This DIY, Alexa-connected robotic tank will bring you a beer


This DIY, Alexa-connected robotic tank will bring you a beer

As we enter the upcoming Golden Age of connected robotics it’s important to stay well-lubricated. Thus we must invite the Walabeer tank, a DIY, Alexa-connected robotic tank that serves beer, into our homes and hearts.

The project uses a toy tank chassis connected to a Walabot, a device that lets your projects see through walls. Once all of this is connected to a Raspberry Pi and, in turn, Alexa, you can ask the Walabeer Tank to turn on its lights, open its cargo hold, and follow you around the house. The complex cargo lifting mechanism uses Erector Set pieces and a slow servo motor.

Balázs Simon created the tank as a proof-of-concept project and there is a full bill of materials and build description here.

“There are things that deep inside every man wants to have. Combining beer and tanks is one of these things! This project will be about this thing, a voice controlled tank that delivers beer to you with an autonomous “follow me” function or with an RC control. Let’s build the beer tank of our dreams!” wrote Simon.

While it’s unclear what this beer tank does when it runs out of beer – it cannot yet open the fridge, for example – it’s nice to know someone out there is watching out for our thirsty gullets as we rocket headlong into the future.

from TechCrunch

This Dude Travels The World And Gets To Stay At The Most Insane Airbnbs On The Planet For Free


We can go ahead and add this to the ever-expanding list of awesome jobs that my high school guidance counselor failed to ever tell me about. So what if I only ever met with that guidance counselor to talk about college choices and not jobs but it still would’ve been cool if somebody (anybody!!) told me that I could get paid to travel the world and stay at the most luxurious properties on the planet for free.

Ryan Clark Doyle (@ryanclarkdoyle) owns Video Vision 360 and he uses a barter system to travel the world and film stunning videos of the most over-the-top Airbnb properties imaginable and put them on YouTube for promotional purposes. The Airbnb owner gets an awesome video of their property that they can share with their listing to lure in potential customers and Ryan Clark Doyle gets to travel the globe and stay at houses/hotels that only the 1% could typically afford.

INSIDER caught up with Ryan Clark Doyle to talk to him about his favorite Airbnbs on the planet along with how he got into this line of work:

I’m not here to tell you to quit your job because you saw some YouTube video about a guy living the dream, but, if you hate your job then you should really think hard about what it is that makes you happy. If you’re stuck in a miserable spot then now might be the time to start jotting down some ideas on how you can make changes to start living the life you thought you were destined for. Write it down. Once you do that those goals become real and you can start working towards them.

Here’s a glimpse at what Ryan’s Airbnb videos look like. This one is for a full private island rental in Belize:


Top 5 Most Effective Cryptocurrency Trading Strategies


bitcoin trading exchange stock market investment, forex with trend of graph, price and candle stick chart, 3D illustration of stock crypto currency analysis graph, abstract background

The interesting thing about the cryptocurrency market? The top 5 most effective trading strategies in the forex and stock market also applies to the cryptocurrency world.

This makes the cryptocurrency trading market better for trading, since it is open 24/7, whereas the traditional stock market is only open for a window of time.  The future of cryptocurrency, and for trading in general, is all about simplicity, and the best trading strategies encapsulate that.

Find the right Broker

Before you can begin trading cryptocurrrencies, you have to make sure that you have the right broker. These can be few and far between as a number of brokers are less than reputable.

You have to find a broker that is fully regulated, has the assets that you want to trade and had an effective platform. One broker that you can try is IQ Option. You can read more about them in this IQ options cryptocurrency review.

You can test out the platform without having to fund. This will allow you to make sure that it is indeed the right product for you and whether you want to actually trade on it. Once you are complete then you create a live account and start trading.

A Caveat First: Safety, Emotion and Risk:Reward Ratio.

The first thing to query about when looking for the top cryptocurrency broker is how safe the websites and the servers are.  No matter how good your strategy is, without a reliable broker, you will still lose.

Emotional strength is also needed. Trading strategies ensure consistent results over time by preventing financial biases caused by behavior of the trader. The last thing one needs is a trade made based on their emotional behavior, which will mess up some and sometimes all of the account, be it profit or capital.

Range Strategy

For the breakout strategy, a 1:2 risk to reward ratio is an excellent framework for beginners. The strategy follows as such:

  1. Find a cryptocurrency that is in a range (meaning the cryptocurrency does not go lower than then short-term lows and not higher than short-term high)
  2. Set 1% of a stop below the short-term low, preferably with the price hitting the short-term low. This is the stop loss.
  3. Set 2% of buying price above the entry, for the take profit level.
  4. Buy the position when it hits the short-term low.

Works well when the market is ranging.

Though when the market is showing strong trends, this strategy mostly tends not to work too well, and can even incur a lot of losses.

Break strategy

For this strategy, you can just have a moving stop loss, which means you let your winners run and you just cut losess.

  1. Find a cryptocurrency that has a small range.
  2. Place a stop buy a few pips or satoshis above the short-term high.
  3. Place a stop loss at a few pips or satoshis below the short-term low.
  4. Enter a trade.

Pullback strategy

This works well with a set ratio like 1:2. Trending cryptocurrencies will give you profits but ranging ones may incur losses for you.

  1. Find a cryptocurrency that is trending up.
  2. Enter a trade if the price hits or touches the short-term low.
  3. Put a 1% stop loss from the nearest low.
  4. Put a 2% take profit above the nearest high.

Moving momentum strategy

This strategy is like the previous one where it works extremely well if the cryptocurrency is trending up or down. The difference is that you don’t put a take profit price or level, and just let the trade run if it is profitable.

  1. Find a cryptocurrency that is trending up.
  2. Enter a trade if the price hits or touches the short-term low.
  3. Put a 1% stop loss from the nearest low.
  4. Once you are profitable, move the stop loss from a 1% loss to break even to 1% profit for every 2% increase in price.

Bollinger band strategy

Bollinger band technique

This requires the Bollinger band technical tool at default settings. This tool gives you visual representation of what may be the place where a price may bounce. This works in a ranging cryptocurrency.

  1. Use the Bollinger band.
  2. Buy if the cryptocurrency hits the lowest Bollinger band or sell if it hits the highest Bollinger band.
  3. Place a 1% stop profit and 2% take profit.

Always set a clear goal each time before sitting down to trade and walk away once the goal is clear. Same goes for the losses. Walk away and come back tomorrow. There can always be opportunities in the future once again.

The post Top 5 Most Effective Cryptocurrency Trading Strategies appeared first on tradersdna – resources for traders/investors for Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Fintech and Forum.

from tradersdna – resources for traders/investors for Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Fintech and Forum

Ford vending machine begins dispensing cars in China


It is no longer enough simply to test-drive a vehicle by riding around the block while a salesperson gives you their well-rehearsed patter. Now, there needs to be some sort of theater around the purchase, or else how will you trick yourself into thinking that buying a car is fun? It’s why Ford and Alibaba leapt into bed together to build a vending machine for cars that you can try before you buy.

The Super Test-Drive Center in Guangzhou was announced at the tail-end of 2017, although the real thing doesn’t look as nice as the original renders. The job it does is the same, however, with the vending machine, which has a capacity of 42 cars, spitting out rides for prospective buyers. All they need to do is pay the necessary fees using Alibaba’s Tmall app and share a selfie to get their hands on the vehicle.

Users will have the pick of 10 different models, running from the Mondeo through to the Explorer and even an imported Mustang. They can then spend the next three days tooling around town before returning it to the machine for someone else to have a go. Users with specific Tmall profiles can even be offered discounts based on their shopping profiles as a way to get ’em to buy.

Unfortunately, the stunt is a limited-time deal, and according to Gasgoo, will only run between now and April 23rd. It’ll be interesting to see if the issue of avoiding salespeople and the neato vending machine will spark more purchases. Or, maybe, there are other things stopping us from all running out and snagging a brand new Mustang.

Source: Alibaba

from Engadget

Roboticist Gil Weinberg talks about our weird android future


Roboticist Gil Weinberg talks about our weird android future

Georgia Tech’s Gil Weinberg has a thing or two to say about interacting with robots. A musician and roboticist, Weinberg has created some of the coolest robots I’ve seen including Shimon, a robot that can play the marimba alongside human musicians. Weinberg learned early on that musicians need visual cues from their bandmates and so Shimon bops along to the beat and can totally its own in a jazz combo.

In this episode of Technotopia we talk to Weinberg about robotics, human interfaces, and, for the briefest of moments, the possibility of sex robots that can play Isaac Hayes. It’s a fun conversation with a cool researcher.

Technotopia is a podcast by John Biggs about a better future. You can subscribe in Stitcher, RSS, or iTunes and listen the MP3 here.

from TechCrunch

Nvidia looks to the AI future


It’s about making the lives of scientists and researchers easier, Jensen Huang, CEO and co-founder of Nvidia tells TechCrunch. He’s speaking of the keynote address he intends to give at the company’s upcoming GTC conference. Held in San Jose, miles away from the company’s new imposing headquarters, Nvidia is set to host thousands of attendees from the world’s top artificial intelligence, automotive and gaming companies. To Huang, his address needs to inspire and entertain. That should be easy. He’s naturally inspiring and entertaining.

Huang has risen to the elite among Silicon Valley’s visionary leaders. Scores of reports show Nvidia employees love working for him and his addresses are often technical yet accessible. He commands an audience through his passion for the technology his company is creating.

He’s been at the helm of Nvidia since co-founding the company at age 30 in 1993 and has led Nvidia from the maker of computer graphics cards to become the premier platform for artificial intelligence and machine learning. This positions Nvidia at the forefront as the computing industry contemplates a fundamental shift in processing.

Nvidia saw it coming.

In 2008 and 2009 researchers started using GPUs made by Nvidia and AMD to handle work typically performed by microprocessors. The parallel computing processors built into graphics cards made by these two companies offered distinct advantages over the X86 platform championed by Intel. At the time Nvidia was pushing hard into mobile and computing graphics, but several years earlier the company started heavily investing in designing graphics chips to handle non-graphical functions. The industry noticed, and Nvidia made a play for supercomputers.

Now, nearly ten years later, Nvidia’s products are among the fastest and most efficient supercomputing platforms available. Nvidia is set to, literally, power the computing world.

“We’ve been pioneering this computing approach called GPU computing for over the last decade,” Jensen said. “Over the last seven or eight years, it really went into turbo charge because the model is perfect for artificial intelligence.”

He explained that Nvidia watched the GTC conference explode in popularity with over 22,000 attendees last year. Because of this, at this year’s show, he says, every major artificial intelligence and car company will be there along with every major university. In short, this show has become the largest gathering of machine learning researchers and technologists.

The show, like most company-sponsored events, is primarily to demonstrate the capabilities of Nvidia’s platforms, most of which are aimed at machine learning. With this comes developments in self-driving cars, robotics and, of course, computer graphics. Jensen stressed, in the end, Nvidia is a computer tools company, and he hopes to inspire developers with new tools and by tapping into discoveries made by other researchers.

Nvidia is soaring right now, and there’s a lot to celebrate. Its stock is hovering around its all-time high of $242 up from the mid-teens in 2009, the year of the first GTC conference. The company’s value of $141 billion surpassed IBM’s and is sneaking up on Oracle and Cisco. Even with increasing competition, Nvidia is managing to hold onto its considerable GPU, but supply issues continue to challenge Nvidia.

Operators of distributed ledgers and cryptocurrency mining efforts favor the parallel processing found in GPUs and Nvidia’s products are among the most popular in this market. This popularity has created a significant shortage of graphics cards resulting in developers and gamers often being unable to purchase the latest product from Nvidia. I asked Huang about this supply problem.

“We’re sold out of many of our high-end SKUs, and so it’s a real challenge keeping [graphic cards] in the marketplace for games,” he said, adding “At the highest level the way to think about that is because of the philosophy of cryptocurrency — which is really about taking advantage of distributed high-performance computing — there are supercomputers in the hands of almost everybody in the world so that no singular force or entity that can control the currency.”

It’s about distributed control, he said, and touted the notion that Nvidia GPUs are the world’s largest installed base of distributed computers, though he still attributes crypto’s demands as a small percentage of Nvidia’s overall business.

“This still doesn’t change the fact that I’m frustrated so many developers and gamers around the world cannot get access to their GeForces,” Huang said.

So what is he going to do about it? “We have to build a whole lot more,” he said. “The video supply chain is working really hard, and you know all of our partners are working around the clock. We’ve got to come closer to the demand of the market. And right now, we’re not anywhere near close to that and so we’re just going to have to keep running.”

“It’s a good problem to have,” Huang said in a more upbeat tone. “I still wish that we can put more GPUs in the hands of gamers that want to play PUBG.”

And Huang has every reason to be upbeat. His company is racing towards a conclusion that could result in the most significant paradigm shift in computing in decades. Parallel processing units will likely power advanced artificial intelligence which is key to self-driving cars and significant research products in healthcare, climate, and next-generation transportation.

Challenges abound, and the future isn’t guaranteed for Nvidia. The company has to keep pushing deeper into critical markets, get ahead of supply issues and keep courting developers and researchers onto its platforms — but those are issues for another day. On the eve of GTC 2019 Jensen Huang seems to have a more immediate goal: deliver a rousing keynote address.

Editor’s note: Portions of this interview were edited for clarity.

from TechCrunch

Mark Tipple’s Underwater Photography Documents a Different Side of Surf


All images by Mark Tipple. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Surf and underwater photography are among one of the most fascinating and exciting genres, but Australian freelance photographer and filmmaker Mark Tipple had a different idea in mind for his own approach. Instead of taking snaps of the agile surfers as they ride out the waves, he chose to capture what typically happens during a wipeout or a plunge into the turbulent waters. If you’re into this kind of action-packed photography, you might find this perspective interesting.

For The Underwater Project, Mark wanted to show what happens beneath the waves, scenes that onlookers above the surface most likely don’t give a thought to. “Surf photography’s been around forever. I wanted something different,” he realized. So, with an underwater camera in hand, he finds his spot under the waves and wait for the action to happen. He describes these scenes beautifully in his artist statement for this project:

“Grip the sand, they remind themselves. Go low, stay low.

“Their faces contort, their muscles tighten in reaction to the struggle for power with the ocean. They surface when the surge has passed. Then breathe.

“They are unaware that a camera has captured it all; from straining arms clawing at sand to eyes squeezed shut against the bite of salt.”

His photos indeed bring an interesting look into what happens when the waves barrel over surfers and swimmers. Through this project, we see what they do either to avoid the brunt of the crashing waves or at least recover from it. The scenes he captured are so beautiful, especially the ones showing his subjects swimming gracefully under the waves and emerging on the other side. Whether or not you’re a surfer or surf/underwater photographer, this underwater approach is nothing short of immersive.

He also tells us more about the inspiration and challenges involved in this project in the insightful video below:

Do check out Mark Tipple’s website and Behance portfolio to learn more about The Underwater Project, as well as the rest of his beautiful photography.

from The Phoblographer

How to Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes or Less


Have you ever unexpectedly found yourself with a snatch of time in which to steal a nap? You tried to settle into the chair or nook in which you found yourself, closed your eyes, and then . . . you just sat there, drowsy but awake. Despite feeling quite tired, you couldn’t fall asleep, and soon the time was up before you had gotten in so much as a wink. Talk about frustrating! Not only did you not get to nap, you didn’t do anything else either; if you weren’t going to fall asleep, you could have done something productive instead!

It’s quite a knack to be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, regardless of where you are and what’s going on around you. To steal some shuteye at airports and on flights, on break times and car rides, in public places and private spaces — in all the interstices of life. Not to mention how grand it is to be able to go out like a light as soon as your head hits the pillow each night.

It probably seems, however, that this is simply a knack that some folks have and others don’t, with the latter group being much larger than the former.

Yet the ability to fall asleep in two minutes or less, anywhere, anytime, is actually a skill like any other, and one anyone can learn. The technique for how to do so was in fact developed for Naval aviators during World War II, and today we’ll share it with you.

How to Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes or Less

A couple years into WWII, the U.S. military realized it had a problem on its hands. Due to the enormous pressures of aerial combat, many of its pilots were accumulating levels of stress so debilitating that they were cracking under it. The tension caused them to lock up in flight and make fatal mistakes — accidentally shooting down friendly planes, or becoming an avoidable casualty themselves.

In an effort to stem the loss of pilots and planes, the military brought in Naval Ensign Bud Winter to research, develop, and test a scientific method for teaching relaxation. Before the war, Winter had been a successful college football and track coach, who had also worked with a professor of psychology on techniques to help athletes relax and perform better under the stress of competition. Stationed at the Del Monte Naval Pre-Flight School in California, his mission now was to coordinate with other coaches and professors to create a course that would similarly instruct cadets on how to stay calm and loose under the pressures of combat.

The end goal of the program was to teach the Naval aviators how to relax, so that they could learn more quickly, speed up their reaction time, sharpen their focus, and diminish their fear. The course also aimed to teach “combat aviators to be able to go to sleep in two minutes any time, day or night, under any and all conditions”; instruction in this skill was included to ensure that pilots got adequate sleep, and could sneak in extra shuteye whenever possible.

To accomplish the first goal, Winter taught the men how to physically relax. To accomplish the second, he taught them how to mentally relax. In fact, he essentially defined sleep as the state of being both physically and mentally relaxed.

To fall asleep at the drop of a hat, first you work on the former, and then the latter.

How to Physically Relax

In Relax and Win, the book Winter wrote about the program he developed for combat aviators and then used with athletes after the war, he lays out the exact instructions he gave to cadets to teach them how to relax their bodies; here we give them slightly condensed:

“Sit back in your chairs and put your feet flat on the deck. Knees apart, your hands limp on the inside of your lap. Now, close your eyes and drop your chin until it rests on your chest.

Let’s breathe slowly, deeply, and regularly. Take all the wrinkles out of your forehead. Relax your scalp. Just let go. Now let your jaw sag-g-g. Let it drop open. Now relax the rest of your face muscles. Get the brook trout look on your face. Even relax your tongue and lips. Just let them go loose. Breathe slowly.

Now, let’s go after the eight muscles that control your eyes. Let them go limp in their sockets. No focus, just let them go limp. Breathe slowly.

Now drop your shoulders as low as they will go. You think that they are low, but let them go more.  Did you feel the muscles in the back of your neck go limp? When you think you are really relaxed, let them go even more.

Now, let’s relax your chest. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Exhale and blow out all your tensions. Just let your chest collapse. Let it sag-g-g. Imagine you are a big, heavy blob on the chair, a jellyfish. Breathe slowly. When you exhale, release more and more of your tensions.

Let’s go after your arms. Talk directly to your arm muscles. First, talk to your right bicep. Tell it to relax, go limp. Do the same to your right forearm. Now to the right hand and fingers. Your arm should feel like a dead weight on your leg. Repeat the relaxation process with your left arm. Breathe slowly.

Your entire upper body has been exposed to relaxation and a warm, pleasant feeling comes over you. You feel good. A sense of well-being invades your body.

Now for your lower body. Talk to your right thigh muscles. Let them go to a dead weight on the chair. Let the meat hang on the bones. Go through the same routine for the right calf muscles. Then all the muscles of your right ankle and foot. Tell yourself that your right leg has no bones in it. It is just a flabby, heavy weight on the deck. Repeat the process with your left thigh, calf, ankle, and foot.

At present you are all relaxed physically, or think you are. For a little insurance, let’s take three deep breaths and when you let them out, blow out all the remaining tensions, one . . . whoosh, two . . . whoosh, three . . . whoosh.”

If you have trouble getting any of your body parts to feel sufficiently relaxed and jellyfish-like, try tensing them up first, and then letting them go loose.

By following the above protocol, you can achieve a nice general level of relaxation. Winter taught the cadets to cultivate this state in any pressure-filled situation, as it would loosen them up, dial down their nerves, enhance their concentration, and allow them to make better decisions.

From this physically calm condition, Winter then taught the cadets how to “slip over the threshold into a deep, relaxed sleep” by becoming completely mentally relaxed.

How to Mentally Relax

Winter argues that once you’re physically relaxed, if you get “your mind clear of any active thoughts for just ten seconds, you will be asleep.” The key to falling asleep quick is thus to stop the train of thoughts that is usually rumbling through your head. You have to stop ruminating on the regrets, worries, and problems of the day.

Winter particularly warns against having any thoughts in which you are in motion; studies done by placing electrodes on the cadets’ bodies showed that even when you simply think of performing an activity, the muscles involved in that activity actually contract. Modern studies have in fact confirmed this observation, showing that simply imagining yourself exercising activates the same parts of the brain that come online when you’re physically in motion, and actually strengthens the muscles you imagine yourself using. While there might be some benefit to using your mind to “sit and be fit,” thinking about being active while trying to go to sleep can create muscular tension and inhibit its onset.

So, when you’re looking to nod off, you just want to fill your head with the stillest, calmest of contemplations. Winter suggests three good ones to use, though you don’t have to use all three; just pick one, and if it doesn’t work, try another:

“First, we want you to fantasize that it is a warm spring day and you are lying in the bottom of a canoe on a very serene lake. You are looking up at a blue sky with lazy, floating clouds. Do not allow any other thought to creep in. Just concentrate on this picture and keep foreign thoughts out, particularly thoughts with any movement or motion involved. Hold this picture and enjoy it for ten seconds.

In the second sleep-producing fantasy, imagine that you are in a big, black, velvet hammock and everywhere you look is black. You must also hold this picture for ten seconds.

The third trick is to say the words ‘don’t think . . . don’t think . . . don’t think,’ etc. Hold this, blanking out other thoughts for at least ten seconds.”

The cadets at the pre-flight school had been broken into two groups: one which took the relaxation course, and the other a control group. The former outperformed the latter in every mentally-taxing class, discipline-requiring drill, and physically-intensive test. And after six weeks of practice, 96% of the aviators were able to fall asleep in 2 minutes or less — anywhere and anytime. Not only that, they could do it even when they drank coffee (though having caffeine in your system does make it harder), and even while the simulated noise of machine gunfire and cannon blasts played in the background!

After the war, Winter taught the track athletes he coached the same relaxation techniques, and became one of the greatest sprint coaches of all time, producing 102 All-Americans and 27 Olympians; at one time, his runners held all 10 world records for sprinting events.

Winter strongly believed that the wartime program for relaxation he helped develop to fight combat stress, and which athletes subsequently used to deal with the pressures of competition, was just as applicable to the tensions and fatigue civilians faced in their everyday lives.

You can use this general relaxation method to get physically relaxed whenever you’re feeling stressed out, and then tack on the mental relaxation exercise when you want to fall asleep fast. It’s handy for when you find yourself with a short window of time for a snooze; Winter thought even a 5-minute nap was incredibly refreshing. You could also use it to take a “hypnagogic nap” — a micro nap that artists like Salvador Dali used, in which you allow yourself to doze off for just a second in order to glean the creative insights that can arise on the threshold between sleep and wakefulness.

Or, of course, you can simply use this technique when you go to bed, to more quickly and contentedly enter your nightly block of sleep.

Keep in mind that being able to relax physically and mentally, and thus being able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, is a skill, and like all skills, you shouldn’t expect to get the hang of it and have it work the first few times you try. You have to practice over and over again, until you get better and better at loosening up and calming down. That doesn’t mean you should work hard at trying to relax; that will just backfire and create tension. But you do have to practice this routine consistently.

The post How to Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes or Less appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

from The Art of Manliness

Churches in the UK are now accepting Apple Pay and contactless payments


In an increasingly cashless world, the need to carry physical money is rapidly on the way out. And, one institution that previously relied on physical cash for donations are making big changes to adapt.

The Church of England introduced contactless card terminals at thousands of sites in an effort to make “donations and transactions faster and easier for their congregations.” 16,000 churches, cathedrals, and religious sites in the UK now accept contactless donations, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

In a statement emailed to Mashable, a spokesperson for CofE said the Church is seeking to “revolutionise” how its congregations can donate to the collection plate, in addition to providing a payment option for weddings, christenings, church fetes, and even funerals.

A contactless terminal in action at St. George’s Church, Stamford in Lincolnshire, UK.

A contactless terminal in action at St. George’s Church, Stamford in Lincolnshire, UK.

The terminals are powered by London-based fintech company SumUp, which can be used to take contactless payments, Chip & Pin payments, and accept Google Pay and Apple Pay, too. According to SumUp, the church is charged a small transaction fee whenever the reader is used. 

Alison Davie, secretary at St George’s Church, Stamford in Lincolnshire, says the technology has been a “useful addition” to their church. “Our parishioners can occasionally find themselves strapped for physical cash, so it’s fantastic to be able to offer an alternative which is quick and convenient,” says Davie. 

“We hope this is a step forward for St George’s and many other churches like it, in staying ahead in the modern era,” Davie continues.

from Mashable!

How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You


If you can’t bring yourself to delete your Facebook account entirely, you’re probably thinking about sharing a lot less private information on the site. The company actually makes it pretty easy to find out how much data it’s collected from you, but the results might be a little scary.

When software developer Dylan McKay went and downloaded all of his data from Facebook, he was shocked to find that the social network had timestamps on every phone call and SMS message he made in the past few years, even though he says doesn’t use the app for calls or texts. It even created a log of every call between McKay and his partner’s mom.

To get your own data dump, head to your Facebook Settings and click on “Download a copy of your data” at the bottom of the page. Facebook needs a little time to compile all that information, but it should be ready in about 10 minutes based on my own experience. You’ll receive a notification sending you to a page where you can download the data—after re-entering your account password, of course.


The (likely huge) file downloads onto your computer as a ZIP. Once you extract it, open the new folder and click on the “index.html” to view the data in your browser.

Be sure to check out the Contact Info tab for a list of everyone you’ve ever known and their phone number (creepy, Facebook). You can also scroll down to the bottom of the Friends tab so see what phase of your life Facebook thinks you’re in —I got “Starting Adult Life.”

McKay also set up a script on Github to analyze the data for you, but even with the included instructions it’s not the most user-friendly tool if you aren’t already a competent coder. You’re probably better off just sifting through the data yourself—a fun weekend project, no?

from Lifehacker