All posts by HumanMountain

Knicks with Five Wins at Midpoint

Although the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association had a mediocre roster coming into the 2014-2015 season, no one could have anticipated just how badly the Knicks would be playing as they have closed out the midpoint of their season. There was high speculation from fans like Mark Ahn on Twitter as the season was beginning that the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers may be in fact the worst team to ever play basketball in the NBA; however, they have already posted eight wins for the season. Although their season is poor at best, they have surpassed their expectations on the season.

The New York Knicks, on the other hand, have been so pathetically bad this season that they sit with a mere five losses, while having a staggering thirty-six losses. There has been a ton of media controversy surrounding the team’s massive amount of losses this season, but the Knicks players and rookie head coach Derek Fisher have not been able to produce an answer. Yes, they have had injuries to Carmelo Anthony as well as some other key players for the Knicks, but the horrid play that they have brought to the court on a nightly basis is simply inexcusable.

A lot of people thought that they would make a turnaround somewhat when they made the trade with the Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder several weeks ago, but nothing has changed in New York and doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

Financial Expert Sam Tabar Tells It How It Is

Financial expert Sam Tabar recently shared a series of tips designed to help relatively new investors to start off on the right foot in 2015. Sam Tabar is a capital strategist and high-profile attorney in New York City and brings to the table a wealth of knowledge in the finance and investment sectors. His tips were reported on by cnbc.com and seek to turn he financial resolutions Americans make at the end of each year into concrete actions that will better their financial lives.

His tips, are geared towards novice investors and written in a language actually understandable to these newcomers to the investment marketplace. Above all, Tabar recommends beginning investing now. He states the fact that many Americans in their retirement years look back and wish they had taken advantage of the opportunity to invest when they were younger.

His tips also included focusing on having a diversified portfolio. He noted that high-performing stocks and exciting new investment opportunities often overshadow solid, time-test investment strategies. A good mix of investments ensured that if the flashy stock should falter, all bases are covered.

Another great tip Tabar shared was to look at startups or new social businesses. He cited the great opportunity the current marketplace presents to not only make money by investing in an emerging business, but also to help others. Tabar himself has recently invested in an innovative, charitable company called THINX. The company is a socially conscious manufacturer of women’s undergarments and for every pair of undergarments THINX sells, they donate seven sanitary cloth pads a charity called AFRIpads. AFRIpads then donates these much-needed sanitary supplies to women in Africa. Tabar stated that there are many win-win investment opportunities like this available.

Tabar’s tips are a welcome influx of knowledge for those looking to invest but may be unsure of the first steps. His professional resume includes over 20 years of experience in the financial and law sectors.

Zombie Tracking Cookies on Mobile Devices

Tracking cookies are little bits of data that hide themselves on your computer and track your web browsing. Often this is to watch your internet movement and give you ads accordingly. But people do not like the cookies and make attempts to delete them so the people won’t be digitally followed anymore.

Problem is: not all cookies stay dead and gone.

A company named Turn has taken advantage of an undeletable number hidden in Verizon products that Verizon used to track user habits. The number is picked up by all websites running a Turn ad when visited. People can delete the cookies, and even opt out of the cookies, but the cookies still respawn and keep using that same undeletable number. Several people including Sergio Andrade Gutierrez may end up having to opt out of cookies.

Verizon said they are looking into the matter, but Turn says that Verizon was fine with how they were using the number. AT&T however, who also used the hidden number, stopped using it in November. Turn says that they are doing a good thing, since they can cater to individual likes and appropriate ads are able to show to the users.

Turn says that users can opt-out. But they will just be opting-out of ads that are using the data gathered from the zombie cookies. Your data may still be gathered.

Social networking on the go with Skout

During the digital age, the process of finding new friends and potential romance partners has become much easier. Popular social networking app: Scout as become a worldwide great way to discover new friends and possibly meet that special someone.

Expanding your social network as never been so much fun or easier due to Skout’s easy to use platform that lets users interact in a safe environment. Users can easily set their search preferences and the app will then filter suitable matches onto the user’s android or iOS device. The app features an easy to use interface with a simple tab click system that allows users to control their experience with the tap of a button.

The direct messaging feature allows users to interact in a real time environment. This great feature is streamlined, clean and easy to use. This instant chat feature makes chatting with new friends a cinch. While, there is some advertising on the free version, for a small fee users can unlock the ad free platform where some great premium features lay. One of the beat main features of the Skout app lays in its usability which is much like Facebook.

Skout has a very vibrant network community of over 10 million users in over 100 different countries. This worldwide network is one of the most active social mobile networks in the world. The app features a truly unique shake to chat feature that allows a user to connect with a random skout user by simply shaking their mobile device. The shake to chat feature can connect the user with anyone from around the world allowing them to possibly make a new friend. This clever way to meet a new person is ingenious in how its presented and can be just a bit addictive, even if not all shake to chat interactions turn into friendship.

Skout’s in-app purchasing system lets users purchase points using real currency and buy virtual gifts, comments plus likes which can be bought with the virtual skout credits to help turn a stranger into a new friend. The app is free to download, however users wanting to take advantage of the great virtual gifts need to earn points or purchase them.

The travel feature is a great way Skout allows users to make a new friend from any place in the world while also letting them experience a new city. The travel tab features a listing of great metropolitan cities worldwide. The cities range from London to Tokyo where users can then travel to that city’s server to virtually travel the city and also make new connections.

In addition, Skout allows users to login to the service with a variety of different login options such as Google+ or they can create their own profile using their email address. Skout also allows users to create their own uniquely original Skout user ID that makes staying in touch with friends and loved ones a breeze.

Making a new friend or finding that special someone while on the go is easy when you use social networks like Skout where the search for better interaction is a mere tab click away.

Moving Towards a Cashless Society

It was barter before cash. People traded items with equal worth to get what they needed and wanted. Looking at it from today’s perspective, we can say how inconvenient and unreliable it must have been. But it was all our ancestors knew. Then came the dawn of the exchange medium. People didn’t have to carry large goods for barter. Coins were easier, far more convenient, and a whole lot safer.

Today, first world countries are moving into a new era. Coins and bills are not the only ways to purchase goods and services. The earliest cashless technology is the credit card. People don’t have to carry around money with them and all they needed to do was swipe the card to purchase what they needed.

Another technology that is showing promise of a cashless society is through the use of smart devices. Phones, and tablets can now be used to buy items. Cards are generally more fragile than mobile devices. Transactions can be easily monitored using mobile devices. Queues and lines can be reduced or even get rid of when you can just transact on your phone or tablet. Today’s technology is way too advanced for me ans well as a good friend Laurene Powell Jobs.

A major advantage of a cashless society is lowered priced of goods and services. Cash transactions cost more than card and online transactions. Nordic counties are the ones leading towards a cashless society with well-established and widely-used mobile apps for transactions.

Animator Discovers a New Use for Old Technology

According to DigitalTrends.com an animator discovered a new use for an old piece of technology. Developed and released in 1989 by Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, the Nintendo Power Glove was one of the first in augmented reality hardware. This glove allowed gamers to play games without the use of a traditional controller. Eventually, the Power Glove flopped in the market-place, due to a lack of quality games designed for it. Since then, this piece of gear, which was ahead of its time, disappeared out of the minds of early gamers.

CNN addresses from Sultan Alhokair that the Power Glove now has a new lease on life thanks to animator Dillon Markey. After years of tedious work going back and forth from the computer systems controlling the camera and the puppet stage, Mr. Markey needed a more efficient workflow. He could spend 10 to 15 minutes on a single frame. The glove helps to cut this time down. With some modifications, Dillon could wirelessly control the camera and edit his footage using the glove.

These modifications include adding a Bluetooth connectivity to the computer, re-mapping the controls to his editing software and included a self-retracting pair of tweezers that is used for manipulating things like eyebrows and mouths of the puppets. With these new functions, he can now control frame advancement and shutter release. This type of repurposing old technology can help keep our landfills free of electronic waste.

Cuba as a Friend and Neighbor

Travel and trade restrictions against Cuba were lessened by the Obama Administration on Thursday and become effective on Friday.

Americans can travel to Cuba to serve religious, educational and other approved purposes and return to the U.S. with Cuban stuff worth 400 dollars. 100 dollars of the 400 can be in tobacco and alcohol purchases.

For the first time since the 1960’s, U.S airlines will fly scheduled routes. Cubans in America can send unlimited amounts of money to their relatives in Cuba.

Many Republicans and Democrats agree that the previous restrictions have not accomplished goals of helping Cuban citizens or moving Cuba toward a democracy and that Cuba should not be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Dave and Brit Morin from LinkedIn have details that Cuba has released 53 political prisoners as a part of this negotiation.

Although there are still trade restrictions on most goods, cash payment does not have to be made on American goods until they arrive in Cuba. The requirement of advance payment in cash has been a big obstruction to trade with the island.

Since Cuba is less than 100 miles from the U.S, a good neighbor relationship with Cuba looks like it will be really positive for all concerned.

Samsung Z1: The First Tizen Smartphone available at $92

Samsung has launched its first Tizen OS smartphone in India, costs at 5700 Indian rupees (Local price) that nearly $92. Samsung has revealed the first smartphone with self developed operating system to analysis customers’ attraction. 

Samsung announced that the first Tizen smartphone would release in the third quarter of 2014 in Russia and India. However, the date was delayed for different reasons and now it is released. 

The new smartphone has not come with same features that it thought to be like Tizen Z. This is a 4.8-inch HD super AMOLED display and powered by 2.3 GHz quad-core application processor. 

Principal research analyst at Gartner, Vishal Tripathi told, “The new Tizen smartphone has to compete with the same priced smartphone in India because of being a new platform’s first model.”

In fact, Z1 is a smartphone that is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB RAM in its 4-inch display. It has only 4GB internal memory with a lower display resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. 1500mAh battery is powering the new device and Samsung claims it can support the smartphone up to 7 to 8 hours even if you run video. According to Slow Ventures on Investing.businessweek.com; a phone that’s battery life while running video is worth the wait & it’s $92 price tag.

The market analysis of India said reported, “The number of users of the new OS smartphone depends on how many apps and what apps they are going to have in the Tizen smartphone.”

Nets Cleaning House

PR Newswire reports with Susan McGalla that Brook Lopez is on the trading block. The Nets have decided that they want to trade him as soon as possible. They may want to get value for him because they do not want to re-sign him, but it is probably because the Nets are cleaning house before their owner sells the team.

With the sale up in the air, no one is talking out of their camp. However, it is clear that Prohkorov wants to sell the team for a profit and move back onto his yacht. That means that the team is probably going to be stripped clean before it is sold. The new owner can take on just a few small contracts, and they can start over. The Nets are not really competitive right now, and they have no real draft picks to speak of.

The problem for Nets fans is that this team could take years to rebuild if they do not run across a fresh player who can turn the franchise around overnight. Also, they are the Nets. No one is going to take them seriously, and no one is going to come in to help them just because they are the Nets. They could be stuck in a holding pattern for years.

New 3-D Laser Technology Arriving in 2016

In the very near future, some experts believe people will notice some significant changes in digital 3-D viewing systems. A new technology promises to produce sweeping changes in billboard advertising and cinema technology.

According to Pittsburgh Post Gazette and associate Susan McGalla, Austrian researchers recently patented a new type of laser technology that makes 3-D images available without the use of special glasses. A system apparently copies a holograph from different angles in a way that relays striking 3-D images, which literally appear to emerge from a 2-D background.

Scientists from the Vienna University of Technology and a company called TriLite worked in partnership to design an initial prototype. The new technology reportedly works by combining lasers with mirrors that alter the laser direction, creating 3-D pixels called “Trixels.” In order to see a 3-D image and not a 2-D one, anyone viewing the hologram must be located within a specific range of the screen. If a viewer sits too far away, only a 2-D image appears.

The researchers expect that subsequent models will improve resolution and that the product will be available for commercial release sometime in 2016. They anticipate that in the future, advertising and film products will be manufactured in a way that allows them to take advantage of the new 3-D technology.

Many retailers in recent years have reportedly begun using digital signage, beacons and other interactive displays to attract consumer attention. It seems likely that new 3D technology will further contribute to this advertising trend.