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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(123 Stories)
  • As Islamic State fighters begin to blend in, defeating them no easy matter
    As Islamic State fighters begin to blend in, defeating them no easy matter

    By Isabel Coles and Peter Apps BAQIRTA Iraq/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After their lightning takeover in June, flag-waving Islamic State militants paraded through the captured Iraqi city of Mosul in looted U.S.-built Humvees, armored cars and pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns. Today, many have ditched military-type vehicles that could make them easy targets of U.S. It is unclear how the Islamic State’s tactics will further change as a result of the reclaiming of the strategic Mosul Dam by Iraqi government and Kurdish forces or Sunday’s dramatic retaking of Amerli, where thousands had been cut off from food and water, but clearly battlefield strategies are involving on both sides.

  • Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel
    Ukraine: rebels fire on border guard vessel

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

  • 'Hundreds' of Americans linked to IS: lawmaker
    'Hundreds' of Americans linked to IS: lawmaker

    Several hundred US citizens may have had contact with Islamic State jihadists in Syria, the chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee said Sunday. Republican lawmaker Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent, told "Fox News Sunday" he was concerned about efforts to keep track of Americans who had links to the group. The US State Department has previously estimated that more than 100 US citizens had traveled to Syria to join radical groups such as the Islamic State. He also raised concerns about the estimated 500 British citizens and "several hundred" Canadians believed to have traveled to Syria, noting that passport holders from those countries could both enter the United States without a visa.

  • With heavy heart, Kuchar hovers around the lead
    With heavy heart, Kuchar hovers around the lead

    NORTON, Mass. (AP) — With an orange ribbon on his hat and nine birdies on his card, Matt Kuchar pulled within a shot of the lead Saturday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Not that he needed a reminder, but a message posted on the scoring table spoke to the emotions involved in this tournament.

  • Hong Kong activists in fightback after China vote decision
    Hong Kong activists in fightback after China vote decision

    Hong Kong pro-democracy activists heckled a top Chinese official Monday, setting the stage for disruptive protests against the mainland's landmark decision to limit voting reforms, but Beijing insisted that there would be no turning back. Li Fei, a member of the top committee of China's rubber-stamp parliament, was forced to speak over the cries of pro-democracy lawmakers and protesters during a meeting with local officials in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Brief scuffles erupted outside the venue as police used pepper spray to stop protesters from storming the hall, where Li told delegates that China will not tolerate a local leader who is disloyal to the mainland. "Anyone who does not love the country, love Hong Kong or is confrontational towards the central government shall not be the chief executive," he said.

  • Syrian army, rebels fight on Golan where peacekeepers held

    By Baz Ratner and Manuel Mogato EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/MANILA (Reuters) - Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. Syria's three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last week when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war. Fiji says it is negotiating the release of its 44 troops. The United Nations says it is not sure where they are being held.

  • Iraq presses fightback after breaking jihadist siege
    Iraq presses fightback after breaking jihadist siege

    Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shiite militiamen backed by US air strikes pressed a fightback against jihadist-led militants Monday, buoyed by breaking the 11-week siege of a Shiite town. The breakthrough to the town of Amerli is the biggest offensive success for the Iraqi government since militants led by the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group overran much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June. It came as the United States carried out limited air strikes in the area, the first time it has expanded its more than three-week air campaign against IS beyond the north, while the United Nations announced that violence in Iraq killed more than 1,400 people in August. Iraqi forces kept up the momentum of their advance on Monday, with Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen retaking Sulaiman Bek, a town north of Amerli that had been an important militant stronghold.

  • Tony Stewart's return to race track ends early
    Tony Stewart's return to race track ends early

    HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Tony Stewart climbed from his battered car, took a big gulp of water, and surveyed the damage.

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