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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  • Mexico nabs Zetas drug cartel leader 'Z-42'
    Mexico nabs Zetas drug cartel leader 'Z-42'

    Mexican authorities captured Zetas drug cartel leader Omar Trevino, dealing a blow to the feared gang and giving the embattled government a second major arrest in a week. The suspect, known as "Z-42," was detained without a shot being fired by federal police and soldiers in San Pedro Garza Garcia, an upper-class suburb of the northern industrial city of Monterrey, officials said. Trevino, who had a combined bounty of $7 million on his head, took over the Zetas after his brother, Miguel Angel Trevino, or "Z-40," was captured by marines in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas in July 2013. He was considered "one of the most dangerous and bloodthirsty criminals in Mexico," said Tomas Zeron, the investigations chief at the attorney general's office, adding that Trevino is accused of organized crime, kidnapping and drug trafficking.

  • Vettel tips Hamilton, Rosberg for 2015 success
    Vettel tips Hamilton, Rosberg for 2015 success

    Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are joint favourites for the Formula One world title as well as the season-opening Grand Prix in Melbourne, according to Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari are hoping to end years of mediocrity with Vettel and Finnish 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, but the German believes Mercedes aces Hamilton and Rosberg are "the ones to beat". "It's 50-50 between them," Vettel told La Gazzetta dello Sport Thursday when asked who would be crowned world champion in 2015. Vettel joined Ferrari several months ago after five success-laden years with Red Bull, winning four consecutive titles from 2010 to 2013 as well as 38 Grand Prix.

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