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Basis B1 Health Tracker Smartwatch (2014) Review and Giveaway

Want to lose weight and think clearer? You might find help from the $199 Basis B1 Health Tracker Carbon Steel Edition smartwatch or its $179 functionally identical predecessor. While wearable tech hasn’t yet provided much more than notification and health-oriented devices, the Basis B1 Health Tracker currently offers the most sophisticated readouts of your body’s data. But can the average consumer take advantage of the B1′s advanced design and feature-packed web app? Update: Intel purchased Basis recently. Intel made inroads into the wearables market with several gadgets — this latest purchase (rumored to be around $100 million) represents a validation of… Read the full article: Basis B1 Health Tracker Smartwatch (2014) Review and Giveaway

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Basis B1 Health Tracker Smartwatch (2014) Review and Giveaway

4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

Get creative. You spend all that time taking little videos and photos of everything you do, just to leave them electronically rotting on your hard drive. What a waste! Or worse still, you subject the family to agonisingly boring slideshows. Stop that, stop it now — get creative! Here’s how. Stupeflix Stupeflix remains my firm favourite when dealing with lots of still photos: it’s an online video creation tool that creates a themed slideshow in time to music, automagically. There are 13 themes to choose from, and a few more on the Pro plans that are designed for corporate videos…. Read the full article: 4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

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4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

Finally, A Smartwatch Concept That I Really Want!

It is my opinion that most smartwatches (or smartwatch concepts) try too hard to impress. In some of the concept designs I’ve seen, the classic design of a wristwatch isn’t even recognisable anymore. Is it a watch or just some device you happen to wear on your wrist? Thankfully, there are still designers like Gábor Balogh from Budapest, Hungary, who still appreciate the craftsmanship behind wristwatches and strive to retain the traditional values and design of a watch. This is the smartwatch concept design he came up with. Now, take my money! Read the full article: Finally, A Smartwatch Concept That I Really Want!

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Finally, A Smartwatch Concept That I Really Want!

Cool Websites & Tools – Narrow VPN, Adopt New Habits, & Text A Doctor

Disconnect Search – search privately using your favorite search engine. Disconnect Search is a “narrow” VPN that masks your IP address, browser cookies, and other personal info whenever you’re searching so search engines and ISPs can’t track your searches. Search with Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, or DuckDuckGo. Series Guide Chrome v2 – Manage your favorite TV series and movies from your browser’s new tab page. Keep track of your progress in all the series you’re watching and movies you want to watch in a souped up ‘new tab’ page. Allows you to browse through all your favorite series, view the… Read the full article: Cool Websites & Tools – Narrow VPN, Adopt New Habits, & Text A Doctor

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Cool Websites & Tools – Narrow VPN, Adopt New Habits, & Text A Doctor

Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

Retailers continue to liquidate last year’s goods — this week, we’ve got almost $200 off the iPhone 5c and even larger savings on a semi-rugged Samsung Galaxy S4. Also featured are a super cheap SSD, RAM and a Surface Pro, among other wallet-friendly options. Tablet and Smartphone Users Looking for high end smartphones at cut-rate prices? This week we’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (water resistant) and an iPhone 5c at a bargain! 16GB Virgin Mobile Apple iPhone 5C Price: $359.99; compare to $549.99 brand new Retailer: Virgin Mobile – Buy it Now! This deal remains the best I’ve… Read the full article: Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

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Cheap iPhone 5c, Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and More [Tech Deals]

The 5 Commandments For Choosing The Right To-Do App For Productivity

If I gave you a collection of 100 coffee mugs and asked you to organize them, how would you do it? Would it be by color? By the image on the mug? By its size? Different people organize in different ways, so something like choosing a to-do app really depends on the kind of person you are. I have a confession to make. I’m an obsessive to-do list tester. In the past five years I think I’ve tested approximately 20 productivity management tools, and I’ve yet to stick with a single one. Often times, I’ll discover one that I absolutely… Read the full article: The 5 Commandments For Choosing The Right To-Do App For Productivity

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The 5 Commandments For Choosing The Right To-Do App For Productivity

Productivity Tip: Take a break

In the past couple of installments of TUAW’s productivity tips , I’ve discussed a number of ways to keep you focused on your tasks. Managing those tasks will be the next big-picture topic, but this week I wanted to keep it short and simple, just like your breaks should be. Yes, you should take breaks , especially if you are a knowledge worker and/or you have to focus on tasks which require a great deal of problem solving. There’s a lot of evidence that shows our brains need frequent rest in order to function at their best , so don’t skimp on the breaks even if you are worried about a deadline. Why is this important? Aside from how you should really be taking a vacation , your brain can suffer from decision fatigue . While you’re busy processing your inbox or responding to emails, your brain is getting quite the electro-chemical workout . As with any of our organs, after a while it tires out. Just like a physical workout, you should allow for a cool-down period to let your brain rejeuvinate itself. At AOL we’re quite fond of naps, too . Timing breaks As I discussed in my article on timers, you should aim to take a quick break after a period of intense focus. Pomodoros are set up for this purpose, giving you 25 minutes of task time plus a five-minute break. I’ve read of 90-minute work sessions followed by a 30-minute break time (which allows time for a walk or run or yoga), but ultimately you’ll have to experiment and see what works for you as a person and in your job. I like to take frequent breaks . The key to timing your breaks is definitely scheduling them around those periods of intensity. Again, your brain gets worn out after too many decisions in a fixed amount of time — let that thing cool off! The time of your break should be somewhat proportional to the period of intensity, however. Five minutes after 25 makes sense, as does 30 after 90. Taking an hour nap after 20 minutes of email is a bit much, however. Types of breaks Now, do you need to rest or do you need to re-energize? One allows things to cool down, while the other is more like a warm up. Often we just need to rest our eyes, or just stretch to shake off the tightness of sitting for too long. For short breaks I tend to make sure I have a bottle of water, then go gaze out a window for a few minutes. Or, since I work at home, I’ll go spend a few minutes washing dishes (a very peaceful activity, honestly). These short breaks help refocus you later, and serve as a brief cool-down for your brain. Be careful not to overdo it; tidying your desk or going to the break room might seem like a quick rest, yet you’re still making all sorts of decisions, leading again to decision fatigue. A better short break fully disengages your brain for a bit. Staring is actually good. Stretching is even better, and there are lots of exercises you can do, even in a cubicle . The more you allow your body to work, the better it will be able to assist your brain. Anything that literally “takes your mind off of things” is good, which means social media checking is likely bad as you’re likely to see things which make you angry as well as happy on any given day. Naps are excellent, but most people don’t use them correctly. Here’s a great primer , and here are some tips from the Mayo clinic . I have found that a 25-minute or less nap has made me feel more energized in the afternoons if I am not already sleep deprived. If I haven’t had enough sleep that day already, I tend to get a headache later and feel sleepier. That said, naps can be very effective when done properly. I have found a short walk or run, or even time with a Kinect game, helps the afternoon doldrums significantly. A few jumping jacks or standing on your head can also get the blood flowing. Apps to help For simple breaks, I like to use Due ‘s timers and have set a 5, 10, and 15 minute timer as default break times. Siri can do this in a pinch as well. For naps I use Naturespace (which has a timer), or Pzizz , a longtime Mac app which was ported to iOS some time ago. Pzizz is, in my opinion, the best napping app; it guides you into a restful state much like hypnosis, can be set for various times, and can be configured in numerous ways while still using a set of sounds and tones which help lull you to rest. Other TUAWers enthusiastically recommend Andrew Johnson’s apps and audiofiles for guided rest periods. Meditation is a good rest plan, and we’ve already mentioned a few apps for this . I’m currently using Mind , which is as simple a meditation timer as you’re likely to find. There are also a number of exercise apps on the store, including some niche products like Healthy Break , which adds simple stretches to a break timer. I haven’t had much success with these, as I tend to look up things online, learn them, and have a few I do over and over again. It’s best to discuss your options with your doctor or trainer (if you’re lucky enough to have a trainer). Conclusion While you can push through a day with no breaks, you will wind up making worse decisions as time wears on, and as those decisions wear you out. As your productivity and quality of work decrease, you become less efficient. The best way to combat this: get plenty of rest to begin with, and allow yourself breaks through the day . By setting timers for breaks and having a collection of short activities to break to, you’ll set yourself up to stay productive longer than before, with better results. Productivity Tip: Take a break originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Productivity Tip: Take a break

Daily iPhone App: Ridiculous Fishing is ridiculously good

Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing is finally out on the App Store today, after a long and rough development cycle that included a well-publicized battle against a clone . But in my humble opinion, the guys at Vlambeer should never have worried. No clone could ever match up to the design talent, brilliant wit, and just plain love that’s been put into this game. Ridiculous Fishing lives up to its foolish title and then some. You play as a fisherman. To begin, tap to toss a hook into the water. The game then runs in three phases. First, as your hook descends, tilt the iPhone back and forth to guide it past as many fish as you can, as deep under the surface as possible. As you reel it back in, you switch tactics. Tilt to grab as many fish as possible, trying to avoid the jellyfish if you can. Finally, the game gets really silly when your hook reaches the surface. The fish fly up into the air, and you’ve got to take them out of the sky with whatever firearms you have lying around. Each fish you kill earns money for line and equipment upgrades, and finding new species can unlock new areas with new fish to hook and deeper waters to plumb. It’s a very addictive gameplay cycle, and it’s all backed up with some brilliant art, great sound effects, and very catchy music. I’ve been playing the game for about a week now, and have found it hard to put down. Ridiculous Fishing has seen a little drama even before release, but the team never needed to worry, in my opinion. This is a great game that is among the best we’ve seen on the iPhone, ever. It’s well worth the purchase at US$2.99 , though I’ll bet we’ll see Ridiculous Fishing (and with any luck, more of Vlambeer) around the App Store for a long time to come. Daily iPhone App: Ridiculous Fishing is ridiculously good originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 14 Mar 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Daily iPhone App: Ridiculous Fishing is ridiculously good

Knights of Pen and Paper and Angry Birds go free

Two really great apps are free this week. First up, Knights of Pen and Paper is an (in my opinion) underrated and very charming turn-based RPG, with the unique premise that you’re actually playing an old pen and paper role-playing game, complete with a dungeonmaster describing every environment you enter and NPC you come across. Or you can play DM yourself, and design an adventure for your gamers. The game is on iPhone and iPad, so more users than ever have a chance to download and enjoy it. And on the complete other end of the spectrum from underrated, the original Angry Birds app (and its HD counterpart ) have gone free on iOS. It’s hard to believe that you haven’t played Angry Birds yet, as there have been lite versions, lots of sales, and a number of various spinoffs and ways to play the game on all of its various platforms. But just in case you haven’t gone back and played the original iOS hit, now’s your chance. Do try Knights of Pen and Paper, though. It’s really good. Knights of Pen and Paper and Angry Birds go free originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 11 Mar 2013 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Knights of Pen and Paper and Angry Birds go free

Kiwi offers Twitter-like browser for App dot Net

Echofon for Mac is no longer in development. TUAW’s Twitter Client Project surveys popular desktop alternatives in highly subjective reviews. Sometimes the answer to Twitter clients might be to just go find another service to socialize on. Many people are now turning to App dot Net as a social outlet. I admit that I’m still a Twitterholic, but on Victor’s request, I headed over to ADN for a couple of weeks of exploration and testing. There, I ran into Kiwi for Mac (US $9.99 ). Itself a refugee from Twitter’s somewhat developer-unfriendly new policies , the devs withdrew the original Kiwi Twitter client. They are focusing on providing a full-featured ADN client instead. I really like the visual look of Kiwi. It’s sparse and clean. The devs have made some really good layout choices. The icons are well-chosen and small touches like a global feed that can stay scrolled at the top (Prefs > General > Scrolling > Sticks to top when at top) show they listen to their users. I did, however, find the navigation more confusing than it had to be and encountered some bugs. This is a minor quibble, however. The buttons at the top of each screen are tied to the function being displayed. You can’t just treat the app as globally tabbed, which is what I initially expected. It’s a stack-based navigation browser, which keeps pushing new views. What makes this harder is that buttons at the top keep changing. The go-back button at some point switches to a personal profile button so if you just mechanically click (I did), you end up toggling back and forth between your home screen and some bit or another of your profile and never get anywhere. I think I would have preferred tabs overall so I wouldn’t have to keep searching for the global feed which came and went by screen. Also, when you click a… what do you call it? Not a tweet. A twapp? When you click a twapp, I’d rather it have opened up a drawer to show detail views. It bothered me that basic functionality choices came and went depending on the screen. And also that where you clicked on the twapp mattered about what view came next because there were no visual indicators that each twapp wasn’t a monolithic element apart from blue links. Kiwi experienced regular crashing during my tests, mostly when the app was idle. It’s still under active development and version 3.0.1 was just released. I have not had a chance to extensively test the new version. One of the biggest problems I had with ADN was its APIs. As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I’m wrong), you cannot search the global feed with arbitrary phrases. For this reason, Kiwi only offers searches for users, not content. I liked how Kiwi supported image posting (a must-have feature, in my opinion, for any client) but I discovered that the lag in processing the picture through img.ly didn’t mix well with typing. After requesting an image link, the client actually inserted the processed link as I was typing , so the link appeared like this. It was not what I was expecting. In the end, Kiwi seems to offer all the core functionality you need for App.net. I found it easy to read, reply to and favorite twapps. As for ADN itself, I’m still unconvinced on that front but I’m glad I gave it a whirl. Kiwi offers Twitter-like browser for App dot Net originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Kiwi offers Twitter-like browser for App dot Net