10 Crazy Sandwiches from Around the World

It is amazing what you can find on a rainy afternoon, surfing the net.  Sandwiches are normally a safe option for a quick lunch but these concoctions are about to change the way we think about sandwiches forever:

ff0715081. The Luther Burger

Sweet and savory together are not normally an accepted mix for sandwiches but this one pushes the boundaries. It is a burger, with all the toppings, squeezed in between a glazed doughnut….

2. The Lasandwich

Lasagna is a dish best served hot with a loaf of garlic bread. This one is cold and squashed between two slices of doughy white bread.  Apparently, Tesco has followed this up with another one – the Strawberries and Cream sandwich. I will leave you to make up your own mind about that…

3. The McDonald Sandwich

This one is only for those that have deep pockets and am indulgent bank manager – or more money than sense!  Created by a chef called Scott McDonald, it is a combination of Wagyu beef, black truffle mayonnaise, fresh lobe foie gras, rocket, brie de meaux, English plum tomatoes and a red pepper and mustard confit. The price? Only £85.

KFC_Double_Down_'Sandwich'4. The Double Down

Love sandwiches? Hate bread? No problem Try the KFC Special. It is made from fried chicken fillets, between which you will find bacon, sauce and 2 cheeses. No bread in sight!

5. The Big Sandwich

Bread adds to the fat content of a sandwich in quite a big way, and this one just takes the biscuit.  It has burgers, sausages, pepperoni, bacon, cheese, chicken nuggets, crisps and, oh just so many ingredients to mention that all total around 50,000 calories!

6. The TastyKake Sandwich

TastyKakes in a sandwich?  These sweet peanut butter tasting sponge cakes covered in chocolate were surely never meant to be sandwiched into a cheeseburger.  Apparently, they were and were served as a dish at a restaurant in Philadelphia.

7. The Melo

Sandwiches should always be filled with a generous amount of filling but this one from a Deli in New York is bit too big. It is full of salami, pastrami and bacon and was named after Carmelo Anthony, a player for the Knicks.

8. The Candwich

The sandwich in a can is as bad as it sounds. It has a long shelf life, does not need to go in the refrigerator and contains an odd mélange of fillings, including pepperoni pizza and BBQ chicken.

insanewiches9. The Rubik’s Cubewich

This has to be the oddest sandwich on the list. It is built, as the name suggests, like a Rubik’s Cube and is made of cubes of cold meat and cheese. Quite difficult to eat, one would imagine…

10. The Fried Brain Sandwich

Yes, you read it right; this sandwich is made from sliced calf brain, fried in batter. It is apparently a meal that is commonly served in mid-western eateries and they are very welcome to it!

 

19 Incredible things Pope Francis did in 2013

I’m not much of a fan of religion.

If it’s your thing, that’s great – I hope it serves you well – it’s just that it’s not my thing.

One of the things that really gets me about religion is the MASSIVE contradictions in the way that ‘good’ Christians are supposed to live their lives and the way that the leaders of the Christian religion live their lives.

The people I’m talking about are the priests, bishops, arch-bishops, and of course, the big daddy of them all, the Pope.

For all the people who feel the same, I’m sharing this article about Pope Francis.

This is the leader of the Christian religion and he’s a dude.

He’s doing great things, helping amazing people and loving life.

Check it out here: I Knew Pope Francis Was Good, But When I Found Out Everything He Did in 2013, I Was Blown Away

The Best Way to Keep Pests Out of Your Home

I work hard to keep a nice lawn. It not only looks good, but it helps maintain or increase the value of your home. But all of this can be quickly ruined by pests. Whether you have squirrels, rabbits, moles, skunks, or something bigger, these little guys can be a real pain in the neck.

So to protect my yard, and also to keep me from going insane, I set out to find the best way to keep these little buggers away from my house. There are a lot of different things you can do, but some are more effective than others.

Here are some of the best methods I found:

Build a fence

This is perhaps the most obvious thing to do when trying to control pests, but it isn’t always the first thing we think of.

If squirrels or rabbit are getting into your garden and eating your vegetables, simply surround the garden with a wire fence. This works best if you are using raised beds, as nothing will be able to dig underneath the fence.

But fences only work for smaller areas. When pests are getting into your lawn, you may not want to or be able to build a fence large enough to surround the whole area. Fences can be expensive to build, and if you don’t maintain them properly, you can end up with holes, making them virtually useless.

Set traps

This is usually the first thing we think of for controlling pests. Most of us have probably had a problem with mice in our houses at one time or another, and the best way to take care of this is to set traps.

These are good because they do the work for you. All you need to do is set it up somewhere near where you’ve seen evidence of the pest, put some bait and wait. The most effective bait is meat, such as chicken liver or canned fish, but other stuff works too. Peanut butter, nuts and also sweets like gum and candy work as well.

However, there are some downsides to traps. For example, few of them actually kill the pests. They simply trap them, and it is up to you to take them to another place and release them. Sometimes this works fine. But if the animal is particularly attached to that area because it sees it as a secure source of food, or if you don’t release it far enough away, it may find its way back into your yard.

Also, it doesn’t guarantee you get rid of all pests. If you have a serious problem, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to trap them faster than they can reproduce, especially if you are dealing animals known to multiply quickly, such as rabbits.

It’s also tougher to trap larger animals, such as skunks or opossums. And should you trap a skunk, you can imagine it won’t be happy when you find it. This can get messy quick.

Use an air rifle

I’m not really much of a gun guy, so I wouldn’t recommend you go out firing at these pests with a shotgun, but using an air rifle is a surprisingly effective way to control pest populations.

These guns are quieter and safer than regular firearms, but they still have enough firepower to kill smaller pests. While this may seem drastic, it is effective—it gets rid of the pests for good.

Since you will need to sit around and take aim at these critters, you’ll end up spending more time on pest control. But you can be sure you are removing these undesired guests from your home forever. Also, the noise these things give off, while not overbearing, is enough to scare animals away. A few days or weeks of pest control and you should be free of your problem for good.

Of course there are some other things to consider with using an air rifle. First, you may want to let your neighbors know what you’re up to so that they don’t get scared. But if you take the time to find a quality air rifle, you can get something that is effective without being too disruptive.

Also, since you need to be the one taking aim, you can really only do pest control when there is light. For some animals, such as squirrels and rabbits, this is no problem, but it will be tough to get nocturnal pests, such as skunks and opossums.

And you also need to practice a bit.  If you’re like me, you probably aren’t the most accurate shot, so this might seem like a lost cause at the beginning. Luckily, though, the pellets aren’t expensive, and most rifles come with a scope to help you aim.

Go get those pests

Don’t let these annoying little things get in the way of a healthy, beautiful lawn. We all work hard to maintain our gardens and yards, and it can be incredibly frustrating to have them ruined by pests.

Hopefully this information has helped you understand the best methods for pest control out there so that you can take care of this problem before it gets out of hand.

Happy Gardening!

 

Best VPN for Bypassing MLB Blackouts

Summary: When you live or travel outside of the United States and want to watch your favorite MLB games, you could find yourself facing a blackout.

Likewise, some games are being blacked because a low number of tickets were sold to the live game. This is designed to entice people to purchase tickets to see the games live.

Whatever the reason you find access to your favorite MLB games blocked, there are ways to bypass the restrictions so you can still watch the games.

Connecting through a Virtual Private Network service makes it easy to bypass MLB blackouts by letting you hide the location you’re connecting to the internet from.

If you’re outside of the U.S., you can connect to a U.S.-based server, and if you’re already in the U.S. you can connect to a server in an area where the games haven’t been blacked out.

Connecting through a VPN service is one of the best ways to bypass MLB blackouts and keep yourself secure while you are connected to the internet.

To bypass blackouts and watch your favorite MLB games with ExpressVPN, click here now.

 

Table of Contents

Best VPN to Bypass MLB Blackouts

Why You Should Trust Us

Testing Methodology

How We Tested Each VPN Service

VPN Services You Should Avoid

VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features

VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews

Top Three VPNs to Bypass MLB Blackouts

Wrapping It Up

 

Why You Should Trust Us

At SecureThoughts, we pride ourselves in being recognized as one of the leading sources of information in the internet security and technology industries.

Our sole mission is to help each and every one of our readers overcome the problems they’re having, keep themselves safe and secure and find a high-quality VPN service.

 

Testing Methodology

While researching the different VPN services that are currently available, we have found that there are more than 170 different services in the VPN industry.

To ensure you’re not wasting money on a low-quality service provider, and that the VPN service you choose can help you bypass MLB blackouts, we’re testing each of the available options.

 

How We Tested Each VPN Service

To help you overcome blackouts forced by the MLB and major TV networks, we’re going to test each of the 173 different VPN services by first eliminating services from our list.

To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.

Our elimination process began by removing services that are based in countries where they can be forced to participate in invasive surveillance programs.

We’ve also gone through the features offered by each service and removed services that do not offer the tools we believe you’ll need when attempting to bypass MLB blackouts.

Then, we used reviews from past and current customers of each service remaining on our list on third-party websites that consolidate reviews.

Finally, each of the services that made it through our previous eliminations have been compared against each other using five criteria to help us determine which service is the best.

Those criteria are:

Price – The first factor we considered is the pricing of each service, and we compared the pricing offered to the level of service and the experience they offer to subscribers.

Setup Process – We verified that each service on our list provides software that is compatible with major operating systems and is easy to install and configure.

Ease of Use – We connected to each service’s network to verify they are easy to establish a connection to and that they maintain the connection without assistance from customer service.

Speed – We performed speed tests through different servers located around the world to determine each service’s average connection speeds.

Customer Service – Finally, we submitted requests to each service’s customer support teams at different parts in the testing process to determine how quickly they respond.

Below are the results we’ve found during our elimination and review process.

 

VPN Services You Should Avoid

Whenever you connect to the internet, even if you’re simply trying to bypass MLB restrictions and blackouts, the last thing you want to deal with is having your activity tracked and logged.

Around the world, many governments are beginning to force internet service providers to participate in an invasive surveillance program known as “14 Eyes.”

14 Eyes, for those of you unfamiliar, is an agreement between governments that forces internet service providers to track what their users are doing online.

These activity logs can then be turned over to the local government and law enforcement agencies can use the information to prosecute their citizens.

Any service that participates in the 14 Eyes agreement has been automatically removed from our list to ensure you do not find yourself being tracked while you’re online.

 

VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features

As we continue moving forward with our review process, we’ll be looking at each remaining service to verify they offer the features we believe are necessary for bypassing MLB blackouts.

We’ll cover each of the features that we are looking for and then give you examples of VPN services that we’ve eliminated from our list for failing to provide them with your subscription.

 

Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support

Whenever you open a connection to the internet or a VPN service, they are going to utilize one of many different protocols to manage your connection.

In the internet security and technology industries, OpenVPN is regarded as one of the safest and most secure protocols, which is why we have eliminated any service that doesn’t support it.

Betternet and AnonVPN are two examples of services we’ve eliminated because they lack support for OpenVPN.

 

Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer

Whenever you connect to the internet, your internet service provider or VPN service is going to track how much data you’re transferring.

Some VPN services will limit access to your account or throttle your connection speeds if they believe you are transferring excessive amounts of data. They have been removed from our list.

Cloak and Celo are two examples of services that we have eliminated because they limit your connection speeds if they believe you are consuming large amounts of data.

 

Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies

When we recommend a VPN service to you, we want to ensure that you remain safe, anonymous and secure, and will not be subjected to data logging practices.

Any VPN service on our list that tracks what you are doing when you’re connected to their network has been eliminated to help you maintain your privacy online.

Seed4Me and Hola!VPN are two services that log your network activity and they have been eliminated from our review.

 

Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems

When you’re trying to bypass MLB blackouts, you probably use more than one device to watch your favorite games, and each device uses a separate operating system.

Any VPN service that provides software with your subscription that doesn’t function properly with most mainstream operating systems has been eliminated from our list.

SunVPN and IntelliVPN are two services that we’ve eliminated because their software is buggy or incompatible with major operating systems.

 

Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections

You could also find yourself wanting to watch more than one game at the same time, which means you may need to open a new connection for each device that you own.

We have found that many VPN services will prevent you from opening more than one connection to their network at the same time. Those services have been removed from our list.

IBVPN and HotVPN are two services that we’ve removed from our list because they do not allow you to open multiple active connections to their network.

 

Criteria #6: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee

We want to ensure that every person reading this can protect themselves without feeling like they are risking their money on a low-quality VPN service.

That’s why we have eliminated any VPN service that doesn’t offer a free-trial period, a money-back guarantee or a solid refund policy that they stand behind.

VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two services that do not protect their customers’ purchases and they have been eliminated from our list.

 

Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking

Some content streaming services utilize Peer2Peer and other filesharing technologies to help distribute the load on their servers and prevent lagging and buffering.

Any VPN service on our list that blocks your ability to connect to filesharing networks or utilize Peer2Peer technology has been eliminated.

LibertyVPN and VPNJack are two services that do not allow you to connect to filesharing networks and they have been eliminated from our list.

 

Criteria #8: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking

When you are watching a big game and you’re connected to a VPN service that blocks your SMTP access, you could be forced to disconnect from their network to send and receive emails.

Any service that blocks your ability to send and receive emails while you are connected to their network has been removed from our list.

Tunnelbear and TorVPN are two VPN services that have limited SMTP access due to spammers, and they have been eliminated from our list.

 

VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews

We moved forward in our elimination process by using third-party websites that consolidate reviews from past and current customers of each service still on our list.

To continue dwindling down the list of eligible candidates, we have eliminated any service that has consistently received negative reviews from their subscribers.

 

Top Three VPNs to Bypass MLB Blackouts

After working through our elimination process, we have dwindled down our original list of VPN services to a total of three, with each service vying for our #1 recommendation.

Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:

  • Price
  • Setup Process
  • Ease of Use
  • Speed
  • Customer Service

All of the three remaining services have been put against each other, helping us find the one service that is truly the best for bypassing MLB blackouts and location restrictions.

 

#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service to Bypass MLB Blackouts

When you’re looking for the best VPN for bypassing MLB blackouts and other location-based content restrictions, ExpressVPN is the #1 option.

PROs

ExpressVPN offers relatively competitive pricing compared to other services we’ve tested. They charge as little as $8.32 per month for a subscription to their service.

Your ExpressVPN subscription is coupled with software that makes it easy to connect to their network. During testing, we used it to connect within a few minutes of subscribing.

The amount of resources that ExpressVPN devotes to growing their network and their customer support teams shines through when you’re using their service.

During speed tests, ExpressVPN ranked #1, offering the fastest and most reliable connection speeds through servers based in the United States and the United Kingdom.

If you do happen to have problems with your account or your connection to their network, the ExpressVPN customer service team responded quickly to all our requests.

CONs

Even though ExpressVPN outperformed other services on our list, there were still some areas we believe could be improved to make their service even better.

While submitting requests to their customer support team, they responded in less than 60 minutes in most cases. However, there was one occasion where we waited three hours for a response.

We also noticed that their network in Australia could be slightly improved. During testing through Australian-based servers, the speeds they offered were slower than through US and UK servers.

Summary: As it currently stands, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services that we’ve tested, and they topped the charts in every category of our review.

We’ve found they have one of the strongest networks available, a great customer support team that responds quickly and pricing that keeps them competitive in the industry.

To bypass MLB blackouts with ExpressVPN, click here now.

 

#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You

While ExpressVPN outperformed every other competitor on our list and claimed the top spot for the best VPN for bypassing MLB blackouts, there may be times that they are unavailable for you.

If your experience with ExpressVPN differs from the experience that we had while testing their service, IPVanish could be a suitable alternative.

PROs

IPVanish is one of the lowest priced VPN services we’ve tested. For a single-month subscription, you can expect to pay $7.50 per month, and less than $5 per month for a 12-month subscription.

The software that’s provided with your IPVanish subscription functions well with most major operating systems, and is easy to configure to connect to their network.

If you do have issues with your account or connection to their network, the IPVanish customer support team responded within three hours to most of the requests we submitted.

The IPVanish network proved to be strong enough to sustain multiple active connections, and they offered the second fastest average connection speeds during our speed tests.

CONs

While IPVanish did perform relatively well during our testing process, there were occasions we believe their service could be improved upon.

In one case, we submitted a request to their customer support team and waited more than 24 hours to receive a response, which is unacceptable when compared to ExpressVPN’s response times.

IPVanish also had slower connection speeds on Australian-based servers, ranking #3 in our review for fastest average speeds and connection reliability.

Summary: While performing extensive testing for each service on our list, we found that ExpressVPN easily outperformed the remaining competitors.

However, if you find that ExpressVPN isn’t available because of your location or your hardware and software configuration, IPVanish could be a suitable alternative solution.

If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.

 

#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended

We need to make a small disclaimer while including HideMyAss as a service that managed to make its way onto our top three recommended VPN services.

Even though they secured the #3 spot, we are not necessarily recommending them to our readers due to the problems we had while testing their service.

PROs

The one area that we did not experience problems with HideMyAss is the software you’ll use to establish a connection to their network.

During testing we downloaded, installed and configured the software and used it to establish a connection to their servers within a few minutes of subscribing.

CONs

Once our testing process moved forward, we started having problems that persisted throughout the review, which suggests their pricing structure is too high for the service they deliver.

Their subscription packages are some of the most expensive we’ve seen, ranging from $16.99 per month down to $9.29 per month when you subscribe for 12 months at a time.

During speed tests, we were unable to establish a reliable connection to their servers, so we could not obtain accurate speed test results.

We emailed the HideMyAss customer support team for assistance with the problems that we were having and it took them more than 24 hours to respond to our requests.

Summary: We have found that there are far better VPN services available than HideMyAss, especially for the price HideMyAss charges for a subscription.

If you are trying to bypass MLB blocks and location-based content restrictions, you would be better off using a service like ExpressVPN or even IPVanish.

If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.

 

Wrapping It Up

Finding out that your favorite MLB games have been blacked out because of low ticket sales or your geographical location can be a frustrating experience.

Thankfully, by connecting through a Virtual Private Network service you can bypass these restrictions and catch your favorite MLB games as soon as they air.

After working through more than 173 different VPN services, we have found that ExpressVPN offers the best network and customer service, along with competitive pricing.

To learn more about ExpressVPN and bypass MLB blackouts, click here now.

3 Ways How (Not) To Break Into Your Own Home

This is a guest post from LocksmithsInSydney.com. These guys have saved my skin numerous times. They also have a good sense of humour.

I’ve seen some funny things during my time as a locksmith. People get locked out. You forget your keys.

Accidents happen

Imagine the scene: It’s the middle of the night. You are taking the garbage out, and a gust of wind slams the front door shut.

You just locked yourself out.

So there you are stuck in your pyjamas, on your front door step. Damn.

After 5 minutes of frustration, you do the standard checking of windows to see if you left anything open. Nope, your security-conscious-self did a great job. It is at this moment that you realise you are definitely locked out.

Now, most people tend to get some help at this point. Go over to a neighbours house? Call someone to let you in?

There are defining moments in a guy’s life. At this moment, you could surrender to your circumstances and ask for help, or you could rise to the challenge and get in touch with your inner Jason Bourne.

Sadly, in these circumstances some people like to rise to the challenge and decided they would break into their own home.

Here are the three attempts I consistently see when I’m called to a lockout.

Attempt #1: Break Through The Door Window
I have a theory. The first question people must ask themselves when locked out is “If I were a robber how would I break into my own home?”.

The answer: Crack open a window and slip in.

Most people forget to lock their garage door. Bad for security, great if you need access to some tools.

Every secret agent has to have his gadgets right?

Their gadget of choice: a flat head screw driver.

How do I know? It’s pretty obvious when it is still jammed in the lock or window.

So here is the idea. They would insert the head of the screwdriver underneath the bottom of the window pane. Most think that they would be able to wiggle it and force the window upward. They would open the window and climb in.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so. Darkness and people’s obvious lack of hand-eye coordination results in a damaged window pane, and still no entry. I’ve even had people try to loosen the window by trying it from the sides.

Nope, just more damage. This is usually when people give up and call someone.

For those determined folks, it’s time for Plan B.

Attempt #2: Open The Door With A Plastic Card
You’ve seen this in movies, so it has to work right?

The idea behind this is to use a card to open the spring bolt on the lock.

Some people use an old piece of plastic lying around in the garage. Others usually use a plastic card from their wallet.

The plan is to wedge the card between the door and the frame. The spring bolt is often triangle shaped and found just above the handle of the door. The idea is to push the card in and bend it away from the door knob. When you feel the card slide the latch back, turn the handle and voila! you are in.

As it turns out, the result is most people are left jiggling the piece of plastic in the middle of the night trying to get their door to unlock. After 10 minutes, most people have had enough.

But for the true diehards, they go one step further.

Attempt #3: Climb Through The Roof
When I see the results of these attempts, a story of my childhood came to mind. When I was a teen I got locked out of the house and my parents weren’t home. We had a balcony on the second story that my parents often left unlocked. It was difficult to get to with a ladder because there was a thorny bush under the balcony.

However, I had the brilliant idea of using the ladder to get onto the roof. I would climb over the house and drop down onto the second story balcony below.

I grabbed the ladder, climbed up onto the roof and, as I was getting my footing, I could see my mum driving down the street. I knew my mum wouldn’t be impressed with my roof-top antics so I quickly ran over the roof and dropped onto the second story balcony below.

Thankfully they had left the back door unlocked. I could come up with a story to explain the ladder, no way could I explain locking myself out on the second story balcony.

Most people don’t have a second story balcony that they may have left unlocked, however, some have their own creative means of entry. Many people think that they can take off the tiles on their roof and let themselves in that way.

In short: You can’t. And in the dark, it is not a good idea.

The Final Solution
After these inner secret agents have had a battering, many people succumb and called up a professional.

Just image the scene. You rock up to the call out. The customer is there slightly flushed in the face (breaking in is hard work), the epitome of style in his fluffy slippers, flannelet pyjamas, and baby blue bedrobe asking you to let you in. The window is damaged, there is a card stuck in the door and a bunch of tiles are missing from the roof.

James Bond right there.

Most people can have a great sense of humour at this time, but save yourself the trouble and call a locksmith.

5 Teamwork Technologies To Make The Dream Work

Staying connected is the number one priority these days, but for business, it’s more than just keeping the social media intern on target with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook updates—it’s about connecting with the office as much as it is with the clients, and never before has that been easier.

With websites and programs that branch the distance between cubicles in the office to remote workers in different parts of the world, it’s never been better, faster, more cost effective to be on the same page, and these are the new ways to get there.

 

  • Asana

Created by the co-founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitch, and using tools and knowledge based on increasing the productivity of Facebook employees, Asana is the answer to tracking your team’s progress and work without having to install a security camera system. Offered for free and at a premium, the management system has a clean homepage that makes finding your to-do list and project updates simple and straightforward. Add team members to your projects and send inter-program emails—it’s all about making the work flow smooth and uncomplicated.

 

  • Trello

Trello, like Asana, is another project based management system that is based on the work practices from another Fortune 500 company: Toyota. With a simple interface that uses boards to track progress and allows you to drag projects from “Working” to “Completed” in seconds, it’s for people who enjoy the visual of Post-Its but hate having to keep track of them. You get a bird’s eye view of what you need to get done, and all the steps along the way to a finished product, and it’s accessible anywhere. Forget saving this one just for business, it’s just as efficient at sorting out your doctor’s appointments and grocery lists—getting organized was never so easy.

 

  • Discourse

While chat rooms may seem like a thing of 1990’s past, the way Discourse.org brings about the discourse is about as modern and top of the line as it can get. With a built-in program to keep out the trolls and internet bullies, this new-age internet discussion board is 100% free and works so well on your tablet and mobile phone that you won’t understand how you tapped into the forum of public opinion without Discourse before.

 

  • Plivo

Do you have a lot of calling traffic with work? Whether it be constant conference calling, networking, or getting to check in on what’s going on with your work around the world, Plivo is your answer to global carrier service providers. From tools like SIP trunking to Conference App Voice API, they work with people like Netflix to add SMS messaging to web and mobile apps for everything from political polling to help desks. Streamlining the process between business and client, Plivo gets the work done for cheaper, which is always a happy discovery.

 

  • Prezi

The Prezi is the 21st century answer to Powerpoint; with new twists and turns (literally), it’s the answer to your next big conference meeting video, and it’s going to make you look like a tech genius. By working with an interactive graphing map to draw paths to lead your presentation down, wowing your audience has never been easier. Attach pictures, video clips, sounds and text in cool configurations that zoom in and out of the screen with the same efficiency of the presentation programs you’re used to, but with a lot more modern flair. Bonus: you can access it from the internet anywhere, or download it for a permanent copy.

Whether you’re starting a new business or working on making the one you’re got run more like a well-oiled machine, these are the programs to go with. Not only are they freeing up time and energy, they’ll make you look savvy while you’re doing it too.

5 Exciting Presents to Get Your Valentine

Presents to get your valentine

What’s worse than getting a gift you don’t want? Giving someone that gift. There’s a reason why the majority of us aren’t in the audience during the Oscars—we’re bad actors.

This Valentine’s Day, avoid seeing your special someone force a smile and insist they’ll use that quesadilla maker by getting them one of these 5 gifts that they’ll actually like.

5. A Monthly Gift Subscription

To something they actually like, of course! You wouldn’t want to give a person who doesn’t drink a membership to a wine of the month club.

Real Simple posted a list of eight subscription boxes that your Valentine will actually enjoy this year, each labeled by the recipients personality. There’s one to satisfy the inner crafter, one for fashionistas, and even one for coffee lovers, among others.

4. Something from Etsy

If you’re special someone is a Potterhead, Whovian, Sherlockian, or anything in between, you can definitely find them a unique gift on Etsy.com. Independent designers use Etsy to sell handmade, vintage, and craft items, many of which are designed with the most popular characters and series in mind.

The site isn’t exclusive to fan-inspired pieces, though. You can just as easily use Etsy’s gift guide for ideas on everything from jewelry and artwork to home brew kits and personalized cutting boards.

3. Event Tickets

It doesn’t matter whether they’re for a local sporting event or tickets to a play, getting your Valentine tickets to a local event is a perfect experiential gift. As P&G Everyday writer Anna Newell Jones explains, experience gifts gives you the opportunity to bond with your partner in a way that ordinary gifts usually can’t.

“You likely do not remember many actual gifts you’ve received,” said Jones, “but you probably hold tight to the experiences you had, especially with your family and friends.”

2. Sexy Accessories

Spice up your usual routine the night of the 14th with a few extra surprises for your Valentine. Handcuffs and blindfolds, for example, are great ways to ease yourself into some kinkier play in the bedroom. If you or your special someone was a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, go see the movie first (it opens Valentine’s Day) then use some of the film-inspired products when you get home. Several of the toys, including the FSOG Tease Feather Tickler and FSOG No Peeking Twin Blindfold Set, are getting good reviews, too, as they have at least four-star ratings on adam&eve.

1. The Classics

Maybe you think that flowers and chocolates are cliché, but I don’t know a single girl who would frown if she was handed a well-crafted bouquet. The classics carry that label for a reason—they’re a safe buy that you know will be appreciated.

The same holds true for your dinner plans. If one person cooks (or gets takeout for a nice meal at home), you can add a personal touch by picking up a nice bottle of wine, some candles, and slice of cake from a local bakery. It’ll help to make the night even more memorable.

Surprise your Valentine with any one of these presents this year and you won’t need the gift receipt. Just try and mirror their reaction when you open your own gift…

The Best Advice on Life and Relationships I Ever Got From the Internet

How to attract women

If you’re looking for advice, it’s not hard to find. We live in a day and age where every self-proclaimed philosopher can log in to their free blog platform and launch their own brand of wisdom out into the digital world at large, whether it’s worth reading or not.

Like any guy on the Internet, I’ve come across my fair share of awful advice. These terrible tidbits have ranged from self-soothing to delusional to straight up selfish and potentially harmful. But, I’m also happy to declare that I’ve also read a good deal of seriously useful pieces on living a successful life or maintaining a healthy relationship.

First, I’d like to share what is probably the harshest but also the most helpful truth I’ve ever come across: The rest of the world only cares about what it can get from you. Being a “good person” or a “nice guy” is just not enough. What can you do? What do you contribute? Do you have any useful talents or work in a respectable and skilled profession?

If you currently possess none of these attributes, it is time for you to put effort into developing yourself. This may sound like a cruel and defeatist attitude to some people, but in a realistic perspective, I found it highly encouraging in terms of creating new personal goals.

On a similar note, I recently read some related advice on how to attract women and kindle positive romantic relationships: You don’t attract people by tricking them into thinking you’re cool and attractive. You attract people by actually being attractive.

To be attractive, you have to be a better person. Trying to learn tricks and “game” is a waste of time and will get you nothing but shallow, easily manipulated partners. You have to become a whole, interesting, self-fulfilled and confident human being before you’re going to successfully and truly attract a smart, self-aware person who’s worth your time.

It’s great to do what you love, but you have to figure out a way to get someone to pay you for doing it.  Life costs money and you’d be an idiot to think you can find safety and success in your life without putting in some effort to make money.

Therefore, most people will never work their real “dream job“, but that doesn’t mean you have to live and die working the graveyard shift stocking shelves to make ends meet. There are compromises. Find something you like, and then put in the effort to make it profitable for you.

Finally, there’s that age-old cliché that still holds true: You can’t make everyone happy. This is not advice to excuse you from being lazy, rude, or having a terrible personality, but it’s true that no matter what you do, someone somewhere is not going to like it.

It’s a lot like how chocolate is good for your brain but bad for your arteries, and red wine is great for your heart but terrible for your liver. It’s a give and take, and it’s your responsibility to either find a middle ground or make peace with the fact that not everyone is going to like you.

Yes, some of the most truthful advice is also the harshest, but it can also be the most transformative. If all we ever listened to were the things we want to hear or the things that make us feel happy and safe, we’d never be encouraged to grow and improve as human beings.

Remember that if it placates you without teaching you anything, it’s probably terrible advice and it’s holding you back from personal growth. It’s the words that provoke your intellectual side and even make you slightly uncomfortable that will spur you towards new progress in your life.

Top Five Most Watched Shows on Netflix

What should I watch on Netflix? We all ask ourselves this; at least everyone who has a Netflix account does, it usually happens after we’ve finished our latest binge on a series. You know, that moment when you’re laying on your bed or couch, still astounded by the ending of the series you just watched and you’re trying to figure out what to do with your life. Well I’ve taken the time to comb the Internet and although, many different sites give different opinions as to what is the most watched, I comprised a list of the shows that trend through most of these sites.

 

1.)  Breaking Bad- How fitting that just about any site you go to for “Most watched shows on Netflix” will turn up Breaking Bad as the number one choice. Fitting because it’s a show about cooking meth, a highly addictive drug people binge on. Makes me laugh that people are binging on a show about a drug that people binge on. Breaking Bad isn’t just about cooking meth, of course. It’s about a man diagnosed with terminal cancer goes into the drug dealing business to set his family up financially.

 

Top 5 Most Watched Shows on Netflix

2.)  Orange is the New Black- This show has dramatic and comedic traits to it. A woman, Piper, gets sent to prison and has to learn about the ins-and-outs of being a cellmate. Full of all sorts of interesting character from a territorial kitchen lady, to a jerk prison guard, and everything in between this one will definitely pull on those heart strings a bit.

 

3.)  Mad Men- Now if you’re still scrolling through Netflix because neither of the previous listed shows are exactly your cup of tea, then how about a cup of scotch. That’s exactly what this show feels like. Mad Men is a series about men of advertisement in the 1960’s in the city that never sleeps, New York. Staying classy is what these men are about, suits, money, women, booze and cigarettes. Basically as close to the 1960’s as you can get through your computer screen.

Top 5 Most watched shows on Netflix

4.)  House of Cards- Interested in a more political show, with just as much drama, deception, and suits as Mad Men. Well House of Cards is the way to go, Kevin Spacey plays a conniving congressmen willing to do just about anything to make it through the ranks.

 

5.)  Walking Dead- Alright so personally, I’m not a huge fan of all these politics, I want to see some action and have the pants scared off of me, or in this case my pajamas. Walking Dead portrays a zombie apocalypse. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Great another zombie apocalypse movie.” However this is a series, you don’t watch this small group of people slowly dwindle till all that’s left is one guy and one girl. This show starts with a group of people that over time you get attached to and later will in fact die. Then more characters that you will get attached to come into the picture as well as other groups of people. In my opinion this show turns a zombie movie from a 2D picture to a 3D sculpture.

Top 5 Most Watched Netflix Shows

Has this article made you curious yet? Have you already gone to Netflix to start watching the pilot episode of one of these shows yet? I know I’m planning on it, time to bust out the popcorn and soda. The not so convenient thing about Netflix though is when you get all curious and excited to start a new show, but wait, Netflix isn’t available in the country your in? It was working just fine back in the states but during your trip to Asia you find out you have to go without Netflix. Oh but guess what you don’t have to go without, just go to this site to find out about geo-blocking, and which VPN is best for accessing Netflix.

A 4 a.m. Call About Business Valuations in Sydney

business valuation Sydney

My day started like this:

I was startled awake at 4 a.m. by the obnoxious sound of my cell phone.  Who would even think to call someone at 4 a.m.?  I didn’t recognize the number, but I still answered it, because if someone in calling at 4 in the morning either someone died or they are going to drunkenly profess their love to you.

Either way I still needed to know.  It was my friend, Rich, in Sydney.

“Palmer, you do that internet thingy right?” Oh man, he was drunk and wanted to talk business.

“Yeah, mate, I research cool stuff on the internet,” I told him.

“Awesome, I need you to find me a place that does business valuations here in Sydney.”

“What? Why would you need me to do that?” I asked him.  “You can just do a web search yourself.”

“No man, no.  I NEED your help, the internet is too confusing right now, and I want to know how much my business is worth.”

“Alright Rich, but first you have to confess your love for me.”

“What, did you say?”

“You heard me Rich; tell me how much you love me.”

“Oh Palmer, My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

That was from Romeo and Juliet, I had to look it up.

“Yeah Rich that was great thanks.”

Once I hung up the phone I went back to sleep for a little while, but I kept dreaming of Rich confessing his love to me which made me a little uncomfortable in my dreams, but I asked for it. After I woke up and had a bit of a breakfast I decided to find Rich a valuation.

I found Valuator .  They do business valuations in Sydney.  According to their “about” page, “Our highly regarded professionals specialise in Commercial and Residential valuation services. Provided through best practice principles, forefront production and communication technology; our professionals are committed to providing cost effective, commercially-based and technically-sound consultancy advice to our broad range of clients who include a variety of investment and commercial investors, corporations and property owners from around Australia.

If you are looking to get something valued then the team at valuator.com.au can help.

We are Australia’s leading valuation company and specialise in valuing the assets of your business.”

According to their website their services include industrial property valuation, commercial property valuation, and business valuation ad machinery valuation. So no matter what Rich needs them for I’m sure that they will be a good match.

I sent Rich an e-mail with all this information on it, and a half an hour I get another call.

“Palmer, how did you know that I needed this information?”

“You called me at 4 this morning, Rich.”

“No I didn’t!”

“Yes you did, check your call history.”

A minute passes….

“Oh, um, sorry about that Palmer, but thanks for getting the information for me!”

“No problem Rich, and remember, My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Christmas Trees in Sydney Knocking on Your Door

christmas tree sydney

Delivery used be a luxury saved for pizza and packages, but nowadays every product, every food, hell even your groceries may be delivered right to your doorstep. So I got to thinking, is there a limit to this madness? Is there something somewhere that is committed to being like a stationary rock on a stationary road in a stationary house, and asks the customer to knock on its stationary door? The answer I found was… not really, man.

What I found out was that Christmas season is a time where anything goes. Cakes, animals, restaurants, everything can and will be sent to your home if it is what you so desire – so long as it fits in a box and can be carried by a burly man from the north side of the south. The item I found especially popular, to my surprise, were Christmas trees.

Maybe I’m just a little too clingy to my childhood innocence, but Christmas trees being mail delivered to your home just seems so wrong. I remember waking up at the crack of dawn to go chop down nature’s beard. I hated it. But it’s a part of the holidays that I can’t imagine not being there. Like Santa or gingerbread men, chopping down trees as Christmas as the baby Jesus himself, probably. Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but businesses around the world are marketing themselves as being just a phone call and a carol away. From New York, to London, to the Christmas Tree Man in Sydney, Australia (where Christmas Day falls in the Summer, I might add) all deliver Christmas trees right to your door.

Soon enough, these mail-approved trees will come already decorated and gifted, giving every citizen of the world to sit on their sofa for each and every Christmas to come.

Beards and Beard Oil – A Quick Look

Beard oil

I try to bring you guys articles that are interesting and about topics you may not have encountered before. I recently had a discussion with a friend who is trying to grow his beard out and I learned quite a bit about the subject and thought I would share with you what I discovered.

I learned there are a good number of men out there that are super serious when it comes to all things beard related. Dare I say hardcore? Yep, definitely hardcore.

The website www.beards.org has a ton of information and some really interesting pictures in its different galleries. The website explains things like cheek line and neck line and goes on to illustrate the different beard styles. My personal favorite was the chin curtain shown here.

My friend says the hardest thing about growing out a beard is the first month. You just let it grow willy-nilly so you know what you are working with. Using my friend as an example, it does start off looking scruffy and he says it itched for about a week.

Once you get some significant hair growth and can officially call it a beard, there is a good bit of grooming involved to keeping it up. There are videos on YouTube that give great tips and tricks and here is one I found on how to brush your beard. Yes, there is a right and wrong way to brush a beard!

Regular shampoo and conditioner can be used to clean and condition beards but there are product lines out there specifically made for them. They even make hair color for beards. Beard oil is another product that helps keep a beard smooth and healthy looking. I found a large assortment of beard oil at www.beardbrand.com.

I don’t think anyone has to worry about me sporting a beard. I would get about two weeks into the process and give in to the urge to shave. Before I did this bit of research, I always thought of bikers and the outdoorsy type as men who wore beards to avoid shaving. They may not have to shave but there is a lot more to caring for a beard that I never knew about.

Top Ten Most Expensive Websites Ever Sold

Making money with your computerWhen someone starts blogging, they might begin feeling a bit unsure, but still super-excited because they’re creating something that is uniquely their own. I’m sure that most bloggers dream of their blog someday making it so big, that someone offers to pay them thousands or even millions of dollars for it.

Blogging is pretty darn difficult in the beginning, I’m not gonna lie. Getting traffic, monetizing, and finding interesting ways to keep your blog updated frequently are obstacles that many bloggers choose not to face. They give up before they do any real work. Those that stick it through though, often reap pretty big rewards. And some of them reap rewards that most of us can only dream of.

The websites on this list are sites that started out pretty small and then grew into the giants they are today.

 

10. WorldHum.com – 6 Million Dollars

This blog was bought by the Travel Channel for a whopping sum of 6 million bucks. It’s a travel blog that was founded by Michael Yessis and Jim Benning. The blog was host to numerous interviews, essays, reviews, audio and video. According to the founders, “We started World Hum out of our apartments in May 2001 with $35 and one goal: To publish the best travel stories on the Internet.”

Fortunately for them though, they had lots of combined experience with travel writing. To this day, they continue to run their website. Not too shabby for a $35.00 investment!

 

9. Freakonomics.com – 8 Million Dollars

This blog was bought by the New York Times for 8 million dollars. Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, writer and economist, respectively, wrote the best-selling book ‘Freakonomics’. Thus, the Freakonomics blog was born! According to the creators, the book was “a book about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys.” Sounds pretty academic right? Ha! That was their angle, they made complex economic concepts simple to understand by the layman. This made it very marketable, and the NY Times jumped on the opportunity. Levitt and Dubner still operate the blog.

 

8. Treehugger.com – Ten Million Dollars

Treehugger.com is, (you guessed it!) an environmental blog. It was started in 2004 by Graham Hill. It was bought by Discovery Communications. According to Hill, “it [the blog] was entirely virtual and was managed from various cities around the world including Barcelona, Bangkok, Buenos Aires and New York.” Travel the world while blogging about the environment and then getting paid 10 million dollars for it sounds pretty darn sweet. Hat’s off to you, Graham.

 

 7. Celebrity-Babies.com – Ten Million Dollars

Celebrity Babies was started by blogger, Danielle Friedland. It was bought by Time, and is now hosted on People.com, the website of People Magazine. The site is actually about the offspring of celebrities, and not what I thought initially- that is was about infant movie stars. Shocking, I know! That would have been way cooler! There are babies out there with resumes longer than mine! But I digress. Back then, the site was receiving a whopping 720,000 visitors per month! I guess people really do love babies.

 

 6. Deadline.com– Fourteen Million Dollars

Initially known as ‘DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com’, Deadline was a blog started by columnist Nikki Finke, for the sole purpose of reporting on the lives of the rich and famous, as well as reports of the latest in show business. She ran this blog all by herself after her column in LA Weekly took off. It was bought by the Mail.com Media Group.

 

5. Bankaholic.com – Fifteen Million Dollars

Bankaholic was started by blogger John Wu. He was the sole (nerdy) operator of the blog until it was bought by Bankrate.com. He provided free financial advice about stuff like credit cards, savings accounts and so on.

According to Tom Evans, the CEO of BankRate, “Bankaholic is ranked high in natural search for both deposit and credit card keywords. We believe their organic traffic will increase our deposit and credit card revenue, and with a high composition of free traffic, will help to improve margins.”

 

4. ArsTechnica.com – Twenty-Five Million Dollars

Ars Technica is a tech ‘news and reviews’ blog that was created by Jon Stokes and Ken Fisher in ’98.It was later bought by Condé Nast. According to the founders, it was designed to be “the best multi-OS, PC hardware, and tech coverage possible while … having fun, being productive, and being as informative and as accurate as possible.”

The official description on the site today reads, “… we specialize in original news and reviews, analysis of technology trends, and expert advice on topics ranging from the most fundamental aspects of technology to the many ways technology is helping us enjoy our world. We work for the reader who not only needs to keep up on technology, but is passionate about it.”

Way to go, Jon and Ken!

 

3.  PaidContent.org – Thirty Million Dollars

Paid Content is a blog that was the brain child of journalist Rafat Ali. According to Ali, the purpose of the blog was to “chronicle the evolution of digital content that is shaping the future of the media, information and entertainment industries.”

The website was bought by the Guardian Media Group. Ali is still involved with the running of the blog, and actually now works for Guardian Media as an editor.

According to PaidContent’s ‘About’ page, “Our belief is that in the near future, all media will be digital media, and we are helping define sustainable business models and innovation within this sector.”

 

2. TechCrunch.com – Thirty Million Dollars

If you have any interest in technology and you don’t live in Siberia, you’ve probably heard of TechCrunch. It was created in 2005 by Michael Arrington. TechCrunch.com was bought by AOL for 30 million dollars. They focus on tech news, information  and interesting start-ups.

 

  1. ConsumerSearch.com – Thirty-Three Million Dollars

ConsumerSearch was founded by Carl Hamaan and Derek Drew in ’99. The interesting thing about it is that they didn’t actually write the reviews nor did they allow third-parties to post reviews. They got the reviews from other sources and then made their reports based on those reviews. It was bought by About.com which is a subsidiary of the New York Times Company.

 

Feeling inspired yet? You should be! All of those websites were started by little bloggers that could. They thought they could, and they did. And you can too. If you’re a blogger and you think you might be sitting on a blogging goldmine, you should probably get it valued by a website broker. It might not sell for millions but you never really know! Learn more about website brokers here. If you don’t think your blog’s worth anything yet, then keep working at it. I’m sure none of these bloggers thought they would be selling their creations for millions of dollars in the beginning.

10 interesting things to make with a 3D Printer

09-20-2012form-1-on-desk00-1348689824I have always been on the side of skeptics when it comes to 3-D printing. I don’t know why but it could be something to do with the hype surrounding it, the hype that says 3-D printing is going to basically save the world!

I mean, what can you actually make with a 3-D printer? Anything useful?  Well, I thought I would dig into it a bit further and went hunting the internet, as I usually do and I have to say I was amazed at what I found!

A good 3-D printer will set you back around $450, which is not a great deal in the grand scheme of things, especially when you can make some pretty cool stuff.  I found the following 10 practical cool items on the internet that you could make using one of these printers. Ready?

An iPhone Case

IPhone’s are expensive things and a case is pretty much required if you want to protect your investment.  Store bought cases will cost you at least $30 but with a 3-D printer, you could have a new one every week!

Replacement Parts

Are you a fixer-upper type of person? Then you will love having a 3-D printer. Next time a plastic bit breaks off your washing machine you can just make a new one, instead of having to buy a whole new machine. Think how much money you can save just replacing a handle!

Accessories for the Smartphone

Smartphone accessories are pretty pricey these days but with a decent 3-D printer, you can make your own. You can print off things like stands, sound amplifiers and nifty little camera attachments.

TriK-Tripod-Adapter-3d-printed-1Camera stuff

Photography is not a cheap hobby and professional photographers spend a fortune on the right gear.  With a 3-D printer, you can save yourself a pocketful of cash by printing off lens cap holders and tripod mounts, little things that can make your life easier.

Accessories for a Bicycle

Cyclists like to spend time getting their bikes ready for the next big race and, with a 3-D printer, they can print off things like carrying handles, frame clips, even a brand new pedal if they want!

Scientific stuff

If you are a bit of a science buff, you can use your printer to knock up a tray to wash your slides on, make a new lens mount or even an anemometer! This is great idea for science students who are on a tight budget.

A Wallet or a Purse

I know it doesn’t sound nice, having a purse or a wallet made out of plastic but you might be surprised at the designs you can come up with. Be completely unique and make something no one else has got!

IMG_1124Clocks

Buy yourself a cheap clock movement and use your printer to knock up a smart looking little clock.

Containers

Everyone needs containers and buying them can work out pricey in the long run. No need, if you have a 3-D printer, just knock up a purpose built one whenever you need it.

Lego

Lego fans will be in their element here. You can print out any shape you can think of and use it in your Lego building.

These ideas will only work for the desktop printer, not for mass production. If that is what you are after you would need to look elsewhere. Will I buy buying one of these now? Oh yes and I intend to have a lot of fun with it too!