Lifestyle:

3 “Comforts” Techies Need

When you’re hunkered over a computer all day coding, building websites or otherwise being geeky, it’s easy to get in the zone and “just deal” with an aching back or subpar diet. Unfortunately, this kind of lifestyle can only be sustained for so long. The digital era is impacting everyone, but techies are especially at risk of putting their health on the line in the name of their work. Luckily, there are a few easy accoutrements from pillows to wrist rests that can keep geeks geeking out happily for even longer.

Whether you’re a geek yourself or you want to surprise one in your life with a little comfort, check out these options for those who are sedate for long hauls. It’s a lot easier to improve posture, alignment, and health than you think:

1. Lumbar support pillow

The best ergonomic chairs can be incredibly expensive, but a great lumbar support pillow isn’t and is a fantastic back support for those who are in chairs all day. You can see a breakdown of the types of lumbar support at Spine Health and get a refresher course on why it matters. Remember: You only have one back, and when it’s not healthy it can impact pain in every other part of the body. Lack of lumbar support is one of the most common complaints chiropractors hear.

2. Sun lamps

Geeks are known for the pasty complexion, and it can be tough to get outside when there’s a big project looming. However, all that unnatural light is stressful on the eyes and can lead to a Vitamin D deficiency. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has guidelines on sunlamps, and reiterates the importance of wearing SPF when they’re in use (UV rays are still the leading cause of skin cancer). However, when coupled with SPF, sun lamps can be a great way to energize geeks and give them that all-important D.

3. Wrist rests or an ergo-keyboard

Today, new carpal tunnel diagnoses are often due to poor typing conditions. A number of people spend hours clicking away each day and even more hovered over their tiny smartphone screens. Without proper wrist alignment, this can lead to pain in the arms that extends throughout the body. Ultimately, carpal tunnel can even set in.

Being comfortable and taking regular breaks when working on a computer is critical. There’s no reason luxury and geekdom can’t go hand in hand.

Lifestyle:

Traveling Has Never Been Easier

Technology has impacted every aspect of life, and the tourism industry is no exception. More than half of business travelers check into their flights and hotels with their smartphones. A vast number of people seek information online about purchasing tickets and hotel reservations as well as information about activities and entertainment in their chosen destination. Travelers can get all the information they need about visas, health concerns, political climate and more without leaving home.

Technology Enhances the Travel Experience

Tourism boards and travel brands are making an effort to include technology to enhance the travel experience of consumers. Today, you can get apps that give you a complete tour of thousands of sites around the world. Many of these apps offer special information about each place with hidden gems such as restaurants and other attractions that visitors may have missed on a regular tour.

Many hotels offer iPads specifically for guests to use for ordering food, planning their travel and get transportation, and free WiFi is available in most hotels and restaurants.

Some of the reasons consumers prefer the Internet for making travel plans are:

• They can research destinations before deciding where to go

• Look for travel promotions and incentives before booking

• Make plans based on the reviews of others

How Consumers Use Information for Travel

There are many different types of travelers including business travelers, family vacation travelers, budget backpackers, luxury travelers and personal travelers. The one thing they all have in common is how they plan their trips. Most travelers use:

• The Internet as a planning tool to search for options. The travel industry knows this, so they market directly to online searchers and effectively prompt travelers to book online

• Search engines to find the cheapest flights. Today, there are travel search engines that pull information from hundreds if not thousands of travel sites and give comparative information. They can be modified for date and time of travel

• Social media to connect with others who have gone before. Not only do people put their experiences online, but the travel industry also uses social media to inform and attract customers.

• Videos and vlogs to learn about their destinations from others during the travel planning process. Travelers also upload vlogs and apps that are travel-related

• Smartphones are the device of choice for many travelers. There are SIM cards available that make it cheap and easy to use their phones internationally, and they can take photos and keep copies of documents and travel information with them always

Travel Rewards Programs

Many credit card companies offer travel miles, hotel reservation discounts, car rental discounts and restaurant discounts when people make purchases with their cards. More and more people are taking advantage of these reward programs, not only for cheaper personal travel, but also for cheaper business travel.

Technology touches every aspect of the tourism industry and as airlines and hotels become more technologically advance, they need to remember that tourism is about people having a great time, and technology should serve that aim and hot hinder it.

 

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last update: January 27, 2015

Entertainment:

Why the Sony Hack is So Important to Terrorists

James Franco and Seth Rogen

America and pretty much every other developed country in the world is vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attacks. That much is not in question and isn’t new. What’s new thanks to Sony is the fact that terrorists around the world now see this new form or terrorism as a potential weapon for changing policies.

To understand this, we must first look at America through the eyes of people around the world. In many countries, there is only a thin line between the media and government. They’ve grown up in worlds where the idea of “free press” is unthinkable. As a result, they also view a distinct connection between the US government and Hollywood.

Continue reading Why the Sony Hack is So Important to Terrorists

Lifestyle:

4 Tips for the Perfect Selfie with Orthodontics

Just because you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, that doesn’t mean your selfie game has to suffer. Whether you have thousands of followers on Instagram or you’re trying to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, going a year (or more) with no updated photos, pensive portraits or duck lips isn’t going to cut it. There’s a trick to taking the perfect selfie, and there are also tactics for taking gorgeous selfies with orthodontics.

When you’re deciding between Invisalign and braces, don’t let your ego get in the way. Choose the method your orthodontist recommends as best for you, and then learn to work your online image around it. There are many ways to either embrace or hide your smile depending on your selfie mood of the day. Here’s how:

1. Practice the closed-lip smile

In the early days when you might be more self conscious about your orthodontics than you should be, hiding them is a priority. However, this doesn’t mean you should go with a vapid, stoic or angry selfie all the time. A gorgeous smile can be closed-lipped, and it often lends an air of mystery and flirtatiousness you can’t get with a wide-lipped grin. Practice and you might even notice some adorable quirks, such as one side of the mouth rising up higher than the other.

2. Go for the profile

While the younger generation knows “up and to the right” is the best angle for most selfies, you were never one to follow the pack. Try out profile selfies for something new (it’s for more than just showing off a new hairstyle). In fact, many people end up thinking their profile is their best angle of all.

3. Know Invisalign might not even show up

If you go with the nearly invisible Invisalign, it probably won’t show up in photos at all unless you get seriously up close and high quality. If that’s the case, smile with ease just like you’re not wearing orthodontics. However, if you’re really after a high quality shot, you can always slip them off for a few seconds and snap the photo.

4. Embrace your “brace face”

You’re not going to have orthodontics for long, so you may as well capture this moment in your life. If you have custom colored braces, you might especially want to show them off. Go ahead and laugh or smile big in photos; a few years from now you won’t be able to show off those customized bands.

 

Lifestyle:

Efficient Methods of New Building Construction

Since efficiency is an important aspect in personal and business functionality, many companies are implementing conservative materials in new construction. Many of these developments are not only compliant with low-energy mandates, but they can save money over time from future damage and repairs. Although solar adaptations are being added across the country, efficiency in the building materials and features themselves can create a cost-effective home or workplace.

EPS Sandwich Panels

Insulated sandwich panels are growing in popularity mostly due to the features that the design delivers. These units are lightweight and provide insulation, water proofing, sound proofing and anti-earthquake capabilities. These barriers deliver a high load-bearing capacity perfect for multistory developments such as shopping malls and apartment buildings. The exact materials that are used in the creation of these EPS sandwich panels vary by manufacturer, but all have roughly the same capabilities while offering a low-cost solution for efficient construction.

Water Systems and Grounds Maintenance

Landscaping is an attractive selling point for properties, and today’s technology can keep the grounds efficient as well. Organic spray additives are capable of helping plant life use less water in order to sustain itself. Debris caps can keep dirt and other foreign elements from causing damage to shutoff valves. Recycled rubberized mulch can give the landscaping an elegant “wooden” look and feel while reducing the onset of weeds and other gardening complications.

Reducing Smog While Fertilizing

Roof tiles treated with titanium dioxide have the ability to filter the particles of smog in the atmosphere and convert them into viable nitrates. This allows the establishment to assist in reducing air pollution while treating the surrounding landscape with a continuous supply of fertilizer. Although this technology is fairly new, it could be a welcome addition to projects that are leaning towards becoming certified as eco-friendly according to organizations such as LEED.

Smart Glass Windows

Smart glass windows allow the user to alter the state of the glass itself with the touch of a button. These windows can automatically frost themselves in order to provide privacy or reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the room. This can be beneficial during the summer by assisting in reducing high temperatures. It is rumored that these windows may be controlled by the smart-house environment allowing it to automatically adjust the glass according to calculated variables such as temperature and human presence.

Radiant Cooling and Heating

Instead of furnaces and air-conditioning units, developers are installing radiant heating and cooling systems within the walls and floors of establishments. As many of these installations are powered by geothermal energy, the end result is an efficient and cost effective way to warm and cool the building. Instead of radiators and vents that produce temperate air from a single location, pipes run throughout the floors and walls evenly heating or cooling rooms.

As time marches on, greater innovative developments continue to perfect the way humans construct buildings. Each implementation is a testament to ingenuity as energy concerns are reduced. For your next project, analyze how you can think outside of the box and move past archaic forms of construction to promote efficiency to your clients.

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Lifestyle:

Understanding the ERISA

erisa

The ERISA, or the Employee Income Retirement Income Security Act, was created to provide employees with the protection they deserve. However, it has since evolved from its original concept into a law that barely protects those who it was meant to help. Disabled employees are not able to get the coverage they need due to strict laws governing the rights of insurance carriers and the workplace itself. As a result, many are not getting the coverage they need and qualify for despite their pre-existing condition.

The act required that employees have the right to a lawfully fair overview. However, this is rarely the case. Most people with disabilities with denied claims will not be able to appeal because of the insurance company will simply ignore the matter. Hardworking and productive citizens of society should not have to put up with this especially if they are contributing to their job in a daily struggle that could be made better with proper care.

Many people do not fight for their rights because they lack the knowledge of how to do it. Most employees who are disabled will accept their fate and let the big bad insurance company win. However, that can change with the right lawyer. A great attorney will fight on your behalf to get the coverage and monetary allowance you need to fix your hardships. You should not have to suffer when insurance companies are getting out of their claims by sheer malice. The key is to understand how the insurance claim company works and to use the ERISA to further prove your point.

Do Not Take On the Insurance Company Alone

If you choose to take on the insurance company alone, then chances are you will lose your case. They have access to doctors and experts who will be more than willing to refute their claim. This is why usu need a lawyer who is well versed in ERISA law to use it to your advantage.

The trick is to have a lawyer who is going to understand the full authenticity of what it is you are going to be step. Someone needs to be prepared and knowledgeable of how insurance companies work. This is how you will win your case and get back to creating the life and enjoying the career you love.

People often put our selves in boxes after a disability thinking that they cannot do what they used to due to limited movement. However, that could not be further from the truth. All that matters at the end of this trial is that you feel satisfied in your ability to let go of and accept your disability. The insurance claim is there to help you make an easier transition. However, you will need to let go of any competition and any comparisons to the person you once were. This is the only possible chance you have to move on from what has transpired. Therefore, hire an attorney who can take you on a journey to success .

Lifestyle:

Buying and Selling Real Estate Just Got Easier

Technology has changed the way the world does business and the real estate industry is no exception. It is intricately involved in the way people look for homes or commercial property as well as the way people sell their property. Real estate agents also reap the benefits of the impact of technology on the real estate business.

The Buyer and the Seller

Many property listings are done online. Home listing companies have sites where potential buyers can search for the house of their dreams in the location they want. They get access to thousands of homes in the market within a few minutes. For example, a Realtor in Oregon can get information about a home for sale in Texas in a few minutes. In the past, it would have taken several days to get the information, and the information would not have been as thorough as it is online. Because the buyer will get his or her first impression of a home online, it is essential that the website be attractive, up-to-date and provides complete data about the property. When people can get so much information online, there is less chance that agents will put undue pressure on buyers and possibly force them into buying property that they don’t really want.

Most buyers will look online before they make the decision to visit a house in person. Technology benefits sellers in the same way. Their property has a much wider viewership. Salespeople no longer need to put in long hours taking potential buyers to house after house. This reduces labor costs.

The Real Estate Agent

Real estate digital signage has had a huge impact on the real estate business. It allows legal contracts and other documents to be signed without the parties being physically together. Digital signage means more images, videos and less text. Printing costs are greatly reduced, which, in turn, reduces operating costs. This will eventually cancel out the cost of investing in digital signage technology. Buyers will see high resolution photos and high definition videos and may be able to have a virtual tour of the building.

Agents need to figure out the costs involved in buying and selling real estate. Buyers want to know that the final costs will be and sellers want to know what their property is worth. Today, online mortgage calculators give this information quickly. This is a great advantage, because the buyer may change his or her mind by the time they get the information, if getting the numbers takes days.

Technology has made the real estate industry more efficient and able to organize and handle large amounts of data. In the past, the agent had the multiple listing book and the consumer didn’t get a look at it. Today, it’s the opposite. The consumer has unlimited access to the whole market. In the end, this benefits both the agents and the buyers and sellers. Agents need to retrain themselves to take advantage of this. It gives more privacy to the consumer and they are more in control of the whole process.

Autos:

Don’t Be Misled About Proper Tire Inflation

At the turn of the 21st century, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of nearly 12,000 vehicles to check the status of their tire inflation. The study revealed that almost 40 percent of the vehicles tested had at least one if not more of their tires underinflated by as much as 20 percent.

Furthermore, nearly 30 percent of the tested vehicles were operating with tires under-inflated by 25 percent or more. But the figure showing on the tire only reflects the maximum pressure the tire should reach, not the recommended pressure to which it should be inflated.

Busting the myth of recommended tire pressure

Why is this an issue? It all stems from the Firestone recall of 6.5 million tires after a series of accidents occurred as the result of poor tire construction. The “smoking gun” to blame for the tire failure leading to the rash of accidents was low tire pressure.

According to Best Tire Review, the pressure stamped on the tire sidewall shouldn’t be the actual pressure in the tire.

The effects of friction on tire pressure dynamics

As you drive your car, the movement of the tire on the road creates friction. Friction generates heat. Heat causes the tire pressure to increase.

If the interior tire pressure is filled to its maximum before this reaction occurs, it’s easy to see the potential for a tire to exceed its recommended maximum pressure. This makes for an unyielding ride, where the bumps in the road are more jarring on passengers and the vehicle suspension.

It reduces the footprint of contact on the road that causes uneven wear toward the center of the tire. Don’t let the sensation of steering response and cornering stability give you the false impression that overinflation is safer. Your tires will be more susceptible to puncture or blow-out while you’re driving.

The hidden dangers of under-inflated tires

There really is a bit of the Goldilocks scenario about determining the correct tire pressure. If they have too much pressure, they don’t grip; too low, and they can fail.

Low pressure absorbs more of the impact on the road. This can create improper flexing of the side wall and reduce roll resistance, not to mention the excess wear and tear on suspension. The effect can be overheating of the tire, which can lead to tire separation or blow-out.

Tire pressure monitoring

Vehicles that are 2008 models or newer will have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in. This is the result of the TREAD Act enacted by Congress in 2000 as a result of the failures.

The system performs by sensing the tire pressure either directly or indirectly, which means the warning light on the dashboard either indicates the actual pressure or simply reports a potential underinflation of any one of the four operating tires.

As helpful as this system may be, it can still lull drivers into a false sense of security, and encourage them to fail to check the pressure in a timely fashion. Nothing beats having a reliable tire pressure gauge that may be used to check on the true tire pressure reading while the vehicle is cool.

This is when it should be at the recommended pressure, which is typically found on the inside of the driver’s door, glove box, or owner’s manual.

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