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Investing in Regenerative Medicine at the Local Level

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7 Reasons to Consider a Home Gym

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For people who work out regularly, going to the gym can be tedious. The memberships cost money and (let’s face it) sometimes other gym goers can be downright obnoxious. To make you experience at the gym more enjoyable, you may want to consider a home gym.

7 Reasons to Consider a Home Gym

Of course, it is daunting to make the space and spend the money on equipment, but it could be worth it for the complete control of your workouts. If going to a gym is getting old, you might want to consider the benefits of working out a little closer to home. Here are 7 reasons investing in a home gym will be worth it in the long run. 

1. Privacy 

If you are someone who feels awkward or uncomfortable working out in front of others, then a home gym is the perfect solution. Just imagine: you can wear whatever you want, grunt as loudly as you want, and use whatever equipment you want without waiting for it. Plus, you never have to worry about being judged by strangers so you may feel more free to try new workouts. You also won’t have to worry about getting unsolicited advice from gym staff, or people who think they’re gym staff. There will never be any worry about embarrassment in the private oasis that is your home gym. 

In your home gym, you will be able to watch your TV shows or listen to your music unencumbered by headphones. You won’t have to take anyone else into consideration when picking the volume of your tunes. So turn up the volume and let the music motivate you. You can even use all the chalk you want without being reprimanded. 


You may even find yourself working out a little harder since you have no one else looking at you and you don’t even need to think about how you look while working out. Additionally, not having to worry about someone taking your machine will help you feel more relaxed and not on edge about other people swooping in. 

Another bonus is that you will never have to think about crowds. Not everyone likes working out surrounded by people and it can be impossible to get the machines you are looking for at peak hours. You can take solace knowing that after work you can go home to a nice empty gym and relieve the stress of a long day, without interruption. 

2. Saving Time

Sometimes the prospect of driving to an over-crowded gym with lackluster equipment can be completely demotivating. However, it is much harder to convince yourself to skip your workout when your “commute” to the gym is about one minute. 

Depending on how far away your gym is, you probably add about 20-30 minutes to your workout just in travel time. That is time you could spend going a little harder on your workout, or even better, just being at home. 

Not only will working out take up less time in general, a home gym allows you to utilize your time more efficiently. In your home gym, it will be so much easier to use the time you have. Only have 20 minutes? You can squeeze in a 20-minute workout since you won’t have to worry about the hassle of traveling to the gym. 

Who wants to battle rush hour traffic just to get in a workout after work? It is so much easier to go straight home and know that you can take your time getting there. You will ultimately be able to spend more time with your family since you will be in your home for your workout. 

Plus, your workouts will be quicker since you will know that the exact equipment you want will be available when you want it. When you’re working out at a commercial gym, the time spent traveling to and from the gym, putting your stuff in lockers, waiting for equipment, and possibly showering can be equal to time actually spent on the gym floor. 

3. Customization

Of course you should always tour a gym before you sign up, but even if you think they have all the equipment you want now, that might not always be the case. As your fitness goals grow and evolve, so will your equipment needs. 

If you take training very seriously and tend to work with only extremely heavy weights, you will be hard pressed to find a gym that carries the weights you want. If you are relatively new to working out, the gym often has a lot of equipment you don’t need, but are paying for anyway. 

When you create a home gym you can customize it to include exactly the equipment that you want. Plus, you get to decide what the time limits are on the cardio equipment. When first starting your home gym you can buy only the equipment that you will use and then only add to it as needed. 

You can also focus exclusively on your interests when designing your home gym. For example, if you like to get your workouts in through dance, most gyms only have dance space available for scheduled classes. So with a home gym, you have the ability to leave some space for a dance floor.

Not only do you customize the equipment available, you also get to customize the space arrangement. You will no longer have to worry about cramped gym floors with no space to put your mats or do your stretches. 

Why would you want to fit your workouts to the gym when you can make the gym fit your workouts. You will no longer have to work with what happens to be available; you get to decide what is available to you. 

4. Maintenance

If you really think about it, sharing gym equipment has the potential to be pretty gross. Some large-scale gyms have upwards of 3,000 members. Just think about how many people are using the same machines as you in a day and then consider how many of those people aren’t wiping it down afterwards. 

A study done by the website Fitrated showed that gym equipment typically has more bacteria than a toilet seat. This study didn’t even take into account the public locker rooms and showers. When you think about how much you are sharing with other people it seems like home gym is better for your health in more ways than one. 

At your home gym you have total control over who is using the equipment and how clean it is. You can have some piece of mind knowing that you can work out during flu season without having to worry about catching something that will knock you out for two weeks.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about strangers misusing your equipment. At the gym you often have to deal with equipment being out of order, missing weights, or just in bad shape because not everyone knows how to take care of the equipment. When it is just you, the equipment will last longer because it isn’t seeing as much use, and you know it is being used and stored properly. It might seem like a hassle to have to serve as the maintenance staff at your home gym, but it’s better than getting sick and dealing with broken equipment. 

5. Money 

Every commercial gym markets its memberships as affordable, but you still end up spending a significant amount of money on the monthly price of a membership alone. But, if all you are paying is a monthly fee you are lucky. Many gyms are notorious for hidden startup fees, annual fees, random price raising, and cancellation fees. 

Considering that the average gym membership costs between $50-$60 per month, you could be spending upwards of $700 a year on monthly membership fees alone. Even if you go to the gym every single day, this is a big expense on your plate. 

Building up a home gym requires an initial investment but it will pay itself off in the long run. When you’re building a home gym you’re ideally using a space that you already have, such as a basement or a garage. The biggest expense will be the equipment. 

Yes, equipment can get expensive, but you don’t have to go right for the top of the line stuff. You can take your time and search for the best deals you can get so that your home gym fits your budget. You may even start with just a few basic pieces of equipment and then gradually add to your collection as needed. 

If you use a personal trainer at your gym, you can even save some of that money by having someone come to your house instead of using the overpriced trainer at the gym. Having someone who comes to you will allow you to find the trainer who is the perfect fit for your budget and your personality. 

The initial start-up costs may seem daunting but just think about how nice it will be to not have to hand over your money every month to a gym you don’t want to go to. 

6. Convenience 

Clearly a home gym is convenient in terms of saving time on the commute and having more efficient workouts, but there are other surprising conveniences that you might not even think about. A great added bonus of having a home gym is that if you have kids, you can get in a workout while they are in the other room. There is no stress about finding a sitter or getting the kids in the car to take them to the kid’s club. 

This is absolutely essential for busy moms and dads who have trouble finding time for themselves. It can be hard for parents to stay on top of their health; having a home gym makes it a little bit easier. Plus, it will save money on the cost of the kid’s club or babysitters. 

If you happen to have older kids, you can let them use the equipment as well without any extra fees. Therefore, having a home gym turns into a good way to help keep the whole family healthy. If you don’t have kids, you can share your equipment with your significant other or roommates so that no one has to worry about gym memberships. 

Additionally, there is the convenience of not having to worry about weather. If you’re someone who likes to workout outside, a rainstorm can ruin your workout plans. If you have a home gym, you can just hop on your treadmill and get your workout in, no matter what the weather is. 

You also have the convenience of having your whole house at your disposal. So no need to worry about forgetting your shower shoes or weight lifting gloves. You can just run to the other room and grab them. 

7. Enjoyment

If you combine all the aforementioned reasons to consider a home gym, you get an overall more enjoyable and less stressful gym experience. You can train so much better when you don’t have to think about all the things you hate about your big commercial gym that is only interested in your money. It will be much easier to work out if you actually like the environment you are working out in. 

Once you are using your home gym all your excuses will be gone and you’ll have nothing left to focus on but your exercise. Before you know it you will start to see results, and your body and mind will thank you. 

Conclusion

It is easy to make excuses to skip your work out when you don’t like your work out environment. When you build a home gym you are creating a workout environment that is customized to your exact needs so you will really want to work out. There is nothing better than being in complete control of your fitness. 

A home gym eliminates all those extraneous factors that get in the way of your exercise routine. Of course sometimes there are limitations, but you don’t have to think of your home gym as a massive undertaking. It is perfectly okay to start small and then work your way up to the enormous home gym of your dreams. 

Overall, cancelling your gym membership and taking your workouts to your home will give you unprecedented freedom to make your fitness experience completely your own. Why try to fit your workouts to someone else’s mold, when you can control for every aspect of your experience to get exactly the right workout for you?


Delighted that THE OFFICIAL ANDREASCY is now on Linked In - you can follow our page and stay tuned for more updates.

*by andreascy*


All Systems Go: Launching a Small Business (and the Tools You'll Need)

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Starting a business requires an ample selection of tools to make operations manageable. Without them, you'd spend more time with its administration than selling and customer interaction.

Where's the fun in that? Almost 1 million businesses are launched each year with most being small operations. This is an interesting trend because it shows the viable nature of starting a business where before launching was heavily determined by access to finances and resources.

All Systems Go: Launching a Small Business (and the Tools You'll Need)

Perhaps the tools make the difference? I think so. I haven't launched a brick & mortar operation but I have started several successful, online businesses. Many tools I use are same (or similar) to those found in many, other small businesses. I can reaffirm this based on my networking and business with owners.

What common ground did I find with business tools?

1. Payment Processing

All businesses need a form of payment gateway services to complete transactions. Brick and mortar stores will likely use Point-of-Sale systems whereas online businesses rely on shopping cart software.

2. Accounting

The first year in business comes as a shock when it's time to pay taxes. Business taxes depend on its organization, profits, and expenses. Average business tax rates are usually 19.8%.

Accounting software is a must to keep income and expenses in order. Both TurboTax and Quickbooks make great options for small business owners.

3. Legal or business document(s)

All businesses should have a business plan to keep efforts aligned and to improve their chances to secure funding through loans and investments. Other important documents may include a bill of lading, trademarks, seller's permits, and more.

Legal and business documents are costly if they're created by professionals. Like taxes, a small business owner may use tools to create these items in-house. 

Tools include DocuSign and Formswift.

4. Computer and mobile hardware

What's a business to do if team members don't have access to computers, mobile devices, and the Web? These two sets of tools, alone, present many opportunities -- including:

 Access to website building tools
 Mobile CRM and networking tools
 Social media marketing and always-on monitoring
 Warehouse management and logistics
 Payroll and time management software

These tools become vital for its launch as Web efforts will generally lead to high engagement, low-cost marketing campaigns to build awareness and sales.

Also, businesses may choose to bring advertising and marketing creative design in-house by making flyers, posters, brochures, and business cards for a fraction of the costs if done by a designer. 

Tools all small businesses will want to explore include Salesforce, Hootsuite, Wix, and ADP.

5. Business Intelligence

BI tools give small business owners insights into the business operations and organization. Data is uploaded to these tools to compile information and records to produce actionable reports.

Microsoft Power BI offers a free version of their tool many small business owners may want to explore if they feel it provides a benefit.

6. Helpdesk

Gathering customer (and employee) feedback is tedious if these items are stored and organized through traditional filing systems.

Helpdesk software sits on your workplace hardware. Or, it's cloud-based. These tools create a gateway for feedback and handling issues. Other benefits include:

 A central hub for FAQ's
 User roles and hierarchy for management
 Community forums to crowdsource help

There's a Tool for Everything

No matter the task or problem... there's a tool to provide a solution. Yes, each tool you introduce will produce a learning curve and time investment. But, they will greatly reduce the tedious tasks.

This frees more of your time to work on the enjoyable activities like interacting with customers, exploring new ventures, and nurturing team cohesion.

I've found most businesses all use one or all types of these tools. Though, ask your fellow entrepreneurs for extra pointers and suggestions.

*by andreascy*

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

Description :

Few years ago, THE OFFICIAL ANDREASCY editorial team featured the Able2Extract PDF Converter and presented the multiple benefits of owning a similar software program. At the time, it was the first cross-platform PDF conversion software compatible with Windows, Linux and MacOS. Since then (we tested and reviewed the version 8), Able2Extract Professional has grown into a full-blown PDF solution that not only converts PDF to other file types, but also creates, annotates and edits PDFs on the spot.

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]
 
PDF annotations and advanced editing files without conversion seem to be the most interesting recent additions and productivity boosters when it comes to working with PDFs. Using PDF annotations, for example, you can easily highlight your PDF content or add custom watermarks to your files. And, of course, direct editing of PDF content is the holy grail of efficient PDF file management.

Few days ago, we have learned that the developer is about to release the newest, updated version of the software with lots of new features and enhancements. These include adding customized bates numbers to PDFs, even faster conversion of multiple PDFs at once, and, most notably, PDF forms filling and editing. 

Interactive PDF forms allow us to minimize the usage of paper and save time on scanning various paper forms that we need to submit elsewhere. That is exactly why we wanted to be the first ones to actually test and demonstrate how you can complete and modify PDF forms with Able2Extract Professional 12 that is about to be released on December 6th 2017. 

So, without further ado, here is the detailed tutorial on filling and editing PDF forms.

How to Fill Out PDF Forms

To start completing a PDF form with Able2Extract, just open it in the software using the Open icon on the command toolbar, or hit Ctrl+O on your keyboard.


As soon as you have your interactive PDF form opened in Able2Extract, you are ready to interact with it. Click on the field and start entering your information. Input text into text fields, select multiple items on list boxes, specify your options in combo-boxes and checkboxes, and click on push-buttons.

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

If you make a mistake while you are completing the form, you can go back to any given field and make desired edits. 

Once you’ve completed the form, save it to your hard drive or submit. To save a form, click on the Save icon you can also find on the toolbar (or, if you prefer to use the keyboard, then CTRL+S will do the trick). Next time you open the same PDF form, it will contain the information that you entered in Able2Extract. Of course, should you prefer to save one blank copy on your hard drive, save the completed form using the Save As option on the File menu. 

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

How to Edit PDF Forms 

The latest version of Able2Extract comes with an integrated PDF form editor. Thanks to this advanced capability, you can not only fill out PDF forms but also easily modify them. For example, insert an additional text field or add a new combobox. Or, maybe just add a new item or delete the existing one from the combobox already present in the PDF form. 

It’s really easy, but here is the quick how to guide to editing PDF forms. 

Open the PDF form in Able2Extract as already described. Then click on the Edit icon also easily recognized on the main toolbar to switch to the PDF editing more. 

On the right side, you will see the Edit PDF side panel. Further to the right, you will see two small tabs. You will need to click on the PDF form tab that is just below the tab you are currently in (see the screenshot below):

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

Having done that, you will see the Edit PDF form side-panel with two main sections: Form Fields and Properties.

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

As you can see in the screen capture above, you can add six different form fields (from the top left row to the bottom right row): text box, combobox, list box, checkbox, radio button, action button. And you can also delete any form field (just select it by clicking on it). 

To add a form field, click on it and drag onto the page. 

Note that for each form field that you add, you can define properties like name, font, font size, background or border color, line width and border style. You can also specify that a certain field be Read-only or Required by checking the appropriate box in the Properties menu. 

Clicking the More button, you will have the option to define additional properties for the specified PDF field. Let’s take, for example, the text field. You can customize the default text, specify that the field be multiline, turn off the spell check for the entered text and more, as you can see on the image below.

How to Fill and Edit PDF Forms with Able2Extract Pro 12 [Sneak Preview]

Obviously, there are multiple options for customizing and editing your forms. You can create complex PDF forms with Able2Extract. 

Having created your PDF form, save it. Optionally, you can go back to the convert mode by clicking on the Convert icon found on the toolbar and complete the form you have just made. Then proceed to saving. 

Conclusion

Our verdict is the Able2Extract Professional’s form filler and editor work really well. Of course, most people will probably use it to complete PDF forms and submit it to servers. But the real power lies in its PDF form editing functionality. Users who often prepare and work with PDF forms will probably best recognize its potential and appreciate it. 

As noted at the beginning of this review and tutorial, Able2Extract Professional 12, with form filling and editing will be released on December 6th, 2017. So, if you want to try it for yourself, it will from that date be available for download here. Trying it is free for 7 days -- just about enough to play with and test all (or most) of its features. 

*by andreascy*

8 Strategies for a More Efficient Home

Description :

Life only gets busier and busier. Ever since the industrial revolution, we do more and more. In recent decades, advances in technology allow us to stay far more connected, at the cost of being far busier. Staying on top of your life, and your home, has never been a bigger challenge.

8 Strategies for a More Efficient Home

We’ve identified eight strategies that can help you be more efficient at home. They range from embracing technology all the way down to how you shop at the grocery store. The goal is embrace a few of these tactics so that you can get a little bit more free time without losing your productivity. 

1. Buy Groceries Pre-Cut

You don’t realize how much time you spend cutting, chopping, shredding, dicing, mincing, and slicing as you prepare a meal. And, awhile back, someone brilliant thought it would be a good idea to start selling food in the grocery store where they had already done all of this for you. 

Nowadays, you can buy your cheese shredded and your garlic minced. You can buy your vegetables chopped and your deli meat sliced. You might already be buying one or two of these items pre-cut, but have you ever sat down and evaluated all of the areas you could save time by going all-in on this?

Next time you make a store list, spend a minute going through it and asking the question “Can I buy this pre-cut?” If so, do it. You’ll be surprised by how many things you can buy pre-cut. Not sure if it comes pre-cut? Put a question mark next to it, and look for it at the store. Ask a clerk if you can’t find it easily.

Yes, typically speaking, the pre-cut version of the food is a little but more expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, it might not be the best option for right now. But, in my experience, the amount of time you’ll save far outweighs the slight cost increase. 

2. Purchase a Smart Lock for your Front Door

There are several benefits to having a smart lock on your front door. First and foremost, you’ll be the ire of all of your neighbors with your cool looking dead bolt, and state of the art entry mechanism. And, that’s worth it alone right?

On a serious note, for starters you won’t have to manage the number of keys you have floating around to your house any longer. At a certain point, you start to lose track of how many spare keys you have floating around, and it isn’t particularly safe. Also, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your keys and being locked out of your house. It only takes that happening once for you to realize how frustrating that is (and how big of a waste of time)!

You also won’t have to deal with having to make and transfer a key to family members, friends that are in town, housekeepers and maintenance workers… the list goes on. 

Keyless locks come in two basic types - one’s that utilize a number pad, and one’s that utilize technology. If you’re worried about wireless security, you might opt for the number pad version. However, there are several additional benefits that come with the technologically smart version. 

Your door will automatically unlock as you approach it with your smart phone on you. Also, you can quickly issue access to friends and family through their smartphone, and set boundaries on how long it is accessible for.

Lets take a real life example that just happened to me. I forgot to turn off our lights before leaving for a long weekend. I quickly texted my neighbor, and gave her access through her phone to our front door for 2 hours. She ran over and turned the lights off. Voila!

3. Cook in a Crockpot

If only I had known about this in college. Did you know it was possible to open your fridge, grab a couple of things, throw them into a crockpot, walk away for 4-8 hours, and come back to an amazing meal?

It’s a little more complicated than that, but not by much. A crockpot is a very simple cooking appliance, and it seems that almost everything you put in it comes out tasting good. And, with very little effort. 

Related: 31 Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Weeknights

Take this recipe, for example: four frozen chicken breasts and a can of salsa. Dump both into a crockpot, set on low, and when you come home from work or errands, you’ll have an amazing meal. Wrap it in a tortilla and put a little cheese on top, and several of my friends have commented that it tasted better than the local Mexican restaurant. 

Crockpots are amazing because they save you both time and money. The time savings are obvious – the slow cooking components of the process allow you to do very little prep to end up with a great meal. However, you can also save a lot of money with a crockpot. Typically, you can make an amazing meal with much cheaper meat. Again, the slow cooking process breaks down the meat into something quite good. Chuck roast, pork shoulder – these cuts of meat taste amazing in the crockpot, and could usually be purchased very inexpensively.

4. Buy in Bulk

You’ve probably heard this one from your mother at some point, but it is so true. Buying in bulk saves you money, but it also saves you so much time. 

It’s painful at first. It never seems like it's going to be very expensive until you get to the checkout line. Almost as painful is trying to figure out where to store it all. Who has room for 28 rolls of paper towels? And that 5 gallon drum of 409? Ok, I exaggerate, but you get the point. If you live in a small home, or don’t have a lot of storage, you do need to take this into consideration. 

But then the benefits kick in. You rarely have to make those emergency runs to the store to get just one item. Your life is interrupted far less by the need to go to the neighbor’s for an egg. 

And again, the savings are definitely there. You get a discount when you buy in bulk, and you’ll notice the savings over time. Just make sure you have a track record of using it before you buy in bulk. Otherwise, you might end up with a whole lot of something that looked good but didn’t turn out so.

5. Use Technology for List Creation

All this talk of what to buy, how much of it to buy, and how to cook it… you need a good list to keep track of everything. And if you’re still making your lists with pen and paper, or even on a computer, its time to leverage technology for that.

There are a plethora of apps available for your phone that you can create and update a list on in real time. The best part of this is that you always have your list on you, whether at home, at the store, or on the go. Whenever you think of something you need, you can quickly add it to your list.

Another benefit is that you can share these lists with others. So, for example, if your husband or wife lets you know that they need to stop by the store on the way home from work, you can quickly share the list with them and they can grab everything you need.

Better yet, share the app with others in your home that have a role in that list. That way, all can add to it in real time, and all can check it off in real time.

Lists don’t just have to be for the store. They can be for household projects, homework assignments, and long term journaling. I actually have a list on my phone for when I think of a good gift for someone. 

6. Unsubscribe from Junk Snail Mail

Yes, it’s possible. I won’t say that there is an easy button for it, but with a little work, you can rid yourself of the vast majority of junk mail that you receive. I know because I’ve done it. 

For starters, start to think closer about where you are using your address on forms. Try to be more mindful of not giving out your address if possible. 

Your first action item is to contact the Direct Marketing Association and let them know you want to stop receiving junk mail. They call it “offers” that you have participated in, but you get the picture. It’s very easy to do, and will start to stem the flow of endless junk snail mail.

Next, sign up for TrustedID Mail Preference Service. It’s free, and you can search for individual companies that you get junk mail from, and opt out. Spend an evening doing that.

Last, try taking advantage of PaperKarma, an app that lets you opt out of snail mail. As they say “Snap a photo. Stop junk mail and unwanted catalogs”.

Junk mail takes minutes every day to deal with, but those minutes add up to hours and hours every year. 

7. Rethink your Chores

House chores are never ending. Just when you finish a chore, it seems like its time to start on it all over again. And, if you fall behind, it can seem like a tremendous hurdle to get caught back up.

For many, the reason you fall behind on chores is a never-ending spiral that has to do with how you fundamentally approach those chores. As you get behind, the chores stack up. So, when you finally get around to doing the chore, it’s typically more extensive and time consuming to get it completed. This means that it takes longer, setting you even further behind on your other chores. And so the cycle goes.

Try re-thinking your chores. For starters, break each chore up into smaller components that can be done piece by piece. As an example, instead of vacuuming the entire house once per week, try vacuuming one room each day. This is much easier to accomplish, and a lot easier to catch up on if you miss one day.

Next, think about ways to make the chore simpler. Sticking with our vacuuming example, invest in a stick vacuum to put in a downstairs closet near your high traffic areas. These lightweight, easy-to-use vacuums come with cordless models, so you can whip it out and just vacuum the kitchen and dining room in a matter of minutes. 

Finally, follow the 80/20 rule, which says that “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In other words, 80% of the effects from vacuuming comes from 20% of your efforts. How does this apply? Basically, it’s better to vacuum frequently, but not spend as much time on it, rather than doing an in-depth vacuum job infrequently.

You can still do a detailed vacuuming job, but perhaps that is best reserved for once per month.

Take the vacuuming example and apply to all the various chores you have. The goal is rethink how you approach your chores to focus on shorter sprints of execution. This will make you more efficient, while still giving you a majority of the results.

8. Go Smart

We talked earlier about adding a keyless entry to your front door, and mentioned that you could do this with a smart door lock. However, you don’t have to stop there. 

“Smart” is the term used of late to refer to home automation, or the automating of tasks at home. In practice, its less about automation, and more about making your life easier through incorporating various technologies. 

Here are a few areas we have added smart technology to our home, with great success:

 Smart Thermostat: Our air conditioning and heating system is now hooked up to a smart thermostat. You can still control it from the unit in your home, but you can now also access through an app on your phone. More importantly, the thermostat learns your patterns over time, and gradually sets the house to the temperature you prefer. This results in ease-of-use, while also saving you money on your energy bill in the long run.

 Smart Sprinkler System: Our sprinkler system now connects to the internet, getting updated on the weather. When it is going to rain, the sprinklers automatically turn off. You can also access this from an app on your phone. On a really hot day, sometimes I’ll turn on my sprinklers for an extra cycle in the evening, from my phone. 

 Amazon Echo: Amazon’s Echo is a hands-free, intelligent, personal assistant that responds to voice commands. It connects to a majority of your other devices. There are dozens of benefits, but my favorite ties in to a previously mentioned tip. You can update your lists simply through a voice command.

Conclusion 

There are numerous other ways to make your home smart, from tying in your lighting to your entertainment to your security. Each comes with an initial upfront cost, but will save you time and money over the long run. 

Our culture of busy can make keeping a home up challenging at times. Combatting this business with some of these efficiency tactics can free up some time for you, while still keep you on task. 

*by andreascy*

Why Are Comply Foam Headphones So Popular?

Description :

Many gamers and music fanatics prefer the use of over-ear headsets or silicon-based inner earbuds because of the high-quality sound on offer. However, such headphones don’t always provide the ultimate experience for several reasons, one of those being the fact they are often uncomfortable during prolonged use. 

Why Are Comply Foam Headphones So Popular?

Comply foam ear-budded headphones are becoming more and more popular because they’ve been able to solve the problems other headphones haven’t had a chance to. Here are a number of reasons why consumers are now looking toward comply foam earbud headphones for their listening requirements.

1. Comply Foam Headphones Help Isolate External Noise

Many gamers and professionals who use over-ear headphones have access to quality sound, but they don’t always get that quality sound because of external noise that can often interrupt the overall listening experience. With comply foam earbuds, you don’t get that problem because they put sound straight into the ear and prevent any external noise from entering. Comply foam based headphones have been around for years now, but it’s only been within the last few years where consumers have really seen the benefits they provide. 

2. Comfortable Experience

Gamers and music listeners often use headphones for longer periods for their entertainment purposes, but they regret it soon afterward because their ears feel sore. That problem goes away with comply foam earbuds – the soft solutions help improve comfort so consumers can take advantage of them for hours upon hours without experiencing any soreness. Take a look at complyfoam.com to see the comfort benefits such headphone solutions provide. 

3. Durable & Reliable

Bulkier over-ear headphones don’t tend to last long because they’re fragile and are usually only made out of plastic. Comply foam based headphones are compact, simple, and very durable. They do come at a cost, however, but they can always be relied upon to last for years. Therefore, they are a much more cost-effective solution than some of the other headphone solutions on the market. 

4. Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits of comply foam earbuds: they’re very flexible. Everyone has different sized/shaped ears and many headphones on the market don’t provide enough flexibility. However, not only are comply foam earbuds great at isolating external noise, providing a comfortable experience, and last for a long time, but they’re very flexible and provide comfort for different ears of all shapes and sizes. So, if you can’t find a set of headphones that can cater to the needs of your ears, consider comply foam tips today for the ultimate experience that is almost guaranteed to provide comfort.

Conclusion 

Granted, many of the other headphones out there can provide excellent quality sound and comfort, which might suit gamers looking for more out of their experience. Others also provide the over-ear experience which is something music listeners often prefer. However, with comply foam making strides in producing high-quality sound, comfort, and flexibility for all consumers, it could only be a matter of time before comply foam is one of the biggest players in the headphone market.

Thank you all for checking out my articles! Can I help you in some way or another? Let me know below and I’ll be glad to give you a hand!

*by andreascy*

Thinking About Buying a Hoverboard? Read This First!

Description :

The hoverboard has grown in popularity because it's easy and fun to use. You can ride one to get to where you're going faster than you could by walking, and since it's smaller than a bike, it's convenient for those who want to try to take it out on city streets. 

Thinking About Buying a Hoverboard? Read This First!

The board gets its name because the wheels on most of the boards are slightly under the edges, giving the appearance of the person floating above the ground. Most boards have two wheels, but there are also solo wheels. You can find hoverboards online and in many retail stores. When you start searching for boards, you'll find a number of designs depending on exactly what you want to stand on while you're moving from one place to another as some do offer more space for the feet. Most boards have a small motor that is connected to each wheel. This allows you to move each foot by itself instead of traveling with both feet in place, similar to a skateboard. 

CNN has named the IO Hawk hoverboard "one of the coolest pieces of technology." Other companies have jumped on board with the craze and developed their own styles. You've probably seen the boards on awards shows and demonstrated in retail stores. They are popular in other countries besides the United States. Several musicians and actors have been seen using hoverboards. They have been used in music videos and movies in the past several years. 

Choosing the Best Board

There are a few things that you can do to discover the best board for your body and skill level. Among the best on the market are the Segway miniPRO and the Jetson V6. Taller wheels on the Segway allow for traveling over a variety of terrains, where a standard hoverboard usually has wheels that are closer to the ground that keep you on sidewalks and streets. There are sensors on the board that will slow you down if you're going over terrain that is hilly or that could cause injuries. A steering bar that comes to the knees on the miniPRO allows for easy control of the board. One of the features of the Jetson is that it's stable and has a wide base. The board also has an app that goes along with it so that you can see various details of the product and your usage. 

Shane Chen is known for patenting the design of the hoverboard. The design of the boards is essentially the same no matter what brand you get. There are pressure pads on the boards that have two wheels, activating the motor that is associated with the coordinating wheel. There are also speed sensors that activate the board as well. When you look at each board that is on the market, the thing that will set them apart is how they feel while riding and the experience of the rider. Two boards that are the exact same might not deliver the same ride for two people because one is more experienced than the other. When looking for a board, you want to find one that has the best sensitivity for your feet. You should feel comfortable while riding the board instead of feeling as though you might fall off, which does take some practice. The research group at Reviews.com recently took on the challenge to find the best boards available. Their methods used to find the best boards can also be used if you are looking for something for yourself. 

Back in 2015 there were reports of hoverboards exploding or catching on fire. One of the first things that the group did was to eliminate the boards that gave any indication of exploding or that had the potential to explode, which is something that you want to look for when selecting your own product. The board that you choose should be certified and put through a detailed electrical test to determine if it could explode. Although there is nothing that will guarantee 100 percent safety, these tests should put you at a high safety percentage while riding. 

After choosing a few boards to try, you want to ride each one inside the home or inside a building, such as your office building at work. You want to use safety gear at all times if possible, especially when first starting out. Figure out the proper way to get onto the board and how to get off. You might need some kind of secure device beside you the first few times you get on and off, but once you're able to mount and dismount with ease, it's like riding a bike. Most people will be a little off-balance while they ride for the first few times. It takes practice to get to a point where you can ride a hoverboard like a professional. It's possible that there will be a crash or two, but it's important to learn from the mistakes that you make so that you know how to ride the next time. 

One of the things that you need to look for if you plan to ride your hoverboard for long periods of time is the battery life. Some boards just don't have a battery life that lasts longer than a few hours while others will last half a day or longer. The Segway miniPRO is a board that has the longest battery life out of several that the research group tried. 

When you look at the hoverboards in front of you, you might notice that they look almost exactly the same except for the brand name. There could be differences in the pattern on the outside of the board or the type of tread on the wheels as most boards have the wheels on the outside area of the board. Some boards have the same robotic voice that tells you what to do or that offers tips on how to use the device. They will likely have the same kind of app to use. Hoverboards are similar in appearance because most of the companies that make them are in China. When the boards are made, they are picked up by outside companies, and a new name is put on each one. 

Another aspect to consider when you're getting a hoverboard is the price. Most are in the $500 to $700 range for a sufficient board that will do everything that you want and has the appearance that you desire. However, Don’t buy cheap, uncertified boards. Though many online merchants list boards that look like our top picks at dirt-cheap prices, we advise caution. These boards are often uncertified knockoffs that haven’t undergone safety tests. While the exterior of the board may appear similar, the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are sometimes replaced by cheap, dangerous counterfeits that may catch fire.

Once you have mastered using the hoverboard inside, it's time to see if you can ride it outdoors. Stay on a flat surface to start with so that you're not navigating hills and slippery areas. You should also try to find a place that doesn't have many people or cars until you feel better about being on the board. A park is a good place to go or an empty parking lot. After you have mastered flat surfaces outside, you can move on to the terrain that you might encounter during the day, such as sidewalks that have rough patches or even grassy surfaces to see how well the tires would do on a surface that isn't paved. 

When you're choosing the best hoverboard, you want to find one that handles a variety of road situations. You want to get a board that can stop quickly and easily. Some boards are better suited for riding indoors, so you need to look at the features and specifications of the boards that are available to see which ones are meant for riding outside. A true off-road board will usually have larger tires with thicker tread on them and feel a bit more comfortable while you're riding compared to a board that is only meant for riding inside. 

The best board that is recommended for general commuting is the Segway miniPRO. It can be used inside or outside and is a better option if you plan to use it on a daily basis. The tires are filled with enough air to absorb the shock that you put the board through while riding. There are wide foot pads that make the board comfortable to be on for a few hours at a time. This is a hoverboard that does well with going up hills and going over surfaces that are cracked or that are littered with small pieces of debris. It does have quite a bit of speed to it as well. The Segway has a few features that other boards don't offer. You can set the lock mode in place so that an alarm will sound if anyone other than the person who operates the app is on the board. You are required to use an app with this board, but it does mean an added bit of security. There are speakers built into the board. 

The Jetson V6 offers several details that make it among the best on the market. It's lightweight and offers a smooth experience for even the novice rider. Wide fenders on the sides of the board allow for easy maneuvering whether you're inside or outside. The larger fenders also provide a bit more stability and security while you're riding. Turning while on the board seems almost automatic and is smooth. It does do best on flat surfaces instead of surfaces that are rougher. The frame is made of plastic, which makes it easy to pick up and carry with you wherever you want to go during the day. 

If you plan on being outside on the grass, then you want a board that has larger wheels so that you have more support. Read all of the description and reviews online and any information that comes with the board so that you're operating the device properly and safely. Look at the weight limits of the board as some are designed for younger or lighter riders. However, most boards will support the weight of an average man. Children shouldn't ride hoverboards if they are under 12 years old, and if they are under this age, they need to be monitored at all times and wear the proper safety equipment while riding. 

Also, be aware of where you live because hoverboards are illegal in some areas. They have been banned at college campuses, malls, airports, and certain roads in several states and countries. Know local laws before riding in public.

Safety Tips

There are a few safety tips that you want to remember while you're riding. Any device that has wheels has the potential of causing an accident of some kind. Even if you use the board properly, there's always a risk. This is why you need to wear everything from a helmet to knee pads so that the body is protected. Watch your surroundings so that you can clearly see if there is anyone walking behind you or near you or if there are any cars in the area if you're on the street or in a park. You also want to wear a shoe that has grip. 

When you mount the board for the first time, check to see that it has a self-balancing setting. This will help to keep the board still while you're putting your feet on the pads. The panels on the sides of the board should be level, and you want the wheels to gently respond to any type of pressure that they are given. Use your dominant foot to get on the board before putting the other foot in place.

Conclusion

Hoverboards can be a lot of fun, but do your research before you purchase one and exercise appropriate safety precautions when riding one.


Really appreciate your long-standing support! Big thanks!

*by andreascy*

Investing Is For Everyone, Here's What You Need To Know

Description :

Social security isn’t going to run out, but its numbers fluctuate and there’s no telling how much it will pay for retirement. It only brings in about 75 percent of what it’s intended to pay out each year, which could leave you with less than you’re hoping for. 

Investing Is For Everyone, Here's What You Need To Know

That’s why you need a well-rounded and diversified investment portfolio regardless if you’re low-income or high. The following lists the various types of investment opportunities available to you, and the importance of using an investment management company to help you ensure long-term success.

Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

These two things are not similar: stocks and bonds. Stocks allow you to buy your way into company ownership. Bonds allow you to lend your money out and receive interest and eventual repayment. Mutual funds combine both stocks and bonds and they’re managed by third-parties. It’s important to choose an investment management company that understands risk. For example, Shailesh Dash, named one of Forbes’ “Top Indian Leaders” in 2015, uses “fundamental analysis to identify value.”

Analysis is everything, and it’s going to ensure that outcomes are fully researched. This ensures a successful long-term return with fewer risks. Not all management companies are created equal, and not all are so homed in on risk and reward. Even if you’re only investing in your 401k, it’s important to research your management company to ensure they’re doing all they can to protect and grow your money. 

Real Estate 

Home ownership is important, but mortgage debt can hold you back in life. The secret to successful real estate investing is to not live outside your means, and don’t mortgage yourself to death. If you’re considering purchasing your first home, you may want to own a duplex. Live in one side and rent out the other; or, continue to rent and rent out both properties.

Here are a few more ways to invest in real estate that is growing to be a profitable market:

 Senior and disability-friendly apartments/homes.

 Off-campus homes for students.

 Off-base military housing.

 Low-income and halfway houses.

On its LinkedIn page, Shailesh Dash recommends that you utilize a qualified management company to evaluate and optimize your real estate portfolio. This is good advice, again because it minimizes risk and maximizes reward. You’ll receive a “full spectrum of debt management… including acquisition finance, debt restructuring, strategic debt financing, and coordination of bank syndicates.” As well as your assets will be evaluated, your transactions structured, and more.

Alternative Investments

Alternative investments are any investments that don’t fall into the traditional category of stocks, bonds, and cash. Real estate is considered an alternative investment, but it deserved its own space on this page because it’s one of the best ways for lower income individuals to build gradual wealth. Other examples of alternative investments include wine, art, precious metals, hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital. 

As far as retirement goes, certain collections are always a great investment. For example, silver and gold are two things you can always buy low and sell high. The secret is to know when to buy and sell. Don’t just buy silver now because you have some extra money; instead, place that money into a savings account and wait for silver to go down. Luckily, there are lots of places online that monitor the prices of silver and gold and can help you make a good decision of when and where to buy.

As far as investing goes, it’s never too late to start. But, the earlier you start the better. No matter where you are in life (in college, in debt post college, or middle-aged), investing in your future can only help you. Talk to a money manager now, and you can start putting away what you need to have a carefree retirement. 

Looking forward to your comments.

*by andreascy*

Are You Underestimating the Importance of Data Security?

Description :

Since the invention of the internet, data has taken on a whole new meaning. While advancement in technologies has made it convenient for us to share, store, input, and review data from virtually anywhere, this also puts businesses and everyday consumers at risk. 

Are You Underestimating the Importance of Data Security?

Everything from your bank account information and social media profile to client and payment information is vulnerable with the use of any device. Have you been underestimating the importance of keeping it secure?

How is Data Risked? 

Though most consumers and businesses are aware of risks such computer viruses and cyber attacks, most aren’t aware of the various ways in which data can become compromised. Here are some of the most common risks:

Theft

What happens if your laptop, desktop, or smartphone becomes stolen? How much data have you just put at risk? Deliberate attacks happen often to businesses and individuals who could be holding sensitive information. Theft doesn’t have to come in the form of a robber sticking you up at gunpoint either. From former employees stealing sensitive information to competing organizations trying to learn trade secrets, data is stolen all the time. Though companies like Capitol Digital & Califorensics can help to recover data from a damaged or stolen device, taking preventative measures is always best.

Loss

Everyone is human and entitled to make a mistake from time to time. Data can easily be lost by misplacing a smartphone, misfiling documents, or losing a laptop while waiting at the airport. This sensitive information can now be in the hands of anyone leaving you open to exposure.

Neglect

How many times have you discarded of a phone, computer, or laptop without wiping the information on them clean? Did you know that if not properly erased, others who buy the devices can pull and use this information to their advantage? Other forms of neglect might include the failure to create strong enough passwords which provide easy access to sensitive programs, and even data such as forms or letters that are not properly shredded can be a form of neglect that leaves you vulnerable to a data breach.

How Can You Improve Data Security? 

As you can see, there are a lot more risks out there than viruses and malware. If you want to keep your data secure, it is imperative to be proactive in implementing some of the following preventative measures:

1. Install antivirus software – Don’t underestimate the importance of antivirus software. This should be installed on your computer and your smartphones to prevent hackers from accessing information through apps and online programs.

2. Create passwords – Whether in the office, at home, or on the go, all your devices applications and programs should have strong passwords to make it harder for a thief to steal your information. Create passwords that you can remember, however, that aren’t too easy for others to learn.

3. Train Staff – For those who are concerned about data breaches in the office should be sure to properly educate their staff on cyber security as well as policies and procedure that should be followed in the office to minimize the potential for a data breach.

4. Backup Data – Some things are beyond your control. If you happen to lose your smartphone or get hacked at work having your data backed up can make recovering a lot easier. Whether you use cloud storage, a flash drive, or another device to store your data, it can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

You never know just how vulnerable you are until you’re hacked, your phone gets lost, or someone deliberately steals confidential information from you. Outside of being prepared with the above-mentioned tips, it is ideal to set up solutions like data forensics recovery, backup storage, and other IT solutions to minimize the impact of a data breach.

What are your thoughts? If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly or post them below. Thanks!

*by andreascy*