Barbara Larson

Barbara Larson

Net Neutrality is without question one of the most important principles in modern life. Whether you realize it or not, the idea that web services should be provided equally without preference to one type of traffic or another has been the cornerstone of the web as we know it. And the Trump administration is doing everything in its power to trample the principle.

In the latter Obama years, net neutrality came to be enshrined, at least in part, by the FCC. The Open Internet Order of 2015 reclassified internet service providers as “common carriers.” This came with stricter rules regarding how ISPs handled internet traffic. It protected user privacy and forbade companies from prioritizing traffic from specific sites or services.


The current chairman of the FCC and Trump appointee, Ajit Pai, announced his plan to upend the Open Internet Order. Pai will hold a meeting to look re-examine parts of the order. First, Pai will push for reclassification of ISPs, removing the common carrier requirements, then the FCC will take a look and at provisions that prohibit ISPs from throttling traffic to their competitors, for instance.

That last bit is particularly concerning because internet service providers, particularly in the United States, have built themselves into tremendous companies wielding broad and dangerous power. Comcast, for instance, is part of the same mega-corporation that controls NBC and Universal. Already you can see a problem — Comcast provides internet and cable services, and without strict rules governing how Comcast handles consumer internet traffic or cable accessibility, there’s little to stop them from making competitors’ movies and television shows harder or more expensive to access.


We’ve already seen this happen a few times. Netflix was notably throttled until it agreed to pay more to have its traffic given priority. This kind of practice is the same that created the type of mega-monopolies of the gilded age. Rail companies, having few regulations, would often charge farmers more to send their goods to market than they were worth. That led to insane concentrations of wealth and many of the worst social disasters in history — not to mention countless anti-trust laws. As a global society, we’ve already learned this lesson, or at least we should have.


Now the internet faces its greatest existential threat. The US internet is already among the worst in the industrialized world, and it’s precisely because ISPs have had unchecked growth. As a result, there’s often only one high-speed company operating in any given city. Internet service providers have diced up the country to reduce consumer choice. No choice means no competition which leads to higher prices and lower quality for everyone. That’s one of the many reasons Comcast and pals’ customer service is so terrible — they know you don’t have a choice.


To be fair, ISPs are at least partially right. Having more than one major service company working in an area can cause a lot of redundancy regarding basic infrastructure. Typically services like this are what’s known as natural monopolies. Things like power companies or other utilities are common examples. And these are special cases where it doesn’t make sense to have lots of competition. Imagine having five different power lines running to your house so you could switch providers whenever you wanted — the costs would be higher because that system has lots of excess.

That said, the internet is something that most people aren’t comfortable trusting to just one entity — and for good reason. The ability to control information or gather data on users is unsettling. And that’s precisely why the FCC filed the Open Internet Order. It simply doesn’t make sense for us to allow companies to have unchecked power over the market. These sorts of systems aren’t just anti-consumer, they’re anti-capitalist, and they only serve to further support the wealthy and help entrench a fundamentally broken system.

Doom and gloom aside, Ajit Pai’s proposal could also just make your browsing experience suck a lot more. As Ars Technica reports, before 2015, services like video streaming could often be unstable — the companies that carried the signals would always have to work out an exchange when the signal left systems owned by one company and transitioned to those of another. Classifying ISPs as common carriers got rid of that problem, requiring providers to leave all transmitted data essentially alone. So even if you don’t care about the fate of the internet or think I’m being melodramatic, your YouTube surfing is still about to get a lot more frustrating.

The one upside in all of this is that Tmobile customers and those who take advantage of data-free services that their providers offer will get to keep using them. Previously, the FCC was investigating whether or not allowing consumers to use Spotify, for example, without taking from their data cap qualified as a violation of Net Neutrality (it totally does, by the way). Now, Pai’s suspended that investigation. That’s nice for people like myself who use TMo, but it’s hardly worth everything else we may stand to lose.


Pai’s scheduled the initial meeting for May 18. If you’re so inclined to leave your thoughts, the FCC typically takes comments from the public on proposed rule changes. It’s also worth following closely as Pai will be unveiling more details as we get closer to the meeting. Regardless, hopefully, one day, we won’t still be stuck in this tired fight.

This article was  published on geek.com by DANIEL STARKEY

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 11:12

Google Drive Tips You Can't Afford to Miss

Raise your hand if you remember Writely. A four-person company called Upstartle launched the online-only word processor in August 2005, taking advantage of a then-new browser technology called AJAX. It allowed users to instantly save and retrieve content generated in the browser but stored on the server. And it worked so well that Google bought Upstartle less than a year later.

At the time, a product like Writely was unique (the software didn't come on a CD), but still considered a gamble. Pundit Om Malik said of the purchase, "Convincing the masses that their documents will be safe [online]...may be quite challenging, even if it's FREE!"

Fast forward to today. Google's online office suite of tools has done nothing but grow and improve. Now under the umbrella of Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), you'll find a file management and storage service as well as the various apps, which still get collectively called Google Docs, even by Google. The apps include: a word processor (sometimes simply called Docs: it's Writely, all grown up), spreadsheet (Sheets), presentations (Slides), drawing, and forms.


It's a full suite of tools that now takes on Microsoft's far more mature Office; in fact, Google Drive's very presence in the market arguable drove Microsoft to create its own Office Online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to work with its OneDrive storage/sync service.

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Businesses have the option of using G Suite (formerly Google Apps), a version of Google Drive with all the storage and tools, plus integration of Gmail, Calendar, Sites, and more under their own domain name; the price starts at $5 per user per month and come with 30GB of online storage. Nonprofits and schools can get it free.

Drive—an Editors' Choice and one of our few five-star products—is a serious set of tools for serious (or fun) work, all entirely free. But it pays to know more than just the basics. That's why we've put together these tips for how to get the most out of Google Drive. Share your own advice for fellow Drive-rs in the comments below.

Collaborate Well with Others


Collaborate Well With Others

The name of the game with Google Drive documents is "collaboration." It doesn't matter if you're all on desktop PCs or tablets or smartphones, more than one person at a time can work on a document—up to 50 simultaneously. To keep tabs on what your colleagues have done, you can view a revision history via File > See Revision History or by clicking the link next to "Help" on the top menu (it might say "All changes saved in Drive" or "Last edit made by X 10 minutes ago"). A list on the right side will show you who updated the doc and when; click their name to see what they did.


Revise Like in MS Word

Revise Like in MS Word

What if you want the revisions to look more like they do when you track changes in a Microsoft Word document? Docs supports a feature called Suggest Edits. Click the Editing button (with the pencil icon) up by the Comments and Share buttons. You'll get a menu that lets you edit, suggest edits (with visible tracked changes), or viewing so you can see the final doc.

Seek Out a Collaborator

Seek Out a Collaborator

There are a lot of documents to keep track of. If you can't remember the name of the one you want, but you can remember who shared it with you, click on Shared with Me in the left menu of Google Drive. You'll get a list of all the documents you share access to. If the list is too long to parse, type the collaborator's name in the search field at the top to narrow down the choices.
Make a Document Public

Make a Document Public

To be part of the collaboration, the document has to be shared. The limit is 200 people, but if more than 50 collaborators try to edit a document, the late-comers can only view the changes. 

The owner(s) of the document can set who has edit privileges. But to avoid a hassle, you can also just make a document public. Click the "Share" button on the top right > Advanced > and "Change" under "Who has access." Note that public documents are made available to search engines... and Google happens to own one of those, too.

Set an Access Level

Set an Access Level


When you do all this document sharing, you might think everyone is equal. Not so. There are four levels of document access. Owners can do anything to the file—even delete it—and invite more collaborators. Editors can of course edit, but only invite more collaborators if the Owner allows it. Viewers get to see what's going on. Commenters can see it, plus leave comments on it. Viewers and Commenters can also make copies of documents, so don't think of them as "secure."

Communicate While Collaborating

Communicate While Collaborating

It's nice that Google Drive shows your fellow document collaborators in the upper-right corner as you work. But what if you want to talk to them about something regarding that shared doc? You can launch other windows and IM with a Google Hangout, or even send email—but that's a pain. If you click the little word balloon icon, it creates an instant chat that's just for that document. Like IMs, it comes complete with smileys.


Embrace Add-Ons

Embrace Add-Ons

There are a slew of add-ons that can expand the functionality you already get for free in Docs and Sheets. You can find them or activate them by clicking the Add-ons menu when editing a document. Among the best: Avery Label Merge, for importing addresses from Sheets into Docs for mail-merge print jobs; EasyBib for creating bibliographies and citations; Gliffy for inserting diagrams and flowcharts; and Table of Contents for quick creation of a clickable ToC to use for navigation.
Hug it Out With Apps

Hug it Out With Apps

Not to be confused with Add-ons, there are also a number of Google Drive apps—entirely new web-based applications you can link to your Google Drive and take advantage of. There's some overlap with the add-ons—you probably don't need the HelloFax app and add-on. But the apps, found in the Chrome Web Store, make it easy to do some extra editing elsewhere. For example, toss images over to PicMonkey or Pixlr Express, convert files to any format with CloudConvert, and sign documents with DocuSign.

Upload via Drag and Drop


Google Drive has a big "New" button on the interface, for creating new files. It's also what you click to go through the steps of uploading a file or folder (left). Skip that part—drag files from Windows Explorer or the macOS Finder right into Google Drive list of file. At the bottom of the browser screen, you'll see cloud with an up arrow to indicate you can let go of the file you're dragging to drop it right into Drive.
Quick Creation Links

Quick Creation Links

If you want to quickly create a new doc, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing, you can add the following links to your browser's bookmark bar for easy access:

      Or hit Shift + D for a new Doc, Shift + S for a new Sheet, and Shift + P for a new Slide presentation.

Use Drive Like Dropbox


Use Drive Like Dropbox

Dropbox is a popular sync service that makes sure when you edit a file in one place, that edited file shows up on every other PC where you have Dropbox installed. Plus you can access the files online or via mobile apps. 


Google Drive does exactly the same thing—and it works with any kind of document, not just Docs, Sheets, and Slides files. Best of all, you get that instant access to edit the files with a double-click, as if they're regular offline word processor docs (but the click launches the file in Google Drive in your browser). This requires installing the Drive program that runs constantly in the background of the PC to sync files for you.

Remember, if you sync a lot of files—like space-consuming video and photos—you may need to pay for extra storage through Google. But the cost is low: on top of the 15GB you already get free, the price starts at $1.99 a month for 100GB. Even a terabyte is only $10 a month.


Access Drive Files Offline


Access Drive Files Offline

You typically access files stored on Google Drive when your browser is connected to the internet. You can always use Google Drive like Dropbox to have all your files also on your hard drive, but this option puts that function on just one PC: install Google Docs Offline on the Chrome browser, then go to Google Drive settings. Check the box next to "Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so you can edit offline." Note this only works with Google Chrome.


If you want to work with a file on your smartphone but don't have internet access, set up the file to be available offline ahead of time. Open a file in Docs, Slides, or Sheets, click the three-dot menu at the upper right, and toggle the switch next to "Available Offline." Next time you go online, any changes you've made will sync again with Google Drive.

Use Drive Like Evernote

Use Drive Like Evernote

Evernote is the best repository online for all your stuff. But you can use Google Drive in a similar fashion. There's a Google Chrome extension called Save to Google Drive that acts somewhat like the Evernote Web Clipper, making it a breeze to save almost anything to see online to a folder on Google Drive. There are some caveats, though. You can't really save just the good text parts of a page—you can only save a view of it as a PNG file, the entire HTML source code, or save it as a Google document (which will throw the formatting off). Right-click an image and you can save just that. This extension is a fun option, but for serious saving of info, stick with Evernote or OneNote.

Direct Share Docs via Gmail

Direct Share Docs via Gmail

If you use Gmail and Google Drive, you're in luck: you never need to attach a document ever again. That means you'll never run into that 25MB attachment limit—instead you can send up to 10 Gigabytes worth of files. Of course, the files have to be uploaded to Google Drive storage. Insert the files into a Gmail message with a click of the Google Drive triangle icon at the bottom of a message composition screen. If the files are still on your hard drive, the Upload tab makes it easy to drag and drop them for quick upload and insert.

Use Separate Mobile Apps for Editing

Use Separate Mobile Apps for Editing


Google has offered a Drive app for iOS and Android for a long time, but the file editing was a mixed bag. Google ultimately moved the editing to completely new apps, one for Docs (iOSAndroid), Sheets (iOSAndroid) and Slides (iOS , Android ). The Drive app lives on to provide access and viewing of stored files; when you need to edit, it'll shunt you over to one of the other apps. 

Convert to Google Docs Format

Convert to Google Docs Format

There are a lot of files in the world, and you can upload any of them to Google Drive for storage. But what about working with them after they're uploaded? Converting a file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides format is pretty easy: upload the file, right-click and select "Open with." A sub-menu of choices will appear with options that let you change, for example, a Word doc into a Google Docs format. It'll create a copy, leaving your old file intact.

OCR Images/PDFs into Text

OCR Images/PDFs into Text

If you want every item you upload on the desktop—even PDFs—to convert to text you can edit as a Google Doc, you can. In a desktop browser, go to the Settings menu (the gear icon) and check the box next to Convert Uploads. File uploads may take a little longer, but it's worth it. You'll end up with a Google Doc that has the image inserted and editable text below.

Scan with the Mobile App

Scan with the Mobile App

One unique feature of the Google Drive mobile app (not in the separate Docs and Sheets apps) is the ability to upload a picture. Why would you do that? The words in the image are scanned by Google and become searchable text. It's great for taking a picture of a recipe, menu, store hours—anything you'd need to find later, but don't want to retype. (The iOS app doesn't make the text editable with OCR however—that only works from the desktop or from Android.)

Collect Data From Others

Collect Data From Others

One app in the Google Drive collective that doesn't get a lot of attention is Forms, but it's a handy one. Think of it as your own personal SurveyMonkey. You set up a poll, survey, what-have-you, and share it. The data that's collected is inserted into a Sheets spreadsheet file. Forms are just as collaborative to build as any document. Forms support progress bars to show respondents how long they have to go, images, and YouTube videos.

Draw in Docs

Draw in Docs

The Drawings app in Google Drive doesn't replace the late Piknik image-editing web app that Google killed—it's not really for photo editing. But it can be used to whip up some graphics. If you need some of that image creativity in a document, you have it. Go to the Insert menu in Docs, Sheets, or Slides and select Drawing—you'll get a scaled back version of the Drawing app that makes it a breeze to include your art. (Strangely, however, you can't insert a drawing you've already created and saved in Google Drive.)

Go Full Screen (Twice)

Go Full Screen (Twice)

You can typically set a browser to full screen, hiding all the menus and toolbars, by clicking F11. In Google Drive, your apps can also be set to go full screen again, eliminating the app menus and toolbars at the top. Just select the Full Screen option in the view menu. It's a fast way to create a distraction-free writing screen in Docs. To get out of it, hit the Esc key.

Research Pane Finds More

Research Pane Finds More

When you've got a head of steam on a project and limited screen real estate, the last thing you want to do is leave the page to do a search. The research pane (accessible in Docs only) gets around that, providing a way to search the web for research. Click Tools > Explore (or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I) to access it. Best of all, it makes it easy to insert a footnote citation in your document that links to the results. Use Ctrl+Shift+Y when your cursor is on a certain word and the pane shows the definition.

View Every Single Shortcut

View Every Single Shortcut


Embrace keyboard shortcuts and you'll be a Google Drive god. Except what are they and how do you find them? No matter what Drive app you're in, even in the main Google Drive page, just type Ctrl+/ and the shortcut menu will reveal every keyboard option available.

Put Drive on the Windows 'Send To' Menu

Put Drive on the Windows 'Send To' Menu

This one only works if you've got Google Drive installed on Windows. Open Windows Explorer and paste in %APPDATA%/Microsoft/Windows/SendTo, which opens the SendTo folder. 

If you're on Windows 10, right-click on Google Drive in the Quick Access section. If you're on Windows 7, open Windows Explorer and search for Google Drive. Then drag that file to the SendTo folder. 

Then, whenever you right-click a file in Windows, find the SendTo section and you'll have the option to send it directly to Google Drive.

Insert Links With Search

Insert Links With Search

It's easy to insert a link in a Google Doc. Select the text, click the chain icon or hit Ctrl-K, and a menu pops up where you can paste the URL. But if you don't already have a URL for the link, Google will find one for you, since Google search is built in. It will search first on the term you've highlighted. If that doesn't work, put in different search query—it won't change the text of the document. Once you find a link you like, click it to insert instantly.

Translate on the Fly

Translate on the Fly

Got a document in a foreign language? Upload it to Google Drive, open it (as a Google Doc), click Tools, then Translate Document. You'll get a duplicate doc in your preferred language.

Use the Web Clipboard

Use the Web Clipboard

When you copy and paste in Windows or the Mac, you generally get one item stored in the clipboard. With Google Drive, there's a special shared Web Clipboard that holds multiple items. In a Doc, for example, select something, go to Edit > Web Clipboard > Clip Selection to Web Clipboard. Then you can use it in other Docs or Slides or Drawings (it doesn't work in Sheets). Save a bunch of items you need to copy/paste, and then go back into Web Clipboard to Clear All when you're done.


Voice Type in Docs

Open up a brand new blank Google Doc file for word processing on the desktop, and if your computer has a microphone, you have the option to do Voice Typing. If it doesn't come up automatically, you'll find it in the tools menu. It puts a microphone icon next to the document—click on it to speak, and what you say appears in the doc. The microphone icon pulses when it hears you. 

No one is going to say it's exactly Dragon-speech capable as yet, but Google's done a lot to perfect voice recognition and dictation over the last few years. And this works pretty great. Not only for writing down what you say (including basic punctuation: say "period" when you end a sentence for example) but also for making corrections and formatting changes via voice, and navigating around the document without touching a mouse. The list of supported languages goes far beyond just US English, as well. It will, however, censor your cursing with asterisks—you'll need to retype that bull**** later.

Perfect Your File Search

Perfect Your File Search

Looking for a specific file or doc in Google Drive? Google's got the search stuff down, so it's usually easy. But if you need to do an advanced search, you can open the options to do so with the down arrow in the search box. From there, you can search on the file type, the owner, if it's starred or trashed, when it was last modified, who it's shared with, and more.



Better yet is the upgrade to use Natural Language Processing when you search Drive. That means you can skip the esoteric search operators and try something like "find my sales meeting minutes from last July."

Colorize the Folders

Colorize the Folders

It helps to keep folders in order, but sometimes you just want your eye drawn to the most used folders by, say, a color choice. Google Drive offers that option, with a rainbow of choices. Right-click any folder and select Change Color to get the menu.

Get a new Outlook

Get a new Outlook

If you use Outlook.com or the Outlook app for iOS or Android, you're not limited to just using Microsoft OneDrive for accessing in-the-cloud files. You can also get them from Dropbox, Box, Facebook, and yes, Google Drive as well.


This article was  published in yahoo.com by ERIC GRIFFITH

It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director

As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.


2. Supervisory Attorney

Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

3. Senior Medical Writer

Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.


4. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

5. Director of Quality Improvement

Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.


6. Senior Software Engineer

It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

7. Director of Business Development

As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.


8. Research Biologist

One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

This article was originally published in Lifehack.org by Matt Duczeminski

Key hires indicate a new push into space

Apple looks like it’s staffing up an internal hardware team responsible for satellite internet delivery, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company just hired Alphabet’s John Fenwick, who was Google’s head of spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, Fenwick’s colleague and head of satellite engineering, to be part of a new team under Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy. Apple hired Duffy, who himself left Alphabet in 2015 shortly after Nest acquired Dropcam, earlier this year for an undisclosed position.



It’s unclear what exactly Duffy’s unit is working on, but Fenwick and Trela’s expertise in the satellite business seems to suggest the company is looking into internet delivery. Fenwick was the co-founder of SkyBox Imaging, a satellite company Google acquired in 2014 and later sold to competitor Planet Labs back in February of this year. Another big name in the satellite business, Greg Wyler, left Google back in 2014 to work with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Google ultimately invested $1 billion alongside Fidelity in the space transportation company it appears in lieu of building out its own division.

So it’s clear the general winding down of satellite work at Google has pushed some of its in-house talent to competitors, but Apple is still a peculiar pick given its nonexistent track record in the satellite space. Both Facebook and Alphabet are the biggest players in the tech industry when it comes to delivering internet over the air, with Facebook working on solar-powered drones and Alphabet having shifted its resources from satellites and drones of its own to its hot-air balloon project Loon and Google Fiber unit.

But telecom consultant Tim Farrar wrote last month that Apple is funding a Boeing effort to deliver internet using a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites. Duffy’s role at Apple working under Dan Riccio, who oversees Apple’s consumer hardware teams, also suggests Apple could be building some of this tech itself, according to Bloomberg. While what the iPhone maker is up to is all very murky right now, it’s clear CEO Tim Cook has gotten serious about looking beyond smartphones and other consumer electronics and into more forward-looking industries like satellite internet and self-driving cars.

Source : theverge.com

ROME: In a potentially landmark case, an Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.

In a ruling handed down on April 11 but only made public on Thursday, the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.

The ruling is subject to a possible appeal.

Roberto Romeo, 57, had testified that his work duties obliged him to use his mobile for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years.

“For the first time in the world, a court has recognised a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumour,” his lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio said in a statement.


Romeo said he did not want to demonise mobiles, “but I believe we have to be more aware about how to use them.

“I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organise work — for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car.

“I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumour was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve.”

A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23 percent of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of 500 euros per month to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance scheme covering workplace accidents.

Scientific studies of the potential health risks of mobile phones have mostly concluded that they pose no serious risk to human health at the level of most people’s use.

Heavier use may pose some risk, other studies have found, and many experts say it is too early to do a proper assessment of what is a relatively new technology.

Source : arynews.tv

Adobe has a tendency to show early demos of the technologies it’s working on but isn’t quite ready to launch publicly. The latest of these is a selfie app from Adobe Research the company outed on its YouTube channel earlier today.

The iOS app, which doesn’t currently have a name as far as we can see, uses a number of the machine learning smarts the company has developed over the last few years and then applies them to selfies (or mobile portraits, as Adobe likes to call them).

Adobe previously demoed quite a few of the features that are available in the app, including the ability to turn 2D selfies into (limited) 3D models so you can change the tilt of your head a bit, for example. The app also uses Adobe’s liquify filter to smooth lines or make it look as if the photo was taken from a different distance. The app also lets you automatically blur the background to mimic the depth-of-field blur you would get from an expensive DSLR.

The most interesting feature, though, is likely the ability to look for photos that mimic the look and feel of what you’re going for with your selfie and then Adobe’s machine learning-powered tools will automatically try to apply that look to your “mobile portrait.” In machine-learning speak, that’s called “style transfer.”


Those features aren’t all new, but previous demos mostly ran on the desktop and this is the first time the company has shown how they could be used together in a single mobile app.

As usual, it’s not clear when (or if) Adobe plans to launch this new app to the public. The demo makes it look like a product that’s ready for release, but that’s the point of the demo, of course. For the most part, today’s video is surely meant to raise awareness of Adobe’s Sensei AI platform, but my guess is that there’s a real product hidden behind here that we’ll see outside of the Photoshop world.

Here is the official statement from Adobe about its future release plans: “Sneaking glimpses of new technology is something we do from time to time to showcase the amazing innovation that Adobe engineers come up with. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on future developments of Creative Cloud products as they’re available.”

Source : techcrunch.com

The Galaxy S8 was supposed to be Samsung’s first flagship to sport a dual lens camera like the iPhone 7 Plus, at least, according to a few reports from earlier this year. But Samsung ditched those plans because it had to reposition the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. Now, a report from a source with a terrific track record indicates that the Galaxy Note 8 will get a dual lens camera that’s currently missing from Samsung’s new S8 and S8+.

In a research note seen by 9to5Google, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the Galaxy Note 8 will be Samsung’s first dual-camera handset.


The “Note 8’s dual-camera will be much better than that of iPhone 7 Plus, and likely match that of OLED iPhone,” the analyst wrote. He said that the camera will be the Galaxy Note 8’s most significant update, apart from the Infinity Display design we’re all expecting. The camera will offer 3x optical zoom, 12MP wide-angle CIS (correction image space), dual photodiode (2PD) support, 13MP telephoto CIS, dual 6P lenses and dual OIS (optical image stabilization).

The Galaxy Note 8 will reportedly pack a 6.4-inch OLED display with QHD+ resolution, an Exynos 8895 or Snapdragon 835 chip depending on region, and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Apparently, Samsung won’t be able to perfect technology that would let it embed the sensor into the display — that was the original plan for the Galaxy S8 series as well.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 8’s rear camera is tipped to have a vertical orientation, with each lens expected to offer OIS. According to a recent report, Apple is also looking to integrate the fingerprint sensor into the display, but the process is challenging and might delay the phone’s release.

Source : bgr.com


When it comes to online advertising, the search engine giant Google has completely taken the world by storm. Now if you want to research, learn, watch, buy etc. everyone immediately goes to Google with the power of the entire internet shown instantly. Currently over 40,000+ people search on Google every second; and now with the power of Google AdWords, businesses of any size are able to market themselves and appear at the fore-front of these searches.

Over the last five to six years the search engine has grown at a tremendous scale, Google AdWords is the biggest source of revenue and profits for Google currently. Previously companies used to promote themselves via flyers, newspaper and radio ads; now, it has changed. People want to do background checks and research more about companies/services online - giving rise to Google AdWords. Previously the ratio of advertising spend was 80-90% offline media, this has gone into a complete reverse with businesses now hardly spending any marketing on outdoor and print media - now solely pushing to online advertising.


Whether companies are looking at generally more visibility or getting more sales & the phone ringing, Google AdWords has become the source of all businesses desires for growth. With the power to target customers locally and internationally in any country across the globe, Google AdWords allows businesses to target the right people exactly when their customers are looking for them. Saving the best for last, you only pay Google when you get results! Meaning only when someone actually clicks on your ad do you pay, you can start with any budget and work your way up depending on the success you see from your advertising.

In-order to help companies to manage their Google AdWords In Dubai they've introduced a program called 'Google Partners'. Google Partners are agencies with online marketing experts, certified by Google, to completely run AdWords campaigns.

As leading business consultants based out of Dubai, Be Unique Group has grown to become one of the fastest emerging agencies in Dubai, UAE. Regarded by businesses as "marketing experts" they've proudly become recognized by Google as one of the top Google Partner Agencies in the Middle East.

Specializing in maximizing profits whilst reducing costs for specifically small to medium sized businesses, today Be Unique Group has officially opened two offices simultaneously in both Abu Dhabi, UAE and New York City USA to cope with expansion.

Quote from Be Unique Group Director, Ali Soudi:

"It's been a true pleasure working with businesses from completely different industries to promote them online. There is no greater feeling seeing the power online advertising can do for businesses. Being initially formed in 2009 we strive to exceed our clients' expectations every single day.

Primarily majority of our clients come to us from recommendations and referrals and as long as we always continue to deliver on our word, every-time, we will continue to expand. We're very grateful for this honor from Google to be considered a Google Premier Partner Agency."

Ali Soudi, Director, Be Unique Group.



Contact: Ali Soudi | +971-50-948-5505, +971-4-380-5077

SOURCE Be Unique Group

Source : prnewswire.com


Netflix has completely transformed the way we watch and enjoy TV, a feat made all the more remarkable given that the streaming giant was nothing more than a purveyor of DVDs by mail just a few years ago. These days, Netflix is churning out content faster than most people can keep up with. In April alone, Netflix has plans to roll out 25 new original programs, including a highly anticipated new stand-up special from Louis C.K. And in case you missed it, Netflix late last week rolled out 13 Reasons Why, a gripping drama based on the book of the same name that has already garnered a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now if this all old news to you and you fancy yourself something of a Netflix connoisseur, we’ve put together a long list of Netflix tips and tricks to help you take your game to the next level. So whether you’re curious about exploring some of Netflix’s hidden subcategories or are interested in exploring new Netflix features before they roll out to the masses, we’ve got you covered. So as much as it pains me to say it, now might be a good time to pause whatever you’re currently watching and check out some of the coolest Netflix features lurking right beneath the site’s surface.


Secret Netflix codes and hidden subcategories

With Netflix doubling down on original content, not to mention the fact that the list of available content is constantly changing on a monthly basis, figuring out what to watch next can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. While Netflix in recent months has made it much easier to search for content across genres and sub-genres, there are tons of secret Netflix codes you can use to really explore the full breadth of Netflix’s content library.

Here’s how it all works.

Every genre of content in the Netflix library has its own unique code. So, for example, the following URL http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/6839 will take you to Netflix’s documentary page as 6839 is the code Netflix uses for documentaries. Seems simple enough, but if you start playing around with different numerical strings, you can really start having some fun.

An unofficial list of genre codes can be found over here. It’s a long list, but if you’re looking for something completely random, such as a list of critically acclaimed feel-good movies from the 1980s or Exciting Japanese movies, you can use the codes from the list above to really make your search for new content much more efficient. As a quick example, the list above relays that the special code for “British Independent Crime Movies” is 2962. That being the case, you can access films that fall under that category by going to http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/2962.


Manage your data usage when viewing from a mobile device

Given how popular Netflix on mobile is, you might want to be aware of an app setting which can let you choose how much data you want to use per hour of programming. To do so, open up your Netflix app and go to App Settings > Cellular Data usage. Here, users can opt to have their streaming quality set automatically or pick between low and high. As laid out by Netflix, here’s how different video quality settings can impact your data usage.

  • Low: 4 hours per GB of data
  • Medium: 2 hours per GB of data
  • High: 1 hour per GB of data

Request your favorite movies and TV shows

If you have a particular movie or TV show that you’d like to become available, Netflix not only allows user suggestions, it encourages it. If you’d like to make a request, you can do so by checking out this page on Netflix’s website. A request is obviously no guarantee that Netflix will grant you your wish, but it certainly never hurts to try.

Download shows for offline viewing

Netflix was slow to roll out this feature, but we’re definitely glad that it’s finally here. If you’re headed on a trip or simply want to have some content at the ready in case you get stuck in a place with limited reception, Netflix will let you download certain programs to your device for later viewing.


To see what shows are available, go to the Netflix menu on your mobile device and select “Available for Download.” You’ll be taken to a page where you can search for a particular title or simply scroll through a list of recommended programs.

There are two points worth adding: One, the number of devices under your account that can have downloaded content concurrently may be limited by the type of Netflix subscription you have. Two, if you want to delete all of your downloaded Netflix content in one fell swoop, you can go to Menu > App Settings > Delete all downloads.

Save storage space when downloading shows

If space is a premium on your device, or if you simply want to shorten your download times, you can opt to download shows in either standard def or HD. To toggle between these two settings, go to App Settings > Video quality. To be fair, standard definition video on a screen as small as the iPhone isn’t too shabby so you might want to avoid HD downloads unless you’ve got the space and bandwidth to spare.

See or delete everything you’ve ever watched or rated

If you ever have a need to browse through your entire Netflix viewing history, you can simply check out Netflix’s My Activity page here. Aside from taking a bizarre trip down memory lane, the feature is a godsend if, for example, you’re trying to remember the name of a documentary you watched 4 years ago whose title you can’t remember.

To see a list of the shows you’ve given ratings to before, simply go to the My Activity page linked above and hit the “Rating” option on the right-hand side of the page.

Bonus tip: You can delete select titles from your viewing history simply by hitting the ‘x’ to the right of each listing

Check if anyone is using your account without permission

It’s pretty common for users of various streaming sites to share passwords, but sometimes you never know just how far a shared password of yours has travelled. That said, if you want to check in on where your account is being used, or even if you just want to make sure you haven’t been hacked, you can check out a list of all the IPs that logged into your account via Netflix’s Recent Account Access page. You’ll also see information about the city where each login originated and which logins came via a desktop computer, a mobile device or a set-top box.


Play Netflix Roulette

If you’re bad at making decisions or simply want to have a little fun and dance with the devil, you might want to play a little Netflix Roulette. As the name implies, the website (which is not affiliated with Netflix) spits out a random movie or TV show once a user inputs a specific genre and a desired ratings range. You can also filter on keywords such as a specific actor’s name.

Test new Netflix features before they become available to everyone

Netflix is a big fan of A/B testing and the company is always experimenting with new layouts, recommendation algorithms and more. If you wanna get in on this, go to your Account page and then scroll all the way down to the bottom and select “Test Participation.” As Netflix describes it, toggling this feature on will enable users to “help improve the Netflix experience and see potential changes before they are available to all members.”

Kick any moochers off your account

If you forgot to log off of a particular device, you can kick all signed-in accounts off-line with a single, swift blow. To do so, go to your Account section and then select “Sign out of all devices” located in the Settings portion of the page.

Change how Subtitles appear

If you ever happen to watch a show with subtitles (subtext: watch Narcos), you can change the way subtitles appear on the screen. It may sound trivial, but if you’re reading quite a bit during a program, you may have strong feelings as to whether or not the translated text appears in white or yellow. To get things just to your liking, head on over to Netflix’s Subtitle Appearance section.

Source: bgr.com

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 12:27

Eleven habits of mentally strong people

Travis Bradberry says mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd by seeing barriers as challenges to overcome. He lists some strategies we can all use to develop our mental strength.

We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental strength is tested. It might be a difficult friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship.

Whatever the challenge, you have to be strong, see things through a new lens, and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully.


It sounds easy. We all want good friends, good jobs, and good relationships.

But it isn’t. It’s hard to be mentally strong, especially when you feel stuck. The ability to break the mold and take a bold new direction requires that extra grit, daring, and spunk that only the mentally strongest people have.

It’s fascinating how mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome. There are habits you can develop to improve your mental strength. In fact, the hallmarks of mentally strong people are actually strategies that you can begin using today.

They’re emotionally intelligent:

Emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of mental strength. You cannot be mentally strong without the ability to fully understand and tolerate strong negative emotions and do something productive with them. Moments that test your mental strength are ultimately testing your emotional intelligence (EQ).

Unfortunately EQ skills are in short supply. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people, and we’ve found that just 36 per cent of these are able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen.

They’re confident:

Mentally strong people subscribe to the notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed. A recent study at the University of Melbourne showed that confident people went on to earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than others did.

Fuel chaos

True confidence — as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities — has a look all its own. Mentally strong people have an upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because their confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.

They say no:

Research conducted at UC Berkeley showed that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Mentally strong people know that saying no is healthy, and they have the self-esteem and foresight to make their ‘nos’ clear.

When it’s time to say no, mentally strong people avoid phrases such as: “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” They say no with confidence because they know that saying no to a new commitment honours their existing commitments and gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

They neutralise difficult people:

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. Mentally strong people control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check.

When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find common ground and solutions to problems.

Even when things completely derail, mentally strong people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

They embrace change:

Mentally strong people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralysing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

Only when you embrace change can you find the good in it. You need to have an open mind and open arms if you’re going to recognise, and capitalise on, the opportunities that change creates.


They embrace failure:

Mentally strong people embrace failure because they know that the road to success is paved with it. No one ever experienced true success without first embracing failure. By revealing when you’re on the wrong path, your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed.

The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box, and to see the solution that you’ve been missing.

Yet, they don't dwell on mistakes:

Mentally strong people know that where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance.

When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy, which produces positive emotions and improves performance.

They don't compare themselves to others:

Toxic proteins

Mentally strong people don’t pass judgment on other people because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves.

Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Jealousy and resentment suck the life out of you. Mentally strong people don’t waste time or energy sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up. Instead of wasting your energy on jealousy, funnel that energy into appreciation.

They exercise:

A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more socially, intellectually, and athletically competent. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher.

Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, which is key to mental strength, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.


They get enough sleep:

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your mental strength. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you're awake.

Your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep, so when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think — something no amount of caffeine can fix.

They’re relentlessly positive:

Keep your eyes on the news for any length of time, and you’ll see that it’s just one endless cycle of war, violent attacks, fragile economies, failing companies, and environmental disasters.

It’s easy to think the world is headed downhill fast. And who knows? Maybe it is. But mentally strong people don’t worry about that because they don’t get caught up in things they can’t control.

Instead of trying to start a revolution overnight, they focus their energy on directing the two things that are completely within their power — their attention and their effort.

Mental strength is not an innate quality bestowed upon a select few. It can be achieved and enjoyed.

*Travis Bradberry is the co-founder of TalentSmart, a provider of emotional intelligence tests, emotional intelligence training, and emotional intelligence certification.

This article first appeared on the TalentSmart website.

Source : psnews.com.au

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