Facebook Wants You To “Ask”, ‘Hi, Are You Single?

Is your relationship status so “it’s complicated” that you haven’t even said so on Facebook? Well, now your nosey friends and frenemies can press you to tell all and demand to know why you’re being so secretive in a new “ask” button.

The button is a new feature the social media site has been quietly rolling out over the past few months but it appears to have arrived on some profiles over the weekend.

The “ask” button appears next to categories of a user’s “about” section that have been left blank. This includes information such as where a user lives, place of employment and, yes, relationship status.

A user cannot see the button on his or her own profile.

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When a user finds a blank spot on a friend’s page, they can click on “ask” and a little window pops up that allows them to explain why they’re asking for that information. Once you hit “send request” only the user who’s subject to your prying can see the question. They can choose to ignore you, make that information either public or known only to you, or reply with an old-fashioned “none of your beeswax.”

Date Your Future Boss With Linkedin-Style Dating App

LinkedUp, a dating app drawing from social business network LinkedIn, aims to help you find love as well as a new job

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A dating app drawing on the business networking site LinkedIn has been launched to help you search for love alongside potential employment.

The newly launched LinkedUp mixes business with pleasure by connecting with your LinkedIn profile, listing your employment and education details to act as ‘icebreakers’ for hot matches.

The app encourages users to “get the conversation going by already knowing what industry your match works in,” allowing users to select the age range, gender and preferred industries of potential dates.

After entering preferences, users are then faced with a hot-or-not style Tinder swiping system for users, swiping left to reject a potential connection and right to indicate interest.

Like Tinder, messages can only be exchanged if both parties are interested in each other, and even browse your mutual LinkedIn connections.

Google’s Street View Update Can Scroll Through Time

A new feature launched few days back allows users to scroll back through historic images and see how familiar views changed through time

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Google’s Street View service now allows users to scroll back through time to see how certain views appeared in the past.

Since it was launched in 2007 Street View has allowed people to see images taken by special camera cars on roads and paths around the country. These images are periodically updated as and when the cars pass back over a previously covered area. But from today users will be able to scroll back through historic images taken from any point.

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This image from Kyoto shows trees in blossom and in autumn

In a post on the official Google blog, Google Street View product manager Vinay Shet said: “If you’ve ever dreamt of being a time traveller like Doc Brown, now’s your chance.

“Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We’ve gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world.

“Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York city or the 2014 World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.

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Street View now shows construction phases of One World Trade Center

“This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.”

When using Street View people will see a clock icon which, when clicked, allows them to scroll back through historic images. The oldest currently available date back to the service’s launch in 2007, but in future all data will be kept and help to gradually build up an extensive archive.

 

Source – https://www.google.co.in/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/

5 Steps To Calm Your Mind and Increase Creativity

For anyone who ‘creates’ for a living, it’s hard to imagine anything more fabulous than having a reliable method to generate creativity. Here is Blake’s 5-step plan to start calming your brain.

Calm in Chaos

1. Do it early in the morning.

It is easiest to stay calm when your brain isn’t completely awake and the sensory distraction of the day has not yet begun. Unless you’re a meditation expert, trying to still your mind in the middle of the day can be very challenging.

2. Create a solitary, comfortable setting that’s inviting.

Calming your brain requires you to be alone so that you can invite individual inspiration. Choose a space carefully, preferably one that’s away from distracting noises or sights. Put a soft chair in a corner with a warm blanket to keep you cozy while you sit and focus on calming your brain.

3. Cleanse your energy.

Rub your hands together vigorously until you feel heat, then place them on your temples and drag your palms down your cheeks. Shake your hands as if air-drying them, and repeat this two more times. Do the same for your forehead three times, and then cross your arms and brush your hands over the opposite shoulders and upper arms three times.

4. Relax, breathe, and sigh.

Always sit upright to prevent falling asleep. With your feet on the floor, breathe deeply and exhale with an audible sigh, visualizing the breath filling your body. Repeat until your entire body feels deeply relaxed.

5. Distract your left (logical) brain to maintain a blank slate.

Follow the path of your breathing for 10-15 minutes, while pushing unrelated thoughts out of your mind. This is tough to do, but keep practicing. The purpose is to still the part of the brain that inhibits creativity and spontaneity.

Internet.Org Plans To Make Internet More Affordable

Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and four other companies for a project aimed at bringing internet access to people around the world who can’t afford it, mirroring efforts by Google and others.

The project is called Internet.org and will be launched. It focuses on enabling the next 5 billion people without access to come online, Zuckerberg said.

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“The goal of Internet.org is to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today,” said Zuckerberg.

Other players in the project include Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia. and Opera Software ASA.

The partnership will develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and deploy internet access in underserved communities, Facebook said.

Google said in June that it had launched a small network of balloons over the Southern Hemisphere in an experiment it hopes could bring reliable internet access to the world’s most remote regions.

That pilot program, Project Loon, took off in June from New Zealand’s South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind about 12.5 miles, or twice as high as airplanes, above the ground, Google said.

9 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

English ivy (Hedera helix)

 

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A study found that the plant reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.

 

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

 

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Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.

 

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

 

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Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants.

 

Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)

 

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Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)

 

Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)

 

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Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.

 

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

 

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This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.

 

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

 

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Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.

 

Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)

 

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This climbing vine plant isn’t a good option if you have kids or pets — it’s toxic when eaten, but it’s a workhorse for removing all kinds of VOCs. Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources like particleboard.

 

Aloe (Aloe vera)

 

Aloe (Aloe vera)

 

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

 

Your Gadgets May Be Harming Your Body

Does your neck ache after gazing down at your mobile device for a long time? Do your thumbs get sore after firing off a string of emails on your smartphone?

Those are just a two of the physical ailments caused in part by technology. Sporting such names as “text neck,” “computer vision syndrome,” “Blackberry thumb,” and “iPad elbow,” these syndromes may sound phony, but they’re every bit as real — and painful — as carpal tunnel.

Here’s a look at four increasingly common ailments associated with improper or overuse of gadgets, plus recommendations for how to avoid the problems.

Condition: Text neck

 

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Text neck is usually caused by excessive use of smartphones or tablets. Due to the popularity of text messaging with teenagers, the condition is more common in adolescents and young adults, but can be seen in anyone who spends hours looking down at mobile devices.

Think of your head as a bowling ball sitting on a spring. Tilting the ball forward for an extended period of time stresses and bends the spring, says Robert Hayden, an Atlanta chiropractor. The more this happens, he says, the greater the chance of flattening the natural curvature of the neck vertebrae. Eventually, you put added pressure on the discs of the cervical spine and more strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck.

Solution: Stop looking down.
You can prevent text neck by taking frequent breaks and using range of motion exercises. Try flexing your neck by looking side to side and putting your ears down against your shoulders, Hayden says. You also can simply try holding your device higher so you’re not angling your head down to see it.

If the problem persists, ultrasound and electrotherapy can alleviate pain. Long-term remedies include resistance exercises to rebalance the muscles.

Condition: Computer vision syndrome

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Overhead fluorescent lighting, the viewing angle of the display, and small font size can contribute to the eye pain and strain of computer vision syndrome, according to Dr. Jim Sheedy, an optometrist and director of Pacific University’s Vision Performance Institute in Forest Grove, Ore. Undiagnosed, common eye problems like presbyopia — a reduced ability to focus on objects that are near — can exacerbate the condition.

Solution: Keep your eyes in shape.
Resolving the problem involves a two-prong approach: making the task less visually demanding and taking visual breaks, Sheedy says.

For example, turning off the overhead light and using softer desk and floor lamps can help. Also, try making the top of the display level with your eyes so you’re looking down about 10 degrees when viewing it. Adjust font sizes so you can read them easily.

To keep your eyes in shape, Sheedy recommends the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away to a distance of at least 20 feet for at least 20 seconds. Such frequent breaks can help because computer vision syndrome is a fatigue problem, not an injury, Sheedy says.

Condition: BlackBerry thumb

 

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Caused primarily by excessive texting, BlackBerry thumb is a strain of either the tendon that extends the thumb or the tendon that brings the thumb into the palm. The strain causes tiny tears to connective tissue.

The severity of the condition depends on how long, how fast and how hard you use a handheld device. But it doesn’t affect only those using mobile keyboards — it can result from any repeated finger motion.

“What happens when people don’t rest is they go into chronic phase because there’s so much scarring and trauma,” says Dorit Aaron, president of the American Society of Hand Therapists and an occupational therapist at Houston Hand Therapy in Texas. That means the pain might never go away.

Solution: Give your fingers a rest.
If you’re writing lots of emails on your phone or tablet, take breaks and slow down, Aaron says. Fast texters are more vulnerable because they have more repetitive motions. You also can switch to a touch screen, which may be better than a physical keyboard because it requires minimal pressure.

Condition: iPad Elbow

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A repetitive strain injury, iPad elbow can affect a variety of tendons from the wrist to the elbow, depending on how you hold your tablet. “People who are using laptops and tablets often don’t focus on the ergonomics of it,” says Christopher Morris, a Kingsport, Tenn., rheumatologist. Many tablet users curl up on a couch to get more comfortable, he says, rather than paying attention to proper posture.

Solution: Try an iPad holder.
While orthopedists are still getting a handle on this particular condition, taking breaks can help reduce the pain. “The biggest thing with any kind of repetitive activity is to listen to your body,” Morris says. “If doing something for an hour straight is going to make it hurt, don’t do it for an hour straight.”

You also can try one of the many iPad holders. For instance, PropUp ($29.99) allows users to more easily grip and tip the tablet, while GorillaMobile’s Ori case ($69.95) props up an iPad in a variety of positions that can make using it easier on the neck, eyes and arms.

 (Source – www.entrepreneur.com )

First Date ?! You Should not be Embarrassed to Ask These Questions

So you have asked your dream girl out on a date and she said yes. You have everything planned into what should turn out to be a perfect night. Dinner reservations, a movie or a show and even a nightcap have already been set into motion assuming the night goes well. You think you’ve gotten it all figured out, right? Wrong. Even if you have the most awesome date planned, you’re forgetting about one very crucial thing: actually talking to your date and getting to know more about her by using questions for a first date.

10 The First Mistake Committed During a Date

Most men unfortunately have no idea on how to talk to their dates, let alone pay any attention to what they are saying. Your questions for a first date are very important as this will determine whether your lady friend would actually consider you for another one in the near future, or if she even wants to see you at all again. Here are some questions you need to ask when you have a first date.

9. Ask About Her Background

The first thing you really need to ask your date is her history or what she has been up to in the past. Where she grew up, the schools that she went to and even her job are the basic questions you need to ask her to get the ball rolling. At this point, you are conversing with her and making it appear that you are really interested in what she has to say.

8. Say No to Asking About Her Past for Now

A big no-no on a first date would be to ask her dating history. That is an awkward question to ask which will definitely lead to disastrous results, unless she brings it up first.

7. Ask About Her and Avoid Talking About You

What women hate the most is a man that constantly talks about his own interests which in her eyes will make you appear narcissistic. This is actually kind of ironic since women love to talk as well but do not see anything wrong with it. If ever you kind of get the feeling that she is talking too much you need to remember one thing: you asked her out.

6. Ask About Her Personal Preferences

You can also ask your date what type of food she usually prefers, the TV shows or movies she loves to watch and other small details pertaining to her daily activities. This may seem like small talk but it is actually gaining you an edge. By knowing this information, you know what to do the next time she agrees to go out on a date with you.

5. When You Ask, Pay Attention to Answers

Plus, by asking her these questions you are again making it appear to her that you are really interested in her and not just getting in her pants. Do pay attention to what she is saying or else you might get stumped and not have a follow-up question to ask her. You can’t simply reply “That’s cool” after she’s been yammering on for minutes now.

4. Do Not Ask About The Date Itself or Pry Answers From Her

Moving on through the date, you might be tempted to ask her what she thinks of you or how the night is faring so far. Don’t appear too eager or enthusiastic. You need to play it cool. Simply ask if she’s having a good time because you definitely are, even if you’re not. Dates can go horribly in a million ways and if you are having just an “ok” time, tell her you’re glad to be out with her because she will surely appreciate it. Maybe next time you will be more comfortable with each other and that is when the fun will truly begin if you catch my drift. If your date says she’s having a good time, say that you’re happy that she’s happy and leave it at that. This means you’re doing fine so far.

3. Ask for Another Date

As the date comes to a near close and you are bringing her home, you can ask if she wants to go out with you again whenever she is free. If she says her schedule is very flexible, this means that she is very interested in you. On the other hand if she says let’s keep in touch, that means the night didn’t pan out well for the both of you. However, if she asks you to come up for a nightcap, you are definitely covering all the bases and have done a great job during your date.

2. Learn of Her Future Plans

Going out on a date means you are probably thinking of having a relationship and of course, you need to know what her plans are for the future. Casually bring it up during an intimate moment during the date so you know what she ultimately wants to happen.

1. Ask About Family

Never underestimate the power about asking your date about her love for her family. Most likely, she will tell you all about it and this will inadvertently give you an insight on her background as well.

Questions for a first date are important as this will give you an idea as to whether you picked the right girl or if you are even compatible at all. Remember to keep cool and play it by ear when you ask questions for a first date to avoid any mishaps from happening.