Tools

  1. Ever been at a loss for the right word or phrase ?

    If you want a quick way to look up that pesky missing word, check out Writefull (writefullapp.com). Just type in the phrase surrounding the word you’re looking for. Writefull instantly offers suggestions from a vast database of commonly used phrasing. Not only that, if you’ve ever wondered how to use a word or phrase in context, Writefull can help. For instance, it can show you examples of where the phrase “less people” vs. “fewer people” is more commonly used. What makes Writefull different from similar apps is that it goes beyond basic grammar to actually improving your writing. It’s available for Windows, Mac or Linux devices or as an extension to Google Chrome. LifeHacker.com, 01.23.17

  2. Bragi’s Headphone earbuds stand out for sound, comfort and price.

    Apple has “cut the cord” by pulling headphone jacks from its iPhones. And, unfortunately, their EarPods just don’t cut it for quality if you crave sweet sounds. Other Bluetooth earbuds offer high-fidelity sound – at a high price… Enter Bragi’s Headphone. For just $150 you get earbuds that “scratch the sonic itch in all the right places.” They’re lightweight and fit in the ear comfortably. And in testing, they kept a consistent connection with paired devices. What really sets them apart, though, is the six-hour battery life, almost unheard of in earbuds. So what’s not to like? Well, unlike Apple’s EarPods, the Headphone’s storage case doesn’t charge them without plugging in. You’ll need a USB connection for that. DigitalTrends, 01.30.17

  3. Here’s good news for Chromebook lovers.

    Chromebooks made in 2017 and beyond can now run over a million Android apps. So why is that important? It means Chromebook has grown up from having limited support for a handful of apps to full support for over a million apps. Google now also supports a long list of older Chromebooks, good news if you own a pre-2017 model. While many Android apps aren’t as robust as full-blown desktop programs, you can still do a lot with them. All said, the Chromebook now stands out as an easy-to-use power tool at a low price. A variety of manufacturers offer Chromebooks, including Samsung, which wowed crowds at the 2017 CES with its Chromebook Plus and Pro. DigitalTrends.com, 01.23.17

  4. Imagine a giant vacuum cleaner for smog…

    A 23-foot-tall tower, built in Beijing last year, sucks in smog, filters out dangerous particles and purifies surrounding air at the rate of 1 million cubic feet per hour. Carbon particles filtered from the smog are then compressed and turned into jewelry. Air around the tower is now reported to be 55% cleaner. Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, famous for design and architecture solutions to worldwide waste and pollution problems, came up with the idea after seeing kids in Beijing playing indoors due to the area’s notorious smog. The tower’s low-energy ionization technology is borrowed from indoor air filters. A similar tower in Rotterdam, Netherlands, runs on no more electricity than a water boiler. Mashable.com, 01.23.17

  5. A new type of app installs instantly, with zero effort on your part.

    Google is working on a new breed of app. They’re calling them “Instant Apps,” and you may start seeing them soon. The idea is for the app to kick in as part of the UI on a web page. Let’s say you’re shopping for a camera bag… You google it on your Android phone and find one you like. Tap the “Buy” button and it’s in you cart. Android Pay already has your info, so you don’t need to go through the ordeal of pulling out your card, typing everything in and hoping you didn’t get even one digit wrong… Just hit “Add to Cart” and your bag is on its way. TechCrunch.com, 01.23.17

  6. Want More Customers? Use This FREE Google Marketing Trick

    If you want your business to show up first when potential customers are searching for you or for the services and product you provide, you MUST claim your business on Google. This free service allows you to enter data about your company, products, services and location that will greatly improve your search-engine ranking. Make sure you enter COMPLETE data and information, including hours of business, your phone and photos of your location. You can even post internal photos of your store or office, but you must hire a Google certified photographer (a simple search with Google will allow you to find one in your area). Remember, Google displays search results based on relevance, so the more specific information you can provide on what you do, the better your chances are of coming up in search-engine rankings. For more information, just search “Google My Business” to get started.

  7. The Latest Way Hackers Are Stealing Your Identity That You Won’t Believe

    Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics report that fingerprints can be easily reproduced from photos without using any advanced technology. If the image is clear and well-lit, fraudsters can mimic your fingerprints. Swiping biometric data is nothing new. In 2015 a famous hacker recreated German chancellor Angela Merkel’s iris from a photo to unlock a test. The problem is, once biometric data is resold on the dark web, the risk it will be used against you persists for life. New technologies, such as a scanner that also analyzes underlying tissue and pulse, promise to “go deeper,” making this type of theft more difficult. Until then, however, think twice before flashing that peace sign on your next selfie. Telegraph.co.uk, 01.17.17

  8. How Businesses Hurt Sales And Their Reputation On Social Media

    If you have any type of social media presence – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or others – one of the things you must be on CONSTANT alert for is customer complaints. According to a study conducted by Edison Research, consumers post their complaints on social media in order to solicit a FASTER response than going through the normal channels. That’s because smart companies don’t want an unhappy client’s comments hanging out there for the world to see, unanswered and unaddressed. So IF you are going to have a presence on social media, make sure you or someone on your team is constantly monitoring it for client complaints.

  9. New 360 video cameras let you deliver a whole new customer experience.

    360 video lets your customers visit a location without actually being there. How you use it depends on your business, but the sky’s the limit – literally. Realtors and property managers, for instance, can give prospective buyers or renters a view from the kitchen where they can look in all directions and get a feel for the place that they just can’t get from 2-D shots. 360 video cams consist of two back-to-back fish-eye lenses and software that “stitches the seam” between them. Just be sure to position the camera where viewers can see everything all around them. With the right camera and headset, you can now put your customers “on location” – virtually. Wired, 02.24.17

  10. Stanford scientists have created an air conditioner that cools by beaming heat into deep space.

    The journal Nature recently published a paper describing a whole new way to cool and refrigerate. A device called a thermal emitter sends heat through the atmosphere without being radiated back. It works because the atmosphere surrounding the earth is “transparent” to heat emissions at a frequency of 8-13 micrometers. And, at about -454 degrees Fahrenheit, deep space is “very” cold. By beaming heat energy into deep space, researchers reduced the temperature of an experimental device by 42 degrees in relation to its surrounding environment in just half an hour. Practical uses include cooling of buildings, harvesting renewable energy and carrying out refrigeration in arid parts of the world. Digital Trends, 12.21.16

  11. Recent Firefox changes are bringing it up to par with Chrome and Internet Explorer.

    There’s a lot going on inside your Internet browser that you may not aware of. Firefox has lagged behind other browsers in being able to run a diversity of extensions so none of them can invade and manipulate other parts of the browser. However, in 2015, Firefox introduced a new extension system that allows it to catch up with other browsers. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, says that in Firefox version 50, browser responsiveness has improved by 400% due to the changes. This upgrade has been a long time coming, but when it’s complete, Firefox will be able to offer the same kind of performance and safety offered by other major browsers. ArsTechnica.com, 12.21.16

  12. Russia has erased LinkedIn from app stores.

    In November 2016, Russia ruled LinkedIn to be in violation of a 2014 law requiring all data collected on Russian citizens to be stored within Russian borders. The law has been widely viewed as a first step toward more aggressive surveillance measures. For that reason, many web companies are declining to relocate data centers in order to comply with the law. While Russia’s data localization laws are among the most aggressive, it’s far from the only country with such requirements. Apple caught flak earlier this year for pulling its New York Times app from China due to similar measures. And even the US requires that Department of Defense partners store data within US borders. TheVerge.com, 01.06.17

  13. Getting fit (and relaxed) just got easier with the Fitbit Charge 2.

    If you’ve ever needed to stop during a tracked exercise, you’ll like the Fitbit Charge 2’s new workout pause function. It also now lets you view on-screen exercise summaries for an hour following your workout. There’s a new on-display battery indicator and a function that lets you see your heart-rate zone on the display screen so you can monitor how close you are to your max HR. The new Fitbit Charge 2 also sports vibration prompts for breathing in and out, handy for keeping your eyes closed while getting your dose of mindfulness. It’s even added a “Do Not Disturb” mode that helps cut stress by letting you stop incoming notifications. Wareable.com, 12.21.16

  14. Security company? Activists? Or cybercriminal gang…

    A group calling itself OurMine prides itself on hacking the social media accounts of high-profile people and companies. They’ve taken over the Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest profiles of well-known businesses, including Netflix, Forbes and BuzzFeed, as well as noteworthy high-tech CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai. They use their victims’ accounts to post messages like “Hey, it’s OurMine, Don’t worry, we are just testing your security, contact us to tell you more about that.” When contacted by Mashable about what they planned to do with the Netflix Twitter account they’d hijacked, OurMine replied, “We are not planning to do anything with the account.” Evidently, they just like the publicity. Mashable, 12.21.16http://mashable.com/2016/12/21/netflix-twitter-hacked/ – RXkdsmeALmqh