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5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Your Computer From Crashing

By on Sep 21, 2013 in Computers |

Most of us have been there before. We’re in the midst of finishing up a paper for school, a report for work or we’re playing one of our favorite games online and all of a sudden, our computer crashes. Here’s the thing, though: Although it might have seemed “sudden” to us, the reality is that it was probably a long time coming, usually because we don’t take out the time to give our computers the kind of care and maintenance that it needs. If you have experienced more crashes in your lifetime that you would like (and honestly, more than one is more than enough), we have a list of five things that you can do to prevent your computer from crashing in the future below: Have virus protection software. There aren’t a lot of people who can go even a couple of months surfing the internet without encountering a virus or two. That’s why it’s so important to have some kind of virus protection loaded on your computer. Also, make sure that you check for updates and that you run full scans about once a month to stay extra protected. Make the necessary deletions. If you don’t remember the last time that you deleted some of your unnecessary files or cookies, then honestly it has been way too long. Unused files tend to clutter up the computer’s system and cookies can too. When this happens, it tends to slow your computer way down so try and do these two things on a weekly basis. Don’t run too many programs at once. When we have a great computer and a really fast internet connection, it’s really easy to open up 10-12 windows at once. But keep in mind that when you do that, you usually end up overloading your system. No one can look at multiple windows at once and so typically having between 5-6 open at one time is more than sufficient. Keep your computer safe and clean. Computers can start to collect dirt and debris just like anything else. That’s why it’s important that you make sure to keep it in a place where air can circulate; that you don’t eat while using it; that you use a multi-purpose cleaner on the computer screen; that you always use a surge protector and that you’re careful about self-diagnosing (or fixing) any problems. For instance, if you sense something is wrong and you Google something that mentions an ARM PC module but you have absolutely no clue what that is, that’s a sign that you need to take your computer to a technician to have them look it over. Upgrade your system consistently. If you’ve stayed on top of all of these other tips but you’ve still noticed that your computer is running slower than usual or that things like your Flash player is continuously crashing, that could be a sign that it’s time to upgrade some of the programs on your system. Your add-ons have their own section where you can check for updates if you click on your browser tab. You can also put the name of your browser into your favorite search engine to see what the latest available version is. For other tips on how to keep your computer from crashing, go to...

Vivendi Decides Whether to Split Up Media and Telecom Companies

By on Sep 21, 2013 in Uncategorized |

This is usually the time of year when a lot of companies do a significant amount of restructuring in preparation for the year that is to come. When it comes to Vivendi—the French-based mass media company that features music, film, online media, the internet and even videos—that would certainly be the case because over the past several weeks, they have been receiving a significant amount of press due to some changes that they have addressed making within their company. For one thing, Vincent Bollore, the French corporate giant who was once looking to transition from being a director at Vivendi to becoming its chief executive, has actually been appointed to be the Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board. For those who have been following the updates that have been transpiring within the business, that is believed to be a huge indication that another rumored shift is probably going to become a reality in the months ahead. The shift is this. According to the Supervisory Board, there will be a new study launched to see if the media side and the telecom portion of Vivendi should split. If it does, Vivendi’s entertainment part (one that includes the largest international recording company Universal Media Group) will remain in France with ties to Africa, Brazil, Poland and Vietnam as it seeks to expand its platforms while further solidifying its presence in the marketplace. As for the telecommunications part of the business (which is known as SFR), well, it is certainly no secret that it’s not currently as lucrative as it once was. As a matter of fact, it is believed that a part of the reason why Vivendi’s market shares have dropped nearly 13 percent since last spring has been due to the challenges that SFR has experienced. However, it is the hope that by having SFR be its own entity that it would be able to somewhat rebrand itself in the effort to improve its performance while developing more partnerships that can directly assist with its company growth. All of these changes also come on the heels of the refusedd bid that the Japanese-based telecoms group SoftBank made to purchase Universal Music Group (UMG) for $8.5 billion. Being that UMG is actually the more stable and successful side of the company, Vivendi believed that selling it would be the wrong decision at this time; that UMG is a huge part of the future strategy that it plans to implement. Of course, what the outcome of all of this news ultimately means it still somewhat speculative being that there has not yet been an official announcement of a demerger and reportedly, nothing will be officially addressed until the first part of 2014. Yet as more and more telecommunications companies (ones like QuoteTelecom, Link America and CTI) are making plans to increase their profit margins over the next several months, one thing is sure: in order for Vivendi to remain a top competitor, some changes will need to be made and a split is definitely a wise...

Cutie Monsters Makes Counting Fun

By on Sep 7, 2013 in iPhone Apps |

In years past, parents have relied on all kinds of toys and texts to help them help their kids learn to read and count. But these days, a set of wooden blocks, while still useful, is a little outdated. Thanks to advances in technology, there are now much more accessible and mobile tools available to parents and their children. And with no shortage of educational apps geared towards children as young as infants, you’ll have no trouble finding options that can help your kids through the complex process of growth and development. Even better, there are all kinds of applications designed for educational purposes, and if your toddler is just starting to learn numbers, the Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles app for the iPhone and iPad should be at the top of your list. At $2.99 you might think this app is a bit expensive for a toddler. But there’s a reason it was awarded the honor of Excellence in Design by the Children’s Technology Review in 2013. In fact, there are several reasons. First and foremost, kids will be delighted by the creative and adorable monsters (Blobby, Blushy, Toothy, and others) designed to help them learn the numbers 1 through 10. Each number gets its own star treatment with pages that help kids learn to identify numbers by sight, sound, and counting objects. But there’s a lot more to this app than simply teaching young users how to count to ten. With 40 unique, illustrated pages, 20 interactive screens, and 9 jigsaw puzzles, there is a lot of opportunity for entertainment. But each portion of the app is designed with your child’s learning in mind, and the result is that children will work not only on counting, but also on fine motor skills (thanks to tapping and swiping), listening, observation, logic, the ability to match shapes and patterns, and even vocabulary. In addition to pages that introduce kids to numbers, each monster is divided into 3-6 pieces to form puzzles that toddlers can put together for fun without frustration. In addition, children can work on their reading and language skills with features that let them tap any word on the screen to hear it spoken aloud, or simply read by themselves. And the full soundtrack and fun sound effects make for a complete package. Of course, there are a few features that parents are sure to love, as well. Free updates and additional content are a major bonus, especially considering the cost of this app. But you’ll also appreciate the fact that Cutie Monsters is not only devoid of advertising, but it also has no outbound links for your kids to tap accidentally, taking themselves to outside websites or making purchases without your knowledge. It sounds like common sense in an application geared towards toddlers, but surprisingly few developers follow suit. While you’ll probably still rely on other toys like alphabet blocks and Baby Einstein toys and DVDs to help your kids develop their language, reading, and counting skills, it’s nice to know that there’s an app that your kids will love for the purpose of learning. And perhaps the best part is that you never have to search for it or pack it up as you run out the door. When you have the Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles app on your smartphone or tablet you can easily bring entertainment and education for your kids with you wherever you...

Entertain Your Tots With Babysitter2Go

By on Aug 26, 2013 in iPhone Apps |

Any parent that has ever been in public with a fussy baby or a rambunctious toddler knows the social anxiety that comes with taking kids in public. As if the stares from annoyed shoppers and diners weren’t enough, some people will even be so bold as to approach you and demand that you “control” your child, like you can somehow reason with a 2-year-old having a tantrum or an infant that can’t even speak yet, much less follow a directive! Although you hopefully realize that every parent has gone through the same thing, and simply let the stares and commentary roll off your back, the truth is that you might be looking for an easier way to diffuse the situation and enjoy your precious time away from home. And it just so happens that there’s an app for that. The aptly named Babysitter2Go application for your iPhone will set you back just 99 cents, and it’s worth every blessed penny for the peace of mind it delivers. You might not be the type of parent to plop your kid down in front of a TV, computer, or mobile device just to get a moment of respite, although really, you shouldn’t beat yourself up for wanting a break now and again – kids are a full-time job and then some. In any case, you’ll be glad to hear that Babysitter2Go is more than just flash to entrance your tots; it actually provides educational value for the youngsters in your household. And although it is recommended for kids ages four and up, user reviews recommend it for children much younger. Most agree that toddlers starting at the age of two can benefit from using this program, and one parent even admits that a 10-month-old is enthralled by the contents. In truth, infants probably won’t get much in the way or education out of Babysitter2Go simply because they aren’t yet geared towards the lessons it offers. However, they’ll likely enjoy the bright colors, fun graphics, music, and the ability to produce movement and sound every time they touch the screen or shake your handset. While you might want to get an Otterbox before you hand your precious device over to a baby, this app can provide your child with hours of entertainment and stop him from accidentally making calls or using your data minutes. And what’s even better is that your baby can grow into the application. Toddlers will benefit from the six interactive environments offered by Babysitter2Go. They can not only use the drawing mode to color animals and the rattle mode to play musical instruments by shaking your smartphone (two features that babies will love), but they can also start to benefit from interactive scenes with themes like Garden, Jungle, Ocean, and Naptime, which allow them to engage with the environment by tapping and swiping objects to produce a variety of results. And the addition of music and nursery rhymes only enhances the experience. So while you can offer Babysitter2Go to babies when they’re still in the crib, stroller, or baby play yard, you’ll find that as your infants grow and develop into toddlers, they’ll get even more from this fun and educational...

BiggerPockets: a Real Estate Forum for Everyone

By on Aug 26, 2013 in iPhone Apps |

There are few investments more assured of paying off than real estate. You could certainly find yourself in hot water if you’re not careful; if you buy at the height of the market and find that you have to sell in a downturn or you take out a variable rate loan when interest rates are rock bottom only plan for payments that reflect the current low price then you may not profit from your investment. But by and large, if you are smart about the investment you make and realistic about your plans for your property, chances are good that this tangible asset will pay off in the long run, and to the tune of thousands of dollars (or even hundreds of thousands) if you’re lucky. Of course, nobody starts out as an expert, so you may find yourself in need of some helpful hints or professional advice along the way. And it turns out that the knowledge you seek is only a tap away: it is for exactly this purpose that the BiggerPockets application was designed. If you’ve been interested in real estate for a while, then you may already be familiar with the website of the same name. BiggerPockets.com has become a popular resource for all things RE, with a member network 125,000 strong and 500,000+ unique visitors every month. And it’s really not surprising considering the targeted tools they provide. Whether you’re an agent, an investor, a first-time home buyer, or a real estate enthusiast of some stripe, this website can offer you access to tens of thousands of articles posted by pros, more than half a million forum posts, opportunities to make (and analyze) deals, advertising programs for business marketing purposes, and news related to the real estate marketplace. In short, it’s practically everything a motivated buyer or seller might need to ensure wise dealings in the housing market. Of course, the app doesn’t offer users all of the functionality provided by the website, but it definitely makes getting the information and advice you need a lot easier thanks to on-the-go access to searchable articles and forum posts that help to connect amateurs and pros alike. Say you’re looking for homes with swimming pools and you find one that looks good, for the right price, but the pool has been neglected. If you’re looking for advice on the cost and effort involved in rehabbing the pool, you can run a search for articles and forum posts related to your query or simply put it to the community at large by posting your own questions to the forum. And over time, you can share the wealth of your own knowledge, as well, helping other buyers in need. You’ll be happy to hear that this handy application is free to download for your iPhone, as are dozens of BiggerPockets podcasts posted on the iTunes store. While the app won’t provide you with MLS postings like Movoto, Zillow, or Trulia, it can definitely serve in a complimentary capacity by helping you to educate yourself about every aspect of the real estate purchasing process. Agents that want to provide the best service for their clients, investors looking for new ways to make their money work for them, and buyers seeking a dream home can all benefit from the collective knowledge offered by BiggerPockets. And considering you can take it with you from one property to then next, getting advice every step of the way, it’s one mobile app that no RE aficionado should leave home...