The Best Transportation Apps

No matter how experienced you are at traveling to new cities, there comes a time you’re going to need a helping hand to be able to get around. Fortunately, today’s business traveler usually comes equipped with a smartphone, and there’s a ton of great apps to help you get from A to B. Whether you’re looking to hire a car and driver at the last minute, or simply trying to find the best route to go on foot, you can always find an app specifically for it, no matter what destination you’re traveling to.

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Here’s our favorite transportation apps for business travelers in 2016:

AllSubway

The first and still the best subway app around, AllSubway provides highly detailed subway maps for dozens of cities in the world, including London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and many more. The maps are very easy to use, and you can pinch or pull to zoom in and out. The app also tells you what platform to go to and which stations to get off at if you plot a complicated route.

Blacklane

Sometimes it’s just too annoying to hail a cab in some cities, while other in other cities the taxi ranks are often overflowing with scammers who’ll charge extortionate rates for a very poor service in a beaten up old vehicle. Why bother with all that hassle when you can simply book your ride 60 minutes before with Blacklane? Blacklane is kind of like Uber, only it’s a bit more reliable with fixed rates that don’t increase during busy times. The company touts itself as a worldwide airport transfer service specialist, and provides a hassle-free way to get into the city or to the airport in comfort, and for a reasonable price.

Embark

If you’ve traveled in a foreign country before you’ll be all too aware that you can only get online when there’s a Wi-Fi connection around. But for those moments when we’re outside of the hotel and Wi-Fi isn’t available, Embark is a great way to plot your subway station trips. The app constantly downloads data in the background when you’re connected, so even when you’re offline you can still pull up information on any station to find out the train schedules.

Google Maps

It might be an obvious choice but there really is no maps app that comes close to Google’s offering. The new Google Maps is far superior to the older versions too, with new features like voice-guided GPS navigation, no matter if you’re walking, driving or riding a bike, and also transit directions for more than 15,000 cities. And thanks to the integrated Street View, it’s even easier to find exactly what you’re looking for, and know which landmarks to look out for. Google Maps also offers live traffic conditions in many western cities, so you can do your best to avoid the delays.

Kayak

For travelers in a hurry Kayak offers a very quick fix. Simply search for a flight by entering your location and destination and voila! – Kayak will throw up all available flights starting with the cheapest. Even better, you can book and pay for the flight right their in the app, so there’s no faffing about.

 

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Casual Encounters: A Good Choice?

Seeking Casual Encounters can be the jumpstart for your sex life that you've been looking for ... photo by CC user stokpic on pixabay

When people hear the mention of casual encounters, nine times out of ten you can expect them to paint a pretty negative view on the subject. After all movies and television have illustrated the act as an often drunken affair, where the following morning is met with a mixture of regret and upset. Don’t believe everything you see in the media though as casual dating can be a healthy alternative lifestyle for all involved, thanks to the internet.

With the Internet quickly becoming the main way in which we keep in touch with friends and family, do our shopping, and keep up to date on the latest news around the globe, as well as pretty much most other things in our lives; it’s no surprise to see our romantic lives also being aided by the World Wide Web too.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “How can it be that casual encounters are a healthy alternative?” Sure meeting girls and guys in bars and clubs on sounds like the exact opposite experience on the surface – after all you’re heading back to the bedroom with a random stranger. However with the Internet helping, you can quickly transform this sort of experience into something much safer.

Thanks to dating websites casual encounter have never been easier. For example, you can meet women looking for sex on MySexHookups. Whenever you sign up, you’re given the chance to “sell yourself” by creating your very own personal profile. It’s through these profiles that we can sift through and locate others who share similar interests or at the very least want the same sort of casual experience and vice versa. Whereas in a club you have no real idea as to every person’s likes and dislikes or whether they are even looking for a casual encounter, online dating profiles allow you to filter and locate the best suited people for you.

Using the Internet to meet people also gives you one thing that approaching someone in a bar or club does not – time. You’re given the chance to actually chat a little at first and see if there’s any chemistry there at all. It removes the stress and worry of having to approach a stranger by allowing you to break down that barrier whether it’s via online chat or a phone call.

Furthermore, the extra time allows you to organise a decent evening for the pair of you as opposed to a quick and abrupt one that might leave you feeling dirty and used. Sure the sexual activity will happen at some point (that is why the pair of you are meeting after all) but who’s to say you can’t also throw in a meal or fun activity too? Whereas meeting someone in a club removes any potential to do this, meeting someone online gives you the opportunity to do so.

After dancing in a club for hours on end it’s safe to say you’re hardly feeling your best. With the added element of alcohol thrown into the mix, let’s just say it’s hardly an ideal setup. Meeting online and setting a time gives you the chance to scrub up and look the part, as you would with any sort of date.

Thanks to the Internet casual encounters no longer need to be limited to random hook-ups in seedy bars. Truth of the matter is it can be a healthy alternative in many ways.

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The Rise of Automation in the Food Processing Industry

The emergence of automation in the food industry has been slower than in other industries. There are many reasons why this is so, but the one that’s most often cited is because food, unlike other products, differs greatly in its shape and consistency, presenting a formidable challenge for those looking to automate food processing systems.

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Traditional food processing systems

Traditional food manufacturing facilities are essentially just giant kitchens, with food prepared in much the same fashion as it was at home. Of course, larger companies were quick to see the benefits of automation where they could, for example with packaging and palletizing. However, advancements in ‘pick-and-place’ robot technology meant that food manufacturers could move automation further along, onto the production lines as well.

Even so, most such systems can only be installed on long-life, high-volume production lines. For smaller manufacturers it means they have been much slower in the move towards automation. They have faced challenges such as limited low-cost labor and expertise, market volatility, and a general consensus that the industry is unsuitable for automation.

However, faced with pressures such as the decline in the availability of low-cost labor, and a demand for assured hygienic products, automation has started to be looked at seriously.

Food manufacturing automation

Those driving forces have seen a rapid increase in the adoption of automation by the industry, that’s also been spurred by advancements in robotics and electromechanical systems that are better able to deal with the challenges of the food industry.

To begin with, automation in food production was focused at the end of the production line, with robot machines being used in the packaging products. Robots are perfect for this task, and this led to a demand for machines that could work further up the production line and fulfill pick-and-place tasks instead of humans.

That demand was met with the introduction of Delta robots, which are now built by several manufacturers. Delta Robots are designed to operate quickly, and can perform around 100 to 120 picks per minute on light payloads of 1 to 2 kilograms. Similar advances in technology have led to the development of flexible effectors that can reliably pick up most food products without damaging or contaminating them.

Future automation in food processing

In the coming years, food processing procedures won’t change much. However, the incidence of manual labor in the industry is all set to decline, as the market will be driven towards automation by outside market forces. One of the greatest difficulties the food processing industry faces is addressing the skills gap that automation will bring, such as finding enough skilled engineers to maintain the machines. As such, this demand for newer, skilled labor will ensure that manual laborers can move on to new opportunities.

 

SIAT Norway supplies a wide range of automated solutions and packaging machines. Read more on their homepage at www.siat.no

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Easy Style Tips for The Common Man

Style tips for common man

We all wish we could look like James Bond but let’s be honest. Most of us cannot afford to drop a yearly salary on a suit. Do not fear, just because you aren’t David Beckham or 007, doesn’t mean you can’t look good. Here are some easy style tips for the common man on a budget.

Shop Smart
The pitfalls of most common man’s wardrobe isn’t the lack of money or variety, it is the lack of thought. Try and think of the last 4 times you went out. What shirt did you wear? What pants? What shoes? Why did you wear this outfit? If the answer is “it was clean,” “it was the closest,” or “I don’t know;” you are doing it wrong. If you want to look good, you need to put a little effort into it. This goes for dressing and buying. Your wardrobe should consist of clothes you picked for a reason, not t-shirts you’ve collected from various 5ks and pub crawls. So make sure you are making conscience choices when shopping and when dressing.

Buy a Suit
Style tips for common man

Even if you don’t work in an environment that requires a suit, you should have one good suit. There will likely be several occasions each year that you have been “getting by” in jeans and and a wrinkly dress shirt. Instead of doing the bare minimum at the next wedding or funeral, wouldn’t you rather have a sharp suit hanging in your closet and ready to go. If you invest in one good suit you will not regret. Going out to dinner with your girlfriend, impress her and put on your suit, see the look on her face. There are very few situations were you will regret wearing a suit and also don’t forgot it versatility. You can easily wear only the suit jacket or the only the suit pants to class up any ordinary outfit. So make the investment and have a suit tailored to you, as long as you choose a flexible style it will last you for years.

Good Shoes
“The Shoes Make the Man” or so they say. There is definitely truth in this idiom. Any stylish man will have a closet with at least half a dozen pairs of shoes. It is important to know what shoes go when. You shouldn’t be wearing the same pair of shoes to the gym that you do out to dinner. Under no circumstances are you wearing your dancing shoes to work.  Shoes can also make the outfit, if you want to make your suit more casual, rock a pair of classic tennis shoes. If you want to make your jeans classier, put on some leather wingtips.  Remember you can never have too many shoes.

I hope these easy style tips for common man inspired you to go out of you comfort zone and make some simple choices to up your style game. This small suggestions can pay off in a major way.

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Bachelor Tips: How to Furnish an Apartment

Furnish an Apartment

Got your first place? Just got out a long-term relationship? Whatever the reason is, you are a man living on his own now and you should have an apartment that reflects your sophistication and style. Here are some tips for bachelor’s on how to furnish an apartment.

Ditch the Dorm Room Decorations
Unless you want every guest you bring over to know you peaked at age 19, get rid of your frat-house tier accessories. I’m talking specifically about your Bob Marley poster, “keep calm” poster,  any beer related posters, or pretty much any poster. If you have a unique poster sized print you really cherish, spend a few bucks and get it framed. If it isn’t worth getting framed it isn’t worth putting on your wall. Also make sure you limit the amount of sports memorabilia in your house, a subtle pint glass or single banner are enough to show your love for your favorite team. Some people may like cereal but you don’t see their rooms covered captain crunch jerseys. Most importantly, ditch the empty booze bottles, there is no need to show guests how many bottles of Fireball or tequila you have consumed, in fact as an adult you should be concealing your booze bottles not showing them off as trophies.

Invest in the Essentials
If you are on a budget, that is okay, embrace minimalism.  Instead of buying one of everything from Ikea, invest in quality essentials. For example a quality classic leather sofa that will last is a must. Also a nice table and chairs, it doesn’t have to break the bank but a nice dining room set can last a lifetime and will be the center of countless memories. Once you have a dining room set, a couch, the only thing remaining is a bed; again this is an item that is worth spending a bit extra on. Now you are set, you can eat, relax, and sleep in comfort and style. Once you have these you can pick up secondary items at your discretion, when you see the perfect piece for your apartment and you have the budget, pick it up. There is no rush.

One-of-a-Kind
Furnish an Apartment

You’re unique and your apartment should reflect this. While department store serve a useful purpose and place, you don’t want your place to look like it was put together over night. You want an authentic and personal style. Make sure you include furniture and artwork that is one of a kind. Look for something at an antique market, an art’s fair, the thrift store. Not only is this a great way to save money, it is also crucial in making your place feel like home and a great conversation starter.

I hope this tips on how to furnish an apartment will help you make your bachelor’s pad reflect success and not the stereotypical messy studio. If you plan right you can have a unique, stylish, modern apartment  on just about any budget.

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How to buy a gift for a boyfriend/girlfriend

Gift For Boyfriend/Girlfiend

So it is that time of year. It is always that time of year. Whether it is birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas; you need to get your significant other a gift. So here are some tips on how to buy a gift for a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Make it Unique
Nothing will make your spouse smile like something they know is unique and heartfelt. Try shopping at local markets for a handmade personal gift. If you don’t know where to go there are countless online retailers that specialize in unique, one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. Whether it is vintage or hipster, spend a little extra effort (and likely a little less money) and get him/her something that will truly show them how special they are to you.

Activities
Gift For Boyfriend/Girlfiend
Give the gift an experience. While no one will be unhappy with jewelry or clothes, how about dancing lessons or a once in a lifetime vacation. Nothin will be more memorable than spending time doing something out of the ordinary with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe even buy a gift card to somewhere your significant other has been wanting to do but you have been hesitant to do, cooking classes, yoga, or even learning a musical instrument. You will both get out of your comfort zones and will get to see each other in a new light.

Books
I know it may sound dull at first but books are a gift that many people would love but maybe don’t spend the time and effort to pick out themselves. With millions of books in print, the hard part is picking out a book that is meaningful to your significant other. Finding the perfect book will not only show you care but it will also show you have a deep understanding of the recipient. The gift of a book also shows that you consider your boyfriend/girlfriend to be an intelligent and thoughtful person who will understand the time and effort you put into picking out this gift. The trick is to spend time picking out just the right one, there are countless websites that can helpful you find the right book and also there is nothing better than a experienced shopkeep at your local mom and pop book shop.

Something Homemade

While it may seem cheesy or cheap at first, I assure you it is not. A quality homemade gift can be the best gift. If you write your boyfriend/girlfriend a song its something they will never forget. Can you imagine the look on their face when you hand them a poem you specifically about them. How about how they would feel flipping through a custom printed photo book that chronicles your relationship together. So start thinking, what are your skills? What are you good at? Use this school to give your boyfriend/girlfriend a meaningful gift.

So next holiday that rolls around you will be ready. Remember that it is not the money that counts but how much heart you put into it. Your boyfriend/girlfriend just wants to feel special, they just want to know you care and that the gift you get them is personal and meaningful.

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How to Make Money While Sitting on Your Couch

Work From Home

It’s everyone’s dream. Make money while sitting on your  couch. But it is not always easy to earn cash while sitting around in your bathrobe.  Here are some tips to help you find the dream job you can do from your sofa.
Work From Home
Utilize a Skill You Already Have
The best way to start earning money from home is to take advantage of skills you already have. Are you a natural writer or have experience doing so? Perhaps you could find a job as a copywriter. This is often a flexible position as far location and you could definitely find a gig that would allow you to work from your couch. Do you have experience in computer programming or design? Then you are in luck! Many tech industry positions often allow flexible work environments including working from home. Some other popular work from home industries are medical transcriptionists, call center operators, travel agents, and tech support staff. So look at your work history and maybe you are already qualified for one of these positions.

Make Use of the Global Economy
Maybe an at home  job may seem like a low pay rate but it is all relative. A small hourly rate in Manhattan could be a king’s ransom amount in a country like Vietnam. So if you can flexibility where you work, you are opening yourself up to a plethora of opportunities. A recent publicized trends of of “digital nomads” is highlight workers who are taking advantage of this and working abroad while making a U.S. salary. If you choose a low cost country to visit while working remotely, not only can you work from your couch but you can travel the world as well.

Do Your Homework
If a job is too good to be true, it likely is. Be skeptical of banner adds about retirees earning $100,000 a with nothing more than laptop. Check out legitimate job sites and referrals from people you know. There are plenty of work from home jobs but remember they are actual jobs that require actual work. You will still have to work just as hard as in the office, if not harder! Also, it is important to make sure working form home is for you. It’s not for everybody. Some people think working from home will be ideal but after a few weeks get bored or miss the routine. For some it is nice to get out of the house ever once in a while.

So whether you are looking for a little extra cash on the side or a full time career from the couch; if you do you research and are qualified you can find it. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and a fast laptop and update your resume. The next thing you know you could be logging 40 hours a week from the comfort of your couch.

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Tips For saving Extra money for a rainy day

Saving Money For Rainy Day

Every wants a few extra bucks for the proverbial rainy day, am I right? While everyone knows they should be saving money it is not always as easy as you’d think. Whether you you want to stash cash for a dream vacation, a wedding, retirement, a down payment on a house, or just a bit of stability;  here are a few tips for saving extra money for a rainy day.

Saving Money For Rainy Day
Make a Budget
Writing out a budget, whether it is on a fancy new app, a spreadsheet, or the old school pen and paper; it doesn’t matter so long as you write down how much money are making and how much you are spending. This will help eliminate the ever present “where does all my money go” we have all been asking ourselves since our first paper route. Having a budget will allow you to make a realistic expectations for savings as well eliminate wasteful spending. It will also put things in perspective, 4 bucks a day on coffee doesn’t seem like too much until you realize that it is $120 a month that could easily be building your savings.

Enroll in a “Keep the Change” Program
Fewer and fewer of us are using cash. While some say a debit card makes it harder to stay on a budget, there are plus sides. Many banks over a “round up” or “keep the change” program which will round your transaction to the next dollar and put that extra money into a separate account. For example every time you buy lunch for $6.49 or your gas is $28.08,  the 51 or 92 cents will be moved to your savings account. While this may seem like (and is) just pennies, it can add up very quickly. These programs are incredibly helpful for those who want to These programs are incredibly helpful for those who have a hard time putting money into a seperate account. Now the only trick is to leave your savings account alone!

Teamwork
Everything is easier when you a partner. Just like are more likely to go to the gym if you have a gym buddy, you are more likely to save money if you have a saving. If you are planning a vacation with your best friend, make an agreement that you will both save $20 dollars a month until you reach your goal. Planning a wedding? You and your spouse could open a joint account and add equal amounts each week until you have enough. This way you have someone to hold you accountable and encourage you to put money into your savings and more importantly someone to deter you from taking it out!

No one has ever complained about having too much money saved for a rainy day. So follow some of these tips and hopefully it will help you in saving money for a rainy day.

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The Best Laptops of 2016

Best laptop 2016

There are dozens of top notch laptops on the market right now and 2016 is an exciting year for technology. Whether you want to play games, get creative, or simply take notes; here are some of the best laptops of 2016. Take a look and find the piece of tech that best suites your needs and budget.

Macbook
Best laptop 2016

Long a favorite of the creative industry and those with the cash, Apple’s Macbook line which includes the Macbook, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro will continue to dominate 2016. Apple leads in the fields of consumer satisfaction, durability, and ease of use. The latest Mac OS “El Capitan” has slaughtered bridged the divide between mobile and desktop experience, offering users with iPads and iPhones a seamless transition between the devices, you can even continue conversations and emails from one device to the other. Offering unique designs and retina displays for those who have the cash Apple’s line will not disappoint. With new Macbooks rumored to be launching this Spring, Apple is set to continue wowing users with its high-end line.

Alienware
For the gamer on the go, Alienware’s line of gaming laptops is second to none. With mind-blowing graphics cards and exclusive features such as 4k displays, this line will give you desktop quality graphics wherever you are. Now with Windows 10, powered by quad-core Intel i7 chips, there isn’t much these machines can’t do. With competitive pricing, Alienware is accessible to many types of gamers.  Though not as stylish and portable as many other laptops in its price range, the Alienware line makes up for it with extreme power and versatility. This laptop will handle your school work and the latest first person shooter.

Microsoft Surface
In the field of 2-in-1 laptops/tablets, the Microsoft Surface 4 is at the top. With impressive specs and the brand new Windows 10, Microsoft has refined the 2-in-1 this round. The Surface 4 is ideal for work, light gaming, and education. Along with the new operating system, the latest Surface offers a sharper and larger screen as well as an improved type cover. The ability to run the complete Microsoft Office Suite, is a major advantage as both a tablet and a laptop. The real highlight is having the ease of a tablet with the power of a laptop. No other piece of tech on this list is easier to take with you on your 2016 vacation or while waiting at the bus stop.

So whether you want a high-end Macbook Pro that can handle pretty much anything you through at it or a 2-in-1 laptop you can throw into your bag on the go, 2016 is a great year to buy a laptop. As always be sure you do your homework to make sure you buy one of the best laptops of 2016.

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