5 Great Tools for Packrats and Clutterbugs

first_imgWhile the rest of the world is digitizing and consolidating their belongings, some of us just can’t stop being the pack rats that we are. While the Kindle offers a good daytime reading experience, it’s tough to justify taking it into the bath or falling asleep with it nestled against your cheek. My home is filled with books I no longer need but love to lend out. Whether your home is filled with books, camping gear, vinyls or video games, if you’re a collector below are some tools to help you manage your stuff: 1. 5ftShelf: According to the site’s intro Harvard University’s president once claimed that, “…a liberal education could be achieved by reading a collection of books that would total no more than 5ft in width.” In addition to your list of quintessential books, 5ft Shelf offers collectors a chance to showcase their favorite albums and movies. While the Ultimate Shelf (popular section) largely consists of classic works, a few contemporary works including the Twilight novel are also listed. Related Posts Tags:#start#startups dana oshiro 2. Delicious Monster: Delicious Monster allows users to scan their CDs, DVDs, video games and books using a webcam UPC reader. From here users are shown a photo-realistic shelf where all of their real-life products are displayed. 3. MyThings: MyThings also offers users a chance to index their physical objects and keep track of receipts and warranties in one place. One of the interesting components of MyThings is that in the event of a break-in, your MyThings database can be immediately sent to Trace.com – a tool that tracks lost and stolen property. 4. Neighborgoods: ReadWriteWeb covered Neighborgoods’ launch in early October. This service allows users to interact in a hyper-local manner by indexing their goods for loan to their neighbors. Neighbors lends out lawnmowers, power washers and ladders to others in their area. The system will keep a running record of all your goods. 5. BookMooch: Bookmooch is a book exchange site where users list the books they’d like to give away and send them out once other members make requests. For every book you send, you are entitled to a book from another member. This is a great way to get rid of your unwanted books. The service also offers the option to donate books to charity. Photo Credits: Jane Rahman Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Read more

iPad: $1 Billion Later, What Do You Think of It Now?

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Analysis#Apple#mobile#web The iPad has passed $1 billion in sales, according to simple multiplication of the company’s 2 million announced-sales of the product after a mere two months of availability. Earlier this month, Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe predicted that the iPad would become the fastest consumer product in history to hit the $1 billion mark. While that’s a tough call to make definitively, it is undeniable that the iPad has surpassed mere hype and made at least a commercial splash. Some analysts believe it is changing the nature of personal computing, too. What do you think?Here are some of the most interesting opinions I’ve come across lately. “The iPad is a new kind of PC. It ushers in a new era of Curated Computing — a mode of computing in which choice is constrained to deliver more relevant, less complex experiences. Curated Computing is necessary to empower alternative form factors, such as touchscreen tablets, wearable and ambient devices, game consoles, and connected TVs. The iPad’s Curated Computing experience makes the tablet form factor viable for the first time since it was introduced commercially more than two decades ago.” – Forrester’s Sarah Rotman Epps, Apple’s iPad is a New Kind of PC. (Brings to mind Chris Messina’s Death of the URL.)“In my initial review, I focused on capabilities. And tablets are stuck between the power and utility of the notebook and the size and features of a smartphone. But they also create a middle place in terms of usability. And that is what I missed in my first day with the iPad. It feels less like a computer than any computing device I’ve owned. It’s easy on me in a way that the other devices are not. So I’m now convinced that tablets will have an important place in our homes and our lives.”– Tech investor Fred Wilson, I’ve Changed My Mind About the iPad. Wilson has also said that he prefers reading content in mobile Safari over content-centric apps. Take that, curated web. Wilson’s appreciation of the iPad’s usability contradicts with usability expert Jakob Nielsen’s assessment :“iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems.”Personally, I love mine. I wish there were more apps, but I really enjoy using Facebook, YouTube, Twitterific and a number of other apps on it. It feels casual, efficient, enjoyable. It helps me get my laundry folded and my dishes done. I like it, a lot. My wife says it doesn’t feel crazy, novel and magical anymore – now it feels indispensable and integrated into our lives. “It’s like finding a lover,” she says. “At first everything they do is exciting, but over time a good lover becomes more of a real person. Some of the initial fascination is gone, but it becomes a super important part of your life. And like a good lover, in time it becomes difficult to imagine going to bed without it each night.” I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, but I appreciate her letting me quote her saying it in this post. So far at least, I do not feel jealous of the iPad.What’s your take on the iPad? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Read more

Ramzan ceasefire a beginning, join talks, Mehbooba tells separatists

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the “Ramzan ceasefire” was the beginning of engagement with all stakeholders, and asked the Hurriyat for “a positive response.”“With this [ceasefire] we have made a beginning. Now the onus lies on all other political parties to contribute positively towards this peace project. I appeal to Hurriyat to step forward and start talking if they want to save Kashmir from this morass,” said Ms. Mufti at the Peoples Democratic Party’s convention in Srinagar.Describing Kashmir “as a political problem,” Ms. Mufti said, “The solution to the problem cannot be achieved through military means. Only a peaceful engagement can usher in peace, reconciliation and resolution of issues. The whole country looks up to the leadership in Kashmir to rise to the occasion and take benefit of the opportunity offered by this historic decision of the Centre”.On the spate of grenade attacks, she said, “Gun or grenade attacks achieve nothing. Despite the unilateral ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far-flung areas for their bread and butter, what will this achieve?”She promised to open up more historic routes of Kashmir to the outside world if “peace is maintained here.”Referring to fresh ceasefire violations on the International Border in Jammu, the Chief Minister said Indo-Pak friendship was in the best interests of the State.“Even the arch rivals North Korea and South Korea are now meeting to sort out issues, why can’t we?” she added.last_img read more

Read more

Anglo-Asian pop group Monsoon puts Indian music on to a 12-inch discomix

first_imgSheila Chandra: Popular blend of East and WestAs the 1982 Festival Of India, in London moves towards the half-way mark, a new sound has emerged which may well epitomise the newly strengthened relations between Britain and India. It is the soothing strains of an Anglo-Asian pop group called Monsoon, the,Sheila Chandra: Popular blend of East and WestAs the 1982 Festival Of India, in London moves towards the half-way mark, a new sound has emerged which may well epitomise the newly strengthened relations between Britain and India. It is the soothing strains of an Anglo-Asian pop group called Monsoon, the first band to put Indian music on to a 12-inch discomix.The group made their debut, last year, at India’s Independence Day celebrations in London, and were formally presented to the public this year at the newly-opened exhibition ‘Britain and India’ at the Commonwealth Institute. By March they were inching up the British pop charts determined to make it to the Top Ten, which they did.Sheila Chandra, the shapely 17-year-old Indian girl, who provides the vocals for the group’s hit-song Ever so Lonely, drapes herself in a clinging sari. While singing, her hands form the traditional Indian dance gestures, an unusual sight for Britain’s pop music lovers. Exuding a rare kind of Indianness, Chandra, a product of an Indian father and a half-Indian and half-British mother, sports a sensuous tear-drop bindi and long snaky tresses tied in a guru knot to the left of her head.Popular Blend: There is no doubt that her new kind of music has become very popular. Says the tall, charming Chandra about her music: “It’s a blend of two cultures. It’s a new sound. We are trying to draw the two cultures closer together and our blend provides a common denominator – with the dance beat there’s something everyone can relate to.”advertisementChandra, presently studying for her A-Levels, went to London’s Italia Conti drama school at the age of 15 and studied dancing, acting and the compulsory lessons, which ironically led her to Monsoon. But Chandra’s success does not entirely rest on her training. The man behind the group’s spiral up the charts is dancing, acting and the compulsoty a large, cheerful Yorkshireman, Steve Coe, who discovered Chandra and is also producer and lyricist for the groupl Coe stumbled into Indian music by chance. Said he: “I had an Indian girlfriend and we both used to listen to Hindi film songs on the car cassette radio. The old Mohammed Rafi numbers of the late ’60s really fascinated me. I thought this is good. It’s got style and it’s experimental.” Chance again took him to a recording studio where he heard a demo tape made by Chandra. “I was looking for something new and her voice attracted me,” he recalls. The result was Monsoon comprising of five members, two of them Indian: Dari Mankoo, the sitarist and of course Chandra, the lead vocalist.Monsoon make music reminiscent of the prelude to a 1950s’ Bombay melody. The sound is recognisably pop but Coe’s arrangement uses sitar, piano, guitar, tabla and percussion all synchronised with Chandra’s slightly understated voice. The combination of voice and instrument taking forward a melody is new to western music Coe believes Monsoon could be a ‘pivot group’. “It could turn people towards the East to find new sounds.”Meanwhile Chandra is convinced that success will not spoil her. Says she: “I think success has given me confidence but I don’t think I have changed. I still live at home with my mother and father.” She is still escorted to shows by her mother, who is also a singer. Chandra believes that Monsoon will have a wide appeal for both Western and Asian audiences. “I don’t think we’ll ever run out of ideas,” said a confident Chandra.last_img read more

Read more

Man drunk and speeding before crash that killed BC Mountie Crown

first_imgCOLWOOD, B.C. – A man who sped his truck through a red light and rammed a RCMP cruiser, killing the officer inside, had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, the Crown said Wednesday.Crown attorney Tim Stokes told Kenneth Fenton’s sentencing hearing the man’s truck was estimated to be going as fast as 90 kilometres an hour in a 50-kilometre zone when it entered the intersection and slammed into Const. Sarah Beckett’s vehicle in April 2016.Stokes told the court, Fenton, 29, had been drinking beer and was distraught over the recent suicide of a friend. He refused to provide a breath or blood sample, but police obtained a warrant within an hour of the crash to analyze blood taken from Fenton while he was at the hospital, the court heard.Fenton’s blood-alcohol reading was .287 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, Stokes said. The legal blood-alcohol limit is .08.The Crown is seeking a sentence of between three and five years in prison. Defence lawyer Dale Marshall said an appropriate sentence would be three years in prison.Stokes said the court must consider Fenton’s level of impairment and vehicle speed in the sentence.“He was quite oblivious to the fact he was entering an intersection where the light was red,” he said.Marshall said Fenton pleaded guilty almost immediately and will address the court to express his remorse.Fenton’s sentencing hearing was expected to be completed Wednesday, but it was adjourned late Wednesday until July 6 to set another date to for the hearing to continue.At the time of the crash, Fenton’s truck was being followed by another RCMP vehicle after that officer noticed the tail lights were out, Stokes said.He described the crash as an explosion of glass and smoke to a full courtroom in Colwood, B.C., as people sitting in the gallery held tissues and wiped away tears.Stokes said the truck hit Beckett’s vehicle on the driver side and an autopsy determined Beckett’s death was caused by blunt force trauma.He said a witness at the accident scene reported hearing Fenton say “one stupid decision.”Fenton pleaded guilty last month to charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing the death of Beckett, a mother of two boys who had recently returned to the West Shore RCMP detachment from maternity leave.Beckett’s husband, Brad Aschenbrenner, read his victim impact statement to the court.His hands shook and his voice was low and cracked at times when he told the court about losing the love of his life and the mother of their young sons, Lucas and Emmett.The hardest thing after his wife’s death was telling six-year-old Lucas “mommy wasn’t coming home,” Aschenbrenner said.His youngest son was two years old when his mother died and “will have no memory of her at all,” he added.He said the family tries to celebrate Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving, but “there’s always the undercurrent of sadness and loss.”He has not been able to work, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, he said.Aschenbrenner said he left his family in Idaho to come to Canada to be with Beckett. He is scheduled to get his Canadian citizenship at a ceremony on Friday.In a written victim impact statement submitted to the court, Beckett’s mother, Gurcharn Beckett said she is haunted by her daughter’s cruel and sudden death.“I wonder did she see death rushing at her? Did she have a moment?”last_img read more

Read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,800.40, up 30.04 points):Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 76 cents, 5.92 per cent, to $13.59 on 8.3 million shares. Canopy says it will develop up to three million square feet of greenhouse growing capacity in British Columbia, more than doubling Canada’s biggest licensed marijuana producer’s production footprint. The company said in a statement that it has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with a large-scale greenhouse operator where it will be a majority shareholder of BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., a new company.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up 10 cents, 4.44 per cent, to $2.35 on 7.04 million shares. Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately it won’t be forced to pay the 300 per cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department. “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up five cents, 1.69 per cent, to $3.00 on 5.9 million shares.Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (TSX:BIR). Oil and gas. Up six cents, 1.16 per cent, to $5.24 on 4.3 million shares.Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG). Miner. Up $2.92, 24.07 per cent, to $15.05 on 3.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $14.35 on 3.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Grocer. Up 26 cents, 0.62 per cent, to $41.99 on 692,466 shares. The grocery store chain says it will eliminate about 280 jobs starting in 2021 as part of a $400-million overhaul of its Ontario distribution network. Metro says the move to modernize and automate its network will mean the loss of about 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). E-Commerce. Down $2.64, or 2.28 per cent, to $118.40 on 1.4 million shares. Shopify’s chief executive says he’ll push back against a short-seller’s report questioning the company’s business model during the release of their next financial results. Company CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted that he looks forward to the next earnings call, expected in early November, where he’ll address the “short-selling troll” targeting Shopify.Thomson Reuters Corp. (TSX:TRI). Media. Up four cents, or 0.07 per cent, to $57.71 on 494,816 shares. The multinational information services company will spend about US$100 million to house its new technology hub at a Toronto complex that’s being built for occupation in 2021.last_img read more

Read more

TSX nosedives on oil and gold prices Wall St backs off recent

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock index fell sharply in a broad-based decline Monday, led by a slide in oil and gold prices, as U.S. stocks backed away from recent record highs.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 144.50 points to 16,094.72, with the energy, gold and materials sectors among major decliners.“We’re clearly seeming some selling today on the TSX,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “The downside pressure in Canada, as compared to that of United States and, really, other global markets, is from the drop in oil and gold prices.”The March crude contract gave back 58 cents to US$65.56 per barrel and the February gold contract fell US$11.80 to US$1,340.30 an ounce.Meanwhile, south of the border, technology companies led Wall Street broadly lower, as shares of Apple slid two per cent amid concerns its new iPhone hasn’t been that big of a hit with customers.The Dow Jones industrial average lost 177.23 points to 26,439.48. The S&P 500 index declined 19.34 points to 2,853.53 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 39.26 points to 7,466.51.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 81.07 cents US, down 0.09 of a U.S. cent.“Probably the biggest headline today is what’s to come the rest of the week,” said Fehr, pointing to a busy week of potential market-moving corporate news and economic data coming out of the U.S..Several big-name companies are due to report quarterly results, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet. About a quarter of the companies in the S&P 500 — the American equivalent to the TSX — have reported results so far this earnings season, with some 65 per cent of those exceeding financial analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.The market will also be sizing up new data on U.S. jobs, manufacturing and consumer sentiment. They’ll also be watching Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and listening for any developments out of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee that ends Wednesday.Elsewhere in commodities, the March natural gas contract was down a cent to US$3.17 per mmBTU and the March copper contract was down a cent at US$3.19 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.last_img read more

Read more

CPP Investment Board approached about Trans Mountain CEO says no decision yet

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government’s financial adviser has raised the possibility of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board becoming involved in the Trans Mountain pipeline project but there’s been no political pressure applied, CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin told a parliamentary committee Monday.The Toronto-based fund manager and its peers will likely take a look at the stalled Trans Mountain project because there are a limited number of investment opportunities of its magnitude, but CPPIB has yet to begin a formal analysis or receive any confidential information, Machin told Commons finance committee.His testimony came less than two weeks after the government announced it would buy the project for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan, to ensure the pipeline will be completed, with the intent of selling it at a profit in time.Machin insisted, in answer to a question by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, that there had been no contact between CPPIB and Finance Minister Bill Morneau or any other member of the Liberal government.But Machin said that CPPIB has been approached by Greenhill & Co., a small investment bank that has been hired to advise the government on selling the Trans Mountain project.“I believe they’ve approached every — a lot of — funds domestically and internationally,” Machin said.“At this stage, we haven’t done any analysis. We’re still evaluating the situation. Obviously, we have an obligation to investigate and to assess any major investment opportunity that comes along. And to fully understand all of the risks, all of the potential returns and understand the fit for our portfolio as well.”The issue of political pressure is relevant because the CPPIB was set up in the late 1990s to be an independent manager of funds on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan, an employer and employee-funded retirement system.As of March 31, when CPPIB’s financial year ended, it managed a fund with $356.1 billion in net assets, up from $316.7 billion at the end of fiscal 2017 and $278.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2016.Morneau has predicted the Trudeau government will have no difficulty selling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project after uncertainty about its future is resolved.The federal government’s hand was forced by B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is waging a court battle over the federally regulated pipeline, which would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to a sea port near Vancouver.Machin told the finance committee that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has a mixed track record with pipelines and will use its usual approach when deciding whether to put money into Trans Mountain.In general, he said, a major factor to consider is regulatory risks — pointing out that CPPIB and its co-investors in a European pipeline were caught by surprise when the Norwegian government made a significant change in the tariff regime — or pricing structure — shortly after the deal closed.“We’ve been in legal proceedings for a number of years now,” Machin said.“That is part of the regulatory risk. It’s a really critical part of due diligence to understand regulatory risk for any infrastructure investment.”The federal government decided to buy Trans Mountain after Houston-based Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from the pipeline expansion due to political uncertainty, particularly because Horgan’s New Democrat government said it will do everything in its legal power to stop the pipeline because of unresolved environmental concerns.Machin told the committee that the CPPIB hasn’t made a formal evaluation of Trans Mountain “purely because it’s at an early stage and we haven’t got any confidential information, or any information, to assess the situation yet.”The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan — another of Canada’s independent retirement fund managers — indicated last week that it had a financial obligation to take a look at the potential of Trans Mountain.— by David Paddon in Torontolast_img read more

Read more

BC Hydro report that thermostats are heating up relationships

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – In a new report published by BC Hydro, four out of 10 B.C. couples argue over the temperature in the household.Findings from their report titled ‘Thermostat wars: How the battle over household temperatures is turning up the heat on relationships’ are that as common as it is for couples across the province to argue about temperature, five percent of couples describe their situation as an “all-out thermostat war.”BC Hydro found out with a survey they commissioned, that British Columbian couples will go to great lengths to get their way when it comes to the temperature of their home. Twice as many couples are motived by comfort than cost savings. The survey included that more than 60 percent of people admitted to adjusting the thermostat when their partner was not looking and 50 percent say they have waited for their partner to leave the home before adjusting the dial. There is also the 20 percent that admits to turning the temperature up or down just to annoy their partner.Also revealed in the survey was what temperature the thermostat is set at as being one of the most contentious household arguments, this being ahead of who is cooking dinner, what time the dreaded morning alarm is set for, and who forgot to turn off the lights when they left the house.However, many of these arguments are often based around misconceptions, for example;Cranking up the thermostat does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.It is not more energy-efficient to keep the thermostat at a constant temperature instead of adjusting it based on the time of day or what activity is going on in the home.Turning on a space heater is not always a more energy-efficient way to keep warm.BC Hydro is encouraging British Columbian couples with Valentine’s around the corner to call an end to the thermostat war. It recommends setting the thermostat at 21 degrees Celsius when relaxing or watching T.V., 18 degrees Celsius when cooking or doing housework, and 16 degrees Celsius when away from home or sleeping.Other tips to reduce heating costs and stay comfortable this winter include:Using a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of the home based on the time of day.Installing weatherstripping around doors and windows to seal up gaps and cracks that let cold air into the home and warm air out – and lead to higher heating costs.Using BC Hydro’s electricity tracking tools to see how adjusting the thermostat can impact a household’s electricity use and costs.last_img read more

Read more

Ohio States Aaron Craft named finalist for 2014 Bob Cousy Award

Senior guard Aaron Craft (4) drives to the basket during a game against Morgan State Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 89-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAaron Craft’s play is getting recognized on and off the court.Ohio State men’s basketball’s all-time leader in steals and assists has been named one of 23 finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s best point guard.“The 23 athletes on this list represent the most committed, determined and skillful points guards in college basketball,” President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, John L. Doleva said according to a press release. “We are honored to be recognizing their strengths and are excited to move forward in the selection process.”So far this season, Craft has started all 26 games and led OSU to a 20-6 overall record with five games remaining in the regular season. He also leads the team in assists (4.6), steals (2.5) and minutes (34.5) per game and is third on the team with an average 9.5 points per game.The senior point guard is also a two-time Academic All-American and the 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Earlier this season, Craft and backcourt partner senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. became the fastest players to reach 100 wins in their OSU careers after the Buckeyes defeated North Florida, 99-64, Nov. 29.“The men on this list all have the athletic qualities of an exceptional true point guard in the game of college basketball, the same qualities that made Mr. Cousy an iconic player,” Chair of the Bob Cousy Award, Ken Kaufman said according to the release. “All of these young men are on this list because they deserve to be competing or this well-respected award.”If Craft wins the award, he would be the first Buckeye to win it and third Big Ten player to raise the trophy, with Illinois’ Dee Brown claiming the honor in 2006 and Michigan’s Trey Burke winning it in 2013.Craft looks to add to his résumé in OSU’s next game, scheduled for Wednesday against Northwestern. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Read more