Posts tagged lose
I have a new plan for improving my health and fitness: I’m going to sleep on it.
Here’s why I’m thinking about putting in some more pillow time—and the technology I plan to use to make it happen.
Why Sleep Is A Weighty Matter
I got some unwelcome news on the scale recently: I’ve crossed 200 lbs. again, my personal weight Rubicon. After losing 83 lbs. four years ago and maintaining in a healthy range since, I’m determined not to let things slide.
When it comes to my health and fitness, there are a lot of warring voices in my head vying for attention. The delusional gym rat in me wants me to believe that it’s all muscle, the result of a four-month stint working out with the improbably butch-sounding Juggernaut Cowboy Method to improve my bench press. The logical self-quantifier, on the other hand, argues that if I’m gaining weight, something’s out of balance.
For years, I’ve diligently tracked my nutrition and exercise, and there aren’t any easy answers there. By most estimates, I’m eating at or below maintenance level. The latest science tells us that the old “calories in, calories out” approach to weight loss doesn’t match up to reality. Stress, fatigue, and inflammation from various sources play havoc with our hormones and interfere with our bodies’ ability to regulate themselves. Yes, you’ll gain weight if you stuff yourself. But if you’re managing your food intake and getting regular exercise, like I am, it may be time to look elsewhere.
Sleep is a pretty obvious place to explore. Studies have found a link between improved sleep quality and weight loss.
I didn’t realize it, but I’d been tracking my sleep for more than a year using iHome Sleep, a free app that came with my iPhone dock/clock-radio. When I started poking around in the app, I discovered it had extensive sleep statistics. The limitation of the app, though, is it only measures the time between swiping to start sleep and swiping to silence the alarm.
Another simple sleep tracker is Path, the much-maligned social app. While Path never gained widespread popularity in the United States, it has some neat features I still don’t see in other apps, including the ability to tell your friends that you’ve gone to sleep and that you’ve woken up. The feature is handy as a subtle do-not-disturb signal, but it doubles as a sleep-tracking tool.
Then there’s the LifeTrak Zone C410 activity tracker, which estimates sleep time based on motion. I’ve found it sometimes overestimates how long I’m actually asleep, versus lying in bed, but it provides a nice visual gauge of my sleep.
Waking Up Without The Blare
My husband hates my alarm, though, and there are studies that suggest an audible alarm may be bad for your health.
I’ve experimented with two ways to wake up noiselessly, both using wearable devices.
With the Pebble smartwatch, which picks up notifications from my iPhone and vibrates with every new alert, I used do-not-disturb settings as a way to hack a context-sensitive alarm. At 5:45 a.m., my do-not-disturb settings turn off, and the notifications start coming in. If it’s a slow news day and my writers on the East Coast are quiet, I don’t get a lot of notifications and I can sleep in a few more minutes. If the notifications start shaking me awake, I know it’s time to hop out of bed.
There’s a sleep-tracking app called Morpheuz for the Pebble, but I found it so frustrating to use that I quickly abandoned it. Pebble has also partnered with wearables maker Misfit on an app that turns the smartwatch into a fitness tracker with plans to include sleep features, but those aren’t available yet. No matter: I already have lots of ways to track my sleep.
I’ve also been trying out the Jawbone Up 24 wristband, which tracks activity and sleep. Like the Pebble, the Up can vibrate to wake you up, and it even has a clever feature to adjust its silent alarm based on when you actually get up. If you start to stir before your scheduled alarm, it will vibrate sooner, eliminating that unproductive, unrestful time when you’re staring at the ceiling waiting for your alarm to go off.
The Up 24 is limited in how well it can track sleep, as it’s only looking at motion, not other biological signals like heart rate or brain activity. But I’ve found that its categories of “sound” or “light” sleep, while not perfectly scientific, correspond pretty well with my sense of how well I slept.
When I tested a more technologically sophisticated watch, the Basis B1, I found its sleep tracking to be laughably bad. At the same time that it documented that I woke up four times between dusk and dawn while dealing with a bout of food poisoning, it somehow classified that ordeal as a good night’s sleep.
Confessing My Sleep Struggles
When I first lost weight, I found that using MyFitnessPal to broadcast my weight-loss milestones to friends on Twitter was a very effective way of staying on track. So I’ve decided to shame myself every time I fail to get enough sleep.
It has some glitches. When I take an afternoon nap on the weekends, as is my wont, IFTTT misinterprets my short stint in dreamland as a catastrophic failure of somnolence. I haven’t figured out how to screen out these errant tweets, so I just delete them when it happens.
The challenge now is to take my sleep time from six hours—clearly too little—to the range of eight to nine hours that some recommend if you’ve hit a weight-loss plateau on a reasonably strict diet.
I could exercise what’s called good “sleep hygiene” and remove all the electronic screens from my bedroom.
But wait—if my phone’s in another room, how am I supposed to track my sleep?
Photo by Flickr user David Goehring
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Many marketers view pay-per-click (PPC) advertising as a vehicle for direct response marketing only. How could they not? With fully transparent metrics — cost per click, conversion rates, and cost of customer acquisition — it makes sense to think of PPC that way. What is often lost in this formula is the value in engaging with site visitors, even if they do not directly convert from a sponsored Adwords placement. Taking Branding Into Consideration It seems counter-intuitive to say this, but losing money on pay-per-click advertising can be an ingenious move. PPC can support branding initiatives by boosting your visibility across the web. Think first […]
The post How to Lose Money on PPC and Still Grow Sales by @firaskittaneh appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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On the heels of a brand new pack of Google Glass software, Google revealed that its Glass hardware will receive an update too—one that could address the flaws that render the device a very expensive (yet also very ineffective) paperweight for many early Glass owners.
According to a post on the official Glass Google+ page, the futuristic eyewear hatched out of Google’s “moonshot” laboratory will finally receive a much overdue hardware upgrade, although details are still scarce. The new version of Glass will double the current unit’s 1GB of RAM to 2GB. That alone should result in improvements across the board, speeding up the at-times jerky UI and laggy app experience. More from the full Google+ post:
The Explorer Program has been an exciting ride, and as a result of your feedback, we’ve picked up the pace on making more improvements. You asked for…
an easier way to frame your shots, so we bring you viewfinder. When you say “ok glass, show the viewfinder” you’ll see white L’s in the four corners of your Glass screen. You can then either take a photo by saying “ok glass, take a picture,” with a wink, or by pushing the camera button.
more Google Now cards, so we launched two new ones to remind you where you parked your car and let you know when packages are coming your way. Stay tuned for more to come.
better performance, so Glass will now start shipping with 2GB of RAM.
The post also alludes to a 20% battery life improvement, though it’s unclear if that’s a reference to what’s to come or just a delusional retelling of the havoc wrought by the Android 4.4 software update, which Glass Explorers anecdotally report actually made battery life worse. (We’ve reached out to Google’s Glass team for clarification and will update accordingly.)
Hamstrung By The Hardware
It’s been difficult to get excited about the novel experiences developers are crafting for Glass. The hardware, slick as is may be, just can’t keep up yet. Even after adding support for prescription glasses, launching in the U.K. and rolling out some flashy new Glass-ready designer DVF frames, the Glass Explorer crowd isn’t happy that Google might actually charge for an upgrade to the new model.
Considering that Google Glass owners are passive brand ambassadors (like it or not), if it doesn’t come up with a good upgrade solution, Google could burn the good will that it’s earned among the only set enthusiastic about Glass to begin with. Not the best idea.
A Nice New Set Of Glassware
For Glass owners with the patience to try them out, the list of new Glassware includes a mix of classic apps and interesting new ones: MusicXmatch, Livestream, Goal.com, Shazam, Star Chart, Zombies, Run!, Allthecooks (updated), GuidiGO, Duolingo, The Guardian, 94Fifty Basketball, Runtastic. I’m the most excited about Star Chart—Google’s augmented reality overlay would be perfect for unobtrusively studying the night sky.
Glass: A Fragile Experience
I received my Glass over a year ago after pre-ordering it two years ago during Google I/O 2012. Over the course of the last year, I’ve criticized Glass plenty. Between the $1500 price tag and the barely-there battery life, the Glass we’ve come to know is definitely not a consumer-ready device.
Here’s hoping that these changes prove more than incremental for a device synonymous with both high fashion and low brow humor—and that Google pulls through for the folks who’ve rooted for it from the start.
Lead image courtesy of Google
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Not understanding the client’s business or economics, not doing enough keyword and competitive analysis, using a generic proposal template, and lack of communication and reporting the wrong metrics will cost you future business and current clients.
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The majority of consumers (73 percent) say they lose trust in the local business when it happens. And 67 percent say the same if they get lost due to faulty location information. This, according to recent survey data released by Placeable.
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Give credit where credit is due: Microsoft’s new approach to anti-piracy in China is awful clever. Heck, it might even work. But by filling up its coffers on yesterday’s technology and an outdated business model, Microsoft may end up winning the piracy battle but losing the war completely.
Have State Attorneys General, Will Sue
As The Wall Street Journal reports, Microsoft has enlisted unlikely allies to get Chinese companies to pay for pirated software: U.S. state attorneys general.
Microsoft has tried all sorts of ways to cut piracy globally, and more particularly in China: Lawsuits, cheaper prices and technologies that seek to make piracy harder. None of them, however, have really worked to dent the estimated $63.4 billion in revenue lost to software piracy.
That’s why Microsoft is trying a different tack, one that still relies on the legal system but in a different way. From the report:
Attorneys general don’t typically get involved in overseas disputes involving companies from outside their state borders. But Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has helped persuade attorneys general that overseas software piracy leads to job losses at manufacturing companies in their states. That’s because foreign manufacturers exporting products to the U.S. can shave business expenses by using stolen software, gaining an unfair cost advantage over American rivals who pay for software, according to Microsoft and its allies, including the National Association of Manufacturers trade group.
By blocking Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S.—unless they come clean on Microsoft software licenses—Microsoft might manage to generate a few billion dollars more in revenue.
But that’s the bad news.
Microsoft’s Problem Isn’t Piracy
Microsoft’s anti-piracy efforts are a suggestion that it continues to fight the wrong battle. While Microsoft is tapping China to pay for its licensed desktop software, the world has moved on to mobile. There, Microsoft is a still a nonentity, as recent Asymco data on smartphone shipments shows:
Windows barely registers in this chart. As such, Microsoft could squeeze China for the estimated $63.4 billion in lost piracy revenues and would still lose the war. That war has nothing to do with the desktop. It has everything to do with mobile and cloud.
In both spheres, Microsoft’s business model is irrelevant.
Granted, pirates prey on Apple iOS and Google Android ecosystems. Within minutes of a paid app hitting one of these app stores, a free version is available on alternative sites. But even so, mobile app piracy is far less serious today than desktop software piracy is, in part because the major ecosystems are distributed through centralized app stores. Yes, some people get their apps from warez sites, but they’re the exception, not the rule.
The Real Problem Is Adoption
In 2014, Microsoft’s “license an app, get paid billions” business model looks antiquated. Apple sells a seamless hardware/software/cloud experience. Google distributes apps for free and then monetizes them through advertising. (How much of Google’s advertising business is threatened by piracy? None of it.) Google’s business in China is projected to scale with Internet adoption there.
In other words, Microsoft’s problem isn’t piracy. It’s adoption. And it’s a matter of the company’s business model.
Microsoft understood this years ago. As then-CEO Bill Gates declared, on the topic of desktop Windows struggling to compete with Linux in China, “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.” Bingo.
Horace Dediu of Asymco captures this point nicely:
Microsoft’s software licensing business model is severely limited in China because what it offers is not what is valued. Both on the PC or on the mobile device, what China values is the tangible. Software can be made valuable only if it can affect the purchase decision of hardware and it can do so only if it’s sold as part of an integrated product.
Microsoft keeps fetishizing software licensing when the world has moved on to tangibles like hardware and advertising. Until Microsoft stops fixating on making money on yesterday’s technology with yesterday’s business model, it will struggle to become relevant for current and future users of its software—in China and elsewhere.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Many movie-related sites recently saw their organic search traffic cut in half. Was it a Panda refresh? Was it something involving copyright? A new analysis reveals several potential reasons why these sites were impacted by Google’s algorithm.
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Seo Question-If I switch my website from frontpage to wordpress will I lose my google pagerank? Also some of my pages are #1 organically listed on google. I would just like to update my old site and have the functionality features of wordpress. But I am afraid to changeover. Thanks