22 states in just the first few months of this year.

Kristy CooperHow social media played a role in the measles outbreak
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