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Technology

The future of mobile phones – What comes next?

Mobile phones have evolved from bulky bricks capable only of calls to tiny pocket-sized computers capable of practically everything. It’s hard to imagine what could come next considering how advanced modern phones already are, but manufacturers and phone carriers are already busy planning new advancements.

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In the last three decades, mobile phones have evolved from bulky bricks capable only of calls to tiny pocket-sized computers capable of practically everything. It’s hard to imagine what could come next considering how advanced modern phones already are, but manufacturers and phone carriers are already busy planning new advancements.

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Here are just some of the improvements that are thought to shape the future.

LIMITLESS CONNECTION

When it comes to wireless plans, people are now getting much more for their money including free texts and even free calls. Plans such as this Verizon wireless plan offer incredibly strong signal and even mobile hotspot data. It’s thought that in the future, ‘unlimited data’ will become the norm and phone/wi-fi signal will be available practically everywhere allowing people to stay constantly connected.

FACIAL RECOGNITION

Facial recognition is already here with the iPhone X being the first to pass the tests. Other phones are thought to adopt this technology soon making it a standard feature in the future. Facial recognition can be used a secure alternative to a password preventing anyone else from being able to unlock your phone. It could also become the main form of payment – already you can use your phone to make payments and payment apps are now allowing you to use facial recognition technology. Cards may eventually become defunct given that they pose a greater security risk and facial recognition could take over.  

COLLAPSIBLE PHONES

This year, Samsung unveiled the prototype for the world’s first foldable phone. Once this technology has been perfected, we could see phones on the market that are able to fold up and fit neatly into the smallest pockets, whilst being able to then fold out to the size of tablets when we need a bigger screen. This could make them both more portable and more practical when doing activities such as reading and watching videos. On top of having foldable screens, phones of the future may even have self-healing screens to counteract damage (such technology is already in development, although it could still be a while until it is perfected).

SELF-CHARGING BATTERIES

This technology may be a fair way off yet, but researchers are already looking into it. By using a combination of solar power, hydrogen fuel cells, nanobatteries and perhaps even kinetic energy, it could be possible to keep our phones charged up on the go without ever needing to plug them into a wall. This remains the one big inconvenience with mobile phones – whilst portable chargers already exist, these chargers themselves need to be charged up beforehand. Having a phone that charges itself could make it easier to travel and get by in remote places without having to search for somewhere with a plug point.

Lifestyle & Culture

5 of the best LGBTQ podcasts

Whether you’re looking to get nostalgic about cult TV shows or educate yourself about LGBTQ history, here are some of the best LGBTQ podcasts to binge on.

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Everybody loves a podcast, not just a form of entertainment, but a way to learn plenty of new things and get inspired. Whether you’re looking to get nostalgic about cult TV shows or educate yourself about LGBTQ history, here are some of the best LGBTQ podcasts to binge on.

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1 . LGBTQ&A

This podcast offers weekly interviews with interesting LGBTQ people from all across the world. The show is produced by Advocate Magazine and hosted by Jeffrey Masters. Recent episodes have featured guests such as Jennifer Finney Boylan, discussing the trans experience, and her renowned memoir. Tune in for a discussion with Adam Eli about, ‘How Social Media Is Changing Queer Activism’, or bisexuality talks with Lili Reinhart. For inspiration, education, and plenty of entertainment, this is the show you need.

2. Making Gay History

This podcast brings you personal portraits and rare interviews about gay history. Each podcast explores a new history from the archive. There’s an interview from the early ’70s, with Jill Johnston who had recently published a manifesto entitled, ‘Lesbian Nation’. There’s also a particularly interesting episode featuring a conversation with Leonard Matlovich in 1975. Leonard discusses his experience suing the Airforce, when he was dismissed for being gay. The podcast has previously included the stories of Quentin Crisp, Christopher Isherwood, and Lorraine Hansberry.

3. To L And Back: An L Word Podcast 

To L and Back’, is a podcast that recaps episodes of the ‘L Word’, a long-running show set in Los Angeles, following the lives of a group of bisexuals and lesbians. Expect a podcast full of fun, trivia, star guests, jokes, and more. (The podcast probably makes a lot more sense if you’ve watched ‘The L Word’, so if you haven’t, get streaming)! The ‘L Word’ is a bit of a love or hate show, but it did drum up quite the cult following, so see what you think!

4. Gay Therapy LA

Gay Therapy LA is run by gay podcaster Ken Howard, offering coaching services and psychotherapy. Ken’s practice exists to help gay men excel in both their careers and personal lives. Recent episodes have explored themes such as relationship vocabulary; gay men’s dating dilemmas; the decision to have children; and sex during COVID-19. For gay men looking for relationship discussions and advice, here is an insightful podcast.

5. The Logbooks

The Logbooks is a podcast that examines stories from Britain’s LGBTQIA+ history, plus the modern experience of being queer. One recent episode tells the story of a gay bookshop, raided in 1984. The tale is one of community solidarity, and of censorship. Adam and Tash discuss things that were thought of as ‘obscene’ back in the ’80s, and how the state tried to prevent people from seeing such things.
Whether you want to learn something new or laugh out loud, you’ll find plenty to satisfy you with these five top picks. For more knowledge and entertainment check out the top LGBTQ books right now.

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Love Affairs

Dating apps don’t destroy love

Contrary to earlier concerns, a UNIGE study has shown that people who met their partners on dating applications have often stronger long-term relationship goals, and that these new ways of meeting people encourage socio-educational and geographical mixing.

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As dating apps escalated in popularity, so has criticism about them encouraging casual dating only, threatening the existence of long-term commitment, and possibly damaging the quality of intimacy. There is no scientific evidence, however, to validate these claims.

Now a study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland – and which was published in the journal PLOS ONE – indicates that app-formed couples have stronger cohabitation intentions than couples who meet in a non-digital environment.

What is more, women who found their partner through a dating app have stronger desires and intentions to have children than those who found their partner offline. Despite fears concerning a deterioration in the quality of relationships, partners who met on dating apps express the same level of satisfaction about their relationship as others.

Last but not least, the study shows that these apps play an important role in modifying the composition of couples by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples.

“The Internet is profoundly transforming the dynamics of how people meet,” confirms Gina Potarca, a researcher at the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics in UNIGE’s Faculty of Social Sciences. “It provides an unprecedented abundance of meeting opportunities, and involves minimal effort and no third-party intervention.”

These new dating technologies include the smartphone apps like Tinder or Grindr, where users select partners by browsing and swiping on pictures. These apps, however, have raised fears: “Large parts of the media claim they have a negative impact on the quality of relationships since they render people incapable of investing in an exclusive or long-term relationship. Up to now, though, there has been no evidence to prove this is the case,” continues Dr. Potarca.

Facilitated encounters

The Geneva-based researcher decided to investigate couples’ intentions to start a family, their relationship satisfaction and individual well-being, as well as to assess couple composition. Dr. Potarca used a 2018 family survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. The analysis presented in this study looks at a sub-sample of 3,235 people over the age of 18 who were in a relationship and who had met their partner in the last decade.

Dr. Potarca found that dating websites – the digital tools for meeting partners that preceded apps – mainly attracted people over the age of 40 and / or divorcees who are looking for romance.

“By eliminating lengthy questionnaires, self-descriptions, and personality tests that users of dating websites typically need to fill in to create a profile, dating apps are much easier to use. This normalized the act of dating online, and opened up use among younger categories of the population.”

Searching for a lasting relationship

Dr. Potarca sought to find out whether couples who met on dating apps had different intentions to form a family. The results show that couples that formed after meeting on an app were more motivated by the idea of cohabiting than others.

“The study doesn’t say whether their final intention was to live together for the long- or short-term, but given that there’s no difference in the intention to marry, and that marriage is still a central institution in Switzerland, some of these couples likely see cohabitation as a trial period prior to marriage. It’s a pragmatic approach in a country where the divorce rate is consistently around 40%.”

In addition, women in couples that formed through dating apps mentioned wanting and planning to have a child in the near future, more so than with any other way of meeting.

But what do couples who met in this way think about the quality of their relationship? The study shows that, regardless of meeting context, couples are equally satisfied with their lives and the quality of their relationship.

Couples with a diverse socio-educational profile

The study highlights a final aspect. Dating apps encourage a mixing of different levels of education, especially between high-educated women and lower educated men. Partners having more diversified socio-educational profiles “may have to do with selection methods that focus mainly on the visual,” says the researcher. Since users can easily connect with partners in their immediate region (but also in other spaces as they move around), the apps make it easier to meet people more than 30 minutes away – leading to an increase in long-distance relationships.

“Knowing that dating apps have likely become even more popular during this year’s periods of lockdown and social distancing, it is reassuring to dismiss alarming concerns about the long-term effects of using these tools,” concludes Dr. Potarca.

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Lifestyle & Culture

What people tend not to know about their smartphone

Most people use their phones to call and text, or to surf the web and play games, and a lot of people use them for work related purposes. But there’s still a few things that people don’t know about the phone in their hands.

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Do you know everything about your smartphone? Do you know how versatile and useful it can be in all situations? Sure, some people may think that smartphones are making us dumber, or making us more and more reliant on technology, but we all use the mini computers in our pockets in different ways.

But we all have our own uses and needs for the Android or iPhone model we spent a lot of money on, and it only makes sense that we’d want to get as much use as possible out of something that cost the equivalent to three (and even more) months rent.

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

As a result, most people use their phones to call and text, or to surf the web and play games, and a lot of people use them for work related purposes. But there’s still a few things that people don’t know about the phone in their hands. So, if you want to know how to get the most use out of your smartphone as well, let’s go through these things below. 

How to Save the Battery

Draining the battery is a normal part of using a phone; the more you use your phone throughout the day, the lower the battery is going to be when you manage to get to the charger again at the end of the day – simple as. However, there may be some more hidden ways to save the battery that you don’t know about. 

For example, if you’re an Android user, setting your phone background to a dark or shaded picture can help retain the battery for longer. This is due to the automatic pixel highlighting – when there’s less or nothing to highlight, it won’t turn on! Of course, for iPhone users, you have the option to turn on ‘Low Battery Mode’, but did you also know that you can check your battery health in your battery settings as well? When a battery is consistently used, it’s going to lose some of its ability to stay charged overall, so make sure you keep an eye on that. 

The Multimedia Functions

Phones are a big part of the media world. The power to capture images and videos of the things around us at a moment’s notice – it’s something people only dreamed about a century ago! And with how many niche uses smartphones have in the modern era, there are more multimedia functions present in your phone model than anything else. 

For example, did you know that on both Android and iPhone models, you can take a photo and take a video of something at the same time? All you have to do is press that camera button in the middle while a video is rolling and you’ve got multiple shots on at once. You can also scan QR codes simply using your phone’s camera, as well as scan bank cards for details, and all without needing to download a specialised app anymore. 

It’s also a lot easier to transfer pictures and videos back and forth between your phone and your computer too. Plus, if you were wondering How to transfer photos from your Mac or Windows PC to your iPhone, check out this guide right here! All in all, if you’re a creative person or work in a creative field, your phone is your best friend. 

Using Text To Speech (and other accessibility features)

Every phone released onto the market these days is going to include quite a few accessibility features, and new ones are being innovated and updated all the time. From contactless payments, to text sizing and different fonts, to more vibration settings, anyone living with hearing loss or sight loss, as well as people who have limited mobility, can use their smartphone for a lot more than simply making and receiving calls. 

Most of all, all smartphones now include text to speech functions, to help people who are partially sighted and disabled, as well as anybody simply behind the wheel and unable to get to the phone, to read text messages and emails. If you’re using an iPhone, Siri can accomplish a lot of these tasks itself, and you can download voices and languages from the settings on an Android – no need to download an app! 

What do you know about your smartphone? Are you sure you’re using it to the best of its ability? If not, feel free to experiment within the settings options – there’s a lot of potential in there that you haven’t discovered!

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Technology

Should games be stored on SSD or HDD?

Before choosing the best option, you should learn all factors regarding SSD and HDD. When everything is decided you can get your desired drive. Now, we are trying to write this in depth guide, so that you can understand which will be good in terms of performance.

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Are you confused about which storage you should use: SSD or HDD? 

It is very confusing when you are looking to choose the best hard drive storage for playing online and offline games. In recent years manufacturers are decreasing the price of SSD, which makes the gamers switch from HDD to SSD. For storing games, an SSD is a much better option than a traditional hard drive. Gamers are still very confused about whether they use SSD over HDD does it affect their gaming performance. 

Before choosing the best option, you should learn all factors regarding SSD and HDD. When everything is decided you can get your desired drive. Now, we are trying to write this in depth guide, so that you can understand which will be good in terms of performance.  

Learn Top 5 Factors Before Storing Your Games

Form Factor

SSD and HDD both have three different form factors. Now, which factors are best suited with your device format depends on specifications. 

  1. First: 2.5 inches

If you already do a little research, you will see that both SSD and HDD contain 2.5 inches form factor. As an example you can check Crucial MX500. Those SSD or HDD are easily fit on your Desktop PC or Laptop. Recently people are more comfortable to use hard drives instead of SSD. This form factor is designed to minimize everything and give you high performance. 

  1. Second: M.2

This is the smallest factor used in Tablet and Ultrabooks. This version is very easily attached into the motherboard with the M.2 socket. M.2 is designed so small that it can easily be attached into the small space. 

  1. Third: Portable

Portable SSD has the option to store your games, you can easily bring them whatever you want and play games on different devices. A portable SSD is 100 times faster than any other clicking hard drive. Also the transfer rate is higher than others. 

Capacity

When an SSD is invented the capacity is lower than HDD. But after time the capacity of SSD is increasing. Thinking of the gamers manufacturers now released 500 GB to 2 TB Drive capacity. And now the SSD is taking over HDD slowly. 

Speed

HDD or SSD which you are going to use for gaming doesn’t affect much, because both of them have enough storage to offer you. But if you are talking about the load time, then SSD is a winner over HDD. This happens because the SSD doesn’t contain any spinning disk like HDD. 

Noise Friendly

If you use an SSD on your system, you will experience less fan noise or not. Because an SSD doesn’t get hot like an HDD, it remains cool and gives you a higher performance. 

Costs

As a gamer you must need both SSD and HDD. You can set an SSD on your system and get a portable HDD to store your games. Both SSD and HDD are very reasonable and on your budget. You can get them on your preference. 

Conclusion

We describe most of the factors you need to know. Now it’s your time to decide which one you are going to use. If you are a gamers our experience says, you need both internal and external SSD to enjoy your game from anywhere.

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Technology

Discrimination on social media results in higher depression, anxiety among minority males

Men may be more affected by ethnic discrimination in social media because it is likely that they are exposed to more egregious forms of racist/discriminatory content that specifically depicts men. Consequently, this may have a stronger or longer-lasting impact, and it may also threaten their concept of masculinity and threaten their perceived social status and power.

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Exposure to discrimination on social media is associated with higher symptoms of depression and anxiety among young males.

This is according to a study by researchers at Florida International University’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, which specifically looked at ethnic discrimination involving young Hispanic males.

Ethnic discrimination and hate speech on social media have been in the spotlight during recent discussions and demonstrations over racial and ethnic injustice, leading to boycotts of social media platforms by advertisers. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey in the US found that 73% of Hispanics reported using Facebook, which has the most users in the country.

The study – published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology – was based on surveys of 200 young Hispanic adults, ages 18-25. Half of the participants were from Miami-Dade County, Florida and half from Maricopa County, Arizona. Researchers found that, upon exposure to social media posts such as photos, memes or videos that include ethnic discrimination, users felt higher levels of depression and anxiety.

“When participants were exposed to ethnic discrimination on social media directly, or vicariously on a friend’s social media page, it was found to have adverse effects on mental health,” said Miguel Ángel Cano, lead author and principal investigator of the study and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Stempel College. “A viral video or meme may not always be directed at you, but when you see someone publicly discuss your social or ethnic group in a negative or derogatory way, it, unfortunately, can have a negative impact on mental health.”

The men in the study, however, were more adversely affected than the women by increased exposure to ethnic discrimination on social media, reporting higher levels of depression and anxiety, even though both men and women had about the same amount of exposure to that type of material on social media.

“Men may be more affected by ethnic discrimination in social media because it is likely that they are exposed to more egregious forms of racist/discriminatory content that specifically depicts men,” Cano said. “Consequently, this may have a stronger or longer-lasting impact, and it may also threaten their concept of masculinity and threaten their perceived social status and power.”

Previous studies have shown that young adults experience higher symptoms of depression and anxiety when compared to adolescents and other adult age groups. When considering the high usage of social media among this age group, especially Hispanics, social media discrimination may be a factor that compounds the risk of developing poor mental health, Cano said.

The researchers determined that more studies on the topic were needed to develop culturally appropriate, evidence-based interventions for adolescents and young adults.

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Lifestyle & Culture

6 Benefits of social media for business

With social media, you can market the business and gain more advantages. Has your business embraced the use of social media? If not, why should you use it? Several reasons come into play. Let’s discuss some six benefits of this media for businesses.

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Marketing is an integral part of any business, and how people market their goods can positively or negatively impact sales. For so long, we were used to marketing via broadcast media or salespersons. That has changed ever since the evolution of social media. 

This online communication enables companies to interact with customers and share information in real-time. With social media, you can market the business and gain more advantages. Has your business embraced the use of social media? If not, why should you use it? Several reasons come into play. Let’s discuss some six benefits of this media for businesses.

Impressing and Attracting Potential Customers 

Today, millions, if not billions of people worldwide use various social media platforms, making it easy to reach most of them. With only a tap of the button, someone can see so much in store from any platform he/she uses. Has there been such a global way to reach a vast majority of people within seconds? I guess not.

With social media, you can get the opportunity to market the business and reach potential customers. Since most consumers use this media type to make better purchase decisions, marketing through it increases your chance of impressing and attracting them to the business. You can create an online network and promote products and services on a large scale. The more customers you get, the more the sales will be and improve the business.

Increasing Website Traffic  

Social media can help to increase traffic to your website and improve its search engine ranking. While going through social media posts and ads, people can learn much, and many will be motivated to get more information from the source- your website. The links shared via the social media channels can lead them to your website. That way, when they visit the site, you’ll have increased traffic. 

When updating or filling out your social network information, ensure you feature the website wherever possible. You can also use a pinned post on the social media platform profile to highlight your website’s focus landing page. The advantage of increased traffic is that it can help you engage first-time visitors and make them regular clients. 

Developing Your Brand   

People prefer buying from businesses they like and trust, and that’s what you get to become by using social media. You can improve the business’s brand and make it become a leader in your specific industry. Social media is about being ‘social’ and ensuring that what you publish is helpful and engaging to the target audience. By focusing on being helpful, people will trust what you say, promote, sell, and give you priority.

The brand’s imprint social media gives off, and the reputation it builds can be enhanced and showcased more through social media. The more you interact with customers across social media platforms, you learn what’s important to them, making brand decisions that can motivate their purchase. Even if social media might have a low business conversion rate, it can help stimulate a brand to the highest degree possible when maximized.

As you develop the brand across social networks, remember that each platform is different in what it does well, the audience’s demographics, and the kind of content posted regularly. Thus, it’s vital to tailor your brand’s messaging to suit various platforms. Also, share your passion and make people know and support your brand. You can make the brand stand out different from others by showing off its culture and personality. A good brand leads to an excellent business reputation.

Improving Networking and Partnerships

Social media can also help increase your connections and enhance networks with other businesses. Even the small part of the population that might seem almost impossible for several ordinary people to communicate with without proper help directly can be reached through social media. Those high-profile people like celebrities have been made more available, thanks to social media that helps us connect easily than before.

When you follow some of these prominent people, and they follow back, retweet, or even react to your posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, that holds the potential for networking and partnerships to assist your brand in numerous ways. Developing quality connections and relationships has become a lot easier with social media’s efficient communication. And, having such relationships with key figures can earn much value to your brand. With them, you can earn trust from others’ audience members and networks and get potential business opportunities.  

Reducing Marketing Costs and Increase Revenue

Marketing costs are among the significant expenses that businesses incur while trying to reach customers with their products or services. Over time, several companies have spent hugely promoting their products on broadcasting media, ending up spending more on ads and getting little returns. However, with social media, that can be an obsolete problem.

Once you garner a strong customer base and social network, you can increase the market reach, including international markets, all for free. Only be active, social network smart, and post relevant content more so those related to your business brand. You don’t have to pay for TV adverts or Google supported ads when you can do so through a social platform account. The customer networks built will, in turn, lead to an increase in Revenue.

Monitoring Competition

Social media can also help you to keep an eye on competitors. It’s crucial to understand what people say about your competitors. You can track mentions of them, check what people review about their products, understand how fast they’re responding to customers’ complaints, and what you can do to counter competition. You can also study their marketing tactics and practices. With social media, you can get all the information you want about competitors instantly. So, it’s worth monitoring them and evaluating what your business can do to improve. 

Final Thoughts

Ever since its inception about two decades ago, social media has proven beneficial in our lives. We can access so much information easily from anywhere with just a click of a button. Businesses, especially, can take advantage of social media and market themselves far and wide. The benefits of doing so are numerous. You, too, can try out social media use in your small business! In case you are thinking of starting one, check what suits you at Instant Loan.

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