Category Archives: GADGETS

For lovers of Gadgets. Computers, Software, Hardware, Diversion Safes, Tactic Devices, USBs, etc.

Accidental Death Claims the Life of 13 year Old Boy on INSTAGRAM LIVE

Accidental death claims the life of 13 year old Malachi Hemphill of Forest Park, GA.

On Friday, April 14, 2017 “friends” posted on social media in a matter of seconds, life to a graphic and upsetting turn for the worse.
The death of this child has spiraled in a media frenzy, making headlines nationwide. A group of friends stood by and saw the unfolding first-hand LIVE on Instagram.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Malachi Hemphill – stufent at Babb Middle School – had just taken the trash out for his mother. When he returned to his room, he locked his door. Then, the teen logged onto his Instagram account to live streem himself holding a gun in his room.  Just moments after he started streaming, the unimaginable happened. During a new interview with 11 Alive, his mother Shaniqua Stephens recounting the sound of the gunshot she heard coming from her very own home. “I heard a big boom. I couldn’t tell if it was a gunshot or what,” Shaniqua exclaimed. “I just knew that it was something that was wrong.” Malachi Hemphill was streaming a video on Instagram Live when the gun went off. (INSTAGRAM)

Shaniqua and her daughter rushed upstairs to discover Malachi’s door locked. When they forced the door open, they made a harrowing discovery. “We kicked in the door. We found him just laying there in a pool of blood.” Stephens recounted. Her daughter also made another discovery. She noticed his phone was streaming. “My daughter screamed and said, “Mom turn his phone off!” As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”

According to several reports, an overwhelming number of Malachi’s friends witnessed the moments leading up to the shooting. Shortly after the shooting, others who lived nearby arrived at their home after witnessing the shooting. “There was about 40 to 50 kids outside,” she said. “I guess these were the kids that were watching on live that live in the area. I guess when it happened they just ran over here.”

Mourning the Death Of a Son: Needless to say, Shaniqua and her family are shocked and dismayed over Malachi’s untimely death. She also revealed the disturbing image of her son she’s been left with. “This is just a pain that will never go away,” she said. “He was my only son. He was just only 13. Just the thought of me seeing him on the floor will never leave my brain.”

Shaniqua Stephens and Malachi’s stepfather, Ernest Stephens are hoping their son’s tragic death saves the life of another child. She also has powerful words of advice for parents of other teens. “It can happen to the best parents…it can happen to the best people. The best ones that loved their kids, you know? “I just always let them know about situations and decisions,” Ernest said. The Forest Park Police Department has also released a public statement stressing the importance of monitoring children’s social media activity. The department admitted the tragedy has been difficult for everyone involved. The statement included a number of suggestions parents can take as protective measures to keep their children in the social media era. This is a horrific event for parents, children, and the police to deal with. We are asking parents to speak with their children about: The dangers of playing with guns, they are not toys. Telling a parent or other adult authority figure when they see or believe one of their friends has a gun they should not have. Telling or discouraging friends from playing with guns.

Parents should be aware of their children’s social media activities.

We are deeply saddened by this horrifying story. Our best to the families of the deceased!

 

 

Top 25 Social Networking Sites People Are Using All Over.

The Top 25 Social Networking Sites People Are Using
All the Places People Are Sharing and Consuming Information Online

The world’s most popular social networking sites certainly have changed over the years, and they’ll undoubtedly continue to change as time moves forward. Old social networks will die, popular ones will stick around as they’re forced to evolve, and brand new ones will appear.

We’ve moved on from the days of MySpace to a social media era now dominated by Facebook and all sorts of other social mobile apps. A lot of kids even admit to using Snapchat the most, suggesting that it could be the future of where social networking is headed.

So, what’s everyone using right now? Have a look through the updated roundup of social networks below to see which ones are currently the trendiest.

Also recommended: 10 of the Most Popular Social Media Posting Trends

1 Facebook

Most of us already know that Facebook is the top social network on the web. It’s a thriving beast of a social networking site on the web with over 1.59 billions monthly active users as of December 2015 and over one billion that log on daily (according to Facebook itself). Statista shows that Facebook Messenger is also the second most popular messaging app behind WhatsApp. After failing to acquire Snapchat in 2013, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 so that it could be the one that was one top of instant messaging.

 

2 Twitter

Twitter is known as the real-time, public microblogging network where news breaks first. Most users loved it for its iconic 140-character limit and unfiltered feed that showed them absolutely everything. Twitter has changed dramatically over the years, and today it’s criticized a lot for going the way of looking and functioning almost exactly like Facebook. Besides Twitter Card integration, which now makes it easy to share all sorts of multimedia content in tweets, you can expect to see algorithmic timelines coming to Twitter soon as well.

 

3 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Anyone who needs to make connections to advance their careers should be on LinkedIn. Profiles are designed to look sort of like extremely detailed resumes, with sections for work experience, education, volunteer work, certifications, awards and all sorts of other relevant work-related information. Users can promote themselves and their businesses by making connections with other professionals, interacting in group discussions, posting job ads, applying to jobs, publishing articles to LinkedIn pulse and so much more.

 

4 Google+

Making its debut in the early summer of 2011, Google+ became the fastest growing social network the web has ever seen. After failing a couple times already with Google Buzz and Google Wave, the search giant finally succeeded at creating something that stuck… kind of. Nobody really needed another Facebook clone, so Google+ had always been widely criticized for being a social network that nobody really used. In late 2015, a brand new Google+ was rolled out to put more emphasis on its Communities and Collections features to help differentiate the platform a bit more and give existing users more of what they wanted.

 

5 YouTube

Where does everyone go to watch or share video content online? It’s obviously YouTube. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Despite being owned by Google, YouTube can still be recognized as a separate social network all on its own as the premiere place online to go to watch videos on every topic under the sun and upload your own as well. From music videos and movies, to personal vlogs and independent films, YouTube has it all. YouTube recently launched a premium subscription option, called YouTube Red, which removes all advertisements from videos.

6 Instagram

Instagram has grown to be one of the most popular social networks for photo sharing that the mobile web has ever seen. It’s the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go. Now it’s even a leading advertising platform for brands too. The app had initially just been available for the iOS platform for quite some time as it grew in popularity, but has since expanded to Android and, Windows Phone also the web. Instagram was bought for a hefty $1 billion by Facebook in 2012.

 

7 Pinterest

Pinterest has become a major player both in social networking and in the search world, proving just how important visual content has become on the web. As the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visits, Pinterest’s beautiful and intuitive pinboard-style platform is one of the most enticing and useful resource for collecting the best images that can be categorized into separate boards. Pinterest is also growing to become a huge influencer in social shopping, now featuring “Buy” buttons right on pins of products sold by some retailers.

 
8 Tumblr

Tumblr is an extremely popular social blogging platform that’s heavily used by teens and young adults. Like Pinterest, it’s best known for sharing visual content. Users can customize their blog theme, create blog posts in all sorts of different types of content formats, follow other users to see content in their dashboard feed and be followed back. Reblogging and liking posts is a popular way to interact. If you post great content, you could end up with thousands of reblogs and likes depending on how far it gets pushed out into the Tumblr community.

 

9 Vine

Vine is a mobile video sharing app owned by Twitter, and boy is it ever entertaining! If you don’t have the attention span to watch a full YouTube video, then you’ll love Vine. One of the most convenient things about Vine is that its videos can be directly embedded inline on Twitter when shared through a tweet. They can also be embedded on a website. Videos play on autoloop and are limited to a maximum of six seconds, but that doesn’t stop it from being such a powerful social network. Several Vine stars have mastered the art of creating entertaining Vine videos, and many prefer it over Instagram video.

 

10 Snapchat

Snapchat is a social networking app that thrives on instant messaging and is totally mobile-based. It’s one of the fastest growing apps out there, building its popularity on the idea of self-destructing “snaps.” You can send a photo or short video as a message (a snap) to a friend, which automatically disappears a few seconds after they’ve viewed it. Kids love this app because it takes the pressure off of having to share something with everyone like they would on traditional social networks. If you’re unfamiliar, check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to use Snapchat. Snapchat also has a unique feature called Stories, which allows users to share snaps publicly when they want.

11 Reddit

Reddit has never really had the nicest design, but don’t let that fool you–it’s a happening place on the web. It has a very strong and smart community of people who come together to talk about the topics they love while sharing links, photos and videos relevant to the subreddit topic thread where they’re participating. Reddit AMAs are another cool feature, which allow users to ask questions to celebs and other public figures who agree to host one. Reddit works by displaying submitted links that get voted up or down by users. The ones that receive the most upvotes will get pushed to the first page of their subreddits.

12 Flickr

Flickr is Yahoo’s popular photo-sharing network, which existed long before other popular competing networks like Pinterest and Instagram entered the social photo sharing game. It’s still one of the best places to upload photos, create albums and show off your photography skills to your friends. Yahoo has also worked hard at regularly updating its mobile apps with lots of great features and functions so that it’s easy and enjoyable to use from a mobile device. Users can upload 1,000 GB worth of photos for free to Flickr and use the powerful app to organize and edit them however they like.

 

13 Swarm by Foursquare

Foursquare has broken up its location-based app into two parts. While its main Foursquare app is now meant to be used as a location discovery tool, its Swarm app is all about being social. You can use it to see where your friends are, let them know where you are by checking in, and chat or plan to meet up at a specific location sometime later. Since launching Swarm, Foursquare has introduced some new features that turn interaction into games so that users have the opportunity to earn prizes.


14
Kik

Kik is a free instant messaging app that’s very popular with teens and young adults. Users can chat with each other one-on-one or in groups by using Kik usernames (instead of phone numbers). In addition to text-based messages, users can also send photos, animated GIFs and videos to their friends. Although it’s most useful for chatting with people you already know, Kik also gives users the opportunity to meet and chat with new people based on similar interests. And similar to Snapchat snapcodes, Kik users can easily scan other users’ Kik codes to add them easily.

15 Yik Yak

Yik Yak is another social network that’s big with the younger crowd. It’s a location-based anonymous social sharing app that allows users to read short updates posted from people around their area. As you might imagine, it’s very popular around high schools and on school campuses–so much so that it’s gotten some kids into serious trouble in some cases. Because it’s all anonymous, there’s no friend adding with Yik Yak. All users make anonymous posts and then other users can upvote or downvote your post and reply anonymously.

16 Shots

Shots is another photo and video sharing social network that young kids love to use. The social network is largely centered around taking selfies, but users can also take VHS-style videos and one-on-one chatting. Many users have praised the app for being one of the only apps that doesn’t include likes and comments on posts, which helps take the pressure off of users who get anxious about how their posts are received by friends and followers. It’s sort of like a simplified version of Instagram.

17 Periscope

Periscope is all about live web video broadcasting from your mobile device. It’s a Twitter-owned app that’s had its fair share of rivalry against another competing broadcasting app called Meerkat. Anyone who starts a new broadcast can send instant notifications to people so they can tune in to start interacting by leaving comments and hearts. Broadcasters have the option to allow replays for users who missed out, and they can also host private broadcasts for specific users. Anyone who just wants to watch something can open up the app and browse through all sorts of broadcasts that are currently being hosted live.

18 Medium

Medium is perhaps the best social network for readers and writers. It’s sort of like a blogging platform similar to Tumblr, but features a very minimal look to keep the emphasis on content that’s shared there. Users can publish their own stories and format them just the way they want with photos, videos and GIFs to support their storytelling. All content is driven by the community of users who recommend stories they like, which show up in the feeds of users who follow them. Users can also follow individual tags as a way to subscribe to content focused on topics of interest.

19 SoundCloud

SoundCloud is the world’s most popular social network for sharing sounds. Most users share music they’ve made or podcasts they’ve recorded. In fact, if you’re looking for a new free music app, SoundCloud should be one to try out. While you won’t exactly get to listen to all the popular songs you hear on the radio or can listen to on Spotify, you’ll get to discover lots of covers and remixes that are often better than their original versions. Even so, many well known popular artists use the platform, so you can follow your favorites to listen to what they’ve decided to promote on SoundCloud. You can also discover what’s trending, browse by genre and create your own playlists with tracks that you love.

20 Tinder

Tinder is a popular location-based dating app that matches you up with people in your area. Users can set up a brief profile that mainly highlights their photo, and then anyone who’s matched up to them can anonymously swipe right to like their profile or left to pass on it as a match. If some who liked a profile likes theirs back, then it’s a match, and the two users can start chatting privately with each other through the app. Tinder is completely free, but there are premium features that allow users to connect with people in other locations, undo certain swipes and get more “Super Likes” to let another user know they’re extra special.

21 WhatsApp

Currently the most popular instant messaging provider worldwide, WhatsApp is a cross-platform app that uses your internet connection or data plan to send and receive messages. Users can send messages to individuals or groups using text, photos, videos and even voice messages. Unlike Kik and other popular messaging apps, WhatsApp uses your phone number rather than usernames or pins (despite being an alternative to SMS). Users can allow WhatsApp to connect to their phone’s address book so that their contacts can be seamlessly transferred to the app. The app also offers a few customizable features like profiles, wallpapers and notification sounds.

22 Slack

Slack is a popular communication platform for teams that need to collaborate closely with one another. It’s basically a social network for the workplace. Team members can take advantage of real-time messaging, integration with other popular services like Dropbox and Trello, deep search for files and other information, configurable notifications and so much more. It’s meant to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on at work or with a particular collaborative project and is super helpful for teams that include members working from different locations.

23 Musical.ly

Musical.ly is a social networking app for sharing short music videos. The app shares a lot of similarities with Instagram and Vine, allowing users to record short videos, edit them, post them to their profiles, follow other users and see what’s trending. The idea is to select a music track either from the built-in music tab or from your own iTunes library to record yourself dancing and lip syncing to it. The more creative you can get with your own personal lip syncing stile and editing skills, the more likely you’ll see it trend on the platform. There’s also a duet feature that allows two users to both of their own videos that used the same music track into one video.

24 Peach

Peach only debuted in early 2016, so it’s unclear whether this app is really going to catch on or not. It certainly made a ripple in the news when it launched, but with so many other social networks out there already, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this one struggle to make its mark. Peach gives users a very simple way to share posts with friends using photos, looping videos, text-based messages, links, GIFs, the weather, your location and more. There are also other little fun features for users to enjoy, like playing a game of “Peachball” or drawing doodles. Time will only tell whether this will be one to gain any traction among the bigger social networks.

25 Blab

Similar to Periscope, Blab is another live streaming social network where users can enjoy watching interviews, talk shows, debates, workshops and more. The platform is currently in beta, but it’s already growing to become a major player in the world of web broadcasting and streaming. One interesting feature Blab has that Periscope doesn’t is the ability to launch a live broadcast with up to four people talking all at once in a split screen. Viewers can also interact by leaving comments or stream something to watch later by tuning in to the replay.
Credits: Elise Moreau

HOW TO USE SNAPCHAT FOR EVENT MARKETING

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Though it’s been out since 2011, Snapchat is still relatively unknown. That’s a shame because it’s a tool that can come in really handy especially for event planners. If used the right way, it can really foster engagement among followers and create some much needed hype.

More marketers, however, are beginning to catch on, as is the general public. As of May 2015, there are an estimated 100 million active daily users. Furthermore, roughly one in five social media users also use Snapchat.

Read more on how event professionals around the world are incorporating social media tips and trends into their event marketing and attendee engagement.

Snapchat Best Practices

  1. Provide a First Peek

Remember, Snapchat is distinguished for its “one-time view” feature. Once opened, content can be viewed only once and usually for a duration of only 10 seconds before it self-deletes. How might you be able to take advantage of such a concept? One way is to provide an insider’s look into a product or service.

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If your event is unveiling a new product, for example, then you can use Snapchat to provide a sneak peek of the product. Since viewers only get a one-time look, they’ll be debating about it on social media about what the new product is, how it works, how it differs from previous products, etc. This kind of gives the item an aura of mystery that encourages online discussions.

  1. Provide a Behind-the-Scenes Look

You can also take a page out of Hilton’s playbook and use Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes look. To promote its Live Nations concert series, which provides live entertainment to reward program members,Hilton used Snapchat to unveil behind-the-scenes snippets of some of its concerts.

This included one with Jason Derulo during his performance at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront. The goal was to target millennials and get them to sign up for the company’s loyalty program, which is made up primarily of older members.

You can do the same. Granted, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get celebrities on board for your event. Nevertheless, you can still use Snapchat for providing a behind-the-scenes look, which can include a look at board meetings, venue scouting, or backstage happenings from a previous event.

  1. Make a Game Out of It

Find a way to make a game using Snapchat. Heineken did this to perfection. In collaboration with the Coachella festival, the beer company sent out cropped images on Snapchat, which included obscured photos of celebrity performers.

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Image courtesy of Event Marketer

The image revealed a surprise performer scheduled to perform at the Heineken House, the company’s performance stage for the festival. Snapchat users that were able to correctly decipher the image and identify the performer were rewarded with a confirmation of the star’s identity and details of the performance.

You can use Snapchat to create your own guessing game. Perhaps provide an image or emoji relating to a company product or service. Participants that guess correctly within a set number of tries will be rewarded with a small prize, such as a discount code.

  1. Incorporate It into a Contest

Social media contests are a tried-and-true strategy for encouraging consumer participation. Snapchat can be used in one way or another.

Here’s one example: create a word scramble game consisting of multiple rounds that progress in difficulty. For one of the later and more advanced rounds, the scrambled words can be sent via Snapchat, and participants only get a brief look before it automatically deletes.

Of course, players can cheat by taking a screenshot or snapping a photo of it with their mobile phone. That’s fine if they do that; what’s important is that you create some sort of contest that generates engagement. Those who successfully complete every word scramble round will, of course, be the winners and receive some sort of prize, such as a free event ticket.

  1. Take Advantage of the “Our Story” Feature

“Our Story” is a feature designed specifically for events. It allows planners to send live content right as their event is in progress. When you enable this feature, users present at the event can join in and submit their own image or short video from the event and share it with their own followers.

That is a lot of free marketing right there courtesy of your own guests. If you’re going to use Snapchat, then it doesn’t make sense not to milk this feature.

Don’t Ignore Snapchat

If you’re already using prominent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you might as well incorporate Snapchat while you’re at it. It’s just another tool in your arsenal that you can add for acquiring more publicity for your event.

Guest Author Bio: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter@DanCarthy2.

Great Apps the Will Keep You Productive Morning, Noon & Night

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When I need to have a very productive day, I tell myself it’s going to be easy. I am really good at that part!

I’ll just wake up early, grab a big cup of coffee, and then begin powering through my to-do list. Maybe I’ll break for a meal, or a stretch, or a quick conversation with a coworker. But I’ll truck on, energy unwavering until bedtime, where I’ll promptly fall asleep for eight, wonderful, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Cool fantasy, self. Real life rarely (if ever) is that picture-perfect. Our bodies aren’t designed to operate at a constant 100% efficiency level.

So if you want to be more productive throughout the day, you’re better off relegating certain activities to certain times, and devoting yourself to doing those activities at those times.

And to make sure you get the right things done at the right times of day, you can lean on a plethora of different free or relatively cheap apps and tools. (After all, some things are better together.)

Below, are some of the highest-rated and often-recommended productivity apps for each part of the day. Check ’em out, and find your “and.”

Great Apps That Will Keep You Productive Morning, Noon & Night

Morning

1) Headspace

Price: Free, with subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

Starting your day off with a quick meditation session can be a great way to gear up for the day — even scientists say so. According to a 2012 study, people who mediated “stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance.”

Sold … but not sure how to get started? I’d highly recommend downloading Headspace. It gives you 10 free guided meditation sessions, and if you end up getting hooked, you can sign up for a monthly subscription.

2) Prompts or Writing Challenge

Price: Prompts is $2.99 on iPhone; Writing Challenge is $1.89 on Android

You may have heard about the benefits of writing something — anything — in the morning. But actually making morning freewriting a reality can be a challenge. How do you actually find something to write about when you’ve barely had time to make your coffee?

Why, by downloading a writing prompts app, of course. Prompts and Writing Challenge are both great options. They give you a jumping-off point for a piece, and then let you dive right into writing. Prompts is especially cool for folks who like to track their habits to stay motivated because it offers some basic analytics for you to analyze your writing habit progress.

3) Todoist

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

You don’t have to actually write your to-do lists in the morning, but you should definitely take a look at them before you dive into your work. And if your to-do list is cluttered and confusing, you’ll end up losing precious time to reorganizing and reprioritizing it.

To prevent that from happening, I’d highly suggest a tool like Todoist. Lindsay Kolowich recently introduced it, and it’s completely transformed the way to keep track of what you need to accomplish. It allows you to add deadlines and labels to each list item, and then automatically sorts your whole to-do list by what you have to accomplish that day. This helps you keep you on top of what you need to accomplish in a given day, and prevents you from getting sidetracked by down-the-road projects.

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4) Jell

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

After you set your own to-do list, chances are, you’ll need to check in with your teammates about what’s on their plate for the day. One super easy way to do this — especially when you have a remote team — is by using an app called Jell.

Instead of calling a 30-minute meeting to debrief on what everyone’s doing, you simply fill out a form in Jell and it gets sent to the rest of your team. (If you’re using Slack, it has a handy integration to have these messages posted in there, too.)

This way, you can quickly get on the same page with your team, and then move on tothe most important work of your day.

Afternoon

5) Do

Price: $10/month on iPhone and Web; Android coming soon

Fast-forward a few hours, and chances are, you’ll have a block of meetings on your plate. (That is, after all, the best time of day to have them.) But if you’re going to take time out of your day for meetings, they’d better be productive. There’s nothing worse than wasting a bunch of people’s time on something that could be handled over email.

Yep, a tool can help you with that too. Do can help you keep yours more organized and actionable — that way, no one’s wasting time sitting in unnecessary meetings. If you’re looking for a free option, Solid (available on Web only) is a great choice.

6) Stormboard

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on Web

When your attention starts to wane, it can be hard to get things done. For many people, that tends to happen in the afternoon.

Turns out, this can be a good thing: When you’re less focused, you have more room to be creative. So the afternoon is a great time for brainstorming, collaboration, and breaking through cognitive barriers.

If you and your team are feeling particularly creative one afternoon, a great tool to consider using is Stormboard. It allows everyone to easily brainstorm and collaborate — even if they aren’t in the same room. Then, you can prioritize the best ideas to be put in action at a later date.

7) Unstuck

Price: Free on iPhone, Android, Web

But what if you’re not focused or feeling creative? You’ve got to get work done, but you’re feeling … stuck.

Unstuck can help. It’s an app that acts like an in-the-moment personal coach. It’ll ask you a series of questions to unearth what exactly is blocking you, and then give you steps to get through that block. Having this “outside” perspective can be a game-changer to breaking through some seriously inhibiting time-sucks.

8) Quartz or Inside

Price: Quartz is free on iPhone; Inside is free on iPhone, Android, Web

When you’ve been in the weeds all day getting important projects done, it can be tempting to take some time to catch up on what you missed in the news.

The trouble is, those reading breaks can sometimes get unruly. That 15 minutes you thought would be enough turns into 45 minutes of reading, and you’re suddenly late for your train home.

To feel in-the-know about the day without breaking your productivity streak, try catching up via your favorite news summary app. Mine is from Quartz: It’s a chat-themed news summary app that’s quickly become a staple of my phone’s home screen. A few quick clicks, and I’m on my way to catching a ride home.

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Night

9) 7 Minute Workout

Price: Free on iPhone, Android

Everyone has their favorite time of day to work out, but science says that your lung function peaks around 5 p.m. So if you want to squeeze in a quick workout sometime in your day, right before dinner might be the trick.

If you don’t have a regular routine or are just trying to do something fast, I’d recommend checking out J&J’s 7 Minute Workout app. You can pick from their programs or design one of your own, and all can be done in less than 30 minutes.

10) Podcasts or Stitcher

Price: Podcasts is free on iPhone; Sticher is free on iPhone, Android, Web

Chances are, you’ll have spent most of your day looking at things. Reading on the computer. Watching slides on the projector. Scanning news on your phone. So when you leave work, you should strengthen one of your other senses, such as your listening comprehension. It’s an underdeveloped skill — especially in adults — but it can have huge a huge on our professional and personal lives.

If you want to strengthen your listening skills, try playing a few podcast episodes on your phone on your commute home. If you have an iPhone, you have a Podcasts app already built in. Otherwise, you can access them through Stitcher.

Want some show recommendations? Read this blog post for a few of our favorite business-related podcasts to listen to.

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11) Grid Diary or Journey

Price: Free with premium options on iPhone; Journey is Free on Android, Chrome App

Many might think that journaling is just a teenage pastime … but it has many benefits for people of any age.

If you don’t love the idea of actually penning your ideas and experiences to paper, you can use Grid Diary or Journey. Both allow you to not only capture written recaps of your day, but also add photos to your entries. Plus, they both have built-in prompts — so even on the most hectic of days, you can distill some insights for your future self.

12) Sleep Genius

Price: $4.99 on iPhone; Free with in-app purchases on Android

Finally. You’ve made it through the day and kept yourself productive all the way through. You take a moment to celebrate … but then realize that tomorrow’s to-do list is already jam-packed. You need a good night’s sleep, and you need it now.

Sleep Genius might be the cure. The app has built-in relaxation techniques and gentle alarms to wake you up at a natural moment in your sleep cycle, helping make sure you feel rested come morning.

After all, if you’re feeling sluggish the next day, even the best apps might not be effective. (But that cup of coffee might do the trick.)

What are your favorite productivity tools for different times of day? Share with us in the comments.

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Source: Ginny Soskey | @gsosk

How to Send Someone A Gift On Facebook

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People are born everyday, so there is always a reason to celebrate…right?! Well, it just so happens that on this day someone I love was born so I couldn’t think of a better way to send them my gratitude. When you are far away from loved ones, this is an exciting and very modern way to extend your love or thanks. In doing so I gathered that there may be some folks who are like me and didn’t know exactly how to do so. Here is what I have found:

Facebook, which introduced “friending” as a verb, has, by sheer volume, inundated us all with a new one, “gifting.” There are multiple ways to give gifts this holiday season using Facebook.

Facebook closed its official “Gift Shop” in 2010, and it has recently brought it back into the official fold, with a new twist. You can access Facebook gifts from the Facebook App Centeror by going to Facebook.com/Gifts Click the big green “Give a Gift” button.

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Image_Someone_I_LoveJust choose a friend. Then choose a gift. Pay now or later. You can keep your gifting private or share the news on your Timeline. You can also send a card along with the gift. Your Facebook friend will be notified about the gift just as they would be if you wrote them a message — via their phone, email or Facebook page. Facebook said it has hundreds of gifts to choose from such as a digital gift card from Starbucks.

Similarly, Facebook announced a coming soon feature to make charitable contributions with 11 non-profit partners, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of America and Livestrong. Each time you buy a charitable Facebook Gift, you have the option of choosing a non-profit recipient or letting your friend you’re gifting choose – a new twist on making a charitable contribution in the name of in lieu of a gift.

A secondary goal of gifts — beyond raising money — is to spread awareness of the work of non-profit organizations. However, as is usually the case, sometimes the best uses of a platform’s capabilities are found from third-party developers, such as Giftwhip, or two mobile apps: Treater and Wrapp.

With Treater, the list of gifts that can be instantaneously redeemed with a smartphone grows to include games of bowling, movie tickets and spa treatments. All users need to gift a Sweet Treat or Good Grub item is a Facebook account. The gifting process starts with picking the recipient from your friend list. Pick the item you wish to send and pay the item’s listed price with a credit card. There’s a $.50 processing fee for items below $5 and a $.99 fee for gifts under $19.99. All items that cost more than $20 will incur a 6% processing fee. A public Facebook prompt will alert the recipient of the gift. Friends can also include a personal message along with the notice. To claim the gift, the recipient can show the cashier the “Treat Card” sent to their smartphone.

For Android or iPhone devices, Wrapp will send free gift cards to your favorite friends, posting directly to their Facebook Wall. What makes this app different from others is its calendar function, which automatically pulls birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new moves and other reasons to celebrate directly from Facebook. The variety of Wrapp gifts makes it an app you can use for everyone you have to shop for, including gift cards from retailers like H&M, Zappos, SpaFinder, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Sephora, Gap, Office Depot, Threadless and more. The Wrapp news feed updates you as to when your gift is received and redeemed, ensuring your Wall post is seen by its intended audience.

What makes this app even more fun is the collection of gift cards you can amass from your friends in your Wallet, making redemption easy without having to print a gift certificate. Wrapp gift cards can be redeemed in person at some retail stores and online. Funds from your gift card are available immediately upon receipt, so there is no need for your recipient or you to delay the benefits of being a Wrapp user.

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Hopefully, you have gained value from this article and will use Facebook gifting the next go round! When you do, be sure to send us a snap shot of your fun gifting experience on Facebook.

Source: facebook.com

Cam Newton Proud Father of a Baby Boy

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton shocked everyone when he revealed he was the proud father of a baby boy. So what did he and his longtime girlfriend Shakia Proctor name their baby boy?

Chosen Sebastian Newton!

Baby Chosen came into the world weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces and he was 20 inches long. Not too much smaller than his dad as an infant, who was 10 pounds, 9 ounces when he was born in Atlanta in 1989, according to the Charlotte Observer.

“It’s pretty cool,”  said Cam. “When you see life coming into existence, it’s a wonderful thing. These past couple of days have been so monumental for me.”

Little Chosen entered the world on Christmas Eve, but his pops didn’t announce his arrival until December 30th because he didn’t want the baby news to be a distraction for his team. How sweet.

Congrats again to the couple!

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Cosby Lost Bid To Dismiss Sexual-Assualt Case

And so it has been determined that a Montgomery County judge on Wednesday rejected Bill Cosby’s efforts to have his sexual-assault case dismissed, ruling that prosecutors were not legally bound by a former district attorney’s promise that the entertainer would never be charged in an alleged 2004 attack.

The decision by Judge Steven T. O’Neill clears the way for the only criminal charges filed since a wave of accusations emerged against the 78-year-old celebrity. O’Neill ordered Cosby to return for a March 8 preliminary hearing.

Cosby’s attorneys vowed to appeal. “The decision reached by the court was wrong,” they said in a statement.

Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, right, and Asst. DA Kristen Feden, left, leave the courtroom during lunch break on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Exiting the 2016 pre-trial hearing for Mr. Bill Cosby alleged sexual assault case held in Norristown, Pa.(Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)
Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, right, and Asst. DA Kristen Feden, left, leave the courtroom during lunch break on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Exiting the 2016 pre-trial hearing for Mr. Bill Cosby alleged sexual assault case held in Norristown, Pa.(Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Cosby, who sat stoically throughout the hearing, smiled and waved to supporters as he left the Norristown courthouse.

The judge’s ruling, delivered from the bench, capped a marathon two-day proceeding that focused largely on Cosby’s contention that his December arrest violated a 2005 decision by former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. not to charge him.

At the time, Castor said, he concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove Andrea Constand’s claims that Cosby had drugged and assaulted her at his Cheltenham mansion a year earlier.

Testifying Tuesday, Castor maintained that his 2005 declaration not to prosecute was meant to help Constand. He testified that all the parties knew about the non-prosecution agreement, which he said stripped Cosby of his ability to plead the Fifth Amendment and paved the way for him to be deposed in Constand’s civil suit.

James P. Schmitt, a lawyer who has advised Cosby for decades, testified Wednesday that he believed Castor gave the entertainer’s criminal attorney, Walter M. Phillips, assurances that the agreement was an “irrevocable decision” that would bind the District Attorney’s Office for years to come.

“A promise of a prosecutor – even an oral promise – is one that is absolute, 100 percent enforceable,” Christopher Tayback, a member of the current defense team, told the judge Wednesday.

Kevin Steele, the current district attorney, who last summer helped revive the case, said any such deal, or the notion it would apply to future prosecutors, amounted to special treatment. “A secret agreement that permits a wealthy defendant to buy his way out of a criminal case isn’t right,” he argued.

Steele also challenged Castor’s testimony, calling it “revisionist history.” He noted that his predecessor’s account changed more than once and questioned why the purported agreement was never put in writing.

The judge acknowledged the dispute amounted to uncharted legal waters. “This is a very unique situation,” he said.

Bill-Cosby-Kevin-SteeleAfter leaving the charges intact, the judge also denied a motion by Cosby’s lawyers to disqualify Steele and his office from prosecuting the case. The defense contended Steele violated attorney ethics rules last fall by using an implied promise to charge Cosby to win office in an election over Castor.

But even as he rejected their arguments, O’Neill offered a glimpse of another strategy Cosby’s lawyers may consider in an attempt to blunt the charges. If the case gets to trial, he said, they could reintroduce the non-prosecution argument in a move to suppress Cosby’s 2006 deposition, which Steele’s office used to build the current case after portions of it were released last summer.

In it, Cosby acknowledged a sexual encounter with Constand, which he maintained was consensual. He also testified that he had previously acquired Quaaludes with the intent of using them in consensual sexual encounters with women.

Throughout the hearing, O’Neill repeatedly reminded both sides that they were not in court yet to try Constand’s underlying sexual-assault allegations.

During hours on the witness stand Tuesday, Castor rattled off a list of reasons why he thought her credibility would not hold up in court. Chief among them, he said, were inconsistencies in Constand’s statements and her decision to contact a lawyer before she reported her alleged assault to police.

Now 42 and living in Toronto, Constand sued Castor last fall, contending he has repeatedly undermined her credibility for his own political gain.

She did not attend the hearing, but her attorney Dolores Troiani took the stand for prosecutors, and didn’t mince words.

“We had a district attorney in 2005 slamming a victim,” she said, describing Castor’s public statements during the investigation that the case was weak.

She also explained that Constand sought civil counsel because she had heard news reports about women who had legal run-ins with Cosby.

Troiani cited a 1997 incident in which the comedian, with FBI help, secretly recorded a woman who claimed she was his illegitimate daughter in an attempt to extort $40 million. The woman was later sentenced to prison.

After Constand confronted Cosby with her allegations in January 2005, the comedian’s representatives called her and her mother and offered money, an educational trust, and a trip to Florida, Troiani told the court.

The Constands “never asked for any money – Mr. Cosby was the one who interjected money into the conversation,” the lawyer testified. “We thought Cosby – because he had done it before – was setting Andrea up.”

She told the court that during settlement negotiations on Constand’s civil lawsuit the next year, Cosby’s lawyers wanted Constand to promise never to cooperate with a criminal investigation of him. “I was adamant that would not occur,” Troiani said.

Ultimately, Constand agreed only not to initiate any further investigation of her claims. But under the terms of her confidentiality agreement with Cosby, she was free to cooperate if law enforcement contacted her first.

Other details of their settlement agreement, including the amount Cosby paid Constand, have remained confidential.

In July, Troiani said, Steele came to her office and said he would like to reopen the case. Troiani asked for time to talk it over with Constand.

“My client was deeply hurt by the manner in which she was treated” during the first investigation, Troiani said. “And yes, I am passionate and still furious about it.”

18 of the Best Beauty Instagram of the Week

Where Are All the Pretty Birds…. They’re Hiding on Instagram!

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18 of the Best Beauty Instagram of the Week: Ciara, Draya, Lupita & more…

Where are all the Pretty Birds?

Well, apparently they’ve all been hanging out on Instagram and not #Twitter this week.
Instagram gives major inspirations for it’s viewers as the holidays get underway. The perfect time
to SPARKLE up your look just in time for the New Year!

Ciara, Karlie Kloss, Jennifer Lawrence, Chanel Iman, and Khloe Kardashian are giving us the good old nude makeup looks while Bella Thorne, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift andSelena Gomez donned the ever classic red lip look with Charlotte Olympia matching the lips to the nails.

Poppy Delevingne
also has that perfect red on her fingernails that we are so envious of.

The mood for today says, Bleu (blue) and Lupita Nyongo, model for VMag, goes all out with her lip display giving shades of bleu.  She looks amazing! Rihanna takes a notch higher with black lipstick.

Lupita Nyongo also wears a bleu dramatic eye makeup look for Madame Figaro magazine as well as Tavi Gevinson but with a darker hue and prominent bottom lashes.

Just in time for the release of the new Star Wars, Karrueche Tran braids her hair up as in a modern Princess Leia fashion. Still speaking of braids, has quite the hair-do for her shoot with a crown plait and smaller plaits on the side with a major puff in the mid-section.

So, which of these looks will you be trying out this week?

Continue reading 18 of the Best Beauty Instagram of the Week

5 Apps for Making Money

Apps, making money, psychology of money, money, finances, investment, retirement, savings

Imagine if every time you reached for your phone, you could earn yourself a few extra bucks. Sounds pretty good, right? Really, everytime you turn around people are interested in making money online or other.
We thought so, too. Below, we’re highlighting five buzzed-about apps that promise to make you some cold, hard cash this summer.

But wait, there’s more! We also road-tested ’em, that way you know which ones are worth your time. Whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store or absentmindedly watching TV, these apps want to fatten up your wallet (and help you lock down that gorgeous, perfect-for-wedding-season dress you’ve been eyeing up all season!).

CoSign

Platforms: iOS and Android

How it works: This app basically pays you for posting selfies. All you have to do is tag the brands you’re wearing, and if anyone clicks through to buy the products, you get a cut of the profit. Tag anything people can buy—makeup, jewelry, cute office products in the background—to up your chances of getting a hefty paycheck.

Want More?

6 Apps That Help Make Managing Your Money Easier

The Surprising Way That I Make Money on the Side

6 Apps to Help You Live the Good Life

Money-making ability: This app works best if you have a sizable social media following—or are an expert hashtagger. Your cut of the profit will vary by brand, but users get paid every time they reach $40.

User experience: CoSign is super-easy to use and it’s beautifully designed, contrary to a majority of money-making apps that look clunky and outdated.

Viggle

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows

How it works: The makers behind this app want to learn more about people’s media-consumption habits—and they’re willing to pay their users for intel. Users generate points by checking in when they’re watching something on TV and can earn even more points by engaging in “Viggle Live” discussions. With music, users generate points by identifying a song being played through the Viggle Music feature. You can also get points by “checking in” whenever you play music on your phone.

Making-Money ability: Viggle pays users in gift cards and prizes—not actual cash—but the prizes are pretty sweet. Some gift cards are for places you’d likely be spending your money anyway, like Starbucks and iTunes. Or, you can save your points and try to rack up big ticket prizes, like a cruise.

User experience: Raking up enough points to score the desirable prizes takes a lot of commitment, so using the app just once in a while really isn’t worth it. But if you get into it and actually enjoy the “Viggle Live” discussions and connecting with other users, it could be an easy way for you to earn some sweet rewards.