If you're a fan of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other spices often used in baking, this video guide from America's Test Kitchen will walk you through when they're best used, how you should buy them, and how you should store them when you get them home from the grocery store.
Up to 1000 pupils, parents, staff and ex-students of Grange School, Hartford, are joining forces on Monday December 16th to row to West Africa.
The Grange School, in Cheshire, has developed a strong rowing tradition over the past 30 years, and is lending both its collective muscle and combined cash to raise funds to build a new classroom block for an elementary school in the Gambian town of Brikama. To do this, the school is aiming to row the whole distance between the two schools – a whopping 4615km - in 15 hours, which will involve occupying 32 indoor rowing machines for the majority of that time.
With sponsorship money raised from those taking part, and donations from others, it is hoped that £1 can be raised for every kilometre rowed. Distances are even being dialled in from former members of the Grange family in places as far flung as Seattle, Sydney and Hong Kong.
Children at the Grange Junior School who are unable to take part on the day have already given the total a head start, by contributing 214km (approx. the distance to Bath) and over £500 to the cause.
Headmaster Chris Jeffery, who has set himself the challenge of rowing the marathon distance on the day (in stages, he hastens to point out!), visited the Brikama school with a group of students this year, and returns next year with the new group who have organised the challenge. "We found a group of amazingly committed teachers working at the heart of a local community to improve the life chances of some very poor families indeed. Their dedication was inspirational and we want to help them to sustain the work they are doing by providing the infrastructure that they cannot."
Imi Sherry (18), a Grange rower and member of the school’s Team Gambia 2014 herself, has been a prime mover in promoting and organising the event: "We have so many amazing advantages at this school that we so often take for granted. It’s great to be able to use rowing, which I love, to raise money and awareness for something that matters so much to The Grange and the people of Brikama."
Anyone wishing to help the cause by donating can do so at: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/rowtothegambia/109150.
Want to see your news on the British Rowing website? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enterprise Social Network Convo Adds At-Rest Encryption To Its Servers To Better Protect Client Data
Convo, an enterprise social network that competes with the now Microsoft-owned Yammer, today announced that it has added at-rest encryption (ARE) to its servers in order to better protect its client information.
Recent revelations relating to the National Security Administration (NSA) have taught the technology community and world at large that data isn’t safe from surveillance, and other forms of snooping. One NSA program, MUSCULAR, became infamous for tapping communication links between American companies’ data centers abroad.
The Washington Post reported that the NSA has “secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers” abroad, and that by “tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans.”
In response, Google and others are working to encrypt the data that flows between their vast server installations. Microsoft, for example, went as far as calling the NSA and others of its ilk “advanced persistent threat[s].”
Convo’s move today echoes those efforts, by expanding the amount of its data that is encrypted. At-rest encryption is just that: encrypting the data sitting on servers. This information is distinct from data that is in transit, which could be comprised in other ways. It’s important to encrypt information on the go, as MUSCULAR taught us, but also encrypting data that is just sitting about internally could become the next frontier in protecting customer and user information.
This hits home, as a number of publications that I have worked at use Convo. I would frankly not like the NSA to learn the things that I’ve said about it. I only publish the polite versions, such as they are.
According to Convo, it is the first product of its kind to add ARE to its technology stack. I spoke to the company today and it indicated to TechCrunch that it expects this form of protection to become as common as SSL in the coming years, though it could take longer for larger firms to follow in its footsteps. The more data that you have, the larger the challenge.
Though there are extant reports that the NSA is working to end encryption as we know it, it remains clear that we need more, and not less data protection. At-rest encryption is another brick in the wall separating our right to privacy from government intrusion. As an industry, we need to get to work on building that wall as high as we can.
Top Image Credit: Flickr
The line between workout and play grows ever thinner. Nintendo games such as Just Dance and Wii Fit brought movement to the living room with console-enabled games. Now gaming comes to the gym (or home cardio equipment) with Blue Goji, a fitness game from the makers of Guitar Hero
The game element is viewed on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and is familiar — your animated avatar might be in a boat race or boxing competition, but speed or power comes from Goji's fitness tracker, either in your pocket or clipped to your belt
The only other hardware is the two controllers, with two buttons each — these fit on the handles of gym cardio equipment such as ellipticals or bikes, while Blue Goji ships with two foam batons that can be substituted to make holding the controllers easier when walking or running on a treadmill Read more...More about Fitness, Guitar Hero, Gaming, Lifestyle, and Health Fitness
Twitter hashtags serve several purposes on the social media site, but most importantly, they can paraphrase a complex thought into a brief snapshot
See also: The Beginner's Guide to the Hashtag
But not all hashtags enjoy the same popularity. Most never get off the ground, while others experience a brief surge before falling out of use. Here are eight Twitter hashtags you've never heard of, or barely remember using
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.Twitter, Social Media, Features, and Hashtags
DataSift has built a reputation as a provider of Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr firehoses — streams of unstructured data from those and dozens of other social sources, which can then be used in applications to track larger user sentiment and other trends. Today, DataSift is ramping up its presence in the big data game with the launch of Vedo, a processing engine that automates some of those functions usually performed by data scientists to make sense of that firehose data.
Co-founder/CTO Nick Halstead tells me that “Vedo” comes from the Italian “I see,” suggested by DataSift’s chief technical architect Lorenzo Alberton, who helped devise the service, its first major product offering on top of its data services.
With DataSift announcing a $42 million round of funding just earlier this month, Vedo underscores the company’s intention to use some of that financing to expand its products and specifically sharpen its target on the enterprise market. Vedo has been a year in the making, he says.
Halstead tells me that the idea behind Vedo is to offer data processing companies (Simply Measured being one example), enterprises, brands, app developers and other customers an easy way of “reading” the data that comes out of DataSift. “We’ve been very good at curating and identifying rules to get to the right data,” Halstead says, “but a lot of that has been really simplistic.”
Now, DataSift will effectively offer customers three ways of tapping into data, by way of Vedo. Social tech app developers, Halstead says, are likely to have in-house data scientists who will be able to use the extensions from Vedo to add machine learning to their existing applications, resulting in faster development. “Similar to how our single API have lowered their costs, this will help them enhance machine learning but with much lower cost,” he says.
Enterprise customers, he continues, are likely to want a bit more structure in how they interact with DataSift data.
For them, the company has created pre-made classifications and taxonomies, which will be available in a library and will continue to be enhanced and improved. Among the examples Halstead showed me here were feeds that, for example, identified what devices and applications people are using to post to Twitter — there are 80,000 sources in all in this one (!) — and a feed that aggregated all airline-related tweets, which can then be classified into different categories like questions, gripes, praise and so on. Yes, all those United and Easyjet complaints, all in one place.
Here’s how one example of that looks. Visualizations of the data, however, would still need to be realised by another provider such as Tableau, for now at least…
The third area is in the area of professional services, where DataSift will effectively let you outsource your data manipulation to its own in-house team of data scientists and consultants. “If there is some kind of machine learning you want to do and you don’t have your own data scientists, we will go off and build that for you,” he says.
All in all, Halstead says that DataSift did all of this to some extent in the past — indeed, it has already been providing dozens of different kinds of metatags on data “to help customers understand social,” in Halstead’s words. “But this takes it into a different league.”
The move to offer Vedo points to another big trend we’ve been seeing in enterprise: the larger push to harness and shape the nebulous “big data” promise. DataSift notes a forecast from IDC that predicts that by 2020, one-third of the “data in the digital universe”, which amounts to over 13,000 exabytes, will have big data value. But it will remain meaningless without some sort of conduits to channel it in a particular direction.
Pricing, Halstead says, will come under the existing model that DataSift uses for firehose services, where costs vary depending on size and complexity of what’s being requested. Those current packages start at around $1,000/per month.
Since launching a little more than a year ago, Peek is trying to find new ways to help travelers book interesting experiences when visiting new and interesting places. To that end, the company has launched a new iPhone app that will allow users to find interesting this to do even when they’re not in front of a computer.
The new Peek iOS app, released today, will give users the ability to search, discover, and book all the same activities that they might get on the company’s website. But it will also provide more personalized options based on their locations and interests.
When users first open the Peek app, it runs them through a personality quiz to help determine which activities are best suited to their tastes. Once done, it’ll suggest activities to them from a variety of categories, including family friendly, arts & culture, food & wine, sights, walking tours and staying active, among others. They can also filter activities based on price and points of interest.
The app uses geo-location to know where users are and to serve up activities based on what’s nearby. For many activities, it even offers same-day booking. And on the mobile app, it integrates with Apple’s Passbook to enable users to redeem vouchers from their mobile phones. Confirmation can also be received by email, and users can get directions and maps so they know where they’re going.
According to Peek CEO Ruzwana Bashir, most service providers today don’t offer online booking, and even fewer enable real-time booking based on calendar availability. Enabling the ability to book from mobile with confidence that appointments will be registered is even rarer. To deal with that, it’s done a lot of work to provide better calendaring features for service providers.
Peek now has activities available in 17 different U.S. locations, including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Napa Valley, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and the various islands of Hawaii. It’s also available to book experiences in London and Paris.
The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco, now has 20 employees. It’s raised $1.4 million in seed funding from an impressive group of investors, including Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, SV Angel, and Khosla Ventures.
If you want to get a little activity while you sit at your desk or your computer, the DeskCycle may be a good fit for you. It's a tiny stationary bike that's essentially just the pedals, small enough to slide under your desk at work or at home so you get some pedaling in while you work, chat, or play video games.
Most brands would be thrilled to have a viral video. Kmart had three in 2013
It all started back in April when "Ship My Pants," an ad featuring that double-entendre uttered a dozen times in 30 seconds, went viral, ultimately netting 20 million YouTube views by year's end
The brand followed that with "Big Gas Savings," another ad based on a mildly naughty double entendre, that is now at 6 million views. Finally, there was "Show Your Joe," a holiday-themed ad that featured men playing "Jingle Bells" with their privates. That brought in another 15 million views, getting Kmart's out to millions in social media. Read more...More about Advertising and Business
Besides 10 hours of battery time, the Dell Chromebook 11 boasts an 8.4 second boot time, an Intel Celeron 2955U processor and a 16GB SSD for storage
See also: Acer Debuts $199 Chromebook
The resolution of the 11.6-inch screen is 1366x768 pixels, powered by Intel HD graphics. On the connectivity side, the device offers Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and an HDMI port
The Dell Chromebook 11 will be available in two versions: one with 4GB and another with 2GB of memory, but both will be priced under $300, Google claims. The more powerful of the two will become available in January 2014, while the 2GB version is coming sometime in Q1 2014 Read more...More about Google, Chromebook, Tech, Apps Software, and Dev Design
Love was certainly in the air in 2013 — and we're not just talking about the dreamy kind you only see in rom coms
From anti-government demonstrations in Turkey and Morocco to graduation ceremonies in Israel, extraordinary kisses all over the world were captured in poignant photos. This was a big year for marriage equality, with France being the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage. People were also showing the love to their furry and scaly friends.
See also: 16 Legendary Selfies of 2013
These moments, along with other significant kisses took our breath away this year. Take a look back at some of the most memorable locked lips. Read more...More about Lists, Kiss, Love, and Watecooler
If you don't have a special cleaner on hand for your stainless steel, or you're not interested in spending money on special cleaners, Instructables user amalkhan suggests two things you may have already: baby oil and dish soap.
As mobile hardware and game developers push the limits of technology for entertainment, more thrilling games feature experiences as fun as PC or console titles. This year was no exception. Dozens of excellent releases hit app stores in 2013
This list doesn't include remakes of games first released on other platforms. Although many are worth your time (think XCOM or Limbo), we wanted to recognize the best in titles specifically designed for mobile play, since the platform presents a unique set of challenges for game creators
In no particular order, here are the 10 best mobile games we played in 2013 Read more...More about Mobile, Entertainment, Gaming, Features, and Video Games
Startups sometimes come under fire for defining their product based on existing companies — the Uber for this, or Pinterest for that. But when technology expands to a new category, sometimes the best way to explain it is by bringing to mind something that is already familiar
Dario, a connected gadget for diabetes management, could be called a Square for people who have diabetes, or a FitBit for blood glucose alongside other stats. The all-in-one gadget connects to your phone via the headphone jack to keep a record of your blood glucose. Meals, activities and insulin are entered manually so the app can identify trends and help users make better decisions throughout the day. The iOS app was released by Israeli startup LabStyle Innovations on Thursday in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, and the gadget will be released in 2014, pending regulatory approval. Read more...More about Lifestyle, Health Fitness, Diabetes, and Dario
LifeLock, the identity theft protection service, has acquired digital wallet startup Lemon for $42 million, the two companies announced early Thursday.
Lemon received some positive press when it launched a web and mobile app in 2011 that let users scan and collect receipts and analyze their expenses. The following year, however, the startup tried to move beyond the focus on receipts and create a full mobile wallet experience
Lemon had been in talks earlier this year with multiple firms including LifeLock about potential partnerships, but ultimately decided to engage in acquisition talks with LifeLock to scale its digital wallet efforts. Read more...More about Business, Startups, and Mobile Wallet
Lemon, a digital wallet platform which allows users to store their ID, payment, loyalty cards and more on their smartphone, has been acquired by identity theft protection service LifeLock for approximately $42.6 million, the companies are announcing today. LifeLock is also now launching a new application called “LifeLock Wallet,” which is based on Lemon Wallet Plus technology.
Lemon first launched in 2011, and had previously raised $8 million in Series A funding the following year from Maveron, Lightspeed Venture Partners, CampVentures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital Partnership and other angel investors.
For LifeLock, this deal allows the company to expand more deeply into the mobile space. Until today, it only had an iOS app aimed at users of its subscription services, which helped them manage alerts – but nothing modern and mobile-first like Lemon.
“We saw an opportunity to combine an innovative mobile platform – a digital wallet – with access to leading identity theft protection features. The innovation and expertise from a mobile-first company like Lemon gives us powerful new ways to engage with current and future members,” says LifeLock president Hilary Schneider. ”The acquisition allows us to accelerate our product roadmap, add additional functionality and data to our platform, expand our market opportunity, better serve our members, and develop a more meaningful relationship with a broad set of consumers,” she adds.
The combination of LifeLock and Lemon also makes sense from Lemon’s perspective, when you consider the “ID” side of the mobile wallet. Identity and fraud protection fit in with what Lemon was already building within its premium tier.
Lemon’s team has known about the deal for weeks, we understand, and all are joining LifeLock following this acquisition. Lemon CEO Wences Casares will join LifeLock as the General Manager of Mobile, and he and his team will operate within LifeLock to head its mobile group. The Lemon Palo Alto team will join LifeLock’s Bay Area office, while the Buenos Aires team will remain there.Lemon Wallet Becomes LifeLock Wallet
Lemon Wallet (Plus) is now forming the basis for the new LifeLock Wallet product, which will take the place of the prior Lemon version. Current users will be notified via the app that they need to upgrade to LifeLock’s Wallet instead.
The Lemon Wallet Plus service, for those unfamiliar, was the premium version of Lemon’s mobile wallet application, offering account monitoring, balance updates, a lost wallet service, and enhanced security and card expiration alerts. Previously, these services cost $4.99/month or $39.99/year. Now they will be included for free.
Starting today, LifeLock Wallet will instead direct users to LifeLock’s paid identity protection services, if they want to upgrade from the wallet app. The additional subscription will then add identity fraud alerts, and let consumers use LifeLock’s “Not Me” technology to respond to fraudulent activity.
The upgraded wallet will also include LifeLock’s Total Service Guarantee which provides up to $1 million in professional recovery assistance in the event of identity theft, 24/7 access LifeLock support team, and will allow users to access their monthly credit score.
Lemon Network May Be No More
Casares had been interested in the transformative nature of mobile for some time. Before Lemon, he founded Bling Nation, an innovative, but maybe too early, company originally focused on contactless mobile payments. With Lemon, however, an idea that began as mobile receipt organizer, later blossomed into a more full-fledged mobile wallet.
Though users couldn’t actually pay at point-of-sale with Lemon, they could keep copies of all their cards – payment and otherwise – within the app. And they could manage their expenses, receipts, track balances, cancel cards (if your real wallet became lost or stolen), and more. More recently, the company had rolled out the Lemon Network, an attempt to establish a network of merchants who would accept payments through Lemon within their mobile apps, similar to Venmo Touch.
Although the Lemon app is becoming essentially rebranded as the LifeLock app, the Lemon Network may not be as lucky. LifeLock says it will evaluate that technology going forward…which is probably a euphemism for getting the axe.
Lemon, like Bling Nation before it, may have still been a little too early to hit it big, especially here in the U.S. where users are only beginning to grasp the idea of moving their wallet to their phone thanks to things like Apple’s Passbook app and PayPal, which are now inching consumers in that direction.
But Lemon’s product reached millions of consumers, the company had said in the past. It never discussed specifics around traction or revenue, however, which is telling. From what we hear, the deal came about because it was right time to find Lemon an exit, and this acquisition offered Lemon employees favorable terms, which was important to Casares. LifeLock, founded in 2005, is a good-sized company of 700 people, headquartered in Tempe Arizona, with hubs in Irvine and Sunnyvale, California.
The new LifeLock app is here.
You never know when you might have guests. Whether they're friends passing through or relatives just in town, impromptu entertaining doesn't have to be something to dread. If you keep a few staples on-hand all the time, you'll be ready anytime someone comes knocking that you might want to invite in for a while, whether you planned on their arrival or not.
Google has updated its Google Maps iOS apps with flight, hotel and restaurant reservations
The feature is simple: If, for example, you have a flight reserved at the JFK, when you search for that airport in the app, you'll get info about your reservation
See also: Get Lost in These 19 Fascinating Maps
The reservations will only show if the confirmations were sent to your Gmail account, which has to be linked with the device
The same feature works on the desktop version of Google Maps as well, but now Google has pushed it to its iOS app as well
You can get the Google Maps app for iOS here
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...More about Google, Google Maps, Ios, Tech, and Mobile