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Friday, 26 May 2017

The 10 Best Alarm Clock Apps for Android in 2016

The 10 Best Alarm Clock Apps for Android in 2016

If you search for “alarm” on the Play Store, you’ll find hundreds of results. This tells me two things: 1) people are having a hard time waking up Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Your phone's screen is keeping you awake. Don't let it. These apps will help you rest well. Read More and 2) people aren’t satisfied with the clock apps that came with their Android smartphones.
But even though there are many available alternatives, who has the time to go through and test them all? Nobody, that’s who — so allow us to save you some time and provide you with the best alarm clock apps we’ve found this year.
Some are free, others are paid, but they’re all great. Keep reading to see for yourself.
1. Alarmy

4.7 rating across 128,409 reviews.
Seeing as Alarmy is one of the highest-rated alarm clock apps in the entire Play Store, we consider it a must-try app. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but we’re confident that many of you will love it.
On top of a clean and minimal interface, its most notable feature is the “Photo Mode” alarm — you take a photo of a location of your choice, then when your alarm goes off you must take a photo of that location in order to shut it off. So simple yet effective.
Other silencing modes like “Shake Mode”, “Barcode Mode”, and “Math Mode” are available if you don’t like the photo-taking options.
Download: Alarmy (Free, Pro $2.49)
2. GO Clock

4.6 rating across 2,153 reviews.
If you’ve used Android for any period of time, you’ve inevitably run into a GO app at some point. The GO Team makes so many apps of all different kinds that it’s almost impossible to escape them — and the thing is, most of their apps are fantastic.
And such is the case with GO Clock. This app is both beautiful and functional, packed with features that most other alarm clock apps don’t have: a built-in calendar, health-based reminders, and a bedside clock display.
Download: Go Clock (Free)
3. Alarm Clock Xtreme

4.5 rating across 724,541 reviews.
I used this app for many months before moving onto something more lightweight. As it turned out, Alarm Clock Xtreme was a bit too advanced for me — not in the sense that it was hard to use, but rather I just never used the features that make it so great.
Notable features include a music alarm (either a chosen song or a random one), math problems to disable, a “quick nap” alarm, volume that gently gets louder, and a sleep tracker that analyzes your sleep behavior and quality. It’s truly one of the more unique alarm clock apps available Better Ways To Wake Up: Unique Alarm Clock Apps For Android Better Ways To Wake Up: Unique Alarm Clock Apps For Android Wake up! Isn't it great when someone shakes you up in the morning and makes absolutely sure you’re up? If you’re a serial snoozer like me, you know all about stretching your alarm from five... Read More .
Download: Alarm Clock Extreme (Free, Ad-free $1.99)
4. I Can’t Wake Up!

4.5 rating across 55,153 reviews.
This sleep-focused alarm clock is designed specifically for people who can’t seem to get up in the morning no matter what kinds of tricks they use. If you’re at wit’s end, this may be the app that finally solves your waking-up problem.
I Can’t Wake Up! features eight different Wake Up Tasks: math problems, a memory match game, a tile puzzle game, a sequence repeat game, a word pairing game, a barcode scan, typing randomized text, and device shaking. Some of them are really hard (and therefore really effective).
Download: I Can’t Wake Up! (Free, Ad-free $3)
5. Sleep Cycle

4.5 rating across 25,078 reviews.
This app was one of the first to popularize the concept of a mobile app that analyzes your sleep behavior. All you have to do is sleep with it next to you on the bed. Sleep behavior is tracked using your phone’s accelerometer.
Once it gets to know you, Sleep Cycle can know when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep and wake up you then, which minimizes grogginess and makes you feel well-rested and relaxed. You can set a custom wake window that Sleep Cycle will try to stay within.
Other features include sleep notes (to see how things like coffee affect your sleep) and in-depth graphs and statistics.
Download: Sleep Cycle ($0.99)
6. AMdroid

4.5 rating across 2,154 reviews.
I’m a huge fan of AMdroid‘s soft and pleasing interface design and even more impressed by how flexible its settings and options are. It has a number of helpful features like wake up challenges, customizable alarm profiles, and optional auto-disable of alarms on public holidays.
But I think the coolest feature is that you can make your alarms aware of your location — no more stray exercise alarms going off when you’re out at a party, for example. Another interesting feature is that it tracks how much time you spend snoozing.
Download: AMdroid (Free)
7. Timely

4.4 rating across 248,387 reviews.
A few years ago, we extolled Timely for being both slick and powerful. Not much has changed since then. It’s still beautiful, looks great even on tablets, is packed full of features, and now is completely free thanks to Google having bought it.
Admittedly, the aesthetics of Timely are somewhat polarizing. It looks like no other alarm clock app I’ve ever seen — which means some people will absolutely love it while others will be appalled.
Other than that, it has the core features that you’d expect in an alarm clock app, plus a few extra ones like wake up challenges, cloud synchronization across devices, and integration with Google Now.
Download: Timely (Free)
8. AlarmMon

4.4 rating across 148,258 reviews.
While AlarmMon is huge in South Korea, it hasn’t gained much traction here in the United States. Maybe its design is too “cutesy” for most of us, but if you can look past that, you’ll see that this app is a solid option.
It has six different alarm types, including one called Idol Band, which involves real voices from South Korean celebrities. Alarms can show the day’s weather forecast, and the app records alarm history to help track your wake-up habits.
Download: AlarmMon (Free)
9. Good Morning

4.4 rating across 5,875 reviews.
Good Morning promises to help you unlock the secret to waking up energized and refreshed, which is important for starting the day off right. Like Sleep Cycle, Good Morning tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you up when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep.
Another nice aspect is that it comes equipped with relaxation sounds and white noise, so using this app can help you fall asleep in addition to helping you wake up on time. It also has sleep goals, which are meant to improve your sleeping habits over time.
Download: Good Morning (Free)
10. Sleep as Android

4.3 rating across 216,671 reviews.
Even though its rating on the Play Store could be higher, Sleep as Android is arguably the most advanced alarm clock app currently available, making it a strong choice for power users and customization freaks.
Notable features include integration with wearable gear (e.g. smartwatches and fitness monitors), integration with Philips Hue smart bulbs 8 Fabulous Apps for Philips Hue Lights 8 Fabulous Apps for Philips Hue Lights The Philips Hue system has its own app, but why settle for the default when there's so many cooler options out there? These 8 apps give you fabulous options for some really cool effects. Read More , integration with Spotify, stat tracking for deep sleep and sleep deficit, sleep talk recording, snoring detection, and even jet lag prevention.
The only real downside to Sleep as Android is its interface design. It looks fine in terms of aesthetics, but it can be confusing at times when you want to do something and you can’t find the right buttons or menu options to get it done.
Download: Sleep as Android (Free with in-app purchases)
Bonus: Winder

4.9 rating across 15 reviews.
With only 15 reviews on the Play Store, I didn’t feel like this app deserved a proper spot in the above listing. However, it has such a unique feature set and it shows so much promising potential that I felt it at least deserved an honorable mention.
Winder makes it so you never have to manually set any of your alarm clocks ever again. That’s the idea, anyway. You set your address, work days, calendars, commute times to work, locations for events, and more. Based on that, it automates your alarms for you.
It’s young and new, so I wouldn’t trust it 100% yet, but it’s worth experimenting with. This could, in fact, be the next big thing!
Download: Winder (Free)
What’s Your Alarm Clock App?
If none of these suit your fancy, you have two other options: hilariously annoying alarm clock apps 3 of the Most Hilariously Annoying Alarm Clock Apps for Android 3 of the Most Hilariously Annoying Alarm Clock Apps for Android Here are some of the wackiest alarm clock apps for Android. Maybe they'll annoy you, or maybe they'll help wake you up! Read More and alarm clock apps that force you to socialize 5 Social Alarm Apps to Help You Get out of Bed 5 Social Alarm Apps to Help You Get out of Bed If you really have a hard time waking up in the morning, tapping into your friend groups for extra alarm and reminder options might be just what you need. Read More . Indeed, few things wake you up better than solving a puzzle or conversing with a complete stranger.
In any case, get rid of your default clock app and switch to one of the alternatives in this article. It won’t be long before you thank yourself for it.
Which alarm clock apps have proven the most useful and effective for you? Are there any other good ones that we missed? Let us know in a comment down below!

6 Ways to Build a Billion-Dollar Sales Machine

6 Ways to Build a Billion-Dollar Sales Machine

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When did your CEO last ride a snowmobile on a volcano, shoot an "ice bucket challenge" with construction equipment, or open for the rapper Coolio? If you work for ListenTrust, a leading bilingual contact center, there's a good chance it happened last week.
Craig Handley, founder and CEO of ListenTrust, is not your typical buttoned-up stuffy suit guy. When not doing million-dollar deals, he “lives life as a full contact sport,” grabbing it by the collar to inspire, motivate, and excel himself and others.
His fun personality has propelled him on dozens of daredevil adventures and to release two studio albums—all while building ListenTrust into a leader of English and Spanish-speaking sales and customer service agents.
Handley is so obsessed with achieving dreams that ListenTrust's formal policy helps hires reach their own, even if that means encouraging them to quit.
It’s an unconventional approach that gets unconventional results.
In just over a decade, Handley has taken his company from zero to roughly $1 billion in cumulative sales. He sat down with us to share how he and his team attained this remarkable growth, detailing a handful of priceless strategies that cost him years and millions to learn.
1. Target market influencers—and crush it.
Rather than adopting a scattershot business development approach, Handley's team targeted and prioritized doing any business, no matter how small, with influential core buyers in their market. That way, the big boys would send a lifeline signal to a predominantly referral-based market that "ListenTrust was legit."
It worked. ListenTrust scored gigs with four top marketing influencers and over delivered with each one. “We got very good and very noticed,” Handley exudes. Clients expanded their relationships and made referrals. "That generated tons of new business and spared tons of time building the company into a sales machine."
2. Give, don’t take.
Handley credits his success to selflessly sharing knowledge with a zero expectation of return. This approach quickly elevated ListenTrust to the industry’s “go-to” expert knowledge source.
The company was open, transparent, and shared information that competitors wouldn’t. ListenTrust’s massive visibility turned into customers. “People keep us at the top of their mind,” Handley enthuses. “They know we’re honest, transparent, and give 150 percent.”
3. Look at major catastrophes as significant opportunities.
Handley’s sales success partly exploded from tactics and mindset. But the biggest factor was viewing obstacles as opportunities. He witnessed this firsthand.
One day, a frantic client called Handley with an emergency. The client was behind on answering more than 11,000 service emails and had set up a phone number without realizing they were getting thousands of calls a week. ListenTrust was needed to fix the problem immediately. Dollars were leaking, and reputations were on the line. Handley couldn’t push back without losing the client, but he’d need to move mountains to honor the appeal.
Instead of freaking out, Handley saw the opportunity. Sure, he ate the cost of some extra employees and worked insane hours, but the outcome was an invaluable case study for ListenTrust.
“It’s a huge company that has referred many leads,” Handley explains. "That kind of optimism and effort generated tons of new business."
4. Remember that strategic selling is your best friend.
Handley points to strategic selling as an ace in the hole. Early on, ListenTrust focused on strategic selling within one industry to accelerate sales. And they turned enemies into allies to grow even faster.
“We were competing against other market leaders,” he recalls. “Instead of slugging it out toe-to-toe, we formed a strategic partnership where they upsold us to their clients.”
5. Know your numbers intimately.
With great growth comes great responsibility. While watching sales explode is a fabulous feeling, Handley warns entrepreneurs to keep a hawk-like focus on their numbers.
“Only with a firm grasp of how growth hits key metrics can entrepreneurs scale efficiently. It’s the difference between making half a million—and half a billion,” Handley cautions.
“Sometimes you grow so fast and focus so much on operations that you neglect understanding your KPIs and all the moving parts that impact your net revenue. You can’t reach $1 billion in sales if you run out of cash on the way."
6. Go beyond just hiring the right people.
Although vital, it’s not just about hiring the greatest people. Understand this: every single rock star can only take you so far.
“Most companies can’t grow more than two or three times with the same directors,” says Handley. “The guy who got you from zero to $3 million usually can’t take you to $30 million; most people don’t have the talent for that. You can’t grow beyond your own personal growth.”
Follow Craig Handley’s adventures at
The Oracles
The Oracles is an invitation-only brain trust comprised of the world's leading entrepreneurs who share their top advice and success strategies to help others grow their business, live a better life, and achieve success faster.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Ideal Amount of Protein to Eat After Exercise

This Raspberry Pi-Powered Magic Mirror Can Be Set Up With One Line of Code

This Raspberry Pi-Powered Magic Mirror Can Be Set Up With One Line of Code
We’ve seen a few different magic mirror projects using a Raspberry Pi, but in the newest issue of MagPi they’ve put together what might as well be the definitive magic mirror guide as it’s easily the simplest one to make for yourself.
Like any of these magic mirror projects, the most difficult part is the actual construction. To make this, you’ll need to deconstruct an old monitor or TV, build a wooden frame around it, cram a Raspberry Pi inside that, then mount a two-way mirror over it.
The good news is that once you get past the difficulty of assembling the mirror, MagPi has made it so you can install all the software you need to actually run this on a Raspberry Pi with a single line of code. Once its installed, the Pi powers a dashboard that includes the date, temperature, calendar, a news feed, and a message. You can then customize that info with your own data, or better yet, install a third-party module like one that displays the newest XKCD comic or an RSS feed. This is probably as simple as it’s going to get to make your own magic mirror, so if you’ve been thinking about doing it, do it now.
How to build Raspberry Pi-powered smart mirror at home
Over the past few years, smart mirrors have been gaining attention on the internet. Plus, few companies have also started selling smart mirrors for tech-savvy consumers. However, if you’re a proficient DIYer, you can surely try making a Raspberry Pi-powered smart mirror that displays your daily schedules, weather, clock and other important updates.
The DIY smart mirror is completely customizable, hence you can even write your own codes to add any desired applications. Below is the video showing how to make a smart mirror integrated with basic applications to keep you updated while you’re getting ready for work every morning.
The mirror consists of a wooden frame and a low profile monitor, sandwiching the acrylic sheet to the back of the frame. After this step, some basic application codes need to be loaded on the Raspberry Pi and your smart mirror is all ready to be mounted on a wall or move around wherever you go.

Here’s another video showing how you could add artificial intelligence to the mirror. Although AI processing is too heavy for Raspberry Pi, but you can learn how to set it up on a Mac. The guide on how to set it up on Mac is on GitHub.
Behind Microsoft's magic mirror: Raspberry Pi, AI, Windows IoT plus Azure
Here's a look at Microsoft's magic mirror on a grand scale.
Image: Microsoft
Microsoft wants you to tap Azure and its artificial intelligence to create your own networked magic mirror.
Instead of reaching for the phone when you're rushing to prepare for work in the morning, Microsoft would have you simply look into the magic mirror for key details to help get the day started, such as stock prices, weather and traffic information.
Microsoft revealed its take on the magic mirror concept at this year's Build conference, but has now provided more details about how people can build their own magic mirror relatively cheaply and personalize the experience with Microsoft services.
Microsoft's magic mirror isn't the first, but the company is using its take on the concept to show off how its AI services under Microsoft Cognitive Services and the Azure cloud can evolve the technology, which it does by adding facial recognition and then personalizing the information displayed once a user has been authenticated.
As Microsoft notes in a blogpost, the mirror is designed for the person who is in a "time crunch" and wants updates without being overloaded with information. For Raspberry Pi builders, Microsoft hopes its mirror gets them thinking about how to personalize tech.
Building the mirror itself appears to be a fairly simple set-up. Microsoft's instructions are similar to those previously provided by other Raspberry Pi builders. Microsoft lists its own bill of materials on GitHub, with additional instructions and resources for making the mirror smarter.
On the hardware side, the mirror relies on two-way, mirrored acrylic sheets, like the mirrors seen in TV police interrogations. These sheets are attached to the front of a medicine cabinet.
Behind them sits a 23.6-inch LED-lit screen, which Microsoft sets to a high contrast ratio of pure white on pure black, so that it can be read through the mirror. There's also a camera at the top of the mirror for facial recognition and a Raspberry Pi 3 running Windows IoT Core.
Microsoft built Hosted Web App using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which it converted into a Universal Windows app to run on the Windows-powered Raspberry Pi. On the backend, the service relies on NodeJS and MongoDB hosted on Azure.
The web app is hosted in Azure and to add personalization it connects up with Microsoft Cognitive Services via the Face API.
Microsoft Cognitive Services aims to help developers build tech such as emotion and video detection, facial and vision recognition, and speech and language understanding into their apps.
To enable personalization, Microsoft's set-up requires users to first create a profile and register their face by taking a selfie, which is then sent to Cognitive Services. This process generates a unique identifier, which is stored in MongoDB.
Once that identifier is established, the user can stand in front of the magic mirror and have it identify the individual, which in turn allows the mirror to display the user's preferred information.
If a person who hasn't set up a profile stands in front of the mirror, the mirror won't display the information. Multiple users can be established, allowing the mirror to display the information preferences of each of a group of household members, depending on who is in front of the mirror.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

This is why you should never, ever drink 'tea'


This is why you should never, ever drink 'tea' you find lying around

LONDON — We don't even want to imagine what this would have tasted like.
On Wednesday afternoon, Niamh McManus of Redcar, UK shared a mildly shudder-inducing story that involved a beauty blender, her brother and a Lidl mug.
Here's the tweet, which pretty much speaks for itself.
Oh dear.
That tweet — which has been shared over 8,500 times — sent shockwaves rippling through Twitter.
We're going to guess that'll be the last time McManus' brother picks up a mug of tea he finds on the kitchen side.


Comforting, Full, Rich And Healthy: Benefits Of Black Tea

Well, fitness freaks out there might be swearing by green tea (primarily for weight loss reasons and social reasons too). But benefits of black tea cannot be undermined. No way, actually!
There might be ‘n’ number of thoughts going through your mind on the subject of black tea. For instance, what is black tea, is black tea good for you, what is black tea good for, caffeine in black tea, does black tea have antioxidants, benefits of black tea for skin, black tea cholesterol, how to drink black tea, side effects of black tea, black tea diet, black tea health benefits, black tea and milk, black tea weight loss, types of black tea, how to make black tea. Not to worry, I will attempt to answer all these.
First things first, black tea is not just your grandmother’s tea. It’s delicious and a smart choice for you as well. When you discover the powerhouse called black tea, you might not ever think of having tea with milk. Across the world, you are sure to be offered black tea as an option for a stimulating and refreshing beverage.
Types Of Black Tea
Variety is the spice of life, as they say. And this holds good for the different types of black tea which are grown and produced around the world.
[Also Read: Lipton Green Tea For Weight Loss]
Some popular varieties of black tea are:
Assam Tea
Ceylon Tea
Darjeeling Tea
Turkish Tea
Now that you are aware of the types of black tea, let’s take a look at the various black tea health benefits.
Benefit 1: Oral Health
According to the studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association, black tea helps in reducing plaque formation. The polyphenols in it restrict bacteria growth which is a major reason of cavity formation and tooth decays.
Benefit 2: Better Heart
Many of you might be wondering – is black tea good for you? Well, regular consumption of it can turn out to be a boon to heart patients as it repairs coronary artery dysfunctions in many heart patients. Drinking 3 cups of black tea on a daily basis can decrease the chances of cardiovascular death by as much as 11%. That is why, black tea is said to protect heart health.
Benefit 3: Prevents And Manages Diabetes
Black Tea has powerful saccharides which work to slow blood sugar absorption. When you are a regular at drinking black tea, it may protect you from developing diabetes in the first place. Research shows that countries like Ireland and Britain that drink the most black tea have lowest cases of type 2 diabetes.
Benefit 4: Rich In Antioxidants
When you ask does black tea have antioxidants, you will be surprised to learn that antioxidants in black tea promote health, wellness, immunity and disables free radicals. It also means that taking black tea fights harmful inflammation and provides you protection against chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, to name a few.
Benefit 5: Prevents Cancerous Growth
Talking further on black tea health benefits, it prevents development of breast cancer in women, especially those who are in the pre-menopausal phase.
Benefit 6: Keeps Bones Dense And Strong
It’s a known fact that with passing age we are bound to lose bone mass which can make our bones weaker and thinner. You can increase your bone strength and reduce the risk of a fracture when you indulge in a black tea diet. Studies have shown that drinking black tea regularly for 6+ years brings you stronger overall Bone Mineral Density (BMD) than those who normally don’t drink tea.
Benefit 7: Promotes Weight Loss
Nations with high black-tea consumption have been found to have lower levels of obesity. That’s because black tea regulates blood sugar levels, which leaves you feeling more satisfied and thereby causing lesser cravings for sweets. Moreover, the caffeine component in black tea can also induce weight loss.
Does Caffeine Present In Black Tea Make It Unhealthy?
Most of you might be thinking about the caffeine in black tea. Well, black tea does have some amount of caffeine as compared to coffee and other energy drinks. But mind you, it gives you the caffeine ‘positives’ like increased alertness, energy and concentration and bypasses the caffeine ‘blues’ like insomnia, irritability, headaches, etc., which happen when you drink excess of caffeine.
I hope you have got your myths cleared about benefits of black tea. Do write in and tell us what makes you like black tea and would you like to make a switchover to it any time soon?


Should Children Drink Tea?

By Caryn Murray
The question is one that many parents and grandparents ask, or should ask. Sadly, there isn’t much information available that will tell you what an appropriate age is for a child to drink tea.
Mother and Child in Tea FieldIn most cases, parents can use their own responsible discretion before serving tea to a child. Some parents have even served tea (with milk) in a sippy cup or baby bottle to children as young as 2. Other parents, however, refuse to serve tea to a child until they feel the child is read, but then the question surfaces once again—when is a child ready to drink tea?
The answer is both simple and complicated. The best thing to do is to talk to your family doctor or pediatrician. However, the general answer is that you can serve tea to children, and it’s a good idea to do so! Tea is a powerful source of antioxidants and many other health benefits. When sweetened with honey and milk (extra milk for younger children), tea is a tasty beverage that keeps children healthy!
Also, a warm cup of tea at night can serve as part of a bedtime ritual that will help your child fall asleep. However, you should never, ever, ever serve a child tea that contains caffeine!Serving tea without caffeine is a good idea, especially compared to many of the alternative beverages children often consume. It is not like serving coffee, even decaffeinated coffee, to a child because tea is a much better beverage to enjoy and a much better habit to learn.
In summary, consult with your pediatrician or family doctor before you serve tea to your child, otherwise stick to tea that contains little or no caffeine and dilute it with milk.

This Raspberry Pi-Powered Magic Mirror Can Be Set Up With One Line of Code