- Thought for the Day: Yes, The Past Can Hurt. But…
- 30 of the Best Android Apps You Should Have in 2013
- 30sec Tip: How to Improve the Efficiency of Meetings?
- The Highest Leverage Activities That Are Best for Ensuring That You Have a Good Life
- How To Be The Master of Your Dreams
- How To Get Adobe Creative Suite for Free and Legally
- 3 Reasons Why Online Backup is Better Than You Thought
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 06:30 AM PST
Oh yes, the past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or, learn from it. By Rafiki from Lion King
Posted: 08 Jan 2013 05:00 AM PST
Over the course of the past year, a lot of new Android apps came out. A LOT OF APPS! The problem is, how do you know which are good and which aren’t? In this 2012 year-end roundup, we'll show you different categories of Android apps and some of the best or most popular apps to try in 2013.
SwiftKey 3 Keyboard
SwiftKey 3 is one of the most intuitive keyboards you can download for your Android devices. The predictive text is phenomenal, and there's even a tablet version which offers a split keyboard for landscape mode.
JuiceDefender is a must-have app for anyone who wants to get better battery life from their Android device. There are three different versions—one free and two paid—to give you the right amount of adjustments to fit your needs.
Business Calendar is the most feature laden calendar you can get. Between the widgets and easy change from month to week day view and drag-and-drop appointment changing, there isn't much Business Calendar can't do.
Splashtop Remote Desktop HD
Sometimes there’s a need to access your computer after you’ve already left the office. Splashtop lets you access your computer from everywhere you can get an internet connection, and it’s the only application out there that shows the entire computer screen vs. a shrunk-down or partial version.
Paperland Pro Live Wallpaper
An extremely customizable live wallpaper that looks like a diorama come to life. Choose the settings for the scene, weather and time. Each of these tabs have multiple options to change to make a really unique background.
HD Widgets gives you A LOT of widget choices. Everything on the widget is customizable, from the fonts and colors to what is displayed. There's even a huge 6×2 widget that works with larger screens like tablets.
Nova Launcher Prime
One of the newer home screen launchers out there, Nova Launcher Prime, integrates gestures and has some pretty cool plug-ins available. Another cool feature that Nova has is the ability to hide application icons for apps you don't use.
ZEDGE is a phenomenal application for finding backgrounds, ringtones, and notifications. Recently, games and live wallpapers were added to the items available to be downloaded.
Spotify lets you listen to just about every song you could ever want to hear. Use the radio to play similar artists to what's on your playlist,s or similar to a specific song or artist. Free and paid versions are available.
Poweramp is the ultimate music player application for Android: the 10 band EQ and support for most popular music file formats and gap-less playback set Poweramp apart from the others.
iHeartRadio was recently redesigned and came out as a spectacular customizable radio app. Not only does it play local live radio stations, you can create customized radio stations based on your musical tastes.
When you hear a song playing and like it, use Soundhound to figure out who the artist is and the name of the song. When Soundhound figures out what song this, you can bookmark it for later and even see the lyrics as you’re listening to as the song plays.
News and Social
One of the most anticipated social media apps of all time, the official Pinterest app lets you upload your own Pins as well as view your Boards, Like and Repin items. This has great integration with Android devices.
A really great way to get your news, Flipboard pulls in information from your Facebook, Twitter and other social feeds to bring you news you will actually be interested in. News is also shown from feeds like BBC and USA Today.
A great video and audio calling app with a messaging option, Tango is a great alternative to apps like Skype, and communication between Tango users is free.
This is a great app for curating your favorite articles on the web. Save pages in your Pocket account and view videos or webpages from any of your devices, including your computer.
Tracking down members of your family isn't always an easy task, especially when they're spread out over different continents and time periods. The Ancestry app links to your Ancestry.com account and lets you create new additions to your family tree.
Trulia – Real Estate & Homes
Looking for a house to buy or apartment to rent is a lot of work—Trulia is a big help in showing you what is available in the area you are thinking of moving to. Set your criteria, and see what's out there.
Sleep as Android
Knowing how well you slept is important, and by using an app like Sleep as Android, you will be able to see how long you were in a deep restful sleep vs. light sleep. Also, there’s an alarm to wake you up when you're not in a deep sleep, thus making you less groggy in the morning.
BeerSmith 2 Lite
Brewing beer can be pretty satisfying in more than one way. The problem is, making a good beer can take lots of trial and error. BeerSmith 2 is your beer cookbook with thousands of different beer recipes ready for you to use.
This is a great physics-based game where you are a elderly old lady chasing down apple thieves. With fun graphics and spectacular crashes, Granny is hell on wheels as she wreaks all kinds of havoc trying to save her apples.
Nun Attack is a good way to eliminate some of that pent-up Catholic guilt. Take on the forces of evil by controlling four nuns with guns and special powers—you can even use miracles to your advantage.
Not the PITFALL! you remember playing on your Atari: the basic combination of running and jumping and using the web is still there, but it’s a lot more graphically-intensive and challenging.
Zen Bound 2
Zen Bound 2 is one of the most unique puzzle games of the year: using a rope, you must try to cover as much of the surface of the 3D wooden sculptures as possible. This seems like an easy task, but takes a bit of strategy and forward-thinking to accomplish the task.
Instagram is the most well-known of the camera apps on the list. Its claim to fame is the way you can filter the image and share your camera art with the Instagram community.
Add cute little touches and stencils to the pictures you take, and then share your images with over 17 million users all over the world or on your favorite social network with LINE Camera.
Camera360 is a super-powerful camera application for Android devices with high-resolution cameras. Camera360 is also front-facing-camera compatible. It’s great for taking self-portraits on phones with higher quality front-cameras.
Transforming your image into a drawing can really add a unique look, and Pencil Camera does just that. You can take a picture and immediately see what the pencil-sketched version of the picture will look like in the preview.
With action photography, timing is everything. Using Actioncam lets you take several pictures right in a row to make sure you capture just the right pose, plus it has a variety of frames and filters to enhance the photos further.
Sometimes, to take the perfect picture, you have to take it as silently as possible. Silent Camera eliminates the shutter noise all great cameras make when you take a picture—with no noise, it’s easy to take continuous pictures without being noticed.
Posted: 07 Jan 2013 07:00 PM PST
Provide a clear written agenda to all participants before any meeting. Improve the focus and efficiency of the whole team.
Posted: 07 Jan 2013 02:00 PM PST
There must be a way to optimize what activities we perform that have the highest impact on our lives in a positive way. This answer in Quora by Visakan Veerasamy points out 5 main activities that provide the most highest value to ensure that that you have a good life.
Featured photo credit: group of young people having a good time outdoors via Shutterstock
Posted: 07 Jan 2013 11:00 AM PST
Many people all over the globe dream about doing great things but never really get down the achieving them. In my viewpoint, these people aren’t foolish, laggards or cowardly: they merely have yet to find out ways to turn their dreams into reality. Dreams, like fire, are very powerful, but one is better off if the dream is one’s servant rather than one’s master.
Dreams are part of our lives and we cannot wish them away (as they are often in our subconscious minds), but as human beings we would rather fantasize than actually experience the challenges of what living out our dreams might entail. We know that living our dreams means we have to fight failure, frustration, monotony and long days in order to welcome success, jubilation and recognition, and as if our dreams know this, they encourage us to focus on the positive facets of realizing them. It’s as though we have sieves that filter out the difficult tasks and events that could stop us from achieving our goals.
Positive and Negative Aspects of Our Dreams
Well, no one is against dreaming here: in fact, dreaming is a pretty important aspect of our lives. We should all have a vision that results from a dream we wish to attain, and it’s important to develop smart objectives of what we want to achieve in our lifetime. It is here that dreaming comes to our assistance by helping us shape our vision as well as our objectives. Dreams themselves are not bad at all, but they can be detrimental when one is stuck on a vision or objective that clearly cannot work out. For example, imagining that your lover will come back to life after they pass on may help with the healing process in the short run, but it will not bring the dead to life. After some time, that dream had better stop to pave room for other, more realistic dreams.
In the case of dreaming about unrealistic events, dreams become your master, rather than your servant. Dreaming can also become your master if they stop you from taking that initial step in making your dreams come true. If you feel lady luck has to confirm something before you can to forge ahead with action, then you are clearly the servant. Fantasies are your master when you can’t change your dream to accommodate the random challenges that life tosses at you.
Ways in Which Dreams Can Control You
There are other ways that your dreams can control you: they master your behavior when you find a pure, unadulterated variation of your goal, and refuse to adjust to it because it is not what you had envisaged. Perhaps an alternative plan has presented itself, but because you are so transfixed on the initial dream, you still insist on following it and ignoring every thing else. Seeking the perfect time, or seeking the ideal situation, is precisely how your dream gets delayed or unachieved.
Setting Yourself Free
If you want to turn your life around and become the master of your dream then you must reflect back upon the points above and figure out who the master has been. Is it you or your dreams? If your fantasies have been in control, then you need to find a way to free yourself from their bonds.
To do this, the first thing you need to do is to make decisions, and apply them. Remember that so long as you are unsure about what needs to be done, you won’t have the ability to move forward with your goal. If you wish to move forward, you simply have to choose a direction, and move towards it: any decision you make will spur you into action. At this point, don’t worry if your decisions are disastrous—if your decision produces a bad result, you can always change direction later on.
It’s also important not to over-analyze your vision. We often have a bad habit of focusing on how much cash we might make, or what awards we might get, immersing ourselves in case studies, etc. That in itself is okay, so long as we don’t get stuck there. In over-analyzing dreams, you will procrastinate a lot and fail to realize the goal you had in mind. Instead of analyzing all the “what if?” aspects of recognizing your ambition, make solid choices that will help you achieve them.
Self-Awareness and Detachment
When pursuing your dreams, it’s important to not compare yourself with others. You’ll never have the ability to attain the kind of success that someone else has already accomplished, and no-one else will be able to accomplish the kind of success that you might potentially accomplish. Each journey is an individual one, so focus on achieving the success that is only feasible for you.
Ultimately, to win at mastering your dreams, you also need to detach yourself from the outcome and remember that you are just participating in the process. What will come of out of your efforts is not only up to you, as there will always be external factors. What you can control is your own effort in pursuing your goal.
Keep in mind that dreaming is good, but just like anything else, too much of it can be harmful. Daydream in moderation, but don’t let those fantasies keep you from accomplishing your dreams themselves.
If you follow the simple suggestions above, you will undoubtedly help your dreams become reality.
Featured photo credit: Painting the world. Smiling girl on grass with a paintbrush via Shutterstock
Posted: 07 Jan 2013 09:00 AM PST
Adobe Photoshop is one of the best photo editing tools in history. There aren’t many similar products that are as competitive as Adobe’s designing software. However, its high price tags turn a lot of small and medium enterprises and amateur users away. Now, there is a great news from Abode for users on a tight budget because Adobe allows users to download and use Adobe Creative Suite CS2 permanently without paying a penny. Better still, if you have Adobe 2 installed in your computer, you can use a discounted price to upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite 6. Here is a list of free software you can download from Adobe:
Although Adobe CS 2 series is from 2005, it contains most of the functions for basic and casual users. Unless you really need some unique features for your work, otherwise Adobe CS 2 is more useful than enough. If you still don’t have Adobe Creative Suite in your computer, you should download it right now here.
Posted: 07 Jan 2013 08:00 AM PST
BestBackups.com is a review site for online backup providers, with almost 50 providers reviewed now.
When was the last time you made a backup of your hard drive?
Take a moment to think about everything you are at risk of losing. Taking a quick look through the contents of my computer's hard drive, I saw things like pictures, videos, tax information and receipts for online purchases, all of the software I've downloaded and configured.
Losing all of this information is losing a part of yourself. Going about our daily routines, we rely heavily on the physical hard drives in our computers to stay healthy. Like everything mechanical, it will fail. What are you going to do to help keep the information most important to you safe when disaster strikes?
As you may have noticed, over the past few years the price of external storage has plummeted. About 2 years ago, you could have purchased a very portable 250 or 500 GB hard drive for about $100 or so. The low prices of external storage mean you can get a 1 TB external hard drive a little bigger than a pack of playing cards for the same price. But the question is, what has this done to online backup and cloud storage pricing?
Cloud storage pricing has dropped at an alarming rate over the past few years. The extremely low prices definitely warrant taking a good hard look at online backup options before spending $100 or $200 on an external hard drive that's bound to fail.
The best solution for you will be an online backup of some kind. With all of the services available, how do you know what the best option is? Take a look at some of the reasons you will want to use cloud-based storage and some of the options available to you.
1. Online backup is easy and automatic.
Once up and running, online backup doesn't require you to have a good memory. I know there have been a bunch of times I didn't remember to plug in my external hard drive when it was time to back up my computer, how about you? The initial backup can take some time to complete. However, once it is complete the backup process is barely noticeable. As you are working, the new information will be seamlessly backed up whether it be something new or a revision of something you have been working on for a while, like your zombie novel.
2. Less likely to be damaged
Physically having an external hard drive in your possession leaves it open to all kinds of potential hazards. Some of the hazards might be your fault like stepping on it, dropping it or knocking over your coffee cup on it while a backup is in progress. Other possible ways to damage the external hard drive are a little less your fault. There could be a fire at your house or office that consumes the hard drive. Something all too common would be an electrical surge such as a lightning strike nearby that could damage the hard drive or corrupt the information on it.
Another very good possibility is the hard drive simply wears out. I'm sure you yourself or you know someone who's lost all of their important information because the hard drive crashed. Because the servers used for online backup are consistently running, the hard drives are replaced with good regularity. Also many of the servers use what's called a RAID set up which means your information is redundantly backed up on multiple hard drives. This way if one goes bad, the information is still safe and you don’t see any interruption of service.
3. Security and peace of mind
The reputable online backup services offer a great deal of security. They don't have access to your individual files, they are just providing you with storage space. What's nice about using an online backup solution is the peace of mind. A huge security benefit is the encryption they use. In most cases, people don't encrypt their flash drives or larger external hard drives so using an automatic online backup would be added security for most people.
Another reason storing your information in the cloud is more secure in most cases is because someone isn't going to break into their server banks and physically take your information out. Unless they are some highly trained espionage team like you'd see on mission impossible, you can rest assured your vacation photos from Niagara Falls will be safe. In fact, many of the data centers are spread out over large distances and there are actually several backups of your information.
Google Drive gives you 5 GB of free storage accessible from any computer and most mobile devices through the Google Account you may already be using. Additional space can be purchased if you need more space. For $4.99 a month you can get 100 GB of Google Drive storage. Using the Google Drive Offline app, you can easily sync all of your important information and keep safely online.
Dropbox is one of the most well known names in cloud storage. Initially you'll get 2 GB of storage for free. The space is accessible through pretty much any device connected to the Internet. When used on an Android device, there's options for automatic picture or video upload. Additional space can be purchased also. 100 GB of dropbox space will run you $9.99 a month.
Carbonite is an automatic backup software for your computer. The yearly price of the entry-level service is $59 a year. This $59 gets you unlimited storage space on the Carbonite servers to backup video, audio, photos, documents and even your computer settings. If you need more features, other backup options are available too.
Overall, the online backup of information is more secure than it's ever been. There are a huge plethora of options available not just the 3 listed above and it’s worth looking around for a good online backup solution because these type of backups rely less on human interaction meaning, first and foremost, the backups actually happen. And with all of the security involved in the transmittal and storage of your data, it's pretty darn safe overall.
Featured photo credit: Defect hard disk drive with smoke. Open drive as symbol for data loss. via Shutterstock
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