Sunday, April 24, 2016

5 Gift Ideas for Geeks

1. Apple iPhone

Apple’s gamebreaking iPhone is the single, sexiest gadget you can buy your favorite geek and it’s no wonder it commands the #1 spot on this list. With internet, Bluetooth and GPS all built in, the iPhone is sure to make any geek squeal with joy. On top of that, Apple even offers a specialized gift card just for the iPhone that can be loaded with any amount above $25. You can check out the iPhone at your nearest AT&T or Apple store, or on the web at: www.apple.com/iPhone.

2. A Binary Clock

Standard clocks are boring and outdated. Why not buy a clock with a little more flare? More attitude? A binary clock puts a new spin on the old wind-up! Generally manufactured using small LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), the display uses a perfect harmony of arrayed LEDs that are indicate the time based on which LEDs are on, and which are off. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the binary clock makes great small talk and it is kind of cool knowing you understand the magic that masks the obvious. $25 at http://ift.tt/1SmoxLF.

3. USB Microscope

Every found a piece of fuzz and wanted to take a closer look? How about a really close look? With a USB microscope, your geek will be able to investigate the microscopic world with ease. The microscope attaches to a computer by means of a USB cable and displays real-time imagery onto the computer’s monitor. Overall magnification and the sensitivity of the camera determine how much a single unit can be had for. Look for something in the $100 range with 200x magnification and a bendable base to hit the sweet spot. This and other like-minded gifts at www.ThinkGeek.com.

4. FireSteel

This is a favorite of mine that is not necessarily tied only to geeks. It’s called FireSteel and it’s made from a compound of various metals. By taking the steel tool and scraping along the FireSteel compound, sparks are produced that can be used to start fires for both recreational activities and emergency situations. No more lost lighters, no more wet matches! The whole tool does not take up too much space and I keep one in my car just in case an emergency situation arises. Around $10 at www.FireSteel.com.

**Warning: FireSteel sparks can burn in excess of 5500* F!

5. Red Bull

Ah yes, the energy drink to end all! Geeks love to stay awake late into the night tinkering with whatever they can get their hands on so why not aid them in their quest for glory? A can of Red Bull contains about as much caffeine as a single cup of coffee and it has a better taste than many of the other energy drinks out there. Red Bull is available almost anywhere but be wary, it’s rather expensive at $7 for a pack of 4. Be sure to include a note warning how drinking Red Bull uncontrollably can lead to many sleepless, very jittery nights!

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5 Gifts That Are Appropriate for Any Occasion

Do you need a gift for your sister, co-worker or friend? Occasions arise when we want to get something for a person to show our appreciation and gratitude for and towards them. In this article I would like to discuss 5 gifts appropriate for a loved one or a friend for any occasion.

1. Pepper spray, whistles, and personal alarms. This would be a useful item to give to any female college age or older. They come in a compact size which allow them to be kept on a key chain readily available for use. Encourage your friends and family members to always be informed of their surroundings and have some form of protection available for use. It is also a good thing to check with your local police department to see if or when low cost or free self defense classes will be offered. You and your friends can participate in these classes as a group.

2. The second must have gadget is a GPS Navigation System. It stands for Global Positioning Satellite. These devices are to be mounted in cars to give turn by turn directions to any map able location. These GPS have been popular for a few years now and relatively inexpensive to purchase. A new craze has caught on within the GPS market. It has become the modern day treasure hunt map. People from around the world are planting treasures and giving GPS coordinates as clues.

3. Everybody needs a cell phone. They have just become impossible to live without. If you are one of the few people on the planet without a cell phone because you don’t want another bill, guess what you don’t have to get another bill. There are prepaid or pay as you go phone options available for those you want it for leisure talking, everyday communication, or emergency purposes only. You can get a phone to accommodate whatever your talking pattern is. There are also cell phone being marketed that allow parents to control their children’s use and monitors who they communicate with. We are also seeing cell phones marketed towards the more mature population with larger key dial pads, and voice magnification.

4. If your eye sight is declining due to old age or some macular degenerative disease there are many types of magnifiers on the market today. You are not stuck with the detectives magnifying glass fashionable magnifiers are available that are small and discrete in size.

5. Get yourself , friend, or loved one a digital camera. These cameras are not only useful for capturing life’s moments and sharing them with others. You can use your camera to take a picture of your parking space in a large parking garage or shopping mall so you never lose your car again.

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5 Fundamentals of Credit Cards for Business

As a small business owner, perhaps you have given thought or have already applied for a business credit card. This article discusses the five fundamental truths about credit cards for business.

Good credit means access to good rates. If you have good personal or business credit, then you have the privilege to qualify for business credit cards with the lowest rates. You can even try to negotiate and request for a better deal. It would be great to check your credit report first prior to applying for a business credit card to make sure that there are no errors which could cause your score to drop. But what if you have bad credit? In this case, you have the option to apply for a secured small business credit card, but these credit cards require the submission of a security cash deposit.

Different issuers have different rules. The terms and conditions vary from one business credit card to another so you will have to spend time reading the Agreement page to make sure that there will be no unfair conditions or unreasonable fees. If there are clauses in the fine print that seems vague, be sure to talk to a potential issuer about it.

Not all credit cards are for you. There is not one business credit card that is ideal for all types of businesses. This is especially true if you want to apply for acredit card with rewards. Some business credit cards offer travel rewards while others offer cash back and rebates. Benefitting from your business reward credit card will largely depend on your choice and afterwards, on how you manage your account. Therefore, you need to make sure that the reward system matches with the spending needs of your business.

Introductory offers are not permanent. Keep in mind that introductory offers are not a permanent deal. A business credit card can offer a low introductory rate good to last for six months to a year, but you also check out how much the regular interest rate would be when the promo period expires. Other factors to consider are the fees such as late penalty, balance transfer, over-the-limit, and other finance charges.

How you benefit is up to you. Small business credit cards can be wonderful tools for business owners but how you benefit from them greatly depends on how you use them. To avoid paying extra fees, cardholders are strongly advised to pay their balances in full each month and to keep within your credit limit. Some business credit cards offer deferred payment for large purchases. If this is the case, don’t forget to submit your monthly payments on time to avoid late penalty charges.

Not all issuers report to business credit trackers. You can establish and build business credit with credit cards for business. However, take note that not all issuers report your payments to the business credit bureaus like Dun & Bradstreet. See to it that your chosen business credit card offer credit reporting to business credit bureaus.

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5 Good Reasons to Pass on Buying the Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 Player

The new Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player from Creative is known for its compact form, great audio quality, Bluetooth support, and ability to handle lots of audio formats, but the Creative Zen X-Fi3 also has lots of other features that are less than ideal.

Compact, but Bulky

The Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player is known for its compact size, and while it is a bit compact – supporting a 46.5 x 63 x 14mm frame and weighing only 43 grams – the Creative Zen X-Fi3’s form factor comes with one major drawback; it’s a bit bulky. The Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player features a bulky bezel that goes along its design – which totally defeats the purpose of its otherwise compact design.

Small Display Size

Having a compact design also puts the Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player at another disadvantage by forcing it to incorporate a small 2 inch touchscreen display. The Creative Zen X-Fi3 is a touchscreen MP3 player and relies on its small touchscreen for input and navigation, but the small 2 inch display of this MP3 player makes navigation a headache and it doesn’t work well with watching videos either.

Supports Only Minor Features

When most consumers think of MP3 players nowadays, they think of the Apple iPod and its many features that go way beyond simply playing digital audio formats. Unfortunately, although the Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player features a touchscreen display, it only supports a handful of features and doesn’t really stand up to competing MP3 players within the same price range.

Price

Unfortunately, considering the many drawbacks of this MP3 player, it’s $140 asking price is a bit hard to swallow. The Creative Zen X-Fi3 supports the same features that you’re likely to find on a budget MP3 player and at a $140 retail price; the Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player will likely collect dust on the shelves of retail electronic stores.

There Are Too Many Better Alternative Available

The Creative Zen X-Fi3 MP3 player may be new, but it doesn’t really have any features that make it stand out from the pack. There are lots of other MP3 players on the market that do what the Creative Zen X-Fi3 does, but a lot better and for a lot less. It’s hard to find a reason to pick the Creative Zen X-Fi3 over the multitude of other MP3 players on the market – especially when lots of them fare a lot better than Creative’s new MP3 player.

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5 Great 1990s Love Songs to Play on Valentine’s Day

Are you in the process of planning a Valentine’s Day dance? If so, you may want to consider placing some of the great love songs from the 1990s onto your party’s musical lineup. Based on my experience as a former special events planner, I know of several tunes that would be ideal for such a celebration. Each one is a song that I have previously incorporated into my events with much success. Here they are:

“Oh, Pretty Woman” (1990)

One of the first 1990s love songs that I’d suggest playing on Valentine’s Day is Bill Dees and Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Although the song was initially released in the 1960s, it returned to prominence in the 1990s thanks to the film “Pretty Woman.” Personally, I like the song because of the lyrics. I thought that they were well written.

“Unforgettable” (1991)

I have found that another love song worth playing is Irving Gordon’s 1950s song “Unforgettable.” It got a makeover in the 1990s too, which caused a resurgence in the song’s popularity. The makeover featured the vocalizations of the late Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie. It appeared on Natalie Cole’s album “Unforgettable: With Love.” Other beautiful songs that appeared on the album include “This Can’t Be Love” and “Love is Here to Stay.”

“Because You Loved Me” (1996)

Celine Dion also released an amazing love song in the 1990s that you may want to utilize at your event. It is entitled “Because You Loved Me” and I can tell you that my guests seemed to request it a lot. The tune appeared on her album “Falling into You”, which contains other love songs that your guests may enjoy. Among them are “I Love You” and “Seduces Me.”

“How Do I Live?” (1997)

For me, one of the prettiest love songs of the 1990s was LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live?” I apparently am not alone in my adoration of the song because it has been requested frequently at the events I’ve held over the years. The song appears on her “Greatest Hits” album along with “Commitment” and “You Light Up My Life.” Both would also likely make super additions to your event’s lineup as well.

“You’re Still the One” (1998)

Lastly, I’d suggest that you include Shania Twain’s song “You’re Still the One” onto your party’s lineup. In my opinion, its lyrics and beat make it perfect for romantic dance parties. After all, it focuses on enduring love. It appears on her album “Come On Over.” Furthermore, I also like the album because it contains additional songs that are ideal for such an event. Among them are “Love Gets Me Every Time” and “I Won’t Leave You Lonely.”

Source: Personal Experience

More from this contributor:

How to Get the Most Value Out of a Holiday Ham Shank

X Games History 1990s to 2011 and the High Dollar Draw of Pro Skateboarding

A Brief History of Plot Based Skateboarding Films from 1965 to the 1990s

Top 5 Wines to Serve with a Holiday Ham

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5 Gentle Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep

Anyone who uses the phrase “sleep like a baby” has never had a baby with sleep problems. Contrary to how often people use this expression, a lot of babies have actually poor sleep habits, and it can be really frustrating if your baby is one of them.

Preventing sleep problems is a lot easier than fixing them once they have developed, but most likely you are reading this article because you already have a baby who’s not a good sleeper. Here are a few suggestions for how to help your baby develop better sleep habits.

Start Early
As soon as you notice that your baby isn’t sleep well, you should take action. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that because their baby is only a couple months old, it’s too early to try to change their habits and think that they should wait until baby gets older. This is a bad idea because poor habits become more entrenched the longer they continue.

Try Swaddling
If your baby is still younger than three or four months old, try swaddling him in a receiving blanket like you would have when he was a newborn. Wrap him tightly in the blanket, making sure his arms and legs are both firmly tucked within it so that his limbs can’t flail. Young babies still have the “startle reflex” that can make it difficult to relax enough to sleep. Keeping their limbs tucked in the blanket can make them feel more secure.

Establish a Consistent Routine
A consistent, predictable bedtime routine is one of the most important components to helping a child of any age get to sleep. Start the bedtime routine 30 minutes to an hour before you ultimately plan to put the baby to bed. A common routine includes a warm bath, story time, cuddle and one last feeding by breast or bottle before bed.

Create the Right Environment
You wouldn’t find it easy to fall asleep in a brightly lit room, and neither will your little one. Make sure the lights are dim at bedtime, and get room-darkening blinds if your baby’s bedtime is before the sun goes down. Make sure the temperature is right, too: not too warm or too cold. It is a misconception that infants need to have a really warm room, and in fact it can be unhealthy if it’s too warm in the house, especially if you also have her dressed in layers and covered in blankets. The room should be comfortable for you too. And of course it should be moderately quiet. Trying to maintain absolute silence is difficult and you don’t want your baby to depend on that because then she won’t be able to fall asleep in a variety of situations, but it’s a good idea to make sure music or television isn’t loud in the background.

Progressive Leaving
Put baby in his bed after completing the bedtime routine. The first night, sit right next to baby’s crib and pat him when he cries instead of picking him up. Talk to him in a calm, reassuring voice, letting him know that you are right there by him until he falls asleep. The next night, move a few inches away from the crib and repeat the process of talking to him until he falls asleep. Repeat the process on subsequent nights, each time starting the night further away from his bed.

Although helping your baby get to sleep is difficult if he doesn’t have good sleep habits and the sleepless nights are really frustrating, remember that all babies eventually learn how to sleep through the night. Some children naturally don’t need as much sleep, just as some adults don’t. If you’re reading this while your baby is in a period of not sleeping well, be comforted by the fact that he or she eventually falls asleep every night, even if the process takes longer than you would like. Before you know it, your baby will be a much older child who no longer needs your help to get to sleep, so try to cherish these fleeting moments while they last.

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5 Great Fall 2009 Fashions from Trina Turk

Trina Turk started sewing clothes when she was only 11 years old. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in fashion and with that background, started to build her business with the help of her husband. In 1995 she launched her first line of ready-to-wear clothing for women. Major department stores like Fred Segal, Barney’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue carried her clothing and because her styles soon became a favorite with women, Trina quickly climbed the fashion ladder of success. Below are my top five picks for the fall 2009 season:

This pretty blue dress is called Gertrude and has polka dots in the fabric which make them look like small cutouts. The dress has short sleeves that are open at the bottom and a round neckline with a small opening in the fabric below the neckline. It adds just a hint of sexiness to the dress. The skirt is straight and comes to the knees in length. This would be perfect to wear to an informal dinner or weekend party this fall season. Add some hoop earrings in gold or silver with this dress.

The pink merino wool cardigan and shell seen here has a delightful zigzag textured pattern in the weave. Black trim decorates the top edge of the front pockets, cuffs, and the neckline. Brass buttons are the final touch on the cardigan jacket. This is stylish for the office, a charity lunch, or a formal dinner. Wear your best black pants or skirt with this set. This also comes in black with ivory trim, and heather gray with black trim.

Here is a colorful dress that would look great at a retro party. Called the Benefactor dress, black, tan, pink, yellow, and blue are used in this artistic print. The dress is sleeveless with an almost straight edged neckline. Wear strands of pop beads with this dress. Some suggested colors for the necklaces: bright blue, pink, and yellow. Try a pair of nude or black stockings when you wear this dress.

The pixelated design in this dress looks like it’s been made in Photoshop. Called the Vignette dress, this has a pretty black necktie, with straight dress lines and a skirt that comes above the knees. Purple, green, brown, and black make up the colors in this dress. This is the kind of dress to wear on the hottest day of the year, simply because it is so comfortable.

A jersey sheath dress with a black and white starburst pattern is elegant and stylish for this upcoming fall season. This dress has ¾ length sleeves, a V-neckline, and knee length skirt. The dress also comes in fuchsia and white. This is ideal for wearing to work, a business meeting, or formal lunch.

Trina Turk fashion can be purchased through her boutiques in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, New York, and Bloomingdale’s.

http://ift.tt/KsESvc

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5 Great Holiday Gifts for Songwriters

Songwriters need gifts, too, but it can be hard to figure out what to get them. Well, not if you are a songwriter–luckily, we’re not that complicated. Here are 5 gifts that any songwriter will appreciate.

1. Personal recorder – Inspiration can strike anywhere, and those little memo recording programs on cell phones are just unacceptable–most phones just don’t have a good enough microphone to reliably replicate a melody. And yes, us songwriters will frequently sing into our phones while driving. It comes with the job. A portable recorder is a great gift. There’s even add-on hardware that can be bought that records voice memos in high quality directly onto an Apple iPod, which is fantastically convenient for songwriters.

2. Apple iPod Classic – Hey, we’ve got to check out the competition, and some of the iPod’s accessories (like the aforementioned voice recorder) help us write our songs. A large iPod classic is usually best for a songwriter, since we’re likely to have a fairly significant music collection, or if you’ve got a spending limit, maybe just a gift card to iTunes. Gift cards come in pretty much any size you’d like, and we’ll always be grateful for anything that helps us experience music.

3. Korg MM1 MetroGnome Micro Metronome An absolutely essential practice tool, I’ve found a solid metronome to be great for songwriting, as well, because it allows me to focus on the song itself and not worry about keeping rhythm or finding the right tempo. Most metronomes will do, but I prefer this model because I’ve worked with it for several years and it shows no sign of breaking (some lower-end metronomes won’t last long), plus it’s in-ear, so it can be used with a band.

4. TR-808 Drum Machine – If you can’t afford the real thing, there are a number of cheap software-based simulations of this famous drum machine, which is very valuable for songwriters. It’s appeared on hundreds of famous pop songs, and can help songwriters plan out what they want the rest of the instruments doing on a song. A completely awesome gift.

5. Adobe Audition 3.0 – Songwriters need a good audio editing program to record demos and songs, and Audition is one of the best programs on the market, with hundreds of effects and multitracking ability. If you’re on a budget, a cheap multitrack program is MP3 Audio Editor from Acoustica.

Do you have any other gift ideas for songwriters? Post in our comments section below.

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5 Great Ideas for Group Halloween Costumes

The first great idea for a group Halloween costume is for you and your friends to dress up as characters from the tv show South Park. This is a great group costume idea because you can change it to fit the number of people in your group. If you have a smaller group of people than you can be Kenny, Cartman, Stan and Kyle. If you have a larger group than you can extend to other characters like their other friends, parents, teachers, police, etc.

The second great idea for a group Halloween costume is to have all of your friends dress up as your favorite band. If you have more people in your group than there are members in the band you chose, than some of the people in your group can be fans, the manager, groupies, road crew, etc.

The third great idea for a group Halloween costume is to have someone dress up a ruler and then have everyone else in the group dress up as harem girls. This group Halloween costume idea works bests for a group of friends that is all women with one man. This group costume idea will also work with a group of all women only instead of having a ruler and a harem, then you have one of the women be the ‘lady’ and have the rest of the women in the group be her ladies in waiting.

The fourth great idea for a group Halloween costume is for you and everyone in your group to be golfers under the statement that you’re all a part of a golf tournament. This is a great group Halloween costume idea because you can all have the opportunity to be a pro golfer for the day or you can dress up as our favorite pro golfer and imitate them. This is also a great group Halloween costume idea because it works for both men and women, so any group can use this idea.

The fifth great idea for a group Halloween costume is that everyone in your group can dress up as some type of mythical creatures. By this I mean that you can all dress up as vampires, ogres, Greek gods and goddesses, werewolf, elves, pixies, leprechauns, etc. You can also have people in your group dress up as any of these and just go as a group of mythical creatures if you have troubles deciding on one mythical group to go as.

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5 Google Chrome Apps You Should Not Be Without

When it comes to applications for a web browser, you might have a hard time figuring out which ones might be worth checking out. Recently, applications have become an integral part of surfing the Internet using your phone. Google Chrome has recently become the latest web browser that allows you to install applications. Google Chrome is known to many people as a safe but very limited web browser with not a lot of customization or capabilities.

Recently, Google Chrome has added an application store to help advertise their online applications and web-based services. Google Chrome application downloads help enable you to personalize your Google Chrome browser and make it more accessible on your phone. Instead of having to download material onto your phone, you can install the web applications and have the same functionality and personalization. Google Chrome applications can enable you to do various things over your phone but here are five applications that you do not want to live without.

Gmail is a great Google Chrome application to get because it is designed very well. A lot of people have Gmal accounts and it is the only way you can use the Google services so it is a very important part of the Google browsing experience. You can send and receive mail and you can also keep items saved for a later date. Another great aspect of getting the Gmal application is that you can check your email from any cell phone and is a great way to keep your information safe if you borrow a phone to check your email. Gmail mobile is really a handy application to have and it will allow you to login to any Google service with just the click of a button. You can use the Gmail application on any version of Google Chrome as well as any cell phone that has Internet capabilities. The Gmail application makes reading and sending emails very easy and allows you to login knowing you are safe and secure which is always great. This application can be used on a computer if you have Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 and on any cell phone.

Google Docs is also a great application for Google Chrome and it allows you to view all your documents on your cell phone. You can view documents and spreadsheets with just the click of a button wherever you are at without downloading or opening up a file from an email attachment. Google Docs does not allow you to edit your work as of yet but once it does it will be an even better application. Google Docs is one of the best applications for Google Chrome because it allows you to see all of your documents without having to open up the spreadsheet program. Google Docs is also great because if you are going to have a presentation on something and need to look at a reference you have the ability by just opening the application. The versatility of this application is great and the layout and speed of the application is also really good. This would be a great application for Google Chrome if you are using Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP.

UnChrome is another great application for your Google Chrome web browser. This application will help get rid of your unique identification and replace it with a nullified value. Essentially, everyone who downloads Google Chrome is set up with an identification code embedded into your installation and Google can identify you through this. In order to make Google Chrome safer, you can install this application so it will delete that identification code so that your browser can not be identified any longer. You only need to UnChrome one time to make your web browser identification null and void. When you install this application nothing happens to your Google Chrome web browser so everything stays intact and the speed is not affected by this change. This is a great application for Google Chrome because it allows you to keep anonymity when it comes to your Google Chrome browser and keeps your system safe and secured. UnChrome basically just gets rid of the identification code as another way to make your Internet experience more enjoyable and safe. You can use the UnChrome application if you are running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 which also makes this a great application for Google Chrome.

The Picasa application for Google Chrome is one of the best applications you can get for photography needs. This application allows you to comment and browse on your own photos as well as photos of a friend of within the Picasa group. You can use your email to upload images to this application and you can also store photos on it as well. It is similar to a lot of the photo sharing websites on the Internet except it is all done through a Google Chrome application. This is a great application for Google Chrome because it allows you to tag yourself in pictures, upload pictures to a computer and share them through email with family. Anyone who likes photography and needs to have storage available anytime would really benefit from this application. There is a mobile version of this application as well as an application for Google Chrome on your computer, so whether you are on vacation or at home, you can still enjoy your photography. You can use this application from any mobile device or from any computer that is running on Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 and it runs great on all of the platforms.

Google Reader is also a great application to use if you have Google Chrome and will provide you with hours of information. Google Reader is great because it allows you to stay updated on current information from your favorite news and websites and alerts you when new information is available. There is a built-in public page in this application that will allow you to share the information you are reading with your family or a friend so you can discuss current events with them as they happen. You do not have to install any software to access Google Reader which is also a great benefit and it works on just about any mobile phone or web browser. Google Reader gives you the benefit of checking on current news while doing such things as watching a video or checking your email. It makes it easier to browse the Internet because you do not have to go to each individual website to get your information or news. Using Google Reader basically allows the important news and events going on to come straight to you without you having to look for it. Google Reader can be used on any mobile device as well as any computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. This application is free through Google Chrome and brings viewing the news to a new experience.

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