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)
  • Judge temporarily blocks law that could close all Louisiana abortion clinics
    Judge temporarily blocks law that could close all Louisiana abortion clinics

    The measure, signed into law by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in June and due to take effect Sept. 1, would require doctors who perform abortions to have patient admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice. "Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges," Federal Judge John deGravelles wrote in the decision. Abortion rights activists applauded the decision, the latest in a string of rulings against similar measures, saying it would give doctors more time to seek hospital privileges. "Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights," said Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which sued to block the law on behalf of three of the state's five clinics.

  • Joan Rivers' daughter: I'm keeping fingers crossed
    Joan Rivers' daughter: I'm keeping fingers crossed

    NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

  • ISIS Turning Old Enemies into Awkward Allies
    ISIS Turning Old Enemies into Awkward Allies

    US Attacks Joined With Militia Advised by Iran

  • The Ridiculous—and Sexist—Reason This Little Boy Was Sent Home From School

    The Seminole Independent School District said that it was only following procedure, noting that proper documentation of religious or spiritual beliefs was required for exceptions. After F.J. Young Elementary turned Malachi away, his mother contacted the Navajo Nation. In Oklahoma, a school superintendent recently came under fire for asking female high school students to bend over to check the length of their shorts.

  • Sam left off Rams' practice squad
    Sam left off Rams' practice squad

    St. Louis (AFP) - Michael Sam, who is trying to become the NFL's first openly gay player, remained without a team Monday, two days after being cut by the St. Louis Rams.

  • Iran's Zarif 'quite optimistic' of Iran nuclear agreement

    By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program can be resolved by a Nov. 24 deadline. "I am quite optimistic after discussions with Lady Ashton that we can in fact resolve this issue in time," Zarif said after what he described as "good" talks with Ashton. "I hope with the readiness and political will that I see in all parties to this discussion to have a resolution within the next three months," he told a news conference following separate talks with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. Iran and global powers are working to strike a comprehensive agreement by the Nov. 24 deadline, under which Iran would curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

  • DAY CARE OPERATOR NEEDS A TIMEOUT FOR HER MOUTH

    DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be. Who do I contact with this information? I could record her with my phone if evidence was needed to shut down her business. This woman has a really bad anger management problem. She also knows I can hear her because we have spoken about how our voices travel. ...

  • Russia has 'severed' partnership with Europe, says Germany
    Russia has 'severed' partnership with Europe, says Germany

    Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said Monday. "We want partnership and good neighbourly relations (with Russia)" but on the condition that Moscow changes its policies and that there is a "return to respect for the rights of nations", Gauck said at a ceremony in Gdansk to mark the 75th anniversary of Germany's invasion of Poland that set off World War II. Evoking the "miracle" of post-war reconciliation between Germans and Poles, Gauck said he was disappointed with the turn of events in Russia. "We believed and wanted to believe that Russia too, the country of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, could be part of Europe."

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