Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 25 April 2014

Phone Cleaning Could Be The Best Kind Of Spring Cleaning You Do -

Phone Cleaning Could Be The Best Kind Of Spring Cleaning You Do - 

As the dust gets swept out of corners and the closets get cleared of clothes, it's probably your one most important material possession that's still in need of some spring cleaning — your phone, of course.

The virtual holder of all your information is a great spot for clutter to gather as well, and unless you've hit your memory max recently, you likely haven't bothered looking at half of what's on there.

Kulveer Taggar, the CEO of Agent, an app that helps make everyday tasks easier via your phone, says people can make their phones faster and more organized in very little time.

There's plenty of advice online, not to mention apps that can assist, that prompt you toward cleaning up your mobile device (and yes, that goes for tablets too). We've amassed it together for your spring cleaning pleasure, so take 20 minutes out of your weekend and trash some of the apps and contacts you've been hanging on to for way too long. Just because it's digital doesn't mean it can't weigh you down.

Clean Up Your Apps
Remember that game you tried and hated, and then immediately forgot about? It's still sitting there on your phone, taking up memory and waiting for your next bout of boredom. Don't let it win (because you certainly can't win it), and just delete it. Now. The same goes for that budget app you always "intended" to use and the travel guide to Madrid from your Spain trip four years ago. You can always download it again if you need it.

Change Location Permissions
Depending on your phone philosophy, you may or may not let apps access where you are at all times. But if you've distractedly pushed "allow" on a few too many, it can drag down your phone, and in some cases, invade your privacy. Go through the list of apps that use location services, and make sure you're OK with all of them.

Go Through Contacts
No, you don't need the phone number for your old roommate's ex-girlfriend — if you really want to get in touch her, that's what Facebook is for. Because many phones automatically save contacts when you, for example, email someone new, clearing out the list is a good way to pare down on the essentials. You can also create groups so that you only see certain numbers when you want them.

Check On Notification Settings
Like location permissions, push notifications can happen without you noticing them when you download apps. And maybe you've gotten lazy about getting rid of them, even if they're annoying. But it can be worth your while to stop the clutter of their pop-up messages, if only just for your mental health.

Delete And Back Up Pictures
No, you don't need the 10 takes it took before getting that perfect sunset shot. So this is actually a two-step process. First, go through your pictures and delete any extraneous shots that are still lingering there. Next, get to a computer and back up what's left. And then delete them all and start fresh (though if you want to hang onto a few sentimental shots of your kids/food/best night out ever, we understand).

Look For Background Refreshers — And Stop Them
For many apps on new phones, there's a setting called "background app refresh" or "background source refresh" that allows apps to keep pulling in new data (and using yours in the meantime) while they're open in the background. Check to make sure the ones that have permission to do that are ones you want.

Clear The Cache
Who knew? Your phone has a cache, just like your computer (which makes sense, given that you use an Internet browser for both). Androids have an app called, usefully, the App Cache Cleaner, which can get rid of the cached files and free up memory. Meanwhile, for iPhones, go to "Settings" for any browsers you use and hit "clear cache."

Do The Updates
Those software updates you're sent every once in a while (we're looking at you, iOS) aren't there just to annoy you with design changes. They can also (a) make your phone work better, and (b) make your phone more secure. So if you've been putting off downloading the new system, take a deep breath and dive in.

Optimize The Battery
There are many, many ways to drain your battery throughout the day, but there are also almost as many ways to optimize it. If you haven't already, change settings on things like brightness, and minimize your screen brightness to the shortest available time, advises PC World. Again, an app like Battery Optimizer for Android can help you, and other suggestions, like turning off Bluetooth unless you need it, can help. Check out PC World's full list here.

Get It Literally Clean
And while you're at it, it's probably a good idea to literally clean your phone on the outside too. Studies find that 2,700 to 4,200 units of bacteria are on your phone at any given time, according to Time, and yes, they can result in illness. How-To Geek describes how to do this quickly and easily using distilled water, cotton swabs and a microfibre cloth — just remember to take the case off too!


Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer 3 Meltdowns … It Also Suffered Melt-THROUGHS and Melt-OUTS -

Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer 3 Meltdowns … It Also Suffered Melt-THROUGHS and Melt-OUTS - 

We reported in May 2011 that authorities knew – within days or weeks – that all 3 active Fukushima nuclear reactors had melted down, but covered up that fact for months.

The next month, we reported that Fukushima’s reactors had actually suffered something much worse: nuclear melt-throughs, where the nuclear fuel melted through the containment vessels and into the ground. At the time, this was described as:

The worst possibility in a nuclear accident.

But now, it turns out that some of the Fukushima reactors have suffered even a more extreme type of damage: melt-OUTS.

By way of background, we’ve noted periodically that scientists have no idea where the cores of the nuclear reactors are.

And that highly radioactive black “dirt” has been found all over Japan.

It turns out that the highly radioactive black substances are likely remnants of the core.

The Journals Environmental Science & Technology and Journal of Environmental Radioactivity both found (hat tip EneNews) that the highly radioactive black substances match fuel from the core of the Fukushima reactors.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission agrees.

Indeed, “hot particles” with extremely high levels of radiation – 7 billion, 40 billion , and even 40 billion billion Bq/kg – have been found all over the Fukushima region, and hundreds of miles away … in Tokyo.

Let’s put this in perspective. The Atlantic notes:

Japanese regulations required nuclear waste with 100 or more bq/kg of Cesium to be monitored and disposed of in specialized containers.


The new government limit for material headed for landfills is 8000 bq/kg, 80 times the pre-Fukushima limit.

So the hottest hot particle found so far is 5 million billion times greater than the current government limits of what can be put in a landfill.

In other words, the core of at least one of the Fukushima reactors has finally been found … scattered all over Japan.

How did material from the cores get dispersed so far? Remember, there was a huge explosion at reactor number 1 , and an even bigger explosion at reactor number 3.


The secret of longer life: eat raw fish and drink green tea -

The secret of longer life: eat raw fish and drink green tea - 

A new study has revealed Japanese women's diets - rich in raw fish and green tea - are helping them to live considerably longer than British women

If you are searching for the key to a long and healthy life, it seems Japanese women may have the answer. 

A new study has revealed their diets rich in raw fish and green tea are helping them to live considerably longer than British women. 

Eschewing the Western staples of dairy and bread sees Japanese women live to the ripe old age of 86.4 years on average, much more than British women who live to just 82.7 years. 

Research by the Office for National statistics found that there could be 'potential for further increases' in life expectancy for women in the UK, if they adopted the lifestyle of their Asian counterparts, The Times reports. 

The Japanese diet is rich in wholegrains, vegetables and soy - and Japanese women consume around 25 per cent fewer calories than British women. 

They eat on average three servings of fish a week, with smaller, daintier portions. 

It is believed that using chopsticks also slows down the eating process, giving the body time to realise what has been consumed, and therefore eat less. 

According to the league table, Japanese men have an average life expectancy of 79.9 - not too dissimilar to that of British men, who live on average to 78.9. 

The figures were revealed in an international compendium of data published by the ONS. 

It compares figures on population, education and economy. 


New App connects clients with nearby prostitutes using GPS... -

New App connects clients with nearby prostitutes using GPS... - 

A new app called Peppr was launched in Germany this month to connect potential clients with nearby prostitutes using GPS.

It is like a cross between the car-ordering service app Uber and the dating app Tinder. Clients log into the app and type in what they want: body type, eye color, personality traits, and the maximum price they are willing to pay.

Pia Poppenreiter, the creator of the app, says she wanted to create a tool that prevented sex workers from waiting in the cold to find clients. Poppenreiter says she pre-interviews people who wish to use the app to make sure they are working voluntarily and independently in the business.

"We have a short conversation to get the feeling that this is voluntary and they are independent sex workers," she said. "We try to ask them -- you kind of find out in a conversation whether they're doing it on a voluntary basis -- we ask them what they did before, whether they've always worked voluntarily and so on."

Unlike many other countries, prostitution is legal in Germany.

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