safety first

safetrek

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I just learned about this App called SafeTrek and the concept of it is awesome. In a real emergency, you don’t always have time to pull out your phone and dial 911. This app allows individuals to be proactive in their safety by bridging the gap between doing nothing and calling 911 in an unsafe situation. It’s really easy to use, too. When you hold down the SafeTrek safe button, a user is able to passively connect to police. If nothing unexpected happens, a user simply inputs their unique 4-digit pin to cancel an alert from being sent (to police). If a situation takes a turn for the worse, a user simply releases the safe button without typing in their pin number and is connected to police.

The concept of SafeTrek is awesome. Having the ability to put safety first in a big metropolitan city is always a plus. Keep in mind you can download this app for Apple or Android.

technology

the era of apple

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Back in January, I got the internet. *gasp* I wrote an article about my time before-internet in September. Yeah, if you can do that simple math I was without the internet for quite sometime, and truly it was much longer than the noted 4 months…it was really like a year and four months. People used to give me a lot of heat about not having the internet at home, but honestly, I didn’t need it. People would hate-on me because I am part of Digital District, and how can that be possible when I’m not in the “digital age”…folks, it’s not like I don’t have a smartphone or an iPad, calm down.

The adventure started about a month ago, that’s when I turned in my computers for a shiny new model. Little did I know, getting a new computer was a much bigger deal than most people make it. After doing much research my mind was made up, and soon I would be the proud new owner of a MacBook Air.

So, I wrote that first excerpt back in March when I purchased my computer. All is going well and I am fond of my Macbook Air. It’s been a great purchase and really the best deal for me. Now that I am back in the “digital age” and actually using my technology, RE: iPad, Macbook, and iPhone I don’t feel any different than before. There are days when I still wish I didn’t have a computer at home, but that’s when I know it’s time to put the computer down and to get outside. Do you think you could live without a computer at home?

the afternoon slump

there are ways to beat it

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After that productive morning and your inbox is finally clean, the afternoon slump strikes. The clock strikes 2 PM and let’s face it, we are down for the count. Sure, it’s normal to feel tired once the afternoon rolls around.  Did you know circadian rhythms, which affect our sleep patterns, may be to blame for the midday-slump? Ina ll reality our sleep patterns aren’t the only culprits of our slump, what we eat,  hydration levels, and how much time we spend staring at a screen also affect those sleepy eyes.

Here are a few tips to beat that afternoon dip in productivity.

Have a snack.

Have a snack to help boost energy levels. Try an apple, a handful of nuts, or another high-protein snack to keep alert.

Try a walking meeting.

Take that meeting to the streets and discuss what you would in the office outdoors. Sometimes this is a little difficult, which I understand. If your office has a Penthouse or there is a dark nearby move the meeting to one of those locations if you have to take some notes.

Switch tasks.

Have you been working on that same project for five hours? Try tackling something else (like a new smaller project, or reading some emails) to stay stimulated and keep things fresh at the desk.

Take a catnap.

Sometimes the best remedy for fatigue is to simply shut the eyes. Learn how to power nap (10-20 minutes of snooze time!) to get that midday boost you really need.

Schedule an appointment.

Schedule that dreaded dentist appointment during your lunch for some forced activity that prevents us from feeling doze-y. This way, you avoid eating at your desk, no one likes doing that!

Take a break.

Tired? Take five or get a Take Five. For five minutes do something that isn’t work related. Call a friend, go for a walk, read the news, you could even play a game of Sudoku.

Turn up the tunes.

Listening to your  favorite music to help you focus, in turn, this will also make you feel more energized.  Remember though, listen with headphones to really hone in on a tasks and your office mates will be thankful for your respect.
Kitts and puppies!

This one sounds really silly I know, but take a minute and google “kitties” or “puppies” just seeing those little rascals will make you feel better. I think it deals with the cuteness factor.

phonetics

& technology

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

As we all know, phonetics represents the sounds of speech with a set of distinct symbols, each designating a single sound. An easier way to say that is, the proper pronunciation as aspiration of consonants or vowel length in English. Sometimes people have trouble with the pronunciation of particular words. For instance, I get tripped up on saying the words cinnamon and synonymy. I know these are two very different words, but they related phonetically. Other words that have been hard for me to say include but are not limited to, pistachio, sandwich and February.

There always is a correct and a wrong way to pronounce things. In my opinion, I think technology has a one-up on humans. Technology is programed to help us properly phonetically pronounce words. There have been times I’ve typed a word into my notepad, highlighed, then selected speak to ensure I will be pronouncing a word (or name) properly.  photo

Technology is a funny thing. Siri is a funny thing. She is trained to complete taks based on your speech pattern. After using Siri, she will start to recognize how you say things rather than correcting you. Patrick, who has guest blogged in the past, has been using Siri for years. While Patrick was driving in the car, he said, “Siri call Brittney.”  This is something Siri often does for Patrick, so calling Brittney should not be a hard task. Low and behold, Siri responds saying, “I don’t see ‘Britt Knee’ in your address book. Should I look for locations by that name?” Flabbergasted at this request, Patrick just dialed her on his own.

I was roaring with laughter when Patrick told me this story. I couldn’t believe that a technological item took him so literal. It just goes to show, Siri truly is out smarting us. I found an article to share with all of you Siri lovers, Teach Siri To Stop Saying Your Contact Names Like a Robot. Now you can program Siri to understand your phonetics and how you speak. If you use Siri, I would love to hear about your experiences with her.

iPhones and all their rage

but seriously, what’s all the rage?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Apple unveiled the plans for the newest iPhone a few days ago. Let me start by saying: I am an avid Apple user. I love my MacBook (when I use it), I love my iPad, iPod (yes I still have one), and I have a love-hate relationship with my iPhone5. Sure there are more days I love all of these products than days I want to throw them off a building and have a car run over them, but I think Apple is slacking. To prove this point I will give you a context.

Yesterday the Business Insider came out with an article titled: If You Already Have An iPhone 5, Do Not Buy One Of Apple’s New iPhones This Year. In a nutshell the article reads:

Basically, if you are an iPhone 5 owner, it really doesn’t make sense to upgrade unless you are the type of person who always has to have the latest and greatest. You should only upgrade if you have an iPhone 4S or earlier iPhone model.

Plus, there’s a lot to look forward to next year. If Apple follows its pattern, it will introduce a new iPhone with a new design in 2014. And there’s already chatter that next year’s iPhone could have a larger screen.

I couldn’t agree more. When I upgraded from the five, I went from a 3– and it was a huge jump. It was like eating nutella for the first time. Honestly, whenever I picked up my iPhone 5, I heard angels signing…at first. After the honeymoon period with my new iPhone5, Ferdinand, he started giving me problems. Ferdinand was sick all the time. He would randomly turn off, not charge, stop charging when it was plugged in to charge, the battery would hardly get me to work and through a staff meeting, oh and it would over heat ALL the time–even in winter. Needless to say, this phone was a shit-show and really creating more problems than necessary for me.

As a loyal Apple user, I’ve started to have a belief that  Apple is slacking. I don’t see what all the rage is about these products anymore. The argument was that Apple was “so far” advanced from everyone else that they hide all of the new updates and technology until their competitors can “catch-up” with them. So let me ask this as a small example: if Samsung is so far behind Apple then why did they come out with the option to do panorama photos, LIGHT YEARS before Apple? I will tell you this, when I have an upgrade I’m jumping ship and making my way over to a new product. My parents recently did the jump to Samsung, they have no troubleshooting issues, no freezing–and couldn’t be more happy with the product. When did my parents become cooler than me?