quick news

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

Keeping up with the news is exhausting. I remember taking a few news writing classes in college, and it was our responsibility to be informed and in-the-know. Same with in high school, I had countless pop quizzes in my classes. These quizzes were based on current events. My teachers and professors wanted to know how we were staying informed, how well we digested information and if we deemed “news/current events” important in our daily lives.

I subscribed and read these two emails in the morning and they are great snapshots of the big news that is going on. I usually read TheSkimm first and then Need2Know. Sometimes they have similar stories, but it’s always entertaining. The breakdowns are quick and easy and you won’t feel exhausted after reading these brief snippets of news. The best part about these soruces: they are free and it’s easy to sign up, too! On similar lines, check out Newser they have an app as well and Playbook, by Politico. These four sources have been saying my life. I don’t have to spend 2 hours reading news that I generally would just sift through and I don’t have to go from news source to news source. All of the stories and facts are right there at the touch of a button.

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?

moments

how do you spend them?

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

Addicted to your iPhone? Maybe it’s not really a joke anymore. A newly released app called Moment will show us just how true that statement may be. Designed to promote a healthier balance between our real lives and those lived through the small screens of our digital devices, Moment tracks how much you use your phone each day, helps you create daily limits on that usage, and offers “occasional nudges” when you’re approaching those limits.

So what are you thoughts on this app? I feel like my personal limit will be extremely higher than others…but that doesn’t mean I am willing to change. Also consider this, who is this app for? If a twenty-somethings were to download this app, it would be to see how much they are actually on their phone, but we might not be the correct demographic for this app. Last thing I need is an app that runs in the background (draining my battery) to tell me I’m using my phone too much.

At the end of the article on TechCrunch, they put in a quote from the app’s creator, Kevin Holesh who built Moment for himself after realizing how much his digital addictions were affecting his real-world relationships. They go on to say, “for Holesh, the effect has been pronounced. He used to spend 75 minutes per day on his iPhone. Now, he spends just 40.”  Um….75 minutes? Pfft. I don’t know if I should laugh or what, how did you spend 75 minutes on your phone and now just 40 when you are a creator of an app?

 

Why I Don’t Own A Smart Phone

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

Friends, take a read at this and let me know your thoughts. Before you jump to conclusions, listen to Ryan and hear him out. I love Ryan’s thought process about ditching his smartphone. Really, when it comes down to it, what’s all the rage? I’d really love to hear thoughts on ditching your smartphone or keeping on your next contract renewal. Maybe even read this article about ditching the smartphone, this is what I’m truly considering and then maybe I’ll be that person who can say I don’t own a smartphone.

wine into water

the miracle machine

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

Now, we can turn wine into water. It sounds just too good to be true, but is it? I will let you decide. As an avid wine drinker (thanks family), I like searching about new wines and start-ups within that realm. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the Miracle Machine.

Almost two weeks ago, two wine industry mavens began marketing a home appliance they called “The Miracle Machine.” This machine will use concentrates, flavor packets and an various electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to make wine quickly and easily in your home.screen shot 2014-03-01 at 11.19.32 am

Thanks to NPR, I discovered that this machine isn’t as awesome as it sounds.  From NPR’s Water-To-Wine Machine Sound Too Good To Be True? Is It article, I found out this, “So we pushed and prodded and, guess what? We can now exclusively report the whole thing was a sham. Turns out, the Miracle Machine was a marketing ploy cooked up (or perhaps “fermented” would be a better word?) by, a public relations company, to promote their pro bono client of the year.”

All-in-all the machine is still in the funding stage and its inventors will soon launch a Kickstarter page to raise money. Along with the machine, the company is planning to offer all ingredients needed to create different types of wine through its website.

If you are interested in learning more about the product visit their website. Also note that the Miracle Machine is set to retail for about $500, but with bundled ingredients at only $2 a pack, it might just be worth it.

productivity

equals social networks, what?

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

As many of you know, my current employer blocks ALL websites that could be considered “fun” and “unproductive.” Anything from Facebook to Hootsuite to CNN videos, they’re all blocked. I understand the logic behind blocking social networking, but not the news, especially when people have TVs in their offices to watch the news. Isn’t it our job and civic duty to stay informed? I digress.

After complaining about our blocked sites to a co-worker the other day, she showed me this article from Forbes, Want To Be A More Productive Employee? Get on Social Networks. The article talks about not feeling guilty if you Tweet, Pin, Facebook or even use LinkedIn while you are on the clock because it will actually make you a more productive employee. Now only if I can get my company to unblock those websites…  Anyways, it’s a pretty interesting read, take a look.

The article poses these two questions, “Does your company use social media internally? Has your company tracked impact on employee productivity?” These are two very interesting questions, and I would love to know the answers to them. Forbes, can you create a poll on this? Personally, I would have no problem if my company tracks my level of productivity, but at least allow me to use some social media or my phone in the office.

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.

ios7

my thoughts

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

Over all I think it is a brilliant update. Sure there are things I am angry about, and make me want to throw my phone against a wall but over all I think it’s great. There are features about this phone that I have been waiting for since the iPhone came out. It’s excellent, and I would truly love to hear your thoughts on why you love or hate the new update.

Phone, FaceTime and Messages: block contacts

Does someone have your number and you wish they didn’t? Successfully avoid exes, creditors, or anyone else you don’t want to speak to, with iOS 7’s excellent blocking features. Add the number to your Contacts, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap Block This Caller to refuse incoming calls, messages (including SMS and MMS) and FaceTime calls.

Timestamps on Messages

so for example in Messages, you won’t see timestamps against each SMS, MMS or iMessage. Want to know when they were sent? Swipe left.

AutoFill

Personally, I get really annoyed when I have to inset my address, and email in a million different forms online when using my phone. I have a long email, what can I say. So now, they made an option where you can AutoFill. Granted you must be a little trustworthy, but you can still make this an option. I highly suggest it. Toggle these AutoFill options individually from Settings > Safari > Passwords > AutoFill.

Automatic Updates for Apps

More than anything I hate wasting my time. Now, with iOS7 that’s not a problem! You now can update all of your apps automatically. Maybe I am telling you this and getting your hopes up because you need a few things to be able to do this. Just in case check this out. a) you have an unlimited data plan, and b) your favorite app’s functionality doesn’t get mangled with some poorly advised revisions. Control this function either way by going to Settings > iTunes and App Store and sliding the Updates option under Automatic Downloads.

Background Refresh

Personally, I think this is one of the coolest features. #Nerdstatus I know, but honest– with apps constantly running is the background your phone is draining so much battery is crazy. Now you have the ability to turn off apps so they aren’t always running in the background: turn off any offenders by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh

New Tunes

It’s pretty cool that Apple decided to throw in some new tunes to their soundboard. The best part is they don’t even suck that much. You have more options and they aren’t boring– check them out!

 

There are two major things that grind my gears about the new system, which I think will be changed soon. The fact that images you took or saved to your phone now are completely distorted and way too big to be used as a background on your phone. When you go into the settings to change a photo you have the option to move and scale, but you cannot do either. And the other, a very minor thing– you don’t have the option to delete messages (texts, iMessages). Let’s say one doesn’t send and you can either send it again or just leave it sit there. It’s annoying, and I hope that gets fixed.

Two other things I initially had problems with but found a quick fix: the calendar, and the weather.
As for the calendar I didn’t like that there wasn’t a view by month option, but there is! To do so, double click the month, tada!
The weather, all of my friends have been complaining their heads off about no weather being on the drop down. It’s simple go to Settings > General > Privacy > Location Services > Weather (turn on). Once you do that, go to a drop down, and tada there it is!

If you haven’t already check out the new operating system. Sure it looks a lot different but it’s smooth, slick and totally awesome. I hope you enjoy it!

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?