Finally a Headset That Perks You Up!

People love getting a fix. It’s practically the reason why alcohol and caffeine are among the world’s most heavily consumed commodities. Nowadays, you can get the same kind of fix from a mood-changing headset known as the Thync.

With the use of electrodes, this simple device can easily lift your mood up. It can produce the same energizing effect when you drink a cup of coffee as well as the same relaxing or calming effect when you down an alcoholic drink.

The device was developed by a startup company based in Silicon Valley. According to its CEO, Isy Goldwater, she imagines people wearing the mood-changing headset to help them obtain a caffeine-free pick me up or simply to unwind after a long tiring day. “We are giving people a way to overcome a basic limitation—that no one is really wired to co-opt energy and calm on demand.” He says.

The idea behind the Thync is undeniably amazing. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to feel good in an instant? However, the device may not work for everyone. This is due to the reason that people are not built the same way. About a third of the world’s population just don’t have a strong response. Some people may only feel a tingling when the device starts to make contact with their skin but feel no sense of serenity even after several sessions.

Nonetheless, it would be a great device for people who can actually feel a response. Basically, the headset employs tDCS or transcranial direct current stimulation. This allows the Thync to maintain and deliver a constant low current to the user’s head through a surge of electrodes. As an end result, the electrodes change the activity of neurons in a particular area in the brain. According to studies, this type of approach can help improve a number of cognitive abilities. Due to its range of potential uses, neuroscientists are currently experimenting on its application in the medical field.

Thync is currently the only device aimed to alter the state of mind of healthy people. As mentioned, it uses electric waveforms to target specific cranial nerves to change a person’s mood. When used in a 10-minutes session, the effects of the device can last for up to 45 minutes. As of now, the headset can be operated through a smartphone. With the application installed in the smartphone, the user can control the amount of current as well as the strength of the effect.

The device has been tested on more than 3,000 people. In addition, the company has also funded a study by the City College of New York involving 100 people to test the calming effect of the device. Although the effects varied from one individual to another, the tests showed that the device had indeed improved the user’s mood. “To their credit they have engineered something that, at least in this situation, produced a bigger change,” says Marom Bikson, the biomedical engineering professor who led the study.

To counter the safety concerns involving cognitive enhancing devices, the Thync will only be made available for adults.

Windows Laptop/Desktop Computer Organizational Tips

Whether you’re working, playing games, updating social media status, surfing the web, or streaming the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix, doing system maintenance and organizing files and folders will be the last thing on your mind.

Backing up data, getting rid of unnecessary files to free up a few gigabytes of storage space, running antivirus programs, defragmenting hard drives; these are tedious but necessary tasks if you want your computer well-optimized. Below are a few tips that will help you organize and maintain your Windows PC.

Organizing Important Data in Your Computer System

Before you can effectively backup your data or sync your files to another system, it has to be well-organized to avoid potential issues in the future. This is also essential for a well-maintained high performance machine.

Reasons why organizing data is important:

  • Locating files manually becomes easier.
  • Finding groups of similar files is a lot less stressful.
  • Moving important data to a new computer will not be a hassle.
  • Syncing files and other data to other systems is easier.
  • Determining which files to backup is quick and simple.

Organizational tips to help you get started:

1. Decide on an organizational system that works for you and stick to it. Choosing the right organizational system takes time. You have to figure out what works for you and what does not. Once you’ve decided on a filing system, stick to it. Otherwise, all these will be pointless.

2. Choose a root folder for your files carefully. Don’t be afraid to use subfolders. Think of the root folder as the gateway to all of your data. If your hard drive is partitioned, for instance, you can choose whether to use drive C: or D: for your root folder. If you choose the latter, then your structure should look like D:\My Files or D:\<Your Name > if the computer has multiple users. Once you have your root folder, organize files contained within it by creating subfolders and housing files of similar purpose in their designated folders.

3. Avoid grouping files based on file type. Instead, group your files based on purpose, i.e., your work files should be in a different folder from your family vacation photos, and your mp3 files should not be in the same folder as your video collection.

4. Name your files and folders intelligently and avoid long filenames. Names like New Folder (2) or Document2.doc are lazy names. That extra 20 seconds you spend thinking of a meaningful name for your file/folder is nothing compared to 30 minutes of scouring through New Folder (2) all the way to New Folder (12) just to look for a single file.

5. Separate software application files from the data files you’ve created. When you install a particular program, the components needed to make that software function properly is called application files. Some software programs will store saved files in the same location as the application files, as a default save location. Take a few seconds to check where you’re saving your data file to be sure it is in the right location.

The Moisture Analyzer: What It Is and How It Works

Before delving into the different types of moisture analyzers, what they are, and how they work, one has to first understand the process of moisture analysis. Analyzing moisture content in any given item, whether it be high level or trace amounts of gases, solids, or liquids, covers a wide range of methods. Measurement of trace moisture is important in a variety of applications, such as in process quality assurance and marketing.

Trace moisture measurements in solids like pharmaceuticals, plastic, heat treatment processes and the like must be done to control moisture content and maintain quality. For liquid or gas products, moisture measurement applications for moisture are hydrocarbon processing, dry air, bulk pure gases, pure semiconductor gases, natural gas pipeline transport, and dielectric gases like what is found in transformers and in power plants.

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Building Trends – Top 5 Green Construction Materials

During these past few years, construction firms and developers are becoming more and more focused on building sustainable homes and structures. With global warming getting worse than ever, it is imperative that the whole world must take immediate action to lessen carbon dioxide emission, which is one of the major causes of this phenomenon. By developing eco-friendly infrastructure, construction companies are helping reduce the world’s carbon footprint.

Here’s a list of the top five eco-friendly and green construction materials that are currently available in the market:

Recycled Steel

Instead of the usual steel used in making trusses or a structure’s foundation, recycled steel is more environment-friendly because it is made from scrap steel. Every year, the world throws away tons of scrap metal. In order to make use of them and also help empty the landfills occupied by scrap metals, the Steel Recycling Institute created recycled steel. By simply replacing traditional metal beams, recycled steel helps reduce the energy that is used in producing steel by 75%.

Plant-Based Insulation

Chemical foams are the ones commonly used in filling a building’s walls when installing insulation or making the building sound-proof, but there are actually plenty of options in the market now regarding the type of foam to use. Currently, the most popular is paper-based insulation, but just a few years ago, a surfboard maker from San Diego actually invented foam material made from plants (bamboo, kelp, and hemp). Construction developers have also started making use of this plant-based polyurethane rigid foam for insulation. The foam is heat-resistant and has high moisture content; it is also pest-repellent and has higher R-value compared to polystyrene and fiberglass.

Cool Roofing

Have you ever heard about why it is best to wear white shirts during hot days and why you should avoid dark-colored shirts? Scientifically, white is a better color to wear when the weather is sweltering because it reflects the heat; dark colors, such as black, absorb the heat. Cool Roof works in a similar manner. Instead of absorbing the sun’s heat and bringing it into the house, it reflects the heat. This makes the building or house stay cooler and transfer less heat inside. With the advent of technology, there are now dark-colored roofs that can also reflect the heat of the sun.

Recycled Plastic-Wood Lumber

Another construction material that promotes sustainability is the recycled plastic and wood lumber. Made with a 50-50 combination of plastic and wood, this type of lumber is more durable and strong; it is also less toxic compared to traditional treated lumber. This type of lumber is also mold-resistant, but it is also more expensive.

Low-E Windows

Another brilliant construction material that helps reduce carbon footprint is the low-E windows. It keeps the heat inside the building/house during the winter season and outside during the summer season. It is effective in regulating the temperature inside a home. Low-E stands for low emissivity; it uses metallic oxide as the window’s coating. This type of window has already been proven to reduce the heat flow and heat cost in a home, but compared to the common clear glass storm windows, they are more expensive.

These are just some of the eco-friendly construction materials available in the market today and are currently used by contractors and developers in building sustainable structures all over the world.

Chiropractic Care – Does It Work for Allergies?

Whenever spring comes around, people are usually filled with excitement because it usually means better weather, plants growing, and flowers blooming. But if you’re prone to allergies, springtime can be tough because it can mean bouts of sneezing and coughing due to the increased amounts of pollen in the air. The phrase “spring is in the air” definitely does NOT have a happy connotation for those with allergies.

But we have good news for you! There may be a way to change how your body reacts to common allergens and how you generally feel about springtime. There may be a way for you to finally be able to say, “Spring is in the air!” with a huge smile on your face.

Allergies and Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is now being recommended by an increasing number of people for getting relief from allergies as well as for preventing allergic reactions. Chiropractic care does not involve any medication, and it does not involve surgery of any kind. It is an alternative healthcare system that is focused on ensuring the proper function of your nervous system.

How does this affect your allergies? Well, when your nervous system works the way it was designed to work, your immune system is effectively strengthened. This helps prevent allergic reactions. And if you are already suffering from allergies, the chiropractic techniques used by your chiropractor will be targeted towards restoring your body’s healthy functions such that it can gradually heal itself, thereby relieving you of your allergies.

The concept behind chiropractic is that the human body is perfectly capable of healing itself as long as all of its systems are functioning properly. This is why the focus is to correct any misalignment in the musculoskeletal system (which affects practically your entire body) and disruption in the nervous system (which serves as the main communication line between your brain and all your other organs). If your nervous system and musculoskeletal system are working properly, your body is pretty much in great shape and can heal itself.

Although there is still a lack of research and scientific studies into chiropractic as an alternative healthcare system, the amount of anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness is significant and continues to grow exponentially. This is why the number of people seeking chiropractic treatment for allergies and other physical complaints is continuously increasing. So if you’re seeking relief from those bothersome allergy symptoms, you may want to consider getting chiropractic treatment. At the very least, it may be a good idea to consult a chiropractor regarding your allergies.

Of course, just like traditional medicine, chiropractic treatment does not work for ALL allergy cases. But it has been shown to work for many. The degree of effectiveness of any treatment method will depend on the root cause of the problem, and this is why it is important for you to talk to healthcare professionals first before deciding if this particular healthcare system is the right one for you. Getting your body in top condition is the best way to enjoy a full life, and chiropractic may just be the solution you’re looking for.

Software Business Tips for Non-Techies

Non-techies: people who are not completely adept with technology, including those who know how to create and manage blogs but are not coders or programmers. These people are considered non-techies. For a lot of non-techies, especially those who have products and entrepreneurial vision but do not have developer skills, starting a software company is a challenge.

Even if a non-techie has a good business background, if he or she does not know how to manage the technical aspect of his company, he will have a difficult time achieving business goals. In some cases, non-techie software business founders can even be considered unqualified, and this makes it hard for them to find partners, investors, and potential employees. For many industry insiders, a software business owner should know how to make software for him to be effective.

However, there are things that you can do to ensure the security of your software business. If you want your business to be successful, you need to follow several tips that are meant specifically for non-techie founders and leaders.

What Non-Techies Should Do

A non-techie software business owner needs to consider doing the following:

  • Find/Identify your ideal market. As a business person, this is important for you. With your niche or market clearly targeted, you will be able to easily identify your clients or customers. And this, in turn, will help you decide what your company should focus on.

It will be a good idea to start by catering to a small niche so the company can build opportunities and offer products to a dedicated customer group. Product development will be easier, too, as you won’t have to contend with a large market yet. Later on, as your company develops, you can start expanding and catering to a larger niche.

  • Find a technical team that can dedicate their time to building your company’s software product. You cannot start your business without creating the software you are offering. As you are a non-techie, you have to find someone—or several persons—who can take this role from you.

Additionally, your technical team will be responsible for responding to customers’ needs and requests. The team’s task is to develop the company’s product and keep refining it until it becomes the best fit for the market you have targeted.

A dedicated technical team, one that is tasked only on this particular project, is the most ideal.

  • Do not wait for your technical team to finish what they’re doing before you go out and find prospective clients. You need to talk to possible customers even when the software or product is in development, because this is the best way to build interest in what you are offering. If you give prospects a good picture of what they are to expect, curiosity will build up and by the time your product is finished and is ready to be unveiled, you would have created a buzz. And prospective clients will be eager to sign up with your company.

Pre-selling your product is a good way of drumming up interest and building anticipation.

  • Remember, first and foremost, you are a business person. As such, your focus should be on the business side of things. It is, of course, all right to keep an open line of communication with your technical team. It is all right to fish for updates. But, always remember to leave all the technical details to the team. Do not meddle with their work; do not control them. You can provide guidance and help them understand what the clients want, but never interfere with their expertise.

What you should do instead is support them, try to understand what they are aiming to achieve, and give them your trust. Your task is to sell the product. Their job is to execute the company’s visions.

  • Before you decide to push through with your software business, you have to make sure that you have the budget for it. And this does not pertain to a budget that’s “just enough.” You need to have more than enough so that your technical team can keep working on the company’s product/s.

In the planning stage, you have to visualize your company’s development for a period of at least one year.

  • Finally, make sure that your expectations are realistic. In setting business goals, try not to go overboard. Focus on what can be done and what needs to be done. Do not yet focus on multiple goals. As yours is a new company, your main goal should be to make the business take off, attract customers and investors, and survive its first year. In addition, continuous product development should also be in the list.

While it’s true that you do not have 100% technical knowhow, it is possible to build a software company and translate your business dreams to reality. All you need to do is focus on your non-technical tasks and leave the tech stuff to the tech experts.

Basic Things You Need to Know about Your Cat

As far back as we can remember, cats have been popular household pets, giving owners the perfect companion to take care of every single day. However, while they are cute and playful to have around, let’s not forget that they are like human beings that need constant love, care, and attention.

They Don’t Want to Be Disturbed

Cats are known for their habit of sleeping for most of the day and like human beings, they do not wish to be disturbed. They are crepuscular creatures, meaning they are more active during the twilight hours. Kittens are also more active during the night.

There Are Parts of Their Bodies That They Don’t Want Touched

Like human beings, these furry creatures have spots that they do not wish to be touched. It’s best that you shouldn’t touch them in these areas (e.g. their tummies, behind their eyes, tails, etc) for they’ll surely take a swipe at you; you might even get bitten.

Cats Are Moody

Like women during their monthly period, a cat’s mood is mercurial. So don’t push them away like your dirty laundry if they want you to pet them. That’s just how they really are.

They Love to Scratch Things

Our lovable feline friends love to scratch their claws on almost anything—from furniture to even your favorite pair of jeans. Cats usually do this because it’s their way of keeping their claws sharpened (it’s also a way of exercise for them). As much as we don’t wish to get our household items torn or damaged, cats need to do this to keep their claws in good condition. Having scratch posts would minimize this problem.

With all these things mentioned, we hope this will help you get to know more about your pet cats and how to take care of them.

Selling Your House – Making A Deal

Buying and selling a house is a gamble. Add to this is the necessity that you’ve to hire a real estate agent and you’re facing the prospect of shelling out significant amounts of cash during the preparation phase alone. If you wish to cut costs when hiring a real estate agent and selling your house, be sure to follow the tips below.

Provide Necessary Documents

The key to any successful transaction is transparency. That is why it is imperative that you need to secure and keep all the documents related to the property. Also, keep in mind that most buyers prefer purchasing houses that don’t force them to shell out extra cash for stuff like government-related fees.  Therefore, it’s critical that you wrap up all the loose ends on your end before you sell the property to make it more appealing to buyers.

Always Communicate

A buyer and seller relationship strengthens when communication is always open and there are no hidden agendas involved. As much as possible do not fool your buyer on things that are too good to be true. It’s understandable that this undertaking is hard. However, with a little patience—and if the terms are agreeable to both you and the buyer—you are sure to get a complete sale soon enough.

Be Open to a Lower Price

Being open to lower price points is important especially if you need to get rid of the property fast. When the buyer offers a lesser amount than your offer, do consider the proposal. Why? Because buyers who ask for a lower price of the house are—in all probability—very interested in buying your property.

Surefire Strategies for Hiring the Best Software Developers

In today’s highly advanced society, technology is in demand. Anybody who has knowledge and experience in technology is considered an asset—to a company, an organization, to a community. Practically everybody wants a techie, which is why you need to know how to stay ahead of the pack if you want to hire the best technology experts.

If you want to attract the best software developers, you have to do more than look good and talk about how long your company has been in business. There are specific attributes that software developers look for. No worries, though, because you can always take advantage of several strategies to attract the right kind of tech talent for your company.

Strategies for Attracting the Right Software Developer

Make sure you have a strong brand. Software developers will not only look at a company’s background, they will also consider the brand. What kind of image does your brand project? What can your brand offer the best software developer? How strong is your brand? What makes it different from other brands in the industry?

These are the questions you need some answers to. Ask yourself these questions and if you get good, attractive answers, your company won’t have a difficult time getting software developers to knock on your door.

Do some research and find out where the best talents are. To gain access to the best software developers, you have to know where to look for them. It can be all about a specific place, or it can be an organization or talent pool. What you need to watch out for is the level of demand in particular areas. If the demand is high in, for example, New York, you are going to have a hard time looking for one. Look a place where the demand is not that high.

Once you have established contact with your prospects, it’s time for the interview. Interviewing prospective team members is the best way to find out if you have made the right choice. Of course, you should have at least three or four developers in the lineup to make sure you find the ideal one.

The interview is where you get to know more about the developer. As such, it is important to ask the right questions. First of all, you will want a developer who understands what your business goals are. In addition, your ideal software developer should be flexible and can work on one project after the other. A developer who knows how to relay information about complicated issues or ideas in the simplest terms is also a good one.

Develop your interview questions with these questions in mind, so you will be able to determine which candidate should be taken in by the company.

As it is inevitable, prepare to answer some questions fielded by your prospective developers.  You have to remember that these developers are being wooed by not just one or two, but multiple companies. Your answers to their questions should help paint an impressive image of the company. Of course, you should back up your answers with facts. Telling the truth is the number one rule.

Leave a positive impression on your candidates and you’ll have them jumping up and down with excitement.

Show developers what their future will be like if they choose your company. Stability, not just in financial terms, is an important matter for candidates. Therefore, you should be able to show your prospects a clear idea of what their future will be like in the company. If your company offers stock ownership options or fast career advancement, let your candidates know. It will also help if you mention opportunities for career development while employed in your company.

Build a good team by asking for referrals. If your intention is to build a pool of good software developers, your first step to fulfilling this goal is finding referrals. Where can you get them? From your newly hired developer!

If your new software developer is a treasure, it’s almost always a guarantee that he or she knows people who are as good as he or she is. So, ask for referrals. To make it more interesting, develop a program that will reward employees or team members who can refer good candidates for the position.

To make all these strategies work, it is important that you understand your company’s needs. Why do you need software developers? What are the goals you wish to achieve by hiring a developer? What other factors can developers contribute to your company? Most important of all, you need to understand what your company can offer and what it stands for.

Once you know all these, you will be able to come up with a good program for software developers, which you can then use to attract the best ones to your company or team.

The Pet’s List – Three Unusual Animals You Can Take Home as Pets

Almost every one nowadays is either a cat owner or a dog owner, but aside from these usual furry creatures, there are other unusual kinds of adorable animals that you can take home with you as your pet, and here are some of them:

Capybara

Considered as the world’s largest rodent, a capybara is one of the most peculiar creatures to have as a pet. This giant rodent, which can grow to an average of four feet, is quite hard to find (even in zoos) but there’s one woman from Texas, Melanie Typaldos, who managed to get one and named it Caplin Rous.  Although capybaras cannot be fully domesticated, they are still perfect as your pet companion. When planning to domesticate your own capybara, you have to remember that this kind of animal needs a lot of outdoor space including a place to swim in. Its diet includes healthy green grasses.

Hedgehog

Another interesting animal to have as a pet is the hedgehog. A lot of people nowadays are fascinated by this small pet after the popular video game Sonic the Hedgehog was launched. This little creature is known to be very gentle and needs less maintenance relative to most pets, making it the perfect animal companion. It can live in a tiny cage and you can feed it with insects (but you can also buy hedgehog food in some pet supply stores). However, although this creature is undeniably adorable, some states in the USA prohibit making the hedgehog as a pet.

Potbellied Pig

Unlike the pigs we see in farms, a potbellied pig is quite small, very easy to train, and does not smell weird. In case you don’t know, potbellied pigs are among the smartest animals in the world; they are even used as drug sniffers by some police departments. Potbellied pigs are very much the same with dogs; they need a balanced diet, they love walking and exercising, and they are very trainable.