Archive for the 'Life' Category



25
May
11

Are You Ready For the Heat Wave?

Ah, summer. On one hand, there are the pool parties, barbecues, and long weekends. But on the other hand, there’s sweaty skin, sunburn and stifling heat.

Use these tips to try to wipe away some of the negatives by getting your home heat-wave-ready.
Change Your Filters – Your filter is what keeps dust and allergens from clogging up your air conditioning unit. Help it run more efficiently and ward off a potential break down by changing your air filters before your AC starts working overtime. According to EnergySavers.gov, keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
Give Your AC Unit Some Shade – If your AC unit spends a large part of the day in direct sunlight it could be working harder than it has to. Consider planting a tree nearby to offer the unit some relief from powerful rays. But don’t let vegetation get too close because that could cause damage.
Invest in Curtains or Shades – Your home won’t get quite as warm if you keep your curtains or shades closed during the day. Blocking that sunshine from entering your home will help keep it cooler.
Install an Attic Vent – Have you ever been in your attic during a heat wave? It feels kind of like a sweat lodge. Release some of that hot air by hiring a contractor to install an attic vent. It’s a relatively easy task that will keep hot air from hanging around.
Check Window Seals – Are your windows letting in hot air? If the seals are weak, old or damaged they could be. And all that hot hair rushing in will require your air conditioner to work even harder to keep your home cool.
Pull Out Your Fans – It’s time to pull your fans out of the attic or closet. They do a great job of ventilating a space which will make it feel cooler on a super hot day.
Switch to Fluorescents – Fluorescent bulbs create less heat than standard light bulbs. And anything you can do to generate less heat will make an impact on your energy bill during the hottest months.
Consider an AC Upgrade – If you use window air conditioning units and yours are extremely old you may want to consider an upgrade. Consumer Reports just released their Air Conditioner Buying Guide and many of the top rated AC units are around a couple hundred bucks. Plus they’ll run better and more efficiently even on the hottest days.

*** And also be sure to follow my Twitter — today I’m giving away Honeywell tower fans!!!

24
May
11

Use Mood, Tempo, Genre and Origin to Deliver Smarter Music Recommendations

Gracenote yesterday announced the new version of its Discover music recommendation technology, featuring the ability to create personalized Music Channels as well as the use of Mood and Tempo sonic attributes and music descriptors like Genre, Origin, Era and Artist Type to deliver smarter music recommendations across music catalogs.

Making Music Channels Personal

With Cloud music services offering access to millions of tracks from around the world, it becomes challenging for users to navigate and find what they really want to hear. Gracenote’s technology extracts the sonic attributes and music descriptors of millions of songs, and analyzes and filters this information to enable music fans to find new songs that intrigue them, rediscover old favorites and launch personalized Music Channels. Users can also customize their song requests or launch Music Channels based on mood characteristics, refining them even further by Genre, Era and other characteristics.

Here is a Music Channel example:
Mood—Defiant
Tempo—Fast
Era—1980s
Origin—New York, USA
Genre—Hip Hop
Result: Depending on the music catalog, this Music Channel could feature tracks from “Public Enemy,” “Beastie Boys,” “Run DMC” or “A Tribe Called Quest.”

What’s Your Mood?

To better match music recommendations with everyone’s changing moods, Gracenote has developed “mood profiles” that are comprised of more than a hundred characteristics, ranging from “Upbeat” and “Sad” to “Calm” and “Defiant.” They can get Melancholy, rainy day songs when feeling down or Upbeat tracks when heading to the gym.

“Music can evoke strong emotions, making it critical for music services to provide compelling and personal experiences for their customers,” said Stephen White, senior vice president of product, content and marketing for Gracenote. “Our content, technology and services make it easy for music fans to launch channels and playlists that pinpoint their mood and musical style, and we are pleased to be partnering with music services that have a vision for their products and see the potential of Gracenote’s technology – now and in the future.”

21
May
11

Apple to Launch Cloud-based Music Service as Early as June 6

The L.A. Times reports that Apple has “tentative agreements” in place for a cloud-based music service that could launch as early as June 6.

In a report on its Company Town blog, the L.A. Times says Apple’s cloud service could be superior to Google’s and Amazon’s because people would not have to first upload their song collection. Apple’s service would have licenses from the major music labels enabling it to “scan a user’s collection and make all of those songs available within minutes for them to listen over an Internet connection via Apple’s computers.”

What do you think? Have you finally found a cloud of your very own?

02
May
11

The Black Eyed Peas to Perform Free Concert at Central Park

The Black Eyed Peas will perform a free ticketed concert at Central Park in New York City to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation. Chase is the presenting sponsor and Clear Channel is the event’s exclusive radio partner.

54,000 free tickets will be available only through random giveaway by registering at blackeyedpeas.robinhood.org beginning on May 11. A small number of VIP tickets will be available for sale through the same website.

Fergie says, “We are thrilled to follow in the footsteps of icons such as Simon & Garfunkel and Diana Ross by performing a free concert for our fans in Central Park. But more importantly, we are performing to benefit Robin Hood’s efforts to help those living in poverty in New York City and to help disadvantaged youth in New York with the launch of our Peapod Academy.”

01
May
11

Winners of MTV’s Inaugural O Music Awards Announced

Lady Gaga was the big winner of MTV’s inaugural O Music Awards. The online awards show with unusual categories was created to celebrate the art, creativity, personality, technology and migration of music into the digital space. Fans selected Gaga as Most Innovative Artist and Must Follow Artist on Twitter.

Laday Gaga said on winning Most Innovative Artist, “I feel so honored to be accepting this award. You make me feel so brave and that I can continue to push the boundaries.”

Here the 2011 O Music Award winners:

  • Best Fan Cover: Alex Goot
  • Funniest Music Short: Lonely Island – I Just Had Sex
  • Innovative Artist: Lady Gaga
  • Must Follow Artist on Twitter: Lady Gaga
  • Most Innovative Music Video: Andy Grammer, Keep Your Head Up
  • Fan Army FTW- Tokio Hotel’s Aliens
  • NSFW Music Video: 30 Seconds to Mars – Hurricane
  • Most Viral Dance: Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
  • Best Independent Music Blog: Aquarium Drunkard
  • Best Music Discovery Service: Pandora
  • Best Performance Series: Daryl Hall – Live From Daryl’s House
  • Favorite F**k Yeah Tumblr: F**k Yeah Adam Lambert
  • Favorite Animated GIF: Nicki Minaj
  • Best Fan Forum: Michael Jackson – MJJCommunity
  • Best Music Hack: Invisible Instruments
  • Best Animal Performance: Parrot Dancing To Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair
  • Best Tweet: Kanye West: “I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle”

MTV set up a Tumblr here that has some highlights of the O Music Award winners.

29
Apr
11

Video: David and Victoria Beckham Arrive at Westminster Abbey: Check Out the Amazing Philip Treacy Hat‎

Here is footage of David and Victoria Beckham arriving at Westminster Abbey for the Royal wedding.

The Beckhams were among a small number of celebrity guests invited to the wedding. Victoria Beckham looks fabulous in a navy dress from her Fall 2011 collection. She is also wearing an amazing navy Philip Treacy Hat‎.

21
Apr
11

Earth Day 2011 Freebies & Deals

With the ever growing popularity of “going green,” you may find yourself looking for ways to save a little green in your wallet as you go about doing what’s right for this planet we live on.

Take a look at these Earth Day 2011 Freebies & Deals that I’ve gathered up from around the Internet. You’ll find that many of them are free, or at least almost free and range from food and reusable bags to trees and videos.

Starbucks – Free brewed coffee or tea when you bring in a reusable cup on 04/22/2011.

Lowe’s – Free tree on Earth Day to those who stop by the store on 04/23/2011. Available only while supplies last. Arrive early!

Disney Store – Free reusable bag on 04/22/2011 when you arrive at the store bearing 5 plastic shopping bags to trade in.

National Parks – Free Entry to all parks 04/16/2011 – 04/24/2011.

iTunes – Free download of Planet Earth on 04/22/2011.

Origins – Bring in empty toiletry tubes & containers for free sample on 04/22/2011.

10
Apr
11

Report: Social Media Can Cause FOMO

The New York Times reports today that using social media can lead to FOMO, which is an acronym for “fear of missing out.”

Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook provided instantaneous feedback on what friends, family members and frenemies are up to.

The advantage of this is that you can stay better connected with old friends and family members, if that is something you want to do.

The down side is that people may share fun, exciting things they are doing that you wish you were doing. If someone is having a great time in Jamaica while you are spending the weekend on your taxes you could definitely experience FOMO. People shouldn’t waste too much time worrying about what others are doing on Facebook. A lot of people are only posting the good stuff about their lives anyway.

People who suffer too frequently from FOMO probably should cut back on their use of Facebook!

07
Apr
11

David Beckham Sunbathes With Cardboard Justin Bieber

David Beckham has a special guest with him on his patio…

Victoria Beckham shared this hilarious photo on Twitter. She tweeted, “OMG!!!!a visitor just arrived!!!!Guess who????!!!!! X vb.”

Then she said, “And now he is sunbathing!!!!!!! He took my sunbed!!!!!!”

The Beckham’s three children have Bieber fever. David Beckham told Jimmy Kimmel that his son Romeo wants his soon-to-be-born little sister to be named Justine Bieber Beckham.

Photo: Victoria Beckham, via yfrog

06
Apr
11

Stephen Colbert: James Franco is My Renaissance Nemesis

Stephen Colbert appears to be quite jealous of James Franco. He thinks James Franco has way too many jobs and does not deserve to be called a “renaissance man.” Colbert thinks he should be the renaissance man so he turned to Franco’s evil twin Frank Jameso to figure out how to take him down. Take a look:




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