Technology http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8130/all en-US How to Start Saving Money With Skype: A Beginner's Guide http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-saving-money-with-skype-a-beginners-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-start-saving-money-with-skype-a-beginners-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-skype-users-605.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><i>Sponsored&nbsp;by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_get_started_with_skype"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <p>Skype is free software that allows you to call other Skype users, landlines, and mobile phones around the world. While known for making computer-to-computer calls, Skype can now be installed on your computer, on your smartphone or tablet, your smart TV, and even on your Xbox One. That means you can make calls to friends and family around the world from almost any device.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how to get started using Skype.</p> <h2>Step 1: Sign Up for a Skype Account</h2> <p>Go to <a href="http://www.skype.com">skype.com</a>, and click on the &ldquo;Join Us&rdquo; link in the upper-right corner. On this page, you can use an existing Microsoft account, set up a new Microsoft account, or connect with your Facebook account.</p> <p>Your Skype username will be unique to you &mdash; like an email address, but for making online calls. Whether you are using Skype on a computer, on your smartphone, or even on your TV, your Skype name is the identifier people use to find and contact you.</p> <h2>Step 2: Download the Skype Software</h2> <p>In order to make Skype calls, you&rsquo;ll need to download the Skype software on the device (or devices) you want to make the call on:</p> <ul> <li>On your computer, visit <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/">this page to download it for your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer</a>.</li> <li>Skype is also available as an app on your smartphone. Skype works on iPhones, Android phones, Blackberries, Nokia phones, and Windows Phones. The <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-mobile/">easiest way to install Skype on your phone is to visit the page linked here and enter your phone number</a>. Skype will send a text message to your phone with the download link.</li> <li>You can also install the Skype app on tablets, including iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, and Windows tablets. <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-tablet/">This page has specific instructions for each tablet</a>.</li> <li>Skype is even available for some TVs. That means you can connect with friends and family around the world with free video calls from the comfort of your living room. Here is a list of the <a href="http://www.skypeassets.com/content/dam/scom/pdf/Skype_TV_Models.pdf">hundreds of smart TV models that are ready for Skype</a>.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>Step 3: Adding Contacts to Your Skype Account</h2> <p>Now that you have your own account and have installed Skype on your preferred device, it&rsquo;s time to add contacts you&rsquo;d like to call.</p> <p>On the Skype software or app, look for the icon of a person with the plus sign:</p> <p><b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6354-987c-a787-d30b5532e098"><img width="32px;" height="32px;" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/l29jW0TRJTm0X6cwbsvzfmCDY1xdNLTy0rxh176f2aDM3koo9RrASo-JAJkGmP1-0zAzVxssrEgwp3asNIWM-J2P6ubuJZnycgO7VNwk2Uw4UiBZS3PhJAuG0Ifgohx3Ug" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa12131_a.png" /></b></p> <p>This icon will let you search for a contact. You can search for a friend using their Skype name, full name, or email address. Skype will search for the contact and offer a list of possible matches. If one of them is your friend, click on that person&rsquo;s name, and they will be added to your contact list.</p> <p>If you cannot find your friends, simply ask them for their Skype names. Because every Skype name is unique, it is the easiest way to find your friends and add them to your contact list.</p> <p><b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6355-1e2a-719e-f8c56705522f"><img width="200px;" height="280px;" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Za_MPXsNbk-KqHZUfiLPS0LKd5-kAa-jXwwWbYI8qs5-9TfaDK-ox4aSmk2AEziviQAb0M0H8yBBtP0Vk4o2TWYcgp1_dIo2eSY15qp37004SZGCX-ZCe21re16VpYrZg" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa3281_a.png" /></b></p> <p>You can also add landline and mobile phone numbers as contacts on Skype. See Step 5 below for details on how to add and call regular phone numbers.</p> <h2>Step 4: Using Skype for Chatting Via Text, Voice, or Video</h2> <p>Now comes the fun part of using Skype &mdash; actually talking to your friends and family.</p> <p>Because Wise Bread is a virtual company &mdash; meaning all dozen of us work from home &mdash; we rely on Skype to stay in contact. We chat with each other on Skype using text, voice calls, and video calls. We also send each other files and share screens using Skype.</p> <p>But let&rsquo;s start with the basics &mdash; text and voice chats using Skype.</p> <p>The most common way I use Skype is through text chat (also called &ldquo;instant messaging&rdquo;) with my colleagues.</p> <p>To initiate a chat, look for the name of the contact in your contact list or the list of recent conversations you&rsquo;ve had. If you&rsquo;re using Skype on your computer, the lists appear on the left side of the software.</p> <p><b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6355-54d2-e818-60f2951a6861"><img width="540px;" height="289px;" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UcKcwcgZeUHCyo9-L2uRPwLDmDxRyKFDfbu7GLtIA7C9XNvllzlTgK8yNxrO5_dgpmtJtIeWIiz_jxAJi0-npFmSp3Nj2J2ndnIKFiTA1TkTWTsOE2hE_OZIBPycfnLKXA" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa3271-a.png" /></b></p> <p>Click on the name of the contact, and you will be able to start typing in your message at the bottom of the right side window. You can also initiate a voice or video call by clicking on the &ldquo;Call&rdquo; or &ldquo;Video call&rdquo; buttons.</p> <p><b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6355-84ab-f471-b5cc25ba7308"><img width="540px;" height="123px;" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/pvYMk39WV31gYgseGshOj_DwVSGUhOwNGB7EKH7VUxIVRNgeByR3jKoMUL67HnSNHEG6ACeXCvVYhLScROusWNHh1YxnnKN1t4N6lRBr4uteQyXaPvjvOuiSwOL3JEPUUg" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa3271-b.png" /></b></p> <p>That&rsquo;s it!</p> <p>I use these features daily to talk to my coworkers, and I also use these features daily to talk to my friends on the other side of the country and to my cousins on the other side of the world.</p> <p>And remember when I mentioned that Skype is available on almost any device? I take advantage of that by keeping in contact with coworkers on my Android smartphone while standing in line at the supermarket or using my iPad while sitting in front of the TV in my living room. I love that Skype allows me to stay in contact even when I&rsquo;m not in front of my computer.</p> <div id="kamidarticle" class="ggnoads" style="text-align:center;"> <div id="kamidarticle-middle-content"><center></p> <!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><div style="width:300px; height:250px;" id="div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0"> <script type='text/javascript'> googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0'); }); </script></div> <p></center></div> </div> <h2>Step 5: Calling a Landline or Mobile Number From Skype</h2> <p>One of the cooler features of Skype is that it&rsquo;s not limited to making Skype-to-Skype calls. While I use Skype-to-Skype calls and instant messaging to stay in contact with my coworkers daily, I can also use Skype Credit to call regular landline or mobile phone numbers. This allows me (and my parents) to contact people who are not on Skype &mdash; meaning that I can call any cell phone or landline number around the world using Skype.</p> <p>For example, my mom (who lives in California) uses Skype Credit to call her aunt in Canada &mdash; which only costs 2.3 &cent; per minute (a small connection fee applies). <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_get_started_with_skype">Click here to view rates for calling various countries</a>.</p> <p>Before you can call landlines and mobile phone numbers, you&rsquo;ll need to purchase some Skype Credit. You can purchase packages for $10 or $25, and you can even set your account to automatically reload Skype Credit when you&rsquo;re out. (<a href="http://www.skype.com/go/store.buy.skypecredit/&lrm;">Click here to buy Skype Credit</a>.)</p> <p>To call a regular phone number using Skype, click on the phone icon in the app:</p> <p>&nbsp;<b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6355-affa-abba-e7a2afe243d9"><img width="226px;" height="90px;" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/jsKsCcuIIjRxDM5yWIYn3_NffF6DJUwFnke1MSR2uIAn5r7gX9KGK8H3BwKQB3k178r2POewdmtGBJzqSzkP2fK34s8OtEJB3xDPYjGcXp48ccKoqcztAgiUmEMsdOfOAg" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa20_a-e-i.png" /></b></p> <p>A dial pad will appear, and you can enter the regular phone number you want to call.</p> <p>&nbsp;<b style="font-weight:normal;" id="docs-internal-guid-e3c7f7e6-6355-d0b4-90f9-f50e46e4b960"><img width="563px;" height="318px;" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_3UMGH9_7b8B3uouoekn-XkcPN7qp1bgVeUmLTNF6lA18KAjUk9ZaxaKcOaa8vyhU3nmKAviVEVzcU8A1QzTfPMPBub1fBfBI7TTAJo0hlCJ9pUi11I4_jLK1Zur-iSHJA" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad); -webkit-transform: rotate(0.00rad);" alt="fa20_f.png" /></b></p> <p>If you regularly call the same number, you can also save the phone number on your contact list by clicking on the &ldquo;Add to Contacts&rdquo; button on the dial pad.</p> <p>My mom now regularly calls her aunt in Toronto and her siblings in Manila using the Skype app on her iPhone. Now that my parents are getting older, it makes me happy to know that she can talk to her family overseas on a regular basis without having to worry about the cost.</p> <p><i>Sponsored&nbsp;by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_get_started_with_skype"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i><i><br /> </i></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-saving-money-with-skype-a-beginners-guide" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Start Saving Money With Skype: A Beginner&#039;s Guide" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology Skype Credit Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:00:12 +0000 Greg Go 1134736 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Tools That Create Hours of Free Time a Week http://www.wisebread.com/9-tools-that-create-hours-of-free-time-a-week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-tools-that-create-hours-of-free-time-a-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tools-that-save-you-time-60.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_9_tools_that_create_hours_of_free_time"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <p>Most of us are busy <i>&mdash;</i> and probably busier than we&rsquo;d like to be. Between work, family, friends, staying healthy, and having fun, there&rsquo;s just so much to do! Thankfully, technology offers several great ways to save you time. In fact, not only do the tools below save you time, but they save you time on some of the tasks you probably like the least. Read on to discover how you can be saving hours a week.</p> <h3>1. Shoeboxed</h3> <p>While I love the idea of making my office paperless, I just don&rsquo;t have the time to scan every single important piece of paper that comes my way. That&rsquo;s why <a href="https://www.shoeboxed.com/">Shoeboxed</a> is so great. You can send off your documents (in a prepaid envelope), and the nice people at Shoeboxed will scan, categorize, and organize all of your documents for you. You can also shoot them online receipts and confirmations via email or through their app. That way, everything is gathered and organized for you in one place when you need it. No more panic time during tax season. It&rsquo;s time to go paperless!</p> <h3>2. Boomerang</h3> <p>Devoting time to email every day is part of life &mdash; and sometimes, even just managing and organizing your email can take up a significant portion of your work day. But what if you could cut down that time with a simple, easy-to-use tool that makes it easier to manage those emails?</p> <p>That&rsquo;s where <a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> comes in. Boomerang does a few things:</p> <ul> <li>If you need to send an email at a specific time, you can write an email now but schedule it to be sent later.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re not ready to deal with an email right now, you can have Boomerang send it back to you when you need it.</li> <li>If you&rsquo;re waiting on a response, you can set Boomerang to remind you if no one responds, so you never forget to follow up.</li> <li>You can schedule Boomerang to send you a email reminder for anything &mdash; birthdays, anniversaries, or dreaded bill due dates.</li> </ul> <p>There&rsquo;s no need to clutter up your inbox with emails that you can&rsquo;t do anything with just yet. Schedule a message with Boomerang, and you&rsquo;ll be reminded only when it matters.</p> <h3>3. Unroll.me</h3> <p>Email subscriptions can be useful &mdash; they can help you learn new things, save money on things you would normally buy, and keep you up-to-date on the world. But if you feel like it takes too much time to read all of these individual emails, <a href="https://unroll.me/">Unroll.me</a> can help &mdash; the service gathers up all your subscription emails into one daily message. Your subscription emails will be filed away, too, so they don&rsquo;t clutter up your inbox, and you still get a chance to read them through the daily digest.</p> <p>See anything in there no longer care to read? Unroll.me makes it easy to unsubscribe too.</p> <div style="text-align:center;" class="ggnoads" id="kamidarticle"> <div id="kamidarticle-middle-content"><center></p> <!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><div id="div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0" style="width:300px; height:250px;"> <script type='text/javascript'> googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0'); }); </script></div> <p></center></div> </div> <h3>4. Glympse</h3> <p>Ever have a meeting with someone, they&rsquo;re running late, and you&rsquo;re wondering where they are? How about if you&rsquo;re going out with a group, and you&rsquo;re separating for a while and need to meet up again at a designated spot? <a href="https://www.glympse.com/">Glympse</a> takes all the &ldquo;Where are you?&rdquo; and &ldquo;Be there in x minutes&rdquo; texts and calls away.</p> <p>Instead, Glympse allows you to share your location with anyone for a specific period of time. The people you&rsquo;re meeting up with can check your location using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can turn off the location share at any time, or it will just expire after the designated time.</p> <p>This is especially great if you&rsquo;re waiting for someone. If you can see that they&rsquo;re still a half-hour away, you have time to run errands or do other things that you need to do, instead of just waiting around doing nothing.</p> <h3>5. Swiftkey</h3> <p>If you own an Android phone and have ever felt frustrated because it takes so long to tap out a message, get <a href="http://www.swiftkey.net/en/">Swiftkey</a>! Instead of typing out each letter, Swiftkey allows you to flow from one letter to the next, letting you write whole phrases without lifting a finger. Even if you are slightly inaccurate, the app will correct it to the right word. It can even predict what you are going to write before you finish (by learning how you write).</p> <h3>6. Sleep Trackers</h3> <p>Sleep tracker apps help you get in touch with your circadian rhythm and make sure you&rsquo;re going to bed and waking up at optimal times. More efficient sleep means you don&rsquo;t waste time tossing and turning or feel groggy because you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle. Depending on which smartphone you have, you can find a good app that will track your movements and give you tips on when and how to sleep. Some of these apps also have added features of gentle alarms and sleep logs. Here&rsquo;s a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps">review we did on sleep tracker apps</a> earlier this year.</p> <h3>7. Evernote</h3> <p>Have you ever written down a great idea, then had to shuffle through piles of paper or flip all the way through an old notebook to find it again? It&rsquo;s a huge time waste.</p> <p>Now, imagine a notebook that contains all your notes for various projects, reminders, and ideas &mdash; even a journal. But the key to this notebook is that is searchable, and it&rsquo;s accessible from computer, tablet, or smartphone, and even shareable. That&rsquo;s <a href="https://evernote.com">Evernote</a>.</p> <p>You can put everything you need, from webpages to snapshots to text notes, all in one place. You can even record audio! You can place them in separate folders (or notebooks) &mdash; or not &mdash; it&rsquo;s all searchable anyway.</p> <h3>8. Skype</h3> <p>Skype is my favorite communication tool. I use it daily for work and at home. It&rsquo;s the simplest and cheapest way to stay in touch with friends and family, especially if they&rsquo;re out of the country. I love Skype&rsquo;s online status notifications, which tells you if the person you want to contact is available before you even call them.</p> <p>Skype video calls can save you a lot of time. Some things are just easier explained over a video call. You can use video calls to do anything from helping your husband pick out the best tie while on a business trip, to helping your hapless single friend decide if that three-day old meatloaf is still edible.</p> <p>Skype also offers <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_9_tools_that_create_hours_of_free_time">Skype Credit</a>, which allows you to use Skype to call mobile and landlines worldwide at low rates. Skype Credit&rsquo;s best time-saving features include:</p> <ul> <li>The ability to send SMS messages directly from your computer. This is great for us non-teenagers who prefer to type on keyboards instead of struggling with smartphones.</li> <li>Connect to Skype Wifi at over 2 million spots worldwide. You can conduct business while on the go without worrying about missing deadlines.</li> <li>Set up call forwarding to a mobile or landline of your choice, so you don&rsquo;t have to worry about missing any important calls from the office.</li> </ul> <h2>9. LastPass</h2> <p>How many times have you forgotten your password for a site you haven&rsquo;t visited in a while? This used to happen to me when I logged into my various financial accounts each month to pay my bills or access my statements. After trying several times, I&rsquo;d have to hit the &ldquo;reset password&rdquo; button, go into my email, click the link, and reset the password before I could get to what I needed to do. Even worse was when I maxed out the tries and had to make a phone call to unlock my account. Not only did it take time, but it totally derailed me from what I was doing. Now that I have <a href="https://lastpass.com/">LastPass</a>, however, that will never happen again.</p> <p>The best thing about LastPass is how easy it is. Just log in to an account, and LastPass will prompt you to save the password, which it keeps secure. You can also share passwords (without actually sharing the actual password) with someone else, if you need to give someone access to your accounts. Then delete them when you no longer want to share access.</p> <p>LastPass also has features that allow you to create secure notes and files, as well as create backups of your sensitive documents.</p> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_9_tools_that_create_hours_of_free_time"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-tools-that-create-hours-of-free-time-a-week" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Tools That Create Hours of Free Time a Week" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Productivity Technology Skype Credit Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:49:01 +0000 Lynn Truong 1134079 at http://www.wisebread.com Kids Going Abroad? 8 Ways to Stay In Touch Without Going Bankrupt http://www.wisebread.com/kids-going-abroad-8-ways-to-stay-in-touch-without-going-bankrupt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/kids-going-abroad-8-ways-to-stay-in-touch-without-going-bankrupt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids-going-abroad-605.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_8_ways_to_get_in_touch"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <p>Going abroad can be an excellent educational opportunity for teenagers and young adults. As a parent, you probably realize the benefit travel can bring to your kids, but you may also struggle with letting your young ones go so far away. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay connected with your children while they travel <i>&mdash; </i> often without breaking the bank.</p> <h3>Care Packages</h3> <p>Nothing says &ldquo;I love you&rdquo; like a care package filled with tangible comforts. Pack a box with your child&rsquo;s favorite local products that he may not be able to find in other countries. When I lived abroad, I loved receiving simple things like brownie mix, microwave popcorn, herbs and spices, my favorite shampoo and cleanser, deodorant (not always readily available in other countries), Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medications, and quality coffee.</p> <p>Shipping a package overseas can be expensive. To save money, ship your package the slow way, but do it early. Several weeks (to even a few months) later, your child will receive your package right when she is starting to get really homesick! Remember to package items securely and to ship non-perishable items only!</p> <h3>Social Media</h3> <p>Following your child on social media can be a great way to stalk <i>&mdash; </i> I mean, keep in touch with <i>&mdash; </i> your child. <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com">Twitter</a> are easy ways to keep in touch, but may not be available in every country (for example, they were censored in China when I lived there). Fortunately, there are many alternative social media networks that are accessible around the world.</p> <h3>Image-Sharing Social Media</h3> <p><a href="http://instagram.com/">Instagram</a>, a picture-sharing site, is a great way to visually see what your child is up to (and Instagram can also auto-post to <a href="http://www.facebook.com">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com">Twitter</a>). <a href="http://www.flickr.com/">Flickr</a> and <a href="http://www.picasa.com">Picasa</a> are great image-sharing platforms that allow you to share albums. If your child sets up a video channel on <a href="http://www.youtube.com">YouTube</a>, he can also share videos of his travels with you. Another great option is <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/features/#sharing">Skype</a>, which allows your child to send any Skype user photo or video files of any size quickly and easily for free.</p> <h3>Blogs</h3> <p>You could also encourage your child to start a blog (free ones are readily available from <a href="https://www.blogger.com/home">Blogger</a> and <a href="http://wordpress.com/">Wordpress</a>), which is an easy way to preserve memories as well as easily share with friends and family. My parents have an email subscription to my personal blog, which sends them an email every time I update the blog. Blogging can also be a great way for young adults to hone their writing skills (and can even turn into a paying gig later down the road).</p> <h3>Other Social Media</h3> <p>Pretty much everything has a social media dimension nowadays. If you and your child are on <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/">Goodreads</a>, for example, you can exchange book recommendations and reviews. Or follow your child&rsquo;s forays into international dining on <a href="http://www.yelp.com/">Yelp</a>. Or keep a game going with your child on <a href="http://www.wordswithfriends.com/">Words With Friends</a>. Find out what interests your child, and keep in touch that way.</p> <h3>Emails, Letters, and Postcards</h3> <p>Writing a full-length letter isn&rsquo;t as common as it used to be, but most young people can still send an email or a postcard once in a while. Maybe you can set up a once-a-week email commitment with your child (just don&rsquo;t be too offended if your child isn&rsquo;t super-consistent <i>&mdash; </i> travel can be demanding!). If your child has a mailing address, an old-school letter or card can be a welcome taste of home too (note: you can often send letters care of your child&rsquo;s school if she is studying or teaching).</p> <div id="kamidarticle" class="ggnoads" style="text-align:center;"> <div id="kamidarticle-middle-content"><center></p> <!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><div style="width:300px; height:250px;" id="div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0"> <script type='text/javascript'> googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0'); }); </script></div> <p></center></div> </div> <h3>Use Skype to Call Mobiles</h3> <p>Skype is an easy and affordable way to keep in touch. Many of you are probably familiar with free Skype-to-Skype calls (computer-to-computer). For a small additional fee, you can get <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_8_ways_to_get_in_touch">Skype Credit</a>, which allows you to directly call mobiles and landlines all over the world.</p> <p>I used Skype Credit when I was living overseas to contact my parents on their home phone, which was easier for them than always having the computer on and also allows for more spontaneity than setting up a video chat date. After purchasing Skype Credit (available in increments of $10 and $25), you can call phones worldwide at very reasonable rates. For example, I could call (or text) from my laptop in China to a home or mobile phone in the US for just a few cents a minute. You can even call overseas using the Skype application on your smartphone (provided you&rsquo;re connected to the Internet) without having to pay outrageous fees through your carrier. Skype also has pay-as-you-go <a href="http://wifi.skype.com/?tab_0=windowsTab">WiFi hotspots</a> set up around the world, which you can use your Skype Credit to access in case you can&rsquo;t find a free WiFi spot.</p> <p>If you plan on making a lot of calls, consider using <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_8_ways_to_get_in_touch">Skype Credit</a> to buy a Skype Number, which is a US number parents, grandparents and friends can call at US rates that will ring the child&rsquo;s Skype account. Just be sure to keep the time difference in mind when calling!</p> <h3>In-Person Visits</h3> <p>Nothing will help you to understand your child&rsquo;s new experiences like being there. If your child will be away for an extended period, try to find a way to visit if your budget allows. Subscribe to an <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20975800/ns/travel-news/t/best-airfare-alert-listing-sites/#.UzChAqhdWT8">airfare alert website</a>, which will let you know when flights are on sale. I was very fortunate in that when I was overseas, my entire family came to visit. With only one bed and a small sofa, several of us ended up sleeping on the floor of my tiny apartment, but it was worth it! Your child will be proud to show off his new language skills and cultural competency, so let him be your tour guide.</p> <p><i>Do you have relatives overseas? How do you keep in touch?</i></p> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_8_ways_to_get_in_touch"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kids-going-abroad-8-ways-to-stay-in-touch-without-going-bankrupt" class="sharethis-link" title="Kids Going Abroad? 8 Ways to Stay In Touch Without Going Bankrupt" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology Travel Skype Credit Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:50:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1134078 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-convince-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-convince-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/how-to-convince-your-boss-t.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_convince_your_boss"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <p>Over 80% of employees say they&rsquo;d love to work from home at least part of the time. Bosses on the other hand, well, not so much. But employers are starting to come around. Regular telecommuting has <a href="http://www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics">grown by nearly 80% since 2005</a>. Why? It saves companies money. A typical employer saves over <a href="http://www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com/cut-oil">$11,000 per year per half time telecommuter</a>. That&rsquo;s news you can use if you want to convince your employer to let you work from home.</p> <p>But first, you to need to deal with the elephant in the room. You have to convince your boss you <i>will be working</i> when you&rsquo;re at home. &ldquo;How will I know you&rsquo;re working and not sitting on the sofa eating bon-bons?&rdquo; That&rsquo;s the question that stands between you and work-at-home bliss, so let&rsquo;s tackle it head on.</p> <h2>Presence Does Not Guarantee Productivity</h2> <p>Since the 1950s management experts have been telling us that the key to maximizing employee potential is to define goals, give employees the tools they need to meet those goals, and then get out of their way. Sadly, the majority of managers don&rsquo;t do that. They mistake presence for productivity. That&rsquo;s why they&rsquo;re threatened by the work-at-home trend.</p> <p>But the reality is that study after study shows telecommuters are 15% to 55% more productive than office workers. Why?</p> <ul> <li>Because there are far fewer interruptions when they&rsquo;re working at home.</li> <li>Because telecommuters typically spend about half the time they would have otherwise been stuck in traffic, actually working.</li> <li>Because they feel empowered by being trusted.</li> <li>And because they see telecommuting as a good gig and don&rsquo;t want to lose the privilege.</li> </ul> <p>What you need to do is to show your boss that you understand this. Show you know how to set goals and that you expect to be held accountable for meeting them. Slackers need not apply.</p> <h2>Technology Needed to Communicate and Collaborate</h2> <p>Next, you need to help the folks you work for understand that, thanks to technology, <i>virtually</i> being there is almost as good as <i>really</i> being there. Using a variety of inexpensive tools and technologies, you&rsquo;ll be able to communicate with your team members throughout the day. Communications is the key to successful telecommuting. It&rsquo;s when your boss and your colleagues don&rsquo;t hear from you that their minds start to conjure images of golf courses, couch surfing and the like.</p> <p>Skype is my tool of choice for communicating and collaborating with team members whether they&rsquo;re 10 floors or 10 time zones a way. And, if you haven&rsquo;t used it lately, you may not know that Skype has gone way beyond free computer-to-computer calls. Of course it&rsquo;s still great for that, but using <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_convince_your_boss">Skype Credit</a>, you can even call mobile phones and landlines worldwide. Best of all it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/rates/">downright cheap</a>!</p> <div id="kamidarticle" class="ggnoads" style="text-align:center;"> <div id="kamidarticle-middle-content"><center></p> <!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><!-- Skype_midarticle_300x250 --><div style="width:300px; height:250px;" id="div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0"> <script type='text/javascript'> googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1396271961711-0'); }); </script></div> <p></center></div> </div> <h2>What Else Can You Do With Skype Credit?</h2> <p>What other ways can <a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_convince_your_boss">Skype Credit</a> help you get out of the office?</p> <h3>You Can Access Wi-Fi Worldwide</h3> <p>Connect via one of their 2 million <a href="https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10008/what-is-skype-wifi">Skype WiFi</a><u> </u>hotspots worldwide. I&rsquo;m going to the San Diego Zoo tomorrow so I checked their <a href="http://wifi.skype.com/maps">Hotspot Finder</a> and, yup, I found one. That might just come in handy if I need to mix some real business with monkey business while I&rsquo;m there.</p> <h3>You Can Send Text Messages</h3> <p>Using Skype I <a href="https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA928/how-much-does-it-cost-to-send-sms-text-messages">send text messages from my phone or computer</a> for less than half of what my cell phone company charges. I even text to Canada, the UK, and China from a full size keyboard and avoid spl cheek erros.</p> <h3>You Can Forward Skype Calls to a Mobile or Landline</h3> <p>I have my Skype calls forwarded to my mobile. This is a convenient way to let your coworkers and clients reach you without the hassle of providing them with several different numbers.</p> <p>Now that you understand the big issues &mdash; the things that keep your boss awake at night &mdash; and you understand how to communicate why they&rsquo;re really not so big after all, it&rsquo;s time to put together your pitch. Here are the basic ingredients.</p> <h2>Explain the Upside to Your Boss</h2> <p>What&rsquo;s the upside? <a href="http://www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com/cut-oil">Eleven thousand dollars in annual savings</a> by allowing you to work from home just half the time. These savings are the result of:</p> <ul> <li>Increased productivity</li> <li>Reduced absenteeism</li> <li>Reduced turnover</li> <li>Reduced real estate costs</li> </ul> <p>What&rsquo;s more, a <a href="http://www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com/whitepapers">huge body of research shows</a> that allowing employees to telecommute:</p> <ul> <li>Increases disaster preparedness and allows employees to continue working in the event of a snowstorm, transit strike, or terrorist event;</li> <li>Increases engagement;</li> <li>Increases employee attraction;</li> <li>Reduces an organization&rsquo;s carbon footprint.</li> </ul> <p>You have the tools. You have the technology. You have the business case. Now it&rsquo;s up to you to make the road less traveled your way to work.</p> <p><i>Kate Lister is the author of </i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Undress-Success-Naked-Truth-Making/dp/0470383321/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1395361336&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=undress+for+success"><i>Undress For Success&mdash;The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home</i></a><i> (Wiley 2009), the definitive source on how to find, negotiate, or create a home-based job. She is also President of </i><a href="http://GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com"><i>Global Workplace Analytics</i></a><i>, the leading authority on the business case for remote work strategies around the globe.</i></p> <p><i>Sponsored by Skype &mdash; Use&nbsp;</i><a href="http://www.skype.com/go/rates/?cm_mmc=SMAD_2214_wisebread_article_how_to_convince_your_boss"><i>Skype Credit</i></a><i>&nbsp;to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.</i></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-convince-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home-0" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Technology Skype Credit Sat, 05 Apr 2014 03:59:08 +0000 Kate Lister 1134077 at http://www.wisebread.com Eight Ways to Make Your Home More Secure From Expert Susumo Azano http://www.wisebread.com/eight-ways-to-make-your-home-more-secure-from-expert-susumo-azano <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eight-ways-to-make-your-home-more-secure-from-expert-susumo-azano" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-family-together605.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As our lives become more and more Internet-connected, we also have to worry more about security, says <a href="http://susumoazano.org/">Susumo Azano</a>, founder of STDi Security. Not only do we have to be concerned with protecting important documents and credit card information, but even items like Internet-connected cars and refrigerators can become targets for criminals.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thankfully, there are some easy precautions you can take, says Azano &mdash; and not one of them requires giving up the Internet-connected devices that can help you in your day-to-day life. Here are eight great ways to make sure your home (and your family) are safe and secure.</p> <p><b>Home Security Tips from Susumo Azano </b></p> <p><b>1. Don&rsquo;t Use Your Neighbor&rsquo;s Internet Connection</b></p> <p>If your neighbor has an unprotected Wi-Fi network, it might be tempting (although not necessarily ethical) to use their Internet connection instead of setting up your own. Or maybe you think it might be a good idea to arrange sharing Wi-Fi to save some money. But <a href="http://askleo.com/if_i_let_my_neighbor_share_my_wifi_can_they_see_my_network_traffic/">according to tech expert Leo Notenboom</a>, your neighbor might be able to access any shared files or folders you have, pass malware onto your computer or even, in some cases, see your internet traffic. You&rsquo;re much safer, says Susumo Azano, just paying for your own connection.</p> <p><b>2. Keep Your Internet Connection Secured</b></p> <p>So you know you should have your own Internet connection &mdash; great! Now you need to make sure it&rsquo;s secured. These days, most people know to encrypt the data on their routers and make access password-protected. A step fewer people know about, says Susumo Azano, is changing the default username and password settings on your router. Routers arrive with the same settings, meaning that anyone who knows that default information can gain access. About.com&rsquo;s Guide to Computer Networking has a good <a href="http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/wirelessproducts/qt/adminpassword.htm">guide on how and why to change your router password</a>.</p> <p><b>3. Teach Your Kids about Online Security</b></p> <p>Even if children know not to share certain details with strangers in real life, they might not know to hide these details online, notes Susumo Azano. Make sure kids know how to protect themselves. Important lessons include:</p> <ul> <li>Never share your full name.</li> <li>Never share details about where you live.</li> <li>Before putting photos online, make sure they don&rsquo;t give away any personal information.</li> <li>Never tell anyone your password &mdash; even if a message asking for your password looks like it might be official, check with parents before sharing.</li> </ul> <p>The FTC provides <a href="http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/kids-online-safety">many free resources</a> that can help you start a productive conversation with your kids about these topics.</p> <p><b>4. Install a Home Alarm System</b></p> <p>Not only do alarm systems help protect your home and family from intruders, says Azano, but they can also provide other benefits &mdash; like calling the fire department on your behalf. Just make sure you research the company and read user reviews before purchasing the system. Some systems aren&rsquo;t worth the cost.</p> <p><b>5. Don&rsquo;t Advertise Things Thieves Want to Know </b></p> <p>Thieves look out for signs that a house might be a good target &mdash; so don&rsquo;t advertise. For example, if you make an expensive purchase &mdash; like a new TV or computer &mdash; don&rsquo;t leave the empty box out for everyone to see on trash day. Similarly, if you&rsquo;re heading out of town on vacation, take precautions to ensure that your house doesn&rsquo;t look empty. Have the post office hold your mail for the time you&rsquo;ll be gone, and get a timer that will automatically turn your lights on at night. You could also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig">hire a house sitter</a> for the time when you&rsquo;ll be gone &mdash; or even set up a house-sitting trade with someone else, so you get to travel to each other&rsquo;s locations.</p> <p><b>6. Shred Documents with Important Information</b></p> <p>Boxes from expensive purchases aren&rsquo;t the only things you need to worry about putting out with the trash &mdash; you should also make sure you can&rsquo;t read sensitive information on any documents you&rsquo;re throwing away. The best solution is to get a paper shredder, says Susumo Azano &mdash; they&rsquo;re inexpensive and worth the investment considering that you&rsquo;re saving yourself from the cost and headache of identity theft. <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2010/03/conquer-the-paper-piles/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a> recommends getting a crosscut shredder rather than strip one, which leaves long pieces of paper that could be reassembled.</p> <p><b>7. Protect Your Mobile Phone</b></p> <p>We often remember to protect our computers and homes, but forget to protect the smaller devices that we use in them &mdash; <a href="http://dailyglobe.com/15143/susumo-azano-ncsam-security/">this is especially the case with mobile devices</a>, says Azano. For phones, make sure you protect them with a password, fingerprint or other security measures. Not only could access to your phone give thieves access to your personal information, but if you have smart devices in your house that you control via your phone, the thieves could also then have access to those items as well.</p> <p><b>8. Always Update Your Smart Devices</b></p> <p>Parents were recently shocked when they discovered that their video baby monitors could be hacked. The company issued an upgrade &mdash; but, as <a href="http://www.komando.com/tips/12337/household-appliances-will-spy-on-you/2">digital expert Kim Komando points out</a>, how many people think to update their baby monitors? If one of your smart devices says it has an update, make sure to install it. Or, says Susumo Azano, if you&rsquo;re worried that you&rsquo;re missing updates, take a few minutes once a month to look up your devices online and see if there are any updates you should take advantage of.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-ways-to-make-your-home-more-secure-from-expert-susumo-azano" class="sharethis-link" title="Eight Ways to Make Your Home More Secure From Expert Susumo Azano" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology Tue, 25 Mar 2014 03:14:06 +0000 Greg Go 1132831 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask @WiseBread a Question for Chance to Win a iPhone 5s or GS4 http://www.wisebread.com/ask-wisebread-a-question-for-chance-to-win-a-iphone-5s-or-gs4 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-wisebread-a-question-for-chance-to-win-a-iphone-5s-or-gs4" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fun-in-the-sun.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wise Bread, Jeff Rose (certified financial planner and author of <a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/">Good Financial Cents</a>) and Cricket Wireless have teamed up to bring you a live Ask the Expert Event this Tuesday, March 25th!</p> <p>You can win awesome prizes by asking questions via Twitter and participate by watching the event live via <a href="#livestream">Youtube Stream below</a>.</p> <h2>Prizes for Twitter Users</h2> <p>Cricket Wireless is giving away:</p> <ol> <li>One GS4 or iPhone 5s, and one month of free cell service credit with Cricket Wireless.</li> <li>Two $20 Google Play gift cards.</li> </ol> <h2>How to Enter via Twitter</h2> <p>Entry is simple:</p> <p><strong>Step 1</strong>: Follow Cricket on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Cricketnation">@Cricketnation</a> (we need to be able to direct message you if you win).</p> <p><strong>Step 2</strong>: Ask us a personal finance or frugal living question via Twitter. To ask the question, please include @wisebread, @Cricketnation, and the hashtag #CricketTips. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>@Wisebread @Cricketnation what is the best way to save $50 this month? #CricketTips</p> </blockquote> <p>Ask your question any time between now and 2:00 pm Pacific this Tuesday (March 25). Each question will be counted as one entry. One entry per person please.</p> <p><strong>Step 3</strong>: Cricket will be announcing the winners at the end of our live Ask the Experts event. You can watch the event live on the Youtube live stream below between 12:00 - 2:00 pm Pacific this Tuesday&nbsp;(March 25). If you can't watch the video stream live, no worries, we'll post the full video (as well as names of the winners) here on Wise Bread the day after the event.<a name="livestream"></a></p> <p><object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/qeTX5CLE3r4?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/qeTX5CLE3r4?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p>No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older legal resident of US&nbsp;to participate. Depending on volume of questions, we may not get to answer all questions submitted.</p> <h2>Information About the Live Event</h2> <p>Jeff Rose (<a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/">Good Financial Cents</a>), along with frugality and lifestyle bloggers Chelsea Day (<a href="http://www.somedayilllearn.com/">Someday I'll Learn</a>) and Nicole (<a href="http://funthusiast.com/">Funthusiast</a>), will be sharing their best frugal living advice at a Cricket Store in San Diego this Tuesday, March 25, noon - 2:00 pm PST. This event will also be streamed live over Youtube.&nbsp;</p> <p>These experts will share their best tips on how to:</p> <ul> <li>Save $100 a month and what to do with that extra cash</li> <li>Travel on a budget</li> <li>Enjoy fun and affordable family activities<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--></li> </ul> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> 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mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Century Gothic","sans-serif";} </style> <![endif]--></p> <p>&hellip;all while having your trusted Cricket cell phone by your side to help you along the way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-wisebread-a-question-for-chance-to-win-a-iphone-5s-or-gs4" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask @WiseBread a Question for Chance to Win a iPhone 5s or GS4" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Technology Travel Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:10:59 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1132709 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know About the Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger: Insights From Media Insider Steven Korn http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-comcasttime-warner-cable-merger-insights-from-media-insider-steven-k <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-comcasttime-warner-cable-merger-insights-from-media-insider-steven-k" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cable-customers-watching-tv.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The announcement by Comcast that the cable, Internet, and media giant plans to purchase competitor Time Warner Cable (TWC) has media industry veterans such as Steven W. Korn, former Vice Chairman of CNN, sitting up and take notice. The merger will increase <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-18/comcast-time-warner-merger-good-for-competition-and-consumers">Comcast's subscriber base by 50%</a> (from 22 million to 33 million).</p> <p>Consumers, regulators, and competitors are concerned about the $45.2 billion merger, too. Will the merged company have monopoly power? Will streaming content still be available? Will consumer's cable and Internet bills be affected? A merger of this size and complexity will have many effects, almost all of which derive from the size of the merged company.</p> <h2>Merged Firm Not a Monopoly, Says Steven Korn</h2> <p>Like many industry observers, Steven Korn is concerned about how the merged company will exercise its newfound market power. &quot;This deal will not create a monopoly,&quot; he said. &quot;I don't think anyone seriously makes that contention. The question is really whether the deal will give the merged company an excessive level of market power.&quot;</p> <p>Economists distinguish between monopolies, which have no competition and can set prices and terms at will, and firms large enough to exercise <i>limited market power</i> to set and maintain prices. The new Comcast/TWC will certainly be large enough to influence prices paid by cable and Internet consumers. It will also be large enough to exercise monopsony power, which is the ability of a <i>buyer </i>to command lower prices from its suppliers. Walmart, which aggressively pushes its vendors to meet low price points, is an example of a firm with monopsony power.</p> <p>Comcast is already a large and diverse media company. In addition to its cable and Internet services, the company also owns the NBC/Universal family of broadcast and cable television stations, movie and television program production studios. This means Comcast/TWC will be able to push its own content ahead of content from its competitors. Because of its size and influence in both content delivery and content production, the proposed merger is a tricky one for regulators to evaluate.</p> <h3>Comcast and the Regulators</h3> <p>A few days after Minnesota <a href="http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/franken-takes-aim-comcastnbcu-and-comcasttwc/129506">Senator Al Franken criticized the proposed merger</a>, Comcast responded with a report detailing how it <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/03/03/comcast-this-is-why-regulators-should-approve-the-time-warner-cable-merger/?tid=hpModule_79c38dfc-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394">met or exceeded all of the conditions the government set</a> following the merger with NBC a couple of years ago. These included a new low cost Internet service for low income households, investment in local broadcasting children's programming, and investment in broadband infrastructure.</p> <p>For the Time Warner merger, Comcast has said it plans to expand the low cost Internet service program to more families. It will also transfer 3 million of Time Warner's subscribers to other providers.</p> <p>&quot;It remains to be seen what kinds of conditions the government may or may not place on this merger,&quot; said Steven W. Korn. &ldquo;The merger will likely be approved, albeit with specific requirements or restrictions for Comcast to obey. These conditions may relate to the terms and conditions of the access afforded to unaffiliated content providers to the merged company&rsquo;s systems.&nbsp;There should not be any antitrust issues related to the fact that both companies are cable system operators with exclusive franchises in particular jurisdictions. In that basic capacity the two companies do not overlap or compete in any meaningful way with each other. The antitrust issues arise because access to those systems by unaffiliated web or television content providers will be crucial to the viability of those content providers. The Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice have dealt these exact issues in previous mergers and the type of undertakings to which others have had to agree are pretty well established.&quot;</p> <p>At least one unaffiliated content provider &mdash; Netflix &mdash; has decided it can't wait for regulators to act. Within 10 days of the merger announcement, Netflix announced that it had reached <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/23/business/la-fi-ct-netflix-comcast-20140224">an agreement with Comcast to stream its movies and TV shows</a> more smoothly over Comcast's network.</p> <h3>What About Consumers?</h3> <p>What can consumers expect? It's hard to say, but most cable and Internet subscribers probably won't notice much of a difference, if any. That's because most Americans get their cable and Internet service from local monopolies. Further, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/tech/web/comcast-time-warner-consumer-impact/">Comcast and TWC do not compete with one another</a> in their respective local markets. For those customers, the merger will not lead to loss of competition.</p> <p>For its part, Comcast says it plans to bring some of Time Warner Cable's technology to its subscriber base. It has also promised to invest millions in TWC's infrastructure to bring faster connections and more reliability.</p> <p>The consumer experience is not the primary motivation behind a merger as large as this, however.</p> <p>&quot;The deal is really about improving shareholder value. Providing better service and other factors as well, such as reduction of overhead and obtaining synergies are merely means to the end of improving shareholder value,&quot; said Steven Korn.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-comcasttime-warner-cable-merger-insights-from-media-insider-steven-k" class="sharethis-link" title="What You Need to Know About the Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger: Insights From Media Insider Steven Korn" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Technology Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:20:00 +0000 Will Chen 1132182 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Better Sleep With These 5 Great Sleep-Tracking Apps http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleep-177703194.jpg" alt="sleeping man" title="sleeping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sleep isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. Half of all Americans believe that they <a href="http://www.bettersleep.org/better-sleep/the-science-of-sleep/sleep-statistics-research/better-sleep-survey">don't get enough sleep</a>, and most accept it as a way of life. How much shut-eye we get every night has enormous impact on our short-term and long-term health. With less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, people are susceptible to weight gain, heart disease, greater risk of stroke, and delayed reaction time to name just a few outcomes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet?ref=seealso">Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet</a>)</p> <p>Awareness is the first step toward making healthy lifestyle changes. A plethora of sleep apps are on the market right now to help us become aware of our patterns and habits, and then they help us chart our progress on our quest for a good night's sleep. They use this data to give us insight into the optimal time to wake up so that we feel refreshed and well-rested. Additionally, some of them help us fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, offer pleasant alarm sounds, link to our music playlists, and provide beautiful graphs and charts that we can use for our own sleep analysis or share with our health care professionals. Here are five of the best options.</p> <h2>1. Sleep As Android</h2> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D3S1QD6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00D3S1QD6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Sleep As Android</a>, on the Android platform, tracks your sleep cycles and then using a smart alarm clock it wakes you at the most optimal moment with pleasant morning sounds from nature or your music playlist. It graphs your sleep cycles, tells you when you're running at a sleep deficit, and even tracks your snoring. If you like it you can keep it after two weeks for $2.99.</p> <h2>2. Sleep Cycle</h2> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep-cycle-alarm-clock/id320606217?mt=8&amp;uo=4&amp;at=%3C%3Ctoken%3E%3E">Sleep Cycle</a> for iOS is similar to Sleep As Android. It uses the same movement tracking information to chart your sleep cycles, has a gentle alarm clock that uses your playlists or soothing nature sounds to wake you during the lightest sleep cycle closest to the wake time you set, and delivers all of your sleep information in aesthetically pleasing charts and graphs. At only $0.99, it's a wonderful option.</p> <h2>3. Sleepbot</h2> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TNXGGE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004TNXGGE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Sleepbot</a> is a free app on the Android and iOS platforms that packs a powerful punch. It tracks movement as well as sound (and it records your sounds so that you can play them back when you're awake and analyzes your sleep cycles), reminds you when it's time to hit the hay, and when you're having trouble sleeping, it delivers advice to help you fall asleep. It also has a gorgeous interface and will back-up all of your sleep data on mysleepbot.com. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep?ref=seealso">Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>4. Blue Sleep Therapy</h2> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YFB9WU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YFB9WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Blue Sleep Therapy</a> costs $0.99 and is an app that uses a soft blue light to help us fall asleep and stay asleep by taking advantage of our bodies' <a href="http://www.news-medical.net/health/Light-Therapy-for-Depression-and-Sleep-Problems.aspx">natural reaction to blue light</a>. This blue light is especially helpful for people who are challenged with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a common problem that plagues many people in the winter when daylight is limited. The lack of natural light throws off our sleep rhythms. This app projects a soft blue light onto the wall or ceiling. The slight pulsing and gradual fading of the light lulls us to sleep. It is only available on Android, though iOS offers a very similar app named <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep-blue/id525496707?mt=8&amp;uo=4&amp;at=%3C%3Ctoken%3E%3E">Sleep Blue</a>, and it's free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/winter-blues-13-proven-ways-to-beat-seasonal-affective-disorder?ref=seealso">13 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sleep Time</h2> <p>A lot of sleep experts advise that we go to bed at the same time every night to develop a routine for our bodies. This routine helps to cement a predictable rhythm. <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abdul.sleeptime">Sleep Time</a>, a free app on the Android platform, takes its lead from the idea that it takes the average person 14 minutes to fall asleep and that sleep cycles last 90 minutes on average. Given those measurements, it tells you what time to wake up based on when you go to bed so that you wake up in-between sleep cycles when you're likely to feel more rested. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight?ref=seealso">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle</a>)</p> <p>If you have an iPhone, there is a nearly identical app also called <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sleep-time-alarm-clock-sleep/id555564825?mt=8&amp;uo=4&amp;at=%3C%3Ctoken%3E%3E">Sleep Time</a> created by a different developer that is also free.</p> <p>Because sleep rejuvenates the body, mind, and spirit, it's critical to our health and the wellbeing in every part of our lives to get the optimal amount of rest every night. These sleep-tracking apps arm us with information and tools to help us make that happen. Sweet dreams. Sweet life.</p> <p><em>Do you use a sleep app to help you optimize your sleep? Which one?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps" class="sharethis-link" title="Get Better Sleep With These 5 Great Sleep-Tracking Apps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Technology insomnia sleep sleep apps sleep tracking Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:48:14 +0000 Christa Avampato 1124458 at http://www.wisebread.com How Malicious Sites Benefit From Your Misfortune; Insights from Brand.com http://www.wisebread.com/how-malicious-sites-benefit-from-your-misfortune-insights-from-brandcom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-malicious-sites-benefit-from-your-misfortune-insights-from-brandcom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-worried-about-online-at.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2013, a group of 25 women won a victory against &ldquo;revenge porn&rdquo; site Texxxan.com, ultimately getting the site taken offline. However, that was a small victory in wha online brand management firm Brand.com says is a lopsided war.</p> <p>On Texxxan.com, disgruntled ex-lovers published compromising pictures of wives and ex-girlfriends. According to Brand.com, the entire predicament just draws attention to the fact that most people do not control what is written about them online. Lives, careers, and even families can be sidelined and permanently damaged because people are searching for you online, relying on uncontrolled user-generated content, and making important decisions about what they find.</p> <p><strong><em>Your Online Image Could Cost You A Loan &mdash; Or A Job</em></strong></p> <p>According to 2013 polls, 70% of employers have rejected job applicants based on information found online, reports Brand.com. If you don&rsquo;t produce any original online content, what others users have posted about you online creates your definitive personal &ldquo;brand.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not just talking about criminal records,&rdquo; says Brand.com company president Mike Zammuto. &ldquo;People can say nearly anything they want about you anonymously. We see libel and outrageous lies posted every day online, but even ill-conceived pictures, comments, or jokes can hurt you if made public.&rdquo;</p> <p>Landlords, admissions officers, financial companies, and even the people you&rsquo;re dating can, and likely will, Google you online. Anyone with Internet access can redefine your brand image to satisfy their own goals, whether benevolent or sinister. Disgruntled coworkers, livid clients, or that checkout lady you confronted at the supermarket &mdash; they can all negatively impact your image and thwart your online brand identity simply by posting their impressions on the Web.</p> <p>Online attacks in any form are a constant threat to your brand. However, it is possible to control what people see when they search for your name online. Below, Brand.com&#39;s Zammuto offers his hardest-hitting recommendations for protecting and solidifying your brand online.</p> <h2>You Are Who Google Says You Are, Warns Brand.com</h2> <p><strong>How To Monitor Your Personal Brand</strong></p> <p>First, find out what other people see by searching for yourself online. Make sure to search for different variations of your name. Try putting last name first, adding common misspellings of your name, or searching with and without quotations marks. Here are the five best places to start:</p> <ol> <li>Brand.com&rsquo;s Command Center, which monitors your brand across all major search engines and social media platforms.</li> <li><a href="http://images.google.com/">Google Image search</a>. Pictures of you posted to a public social network or website may show up here.</li> <li><a href="http://www.google.com/alerts">Google Alerts</a>. Google will email you whenever someone creates an article, blog post, or video that mentions your name.</li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/settings/me">Google&rsquo;s Me on the Web</a>. See what other people see when they Google your name.</li> <li><a href="http://www.socialmention.com/">SocialMention</a>. This engine scans for your name across 100+ social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Focus on Positive Press</strong></p> <p>The best way to protect you brand online is to produce content about yourself that the search engines view as valuable and engaging to users. Brand.com claims that the best of this content is online news. If you do something newsworthy, try to get it reported on news, educational, or industry-oriented sites. Search engines consider content on these sites relevant to users&rsquo; common search queries. It can be difficult to secure news content publishing on your own. Brand.com solves the problem by maintaining their own network of news sites and by working with dozens of major online publishers.</p> <p><strong>Sign Up For Social Media Websites</strong></p> <p>When someone Googles you, the top search results usually points to one of your social media profiles. Sign up for all major social media websites with your name. Even if you don&rsquo;t plan to use these accounts, by registering them, you prevent other people from hijacking the accounts to damage and misrepresent your brand. Use the free online service <a href="http://knowem.com/">KnowEm</a> to check for your name across 550 popular social networks.</p> <p><strong>Use Completed.com to Highlight your Accomplishments</strong></p> <p>Brand.com designed its social profile Completed.com to rank well in search results. Because the site focus on highlighting your accomplishments, it can be a great way to prepare for a job hunt or any situation in which customers will view you online. You want potential clients, customers, or HR managers to see your best self, so identify your achievements through Completed.</p> <p><strong>Build a Large LinkedIn Network</strong></p> <p>LinkedIn is the first social network that an employer will check. Upload a professional and appropriate picture of yourself and complete your profile. Never reuse pictures, because Google will only rank one of them, Brand.com says. Ask your former coworkers and employers for recommendations that focus on specific skills you want to highlight and the positive results you have delivered. Make sure you have unique content on all of the sites. Never directly reuse content: search engines will view the duplicate info as a copy, and the content will not show up in search results.</p> <p><strong>Register Your Name as a Domain Name</strong></p> <p>Any website address that exactly matches a user&rsquo;s search term will show up prominently. If YourName.com is already taken, try to grab the .net or .org incarnation. If you expect to be attacked online, you can defend yourself proactively by buying up your name appended with negative terms as well, says New York Times best-selling author Joel Comm. Get YourNameSucks.com so someone else can&rsquo;t own it and use it against you.</p> <p><strong>Create Your Own Online Image</strong></p> <p>Decide who you want to be online and be active and consistent. What kind of online image do you want to present to employers? If you want to be perceived as a dedicated professional, start blogging about the latest developments in your industry. Creating useful content that other people in your industry can use will not only improve your brand, but will also help you to position yourself as an eminently hirable, industry-leading expert.</p> <p><strong>Be Smart When You Post Online</strong></p> <p>Be the nicest version of yourself while commenting online. Never leave comments when you are angry. Assume anyone you&rsquo;re chatting with online has the power to destroy your online brand (because they do).</p> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;t Feed the Trolls</strong></p> <p>If you know the person who criticized you personally and he or she is attempting to be constructive, you may be able to contact the person who left the negative comment and try to resolve those matters privately. Clarify any misunderstandings, and apologize if you did something wrong.</p> <p>In many cases, however, your attacker may have bad intentions, and will try to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Brand.com suggests that you not contact these trolls &mdash; they are nothing more than online bullies who feel gratified when they know that they got your attention. Work on fighting back with lots of highly engaging content, and seek professional help to fortify your online presence if you need further protection.</p> <p>Contacting the site that hosts the attack likely won&rsquo;t result in effective action:&nbsp; these sites are directly benefiting from the attacks on you. Review sites like Yelp, RipOff Report, MyEx.com and even social media sites all make money because people post content on those sites for free. Each visit to the website earns the company advertising revenue. The more juicy and negative the content, the more likely that clicks will increase &mdash; and the sites will gain additional revenue.</p> <p>The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects these sites, Zammuto notes, which in truth feel no responsibility or motivation for helping you. Disreputable sites will even blatantly ask you to pay them to take inflammatory content down. Keep in mind that content that appears on one site can easily pop up on another site.</p> <p>&ldquo;To truly defend your online brand, you&rsquo;ll need to recognize the potential for salacious sites, and angry individuals, to define you online. If the control isn&rsquo;t fully in your hands, someone else will take charge of your brand,&rdquo; Zammuto warns.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-malicious-sites-benefit-from-your-misfortune-insights-from-brandcom" class="sharethis-link" title="How Malicious Sites Benefit From Your Misfortune; Insights from Brand.com" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting Technology Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:36:11 +0000 Will Chen 1110534 at http://www.wisebread.com All the Caffeine of a Cup of Joe in a Convenient... Spray-On? http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee-5276855-small.jpg" alt="man pouring coffee" title="man pouring coffee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A cup of joe has long been the preferred delivery mechanism for caffeine, the stimulant that energized the <a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhofkn_steven-johnson-on-coffee-and-the-age-of-enlightenment_tech">revolutions of the Enlightenment</a>, and today keeps cubicles humming through the afternoon. Caffeinated sweet sodas and energy drinks fortified with <a href="http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-ginseng">ginseng</a> and <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ginkgo-biloba/NS_patient-ginkgo">ginkgo biloba</a> and other stuff have made inroads in recent years, but they haven't changed how we get our caffeine. Which is to say, we're still drinking it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine Is in That?</a>)</p> <p>But a revolution is brewing in the world of caffeine stimulation. Beginning this November, you'll be able to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/09/11/221364843/coming-soon-a-jolt-of-caffeine-you-can-spray-on-your-skin?sc=ipad&amp;f=1007">spray a dose of caffeine</a> directly on your skin. Who would buy such a product? Anybody who would like the benefit of a caffeine boost, but would rather avoid a bitter cup of coffee or a too sweet bottle of pop. And, as its inventor explained to NPR, caffeine taken through the skin doesn't result in energy spikes and crashes:</p> <blockquote><p>Caffeine is really a nasty molecule, and pure caffeine is terrible,&quot; Yu says. &quot;We used it for the stimulative effect, and this culture has evolved around it where it's not about the effect, and just about enjoying the ritual aspects. For those people, they can keep drinking their coffee. But for everyone who wants the functional aspect of the caffeine, this is a much better delivery mechanism because of the steady rate. You could have decaf coffee and then spray yourself on the side.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Each $15 bottle of Sprayable Energy will contain about 40 spray on doses, each dose the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee. The product is unscented. For now.</p> <p>(Note that If a spray is not your thing, there's always the <a href="http://spotonenergy.com/">caffeinated dermal patch</a>.)</p> <p><em>Would you rather spray on your caffeine?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-caffeine-of-a-cup-of-joe-in-a-convenient-spray-on" class="sharethis-link" title="All the Caffeine of a Cup of Joe in a Convenient... Spray-On?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology caffeine coffee energy energy boost innovation Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:42:21 +0000 Lars Peterson 982671 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bicycling-4759650-small.jpg" alt="biking" title="biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you are looking for a way to get off the couch and get outside or you are training for the next Ironman, there are dozens of cycling and running apps out there. For the serious cyclist, you may know exactly what you are looking for, but it's still difficult to choose which app will meet your needs. As a road biking enthusiast, I want something simple to track my time and help me map my routes, but others may need something with more detail, especially if you are training for a race. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-of-our-favorite-fitness-and-diet-smart-phone-apps-0">8 of our Favorite Fitness and Diet Smartphone Apps</a>)</p> <p>The 10 apps collected here have varying degrees of features and prices to help you find what you are looking for depending on your needs and preferences. The best part is that they are all under five dollars.</p> <p>One caveat &mdash; most of these recommendations are based on features that I would find helpful as a cyclist. I didn't include any apps from Map My Ride because personally, I find the route tracker and other features a little difficult to use; however, many cyclists love Map My Ride.</p> <h2>1. Runtastic Road Bike Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fruntastic-pro-gps-running%252Fid366626332%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runtastic.android.roadbike.pro" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fruntastic-pro-gps-running%252Fid366626332%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Runtastic Road Bike Pro</a> has received top ratings from Mashable and the New York Times, and it has over 50 features that every serious cyclist would want. One feature that stands out in the current version is the improved design making it easier to read than the previous version. The GPS and tracking history feature a live performance tracker that allows you to see or share with friends all of your stats. It tracks time, distance, calories burned, and speed in different views, including a pie graph that breaks down the distances traveled on each grade &mdash;&nbsp;uphill, downhill, or flat.</p> <p>The international maps and weather updates make it easy to determine which route you want, and you can create music playlists for different types of workouts. For the price, this app seems to have the most features, and the newest version allows you to direct data to your wristwatch for easier and safer viewing of live tracking.</p> <h2>2. Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fendomondo-sports-tracker-pro%252Fid416797509%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.endomondo.android.pro" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p>This all-around fitness app can be used for cycling, running, walking, or other distance-based activities. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fendomondo-sports-tracker-pro%252Fid416797509%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Endomondo</a> Sports Tracker Pro acts as a fitness coach and a fitness partner. It allows you to track your distance, speed, and calories burned in easy-to-read graphs. You can also track average speed and distance, and heart rate if you have a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CP9HRA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HRA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">heart rate monitor</a>. The workout summary also includes a map of your route and the weather conditions during your ride.</p> <p>During each ride, you get customized audio feedback, and you can set calorie-burning and distance goals before you begin your workout. It also allows you to share your workouts with friends in a newsfeed, and you can send encouragement notes to friends in real time. What makes this app a little different than the Runtastic Pro is the versatility for cyclists who want an app that can be used for other sports.</p> <h2>3. Strava Cycling</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fstrava-cycling-gps-biking%252Fid426826309%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.strava" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>For a free app, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fstrava-cycling-gps-biking%252Fid426826309%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Strava Cycling</a> - GPS Riding is an excellent app for the competitor. It is similar to Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, but you can also compare your stats in leaderboards and earn achievements. It has a private community and newsfeed, along with a lot of other competitive features, such as setting and tracking your goals to beat your own previous workout stats. This competitive edge helps you push yourself and compete with friends so that you have a variety of motivators.</p> <h2>4. Map My Tracks OutFront</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fmap-my-tracks-outfront-pro%252Fid347858530%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapmytracks.outfrontfree" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>If you are looking for something simple and free, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fmap-my-tracks-outfront-pro%252Fid347858530%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Map My Tracks by OutFront</a> is for you. It tracks rides, runs, and walks in charts and 3D maps. It doesn't have all the features of the more advanced apps, but according to reviewers, it is incredibly accurate. Also, many people just want something simple to easily view their distance and to save routes on the Map My Tracks website, which allows you to view other recommended routes.</p> <h2>5. iBiker Indoor and Outdoor Cycling Trainer</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fibiker-indoor-outdoor-cycling%252Fid292015062%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.itmp.icardio.app" target="_blank">Android</a>&nbsp;(known as iCardio)</p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>This app has all the basic tracking features, along with the ability to sync data with multiple devices and online. What distinguishes <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fibiker-indoor-outdoor-cycling%252Fid292015062%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iBiker Indoor and Outdoor</a> from the similar ones is that you can also track your weight, blood pressure, and sleep scores if you are looking to improve overall health. Another benefit is the ability to track all the data using an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007595TKU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007595TKU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">indoor bike</a>, so it's great for winter training.</p> <h2>6. Bicycle Blue Book</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fbicycle-blue-book%252Fid600757881%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bicyclebluebook" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>The <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fbicycle-blue-book%252Fid600757881%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Bicycle Blue Book</a> is an excellent and handy source of information for someone who is shopping for a used bike. It pulls from thousands of bicycle transactions to provide an accurate estimate of cost based on make, model, age, condition, and other variables. This is a convenient tool if you want one of the most accurate assessments of a used bike's value. The accuracy and expert estimations make this app ideal for bike enthusiasts and beginners. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle">Bike On! Great Deals on All Things Bicycle</a>)</p> <h2>7. Rubis</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Frubis-your-personal-best%252Fid660050978%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>This app is for the triathlete or marathon runner in training. It is a simple and easy-to-use time and distance planner. You can help reach your goals by planning your pace for an estimated finish time. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Frubis-your-personal-best%252Fid660050978%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Rubis Personal Best</a> can be used for training for an Ironman or a Half Ironman.</p> <h2>8. Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fruntastic-mountain-bike-gps%252Fid478862935%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runtastic.android.mountainbike.pro" target="_blank">Android</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p>Like the Road Bike Pro, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fruntastic-mountain-bike-gps%252Fid478862935%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Runtastic Mountain Biking Pro</a> is highly regarded by users and tech magazines. It has all the same features of the road version, and it includes offline maps, colored traces of your route, and interval splits so that you can view each part of your mountain trail route. It is one of the top rated apps by mountain biking enthusiasts.</p> <h2>9. Cycling Buddy</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fcycling-buddy%252Fid404177000%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: $0.99</p> <p>For a dollar, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fcycling-buddy%252Fid404177000%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Cycling Buddy</a> is a surprisingly useful app if all you are looking for is a GPS tracker. It has multi-tasking abilities and allows you to track running routes as well. It can be used for training or even mapping rides to work. A few reviewers had trouble with this app, but for a buck, it is a simple app with a few extra features to give you more opportunity to view your routes and track your time. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-becoming-a-part-time-bicycle-commuter">A Guide to Becoming a Part-Time Bicycle Commuter</a>)</p> <h2>10. Couch to Bike</h2> <p>Device: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fcouch-to-bike%252Fid674517531%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>If you are just getting into biking, training for a fundraiser, or need to get off the couch and onto a bike, this free app is worth the time it takes to download. The goal of the <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fcouch-to-bike%252Fid674517531%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Couch to Bike</a> app is to get the user to bike 25 miles within just a few weeks. You're given non-aggressive goals and training tips with an easy-to-follow schedule. The best part is that this app was designed by cyclists. Every cyclist had to start somewhere, and cyclists know that when you are just beginning, the training must be fun and gradual. This is a great tool for beginners at any fitness level. It includes a GPS and other basic tracking features. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip">Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip</a>)</p> <p><em>What are your favorite cycling or training apps? Feel free to comment below or find us on Facebook!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Technology GPS mountain biking road biking smartphone apps Fri, 23 Aug 2013 09:48:39 +0000 Ashley Watson 980743 at http://www.wisebread.com Find Lost Keys Fast With a Teeny Tiny Tile http://www.wisebread.com/find-lost-keys-fast-with-a-teeny-tiny-tile <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/find-lost-keys-fast-with-a-teeny-tiny-tile" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tile.jpg" alt="Reveal Labs Tile" title="Reveal Labs Tile" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The innovators at tech company Reveal Labs have developed a tiny, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/08/14/209917395/this-little-thing-may-help-you-find-your-keys?utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_source=share&amp;utm_campaign=">low power GPS locator with a range of 150 feet</a>. How tiny? Tiny enough to put on your key chain or slip into your wallet. When activated from an iPhone app (iOS only at launch) the device, called a &quot;Tile,&quot; sends a signal back to the iPhone, showing the user where it is on a map.</p> <p>What if the lost Tile is outside of the 150 foot range?</p> <blockquote><p>If the missing item falls outside that 150-foot zone or is stolen, users can mark it as lost, putting all other Tile apps on the lookout for the missing device. If any other Tile app comes near the lost Tile, it sends the location of the Tile to the original user without the other user knowing. You can download the app even if you don't have a Tile.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Tile will be available &quot;sometime this winter&quot; for $25 each (<a href="http://www.thetileapp.com/">$19 for pre-orders</a>). The app is free, whether you own a Tile or not.</p> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/tilewallet605.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-lost-keys-fast-with-a-teeny-tiny-tile" class="sharethis-link" title="Find Lost Keys Fast With a Teeny Tiny Tile" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology apps gadgets lost and found Thu, 15 Aug 2013 23:45:49 +0000 Lars Peterson 981313 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Easily Use an iPad as a Laptop http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-easily-use-an-ipad-as-a-laptop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-easily-use-an-ipad-as-a-laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tablet-5318550-small.jpg" alt="tablet" title="tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you own an iPad, you probably didn't buy it as a productivity tool. Out of the box, tablets are best for viewing video, reading, and playing games. Most people would prefer a laptop for writing reports or creating spreadsheets.</p> <p>The good news is, you don't necessarily need both a tablet and a laptop. You can easily make your iPad do double duty as a laptop substitute. In my case, I already had a laptop for work when we got an iPad for the family, but when the laptop started to get old and cranky, instead of replacing it, I figured out how to make my iPad do the chores I used to do with my laptop. After working out a few kinks, I found that I love using my iPad for work. In many ways, I like it even more than I liked working on the laptop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-a-tablet-computer">11 Cool Uses for a Tablet Computer</a>)</p> <p>Keep in mind that using new equipment and software almost always involves a learning curve. The first few times I tried doing my regular job as a freelance reporter on my iPad, I felt frustrated because I didn't yet know how to cut and paste (having a keyboard makes this easier) and I wasn't used to quickly switching between email, documents and the Web browser. But I quickly got used to these things, and now I can work using the iPad almost as intuitively as I do with my desktop computer.</p> <h2>Tools and Accessories</h2> <p>To use your iPad like a laptop, you first need to buy a couple of tools.</p> <p><strong>1. Bluetooth Keyboard</strong></p> <p>After trying a couple less expensive models, I purchased a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AFSN4A0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AFSN4A0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">full-size Logitech bluetooth keyboard</a>, which I found to have a good, steady bluetooth connection and long battery life. A friend loves her <a href="http://www.apple.com/keyboard/">Apple Wireless Keyboard</a>, which has the advantage of being interchangeable with other Apple products, so you could also use it for a Mac desktop, if you wanted to.</p> <p><strong>2. A Stand or Case That Props Your Tablet</strong></p> <p>I'm currently using a <a href="http://www.frugalisticmom.com/2013/08/speck-case-review-and-giveaway/">Speck HandyShell</a>, which I received free for a review, and which I love. My Logitech keyboard also came with an iPad stand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-duty-protection-multipurpose-ipad-2-cases">Double-Duty Protection: Multipurpose iPad 2 Cases</a>)</p> <h2>Apps and Software</h2> <p>Next, you need to install some productivity apps on your iPad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-for-business-owners-on-the-go">5 Apps for Business Owners on the Go</a>)</p> <p><strong>1. PlainText</strong></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>Type articles, papers, etc with <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fplaintext-dropbox-text-editing%252Fid391254385%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">PlainText</a>, and email them to a computer where you can paste them into Word.</p> <p><strong>2. OnLive Desktop</strong></p> <p>Cost: Free or $4.99 for Plus</p> <p>Turn your iPad into a pseudo Windows desktop with <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fonlive-desktop%252Fid490292278%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">OnLive Desktop</a>, complete with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and 2GB of file storage. I haven't tried this yet, but it looks intriguing.</p> <p><strong>3. Super Note</strong></p> <p>Cost: $2.99</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fsuper-note-recorder-notes%252Fid484001216%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Super Note</a> is super handy for recording meetings or interviews and taking notes on them at the same time.</p> <p><strong>4. A Blogging App</strong></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>I use the <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fwordpress%252Fid335703880%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Wordpress app</a> to upload blog posts and photos directly from my iPad. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fblogsy-for-wordpress-blogger%252Fid428485324%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Blogsy</a> also comes highly recommended for working with several different blog platforms.</p> <p><strong>5. A Printing App</strong></p> <p>Cost: Free or $8.99 for PrintCentral</p> <p>If you have an AirPrint-enabled printer, <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/ipad/assistant/airprint/#section_1">Apple's troubleshooting guide</a> can help you connect your iPad to it. If you don't, you'll need an app like <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fprintcentral-pro%252Fid426362921%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">PrintCentral</a> or, if you have a Mac computer, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fhandy-print%252Fid475420469%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">HandyPrint</a> (free). I haven't tried any of these personally because I just email anything I need to print to my desktop PC.</p> <h2>Tablet Advantages</h2> <p>Once I got used to working using my iPad &mdash; for me, mostly word processing &mdash; I realized that my tablet actually has advantages as a productivity tool over a laptop in the same price range.</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong></p> <p>I barely know the iPad is in my purse or bag because it's so light. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-more-done-on-airplanes">6 Ways to Get More Done on Airplanes</a>)</p> <p><strong>Speed</strong></p> <p>The response time of most apps on iPad is shorter than it is on low-end Windows laptops. There is pretty much no lag when switching between applications.</p> <p><strong>Photography</strong></p> <p>If you blog or need to take photos as part of your work for any reason, it's just that much easier to take the pictures with the device you're working on.</p> <h2>Tablet Disadvantages</h2> <p>There are of course disadvantages to using an iPad instead of a conventional laptop, too.</p> <p><strong>Apps Aren't Full-Sized</strong></p> <p>The apps you're using might not be exactly the same as those of the people you're working with, so sometimes you might need to email yourself a document to open on a desktop computer and convert to a different format.</p> <p><strong>Some Webpages and Forms Aren't Mobile Ready</strong></p> <p>Some Web forms might not appear the same or work on the iPad's Safari browser as they would on a computer-based browser. I have trouble filling out some Web forms I need for work.</p> <p><strong>Tablets Attract Thieves</strong></p> <p>A <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57519902-37/iphone-ipad-thefts-jump-40-percent-in-nyc/">tablet may be more likely to be stolen</a> than a laptop. On the other hand, the iPad is so light and portable, it's easy to bring it with me to the bathroom or the coffee counter if I'm working in a public place.</p> <p><strong>A Tablet and Keyboard Is Not Convenient</strong></p> <p>An iPad/keyboard combination doesn't easily sit on your lap like a laptop does. The only time I've felt my iPad was inconvenient compared to a conventional laptop is when I was taking notes in places where I couldn't access a table to set it on. It can be difficult to balance both a keyboard and an iPad on a stand on one's lap comfortably, and if I set the iPad on a nearby chair or the floor, it causes a lot of uncomfortable neck craning. If this was something I needed to do every day, I might look for a good keyboard that attaches to the iPad to create more of a normal laptop feel.</p> <p>If you worry about the workability of using your iPad as a laptop, though, you might be best off with an inexpensive netbook, such as the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LL9VDG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009LL9VDG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Samsung Chromebook</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you use your iPad as a laptop replacement? If so, what works well for you, and what doesn't?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-easily-use-an-ipad-as-a-laptop" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Easily Use an iPad as a Laptop" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Productivity Technology ipad laptop productivity tablet Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Carrie Kirby 981092 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv-watching-5088725-small.jpg" alt="tv" title="tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Cutting the cord&quot; was something only doctors and new fathers used to do. But thanks to the explosion of online streaming content services like Hulu and Netflix, more and more people are saying sayonara to their cable bill.</p> <p>As I learned when I <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/your-cable-bill-is-a-convenience-bill/">tried to cut the cord myself</a>, the big advantage to paying for cable doesn't have anything to do with paying less or accessing only the shows you want to watch. It's <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-convenience-is-screwing-your-finances">about convenience</a>. With cable, you turn your TV on and all the shows you know and love are a button press away &mdash; right there on your big screen. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <p>Once you move into the world of online streaming, people start to get a little worried. The question I've heard most often is: Will I have to watch on my computer screen? What do I need to watch on my TV? Is it going to be complicated?</p> <p>And I'm here to tell you that no &mdash; when it comes to services like Hulu and Netfix, there are so many options that you'll inevitably find one that works with your current setup so you can enjoy your shows where they're meant to be seen: on your TV.</p> <h2>Start With the Official Sites</h2> <p>It might be overwhelming at first, but what you'll want to do first is check out the device lists for both <a target="_blank" href="https://signup.netflix.com/watch">Netflix</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10932227?sid=976320">Hulu</a>. There are a LOT of TVs, video game systems, and other devices listed that can help you play streaming content on your TV set. Odds are you'll find something you already own on the list. In fact, most people are <a target="_blank" href="http://allthingsd.com/20121204/watching-netflix-on-a-big-screen-youre-probably-on-a-ps3/">already watching Netflix streaming content on their PS3s</a> over their actual computers!</p> <p>If you don't already own a Wii, XBox, Wi-Fi enabled TV or DVD player, or a streaming device like a Roku &mdash; then you'll have to buy one. Or, if worse comes to worst, you can always just hook up your laptop or PC to your TV <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/80-for-an-hdmi-cable-give-me-a-break">via an HDMI cable</a> and watch your shows that way.</p> <h2>Choose a Device</h2> <p>If you don't own any of the supported devices, then you'll have to make a decision on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">which one you want to buy</a>.</p> <p>But if you do want buy a device, first ask yourself if you'll be buying a new TV soon. Most of the new TVs are &quot;smart,&quot; which means they'll automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network and be able to stream Netflix and Hulu, plus content from a lot of other services. That way you don't have to have another &quot;thing&quot; in your TV cabinet &mdash; the TV can do it automatically.</p> <p>Luckily, Hulu and Netflix (and especially Netflix) have been at the forefront of this move to online streaming of content, so they've made sure they are compatible with as wide a range of devices as possible.</p> <p>All you have to do now is login to your account via whichever device you've chosen and &mdash; viola &mdash; you're ready to go!</p> <h2>Tweak Your Signal</h2> <p>All of this sounds easy enough, right? But there's one more thing you need to double check &mdash; how good your Internet connection is going to be wherever your TV and streaming device is in your place.</p> <p>If you have a device that can connect to an actual hard line (an Ethernet cable), then by all means do that; it'll give you the fastest connection you can get.</p> <p>If not, you'll need to rely on your Wi-Fi connection, which means the closer your Roku/Wii/TV is to your router, the better the connection will be. And the better your connection, the smoother your streaming experience is going to be.</p> <p>For tips on improving your Wi-Fi connection, check out <a target="_blank" href="http://lifehacker.com/306436/top-10-wi+fi-boosts-tweaks-and-apps">Lifehacker's Top 10 Wi-Fi Boosts, Tweaks, and Apps</a>.&nbsp;Because let's face it...no one wants to watch a show with a big BUFFERING icon spinning away in the middle of a nail-biting scene.</p> <p>Once you've got your device connected to your account and have it playing smoothly on your TV, sit back and enjoy watching TV in the post-Cable world!</p> <p><em>Have you &quot;cut the cord?&quot; Was the switch to streaming Internet video easier &mdash; or more difficult &mdash; than you expected?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Technology hulu netflix streaming video tv Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:24:36 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 976320 at http://www.wisebread.com Should Your Next Car Be Electric? http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-your-next-car-be-electric" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-electric-3754923-small.jpg" alt="electric car" title="electric car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="191" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the national average cost of a gallon of gasoline currently hovering around $3.58 (or even $4+ in some areas), filling up your car may seem like a nightmare. Car fuel is one of the most volatile categories under most families' budgets, because prices fluctuate due to a variety of factors, from Middle East tensions to oil spills or refinery fires. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, there is an increasingly popular alternative to driving environmentally unfriendly, gas-powered cars&nbsp;&mdash; electric cars. Forbes reports that at least <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/06/electric-car-sales-hit-another-record/" target="_blank">47,500 electric cars were sold in 2012</a> and, although these sales only account for 0.4% of overall car sales in the U.S., electric cars are gaining popularity among American consumers. Whereas a few years ago, SUVs were all the rage, we are seeing a societal shift towards smaller, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-acetone-dramatically-increase-your-gas-mileage" target="_blank">more fuel-efficient cars</a>, and those vehicles powered by electricity are leading the way.</p> <p>But are electric cars right for everyone?</p> <h2>Cost</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors people take into consideration when shopping for a new car is the cost. With electric cars, you're saving money right off the bat, thanks to <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml" target="_blank">federal electric car tax credits</a>, which can reduce the initial cost of the car by $7,500. You also get to eliminate the cost of gas from your budget (unless you drive a gas/electric hybrid), which leads to long-term energy savings.</p> <p>There are some downsides to the electric car, however. The purchase prices for these vehicles are much higher than similar model, gas-powered cars. For example, the hybrid <a href="http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html" target="_blank">2013 Chevy Volt</a> starts around $31,000, the <a href="http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/" target="_blank">100% electric Nissan Leaf</a> is &quot;as low as $21,300&quot; (<em>after</em> federal tax savings and without all the fancy add-ons), and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/trim/electric/" target="_blank">2013 electric Ford Focus</a> starts at $39,200. Even with the fuel savings, it might take <a href="http://driveelectricillinois.org/calculator.cfm" target="_blank">several years to break even</a>.</p> <p>These high costs make electric cars unaffordable for many low and middle-income households, and even though they're electricity based, there are still more costs involved. For instance, you will probably need to install a charging station in your garage (factor in $1,000 to $5,000), and don't forget regular battery maintenance or replacement costs. All of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs" target="_blank">these costs start to add up</a>, and even without the added car accessories, the final price tag for an electric car is too high for many drivers.</p> <h2>Efficiency</h2> <p>One of the greatest advantages of electric cars is their energy efficiency. A new term was created for electric cars to determine their fuel efficiency&nbsp;&mdash; miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml" target="_blank">Most electric cars get over 100 MPGe</a>, even larger vehicles like SUVs and station wagons.</p> <p>The downside here is that electric cars can generally go only 250 miles on a fully charged battery. The infrastructure for public charging stations is scarce in the U.S., so long road trips are out of the question, and if you run out of electricity while on the road, you can't simply go to the nearest gas station and fuel up. This makes electric cars more of an inconvenience for their drivers, but they can still be valuable investments if driven locally and charged regularly.</p> <h2>Environmental Factors</h2> <p>There are few, if any, comparative disadvantages to electric cars where the environment is concerned. Whereas the EPA estimates that <a href="http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f11041.pdf" target="_blank">gasoline emits 8,887 grams of CO2 per gallon</a> (PDF), electric cars have close to zero emissions. Regardless of your views on what causes global warming and how serious a problem it is, the fact remains that electric cars pollute the air much less than their gas-powered counterparts, and, as the driver of an electric car, you can vastly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet" target="_blank">reduce your impact</a> on the environment.</p> <h2>Final Word</h2> <p>Multiple factors ought to be taken into consideration when buying a car, particularly when you're deciding between a gas or electric car. Although electric cars are more costly upfront, the long-term fuel savings could make it worth your while. And, as technology continues to develop and more car companies produce electric cars to meet the steadily growing demand for them, the cost will likely drop in the coming years.</p> <p><em>Have you bought or are you planning to buy an electric car? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric" class="sharethis-link" title="Should Your Next Car Be Electric?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation Green Living Technology car buying electric cars environmentally friendly gas prices Mon, 20 May 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 974060 at http://www.wisebread.com