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How to get 10 FREE fuel at supermarket petrol stations this weekend – The Sun

DRIVERS filling up their car tank this weekend should hold on to their receipts to get 10 of fuel completely free.

The freebie is available to new members of cashback website TopCashback until January 5, or until 10,000 deals have been claimed, whichever happens first.

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All you need to do to get the free diesel or petrol is to first pay for it yourself, and then show the cashback website your receipt in order to get the 10 cashback.

The deal works at any major petrol station including Asda, BP, Esso, Co-op, Gulf, Jet, Morrisons, Murco, Sainsburys, Shell, Tesco and Texaco.

You'll need to spend at least 10 to get the offer, which is only valid on one tank per customer.

It's part ofTopCashback's "Snap and Save" offers, which currently also includes 10 cashback on cinema tickets for new members.

Keep in mind that it can take up to seven days for the cashback to appear in your account as pending.

It can then also take up to 30 days before you can withdraw the money to your bank account, but there's no minimum payout balance.

Ways to cut down on your fuel costs

HERE are some more tips on how you can slash the cost of fuel.

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The deal comes as Asda has been crowned the cheapest place to buy petrol as supermarkets beat Shell, Esso and Texaco by up to 10p a litre.

A couple of weeks ago, Asda cut up to 2p off fuel sparking a fresh supermarket pump price war.

Meanwhile, motorway service stations are still charging up to 29p a litre more for fuel.

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How to get 10 FREE fuel at supermarket petrol stations this weekend - The Sun

What About Kaep? Twitter Reacts To Antonio Brown’s NFL Workout Amid Sex Assault Allegations – News One

The NFL appears to operate from a hypocrisy playbook. Free agent Antonio Brown was invited to workout with the New Orleans Saints Friday Morning, as the investigation continues on the wide receiver surrounding the recent sexual assault allegations made against him, according to an ESPN report. Brown posted a photo of his workout waiver with the team on social media, but the upload has since been deleted.

MORE: The NFL Welcoming Antonio Brown But Shunning Colin Kaepernick Is Peak Hypocrisy

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted on Twitter that the NFL has made clear that if someone signs AB, hes likely headed to the Commissioners Exempt list until his investigation is complete.

Brown is currently being investigated by the NFL under the leagues personal conduct policy following a lawsuit filed by his personal trainer, Britney Taylor, who alleged that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a report on Sporting News. The former New England Patriots receiver wasaccused ofexploitation, sexual assault and rape.

An artist working at Browns home in 2017 also accused him of sexual misconduct.

Brown has denied the allegations made against him.

The NFL released a statement on Sept. 20 indicating that Brown would not be placed on the commissioners exempt list while on free agent status. However, the league warned, If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.

It is interesting that Brown is being given a second chance while he is in the midst of a sexual assault investigation that has not yet concluded, but Colin Kaepernick is still out of work for his non-violent protest against systemic oppression.

This is the same Antonio Brown who tweeted on Thursday, Now days I deal with lawsuits ; you telling me this what it came too ! Taking your panties off thats how I remember yoouuuuuu!

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been waiting for his chance to return to an NFL field for three years. He has not played a game with the league since 2016.

Yet and still, despite his fight against police brutality, which placed him at the forefront of media criticism and ridicule, he still wanted to play football.

Last month, Kaepernick announced that he was invited to workout at the Atlanta Falcons stadium. Im just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. Ive been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, cant wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday, he wrote on Nov. 12.

Kaep shifted the narrative and held his own workout at an Atlanta high school so that the media could attend. At least seven teams attended his workout. Meanwhile, the NFL considered Kaep a no-show for changing the venue.

We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout, the league said in a statement. Todays session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants, an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL.

Kaeps team released a statement following his workout revealing that the media would not have been able to attend the private session at the Falcons facility. Kaep, however, wanted transparency. The NFL also wanted the former NFL player to sign an unusual liability waiver.

This seems like a game of picking and choosing more than anything else.

Check out some reactions to Antonio Browns workout with the Saints below.

SEE ALSO:

Alabama City That Wanted Segregated Schools Ordered To Pay Black Students Legal Fees

Suspected White Supremacist National Guardsmen Are Latest Racist Stain On The Military

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What About Kaep? Twitter Reacts To Antonio Brown's NFL Workout Amid Sex Assault Allegations - News One

Want to Save Money on Your Adobe Subscription? Try This Simple Trick – Fstoppers

Earlier this year, Adobe ditched the option to buy Lightroom for a one-off fee, forcing customers to take out annual subscriptions with monthly payments, and annoying a few people along the way. However, this subscription model does present a few opportunities to save money. Check out this simple trick.

While exploringout a couple of different packages for my photo editing, I wondered what would happen if I were to try and cancel my subscription to Adobe. Logging into my account on the Adobe website and finding the right page, I was first warned that I would face a 45 ($58) fee for canceling my annual contract early, but I chose to continue. I was then presented with these options.

I was a little surprised. Because the prospect of a fee that was the equivalent of more than four months of Lightroom and Photoshop wasnt enough to put me off canceling, I was presented with a bribe: stick with Adobe and get two months for free.

Intrigued, I wondered what would happen if spoke to one of their operators and opted to discover what the custom deal might be. I clicked on Start chat and chatted to Harish, one of Adobes agents.

I explained to Harish that I was thinking of moving from Lightroom to Capture One because it seemed more powerful, has better control over colors, and that I could buy Affinity Photo outright in order to replace my occasional use of Photoshop (check out this article if you're interested in giving Capture One a whirl).

Before you make a decision, wrote Harish, I see that there are three free months on your subscription that havent been applied yet. I can add those to your account and you wouldnt have to pay for the next threemonths. How does that sound?

That sounded fantastic so I agreed. From having randomly wondered what would happen if I tried to cancel my Adobe subscription with no real intention on carrying it through, a few minutes of clicking and chatting hadsaved myself just under $40.

Delighted, I mentioned my discount to a colleague. I was aware that he was interested in trying Capture One, and I also knew that his occasional use of Premiere meant paying $21 a month on top of his $10 per month Lightroom/Photoshop bundle something that can feel very expensive if you dont use Premiere professionally.

He followed the same route as me, ignoring the first deal that was offered and opting to speak to an agent via the online chat. I thought Id done well with my saving he came away with an annual subscription to the entire Adobe suite for half the normal price. Hes now paying significantly less than he was before and can use any Adobe app he wants. Hes quite pleased and now owes me a beer.

If you try this same trick, keep this in mind: there is a risk that your subscription will simply be canceled. Quite how this works if youre informed that theres a cancelation fee, Im not sure, but Ive heard more than one tale of someone holding out for a deal and seeing their entire package terminated.

If youd like to get yourself a discount through a means that is slightly less morally ambiguous, simply upload 300 stock photos. As detailed on Adobes blog back in September: Contributors that have more than 300 accepted assets between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 will receive a bonus in addition to any royalty payments: a one-year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan featuring both Lightroom and Lightroom Classic as well as the latest version of Photoshop! Thank you to Fstoppers' Ryan Mense for tipping me off about this deal.

For videographers, the deal is a little tougher though the offer is a little sweeter: upload 300 videos and receive a free subscription to the entire Adobe suite.

Keep in mind that you will need an acceptance rate of at least 50%, so dont expect to upload 300 photos of the spineless yucca on your desk that desperately needs watering and get a year of Lightroom in return. Nice try.

Have you tried canceling your Adobe subscription and bagged yourself a deal? Will you be giving it a go? Leave a comment below telling us how you get on.

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Want to Save Money on Your Adobe Subscription? Try This Simple Trick - Fstoppers

Dual Axis: Find out why People can’t Stop Talking about the Best illusion of 2019! – Digital Information World

If you think that you have seen everything this year, you are in for a major surprise!

Say hello to Dual Axis, an optical illusion so good that it will confuse and sooth you at the same time. For those of you unaware, Neural Correlate Society runs a yearly contest to determine the worlds best illusion. This year, Dual Axis emerged as the winner. The illusion is basically a series of twisting rings that seem to move counterclockwise, clockwise, up, down based on how you are viewing it.

A game developer belonging to Austin, Texas named Frank Force should be credited as the illusions creator. He has worked on various projects including DOOM and Starhawk. He decided to leave his job around a year ago to pursue greener pastures.

According to Force, it took him a day to code the program of Dual Axis in JavaScript and that the programming part was easy but deciding the best presentation pattern took him a while. He has also uploaded the code on GitHub for others to study it. Force also revealed that he has been thoroughly analyzing tiny coding with JavaScript as of late. He thinks of it as a type of art where small programs can be coded for generating interesting stuff.

He uploaded over 600 coding pieces this year to Dwitter (a site that collects Javascript projects). Every uploads content should be contained within 140 characters. Force said that he has experimented with various kinds of projects from art to music and games. Because of his impressive contribution to Dwitter, he had to build a dedicated database to keep track of his dweets.

The idea of creating Dual Axis popped up in Forces mind while he was experimenting with Lissajous curves (an equation system which generates complex harmonic action). Force believed that with the right blend of focus and dedication, he could make the system rotate around any axis. After thoroughly researching on and experimenting with it, the masterpiece known as Dual Axis came into existence.

Force touts the Dual Axis as being a hypnotic, soothing and eye-catching illusion. He also relates it with the metaphor of seeing things from different perspectives.

Read next: Ryan Kaji, Dude Perfect, Anastasia Radzinskaya: These are the top YouTube earners of 2019

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Dual Axis: Find out why People can't Stop Talking about the Best illusion of 2019! - Digital Information World

Stranger Things Season 4 New Faces Are Joining the Cast – Upload Comet

We cannot wait to see what Stranger Tings season 4 has prepared for us: we get to know the fate of Jim Hopper. David Harbours character sacrificed his life to save everyone at the end of the season. He was still inside the glass chamber when Joyce closed the door of the Upside Down world.

There are so many theories out there that suggest that Jim Hopper could have actually been teleported to Russia and that he is the American prisoner captured by the Russians. Of course, Eleven is sad due to Hoppers disappearance, and shell probably do anything she can so she could bring him back.

Netflix has hinted that theres a new cast member that will replace one of the original characters, which means that the entire plotline will also go through some massive changes.

The plot will probably pick up right after the last episode, where they managed to defeat Mind Flayer and get Eleven back. Hopper died, and Joyce is in shock. Joyce, together with her sons, Jonathan and Will, take Eleven and move to Indiana. The only members left in the gang areMike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, Max Mayfield, and Lucas Sinclair. Apparently, they will be joined by new friends. The tagline for Stranger Things seasons 4 is We are not in Hawkins anymore, so this probably means that the action will take place in other places.

Weve heard that season 4 of Stranger Things will come with brand new faces joining the cast. Four of the main characters left Hawkins Eleven, too new characters will get some more screen time. This probably calls for new stories for the 5ht season of Stranger Things, or, why not, a spin-off series.

The first episode of the 4th season is called Chapter One: The Hellfire Club, but we dont know when it will premiere.

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Stranger Things Season 4 New Faces Are Joining the Cast - Upload Comet

Are you on a weight reduction undertaking? Whip up those soups this wintry weather – Health Writeups

With new fad diets making waves within the weight reduction area, its somewhat commonplace for us to begin following them randomly. However no fancy vitamin may also be your solution to these cussed further pounds. Theres no magic potion for weight reduction. The important thing to a a success struggle towards the bulge is consuming mindfully. Persistently. Sure, consistency is a very powerful right here. As a way to ensure that youll be able to apply a nutritious diet steadily, it must be customised for your style buds. A method of achieving that is together with wholesome model of the meals you like for your meal plan. Including soups for your vitamin could be a excellent weight reduction technique, counsel professionals and analysis. It is because theyre wholesome and nutritious.

In accordance to a couple estimates, having a low-calorie-dense soup makes you are feeling complete in lesser selection of energy. This indubitably is helping you for your struggle towards the bulge. no longer handiest complements satiety but additionally reduces the will for extra power consumption, thereby assisting in weight reduction. A find out about revealed within the Magazine of the American Dietetic Affiliation discovered that beginning your lunch or dinner with soup resulted in weight loss of three.eight kgs in 10 weeks on a median.

Having soups stuffed with fibrous veggies makes you devour much less right through your lunch or dinner, bringing down your calorie consumption. Professionals additionally counsel that together with soups for your vitamin additionally reduces the danger of well being prerequisites that make it tricky so that you can drop a few pounds. If you wish to lose a large number of weight, changing your dinner with a bowl of soup may additionally lend a hand. Alternatively, seek the advice of a nutritionist ahead of taking this type of transfer.

Vegetable soups can bolster your weight reduction undertaking. Theyre loaded with crucial vitamins like nutrients, fibre, minerals, and many others. Listed here are a couple of yummy and wholesome choices for you to check out.

This scorching and fast liquid meal is not just wholesome, its yummy too that makes you complete in fewer energy. Thats how youll be able to shed hose further pounds.

1 bunch spinach leaves1 tsp olive oil4-Five black peppercorns teaspoon jeera1 medium-size onion1 piece gingerThree garlic cloves100g paneer1 tbsp lemon juiceSalt to style

Blanch the spinach leaves in heat water. Drain the new water and dip them in chilly water.

Warmth the oil in a pan, including cumin seeds and peppercorns to it.

Fry until they begin to trade color. Upload the onions and saut.

Upload ginger and garlic and saut until they flip golden.

Take a cup of water to puree the spinach leaves.

Dunk cubed paneer and upload lemon juice.

Upload salt to style.

Serve scorching.

Everyone knows that almond, like different nuts is a mind booster. Alternatively, there are reams of study that experience confirmed the load loss advantages of this nut as neatly. So, right heres a lip-smacking almond soup recipe for you that may stay you heat and soften your fats.

15 to 20 almonds (badam)Three cups white inventory2 tbsp butter1 tbsp simple flour (maida)3/Four cup milk2 drops almond essence2 tbsp contemporary creamSalt and freshly flooring black pepper (kalimirch)to style

For Garnishing2 tbsp roasted almond (badam) slivers

Soak almonds in heat water for 10 mins. Peel off the surface and mix in a mixer the use of 2 tbsp of water till clean. Stay the paste apart. Warmth butter in a deep non-stick pan, upload simple flour to it and blend neatly. Cook dinner on a medium flame for 30 seconds. Pour white inventory, combine neatly and cook dinner on a medium flame for three to Four mins. Just remember to stay stirring it incessantly. Now, mix milk, almond paste, almond essence, contemporary cream, salt and pepper to it. Combine it neatly and cook dinner on a medium flame for Four mins whilst stirring infrequently. Garnish with roasted almond slivers. Serve scorching.

This is likely one of the best possible soups that youll be able to whip up this wintry weather. Garlic is helping you struggle weight problems through boosting metabolism and suppressing starvation.

2 tsp finely chopped garlic1 cup chopped and boiled combined greens (French beans, carrots, inexperienced peas and cauliflower)1 tsp oil1/Four cup finely chopped onions2 tbsp cooking rolled oats2 tbsp chopped coriander(dhania)Salt and freshly flooring black pepper to style

Pour oil in a non-stick pan, warmth it and upload garlic and onion to it. Saute them on a medium flame for approximately 2 mins.Upload all of the veggies, Three cups of water, salt and pepper to the pan. Combine neatly and cook dinner on a medium flame for two mins, whilst stirring incessantly.

Now, upload the oats and coriander. Simmer on a medium flame for any other 1 minute.

Serve scorching.

Printed : December 27, 2019 5:55 pm | Up to date:December 27, 2019 5:59 pm

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Are you on a weight reduction undertaking? Whip up those soups this wintry weather - Health Writeups

Why This Comedian Wants to Be Every Instagay’s Gay Fat Friend – NewNowNext

by Sam Manzella 4h ago

Todd Masterson is a Los Angelesbased television writer and stand-up comedy veteran of more than 10 years, but this fall he managed to cut-and-paste himself into a new space: the world of #Instagays.

On Instagram, Masterson is best known by his alias @GayFatFriend, under which he uploads photos and videos of himself Photoshopped onto group shots of muscly, conventionally attractive gay hunks. The posts and their captions are all in good humor, says Masterson. In fact, the gay comedian lays out his mission statement point-blank in his Instagram bio: Ive always wondered what itd be like if these gays had a fat friend, so I added myself to their pics. See? Still havin fun!

NewNowNext recently caught up with Masterson for a chat.

I started doing it as a joke. I see these guys in West Hollywood I just found this group of friends who take all these silly pictures, so I used their pictures to start. Theyre always together and always taking these goofy pictures, and theres never a fat person in sight. And none of them have any fat friends. They dont really socialize with fat people ever. I just thought this joke would be funnyits kind of ribbing them, but also just showing them that, look, theres a fat person in your picture. Its still fine.

[Originally], I was just going to upload maybe one picture a week, and just as a little hobby. And then my friend Eliot Glazer, who was on Broad City, reposted it, and it started blowing up. I got, like, 1,000 followers in one day. So I was like, Oh, this might actually be a thing. Then I started posting like every daywhich I was only going to do for like a week. Because I got so many followers all of a sudden, I was like, Oh, I should probably keep making content. Which is the grossest word ever, by the way.

Yeah. Thats what I do now. I post a picture every day, but its been really fun. It doesnt feel like a chore. Im never bummed or scared that I have to make a picture to post. Im always like, Yay, I get to make another picture!

Oh, all of these muscly, traditionally gorgeous people send me their pictures because they want to be a part of it. Or [followers] send me profiles they found that they were like, This picture would be really funny for your page. Theres not really a shortage of muscly guys on Instagram. Theyre fairly easy to find. But I try to only use ones that are just extra-ridiculous.

Usually, inspiration strikes daily. So, at around eight every night Ill pick my picture or whatever Im going to [spoof], and then Ill grab my husband. His name is Rob; hes my photographer. So Im like, Come on, weve got to go take a picture. And then we run to the bedroom because that has the best lighting. Ill usually strip down and put on a bathing suit of some sort, and then well take pictures.

I will say, besides the original group of guys whose pictures I used, [the feedback] has been 100% positive. Everyone loves it. I have not had one troll comment. Ive not had one person make fun of me or be meannot one. And I get, like, hundreds of messages a day, and Ive gotten 7,000 followers in a month. [The page is] really active every day.

Im never mean. Thats a point I like to make, too: Im just being silly. I dont think these guys are stupid. I dont hate these guys. I literally do want to be their friends! So Im like, This is what it could be if we were friends, you guys. Look at us! Were having so much fun.

I honestly wasnt expecting it. It kind of blows my mind every day that everybody is so kind! Its funny because for meIm going to be 40 next year, and I have pretty much been a never-nude my whole life. I dont even take my shirt off at the beach. But, I dont know, something clicked in the last year, and I was like, Im married. Ive been married for eight years! I guess I just feel like I have nothing left to lose.

Its weird, feeling almost like, You know what? Im going to take my shirt off and show people [my body] now. Im half-naked in all these pictures, on the internet, for thousands of people to see. Its just so crazy to me. But a lot of people message me and are like, Youre the hottest one in the picture, or, Youre the cute one. It made me realize that when it comes to attraction and sexuality, theres a lid for every trash can. My body is hot to a lot of people. Just because Im maybe not attracted to my body doesnt mean there arent a ton of people that are. And thats been really funto become this weird, kind of funny sex symbol to a lot of people.

Oh, yes. Im feeling more confident in everything Im doing now, even when Im on stage doing stand-up. I used to always worry, Am I standing the right way so that my stomach doesnt look so big? Now Ive been so much more casual and relaxed on stage, and Im really liking where my stand-up is.

Oh, my God. I mean, it would have to be candy of some sort because I have a huge sweet tooth. I called out Reeses Peanut Butter Cups [on my Instagram Story highlights]I would totally love to work with Reeses. That would be so funny.

Not to sound cheesy, but just laughter. I hope they laugh. A lot of the messages I get are people being like, Oh, I was having a really shitty morning, and I found your page. It just totally made me laugh. And now Im not so sad.

You can follow @GayFatFriend on Instagram.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.

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Why This Comedian Wants to Be Every Instagay's Gay Fat Friend - NewNowNext

9 Commandments for Using Chatbots to Deliver Great Content Experience – MarTech Advisor

In a world overwhelmed with content, marketers can ensure their story stands out, writes, Sairam Vedam, CMO, Kore.ai.

Customer-centricity is a buzzword marketers love. To produce content thats relevant to customers and serves their needs is an overwhelming concern for any marketer.

But most marketers fail in their quest.

Because, in the name of marketing what they end up doing is brag about their product development, advertising campaign or sales strategy.

If you want to produce customer-centric content, you need to know customers well enough and anticipate what interests them. Apparently, thats not the case. A vast majority of customers believe the marketing they receive is irrelevant (with only 3% confirming that advertising is useful to them).

In an age where conversational experiences are determining customer success, this could be a major disability. Todays customers demand highly interactive, personalized moments and more humanized experiences to stay engaged with a product, service or brand.

Learn More:Move Over Chatbots, Conversational AI Is Here

So, how do you bring customers to the center of your narrative when your focus is about your product, service or brand?

Many examples abound, but lets look at a typical case Hubspots Ian Byrne highlighted sometime back. Explaining the power of narratives in driving business, Byrne pointed out that some companies succeed enormously better than others not because they have better technology or other natural advantages compared to their competition, but rather they have a better story that connects with their audience.

Byrne picked on the famed rivalry that electrified the video rentals industry in the US at the turn of millennium, in a typical David versus Goliath fashion. How did Netflix, which came in as a novice into market monopolized by the reigning giant, Blockbuster, not just outsmart it but drove it into oblivion all within a span of a decade?

When Netflix launched in 1997, Blockbuster was a household name in the home entertainment category. It ran an extremely efficient network of video rental stores across 2,800 locations globally, which catered to the demands of the local population. People craved great entertainment, and Blockbuster figured out how to make it most accessible to them. There was something novel in the concept that people can watch their favorite movies from the comfort of their drawing rooms, at the time of their choice, in the manner that was most comfortable to them. Though video rentals were not new, Blockbuster built a retail empire out of it that became a brand in itself. People relied on the fact that Blockbuster would never turn away its customers without their choice of movies, any given day.

Starting from a single store in 1985, it grew into a retail giant with network across thousands of locations because it executed well: a well-oiled operational machine that sourced a vast repository of movies and vetted the tastes of the local audience.

No wonder it became the commonplace that people thronged to. Long weekends, holidays or even forecasts of snowstorms (which meant isolation from the outside world) inevitably led people to queue up at Blockbuster stores for stocking up on their favorite movies. As the Walmart of the entertainment world, Blockbuster prided itself on operational efficiency. It focused on increasing the number of customers storming its stores and the revenues that came in the form of rentals and penalties (for defaulting on returning the videos).

Blockbuster perfected a model that was here to stay, or so it seemed.

Netflix saw the game differently. The Internet was just about spreading, and dotcoms were booming everywhere. Surely, there were better ways of distributing entertainment. Should a customer travel all the way to a brick-and-mortar store for physical hard disk of a movie when he can access the same content through a simple mail?

The online model, Nextflix discerned early on, not just gave a better means to disseminate content, it helped discover a whole new way of connecting with the customer. The direct streaming -- and billing -- relationship with customers was a game-changer. You could track online behavior of a customer and garner insights on his entertainment needs (both stated and unstated), preferences and consumption patterns, and it leverage to deliver a truly personalized service for future. Over the next few years, Netflix went ahead to innovate a model that proved formidable with customer and his entertainment needs at the center of its universe.

Pray, how personalized is this experience?

Each person experiences his own Netflix moment.

In effect, theres no single Netflix, but multitudes of Netflixes, as many as the number of subscribers they have.

Personalization and an immersive customer experience backed by strong analytics are then at the core of Netflixs success as a brand, leaving marketers with important implications for content creation.

Marketing is moving from transactional to experiential. Often, the challenge is not just about creating great content, but making sure the right person sees that content at the right time on the right channel.

To create a memorable brand experience for the customer, each piece of content must fit into a larger conversation, contextualized to the individual. For each message, Marketers should consider the environment in which it will live; how it will drive engagement; the most appropriate channels to deliver it; and where it should appear in the customer journey. For maximum impact, everything must come together to create a seamless end-to-end content experience.

Steve Taylor, CEO, BlueRush

To create a great content experience, three elements are important:

So, is chatbot the perfect tool to personalize marketing outreach? It should be obvious by now. But there are caveats that apply when it comes to leveraging chatbots.

Learn More:8 Ways to Turn Up Customer Satisfaction with Conversational AI

Integrating chatbots into your content experience strategy enables you to interact with your target audience while collecting valuable data and insights along the way. While the technologies associated with conversational AI are becoming mainstream, there are always novel ways to use it, and content marketing is definitely one of them.

So jump in and become an early adopter.

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9 Commandments for Using Chatbots to Deliver Great Content Experience - MarTech Advisor

Sony just unveiled a new controller innovation that will launch before the PS5 – BGR

The PS5 might be the console on every PlayStation fans mind, but Sony isnt done developing products for its current console. Just a few weeks after telling the world that the PS5 controller will be much better than the DualShock 4 controller youre using now, Sony quietly launched an unexpected product meant to improve gaming on the PS4. The DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment is a $29.99 device that can be attached to the controller to offer users two additional, fully customizable buttons.

The relatively tiny contraption attaches to the back of the controller and features two buttons flanking a central OLED touchscreen display, which can be used to customize the buttons. Sony explained in a blog post that the buttons can be mapped to up to 16 different actions and provide amazing tactile feedback.

The buttons can be reconfigured as you play, and you can save up to three different profiles for different games.

Image Source: Sony

Unsurprisingly, the controller also features a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can still hook your headphones to it. The Back Button Attachment will be available in stores come January 23rd, selling for $29.99 in the US and CAD 39.99 in Canada.

The announcement makes no mention of PS5 compatibility, although Sony does say that the product is tested and approved for all of your favorite PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR titles and is built with the ergonomics of the DS4 in mind. Does that mean the DualShock 5 controller will ship with built-in back buttons of its own? Its too early to say, but well learn more about the PS5 controller once Sony is ready to unveil the PlayStation 5.

While we wait, heres a video presentation of the DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment in action:

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Sony just unveiled a new controller innovation that will launch before the PS5 - BGR

Twitter to Retain the Quality of JPEG Images Uploaded on Web Moving Forward! – Digital Information World

Yes, Twitter does listen to you! How, you ask? Well, it is finally changing the way how it processes uploaded photos. According to Twitter engineer Nolan O Brien, the platform will no longer be transcoding the images that are uploaded via Twitter on the web . Instead, the JPEG encoding will be maintained, even if you upload multiple photos. For those of you unaware, transcoding degrades the photo quality and this is pretty inconvenient for professional graphic designers and passionate photographers who like to share their work with the world via Twitter.

Although the change is commendable, there are certain restrictions that should be kept in mind. For starters, image thumbnails will still be transcoded and compressed. So, the images that you will see on your feed will still look the same. However, once you click through, you will be able to access the full image (without any tweaks), if its a JPEG.

Additionally, Twitter will be getting rid of EXIF data (providing various details about the image). Even though this data can help photographers in checking out the aperture, ISO setting and other technical aspects of the photos they are interested in, it also makes it easier for people with ill-intentions to retrieve location-based details. So, its basically a good decision on Twitters part.

Read next: After so many criticisms on the policies, Twitter is planning to launch an Open and Decentralized social network.

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Twitter to Retain the Quality of JPEG Images Uploaded on Web Moving Forward! - Digital Information World

LIFESTYLE Finding the light – The Florentine

LIFESTYLE

Jane Farrell

December 18, 2019 - 11:58

Ask people whats their favourite thing about the city and many will tell you getting lost.

There is something exhilarating about wandering the cobblestone streets and seeing where they take you, sure (or hopeful) to emerge from some seemingly commonplace alley into a dramatic piazza with masterpieces peering at you from every edifice. Now, possibly more than any time of the year, you will be rewarded for taking time to become a fully-fledged urban explorer.

With the rise of urban life in Paris during the industrial era, Charles Baudelaire, and subsequently Walter Benjamin, philosophized that the flneur is a figure who wanders through boulevards, peers in shop windows and ambles about passageways. This roaming character is no clueless passer-by; they are keen observers, honing in on the minutiae, studying the city. Sensible to surroundings, the flneur is affected by what they experience. The notion of unfamiliarizing is essential to the practice. The view is that when youre lost somewhere, you go out of your way to pay attention to visual cues, making them something significant. Italians are particularly adept at the process of walking for walkings sake, perhaps without being aware of it. The time-honoured tradition of the passeggiata would make Baudelaire proud.

My rule? Leave your phone at home.

You thought there was just one way to get lost in a city? Guy Debord offers us dtournement, or rerouting, and the concept of the drive. Situationists developed on the drives goals, which are to study the terrain (psychogeography) and the emotional disorientation that is experienced on being lost, but pleasantly so. Essentially it boils down to drifting. And where better to meander than the Renaissance city? With its layers of history, the memories overlaid and embedded within the very fabric of the place, it is a kind of reverie city. The dreamlike mixes with magic when fairy lights are added, blending with the hushed whispers, excitable shouts and endless chatter as year after year of Florentines and Florence-lovers amble the streets looking for gifts for loved ones and seeking out the festive decorations.

For my own festive flneur-ing/drive-inspired excursion, I made it my goal to allow my mind to subconsciously lead me (aimlessly but not pointlessly) throughout the centre, seeing how the lights of the city altered and shaped my soul-searching direction drifting. Starting from The Florentine offices near piazza Santa Maria Novella, I was coaxed by the crowds towards via de Tornabuoni and its giant bauble that has seemingly crashed to the cobbles. The opulence of the lavish lights twinkling stylishly gave a pep to my step and I happily carried on towards the 16th-century Mercato del Porcellino, with the city emblem of the lily proudly lighting up the historic streets. With via dei Calzaiuolis starry baubles shimmering and via del Corsos Christmas pudding-like decorations adorning my trail, I was quite jollily soaking up the festive spirit, casting aside any urges to grumble about the hordes of people blocking my path, using it instead as an opportunity to revel in the tiny fragments of the city mosaic. Admittedly, I wasnt lost, but I was letting my mind create the route rather than consciously seeking out certain spots. Whether they are stars, baubles, parcels or icicles, they imbue the city with a kind of magic, drawing and enchanting me the way they do many fellow strollers, even slowing down the frazzled commuter, forcing them to engage with the sparkle dancing overhead.

In a world of mass media, the reign of the ego and our eyes constantly glued to screens, it is more important now than ever to stop. Look up. And appreciate the simple beauty of light. My rule? Leave your phone at home. Ill grant you a notebook and pen to jot down your personal flneur-ing philosophies, but really the activity is best experienced with the least amount of distraction possible. There are those who disagree with me and many apps have been created to make urban wandering more social. If that sounds like more your thing, there are plenty of active communities of psychogeographers who record their thoughts and feelings while exploring spaces. Whichever way you choose to make your personal map of the city, the experience is bound to grant you an enhanced, more profound perspective on the spaces and places of Florence.

I decided on the title of this article before I knew where it would take me and, equally, that is what the definition of flneur-ing really is: putting on your shoes, closing the door behind you and wandering until some part of your curiosity-filled soul is satisfied.

Embrace your inner psychogeographer without ever truly getting lost with these four urban exploration apps, if you really cant let go of your phone.

The Drive Urban Exploration App gets you lost and allows you to share the experience with others

Serendipitor is designed for you to enter a starting point and destination, and displaces you from an efficient route

Random GPS is a route-muddler that engages you in a never-ending journey

Drift asks users to look for something others might not have noticed and then upload it to the app

Originally posted here:

LIFESTYLE Finding the light - The Florentine

Best VR Of 2019 Nominee: Wolves In The Walls Brought An NPC To Life – UploadVR

The road toUploadVRs Best of 2019 awards starts here! Every weekday for the next fortnight, well be revealing one of the ten nominees for our Overall VR Game/Experience of the Year, counting down to the reveal of our full list of categories and nominees later in December. Today were looking at how effortlessly Wolves in the Walls transforms Lucy into a believable, alive character worth spending time with.

When playing a non-VR video game I and probably most gamers around the world have subtly and gradually learned the language of game design. Intuitively we can figure out where to go, what to do, and who to talk to based on how things are laid out, color cues, sound clues, and more. And above all of that, were experts at suspending disbelief to get sucked into a fictional, digital world.

But VR changes all of that. The same tricks dont work anymore and the same quality of NPC voice acting, animation, and scripting just isnt good enough. In order to truly be immersed, it takes much more elegant AI to sell the illusion of a VR experience. This is something that Wolves in the Walls figures out immediately.

Fable Studios VR adaptation of Neil Gaimans classic childrens book begins with the main non-playable character, Lucy, literally drawing you into existence. Youre part imaginary friend, part tourist in her cartoon world where no one believes her that wolves are lurking in the walls. So she brought you here as witness.

You immediately have agency and purpose and Lucy treats you like an equal. Shell walk around you, make eye contact while speaking, react to moves you make, and even remember things you do. Despite her bold colors, large eyes, and animated whimsy she is still the most believable virtual being Ive ever seen in a piece of interactive media.

Wolves in the Walls is relatively short, you can see the entire three-part series in less than an hour probably, but its highly engaging. The latte portions do some amazing things by playing with your perspective, tricking your mind, and altering what seems real and what doesnt. Its a mind-bending story thats told in a way that only VR can afford and it manages to deliver one of the most memorable things weve seen in a headset this year.

It didnt win an Emmy for nothing.

Wolves in the Walls is a free, interactive VR experience available exclusively on the Oculus Home for Rift store. We havent tried it with Oculus Quest via Link or over ReVive, but we expect it to work fine.

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Best VR Of 2019 Nominee: Wolves In The Walls Brought An NPC To Life - UploadVR

From Homeless to Pro Photographer: What it Actually Takes to Make it as a Photographer – PetaPixel

Perhaps you have a dream of becoming a professional photographer or you have already started your professional photography business. If for you its still a dream what is it thats holding you back? If you have already started how was it for you? Did you start part-time, nervous about taking that first step or did you, like me, jump straight in?

I read so many articles and hear far too many comments from other professional photographers who tell you what photography equipment you need and what photography training courses you should go on before you even start. The camera, the lenses, lighting, training it all adds up.

For me, though it isnt about having the right camera gear or training. Its about having a passion for photography. Its about having that dream and going for it.

Many of us will have that built-in thought, What if I give it try but fail?

The fact is though that the only way you can fail at anything is not to try at all. If things go wrong its just experience and learning about what didnt work. Yes, that can be a bad thing when you are working with clients, however, there are ways around that.

Every journey starts with that first step. If you let everyone else stop you from making that first step you are just going to end up going nowhere. Your dream will just stay as it is a dream that either fades away or turns into a nightmare that keeps niggling away at the back of your mind. It will remain that, What if or I wish I had that keeps coming back.

Yes, there are a few people out there who will tell you the same thing. The lifestyle coaches, the people who want to tell you their story and sell you their training courses about how they made it as a photographer who earns 100,000 a year. There will also be a few people out there who really do want you to chase your dream and go for it.

So, what is it that gives me the authority to say that you should chase your dreams and what is it that I am trying to sell you?

I will start by telling you outright that I am not trying to sell you anything. I dont even offer training courses or such like.

Now, with that out of the way, I want to tell you a story.

Its about a homeless guy who had been living on the streets for two years. People had been walking by. Some had stopped to take pity on him others had simply not even paid him any attention. He had heard the calls of, Get a job! or the comments about being a worthless drunk.

The fact is though he did have a job once. It was a good job with a good salary to match. He had lived in a decent-sized home with his wife and his son. He had also had a hobby, and that hobby was photography.

Settled in his comfortable lifestyle life had something up its sleeve. Life was going to change and change in a very drastic way.

His marriage broke up and he became seriously ill in hospital, so ill that the doctors didnt even expect him to be leaving on his feet. When he did eventually leave the hospital after twelve weeks, he was unable to work for several months. Unable to return to a full-time position he had decided to set up as self-employed doing what he had always done. It was going well right up until Christmas. It was then that his main client sent him that dreaded email, Sorry but we cant afford you. The invoices were left outstanding. With no money coming in the man couldnt pay the bills and ended up living on the streets. At first, he had hope that his life would change and get back to how it was. With each day though that hope was fading fast.

I should have warned you that it wasnt going to be a happy story, well not at the beginning. However, this is a true story and life does have a way of providing us with struggles along the way. Struggles that can have a way of changing how we view life. Challenges that make us sit back and think about what is important to us.

How do I know its a true story? The answer is simple. That man was me.

After two years living on the streets, I had lost all hope. Each day was a struggle and I began to drink heavily just to blot out what had happened to me. I didnt want to think about what I had and certainly didnt want to think about tomorrow. Some days all I wanted to do was end it all.

After two years though, I was given the opportunity to go into rehab. I took the opportunity and stayed there for eighteen months.

I guess by now you are beginning to wonder how this applies to an article about photography. More importantly, how does it fit in with how to start a photography business.

When I came out of rehab, I was provided with a place to stay, a room in a flat. It wasnt anything special. It was, however, a place that I could call my own. With a roof over my head, I was able to think about what I needed to do next.

I had come out of rehab with nothing apart from a rucksack with a few clothes in it. I literally had nothing else. Along with no possessions to call my own, I also didnt have a job. I needed to find a way to earn a living, otherwise, I wouldnt be able to pay the bills and that roof would not be over my head for long.

The day after I left rehab and moved into my room, I saw someone who I had met while I was homeless, before I went into rehab. They had remembered a conversation that we had about how I had done photography as a hobby back before my life had changed. They reminded me that I had told them that I enjoyed photography so much that it had been a dream to become a full-time photographer.

They also had another surprise ready for me. As we chatted, they gave me an old camera that they didnt need any more. It was a Canon 650D with both kit lenses.

Now, if you spoke to any professional photographer, they would probably tell you that you need a better camera than the Canon 650D to become a professional photographer. I didnt listen to that though. I had been given an opportunity. I had a chance to take that first step and follow my dream.

With my mind set up, I decided that I would give it a go. I started to work with the microstock agencies as I had used them before when photography was just a hobby. I also still had the accounts set up which was a bonus.

With all the excitement about having a camera and wanting to start my business, I hadnt even thought about the fact that I didnt have a computer. I would spend my days taking photographs then going to another friends house to use their computer to edit the images and upload them. Then within a month or two I had earned enough to buy my own computer, yes it was basic, but it did the job that I needed it to do.

I worked hard at creating images each day but that first year paid off and I was in profit. Only by a little bit of profit, but it was still a profit.

After talking to other friends about what I was doing I began to get asked to take photographs of their family, I even got asked to take the photographs for a local playgroup. That is when the direction of my business changed from microstock work to family portraits. Something that I still enjoy doing today.

Four years later the business is still growing and evolving in ways that I would not have imagined.

I still remember the day I had an email asking me if I did wedding photography. I replied to say that it was something that I had never done before, I thought that was that that I would never hear from them again. I was wrong.

They replied almost straight away. They wanted me to do their wedding photography. They didnt want a wedding photographer who was stuck in their ways about how they did things. They wanted someone who could simply capture and document their day.

They also said that they had been drawn to me because of my style. Wow, I didnt even think that I had a style.

After other requests for my wedding photography, it is now the main area of my photography business. I would never have thought it, but I have even had to turn clients away as Im fully booked. That is something that was not even a part of my dream.

There are some things though that I have held onto while developing my photography business. I will always remember what life living on the streets taught me. Everyone has hardships in their lives and not everyone can afford the best.

I made a choice to become an affordable photographer. For me its not all about how well I do or how much I earn, but about giving others the opportunity to have their memories captured. That is after all what I am there for. I dont give a service that is below my best, I have however looked for alternative ways to do things that allow me to keep my prices affordable.

The other thing is not to judge people by what you see. You may never know who they were, or more importantly who they will become.

So, what is it that holds us back from following a dream to become a photographer or trust our own style?

One thing is for sure, it shouldnt be the lack of equipment, funding or training. It certainly shouldnt be letting others hold us back.

About the author: Christopher James Hall is a professional wedding, family, commercial, and lifestyle photographer based in Buckinghamshire. You can find more of his work and words on his website or by following him on Facebook. This post was also published here.

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From Homeless to Pro Photographer: What it Actually Takes to Make it as a Photographer - PetaPixel

Want to be entertained? These apps will do the job! – BestTechie

From time to time, we all feel bored and in need of something to do. When that happens, theres one thing that most of us turn to our smartphones and devices! If your number one port of call when life gets dull is your tablet or iPhone, youll need to know the best apps to keep you engaged and entertained for as long as you need! The good news is that theres plenty of great apps these days that are sure to stop boredom in its tracks! Here are just a few of the top choices.

There isnt anything quite like a strategy game to make sure your brain is working to its full potential! If youre feeling bored, a game such as 2048 or Flow Free could be just the app you need to help keep your mind active until the boredom passes! Flow Free may seem like an easy game which requires the player to connect up the matching colors using pipes to create a flow. Yet youll find that it isnt as simple as it might seem once you start playing!

Meanwhile, the game 2048 is just as frustrating but engaging in equal measure. Youll be using all of your math skills to swipe the tiles and reach the total of 2-48 before the game comes to an end!

One way to beat the boredom is to wager on a favorite casino game. The good news is that theres an app thats perfect for you. The BetMGM Online Poker free app allows players to indulge in a favorite pastime, so whether youre a total novice at poker or whether youre a card shark, youll find this app the perfect way to enjoy a flutter from your sofa.

One of the best ways to pass the time and beat boredom is to talk to other people and apps like OpenTalk and Anonychat could be just what youre looking for. They allow you to talk randomly to strangers all around the world, even keeping your own identity secret if you wish so you can say whatevers on your mind.

Are you feeling frustrated? If youre looking for an app that you can download to relieve your tension and stress, the Bubble Wrap app is exactly what you need. Its the virtual answer to the real thing and you can pop it in numerous virtual ways to wind down.

Do you love finding fun new content that you can enjoy in your down time? Then StumbleUpon is the perfect app to download. Itll give you all kinds of exciting art, news, articles, photos, quotes, tips, memes and videos to enjoy essentially, it brings you the top trending things on the web with just one click.

If you love to show off your amazing knowledge, the QuizUp app could be just what youre looking for. It allows you to engage with others within the worldwide trivia community and to answer a host of questions on all kinds of subjects.

Do you think of yourself as an artist? Then Sand Draw Sketch is a great app choice for you. Download this app and you can draw in virtual sand, and play on a virtual sandy canvas!

If youre feeling bored you might as well try learning something new to stave off the boredom. Why not learn the skill of a new language instead of vegetating? Duo Lingo is a free app which will help you to learn new languages in your downtime. With more than 20 languages to pick from, you can take lessons and tests which will develop and improve your abilities.

Did you ever wonder what you might look like if your hair was shorter or a different color? If youd like to know how youd look with a complete makeover but without investing in expensive makeup and hair products, the Perfect 365:One-Tap Makeover app is the one for you. Just upload an image of yourself to begin experimenting!

Many of us enjoy looking a new memes and laughing at them, but why not make some of your own? Download the Meme Generator Free app, and explore your sense of humor with funny memes made using different fonts and images!

Do you love food more than anything else in the world? Then try to foodies version of Tinder -Tender! This free to download app enables food lovers all over the world to connect easily with one another and to post images of successful meals and favorite recipes. When you like something youve seen, just swipe it and you can save the recipe! Its never been easier to plan the perfect dinner menu!

Sometimes, its hard to remember how we coped before we had tablets and smartphones, but thanks to the latest advanced technology and cutting edge apps, its now possible to stave off boredom anywhere and at any time. Whether youre waiting, queuing or just at a loose end, youll find plenty of apps to keep you occupied, whether you love playing games, betting, chatting, drawing or cooking! Youre sure to find an app in this comprehensive list to suit your preferences!

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Want to be entertained? These apps will do the job! - BestTechie

How to draw in Google Docs using the built-in Drawing tool, to add customized drawings to your documents – Business Insider

captionIts possible to draw directly in Google Docs to spice up your documents.sourceShutterstock

Google makes it easy to get artistic with Google Docs, giving you a few options to add your own personal drawings in any document.

There are two ways to draw in Google Docs. You can either insert a drawing into an open Google Doc or create a drawing in Google Drive using Google Drawings.

We are going to focus on the first method drawing into a Google Doc directly but keep in mind that you can create an image in Google Drawings and then later upload that same drawing into a Google Doc.

Heres how to create a drawing within Google Docs.

1. Log into Google Drive and open your Google Doc. If youre creating a new Google Doc, click on the + New button followed by Google Docs.

2. In the toolbar, click Insert. Using your cursor, highlight Drawing in the sub-menu, then click + New when it appears.

3. A checkered window will pop up; this is, essentially, your digital sketchbook. It includes a toolbar that allows you to perform several functions, such as draw lines and shapes, insert images, alter colors, or create text boxes.

4. Select your preferred tool by clicking on it, then click and drag the tool across the workspace to draw with it.

5. Once you are finished drawing, click Save and Close.

Once you have added your drawing, you can continue to edit and format your Google Doc however you want to.

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How to draw in Google Docs using the built-in Drawing tool, to add customized drawings to your documents - Business Insider

This Is The $13 Cable Officially Recommended For Oculus Link Beta – UploadVR

Are you wondering what cable to buy to connect your Oculus Quest to your gaming PC to play Rift games?

The beta for Oculus Link launched today, which lets you use your Quest as a PC VR headset with a USB 3.0 cable. But USB is a fragmented, not always adhered-to standard, and it can be difficult to know which cable to buy.

To make matters worse, the USB cable included in the Oculus Quest box will not work with Link.

When Facebooks Oculus Rift launched in 2016 it used USB 3.0 external sensors, and users found when trying to extend them that it can be challenging to find a fully specification-compliant cable.

Facebook is releasing a $79 official custom 5 meter Oculus Link Cable later this year. Thats the same length as the Rift S cable. However, it will initially only be available in limited quantities. Facebook tells us it will expand availability in 2020.

UPDATE: This cable is now back-ordered on Amazon until December, but you can still buy it. We have changed the link to point to an eBay seller still offering the right cable.

Facebook has an official recommendation for what to buy until the Link Cable is available: the Anker Powerline USB-C to USB 3.0 Cable (10ft) with 56k Ohm Pull-up Resistor.

To ensure youre buying the correct cable, the model number is AK-A8167011. At the time of posting, its currently $13, but prices can sometimes change.

Facebook tells us that this is their recommended option for the beta, and that it tested the cable with good results.

However, keep in mind that this cable is only 3 meters long 2 meters less than the Rift S cable. It may be possible to get Link working at 5 meters using USB extension cables. Check back at UploadVR.com later this week as well be reporting our testing results. It is also worth noting that only some GPUs are supported with Oculus Link at launch, and check out these instructions to get started with Oculus Link on Quest.

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This Is The $13 Cable Officially Recommended For Oculus Link Beta - UploadVR

How to ditch the cloud and move to do-it-yourself NAS instead – The Age

What is NAS?

NAS is essentially a bunch of hard drives that connects to your home network, powered and housed by a small computer, enabling a centralised file storage system you can access from anywhere.

Traditionally a NAS box required a bit of know-how to get running, but manufacturers have made great strides in this area to the point that almost anyone can set up a powerful network storage solution that is more capable and flexible than a cloud storage service.

Synology's DS218J is a powerful two-bay NAS box at an entry level price of around $230.

Since you're buying the NAS box and requisite hard drives outright, there's more of an upfront investment. But it works out cheaper in the long run as there are no ongoing monthly fees. Cloud storage is akin to renting a place for your data to live, whereas NAS is more like owning your own home, giving you complete control and ownership. Boxes are designed to run 24/7, but generally don't consume a lot of power.

A two-bay NAS box can be picked up from as low as $200. Filling those slots with two 1TB hard drives will set you back another $100, so in total you're looking at $300. By comparison, a Google One plan with 2TB storage will set you back $125 a year. I invested in a more expensive five bay Synology DS1019+, and filled up the hard drive slots as and when I needed more storage over time. More drive bays also give you better redundancy, as you can mirror data so you won't lose any if one or two drives fail.

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Keep in mind that NAS boxes can do more than just store and share your photos. The likes of Synology and QNAP have an extensive app ecosystem that extends the functionality well beyond the bounds of traditional network storage.

I use mine as a media server so the family can easily stream movies and music stored on the NAS to any connected smartphone, tablet, PC or streaming box, in addition to serving as a PVR for recording major sporting events on free-to-air television. I also use it to drive and monitor my home security cameras.

There are a number of companies that make NAS boxes, including QNAP, Western Digital and Seagate, but Synology's DiskStation line is far and away the best in the industry when it comes to ease of use, stability and features.

For example making your NAS accessible from outside of your home network usually involves setting up port forwarding rules or other complicated network settings. But Synology's QuickConnect feature bypasses this by allowing you to assign a simple URL or ID for access.

The DS1019+ is a five-bay NAS box that supports 4K transcoding expansion bays for even more storage, at around $1000.

It's also the only NAS system that can match Google Photos in terms of smarts. Synology's Moments app, which runs on top of the company's Diskstation Manager operating system, analyses all your photos and puts them into sensible albums for you, making it much easier to find the photo you're looking for.

It uses facial recognition to group photos with similar faces, and scene recognition so you can search based on things that are in the picture.

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Unlike Google Photos, Synology does all this without ever collecting any user data or sending a single photo to the public cloud.

You can also set the app to automatically upload any new photos from your phone to your NAS.

Another strong point for NAS compared to cloud storage services is speed. Cloud services are limited by your internet speeds and the bandwidth of their servers, whereas NAS utilises the speed of your local home network which is significantly faster.

Of course it's always wise to keep a backup offsite of all your important files in case there's a fire or burglary. Synology has multiple options for doing this, backing up data stored on the NAS to a public cloud service like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

The benefit here is that Synology will encrypt your data before it is uploaded, so your data can't be trawled and won't be compromised if the cloud service is hacked or breached.

Some NAS boxes allow you to sync an encrypted backup of your storage to the cloud.

Synology also offers its own private cloud option called Synology C2 Backup, with the basic plan costing between $16 and $100 a year depending on your needs.

Another option is to invest in a secondary Synology NAS offsite and have files synchronise over the internet. I personally go the manual route; plugging a USB drive into the NAS on a monthly basis to back up my most precious data, namely my collection of family photos and videos.

Krishan is a multi-award-winning Australian technology journalist.

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How to ditch the cloud and move to do-it-yourself NAS instead - The Age

Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time Review: A Few Sonic Screws Short Of A Winner – UploadVR

For better or worse, though, Edge of Time does scares the best. It might even do them a little too well for the most dedicated Who fans. Theres a few of the biggest jump scares Ive had in VR here. Those Angels, for example, keep your heart rate up in easily the games most impressive sequence, making you painfully aware of your every move and too scared to even turn around. Other levels carry an uneasy atmosphere that makes seeing the game through an unexpected challenge.

Itll be enough to stop some fans in their tracks, so much so you could argue Maze Theory goes in a little too hard on the horror. That said, the concept of the Angels in VR is one thats tough to pass up and the studio does the premise justice. I just would have liked to have seen more of the wonder and awe of many of the Doctors adventures to balance out the moodiness.

Many of the games other ideas are repurposed from traditional tropes. Theres a handful of puzzles that are snappy to solve, though never feel unique to the franchise itself. Redirecting lasers to open doors could have been lifted straight out of any other game and, well, Im pretty sure finding a safe code on the back of a picture is in every other VR game.

Your late-game encounter with the Daleks, meanwhile, results in fine, formulaic stealth segments followed up by a fun, forgettable on-rails shooter. For Who diehards, these moments will no doubt delight, but they dont disguise relatively stripped back game mechanics. They help round it out to a respectable two to three-hour runtime, which I tackled in one sitting without ever feeling bored, if not always illuminated.

Perhaps Doctor Whos biggest enemy is Doctor Who itself. Theres so much wacky potential for a feature-length VR game here that meeting those expectations is almost impossible. We saw just a snapshot of that in the BBCs excellent Runaway VR short, an animation bursting with the charm, wit and invention the series is known for stuffed into 13 minutes. The Edge of Time is grittier, deeper even, but it doesnt match the personality, bravado or intuition of control. Perhaps theres a lesson to be learned there.

Who is at its best when theres a hook; a gimmick so playful and innovative that anyone can get carried away in the madness that ensues. Instead of testing those waters, The Edge of Time settles for bringing the series most tried and true elements directly into headsets in hopes of winning over dedicated fans. It plays more like a rejected episode of the TV series rather than something that fully embraces its platform. The Who faithful be satisfied in that safety, I suspect, but I personally cant help but wish this was a little more dangerous.

Note: We are changing our review scheme to a five-point scale, without half points, rather than a 10-point scale with half points like before. All past reviews will stay as they are, but all future reviews (that includes games, non-game apps, hardware, and more) will all be reviewed using the same five-point star rating scale. Expect the visual representation of this new scale to change with a more attractive style soon.

You can read more about the new scoring policy here.

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Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time Review: A Few Sonic Screws Short Of A Winner - UploadVR

You can get a free Hulu subscription with Spotify, but only if youre a college student heres what you need to know – Business Insider

captionTo get Hulu with Spotify, youll need to be a college student.sourceShutterstock

Spotify occasionally runs promotional deals, which make a subscription to the music service more attractive to subscribers.

In the summer of 2019, for a limited time, Spotify Premium subscribers could get a Hulu subscription at no additional cost. That offer expired in June, and its no longer possible to sign up for this combination plan.

Instead, its now possible for students to get both Hulu and Showtime included in their Spotify Premium subscription. However, there are a number of caveats to the deal that you should keep in mind.

If youre eligible for a Spotify Premium for Students subscription, you can get Spotify, Hulus ad-supported plan, and Showtime for $4.99 per month.

To get the deal, apply for Spotify Premium for Students.

To qualify for the deal, you need to be enrolled at a US Title IV accredited college or university, and above the age of 18, according to Spotify. Youll need to log in to apply for the deal using your college or universitys portal, or upload a proof of enrollment when completing the online form. This can be a student ID, transcript, or enrollment letter.

Also, in order to get the Hulu and Showtime subscriptions included, you need to meet these criteria:

For more details on how youll be billed and when, you should check out Spotifys official page on the Student deal.

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You can get a free Hulu subscription with Spotify, but only if youre a college student heres what you need to know - Business Insider

Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature built with fans in mind – The Verge

Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature that will allow different fandoms on the site to chat more easily with each other instead of replying on re-blogs.

The group chats are public spaces, meaning that anyone can find and read them, though only approved members can send messages. People should notice a new group chat icon in the upper right-hand corner of Tumblrs app starting today.

Group chats arent meant for private DM sessions with Tumblr pals. The idea is to give people in niche communities a chance to create dedicated spaces to talk about their interests that are more immediate and interactive than simply re-blogging someone elses post. Whether its memes or therapy or BoJack Horseman, this allows a larger body of people to find a hub where they can talk about their favorite thing.

There are some essential differences between Tumblr group chats and similar features like Facebook groups. Messages within the group chats disappear after 24 hours, and theres a maximum occupancy of 100 people. Although any group chat is discoverable via search, people have to request permission to join. Non-members can preview what the group chat looks like, but they cant actively participate in any conversation without being given permission.

Tumblr product manager Scott Oltrogge told The Verge that user safety was a top priority for the team when they started exploring the idea. Full control over chat membership is given to the group owner. All members of the group have the ability to report users who may use hateful or abusive language, but only the group owner can kick a person out.

I can remove messages, and I can remove users as I see fit, Oltrogge said. If I wanted to remove that users message, I can if it was inappropriate. I can also remove that user completely if theyre not behaving in the way I want.

In an effort to ensure that disturbing material isnt shared within the groups, Tumblr also wont allow users to upload their own media. That includes photos and GIFs. They can use the GIF options built into Tumblr within the group chats, but thats it. Tumblr isnt instituting any new privacy or usage policies around group chats, but Oltrogge reiterated that people must be 13 years old to use the site, and sharing adult content isnt allowed.

There isnt any way to make the group chats private, Oltrogge said. The teams goal was to make really open and community focused experiences, he added. If people want to have private one-on-one conversations, they can still initiate those via Tumblrs direct messaging feature.

The rest is here:

Tumblr is launching a new group messaging feature built with fans in mind - The Verge


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