Upgrade Your Life
  • Notifications on your phone – a buzz, a beep, a pop-up alert – are fine if you actually want them, like when you get a new text. But what about all those annoying notifications? Do you really want to be interrupted every time an old high school friend posts something inane on Facebook? Good news: Turning off or limiting notifications on your smartphone is easy. Watch the video above to see how.

    On iPhones

    Go first to “Settings” then “Notifications.” Then scroll down through each IOS feature and app and turn off the ones that are annoyances rather than useful alerts. You can also tweak how they appear – as banners on top as pop-ups in the center of the screen. You can even decide if you want them to appear when the phone is locked. Again, the video above shows where in the menus to find these options.

    On Android phones

    On newer models go into settings, notifications and then turn off the annoying ones. On older versions of Android, you may need to first launch the offending app, then hit

    Read More »from Stop Annoying Phone “Notifications”
  • We’ve fallen in love with activity monitors like the FitBit and Nike Fuel Band that track your steps and graph how many calories you burn. The quantified life provides insight that can lead to healthier behavior. But would a gadget that tracks how much you drink work the same way?

    The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer – How it Works

    The $150 BACtrack connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Then you just download the app, enter your gender and weight – and blow into the hand-held device. It gives you a blood alcohol reading that is then saved in your phone. Less expensive (and less accurate) personal breathalyzers utilize a semiconductor sensor, but the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer uses a professional-grade, fuel cell sensor, the same technology used by law enforcement. That said, no breathalyzer is 100% accurate – defense attorneys routinely challenge their validity in court (blood tests are the gold standard). But while I wouldn’t bet my license – or someone’s life – on this device, it

    Read More »from Smartphone Device Tracks and SHARES Your Blood Alcohol Level
  • Which of these passwords is harder to crack?

    DOG!(!(!(!(!(! or PrXyc5NFn4k77

    Amazingly, it’s the easier-to-remember password. Watch the video above to find out why – and what it means for your password security.

    [Related: Is it Safe To Bank on Public Wi-Fi? How Not To Get Hacked! ]

    Password tricks


    Make passwords more secure:

    * Add letters: Since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, one additional letter can make your password much harder to crack.
    * Use a mix of lower and uppercase letters: Mixing up your cases adds complexity and safety to your chosen password.
    * Add numbers: Using letters, words, and phrases for your passwords seems both natural and easy to remember, but it's much safer to diversify.
    * Add symbols: Symbols are the real secret ingredient to security. Since there are over 1500 symbols a hacking program needs to run through to correctly lock down one character of your password, adding one extra asterisk or exclamation point can make it dramatically more difficult for

    Read More »from Trick for Safer, Easier-to-Remember Passwords

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  • Hamas chief: We cannot coexist with occupiers
    Hamas chief: We cannot coexist with occupiers

    Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal demanded Israel lift its blockade of Gaza and warned that Palestinians cannot coexist with their neighbors while their land is occupied, in an interview broadcast Sunday. Asked by veteran interviewer Charlie Rose whether he could foresee living beside Israelis in peace, Meshaal said only a future Palestinian state could decide whether to recognize the Jewish state. "When we have a Palestinian state then the Palestinian state will decide on its policies.

  • APNewsBreak: Tentative deal reached on VA reform
    APNewsBreak: Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

  • AstraZeneca taps Roche, Qiagen for new blood-based cancer drug tests

    AstraZeneca has signed up Roche and Qiagen to develop two separate diagnostic tests, both using simple blood samples, to identify patients who will benefit from its lung cancer drugs. Currently testing patients to see if their tumors contain genetic mutations that make them suitable for drug treatment involves collecting a sample of tissue by needle biopsy or during surgery. The collaboration with Qiagen involves developing such a test to accompany AstraZeneca's established lung cancer pill Iressa, while the agreement with Roche is for a companion diagnostic to go with AstraZeneca's experimental successor to Iressa called AZD9291.

  • Hague court to order Russia to pay $50 billion in Yukos case: report

    (Reuters) - The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will on Monday announce that Russia must pay $50 billion to former shareholders of the defunct oil company Yukos, Russian business daily Kommersant reported on its website, citing unnamed sources. The newspaper said Russia was expected to appeal against the ruling. A group of shareholders in Yukos had made a $100-billion claim against Moscow for expropriating the company that was controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man.

  • Twin tragedies push Malaysia Airlines to the brink
    Twin tragedies push Malaysia Airlines to the brink

    Any airline would struggle with the devastating impact of losing one jet full of passengers, especially if it had already been bleeding money for years. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was already struggling with years of declining bookings and mounting financial losses when MH370's mysterious disappearance in March with 239 people aboard sent the carrier into free-fall. "The harrowing reality for Malaysia Airlines after MH17 is that if the government doesn't have an immediate game plan, every day that passes will contribute to its self-destruction and eventual demise," Shukor Yusof, an analyst with Malaysia-based aviation consultancy Endau Analytics, told AFP. "I'm not considering going to Malaysia in the next few years.

  • UN Security Council calls for Gaza cease-fire

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas.

  • Wrecked Costa Concordia enters Italian port to be scrapped
    Wrecked Costa Concordia enters Italian port to be scrapped

    Ship horns blared Sunday as the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner limped into the Italian port of Genoa to be scrapped two and a half years after it capsized in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives. The hulking vessel about twice the size of the Titanic was towed into port after a four-day, 280 kilometre (175 mile) journey from the disaster site off the Tuscan island of Giglio. It's the end of a story in which many people died, which none of us will ever forget," Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said as he gazed up at the ship's towering white flanks, tinged with rust, looming over the quayside. Fears that the damaged hull would break up under the strain, spilling toxic waste into Europe's biggest marine sanctuary, proved unfounded, and dolphins joined the convoy of environmental experts in welcoming the ship into Genoa.

  • Palestinians hospitalised after alleged Israeli mob beating
    Palestinians hospitalised after alleged Israeli mob beating

    One of two Palestinians who claimed to have been savagely beaten by a Jewish mob in east Jerusalem was still in intensive care in an Israeli hospital on Sunday, two days after the alleged attack. Relatives of Amir Shweiki 20, said on Sunday he was being treated at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital after being attacked along with Samer Mahfouz, also 20, as they walked near the Jewish settlement neighbourhood of Neve Yaakov on Friday evening.

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