Reminders For a Reason

I don’t know about you all but I really use Siri as a personal assistant. “Siri, remind me to text Marcus tomorrow morning at 8:45.” “Siri, remind me to take out the trash when I get home.” “Siri, what’s 37 divided by 847?” She’s my best friend (and she has a British accent so that she sounds smarter than the average American).

But how often do we tell Siri to remind us in an hour when we could accomplish the task at that moment? We’ve grown desensitized to that tap that Siri gives us. We don’t see urgency in getting something simple done at that moment. Eventually, we have a mountain of reminders that seems insurmountable.

This post isn’t about anything super deep. Just stop pushing “Remind me in an hour” or “Remind me tomorrow” when you don’t have to. Knock out that small accomplishment. It’ll pay off.


Make checking off that box a priority.


Code2040 Hosts Walter Latham

Have you ever heard of Code2040? I’m willing to bet that you haven’t unless you’re either Black or Latinx entrepreneur, and even then, you may not know. I was unfamiliar until LionsHead Media Creative Director Corey Freeman hipped me to the importance of Code2040. It is a nonprofit organization focused on increasing Black and Latinx entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization was founded by Tristan Walker (the successful entrepreneur and man behind the Bevel system) and Laura Weidman Powers (formerly a senior advisor to President Obama’s U.S. Chief Technology Officer).

Last night, LEAP Empowerment, Inc. and Code2040 hosted entertainment mogul Walter Latham for a fireside chat at the American Underground. Latham, known in the entertainment industry as “The King of Comedy”, came up with the idea for “The Original Kings of Comedy”, the second highest-grossing stand-up film of all time. He was the promoter who launched the career of Chris Tucker and has worked with a wide range of entertainers from Robin Williams to Diddy to Tyler Perry.

At 46, the brother is truly inspirational and he provided a room full of young entrepreneurs (most being entrepreneurs of color) with some points that, regardless of the path you’re taking into creating your own legacy, are applicable. The chat, moderated by Code2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residency Doug Speight, touched on everything from Latham’s personal challenges as a father who was just making ends meet to his successful generation of hundreds of millions of dollars during his 25 years in the industry.

Out of everything that was discussed, there were some key points that will stick with me and I’d be wrong not to share them with you. So, in order of significance to me, I’ve created a “Top 10 Quotes of the Latham Fireside Chat” list:

  1. “You can always make more money but you can never repair damaged relationships.”
  2. “You never risk your own money. … So I wrote a (sponsorship) letter and sent it to 50 companies. One day, I got home and had one message and that changed everything.”
  3. “You can go work for 25 years for a company and make decent money and, in 25 years, they give you your watch and your pension and find a 25-year younger version of you.”
  4. “Chase the opportunity, be prepared for the opportunity, but you’ve got to manage the opportunity. Don’t let the opportunity manage you.”
  5. “There’s got to be more to it than the money. I’ve made money before.”
  6. “I already had the content ready, I just needed a platform to put the content on.”
  7. “You’ve got to feed your family but know that (your current job) is just a means to an end.”
  8. “It ain’t (always) about the money. (Sometimes) it’s about the exposure. Take the opportunities that will give you the exposure until you gain enough exposure to demand the money.”
  9. “Never let your wants become your needs.”
  10. “The lesson I learned is let people be who they are.”


During the closing, Speight said, “Capture all of your ideas because you never know what that will lead to down the road.” That’s powerful. I believe in taking notes whenever something crosses my mind because, even if it doesn’t work right now, when the technology or the channel comes so that I can implement it, I don’t want to have to recreate the idea or, worse, see my idea implemented by anyone else.


Following the fireside chat, Walter and Shemeka Michelle, of Turners Church News and Naked Girlz Blog (no, I’m not sending you to an adult site), had a chance to sit and talk one-on-one, at which point Walter opened up more about his personal life, the struggles of being a father and entrepreneur, and being transparent with the mistakes he has made in life so that he can keep others from some of the same pitfalls. Make sure you check out Naked Girlz Blog in the coming days for that exclusive footage.


Make professional development a priority.

14 Hidden Tricks and Tools in iOS 8

by Samantha Murphy Kelly

Some of the best new features on iOS 8 are the ones you probably haven’t used yet. That’s because Apple has hidden a collection of new tricks and tools deep into its new mobile operating system, and many aren’t easy to find.

From ways to keep photos private to credit card scanners and a timed camera feature for selfies, here’s a look at some of the best kept secrets in iOS 8:

1. Hide Photos

Hide Photos


There’s a neat feature that hides your photos without deleting them. Tap and hold a photo in the Photos app and an option to “hide” will surface. You’ll be able to remove it from Collections, Moments and Years and keep it in the Hidden album. No one needs to know how many pictures of your cat you take on a daily basis.

2. Mute Texts

iOS 8 gives you the option to mute alerts for text-message notifications from specific people. By choosing “Do Not Disturb” under “Details” in a conversation, it makes messages you don’t want others to see a little more inconspicuous. While this feature might be even better if it hides messages from the home screen all together, at least there’s a way to keep the volume down if you’re expecting an onset of texts from a certain someone throughout the day.

3. More Text Control



There’s a lot more you can do with the texts you send and receive with iOS 8, including deleting them one by one. By highlighting a text message, an option for More will pop up — from there, you’ll be able to forward it along to someone else or tap to erase individual messages.

4. Credit Card Scanner

Credit Card

When you’re making a purchase via the Safari browser, you’ll be shown an option to Scan Credit Card, rather than having to manually type in details. The feature automatically appears above the keyboard. After selecting it, hold your credit card up to the field of frame (highlighted by the camera) and it will securely capture the information for you.

5. Dark Mode

For those who want to give the device a vintage flare, visit General > Accessibility and turn on the Grayscale mode. Everything from the home screen to apps and email will be displayed in black and white.

6. Interactive Notifications

Interactive Notifications


You no longer have to stop what you’re doing to respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages. A notification banner appears on top of the top of the screen and you can pull it down to respond. In fact, it’s easily one of the best new touches of iOS 8.

7. Medical ID

Medical ID


The new Health app has a Medical ID that can be accessed via the lock screen that lets anyone access your emergency contact information in case of, well, an emergency.

Medical ID


This means anyone that needs immediate access to your health information (or who they should call) can do so even if they don’t know your phone’s passcode.

8. Timed Selfies



Apple added a timer to its Camera app, allowing you either 3 or 10 seconds to get the shot exactly how you want it. You can also prop up the device before setting the timer, so you don’t even need your hands to take a picture. Open the Camera app to take a picture, select the clock icon and set the timer. You can also use the timer with Burst Mode, which snaps a bunch at shots and you’ll have plenty to pick from.

9. Update Keyboard Cycle

If you have downloaded a keyboard app from a third-party provider, you can program it directly to your master keyboard settings instead of opting to use it every time by tapping the Globe icon. Instead, change your default keyboard and the order in which you cycle through your keyboards via Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Edit.

10. Bring Back Deleted PhotosDeleted Photos

If you’ve accidentally deleted a photo, it’s possible to bring it back: there’s a new Recently Deleted album in the Photo app that stores deleted pictures for up to 30 days before they disappear for good.

11. Email Response Notifications

If you’re expecting an important response to an email, you can set up it up to alert you when it rolls in. Visit your inbox, swipe an email to the left, select More > Notify Me to get alerts when anyone responds to the email thread.

12. Manage Apple ID

You no longer have to go through iTunes or the Apple App Store to manage your Apple ID account, such as adding people to family sharing plan, add credit cards or update passwords. Now, head over to Settings > iCloud and log into your account by touching your email address highlighted at the top of the screen.

13. Battery Usage

Battery Usage


While the battery monitoring feature has been widely reported at this point, it’s with good reason: the tool gives a percentage breakdown of what apps are killing your battery life most. To identify which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day.

14. Multitasking With Email Drafts



If you’re in the middle of an email, but want to go back to reading your inbox, you can hold the top of the message and drag down (but don’t put your finger too high on the screen or the notifications tab will appear). You can do this with multiple drafts, too. Double tap the minimized draft at the bottom to see all of them at once — this makes them appear in a carousel view, similar to how it looks with Safari tabs in iOS 8 — and proceed to open or delete them with taps and swipes.

Source: Mashable

Britain Loves Wearables: One In Ten Set To Use Hardware As Wearable Tech Explodes

by Ewan Spence

Britain is falling in love with wearable technology. Recent numbers from YouGov show the increasing adoption of personal tech in the country. Currently six percent of the UK population (roughly 2.8 million people) have some form of wearable device, be it a smartwatch, fitness band, or activity tracker. That number is set to more than double to 6.1 million (13% of the population) during 2015.

Of course there’s going to be a big spike next year when the Apple Watch becomes available, and no doubt that’s going to be one of the big drivers in the adoption rates. Before then, the festive market is going to make a big contribute to the numbers. By the end of 2014 YouGov’s survey suggests the engagement 4. 7 million people (one in ten) will have a wearable device, no doubt boosted by marketing and people looking for some ‘shiny new tech’ to gift to their loved ones.

Sony SmartBand SWR10 (image: Sony PR)

The challenge for manufacturers and developers now is to keep people using their devices. The majority of wearable devices are fitness focussed devices, and not everyone is buying them to get fit. 37% of those surveyed have tracking tech simply to keep up with the newest devices in technology. That’s good for sales, but it says to me that more work needs to be done to integrate wearable tech into a normal lifestyle.
That’s where smartwatches may come into their own. Just one in six of those with wearable tech had a smartwatch, a device that is far more personal and ripe for development than any other area of mobile technology on the horizon.

If you want to read more about wearable technology here on Forbes, check out my thoughts on the Pebble Smartwatch, the Sony SmartBand, and why you should wear a smartwatch.

Source: Forbes

7 Unexpected Majors That Can Get You Into Tech

By Sylvan Lane
You’re on your way to college, which everyone is telling you will be the best four years of your life. But as excited as you are to head off to school, you’re in a bit of a snag: You’re looking for a way into the American tech sector, but coding and programming aren’t your thing.

While it’ll be difficult for you to design the next Facebook if you can’t even lay down basic HTML, there are other ways to make some of your silicon-plated dreams come true — if you’re willing to be a creative.

Here are seven majors that will prepare you for life in the tech sector, even if it means sacrificing some of the Zuckerberg-esque glory.

1. Marketing


Can you be a little more creative than this? Let’s hope so.

Making the next great app can set you up for life, but roughly 80% of apps in the Apple App store are “zombies.” That’s 953,387 apps that don’t get enough attention to crack any of the store’s 39,000 rankings lists.

It can be hard for companies to promote their apps and reach potential customers effectively in such a crowded market, which is where some creative marketing comes in. You might not be able to turn a terrible idea into an overnight sensation with a smart campaign, but if Yo can succeed, who knows what else can?

2. Graphic design


Take notes, Airbnb.

Even if you can’t design an app or device itself, you can help design some of its key aesthetic elements. You can come up with a new logo for an app, draw up visually-oriented user guides and help a new piece of technology look as good as it functions.

3. Electrical or mechanical engineering


No, there isn’t an app for this. But there is a degree for it.

From tablets and smartphones to wearables and virtual reality headsets, there’s plenty of room for growth in hardware. While you can leave the programming up to someone else, a degree in electrical or mechanical engineering can give you the skills to design sleeker, faster and more efficient versions of today’s cutting-edge tech.

4. Statistics or data science


Master graphs and make waves in tech.

Some of the most successful new apps and platforms are simply new ways of accomplishing common tasks, such as hailing a cab, ordering food for delivery, or just figuring out where you’re going and how to get there.

Not only would a degree in statistics or data science help you track how much of an impact an app is making, but also give you the skills to find trends and consumer needs that current apps don’t address.

5. Finance

Finance Management Major

Everyone, whether it’s a large tech corporation or a burgeoning startup, needs effective finance management.

Before any business makes money, it’s important to have someone who actually knows how to manage it. From managing books to figuring out the best way to thrive off innovation, a degree in finance will help you make sure success makes a profit in a field that provides $100 billion in free services every year.

6. Industrial design

Apple is one of the early champions of modern industrial design.

Industrial design combines artistic sensibility and technical design to create products that meet both functional and aesthetic needs of consumers. Essentially, it means creating products that look good and work well.

It might seem redundant, but Apple became the dominant company we know today partly because of a focus on aesthetics and the user experience, not just how well a product works. Training in this field can help you hone the skills to give another product or company that edge.

7. Business management


Don’t miss your window of opportunity.

Making a product is only the beginning in creating a sustainable, profitable company. Learning the ins and outs of how to manage a business can happen through experience, but getting a head start in school is a great way to find your niche in the tech sector.

Even it you don’t become the CEO of hot startup straight out of undergrad, solid business experience can help you get your foot in the door — and that’s the perfect place to make your first step up the ladder.


Source: Mashable

Five Ways Apple Can Deliver A Better iPhone Camera

With all the talk of a new iPhone coming out, Forbes Tech released an article by Amadou Diallo on how Apple can corner the market with its release.  What do you all think about Forbes suggestions?  Is there anything else you’d like to see on the new iPhone?

The rumor mill surrounding an Apple iPhone launch is in full swing. Earlier this month, AllThingsD reported a September 10 launch date and The Wall Street Journal cited sources claiming Apple is preparing to ship both a standard and lower cost model, a new approach for the Cupertino company. One that reflects the reality that since the release of the iPhone 5 in 2012, the battle for smartphone supremacy has only become more challenging for Apple. In a fast maturing market, that some are speculating has reached peak growth, industry watchers are waiting to see how Apple can distinguish its upcoming model(s) from the likes of Samsung and other Android rivals.

On the camera front, though, I’d argue that Apple has an even more basic, but no less crucial task. The challenge for the next iPhone is to catch up with features and operations from competing phones. I’ve been shooting daily with the iPhone 5 for the better part of a year now and from a photography perspective here’s five things I’d like to see from the iPhone 5 replacement.

1. Manual exposure controls

The Apple design ethos revolves around intuitive use and simplicity of operation. And this has served most users well. The iPhone’s native camera app is one you can use without calling up a user manual or onscreen prompts, for example. But photographers crave control. And while it’s understandable that Apple leaves more sophisticated camera tools and operation to third party developers, it’s less obvious why they feel the need to prevent developers from having direct control over crucial settings like shutter speed, ISO or even exposure compensation. Android users have this capability in both default and third party apps and the inability to do this on the iPhone is a big frustration.

2. Better low light performance

Any premium smartphone can deliver great images in good light, but performance drops noticeably when light levels dip. The high ISO settings required to capture indoor and night shots at hand-holdable shutter speeds means lots of image noise. One way that camera makers have addressed this is by using a wider aperture “faster” lens, which lets in more light. The iPhone 5 lens has an aperture of F2.4, which is relatively slow compared to the F2.0 optics found in the HTC One series. A wider aperture means you can shoot at lower ISO settings and thus reduce the noise levels in the image.

Another, more intriguing approach to reducing image noise, however, has been shown off by sensor maker Aptina, who announced their Clarity+ technology earlier this summer. The company claims that it’s version of clear pixel technology allows for 2x the light gathering ability of a standard RGB pixel array. The upshot is that you can have the image detail of a 13MP sensor while maintaining the relatively lower noise levels of an 8MP chip.

Motorola has introduced its own flavor of clear pixel technology in the Moto X. And Nokia of course, generated plenty of excitement with its 41MP Lumia 1020 which uses pixel oversampling to produce some of the cleanest low light images you’ll see from any smartphone or entry level compact camera. If Apple has its own light gathering tricks up its sleeve and can deliver images with significantly lower noise levels than the iPhone 5, that alone could make for an enticing upgrade for photographers.

3. Optical image stabilization

Long a feature of traditional cameras, optical image stabilization (OIS) is making its way into smartphones like the HTC One and Nokia Lumia series models. This feature automatically counteracts the camera shake inherent in hand held shots at slow shutter speeds. The current solution on the iPhone – possible only via third party apps – is an “anti-shake” mode that simply waits to fire the shutter until the camera is relatively still, which has obvious limitations. And an OIS gives you more than just the ability to capture sharp images. You’ll also get cleaner, more detailed ones because the camera can shoot at a lower ISO setting.

4. Better pixels, not just more pixels

Some rumor sites are suggesting we’ll see a higher resolution 13MP camera. While the iPhone 5′s 8MP spec does appear dated in comparison to the raft of 13MP sensors we’re seeing today, consumers simply aren’t clamoring for bigger images. What they do want, however are cleaner, more detailed ones.

And all else being equal, the surest way to  achieve that is with a physically larger imaging sensor. Smartphones typically have a tiny 1/3.2″  or 1/2.3″ sensor, the same as entry level compact cameras, thus the similarity in image quality. A larger sensor not only improves light gathering ability but also provides the option for a shallower depth of field, which lets you emphasize your subject by blurring out elements in front of and/or behind them.
The current sensor size champ is the Lumia 1020 from Nokia with a 1/1.5″ sensor that’s almost as large as those found in enthusiast compact cameras. And while the form factor of Apple’s phones is much too slim to accommodate the bulk a sensor of that size, HTC has been marketing a “less is more” approach to output with its 4MP “ultrapixel” One handset. And if Apple could deliver noticeably superior image quality with the iPhone 5 replacement, I doubt most consumers would give a second thought to the megapixel spec.

5. Launch any camera app from the lock screen

With iOS 5, Apple granted the time-saving ability to launch its camera app directly from the lock screen, without entering a password. That’s great…if you’re using the native camera app. But the photographers who’d most benefit from quick camera access to catch those “decisive moments” are much more likely to be using a third party camera app. Being able to specify just which camera app is launched from the lock screen would make the lock screen shortcut more relevant to photo enthusiasts.

Final thoughts

Apple still maintains an enviable position in the premium smartphone market. And after nearly a year of shooting with the iPhone 5 every day for a photo project, I appreciate its relatively petite size, responsiveness and fast focusing. Yet there’s no denying that there are better featured and more versatile cameras on both the Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms. With their upcoming iPhone, Apple has a chance to narrow the gap in some key areas. Whether they will remains to be seen, of course. But by all accounts we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

What would you like to see in the next iPhone? Let me know in the comments below.

Source: Forbes Tech