Doctor of the All-Nighter: How to Get a PhD in Binge Watching

March 15, 2015  |  Guest Writers, TV

Disclaimer: Content Provided by a Guest Writer from SocialMonsters

Are you a a long-suffering and closeted TV binge watcher? A study by Harris Interactive and Netflix discovered that among 1,500 TV streamers, 61 percent binge watch regularly. But there’s no shame involved — in fact, three-quarters of viewers said they feel positive about their decision to binge. So it’s time to take your popular habit public and embrace it as the new norm. But don’t just park it in front of the TV and settle in; we’ll show you how to take your binge watching to the next level.

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Carve out a day … or a week

Binge watching your way through old favorites or an entire collection is not for the faint of heart. Carve out a day or an entire week to focus on your mass media consumption. But you need a strategy. Let’s do some math.

Watching the entire 190 episodes of “24” would take more than six days of nonstop viewing to cover the eight-seasons. Meanwhile, “Breaking Bad” would take less than two full days. You could start with a shorter series to build-up your binge muscles before moving onto something meatier. And if you must, compromise and break up your binge in shifts by dedicating specific days or evenings of the week to your new passion.

Perfect the mobile binge

Untether yourself from the couch and TV and take a few creative shortcuts without compromising the art of binge watching. Load up your media on your tablet or phone and install the necessary apps. Consider leveraging Amazon Prime to quickly access entire series, or rely on Fuugo or Crackle to help get through your week-long binge. Serious viewers can look to a service like DISH Anywhere to watch live TV online. It also lets you take your favorite shows with you. That means you can watch TV from your tablet, smartphone or laptop from your bedroom to the kitchen or even bathroom for uninterrupted viewing.

Order in everything humanly possible

You still need to eat and have access to day-to-day resources. Order in food from local restaurants and get someone to grocery shop for you with a service like Instacart to bring in everything from snacks to paper towels. Still need something like an errand run or your lawn mowed? Find someone on TaskRabbit to do it for you. You have more important things to do than drop off your taxes at your accountant’s (like a marathon of “Game of Thrones”).

Make it productive

Binge watching doesn’t have to be a slog through the best of what TV and movies have to offer. Pick a show that you not only care about, but that can help educate and inform. Binging on “Grey’s Anatomy” might teach you a thing or two about embracing your fear and learning to trust others. Consider live blogging your nonstop TV watching to help entertain a wider audience who wants to live vicariously through you without dedicating the man hours to commit to their own binge. And of course, binging with the ones you love means more time together. Whether it’s quality time or just quantity time is left to be determined.

[Apple] Apple TV drops to $69 and HBO Now Exclusive with Apple

March 10, 2015  |  Apple

One of the first things announced during the Apple Event was an update to the existing Apple TV (which hasn’t been updated for over 3 years).  The Apple TV received a new entry price at $69 making it very affordable and anyone who thought $99 was too much and skipped out on it should just go out and buy one.

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Why? You ask….

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Because, HBO has a new streaming content deal called “HBO Now” available exclusively with Apple.  This service will debut in April and be available for $14.99 per month, no cable subscription required and anyone who joins in April will get the first month for free.  HBO Now will include past and current television shows and movies.

I hope it won’t be like “Netflix” and “Hulu” with a region restriction because if not I will be subscribing, just in time for the return of Game of Thrones, Veep, Silicon Valley and so much more!

Other tidbits from the event:

  • Apple announced ResearchKit: a system that lets iPhone users contribute to the world’s scientific research about health and medicine.  It is open source and launches next month with the first five apps available today.  The data is private and only the researchers can see them.
  • iOS 8.2 with the Apple Watch app is available now for your iOS devices.  The Apple Watch app is similar to the App Store and Tips app offering you some good apps and how-to tutorials.
  • ApplePay is now available in 700,000 locations and some of which were vending machines.
  • CarPlay will be available in 40 major car brands by end of the year.

And with that I’m done with providing you an update on everything that happened at the event.  Hope that summarizes it nicely?

[Apple] Apple Watch Pre-Order Starts April 10 – Shipping April 24

March 9, 2015  |  Apple, New Products

The main focus in the Apple “Spring Forward” event has been the Apple Watch, where we were supposed to get more information about the watch and find out the pricing and availability.  The Apple Watch will be available in 9 countries which included: United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom.  The cost however ranges from $349 – $10,000+ and there will be two models 38mm and 42mm model.  Bands will retail for between $49 and $449 with additional magnetic chargers costing $29 for 1-meter cable and $39 for a 2-meter cable.

The Apple Watch is said to have 18 hours of mixed usage and up to 72 hours on power reserve, meaning it should go on All day.  You can use the watch to access apps, respond to messages, workout, and so much more.

  • Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model
  • Apple Watch starts at $549 – $1049 for the 38mm model and $599 – $1099 for the 42mm model depending on the band you select
  • Apple Watch Edition is a limited edition 18 karat rose gold or yellow gold and it starts at $10,000 and goes as high as $19,000.

This watch is available for pre-order on April 10 and ships April 24.

I’m thinking of an Apple Watch Sport which comes in aluminum instead of the stainless steel with a probably green sport band and I’ll probably get a second band which is either the Milanese Loop ($149) or the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle ($249) or perhaps in pink.  I never can make up my mind but that’s the best thing you can always mix and match your watch.

View Apple Watch

[Apple] MacBook Air 11″ & 13″, MacBook Pro Retina 13″ Updated

March 9, 2015  |  Apple, New Products

During the event, Apple has also announced a slight update on its MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro line-up.  If you bought one recently then hard luck but this update shouldn’t make you want to get rid of your existing device (yet).

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What’s new in the 11″ and 13″ MacBook Air?

  • Upgraded to 5th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors
  • Thunderbolt 2
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Faster Flash
  • Longer battery life

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What’s new in the 13″ MacBook Pro Retina?

  • Brand new Force Touch TrackPad
  • Upgraded to 5th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Turbo Boost speeds
  • 2x Faster flash
  • Faster Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • Improved 10 hour battery life (from 9 hours previously)

All three devices can be purchased starting today on the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores, etc.

[Apple] Apple unveils brand new 12″ Retina MacBook

March 9, 2015  |  Apple, I want.., New Products

So, the Apple event just concluded its two hours of announcements, where we were given news about a bunch of things, one of the most important and personally something I’ve been waiting for and hoping would happen, and was actually the reason why I didn’t get myself a MacBook Air 11″ last trip to the US was the unveiling of the brand new 12-inch MacBook Retina named “MacBook”.  The beautiful child joins the existing MacBook line-up and promises you the following features at a starting price of $1299.

What’s new?

  • 12-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440 beauty (more screen capacity on such a tiny device!)
  • It weighs 2 pounds and is 24% thinner than existing MacBook Air at 13.1mm, Lighter & Thinner than ever!
  • Comes in Space Grey, Silver, and beautiful stunning Gold. (I’m grabbing the gold, like anyone can stop me right now!)
  • Redesigned Keyboard that makes it more stable and precise.  Also the keyboard is edge-to-edge which gives you 17% more surface area.
  • Revamped Trackpad with built-in Force Touch.  It can detect the amount of pressure placed on the trackpad and gives you a whole range of new gestures.
  • Intel Core-M processor that starts at 1.1 GhZ with Intel HD 5300 Graphics.
  • First Fanless MacBook.
  • 67% smaller Logic board in a MacBook with lots of batteries surrounding it.
  • All-Day battery life with 9 hours of web browsing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.
  • One single USB-C port for charging power, USB data transfer, DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA capabilities (adapters sold separately).

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All this beauty will begin shipping on Friday, April 10 through Apple Online and Apple Retail Stores.  I’m getting the extra cash and trying to save up for it!

I’m personally grabbing the high-end $1599 MacBook in gold.  I believe we kind of have our next generation 12″ PowerBook G4 now :P This is the one we’ve been waiting for!

[TV] Renewals & Cancellations Feb – Early March 2015

March 7, 2015  |  Fall TV 2014, TV

So it’s been a while and I’ve been letting the news pile up so I can share as much as I can in one shot.  I can do so now without any worry really and you can enjoy staying up to date with pretty much everything I tell you.  Anyways let’s get on to what was renewed and what was cancelled?

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RENEWALS

CANCELLATIONS

OTHER NEWS

  •  LOST GIRL will be airing its 5th and final Season on Friday, April 17
  • BITTEN will be returning to SyFy on Friday, April 17
  • OLYMPUS will debut on SyFy on Thursday, April 2
  • ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK will return for Season 3 on Friday, June 12
  • SENSE8 will debut on Netflix on Friday, June 5
  • WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER will debut on Netflix on Friday, July 17 (must watch!)
  • UNDER THE DOME will return for Season 3 on Thursday, June 25
  • ZOO will debut on CBS on Tuesday, June 30
  • EXTANT will return for Season 2 on Wednesday, July 1
  • TURN returns for Season 2 on Monday, April 13
  • PENNY DREADFUL will return for Season 2 on Sunday, May 3
  • HANNIBAL will return for Season 3 on Thursday, June 4

And that’s it for the recent TV news… hope your favorite shows were saved :P

Lighten Up! 4 Packing Tips for Your Next Trip

February 25, 2015  |  Guest Writers, Travel

Since its a nice long holiday weekend I thought it best to share some funky tips provided to me by a Guest Writer from SocialMonsters.  If you’re traveling I hope you enjoy these tips and have fun at your next destination if not then maybe they will be helpful for later :)

Travel can be a fun and even magical experience, but it can also be a bit on the stressful side. From trying to make your connecting flight to finding your way around an unfamiliar city, even the most seasoned traveler feels overwhelmed at times. One way to ease the burden of traveling – both literally and figuratively – is to pack as light as you can. In addition to being a lot easier to carry, a lightweight suitcase will save you on spendy bag fees from the airlines. To pack as lightly as possible and still bring what you need on your next vacation, consider the following tips.

1. Start with the Bag

Before you start packing, put your empty suitcase on the scale – the number might surprise you. If your favorite suitcase is more than a few years old, chances are good it’s pretty heavy all on its own. It’s time to upgrade to a newer, lighter option. Look for a suitcase that weighs less than six pounds empty. Briggs & Riley make a variety of lightweight, high-quality suitcases that look good, too.

And you get one carry-on, so go with a larger, functional bag that still meets the size requirement of the TSA. Guys might choose a nice laptop case or briefcase with lots of compartments for extra goodies, and gals can check out this “Getaway Chic” Pinterest page for cute carry-on bags.

2. Make Your Packing List

Next, create your packing list or use one you find online. And then – just to really hammer home how much stuff you intend to bring – go ahead and spread everything out on your dining room table or bed. Go through each item and ask yourself if you will really use it on your vacation. Remember, you’re not packing to survive any and all weather conditions; you just need to bring the basics. To further lighten your load, call the hotel and ask if they have certain amenities on hand for guests – hotels commonly supply hair dryers, irons and even bathrobes. (Or use the one I provided a while back ;))

3. Pack Smart

Both gents and ladies can pack smart and remain fashionable. Bring basics in neutral shades with matching dress shoes and one pair of good walking shoes. Instead of bringing a giant jacket, plan on bringing layers that you can add or remove while you’re at your destination. Ladies, bring one designer handbag that will carry you through daytime sightseeing and nights on the town. Coach makes gorgeous totes that will last you for years to come.

4. Downsize What You Can

Bring travel sizes of shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, sunscreen and other needed items. If you can’t find your beloved shampoo in a tiny bottle at your local store, order refillable TSA-approved travel bottles from Brincatti and fill them with your favorite toiletries. This tip alone can reduce your load by several pounds, and your back will thank you.

As always, the right preparation will help ensure a successful trip. Now go have fun on your next adventure.

Bon Voyage!