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Empowering Women Through Technology

Month

January 2017

App of the Week – ThinkUp

Ladies,

This week’s App comes to us via Ashley Macey at Brit & Co. It’s a simple, yet, brilliant App to re-enforce Positive Affirmations in a world of Political Chaos.

I hope you like it as much as I do…

“This Trendy App Can Help You Stay Positive This Year”
Ashley Macey of Brit & Co

“It’s no secret that on New Year’s Eve most of us were more interested in saying “F You 2016” than “Welcome 2017.” So instead of dwelling on the negative (which would be waaay too easy), I’ve decided to set myself up to avoid bad attitudes and embrace positive vibes in the coming year. But before I can accomplish this hefty task, I thought it would *probably* be best to equip myself with a few useful tools to help me look on the brighter side in 2017. One of the strategies I’m investigating is positive affirmation.


Positive affirmation isn’t new — in fact, the concept has been tied to the historic practice of Buddhist and Sanskrit mantras — but it is new to me. As a psychological practice, positive affirmation was first popularized by French psychologist Emile Coué in the 1920s, and it’s been a hotly debated topic within the scientific community ever since. While some scientists believe positive affirmation is a proven way of creating a new habit, others believe it’s just a bunch of hippie mumbo jumbo.

So, I made myself a little experiment. Using the popular app ThinkUp (free on iOS and Android), I would see how positive affirmation practice would impact my life over a week.

The first thing I had to do was dream up my own affirmations. I opted to start with three that I felt would help me stay more positive in the first week of 2017 (and, yes, I am aware that most of them are *super* cheesy). Once I chose my affirmations from ThinkUp’s comprehensive list, the next step was to record myself saying them aloud. Merging my recordings with a soothing musical track, the app then created a specialized playlist just for me. The goal was to listen to the playlist three times a day and say my affirmations out loud in time with the playlist.

I won’t lie: It totally felt awkward at first. Shouting my dreams into the world seemed hella crazy — especially when I mistimed my schedule and ended up having to whisper them in line at Starbucks.


But by the end of day four, I honestly did start to feel more positive. It’s really important to give yourself up to the process and stop feeling like you’re being a weirdo in public. Because I got to record the affirmations in my own voice, it was the perfect pep talk from myself to really kill in positivity every single day… and I loved it!
Sure, my neighbors might think I’m a little insane now (if they didn’t already). But even after just a week I could feel myself remembering to let go of life’s little annoyances and ground myself in my goal to stay more positive.”

Download ThinkUp

 

How to: Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Ladies,

For this week’s “How to”, I opted to keep things simple and Mac oriented. While working for Apple, one of the most common questions was about keyboard shortcuts. So, here I’ve posted Apple’s most common Keyboard shortcuts for novices and experts alike.

Mac menus and keyboards often use symbols for certain keys, including the modifier keys:
• Command ⌘
• Shift ⇧
• Option ⌥
• Control ⌃
• Caps Lock ⇪
• Fn

If you’re using a keyboard made for Windows PCs, use the Alt key instead of Option, and the Windows logo key instead of Command. Some Mac keyboards and shortcuts use special keys in the top row, which include icons for volume, display brightness, and other functions. Press the icon key to perform that function, or combine it with the Fn key to use it as an F1, F2, F3, or other standard function key.
To learn more shortcuts, check the menus of the app you’re using. Every app can have its own shortcuts, and shortcuts that work in one app may not work in another.

Netflix Tips You Need In Your Life

 

Ladies,

In the spirit of a winter weekend with no football, I thought I’d give you a few tips to help you Netflix & Chill.

This article was originally posted on TNW by Trevor Nace

“Trends in popular software come and go, but it’s pretty clear at this point which ones are sticking around for the long haul. How else do you end up with the cultural jargon “Netflix and Chill” being so widely accepted? I’m fairly certain you’ve never heard anybody say, “Hulu and Chill.” “Youtube and Chill?” “HBO Now and…” yeah, you get the picture.


Netflix is the premium streaming service for films and television shows, and even though its primary competitors are doing just fine in their own right, there’s almost no way for them to close the distance with this media behemoth.

It helps that a great majority of Netflix’s original programming has been met with critical acclaim, many times over. Daredevil. Jessica Jones. Orange is the New Black. House of Cards. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Fans of Arrested Development, Full House, and Gilmore Girls can all thank Netflix for picking up the threads of where their favorite shows left off, delivering new content available exclusively through the streaming service.

While Amazing Video and Hulu have certainly been playing the same ballgame, neither can boast the profile or namesake that Netflix now claims amongst its users. From the forecast of upcoming content that we’ll soon be seeing from Netflix, that paradigm isn’t likely to shift anytime soon.

Still, just because a service is popular doesn’t mean that every nuance of operating it is visible, right on its service. People have criticism in abundance for Netflix, and much of it has to do with streaming, organization, geoboundaries (more on this, later) and the ways that different devices and web browsers seem to affect the playback of Netflix content.

Crafty users have found a way around most of this complaints, and below, I’ll share ten of the most frequently used (but infrequently known) tricks that will help you to become truly Netflix-savvy. (I can’t help with the “chill” part. That’s on you, friends.)

HIDDEN SUBCATEGORIES


I’ll admit, I find Netflix’s content organization to be borderline atrocious.

Sure, you can find your way into genre-sorted listings of all available films and television shows, but by and large, the landing screen that always greets you upon signing in is a damned mess. Instead of a simplified, streamlined listing of content we see “Romance-fueled horror thrill-ride movies” or “Funny splatter-fests that will melt your heart.”

You’re not the only person that’s been left scratching their head, wondering how to wade through it all.
Thankfully, there’s a way to take advantage of this organization scheme for your benefit. See, those odd genre amalgamations aren’t just for you, and they’re not just for show. They’re actually specifically compiled lists that you can drag up on demand…as long as you know how. Head over to the Netflix ID Bible and check out the immense list of subcategories that are available to view
.

It works like this. Take your base URL of ‪http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/INSERTNUMBER‬, and replace the obvious part of that URL with one of the subcategories that you’d like to view. For example, if you want to watch Asian Action Movies, the finished URL would be ‪http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/77232‬.

Easy, right?

Take advantage of this trick whenever you’re feeling digitally peckish, but don’t know what to watch.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR SUBTITLES


One of Netflix’s fantastic features is the huge library of foreign-language films that it constantly offers. However, unless you’re fluent in the languages that you’ll be hearing, subtitles are going to become your best buddy.


Raise your hand if you’ve ever been irritated by the size or font style of Netflix’s subtitles.

Well, my hand is up, but if you haven’t been yet, there’s a chance you might be in the future. It’s handy to know that you can change those settings as often as you want from within your Netflix settings. Simply click into your account, then scroll to the bottom of the list of settings. Select “Subtitle Appearance” and be amazed by how much you can customize them!

Don’t get stuck squinting at your screen ever again.

CUSTOMIZE YOURSTREAMING QUALITY

 

360p. 720p. 1080p. 4k. The list of increasing streaming resolutions is getting a bit mind-boggling, but what stands to boggle the mind even more is how these settings can affect your viewing experience.
Whether you’re on a slower internet connection at home or using your mobile data to catch a quick television episode, this is one of the most important things that you can learn to customize. (Your patience and your phone bill will both thank you.)


Once again, from within your account settings, scroll down until you find the “Playback Setting” option. From within that menu, you can choose between several preset data-usage ranges, from automatic (which selects it for you, based on connection speed) and high (which enables HD and Ultra HD playback.)

Even if you have a blazing fast mobile connection, however, the GB of data used to stream HD or Ultra HD are going to chew through your data allowance uncomfortably quick. Additionally, if your home internet connection is being particularly sluggish, try reducing the playback settings to accommodate it.


GETFLIX (SKIP GEOBLOCKING)

There are a few justified reasons for geo-blocking, but they have never mattered that much to Netflix users who just want to be able to view the same content as Netflix users in other countries. US availability in particular is often desired by viewers in other countries, and through clever DNS routing, Getflix can get you past the usual IP address blockade and give you access to Netflix (and more!)
The only catch? It’s going to cost you if you want to keep on using it.


Though each pricing bundle comes with a 14-day free trial, you’ll need to pay a recurring monthly subscription fee to maintain the service.

In my opinion, the added entertainment value you’ll get for such a small investment is totally worth it.

WATCH NETFLIX TOGETHER

Long distance relationships are difficult. Whether we’re talking friendship or romance, sometimes its nice to spend a few hours watching something good with a person who means a lot to you, but buffering times and stream availability can make this difficult, resulting in out-of-sync viewing experiences and more frustration than fun.


Though a few online web portals and apps purport being able to fix this, the best of them is Rabbit. Get signed up, then start enjoying shared viewing experiences again.

It even has pretty stellar chat support, so you and your dearest can yak it up while the movie is playing.

USE MULTIPLE PROFILES


Most assume that the ability to create multiple profiles for your Netflix account is only useful when multiple members of a household are using it, but this isn’t true! There’s one other handy organization tip that I can give you, and it revolves completely around the way that Netflix profiles work.

Some may not realize it, but the viewing recommendations that Netflix gives you are based on what you’ve viewed on a particular account. This works great for separate people using separate accounts, but you can also use it to shape the recommendations that you want to see based on other circumstances.
Let’s say, you want certain movies to show up as options for “date night.” Make an account for it! Your viewing experience on your “date night” profile will lead to you finding more films and television shows that are applicable to that occasion.

What about those times when you want to sit down for a couple of hours and watch a documentary? Make a “Documentaries” profile, during which you only watch informative, interesting content.
Your recommendations are going to follow suit
.

 

ONLY WATCH THE BEST


You’re cuddled up on the sofa (alone or with company; it’s the sofa that’s important, right?), and you want to know what’s new, what’s good, and what’s available to watch. Where do you turn? You could do a quick search for “Best Movies On Netflix” and hope you snag a new favorite movie to watch.
Netflix’s “star rating” system is notoriously unreliable, and thankfully, crafty Netflixers have stepped up to provide a service that will help you out.

Though many like it are available, I find Best Movies On Netflix (What is On Netflix?) to be the best place to look.

With it, you can see what’s recently been added to the streaming service, and also use common directories and other resources to determine whether or not a particular film or television show is any good, in the first place.

LISTEN TO THE CRITICS

I already mentioned how widely unreliable Netflix’s rating system can be for finding the content that you want to watch, but thankfully, there’s a way around that particular problem. As long as you’re browsing from a web browser, you can use extensions like NEnhancer to add a great deal more information to each listing in your Netflix queue. Imagine being able to see IMDb information, trailers, Rotten Tomatoes reviews, and more without ever having to leave Netflix.

Though the Netflix algorithms are good at some things, it can be decidedly difficult to figure out what exactly you’re in the mood to watch.

Take out a little bit of the guesswork, reclaim some of that lost browsing time, and give NEnhancer a try.

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT’S COMING AND WHAT’S GOING


One thing that long time Netflixers know by now is the fact that what’s available is always changing. Movies and TV shows that have been around for a while hit the road, while new items are brought in.
One thing that Netflix doesn’t do a particularly good job of letting you know when all of these changes are taking place, which makes it hard to know when you’re running out of time to watch something. Inversely, it’s nice to know when you have upcoming content to look forward to.

There are quite a few online resources that will keep track for you. Whats-On-Netflix keeps up-to-date listings of what will soon be leaving the popular streaming service as well as what’s on the way.

CLEAR YOUR VIEWING HISTORY


This one might only apply to users that want a little bit more privacy than Netflix affords by default, but it’s absolutely possible to wipe your viewing history from your account. Whether you want to clear it all out or just remove certain items, it’s a simple process.

Pop back into your Netflix account settings, and once again, scroll down to the bottom where you can select “Viewing History.” From this menu, you’ll see a listing of every movie or television episode that you’ve recently watched on your Netflix account.

In addition to being able to report any problems you might have had while streaming, you can click the “X” off to the right to delete any entry that you’d like. Use this to keep your viewing history a little more clean, a little more concise, and a little more private.

Netflix is here to stay. We can make that claim with a fair amount of confidence, now that the service has weathered several competitors moving in on its offerings while still remaining on top.

Considering the surprising amount of hype that now surrounds and follows a majority of Netflix’s original programming, it’s hard to see any of this popularity taking a nosedive anytime soon.

That doesn’t mean the Netflix experience can’t stand to be enhanced, though. The above 10 tips are enough to get you started on the way to Netflix mastery.”

Weekly Roundup – 1/27/17

 

Ladies,

These are the tech stories that intrigued me this week…

 

I can’t wait to try the new features:
The New Google Voice via Arstechnica

I wish I could say I’m surprised…
Trump’s God-Awful Phone and Twitter Security Isn’t as Scary as His Cybersecurity Policies via Slate.com

Elon Musk for President!! Who’s with me?
Elon Musk’s Hyperloop contest is happening this weekend — here’s a look at all the competing pods via Business Insider

Don’t you let them push you around!
How to whip annoying Windows Updates into submission via Boy Genius Report

It seems like only yesterday…
Seven years later, we’re still asking the wrong questions about the iPad via The Verge

Women in Tech Spotlight: Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry

Ladies,

This week’s Women in Tech spotlight will introduce you to 2 young women I find particularly remarkable. Their names are Katharine Zaleski and Milena Berry and they co-founded PowerToFly; a service that finds work-from-home jobs for female tech talent, particularly mothers who don’t want to leave their children. They are 30 something working moms and real life wonder women who are trying to level the playing field for women in Tech.

Shalene Gupta from Fortune interviewed them a few weeks ago and I wasn’t about to re-invent the wheel when she perfectly captured the details and the essence that makes these women special.

Enjoy!

“Already, PowerToFly counts a few big companies like Buzzfeed and Hearst among its clients. (BuzzFeed CEO, Jonah Peretti, is one of their angel investors.) For Zaleski, former digital head of Washington Post, and Berry, the former CTO of political activist site Avaaz.org, this company is also a personal mission. Both are mothers and say they know that female tech talent is out there. They believe that remote work is the key to closing the tech gender gap.

Fortune chatted with Berry and Zaleski. [Transcript lightly edited for length and clarity.]


Let’s start at the beginning. What inspired you to start PowerToFly?

Berry:
I have three kids. The oldest is eight. When she was ten months old, I became the CTO of Avaaz.org. I joined 3 months in and when I left we had 33 million members. I managed a remote team of about 20 people there. I would often be nursing while managing a server crisis. I could be productive and have a great career. It was wonderful. I wanted to know if this could scale to more companies.

Zaleski: When Milena came to me, I was struggling with the idea of going back to my office for ten hours a day and leaving my baby. I’m traveling in the Dominican Republic right now. I have Internet and I can do all my work. But I don’t have to sacrifice seeing my child.

What’s your edge? What are you offering that employers can’t do on their own?

Zaleski: We’re offering a service where we present vetted female talent. There’s this line that keeps repeating that women in tech don’t exist and that not enough women are graduating with tech degrees . That’s not the immediate problem. Women in tech do exist, but when they get to a certain age, they don’t want to sit in essentially college campuses—which is what these companies have done to attract a certain type of man. Women in their thirties have experience, they want their own lives, and these are the women that companies want.


Berry: Remote work is the part we see the most resistance to. Our goal is to change the conversation around it. Knowing how to do remote takes a bit of training and then it can totally work in any organization. We’re training clients on how to do remote so they can work with some of our own talent.

What’s involved with your training?

Berry: We have regular newsletters for anyone who has posted a job on [our] network. We’re launching a new set of webinars on how to do remote. We also issue guidelines to all talent and alert the companies in the Code of Conduct we require from both sides. Making remote work effective is all about good communication. We use daily reports: sent to your manager and the people on your team, that way you have upward and horizontal visibility.

Zaleski: For the first two weeks, we assign each woman and client a talent manager. The talent manager’s goal is to help create an environment for a successful remote relationship.

How has business been going?

Zaleski:
We’ve processed almost $1 million in payment for these women. We’re proud of this. Things are starting to ramp up. I just got back from the Middle East. In Palestine over 50% of women graduate with IT degrees but only a small fraction have jobs because their families don’t want them to leave home. We’re also starting to work with women in Saudi Arabia and in Haiti.
One of our goals is to give [more] women paychecks so they can support other women by paying for childcare or buying more goods from friends who are producing in their villages or locally.

Berry: We have our technology and our databases, but now we have to scale. We want to grow to the millions.

Eric Schmidt (of Google) has said that water cooler talk is important and Marissa Mayer rolled back Yahoo’s work-from-home policy . What would you say to them?

Zaleski: I never had a productive conversation with a water cooler. It’s incredible that these CEOs are saying this. They aren’t in the office that much, and they have their own ways of working remotely. We’re really going down the wrong path if we’ve trying to spread this idea that the perfect work place is an extension of college.
There’s this misnomer that mothers who work from home don’t work. I’ve never been with a more productive group. In our case, we run 24 hours a day. Remote work eliminates needing real estate in an expensive city, which eliminates the need to pay expensive salaries for living in these cities. If you aren’t doing remote as a startup, you are killing yourself.


Some fear that working remotely can put women on a mommy track and keep them from getting promoted. What are your thoughts on this?

Berry:
I see a lot of high profile positions being done remotely in various industries – not just in tech. Companies need to change the way they work and the cultures they support to create more intimacy and culture online and require less of a physical presence. I was a CTO of a large nonprofit and my chances didn’t get hurt by being a working from home mommy.”

Visit PowerToFly Website

App of the Week: Power to Fly

 

Ladies,

This week I’m focusing on an App that also wants to empower women in the field of Tech: Power to Fly. Power to Fly is actually more of a movement but since they offer an App I wanted to shine on light on the incredible work Power to fly has done for women. According to their website:

“PowerToFly was launched by Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski in 2014 to connect Fortune 500 companies and fast growing startups with women who are looking to work for companies that value gender diversity and inclusion. PowerToFly is building the platform to propel diversity recruiting and hiring. Our optimized search and sourcing tools, targeted job promotions, and high visibility employer branding services reduce the time to hire hard to reach talent pools of underrepresented female engineers at a centralized and lower cost. Through the platform companies gain full access to actively and passively build a pipeline of vetted women in tech and across digital.


Companies struggle to build diversity across their organizations and most particularly in technical roles. Countless studies have shown that diverse teams perform better than homogenous ones, but without focused solutions, gender parity throughout the corporate ladder won’t be achieved for 100 years.”

The App allows you to take advantage of their amazing website on a mobile platform. It’s easy to join by signing up with your Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin accounts and then you can access all of the great content and search for a job while on the go.

So far, nearly 1,000 companies have posted job listings on Power to Fly including Hearst, Buzzfeed and the Washington Post, for positions in technology, marketing, sales and customer service. And the website is growing so quickly, Power to Fly itself, plans to hire another 60 workers over the next six months.

You go, Girls!

Download Powertofly on iOS

(Currently unavailable for Android)

How to add and switch between Instagram accounts on an iPhone

Ladies,

Today’s How To: comes from Roger Fingas of Apple Insider. If, like me, you have multiple Instagram accounts, this will save your life. I struggled with how to do this when I started The Blonde Byte. Of course, I made it harder than it was and the solution was really easy and kinda aggravating, to be honest. While this article reflects use of Instagram on an iPhone, I feel sure it also exists within the Android version too.

Try it for yourself!

By Roger Fingas (of Apple Insider)

Facebook’s Instagram is a convenient way to share photos as well as short videos, but for many reasons it can be smart to have multiple personas on the service. Here’s how to add additional profiles on Apple’s iPhone and switch between them.

 

Within the Instagram app, the first step is to tap on your profile icon, situated in the lower-right corner of the screen. What this looks like will depend on the profile picture you selected during initial setup.

Next, tap on Settings, represented by a gear icon in the upper-right. Scroll down towards the bottom of the menu and you’ll discover the Add Account button.

Here you will find options to log into an existing account, either by entering your username and password manually, or logging in via Facebook. If you don’t already have a second account, a sign-in link at the bottom will guide you through Instagram’s normal account creation process.

Once you’ve logged into one or more extra accounts, the username in your profile will show an arrow next to it. Tap on this to enable a drop-down menu for quick account switching. There should even be another “Add Account” button, letting you skip the Settings menu altogether.

Remember that you can only have up to five accounts active at any given time —realistically, though, that’s probably more than enough for anyone.

10 Tips Every iPhone 7 Owner Should Know

Ladies,

These Tips make owning an iPhone 7 easy to operate and fun! This is an article I found on CNET and wanted to share!

LOCK SCREEN LIMITS

Your iPhone can show a lot of information on the lock screen, which is convenient for quickly glancing at reminders, messages and more. Should you want to restrict what information can be accessed from your iPhone without your passcode, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and disable whichever items you don’t want showing up on your lock screen.

REST OR PRESS?

With Slide to Unlock a thing of the past, you now press the home button to unlock your iPhone. If you’d rather just rest your finger on the home button, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button and toggle on the switch for Rest Finger to Open.

CHOOSE YOUR CLICK

If you back up a level from the previous tip, you can adjust the strength of the buzzing haptic feedback you receive when you press the home button. Go to Settings > General > Home Button and you can choose your click, from a slight (1) to heavy (3).

HIDDEN CONTROL CENTER PANEL

You know how you can swipe up from the bottom edge of your iPhone to call up the Control Center? It lets you adjust Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, turn on the flashlight and a bunch of other settings and features. But did you know that you can swipe to the left when viewing the Control Center? That lets you access its second panel of playback controls for music or podcasts.

SEND MESSAGES WITH EFFECT

The Messages app received a substantial overhaul with iOS 10. You can now add stickers and GIFs as well as message effects. There are four bubble effects — Slam, Loud, Gentle and Invisible Ink — and five screen effects — Balloons, Confetti, Lasers, Fireworks and Shooting Star — and they are somewhat hidden. To access them, type your message into the text field as you normally would but instead of tapping the blue up arrow button to send your message, tap-and-hold the up arrow button to send your entered text with one of the nine effects.

PRESERVE CAMERA SETTING

By default, the Camera app opens to the standard Photo mode (as opposed to Video, Square or any of the other camera modes). If you would rather it remember what mode you last used and open to that instead, you can do just that with the iOS 10.2 update. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Preserve Settings and toggle on Camera Mode. There are also toggles for preserving photo filters and Live Photos.

LOCK CAMERA (7 PLUS ONLY)

For iPhone 7 Plus owners, you have the luxury of shooting photos and videos with one of two rear-facing cameras. Switching between the two cameras, however, can create some flicker when recording video. To prevent such flickering, you can lock down whichever camera you want to shoot a video. Head to Settings > Photos & Camera > Record Video and toggle on Lock Camera Lens.

ON THE NIGHT SHIFT

Turn the cool, blue colors that may make it harder for you to fall asleep at night into warmer hues in the evening. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift and schedule this setting for a specific block of time or manually enable it until the next day.

BEDTIME ALARM

Flicking up on my iPhone, tapping the Timer button from Control Center, tapping the Alarm button and then tapping to turn on my alarm is a familiar sequence, but that’s no longer the last thing I do at night before going to bed. Apple has added a new Bedtime button to the Clock app. It lets you set a time to wake up and the number of hours of sleep you’d like to get each night.

 

Weekly Roundup

Ladies,

Here are the stories form the world of tech that stood out to me this week:

This only seemed fitting…
Daily Report: Tech Tips for Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day


From the neighborhood of “Too Little; Too Late…”

Apple Legal Files Entertainment Related Trademarks for new Apple Music TV Programming


Because he’s the coolest…

Obama’s final bill is aimed at bringing tech to DC

This made me hopeful…
From bombs to bytes: How Beirut’s tech scene is thriving

I think Siri has enough on her plate but, what do I know?
Voice Analysis Tech Could Diagnose Disease

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