Multi-tasking Can Make You Stupid

You may want to stop secretly scanning your e-mail messages as you talk with someone on your phone. A new study shows that multi-tasking with electronic media can make you stupid.

Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London say multi-tasking can lower your IQ more than smoking marijuana or missing one night’s sleep. The researchers studied 1,100 workers at a British company to find how multi-tasking with electronic media affected a person’s IQ.

multitaskingDespite the evidence, multi-tasking has become the norm in many work environments. Nearly 70 percent of workers say they have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time, and they say they’re easily distracted during the work day, particularly by e-mail, according to The Energy Project Audit. On average, workers spend 13 hours a week on e-mail – the equivalent of 28 percent of their typical workweek, according to McKinsey Global Institute findings.

So how can you better harness the optimal performance of your brain and body and battle the multi-tasking urge? recommends committing to a “Power Hour,” where you work in concentrated periods of time followed by short periods or rest. Shut off all distractions and block off 75 minutes of uninterrupted time to focus on the tasks at hand on your to-do list. Devote 20 minutes to your most important task and then take a two-minute break, marked by stretching and moving around. Then, repeat.

Youth Tackle Football Play Starts Sept. 7

Tackle football games for youth aged 7 to through 14 get under way in the Omaha metro area Sept. 7. The season runs through the Nov. 2 championship games.

Chiefs_WebLogoOmaha Chiefs football is a family-based, youth-oriented sports organization designed to help build and shape today’s young men and women into strong, considerate, contributing adult members of our community. Coupled with your own family values, the Chiefs strong emphasis on education, participation, courtesy and mental and physical preparedness helps youngsters feel a sense of community. Chiefs football also helps them make the right decisions in their lives while learning the fundamentals of good football and developing lifelong friendships.

In addition to the fall schedule of tackle football, the Omaha Chiefs has a full program of flag football for youngsters in the spring.

Dino’s Storage is a proud sponsor of Omaha Chiefs football. Now in its 45th year, the Omaha Chiefs is one of the oldest continuous youth sports organizations in the metro area.

Join in the fun and take in some of the games. More information on the Omaha Chiefs is available on the web at:

Is the End of the Dead Battery Near?

Hunting for a place to charge your phone may one day be a thing of the past. Nokia is working with researchers from Queen Mary University of London to develop new technology that one day may be able to charge your smartphone with sound.

deadbatteryIt’s the latest in a string of technologies aimed at creating faster, more efficient ways to charge tech devices, and also keep them charged longer. Numerous consumer polls have shown that a better battery life is the most important feature to smartphone users. As such, researchers have been in a race to develop longer-lasting, faster charging batteries.

Developers from Nokia and Queen Mary University are finding that zinc oxide may be key to producing more efficient batteries. It’s a material that can be used to turn mechanical energy – energy created by motion – into electrical energy. They’re testing how to use energy to generate a high voltage that responds to vibration and movement, which can be generated by an everyday sound, like the sound of your voice. So far, the team has tested and been able to charge a Nokia Lumia 925 using sound.

Researchers also are experimenting with bigger batteries in some devices like the Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5, which have allowed users to get 24 hours of battery life, if used “correctly.” Some extreme power save modes allow users to operate devices for as long as a week without charging, reports.

Scientists at Stanford University have developed a pure lithium anode that they say has the potential to increase the capacity of existing battery technology by 400 percent. Other researchers are focusing on cases that can extend battery life, such as FLIR One’s thermal imaging case and Vysk communication’s QS1 encryption case, both for iPhones.

Other companies are focusing on how to get a charge at super-fast speeds. For example, earlier this year StoreDot offered a peek at its new ultra-fast battery charging device, which the company says is capable of charging a Samsung Galaxy S3 in 30 seconds. The company plans to begin mass production of the device in 2015.


Drivers Dislike Voice-Recognition Systems in Cars

Drivers say voice recognition is the feature in new cars that troubles them the most, according to a new study. The technology that allows drivers to vocally give requests is becoming more common in new cars, but researchers say there’s a lot to be done before voice recognition is perfected.

A recent J.D. Power quality studies report says that 32 percent of all infotainment-related complaints are due to voice recognition errors in cars. Some cars only can understand a few commands and work only if the driver is on a corresponding screen. For example, telling the system to find an address won’t work if the system is searching for radio stations.

VoiceRecognition“People think it’s their fault,” says Kristin Kolodge, J.D. Power’s executive director for driver interaction and human machine interface. “They start to raise their voices, and it still doesn’t work.”

The systems have limited memory and processing power, says Mike Thompson, an executive vice president at Nuance Communications. More vehicles need to be connected to the Internet in order to take advantage of the processing power and storage available online, Thompson says.

Thompson says the systems will eventually understand more synonyms and allow drivers to speak naturally.

Tech Trends Will Transform the Way You Live

From bendable smartphones to driverless cars, these upcoming technological advances will change your daily routine on the job.

This could be your future: You’re driving hands-free, taking your visitors on a city tour. While you’re behind the wheel – though you’re not actually steering the car – you pull from your pocket a bendable smartphone or tablet and bring up locations for nearby coffee shops. Then you remember you left the lights on and the door unlocked at home. No problem, you use your smart phone to turn off the lights and lock the doors. Some of these capabilities are already here – or are coming soon.

Here’s at peek at the latest tech from the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.


smartwatchWearable tech is a big buzzword right now. The smartwatch business alone is expected to grow from 400,000 shipments this year to 35 million by 2017, according to market research firm Berg Insight. Watchmaker Pebble touts a $249 Pebble Steel smartwatch with leather or metal straps. It can connect to apps from iOS or Android devices for accessing e-mails, calendar alerts, news updates, social media accounts and maps.

It is anticipated that for the technology to fully catch on it will need to have voice-control capability and connect to all your smartphone apps so that you don’t ever have to take out your phone.


Several products are being developed with the goal of creating “connected homes,” which will allow for greater control and monitoring of home appliances and systems from a smartphone. The tech is getting more affordable and simpler to use, mostly through smartphone apps, and could make the connected homes more mainstream within the next decade, says Matt Rogers, cofounder of Nest, a home technology manufacturer recently purchased by Google.


Real estate pros, filmmakers, land surveyors and farmers, among others, are waiting for the green light for drone use. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release rules addressing safety and privacy issues for commercial drone use next year.D

Drone manufacturing company Parrot has an upcoming MiniDrone, which can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet to shoot photos and video while flying up to 160 feet high. It also has wheels to climb walls or move across ceilings. It is slated to debut later this year, and while the price has not yet been announced, it is expected to be cheaper than the company’s upgraded $300 A.R. Drone. Also, global drone manufacturer DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision, retailing for about $1,200, can snap 14-megapixel images and record high-definition video.


driverlesscarCould texting while driving one day be safe? Automakers are racing to release the first publicly available self-driving car. Manufacturers such as Audi, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and BMW, among others, are testing the technology. Officials with Bosch, a global automotive supplier, says the company is about seven to 10 years away from having a fully automatic powered car on the roads.

The cars use 360–degree sensors without human intervention for accelerating, braking, maneuvering turns and parking. Driverless cars have been approved by lawmakers for experimentation in several states, including California, Nevada and Florida.


FlexPhoneLG Electronics has created a smartphone that bends. The LG G Flex is the first smartphone with a flexible screen, and has just become available to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile customers, starting at $600. Wireless carriers offer a steep discount with a contract. The G Flex features a 6-inch display and a slightly curved screen at the top and bottom. LG officials say the curved screen offers better sound, voice and picture clarity. You can also bend it slightly without cracking the screen. Smartphone manufacturers as a whole are focusing on curvier devices. Samsung has launched its flexible Galaxy Round phone in South Korea, while Apple was granted a patent in 2013 for a curved display back, which has some tech forecasters predicting curvier, more bendable shapes for future Apple devices.

Smith says bendable glass helps protect devices from shattering. Bendable glass offers a way to keep the devices looking the way they were built as well as some protection against breakage.


You Can Make A Difference

DinoDifferenceDino’s Storage has partnered with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska to help foster children and others in need.

Donate a new winter coat, winter boots, hats and/or gloves to Lutheran Family Services and you will receive a discount on your first month of storage.

Your gift will help foster children in need and all donations are tax deductible. Your first DinosLutheranmonth storage deduction will be $25 off on a small space, $50 off on a medium space and $75 off on a large space. The offer applies to the first month’s rent for new move-ins only with a minimum three-month lease. Your donations to Lutheran Family Services must be new and include price tags.

For more information about Lutheran Family Services or how to become a foster parent, please call 402-661-7100.


Recycled Commercial Buildings Turn Residential

Remodelers are taking former barns, churches and factories and converting them into unique, multimillion dollar homes. The idea is to “recycle” old, defunct property and offer buyers something beyond a cookie-cutter house, CNBC reports. These old properties may be refurbished and retrofitted, but still retain characteristics of their former purpose.

The luxury housing market is enjoying a strong recovery at the moment. The only segment of the market that saw prices increase over last year was comprised of homes priced at more than $1 million, according to June data from the National Association of Realtors®.

“These clever conversions often command a hefty price tag because the interior rehabs can be far more high-end than regular new-builds,” CNBC notes. “They are usually a labor of love by the buyer, who has the vision to take, perhaps a water filtration plant and turn it into a home.”

As demand rises, some in the high-end market are finding they can rehab unique properties into their dream home.

A few examples include:

822PacificA building at 822 Pacific Street in Omaha, Neb.,that originally served as the mechanical plant for the Burlington Train Station in the early 1900s was converted into a residence with a unique second-floor art studio and a huge main level workshop. The structure features a large roof-top patio and built-in 2-story garage. There’s also a grand gated entrance on the nearly half-acre lot with extensive landscaping, trees, boulders and waterfall.

A historic stone church from the 1800s in Watertown, Mass., that was converted into a 2,800 square foot condo that occupies the church’s bell tower. Remodelers preserved the church’s old woodwork in the modern space.

Outside of Philadelphia, an early 19th century cattle barn was transformed into a five-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot home.