Are You Reading and Posting Content Worthy of Your Smartphone Data? 5 Tips to Switch Up Your Online Commentary.

From awards shows to politics and sporting events, the beginning of the year is packed with comment-worthy moments. Many of us take these opportunities to share what we think are the smartest, sharpest and snarkiest takes and project online to our friends and beyond.

But as these major moments happen, are you really posting and reading content that’s worth your smartphone data? Follow this checklist from Straight Talk Wireless to ensure you’re delivering a dose of straight talk when it comes to the hottest trending topics on social media.

1. Politics. We all know social media is the unofficial debate stage and with the recent election you may have taken a stance yourself. Did you confidently craft your argument or did your post begin with, “Now, I don’t usually post about politics, but…”? If so, take a moment to question why not. Save yourself the long-winded debate with your distant relative and post a picture of a puppy instead.

2. Breakfast grams. Getting ready to post a shot of that delicious breakfast of yours? This one’s easy: don’t. No one really enjoys a photo of a soggy egg sandwich. Use your camera to capture something more meaningful instead – like the group of friends you’re out to eat with.

3. Sweet talk. Posting about your significant other is like an action movie with too many sequels. The first one was great, but after the second and the third we all just want to move on. Keep the romance to yourselves and save the public displays of affection for anniversaries or birthdays.

4. Baby photos. Recently welcome a new little bundle of joy to your family? See sweet talk above. We all want to see your little one and gush over a few sporadic photos. But we don’t need a play-by-play of their potty-training conundrums draining our data. Post away when they’re first born and check in with us again at the next holiday.

5. Celebrity gossip. Debating who wore it best on the red carpet? Losing it over news that your favorite pop artist is having twins? So are a lot of other people. So mix it up. Tap those copywriting or photo editing skills to wow us with your sharpest take or hilarious meme. If a certain actresses’ dress looks like a giant pizza on the red carpet, let us know. We’ll probably agree with you.

Follow these tips to ensure you’re posting content worthy of your precious data. Nothing’s worse than overpaying for data, so save with Straight Talk Wireless. Straight Talk Wireless offers consumers access to the best phones on the best networks at just $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5 gigabytes at high speeds (then 2G*). And now you can double your data for only $10 more with Straight Talk Wireless’ new 10 gigabyte plan, with the first 10 gigabytes of data at high speeds (then 2G) – all for $55! And switching is easy because you can keep your phone, network and number with Straight Talk’s Bring Your Own Phone program (BYOP). Best of all, there are no contracts, credit checks or mystery fees. Visit Straight Talk’s YouTube page to learn more and teach the world the benefits of straight talk online. (BPT)

6 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Have you taken any steps toward protecting your identity? In the age of the Internet and social media, it has become increasingly important to be vigilant of how you are presenting yourself and what information you are giving away. Thieves can target anyone, but they prefer people who make it easy for them. There is good news, however, as it is possible to take some simple steps toward protecting yourself online and reducing your chances of being hacked.

Experts at Theft Authority have put together a basic guide on 6 ways Internet users can protect their identities online. Their advice includes detailed thoughts on what to do on social media, how to deal with people who contact you online, how to use wireless networks, and how to dispose of paper documents safely.

Every adventure online can open up new worlds, new shopping experiences, and interactions with strangers from near and far, but it does require a modicum of carefulness. Taking care of your identity both in real life and online, has never been so vital.

PBS’ A Capitol Fourth Welcomes Back America’s Favorite Host Tom Bergeron To Lead The National Independence Day Celebration Live From The U.S. Capitol

All-Star Cast Features Musical Performances by Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Gavin DeGraw, Cassadee Pope, Amber Riley, Jackie Evancho, Sutton Foster and the Broadway cast of “On Your Feet!” with the National Symphony Orchestra
PLUS Special Performance of National Anthem by THE VOICE Season 10 Winner Alisan Porter

- Plus Tributes to the 75th Anniversary of the USO and
the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service -

Tom Bergeron

Tom Bergeron

This July 4th, America’s national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country’s 240th birthday, as A CAPITOL FOURTH on PBS welcomes back Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron (DANCING WITH THE STARS) to host the festivities.  Broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the all-star musical extravaganza puts viewers front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.  A CAPITOL FOURTH (#July4thPBS) will feature performances by: legendary Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson; platinum selling recording star and Grammy Award-winner Kenny Loggins; multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw; Award-winning country vocalist Cassadee Pope; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE), who is set to star in DREAMGIRLS THE MUSICAL on London’s West End; musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Tony Award-winning Broadway and television star Sutton Foster (YOUNGER, GILMORE GIRLS); and the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” the inspiring true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack EverlyAlisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of THE VOICE, will open the show with a special performance of the “National Anthem.” The concert will also feature special segments in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the USO and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (more details to come).  The 36th annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Monday, July 4, 2016 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.  The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.
Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson

The top-rated, award-winning program features twenty cameras positioned around the city, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.  Capping off the show will be a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition.

Also participating in the event will be the Choral Arts Society of Washington, Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

The program is a co-production of Jerry Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C.  Executive producers Jerry Colbert and Michael Colbert have assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment shows including the GRAMMY AWARDS, COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, TONY AWARDS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and more.

Help Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

As Published by GEICO

As our population has continued to grow and more and more people are being forced to relocate to suburbia, average commute times have sky-rocketed. A recent national study revealed that commuters in large metropolitan areas like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago spend nearly an entire work week each year sitting in traffic to and from their jobs. The average American spends 25.1 minutes a day—each way—driving to and from work.* It’s safe to say the days of the 10-minute work commute are gone.

If you’re one of these unlucky commuters and telecommuting, carpooling and/or public transportation aren’t realistic options, here are a few tips that may extend the life of your car and help you spend less on gas by making your vehicle more fuel-efficient.

Be conscious

Avoid sudden starts and stops and observe the speed limit. Erratic acceleration and quick braking uses more fuel than driving in a smoother fashion. Plus, the wind resistance caused by driving fast costs you money. For every 5-mph you drive over the 60 mph mark, you add a dime to the price of every gallon of gas you buy.

Stay in tune

Keep the car as well tuned as you possibly can. A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by up to 50 percent! Getting regular tune-ups, maintenance, and having clean air filters will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent car trouble down the line. Using the right grade of oil for your car can also help ensure it runs smoothly in all types of weather.

To inflate or not to inflate? That is the question.

A phenomenal 36% of cars are driven with tires below the recommended psi (pounds per square inch). Check your tire pressure regularly with a tire gauge to make sure they’re in line with what your manufacturer recommends. If you drive on wheels that are under-inflated your car’s fuel efficiency will be reduced by up to 2 percent for each pound that the tires are under-inflated.

Chill out on chilling out

Stop using the AC so much! Your vehicle’s air conditioner uses power generated by the engine, so only use it when necessary for short periods. Parking in the shade and using a reflective windshield shade will help keep your car cool on hot days. If your car is too hot to drive, simply roll down the windows and let it air-out before hitting the road. On the other hand, driving with your windows down reduces the aerodynamics of your car and increases fuel consumption, so on summer road trips try to strike a happy medium.

Get the junk out of your trunk

Avoid carrying extra weight in your car. Extra weight saps your fuel economy, so unless you’re planning on playing that day, leave those golf clubs at home.

Got a new car with less than 15,000 miles on it? Be sure to add Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) to your policy to help cover mechanical problems when your new car warranty runs out.

*http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/data/commuting.html

IK Multimedia Announces iRig UA, The First Universal Guitar Effects Processor and Interface for all Android Devices

Now Android musicians can finally enjoy AmpliTube real time guitar amp and effects thanks to IK Multimedia’s new digital effects processor and interface

iRig UA

IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation technology, is pleased to announce iRig® UA, the first digital effects processor and interface to allow universal near-zero latency guitar processing with AmpliTube® UA on all devices with Android 4.0 or higher and that support USB host mode/USB OTG. iRig UA represents a paradigm shift for Android users, that for the first time, will now be able to experience high-quality real time effects processing on any Android device.

IK has solved the issue of Android platform fragmentation and OS latency by moving the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to iRig UA. The solution lies both in the iRig UA and its companion app, AmpliTube UA. An advanced built-in digital signal processing chip directly inside iRig UA provides for the latest generation of mobile modeling technology, while the AmpliTube UA control app provides an easy to use graphic interface that lets users edit their guitar rig and save or recall presets instantaneously.

iRig UA is a universal Android solution that is able to produce rock solid performances, high-quality sound and near-zero latency on virtually any Android device running Android 4.0 OS or later and supporting USB host mode/USB OTG, including models from Samsung, Sony, Motorola, LG, HTC, Xiaomi and many more.

Plug-and-play on Android
iRig UA features a built-in high performance 32-bit DSP, a 24-bit A/D converter, 44.1/48KHz sample rate, a crystal clear low-noise instrument preamp and an ultra-compact enclosure. With its premium specifications, it’s able to provide great sound, better playability, extreme portability and an unprecedented cross-platform compatibility.

iRig UA’s on-board digital signal processor works in conjunction with AmpliTube UA, a special version of IK’s powerful guitar and bass multi-effects processor designed specifically for use with iRig UA. And because all of the processing is handled on iRig UA, and not on the Android device, it’s able to provide consistent near-zero latency performance (down to 2 ms round-trip total latency) that’s independent of the make and model of the connected smartphone or tablet. Or, in other words, it offers the plug-and-play performance that mobile musicians with Android devices crave.

For added versatility, iRig UA can also be used as a digital recording interface when connected to a Samsung Professional Audio compatible device or smartphone or tablet with Android 5.0. With iRig UA, the most popular mobile digital guitar interface and virtual guitar multi-effects processor app have finally landed on Android.

AmpliTube UA has landed
iRig UA comes with AmpliTube UA, a full-featured version of the guitar and bass multi-effects processing app that revolutionized the way musicians make music while on the go. AmpliTube UA provides a generous and expandable library of highly versatile models of some of the most coveted gear in music history. It lets users create and process their tone with a guitar or bass rig with 3 stompbox effects, an amplifier and cabinet with IK’s accurate volumetric response modeling, a microphone and a tuner. AmpliTube UA also lets musicians get even more creative by letting them place their stompbox effects either before or after their amplifier.

Superior sound
In order to provide the best possible playing experience, iRig UA offers everything needed for audiophile-quality sound. Like IK’s other high-end interfaces, it features a 24-bit A/D converter with a 44.1/48kHz sampling rate and a crystal clear low-noise instrument preamp. These features allow it to deliver excellent sound and incredibly satisfying playability, no matter whether it’s used as a processor or digital recording interface.

Comprehensively connectible
The pairing of iRig UA and AmpliTube UA is perfect for on-the-go practice. iRig UA features a 1/4” input for a guitar, bass or other line-level instrument, a micro-USB to OTG cable and an 1/8” headphone output with volume control. It also sports a 1/8” AUX input that lets musicians connect any sound source so they can jam along to their favorite tunes with the power of AmpliTube.

Pricing and availability
iRig UA will be available Q2, 2015 from music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $99.99/€79.99 (excluding taxes). The AmpliTube UA app will be available at iRig UA release for free from the Google Play store.

For more information, please visit: www.irigua.comTo see the official video of iRig UA in action, go to: www.irigua.com/video.    Third parties interested in developing for the iRig UA platform can contact us at: sdk@ikmultimedia.com

 

The Risks Involved When Repairing Electrical Appliances

By Candice Hubbard 

Every day all of us wake up in the morning and almost immediately begin to use the various electrical appliances in our home.  The coffee maker, the can opener, the vacuum, etc.  When one of these breaks down it’s a major inconvenience, and we might be tempted to solve the problem by fixing the appliance ourselves.  There are many valid reasons why you shouldn’t do this unless you are trained for this type of work.  Electrical repair companies like Static Electrics can verify this fact.  Here are some things not to do when attempting to repair electrical appliances. 

Avoid Water 

No electrical appliance, for example the can opener, should be sitting in a puddle of water when you attempt to repair it.  Nor should the electrical cord be dangling in water.  If this is the case, do not plug the appliance in, and don’t try to make any repairs whatsoever until it has thoroughly dried.  The same applies to using any electrical appliance when your hands are wet, or if God forbid, you are standing in any water.  Water is deadly when it comes to electrical appliances, like the old don’t drop your hair dryer in the bathtub warning.  Remember that electrical appliances and water never mix. 

Electrical Outlets 

If the cover on the electrical outlet is loose, then you shouldn’t plug anything into it until you tighten it with a screwdriver.  If the prongs on the cord are loose, don’t put the cord into the electrical outlet.  You may not be able to pull it out again, and you could get a nasty shock when you try.  And a good rule to follow is that whenever you plug in one of your electrical appliances, only pull the cord out by the pronged end rather than by yanking on the body of the cord.  This could result in the end of the cord getting left in the socket.  If this should ever happen, never under any circumstances touch the end still attached to the electrical outlet, unless you have made certain that the electricity is turned off. 

Sparks 

Sparks can be a sign of an electrical short, and when they occur during the use of an electrical appliance, you should immediately shut that appliance off and cease using it until you have called a repairman.  A company like Static Electrics or any other must send someone out to have a look at the problem.  Do not try to fix the problem yourself because you could actually be electrocuted while doing so.  Also, sparks are usually an indication that something pretty serious is wrong, and you shouldn’t take any unnecessary risks.  You’re too important to your family to lose your life over trying to repair an electrical appliance. 

It can be tempting to want to do all of the repairs around your home.  Not only does it save money, but time as well when you are able to repair things for yourself.  But electricity can be very dangerous, and there is always a certain amount of risk associated with it even when making the smallest of repairs to a home appliance.  So be careful, and if you aren’t sure what you are doing, leave the repair work to the experts. 

Biography:   

Candice Hubbard has had a long career in the field of electrical appliance repair, working with Static Electrics Brisbane, statielectricsbrisbane.com.au.  As a result she had gained much expertise in dealing with electricity in its many shapes and forms, and earned the right to be called an expert in her field.

How to Repurpose Your Old iPad

Apple has taken the wraps off a couple of new iPads in October.

If you’re planning to buy one of them, you may find yourself pondering what to do with your current iPad. Sure, you can make back a few bucks by selling it on Craigslist or eBay, but maybe it would make more sense to hang onto it. After all, an iPad can do some pretty cool stuff when you dedicate it to a specific task or set of tasks.

Rick Broida at C|Net, shares his picks for how to extend the life of your old iPad.

Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T3W Available for Pre-Sale in the U.S.

Available for pre-sale in the U.S. now at Sony Stores and select retailers nationwide for $999, the Sony HMZ-T3W allows consumers a unique ability to sit back, relax and immerse themselves in a new world of portable entertainment with awesome, super-sized HD images and realistic sound reproduction – all with wireless freedom.

The third generation personal 3D viewer from Sony is lighter than its predecessors, easy-to-wear and loaded with simple connections for gaming consoles, PCs, home theater components, tablets and smartphones to enjoy a jaw-dropping view of movies, games and apps with a massive virtual screen size that brings a cinematic, home theater viewing experience into a portable, wearable device.