Saturday, December 23, 2017

Garmin Alpha TT15 Reviews

The Garmin GPS and Tri-Tronics electronic dog tracking and training technology has recently hit the market by storm. The system allows you to track and train your dogs easily in the field. The system is a combination of the Garmin GPS, GLONASS tracking, and Tri-Tronic training technology.
With this technology, you can train your dog to chase away unwanted intruders up to nine miles away. As the dog runs, you will receive details like its direction and speed at your comfort or wherever you are. The device comes with a collar strap and a field bag.
The Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 has a glove-friendly 3-inch color touch screen. It also comes with 18 levels of momentary and continuous stimulation. The device is equipped with preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K mapping and a one year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. Put your dog’s training in your hands by trying this effective method.
It is a system from Garmin that gives you quality and high performance by allowing you to monitor easily and know or track the location of your dogs. The dogs can be up to 20 in number. Additional collars and handhelds that are sold separately also come with the device. With this device, you get a performance that is already proven to be very effective.
For transmissions purposes, there is a BaseCamp software that is integrated into the system. The software allows you to make your computer a base station that tracks and trains many dogs on a larger screen. Also, the Alpha unit comes with a 1-year subscription that is free to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.
The BirdsEye Satellite Imagery gives you maps that are highly detailed with an aerial view that is realistic and very clear. You will also get a detailed view of, parking areas, roads, terrain, buildings. It gives further clear details including rivers and streams, tree lines and lakes.
The software is compatible with most computer operating systems. Besides, it is fast and has a user friendly interface.
The collars can only track on either astro or alpha systems. The collars come with a vibration stimulation only in training mode. The collar has LED beacon lights that are remotely operated. The collar has a GPS receiver that is mounted on the collar top.
The collars comes with VHF antennaes.The collars has a tool-less design that makes the process of changing collar straps fast and easy. You will not need tools for this process. There are different collars that come with this device. They include beeper collars, vibration collars and the no bark collars.
Moreover, there are E part collars and accessories which include batteries, antennaes, straps, charging components, hoster and belt clips, contact points, plugs, replacement parts, and other miscellaneous accessories. Collars come in different sizes. For the small dogs, the collar lacks the metal loop hence you can easily distinguish it by checking this. It can fit small dogs like small beagles and fest. There is also one for grown dogs. Both collars are designed to give your dog a perfect fit and a snug that is important when training your dog.

Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS Bundle Batteries

It comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery. The battery is of high quality and offers between a quite impressive run time of between 24 to 48 hours. However, the run time may depend on update rate. The battery is durable and does not need frequent replacements.

Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 Stimulation

The two different pre-set stimulation modes that have different purposes. For instance, the traditional mode gives you the option of elevating stimulation six levels between either the low, medium or high levels. On the hand, the continuous mode allows you to move from the lowest to the highest stimulation with no restriction.
The device has a vibration stimulation option. The vibration matches with each dogs’ temperament. When you incorporate vibration you’re your training plan, you can ideally issue a certain command to your dog silently.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: Denon DJ DS1

I remember the day perfectly: I was a college sophomore and took a handful of money to Guitar Center to purchase my first Digital Vinyl System (DVS) interface: Traktor’s Final Scratch. I was quickly talked out of it by the salesman, and I drove back to my frat house with a Rane SL1 in tow. I’ve been a Rane/Serato user ever since, with the Rane Sixty-Two as my current mixer of choice.
The Denon DS1 DVS Interface
However, I wanted a backup DVS interface on hand for the bar and club events that I perform at without a Sixty-Two in the booth, and since my performance setup is simple – two turntables and a mixer – I researched what was available on the market. It came down to Rane’s SL2, at just under $500, vs. Denon’s DS1, at just under $300.
So, I asked Denon if they would send me the DS1 to demo, and in turn, I would write an honest review on Mobile Beat highlighting my experience with it. They agreed and a few days later, I was looking at the box of a brand new Denon DS1 DVS interface.
Is the DENON DJ DS1 a viable option for users of Serato DJ? Let’s find out.
First Impressions
The packaging of the DS1 is great, it reminded me of Apple’s packaging: clean and minimal. Included was:
  • The Denon DS1 Interface
  • Four RCA Cables
  • One USB Cable
  • Two Serato DJ Official Control CDs
  • Two Serato DJ Control Vinyl Records (more on that in a second)
  • And some paper pamphlets that nearly every DJ will completely disregard
  • The Denon DS1 Unpacked
    A note to those unpacking for the first time: the control vinyl are all the way at the bottom of the packaging. I didn’t catch that after the first unpacking, hence why they aren’t in the first impression photo.
    Denon advertises the DS1 as compact, and they weren’t messing around; it’s about the size of a standard index card and definitely smaller than the SL2. Since the only DVS interface my rental company currently has is a Rane’s SL3, I put them side-by-side for a size comparison test.
  • The Denon DS1 is Super Compact!
    So simple. Plug the RCAs of your left deck to the left input, the right deck’s RCAs to your right input, and use the grounding post if you haven’t internally ground your turntables yet. Don’t forget to flip the switch down for turntables, or leave it up if using CDJs. Use two of the included RCA cables to plug the outputs of the DS1 to the line inputs of your mixer of choice. Plug in the USB cable to connect the DS1 to your computer and setup is complete.
    Now that everything was plugged in, it was time to open Serato DJ and start mixing! Denon says the DS1 is plug-and-play, and I didn’t have to wait for any driver installs; Serato DJ was ready to perform. Awesome!
    In Use
    Alright, so some of you gear-heads probably understand what everything on a spec sheet means better than I do. Fine; fair enough. I only care if the DS1 is stable, responds well to record movement, and if the output sounds good. If that is the case, then I’m one satisfied DJ.
    Stable? Check! The DS1 went an entire four-hour shift at my weekly Thursday residency with no noticeable issues (i.e. dropouts, etc.) at all.
    Response to Record Movement? Very tight. No noticeable difference compared to my Sixty-Two or my rental company’s SL3.
    Output Sound? Sounded great to my ears as I played selections from a wide range of genres.
    A noticeable difference from the Rane SL line DVS interfaces is that the Denon DS1 does not require an additional power supply to play-thru with vinyl records; it is completely powered by USB. All I had to do was put on a vinyl record, switch the deck input from REL to THRU in Serato DJ, and I was playing the vinyl record. Pretty cool; plus it saves the need to order, and carry around, an additional power supply.
  • Conclusion
    For Serato DJ users that only require the use of two turntables or CDJs for their performance, the Denon DS1 is a great, compact option! And at a price point of just under $300, that’s a great deal! If you need a DVS interface, buy this and throw it in your DJ bag.

Friday, September 8, 2017


The XDURO Trekking RX is Haibike at its best. Originally known for producing powerful and sturdy off-road electric bikes like the AMT PRO, this bike is a pioneer in the touring and commuting category. You get nearly every accessory needed to deal with cargo transport, nighttime riding and damp weather conditions. There’s even a little hand-pump attached to the rear rack and dealing with flats is a breez on this and other centerdrive ebikes because the wheels are just like a normal bicycle. At $4K this bike is priced in line with other high end touring systems and the four frame sizes offered make for a better fit (something that has traditionally been harder to come by in the electric bicycle world). With incredible range, climbing ability and support provided by Currie Technologies in the US this is an impressive product.

Powering the HAIBIKE TREKKING RX is the Gen2 Bosch centerdrive motor now offering 350 watts of power. It keeps motor weight low and center on the bike frame (right where you want it for balance) and leverages 29 speeds for the most efficient electric drive of all ebikes in the Haibike range at this time. The rear hub is a Sram Dual Drive with three internal gears and there’s a nine speed cassette next to it that uses a regular bicycle chain. One of the neat things about this and other mid-drive ebikes is that maintenance and service on the wheels is handle just like a regular bike. The motor is smart enough to sense when you’re switching gears and that means you won’t experience as much wear or mashing on the chain and cassette. While the motor is a bit louder than some gearless hub designs (producing a soft high pitched whine shown in the video review) it’s not as loud as some and depending on the surroundings and riding terrain it’s not something that bothered me.

The battery pack used with this system is a 36 volt 11 amp hour Lithium-ion configuration that’s light weight and long lasting. It’s removable for easy charging or multiple pack use on those long distance rides. Even though the official specs say 25 to 35 miles my experience is that it can go much further. By leveraging the gears on this bike and always using pedal assist (there’s no throttle mode) you get excellent range. The battery has a nice LED indicator on the side that displays battery level even without turning the bike on which is nice. The pack is low and center, just like the motor, but does take up the space where a bottle cage might have otherwise mounted. I feel like they could have added bosses to the seat tube for a cage mount but it’s not the end of the world. There are some cool handlebar bottle bags, pannier bags and CamelBak solutions that can work here.

I like the Bosch display unit and extended button panel used on the Trekking. You get a large, backlit screen that shows speed, distance and assist level but don’t have to take your hand off the grip to interact with it. On the left bar there’s a small plastic button pad with up, down and info selectors. The other neat thing about the display is that you can either lock it to the mount with a set screw or remove the screw and take the panel with you (to prevent tampering and vandalism). I’m a fan of taking it with me during work commute trips where the bike will be left in a garage or public place. It’s nice that they give you the choice here though I’ve heard that removing screens too often can allow for dirt and debris to build up and weaken the electronic connection… just clean it every once in a while ;)

The Trekking RX is an electric bike capable of going the distance, hauling gear and staying comfortable with fenders, lights and suspension. The front fork offers lockout and 63mm of travel but doesn’t add much weight to the overall system. This bike weighs in at ~51 pounds which is average for ebikes but impressive here considering all of the options and accessories. It’s like an electric bike for non-ebikers who love riding but might be struggling with hills or longer distances. As with the eMountain Bike niche that Haibike first introduced and now dominates, this is another space that I feel is on the verge of adoption. The Trekking wold make an excellent touring bike, commuter or light trail bike. It has efficient tires, a unique frame with sloping top-tube for easier standing and hydraulic disc brakes that keep your hands from getting tired but provide plenty of stopping power even with a full load.
Light weight frame and components, well balanced drive system (motor and battery low and center)
Includes integrated front and rear LED lights with custom matching design that look awesome
Rear rack is sturdy and functional with standard gauge tubing and included tire pump for easy flat repairs
Bosch drive system is efficient, smooth and powerful with removable battery for convenient charging
Stiff cranks, decent pedals, rigid frame for good power transfer when riding
Impressive 9 speed cassette with three speed internal hub for 29 pedaling speeds! Excellent for touring or commuting
Great customer support and warranty from Currie Technologies in the US (part of Accell Group which owns Haibike)
Four frame sizes so the bike will fit and feel great over long distances (48cm, 52cm, 56cm, 60cm)
Centerdrive design makes wheel repairs much easier than hub motors which have extra cables and add weight to the wheel
The battery pack takes up the space where a water bottle cage might otherwise mount
Externalized battery and larger bottom bracket make it obvious that this is an electric bike “less stealth”
No throttle mode, this bike only uses pedal assist (like all Bosch powered systems)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Installing a Roof Yourself


The very considered cause of commercial roofing NYC a home yourself usually boils down to finances. But there are a couple of choices to look at that may help you manage a professional roof. If you can at all manage to hire a contractor, then take action. You can end up spending more money in repairs over the life span of your New York roofing than you'd have initially by hiring out.

If you are not currently in a position to employ a contractor to put on your roof, then start looking into the prospect of minding your roofers New York as you save for the project, or if needed, a home loan for your roof, breaking down the costly job into reasonable regular payments. Additionally, think about doing the tear off yourself and hiring out for the setup. This really can help decrease the overall price of your roofers New York.
roofing contractor nyc

Installing a Roof Yourself

In case you've got no other choice except to set up your NYC roofing contractors yourself, make certain to come ready. Take the time to do lots of research. Read advice from your shingle's producers, or from certified roofing company NYC. This isn't a fantastic job in which to adhere to the recommendations of a DIY website. Rather, make sure your resources are both experienced and credible. We recommend Owens Corning and Certainteed shingles, who both provide installation instructions for every shingle listed on their sites. Also, GAF includes a terrific general DIY section of the website that can help you plan and conduct a successful roofing companies NYC job.

Even once you've completed the proper studying to become knowledgeable about installing a New York roofing, then it's nonetheless a good idea to consult an experienced New York roofer. Should you want any guidance, or have some questions, don't hesitate to phone a roofing contractor.

Another terrific option is to hire roofing contractors NYC to come to your home and guide you through the roofing contractor NYC process. An advisor normally costs about $200 a visit. It could be a great investment to have an advisor come after you're finished tearing off your old roofing contractors NYC and immediately before starting installing your new shingles. This can help make sure that you are using appropriate tools, materials, and techniques.

To summarize, your roofing contractors NYC is just one of the most significant aspects of your residence. It safeguards your entire structure and all of your possessions from potential damage. When debating whether or not to set up your roof, be certain to make the decision with a fair assessment of how dependable the roofing companies NYC will probably be later on.

If you are in need of any guidance whilst installing your roof. Personally, I am ready to provide any required advice either over the telephone or within a scheduled office visit. When seen with a contractor on your roof, make sure you bring an image of the region in question so they have a powerful visual of what's going on. If you don't live someplace, I am prepared to check over images and answer any queries via email, too.

Monday, June 12, 2017


First off, yes. Amazon Fire Stick jailbroken are 100% legal, since all the content such as PPV’s and live sports are being streamed from overseas machines, so there's no downloading of videos and also the flow resources do not come from torrents. Torrents aren't legal in almost any shape or form. A compromised or “jailbroken” system will work just like Netflix or HULU with everything being available on need, and the content of what’s being streamed is comprehensive. There are every sporting occasion and video and a great deal to listing here able to be viewed whenever actually live Television! Actually, just about anything you're able to consider can be obtained on which is referred to as KODI. KODI is what permits 3rd party include one's to flow their content throughout your streaming device. You'll have usage of any Flick, TV-Show, Worldwide content, Live Activities, Live TV, Live PPV, and also XXX adult content. It's all on a Jailbroken KODI streaming product including the Amazon Fire Stick unlocked.

amazon fire stick jailbroken with kodi


You’ll need high-speed internet. 10mbps or more is preferred for best efficiency on the streaming product. Obviously, the quicker your WIRELESS will be the better your revenues is likely to be and can help you prevent buffering issues on your own Amazon Fire Stick Kodi system. You will also desire a TV that's an available HDMI input, which comes standard on most contemporary TVs. The HDMI interface is wherever you'll link the  into your Amazon Fire Stick free channels Television. We highly recommend utilizing the included HDMI extender cable to boost the positioning of your Firestick. The further your Amazon Fire Stick fully loaded is on the TV, the better your WiFi reception will be. Currently, plug the involved power cord right into a wall outlet. When you deploy and power on your Firestick you will simply enter your WiFi code and sign on to your Amazon account. Don’t worry, this can be liberated to produce and simply requires a couple of second roughly to complete. Actually, the entire process of installing your Amazon Fire Stick hack merely takes about 10 minutes.


There is a learning curve to obtaining good at seeing what you want when you want, in fact I would recommend you get our FREE-TV APP, this app provides you with KODI on your PC, there you will have the ability to see just how great the Amazon Fire Stick Kodi function, along with every one of the good stuff you’ll be able to watch along with your Jailbroken unit.


Pick the add-on you would like. Add-ons are like programs. They contain the Television and sports links towards the streaming information. You’ll find shortcut icons to the most popular Incorporation's directly under the “VIDEOS” menu on your own house display, but directing towards the “Add-On’s” bill will provide you with a many more selections to pick from. You can even mount any new add-ons you wish.
Flick through the add-ons, or go ahead and look for the teachers you need to observe using the free-tv application.
At this point, you might be requested to “Select a Source” places are streams as it pertains to solutions or the channels, some are more effective than others (this will depend on several aspects), you’ll quickly determine which ones you want and which of them work best for the TV loading requirements. Download TV App Here At No Cost.


The way in which our streaming devices are setup, you'll manage to observe virtually every live sporting event through the add-ons we've mounted with our custom KODI Develop, you’ll possess the greatest add-on’s pre-loaded for you personally, for example, SportsDevil, Phoenix, USTV now and you will add up to you want with only one press, we additionally install live Television with Mobdro (favorites loss). Sometimes you may need to look between a few links to find one that is most effective, as quality will range from 720p to 1080p with regards to the link you select. Once you understand the top incorporation's to utilize, (Use Your Research Bar At Top Of Webpage) you soon see why we hold a-99% customer care status and why quite a few customers go back to obtain our Amazon Fire Stick Kodi for each area in the home!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This is a simple introduction to help you decide what you need and how to do it.

Firstly there are two different types of set-ups Off Grid and On Grid. If you live remotely and want your own independent power source then you want an Off Grid set-up. If you have a house and are connected to the mains electricity grid then you probably want to use an On Grid set-up, unless you want to use solar to become independent from the grid and have your own power.

As the majority of our customers are off grid we will start with that.

Off Grid

Off grid set-ups allow you to live remotely whether it’s in a van, boat, or remote house you can generate your own power and live independently. The most important thing to start with is working out how much power you use or need. You need to consider your power as a valuable resource and design your power usage to be as efficient as possible. Or you can install a huge solar system to power a normal house with full appliances if you have the budget to do so. (GOAL ZERO SHERPA 100 KIT offers you portable power anytime and anywhere.)

So to start with you want to estimate your power usage and then work out the size of solar system that you might need. We have created a solar calculator for you to help do this, you simply add in each item that you use and how much power it uses and how long you use it for. Alternatively you can enter an estimation of morning, afternoon, evening usage.

Once you have decided on how much power you need then you can spec out the system that you need. The solar calculator will give you an indication of how much solar and battery power you might want to consider. Then next thing is to consider winter, if you have long dark winters like in the UK you need to consider how reliant you are on your power system, and if you want to add additional panels and batteries to allow for the days where there is very little sun. On a dark winters day you will see 10%-20% of your solar capacity, so you will want to add more panels and/or more batteries to allow for these periods, or consider having an additional renewable source such as wind or hydro or a back-up generator to run from time to time.

System Voltage

You will need to decide on what system voltage is best for you; this is the voltage that you want to run you battery bank at and all the various items that will be connected to it. You can use 12V, 24V or 48V.

If you have an existing 12V system like in a van or boat and use 12V equipment on it then you will want to stick with 12V. If you are wanting to only use 230V AC power then you should probably use 24V for a medium sized install (1Kw-5Kw) or 48V for a large install (2Kw – 15Kw+), the advantage of using a higher voltage battery bank is that is saves you money in the long run as you need less charge controllers and can use thinner cables for the same amount of power. Large off grid house's will use 48V.

So with all of that in mind then you have to decide on all the aspects of your solar set-up. We have built a system to help you design your solar system which will help you calculate what is needed. Or we have created various packages that we have already spec’ed out for you.

1) Solar Panels – This might come down to physical space that you have available or the amount of power you need or your budget. We offer a range of panels all at great prices for you to choose from. You will need to decide on how many Watts or Kilowatts of panels you need and choose the ones that fit you best.

2) Charge controller

Firstly you will need to calculate how many amps of charge controller you need. This is a simple calculation of Solar Panel Watts divided by Battery Voltage. Eg, if you have 1,400W of solar and a 24V battery bank then 1400W/24V = 58A so would want to use 60A of charge controllers.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

9 Client Reporting Tools That Will Save Your Agency Time

You love data. Nothing makes you -- and your client -- happier than a chart that shows just how great a campaign is performing.

But collecting all that data each month, organizing it, creating charts, and writing up reports is draining your team's time.

Typically, agency staffers spend around four or five hours per client each month reporting on digital. So say you're managing around 20 clients: Your effective hourly rate for each employee is $75, and it takes four hours to create each report. You'd save almost $5,000 per month if you automated this process.

What's worse? These reports are essential to the client, but she rarely spends more than a few minutes breezing over them -- she wants confirmation that things are trending up and to the right. If they're not, you're going to need to address that over the phone or in-person. A report isn't going to help her understand the context of the problem or how you're going to fix things.

To create reports quickly and easily for many different clients with different KPIs, consider using one of the below marketing reporting tools. These will help to reduce the amount of time you spend gathering data and creating reports so you can spend more time on the work that matters -- building high-performing campaigns.

9 Client Marketing Reporting Tools for Agencies

1) Megalytic

Megalytic provides templates so that you can easily import your data from sources such as Google Analytics, AdWords, Facebook, a CSV file, and others.

The tool has a library of widgets, such as ecommerce sales by geography, AdWords conversions, social referrals, etc., that you can easily add to your reports for more in-depth details. You can also set up reports to be automatically sent to a specific list of individuals, and then track to make sure they landed in the recipient's inbox.

2) Databox

Databox enables agencies to automate the client reporting process by compiling data from many popular marketing software and services -- including HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot CRM, Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook ads, Twitter, Linkedin Company Pages and Instagram. After connecting your client's services, Databox becomes the single place where your agency's team can set goals, monitor progress, calculate ROI numbers and receive alerts when things aren't going to plan.

Databox offers pre-configured reports (like the one below that features data pulled from HubSpot CRM and HubSpot marketing), and the option to build your own custom reports via their designer. You can view your data across multiple devices, including your mobile phone, desktop, TV, and via Slack.

3) RavenTools

RavenTools is useful for agencies and their clients who need a few more reporting features. There's a research center for analyzing competitors or target sites, the ability to schedule social media updates, a tracker for link building campaigns, and an SEO auditor.

There's also a useful feature for analyzing your client's site against those of their competitors -- you can compare backlinks, domain authority, load time, page speed, and other metrics. The report feature has drag-and-drop functionality and makes it easy to add the results of the tests and research performed through RavenTools additional features to your reporting documents.

4) TapAnalytics

This tool works with more than 100 service providers to pull in data quickly without the help of a support team or IT pro. It has a ton of customizable widgets you can use to drill down into specific metrics, uncover problem areas, or show improvements in a client's marketing efforts -- all tailored to the specific needs of the client.

It also provides user permissions and roles to protect your client's data from being viewed by people who shouldn't have access to the account, and agencies can create an overview dashboard that shows all of the agency's clients in one screen, making it easy for leadership to quickly determine problem areas and which accounts need extra attention. In addition, it can be fully white-labeled and provides a feature for adding a service charge (a percentage markup of your choosing) to a client's campaign.

5) Wordsmith for Marketing

This white-labeled tool turns analytics data into a written report that highlights the results of your digital marketing efforts. You simply connect your Google Analytics or Adwords accounts, and schedule when you would like the report to be sent to the client's account manager.

During the review, you can add in notes and suggestions for improvements prior to it being sent to the client. The tool is created by Automated Insights, a platform that the Associated Press is using to write more than 4,000 quarterly earnings reports without humans.

6) DataHero

DataHero integrates with cloud services beyond those focused on marketing, such as ZenDesk, GitHub, Eventbrite, and more, so you can customize your reporting to the specific campaign needs and activities of your various clients.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Guest Post: A Collector's Guide to Buying Pre Owned Longines Watches

Collecting pre owned Longines watches is a growing hobby in most parts of the western world. Men, particularly, are attracted by the romance and novelty of having a micro-engine on their wrist as both a time-teller and an image statement.

One of the most frustrating aspects of collecting pre owned Longines watches is the number of fakes, frankenwatches and fraudsters one encounters in pursuit of this noble, but increasingly costly, passion.

The comeback of the mechanical watch has drawn out all sorts of insects from under their rocks. The pursuit of one's passion for old timepieces will inevitably lead to numerous encounters with rogue repairers who charge house prices for inferior work, linear descendants of horse thieves who palm off fakes as the real thing, Doctor Frankensteins who create sought-after models from parts of other watches, the usual bevy of shonks, crooks and tricksters out to convince the gullible and the unwary to swipe their well worn credit cards.

In a recent seven day survey and follow-up I completed on the listing of pre owned longines Omega Constellation watches on a major on-line trading site, more than 50 percent of all listings were of watches that were inauthentic in some way - that gives you some idea of what collectors are up against.

Caveat Emptor, rarity and product knowledge steer the purchasing behaviours of astute collectors in any collecting field and these three principles are particularly important when purchasing pre owned longines watches on-line and through bricks and mortar dealers.

Frankenwatches describe the practice of taking parts from different watches of the same calibre series and 'creating' a new or better pedigree of movement. In some countries of Europe they are called 'Wedding' watches. This practice is especially prevalent in middle and higher end timepieces that are most sought-after by collectors.

In tandem with the obvious deception of Frankenwatches, there are a number of other intentional and inadvertent frauds that occur:

1. Housing a different movement in a genuine case or re-dialed model. If you are interested in collecting a particlar brand of watch, get to know the calibre numbers of movements that power particular models. Calibre numbers are different to serial numbers and can best be described as the engine type(similar to cars: eg. 2.5-litre DOHC V6 describing the engine in a current X Type Jaguar). Some calibres of a particular brand are more collectible than others, so it pays to know what's under the bonnet.

2. Using a similar movement series and replacing the part that has the calibre number. This is prevalent in watch brands that have numerous models and where the top line models fetch higher prices that the cheaper models. Often you can tell a fraud of this type through colouration contrasts or newness of the parts that contains the calibre number.

3. Placing a high end dial and movement in the wrong case. Many of the higher end pre owned longines watches have case back numbers that can be checked with serial numbers to see if they match.

4. Replacing worn hands and crowns with non-genuine hands and crowns and claiming the watch is 100 percent authentic. A common problem with many pre owned longines models that reduces the value of the watch. Before buying, build up a library of pictures of watches that you know are genuine and match a prospective purchase against them. On-line forums are a great way to acquire and swap pictures.

5. Badly executed dials and re-dials. Ask for super-sized pictures so you can examine the quality of the printing and also the placement of lettering. A bad re-dial will wipe as much as 30 percent off the value of the watch. Again pictures and the help of other collectors is invaluable in making sure you have an authentic watch.

6. Replacing numerous worn parts in a genuine models with genuine parts. While this is a perfectly acceptable practice, it does indicate that at some stage in the life of the movement it was neglected or damaged. Knowledgeable and pernickety collectors look for signs of colour variation on the movement and often avoid watches that are not of one colour hue.

Look for scratches or gouges on the non-replaced parts, and look for corrosion or other signs of wear and tear. Ask the vendor for a detailed report on the history of servicing of the watch and its current condition. If the vendor cannot supply such information it is better to let the watch go rather than experience the disappointment of acquiring a watch that has suffered abuse in the past and having to deal with the ongoing symptoms of that abuse.

7. Claiming an old warrior is a handsome prince. Many vendors use descriptions like 'minty', '100% authentic', 'very clean', 'this one is a keeper', and so on. Most of these descriptions are useless if not backed up by evidence.

When examining a good quality picture of the watch movement, and always ask for pictures if you are buying on the internet, look for any discolouration of the surfaces of plates and bridges. Look for any signs of corrosion or parts of the watch that do not match in colour, particularly rotor bridges and the part of the watch that contains the calibre or serial numbers. Look for new additions that show themselves by their shininess. These are all indicators of inauthenticity, parts swapping or at least major repairs.

8. Examine the movement for burred screw heads and scrapes and damage to the movement plates or bridges, which are sure signs of inexpert work, or at least indicate the movement was separate from the case for some time before a case was found to match. Checks for surface discoloration on the movement plates, blotches, corrosion, or parts that don't match the rest of the movement patina.

9. Examine the case back to determine whether the watch has had a hard life. Beware of excessive polishing that takes the sharpness away from the edges of the watch case, as that again indicates considerable wear and tear overall and devalues the watch.

10. A watch that has obviously had a hard life indicates carelessness towards its maintenance and irregularity in servicing. Generally speaking, mechanical watches should be serviced every three to five years, and it is not difficult to detect a watch that has been neglected because the signs of neglect are obvious to the naked eye.

Badly discoloured watches with scratches, gouges to the movement, highly polished case backs and inexpertly refinished dials are sure signs of the amateur watchmaker at work and should be avoided. They can also point to a tired old movement jazzed up for sale and marketed with great hyperbole to the unwary Internet shopper.

11. Look carefully at the dial to see if screws have caused minor or major indentations on the dial. This indicates that incorrect or inauthentic screws have been used in the movement.

Look for corrosion on the dial or flakes that have come off the dial. This can indicate that a watch has spent some or all of its life in the tropics and was not serviced as regularly as it should have been. It can also indicate immersion in water.

Watches that are regularly serviced will have their seals replaced at service and should show few signs of moisture having entered the case. Remember rust under a dial cannot be seen and flaky dials can be a sign of hidden problems underneath.

12. Rust cannot generally be removed from watches and at best can be neutralised. A sure sign of neglect is corrosion on or near the threads of the case back or the area where the case back meets the case. These are signs of irregular servicing and signify the possibility of excessive wear of the movement.

Watch collecting is a rewarding past-time for thousands of collectors worldwide. Fortunately they congregate in various forums on the Internet and are generally very happy to share their knowledge and passion for particular brands. Build up and use your knowledge to better determine the value of the watches you collect.

An evenly coloured movement, retaining much of its original sheen and showing signs of regular service demands a higher price and improves its value far better than a poor cousin that has been through the wars.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Candy Crush Effect: How Apps for Boredom Monetized Mobile Addiction


“I’m so bored.”

How many times a week do you utter that phrase? If it’s at least once, you’re in the same boat as roughly 63% of people. And according to the same report that drew that conclusion, how bored you are depends on several factors -- like location and other demographics. But chances are, we all have at least one common outlook on boredom: It can be remedied by the internet.

That often manifests itself via mobile, where 90% of our time is spent on apps. And under the app umbrella, here's how our time is broken down:
Messaging and social: 68%
Entertainment (which includes apps like YouTube): 44%
Gaming: 33%

To add further insight, 70% of that time on mobile social apps is spent consuming media. What do these factors indicate? All in all, we use our mobile devices to stay amused.

App developers are no dummies, either. The most strategic ones know that this boredom can be capitalized to earn revenue. But how does that work? Well, much of it has to do with psychology and -- we hate to say it -- how our brains are wired for addiction. We examined the research done in this area, and tracked down some of the apps that best monetized it.

The Psychology of Boredom

Why We Get Bored

A Chicken-and-Egg Scenario

Despite our use of mobile apps to relieve boredom, that might be what’s causing it in the first place. Researchers at Temple University have found that our increased attachment to mobile devices is making us less patient and more impulsive -- both of which can precede a lower tolerance for lack of stimulation. It’s harder for us to sit still, because the technology is always there for us to check and scroll. And the more we use it, the less time we can spend resisting it.

That’s corroborated by findings of cognitive neuroscientist James Danckert, whose research has led him to think of “boredom as a deficiency in self-regulation,” he explains. “It's a difficulty of engaging with tasks in your environment. The more self-control you have, the less likely you are to be bored.” And what’s another word for a lack of self-control? “Impulsive” -- a trait more of us seem to be experiencing with increased mobile use.

Why We Use Mobile to Alleviate Boredom Anyway

“People will work very hard to relieve boredom,” writes Maggie Koerth-Baker for Scientific American -- which is why, she says, we indulge in impulsive behavior, like binge-eating or other unhealthy activities, in order to alleviate it. But she goes on to explain that the answer to that often lies in novelty, using the example of an educational computer program designed for students with higher boredom levels, which insults the user every time a question is answered incorrectly.

Granted, we don’t spend all of our time on mobile devices being insulted -- despite that common nature of social media -- but it does provide a certain sense of novelty. It’s an instant remedy for inactivity that allows us to consume media, win games, and communicate with others. And our addiction to these devices -- which is rampant enough to have actually earned a name: Nomophobia -- works just like any other. We begin to need more of it in order to be satisfied.

And, in a nutshell, that’s how app developers monetize what they create -- by leveraging our addiction. But which apps did it best? Have a look at our top picks.

3 Apps for Boredom That Became Big Money Makers

1) Tinder 

When Time magazine profiled the founders of Tinder in 2014, author Laura Stampler summarized the dating app flawlessly:

Users are shown photos of nearby potential matches and can swipe right to ‘like’ and left for ‘nope.’ Mutual right swipes result in a match, followed by the prompt to either send a message or ‘keep playing.’ This ‘Keep playing! Keep playing!’ mantra has led to an epidemic of 500 million swipes (and 5 million matches) a day.”

Notice the language Stampler uses here: “Epidemic.” Even if you’re not particularly interested in dating, the swiping becomes addicting -- an inevitability to which I fell victim during my own days of singledom. I found myself swiping while standing on a subway platform, sitting in a waiting room, or even when watching mindless television. It became a way to occupy time, more than it was a way to meet people.

Perhaps that widespread behavior led to the unveiling of Tinder Plus: A paid version of the app with such premium features as being able to go back when you accidentally swiped the wrong way (“Rewind”), or being able to view potential matches outside of a certain local radius (“Passport”). Plus, it gives you the option to go ad-free. But there’s a catch -- Tinder Plus costs twice as much if you’re over 30, which has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

I can see how these features might be appealing, especially when my own swiping increased. Before I deleted the app -- which is a story for another day -- the more I used the it, the less intrigued I was becoming with my potential matches. I was becoming bored. But I was also addicted to it, under the false belief that the more I swiped, the more likely I was to have that boredom alleviated. It aligns with psychology explained above. If I hadn’t deleted the app, my boredom may have motivated me to pay up for the ability to expand my options.

Today, Tinder has 1.7 paid members, illustrating the willingness of people to pay for more novelty.

2) Pokémon GO

When I recently visited a friend out of town, I noticed that she would furiously go about business on her phone whenever we were walking somewhere. “Are you lost?” I asked her, assuming she was looking at a maps app.

“No,” she replied. “It’s Pokémon GO,” a game that allows people to “catch” game characters by traveling to real-life places, and reap the benefits online, via the app. It is, in its way, a form of VR.

I was surprised -- mostly because I thought that the Pokémon GO craze had passed by Halloween, and this visit took place several months later. Was my company that boring? Or had my friend become addicted to a game that she initially began using out of curiosity and boredom?

I wasn’t the only one asking those kinds of questions, which explains why numerous psychology publications set out to explain how our brains process apps like this one. In fact, Internet Gaming Disorder has officially been classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a type of addiction -- one that “prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior.”

That aligns with research showing that people more prone to boredom are also more inclined to fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse. And while it could be argued that addiction to a mobile app might not be as severe, it still follows the same psychological process and path of usership -- more is required to reach satisfaction. That could be why the app experienced such monetary success when it began to provide in-app purchases, which ended up accounting for $2.3 million of revenue each day, and totaling $342 million by the end of 2016.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Social Media News: Weather on Facebook, SNL on Snapchat & More


10 of the Biggest Social Media News Stories This Month

1) The Washington Post starts curating content for Snapchat Discover.

The Washington Post announced it would become Snapchat's first editorial partner to provide breaking news updates on the platform. The Post will publish multiple times per day as headlines break in its print and online newspaper editions so Snapchatters can easily consume the content in a more visual way. Snapchat is all about innovative visual content, and this step moves Snapchat in the direction of becoming a content destination site instead of just a content sharing site. Here's what it will look like on the Discover tab (when a Snapchat user swipes to the left):

Source: The Washington Post

2) Saturday Night Live produces its first skit exclusively for Snapchat.

NBC's Saturday Night Live produced its first short comedy sketch published exclusively on its Snapchat Story. Snapchat plans to produce a series of shorts from Saturday Night Live and other shows on the network. To watch the next short, add Saturday Night Live on Snapchat (@nbcsnl).

SNL is a viewewship juggernaut -- almost 11 million people watch it each week. If it sees success with posting original content on Snapchat outside of its regular distribution strategies on YouTube and other social media platforms, marketers might consider producing their own "shorts" on Snapchat and seeing how they perform.

Source: Saturday Night Live via Snapchat

3) Snap Inc. files for $3 billion initial public offering (IPO).

Snapchat's parent company, Snap Inc., filed for a $3 billion IPO on February 2nd. After rebranding as a camera company and launching Snapchat Spectacles in September 2016, marketers eagerly waited to hear what they would do next.

Snap Inc. now faces intensified competition from other social media platforms with larger user bases that have adopted features similar to Snapchat's. For example, Instagram launched its own version of Stories last year, and it currently has more users making Stories than all of Snapchat's total user base. Marketers should keep an eye on how Snapchat evolves and which platform is better suited for ephemeral content for their audiences.

Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

4) Snapchat launches first original reality show on A&E Network.

Snap Inc. announced its forthcoming partnership with A&E to produce "Second Chance," an unscripted reality television show about breakups on Snapchat. The show will diversify audiences for both Snapchat and A&E and get existing Snapchat and A&E audiences on the other platforms. Marketers who aren't already advertising on Snapchat may want to start doing so as it grows its audience even further with original content.

Source: Deadline

5) YouTube launches mobile live-streaming for creators with 10,000 subscribers or more.