Thursday, 30 April 2015

Article: 7 Things People Who Cut Their Own Hair Are Tired Of Hearing

You can save money and still look fabulous. It’s so annoying when people criticize you and say stuff like this:

Photo: Pipevine Swallowtail rests on some buds

The Battus philenor butterfly, popularly called a Pipevine Swallowtail or a Blue Swallowtail can live in a number of different habitats.

Your Income May Disqualify Your Child For College Aid Regardless Of Your Assets

As often is the case at most state universities, if the parent’s income is too high to qualify for need-based financial aid anyway, then moving the child’s assets or parents, into life insurance and annuities won’t help the child qualify for aid.

'Caveman Communication' Marks Language Evolution

Experts find audio and visual messaging habits show we are moving back to a more "caveman form of communication".

NewFronts: Mae Whitman to Star in PopSugar Comedy Series

The female-focused editorial brand is bringing back comedy 'Seriously Distracted' with new star Nicole Richie.

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Italian Man Hangs Up On The Pope, Twice

Franco Rabuffi thought he'd fallen victim to a hoax caller when Pope Francis rang to offer sympathy for his illness.

25 Of The Most Downloaded Apps Of All Time

After detailed research we managed to come up with the most popular apps for this list. As you will notice, free apps are significantly more popular than paid ones, because well, they don’t cost anything, and we all know how hard it is for us to spend money sometimes, especially on the little things. So […]

IoT benefits and privacy not mutually exclusive, says industry expert

It is possible to mitigate the privacy and security risks of the internet of things (IoT) without losing its benefits, according to an industry expert

Review: Plex

Review: Plex

The streaming media world grows more and more crowded everyday. Between Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and HBO Now, there's no shortage of streaming options as long as you're willing to shell out the cash every month.

But what if - and hang in there with me - you want to stream your own media? What if you don't want to pay for something you've already paid for four years ago? What do you do then?

What you do then, my friend, is download Plex, the all-in-one media sharing server that uses your PC to distribute content to any room in your house. Plex essentially acts as a faux-server, using your computer and the media you already have as a media hub for devices you grant it access to. It's been around for over seven years now, and is pretty much a staple in any media connoisseur's arsenal.


Plex is divided into two versions. A free, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink version of the media server software, and a paid version called Plex Pass that gives you everything and the kitchen sink plus everything in the upstairs rooms for $4.99 (£3, about AU$6) a month.

Plex review

The key differences between the two are the ability for Plex Pass to work with your game systems - the Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 - as well as the ability to set up viewing restrictions on certain movies. The latter, though not as relevant to one-user households, is useful in stopping younger kids from watching anything they shouldn't see.

Once you've decided which service is right for you and your household, it's time to run the installer and setup a Plex server.

The installation is quick and painless, but the act of actually adding media to Plex - which requires setting up specifically named folders and subfolders and naming video files in a certain format - is best described as tedious, irritating and at points downright ridiculous. Stick with it, though, and you'll be rewarded ten-fold once your server goes live for the first time.

Device Support

There's nothing quite like the disappointment of buying a new piece of kit, only to learn that your favorite service isn't compatible with that hardware. But, despite how many times that has happened in the past, that won't happen with Plex.

Plex is available for mobile devices running iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Windows 8, as well as a stable of set-top boxes that include the Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Ouya, Roku, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. If you're out at a friends house and thought to left your PC running back at home, you can even use a browser to login and access your cache of shows, pictures, music, movies and podcasts.

Plex review

Of course, having the platform to install it on is only half the problem. The other half is having the platforms talk to each other in intelligent ways.

Thankfully, Plex excels at this. If you stop at 20 minutes, 23 seconds while watching a film on your mobile device, Plex will give you the option of starting over or picking up where you left off on whatever device you use next.

The only problem I've run into with Plex's inexhaustible urge to be agnostic is that sometimes the file types don't play nicely with the platform you're trying to stream to. When your PC needs to transcode a video to play on a platform it requires a bit of CPU processing to get the job done. Streaming across platforms - or Direct Stream, as Plex calls it - can cause some slow down. This didn't impact me as much as other users, but it's worth mentioning.


For its free-ninety nine price tag, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking Plex would skimp on its interface. Sometimes our gut reactions are wrong, however, and if you're ever looking for a shining example of that, this is the place.

Plex looks, more or less, like the bookshelf on Kindle or the iBooks app on iOS. Each title is categorized by genre and given cover art - even if the file you had downloaded didn't come with any.

Plex review

Like your standard media player, Plex also comes with playlist, watch later and recommended features that pull data from both your personal library and any number of "channels" you install on your server.

This sounds like a minor detail, I know, but it's small details like these that make Plex feel like a premium service.

Plex has also recently updated the music section of the service by adding intelligent playlists and music videos from Vevo. Your music will now be more complete thanks to the additional metadata and the overall experience should feel more akin to services like Spotify and Pandora but, you know, without the constant interruption of ads.


Performance, as you might imagine, depends 95% on the connection speed of your own network.

I found relatively clear playback at around 10Mbps speed both on my hardwired PC and wireless 802.11a/b/g/n tablet. The occasional dropped frame didn't necessarily kill the experience for me, though on the one or two occasions I hit pretty severe blocks of slowdown.

In those moments, I did feel a twinge of frustration. That said, if you're apt to have days of 3Mbps speeds, consider going another route for your streaming setup.

Final verdict

If you consider yourself a media buff and have the repository of .mkv files to back it up, Plex is everything you've been longing for.

Despite some lackluster installation instructions and a convoluted process to get things up and running, I found it to be one of the most gorgeous, easy-to-use and light-weight pieces of software out there. The fact that it's free just adds icing to an already delicious cake.

As long as you go in with an open mind and a quick, stable connection, Plex will not disappoint.

Cameron facing Question Time quiz

David Cameron is the first of three party leaders to be quizzed by a BBC Question Time audience, the final set piece event before polling day.

Apple Watch does not like tattoos

Apple acknowledges some of the functions on its new smartwatch may not work properly when it is worn over tattoos.

You Won’t Believe What Books Are Getting The #ClickBaitBooks Treatment!

Say what you will about clickbait but let’s be honest with ourselves here. We all fall for it. From Buzzfeed to the Weather Channel and...

IRS $20 Million Response To Latest Pile of Lois Lerner Emails Is Worrisome

After all the dog ate my homework excuses from the IRS and Justice Department, 6400 more 'lost' emails are recovered. And the IRS warns us how expensive it is to reveal things, suggesting we never should ask.

Article: 7 Facts That Will Make You Feel Super Old!

You’re getting older. Don’t believe us? Keep the following things in mind…

Person of Interest: Asylum Recap

Synopsis for 4×21: Everything heats up as all of the various parties involved in NYC come together. The Brotherhood captures Elias, Greer is able to lure...

Dutch Man Builds Special Cat Bike In Amsterdam-London Cycle Ride

Mushi and Cheesy might be two of the most well-travelled cats in Europe. They got a front row seat to 300 miles of beautiful scenery courtesy of owner Thomas Vles, who constructed a perspex kitty-mobile from an old bicycle.

To launch his company's range of biodegradable litter boxes, Vles cycled with his cats from Amsterdam to London.

Poopy Cat's first "poop-up" store opened in Old Street on Tuesday, selling the unique product to London based feline-lovers.

Vles said: "I know how much the British love their animals and from the overwhelming response we had to our online videos and Kickstarter campaign we knew that the UK had to be next for Poopy Cat.

"We are excited to bring our innovative, sustainable products to the UK and add some fun to product areas that have often been overlooked until now."

If you're interested, the cardboard products are available at


Lionsgate U.K. Names New Distribution President

Nicola Pearcey was previously the company’s head of home entertainment and new media.

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Two rescued from Nepal quake rubble

Two people are rescued in Nepal's capital after surviving five days in quake rubble, as bad weather hampers delivery of aid to remote villages.

The Pitch That Won Mark Cuban's Heart And His Investment

Too often great ideas don’t get traction because the speaker failed to articulate the idea persuasively. Take the time to tell the story behind your idea and why what you offer is different than what's currently in the marketplace.

They Said What?!: Find Out What Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens, And Russell Crowe Have To Say

Ever wonder what’s on the mind of today’s most notable people? Well, don’t miss our unbelievable roundup of the best and most talked about quotes of the day:

Huawei shows off carrier-grade 4K at TV Connect

At London’s TV Connect exhibition, Huawei presented a carrier-grade 4K video standard to improve resolution and support a wide colour spectrum

Startup Spending Do's And Don'ts

Rockstar Book Tours: Dystopian YA Kicks Into High Gear With Jenny Martin’s “Tracked”

Tracked Author: Jenny Martin Release Date: April 28, 2015 Publisher: Dial Source: Rockstar Book Tours, Dial Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction Rating: ★★★★☆ Review Spoilers:  Mild GoodReads | Amazon | BN We’ve been...

Why are mainstream farmers giving up the plough?

Cover crops, no-till farming, conservation tillage—mainstream farmers are exploring new ways to boost soil health. For everyone's benefit.

EU to probe US sites over data and search

Fears grow in Europe that companies such as Amazon and Google are becoming too powerful

First drive: 2015 Skoda Superb

The grand Czech barge enters its third generation, and it’s packed with umbrellas. Sam Philip reports

Researchers Identify Why 'Agility' In Strategic Plans Is So Hard To Execute

If formulating an effective company strategy is tough, apparently executing that strategy is even tougher. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Why Strategy Execution Unravels – and What to Do About It, authors Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes and Charles Sull examine and summarize work that Donald Sull had started almost a decade ago on how “complex organizations can execute their strategies more effectively.”

Greece scrapes together pension payments

Athens meets domestic obligations amid prolonged stand-off with international creditors

Point It

Traveler's communication aid with photos of 1300 items

LulzBot 3D Printers: A Glimpse Into The Future of American Manufacturing

During the 3DRV roadtrip, I had the opportunity to use and see many 3D printers in action. Over and over, one printer emerged as a favorite by the people and businesses I would meet, for not only its ease-of-use, but more so for its customer support: the LulzBot TAZ 5 and the LulzBot Mini, which is owned by Aleph Objects in Loveland, Colorado.

Beijing suburbia or your own private island?

Prices of Chinese homes hit extreme levels on back of easy credit

Tories 'proposed child benefit cuts'

Lib Dem Danny Alexander says the Tories proposed to "slash" child benefit during the coalition government - but the Conservatives call it "desperate stuff".

Which of the Six Californias Should You Live In?

If California split into six parts, which one would you live in? Take this fun personality quiz to find out!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How To Do Great Things, Starting Right Now

What you need most in order to achieve your dreams is wried into you from birth; here's how to access it.

25 Oddities That Might Convince You Life Outside Our Planet Exists

Are we the only living species in the universe? This question has been asked since ancient times and remains without a definitive answer despite many people believing there are alien life-forms out there and “evidence” that supports this belief. As Ellen DeGeneres once confessed, “The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is […]

Safeguarding Data in the Turbulent Cyber Age

Muddu Sudhakar is a seasoned and successful entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience working with Silicon Valley companies. He co-founded and is currently CEO of Caspida, a cybersecurity company based in Palo Alto, Calif. that detects unknown and hidden threats without rules, signatures, sandboxing or human analysis. Caspida uses data-driven analytics to uncover APTs, zero days, malware and insider threats. Prior to Caspida, Muddu has held leadership and management roles focused on cloud and Big Data analytics technologies at leading companies including VMware, Pivotal, Cetas, EMC, Kazeon and Sanera.

Next Nissan GT-R to use Le Mans V6 engine

Nissan’s Ben Bowlby tells TG next-gen GT-R will use variant of LMP1 twin-turbo V6

OBE and Me

Since childhood, there are very few moments in my life that can be identified as raw happiness, when it feels like a forth of July firework display is happening in your heart and you've leapt out of your skin. Last week I had that moment. All it took was a letter that informed me I got an OBE (so simple).

When you receive such a jaw dropping, out-of-body, hallelujah letter, every negative thought runs for shelter and shrivels and you're free, your mind has been set free. My children watched it happen. I was talking to them about something boring while opening this envelope and the next thing I knew, they were trying to pull me down from the ceiling. I was speaking in the voice you get when sucking helium, telling them the news. Part of me is still floating on that ceiling. How did this happen I hear you ask?

If it weren't for Comic Relief who put posters of me up all over London saying, "One in four people have mental illness, one in five have dandruff, I have both," this wouldn't have happened. About seven years ago they had asked me to pose for a photo to help promote their mental health campaign. I had no idea the poster would cover whole walls in the tube station lining the escalator. At the time I almost fainted, now I'm grateful to them. Comic Relief inadvertently dragged me out of the closet and 'outed' me about my depression. All this was really my fault for not asking them their plans for the photo.

It was then I thought I'd write a show about mental illness mainly to infer the posters were promoting my new show, which wasn't written yet. I workshopped the show in mental institutions for two years to make sure my people approved, especially it being a comedy. Once they found it funny and honest, I knew I could tour it to the masses. Prior to that, I never told anyone I had depression, mainly because of the fear of being fired from my job and also I didn't want people to think I was whining about some 'imaginary' disease when I a career, fantastic teeth, kids and cash.

Firstly, once I started doing the show no one could fire me because it was my show. As far as being self-indulgent, in the second half, after the interval, I had a question and answer session, and turned it over to the audience. They understood about feeling the shame that I did, the same fear that they were complaining about something that wasn't visible and could be cured simply by someone near and dear saying, "Perk up."

A few times I'd get these big, macho guys who'd stand up and talk about their depression telling everyone they never told anyone before. There they were, bravely spilling out their feelings because you could taste the compassion and sense of identification coming from that audience. Every night would be like a revival where people spoke about their feelings, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart breaking. Every night, I adored that moment when the audience started to take over. It felt like I was coming home, finding my tribe after years of isolation.

Oftentimes, I felt closer to those people than I do with many of my friends. This was the most thrilling thing I'd ever experienced on stage. Every one of us understood that you if have something wrong physically, get ready for the flowers, if it's mental get ready for nothing; no calls, no visitors and if your work finds out, good luck keeping your job. My feeling is from this experience, if we keep speaking out and supporting each other, things will change and they are already; you can feel a ground swell.

So, I want to thank everyone who's ever spoken out about his or her illness or helped someone who's suffering. Mostly I want to thank Miranda Bunting(@mirandasmurmurs) who I met when I launched the website, "Black Dog Tribe." She's really the heroine who supported me all the way. An OBE!!! I still scream that out a few times a day, (in private.)

I'm on tour throughout 2015 with my Sane New World show.

For more information about Ruby Wax's OBE for services to mental health and what other people have said, you can visit her website

UN launches Nepal earthquake appeal

The UN launches a $415m appeal for survivors of the Nepal earthquake, as frustration mounts at the pace of relief efforts.

If you’re waiting in line for a career, you’re doing something wrong

  get the print Back when I lived in London in the ‘Nineties, I vaguely knew this Irish journalist, call him Simon. He was a flatmate of an old school friend of mine. Simon wasn’t famous or anything, but he was always working. He was pretty successful. He drove a nice car, ate in fancy […]

End of era for Saudi foreign minister

Faisal, who has been in role for 40 years, makes way for new team

State of the Art: Instacart’s Bet on Online Grocery Shopping

The company delivers groceries bought by personal shoppers, and its growth may be in the double digits. But deep questions remain.

King Salman chooses new Saudi rulers

Royal decrees move kingdom away from gerontocracy, but it remains closely controlled by king’s clan

U.S. develops self-guided ammunition

You know the phrase "dodging a bullet"? Forget about it. Probably not going to happen anymore.

Motorola Moto E 2015 review: the ideal entry-level 4G Android phone


Every budget handset released in the last year has been compared with Motorola’s super-cheap Moto E, often unfavourably. It’s considered one of the best entry-level Android handsets out there, and the 2015 update seeks to cement that position by adding 4G, a selfie camera and a few more little upgrades. But a year on from the […]

The post Motorola Moto E 2015 review: the ideal entry-level 4G Android phone appeared first on ShinyShiny.

This is a Skoda Fabia pickup

Could this Wörthersee concept be the successor to the Felicia Fun?