Sony Alpha 3000 DSLR-style mirrorless camera unveiled with three lenses

Sony Alpha 3000, a first of its kind from Sony, is a mirrorless camera in the body of a DSLR, for those who prefer the mirrorless performance, but want the DSLR design.

Sony Alpha 3000 DSLR-style mirrorless camera unveiled with three lenses

Sony Alpha 3000 DSLR-style mirrorless camera unveiled with three lenses

On a bright sunny day in San Diego, Sony announced the new Alpha 3000, a new mirrorless camera in a DSLR form-factor along with three new lenses, including one carrying the Zeiss branding.

The new camera features a large, high-resolution 20.1 MP Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor, a bright electronic viewfinder and the same lens mount as Sony’s popular line of E-mount cameras, making it compatible with the system’s ever-growing assortment of high-quality lenses ranging from telephotos, wide angles and macros to versatile zoom and portrait lenses. The Alpha 3000 becomes the first mirrorless camera from Sony to use a DSLR design, much like the Panasonic G6.

Along with the Alpha 3000, Sony also announced a trip of lenses, the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 OSS, E 18-105 f/4 OSS and a 50mm f/1.8. The new Carl Zeiss lens should help photographers with a Sony mirrorless camera experience the legendary optical quality of the lens, all while enjoying a constant aperture of f/4. The new E 18-105 is aimed at photographers who would like a more versatile walkaround lens, with a constant aperture. While we would have loved a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but those interested in this lens will have to settle for f/4. Lastly, Sony also fills in a gap for portrait photographers with the 50mm f/1.8, which is somewhat of a standard for those who love shooting people.

(Left to Right) Zeiss 16-70mm F4 OSS, 18-105mm F4 G, and black 50mm F1.8 E-mount lenses

Pricing:

  • The new α3000 interchangeable lens camera will be available in early September for about $400, paired with a black 18-55mm zoom kit lens (model SEL1855).
  • The new Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* 16-70mm F4 zoom lens will be available in late September for about $1000.
  • The new E 18-105mm F4 G Series zoom lens will be available in December for about $600.
  • The new E 50mm F1.8 portrait lens in black will be available in late September for about $300

‘Idli, sambhar most nutritious breakfast’

'Idli, sambhar most nutritious breakfast'

‘Idli, sambhar most nutritious breakfast’

CHENNAI: Three idlis, a bowl of sambhar and a tumbler of filter kaapi — Chennai’s traditional breakfast is not just a gastronomical delight for many but also the most nutritious morning meal compared to those in other metros.

‘India Breakfast Habits Study’, a survey conducted in four metros, found that Chennai has the best breakfast ‘nutrient profile’ in the country.

The study covered other metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata on a sample size of 3,600 subjects, split across 8 to 40 years age group, and described ‘alarming’ figures of nutritional inadequacy in our country.

“Although people in India are increasingly becoming health conscious, this doesn’t reflect in their eating behaviour. Changing lifestyles and behavioural patterns result in meal skipping or inadequate food intakes particularly at breakfast time,” said Malathi Sivaramkrishnan, research director, college of home science, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, who conducted the study funded by multinational food manufacturing company Kellogg’s.

The nutrition scale was assessed based on the adequacy of carbohydrates, energy, proteins, fats and calcium. “While there have been many studies on the number of people skipping breakfast, very little has been done on the content of the meal and its nutritional value,” said Malathi.

The study found that 79% of those surveyed in Mumbai had nutritionally inadequate breakfasts, followed by Delhi and Kolkata at 76% and 75%. In Chennai only 60% reported that their breakfast was nutritionally inadequate.

“Kolkata’s traditional breakfast has excess maida which has a lot of carbohydrates, very little protein and no fibre at all. Delhi’s parathas are too oily and Mumbai doesn’t have a typical breakfast as such. People eat bread mostly, which just has carbohydrates,” said Malathi.

Nutritionists say the nutrient value in rural areas down south is even greater as many of them consume ragi. “Ragi is rich in Vitamin B, fibres, protein, calcium, iron and phosphorus,” said Meenakshi Bajaj, dietitian and coordinator at Academy of Clinical Nutrition, Madras Medical College.

She described the more popular idli and sambhar as a “complete meal”.

“The rice and urad dal in idlis complement each other, making it a complete protein. The vegetables and dal in the sambhar are good supplements,” she said.

The study found that one in four Indians skip breakfast. Although the number of those skipping meals were fewer in Chennai, ‘skimping’ (eating inadequately) was more prevalent.

Nutritionists say the effect of skipping and skimping meals is more or less the same. “Only the intensity will be lesser in the latter,” said Bhuvaneshwari Shankar, chief dietitian of Apollo Hospitals.

It was also found that in Chennai nearly 50% of the housewives, 30% of the elderly and 20% working adults have only a beverage for breakfast.

SOURCE: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Idli-sambhar-most-nutritious-breakfast/articleshow/22129608.cms

Finch stuns England with blazing 156

Australia 248 for 6 (Finch 156) beat England 209 for 6 (Root 90*) by 39 runs

Aaron Finch smashed his first T20 international hundred, England v Australia, 1st T20, Ageas Bowl, August 29, 2013

Aaron Finch smashed his first T20 international hundred, England v Australia, 1st T20, Ageas Bowl, August 29, 2013

Whether Australia can produce young batsmen who are able to occupy the crease in Test cricket remains up for debate. That they can produce batsmen who give it an almighty thump there is no doubt. Aaron Finch, the 26-year-old Victorian, ransacked England’s bowling with an eye-popping world record 156 as Australia secured their first victory in any format for 200 days.

It was a ferocious display of hitting from Finch, who had six previous T20 caps, as he tore England’s attack to shreds with a brutal display, in the process going well past Brendon McCullum’s 123 as the highest score in an international Twenty20. Australia’s eventual 248 for 6 was the second-highest total in a T20 international – and the highest in a match involving two Test nations – only Sri Lanka’s 260 against Kenya was out of reach and for a while it appeared they may cross that landmark too.

A couple of weeks ago in the Friends Life t20 quarter-final there was 200-plays-200 match and the consistency of the one-day pitches at the Ageas Bowl deserves much praise – 457 runs in 40 overs is value for money, even if to watch such a boundary-fest all the time would dull the senses. But to chase 249 would have bordered on miracle territory. England, not surprisingly, could not get close – although did pass 200 for only the fourth time in a T20 – despite Joe Root’s entertaining 90 off 49 balls. Tellingly, perhaps, England could only manage five sixes to Australia’s 18.

Fourteen of those came off Finch’s bat, another of the records that he broke during the onslaught. He began with a six first ball, picked up effortlessly off Steven Finn, and it was a theme that would continue throughout. Each of Finch’s landmarks came up with a six; his half-century, from 26 balls; his hundred, off 47, beating McCullum’s record, and his 150.

He was on track to beat Richard Levi’s 45-ball hundred against New Zealand, in Hamilton, as the fastest on the international stage but after reducing himself to a couple of singles had to settle for second spot when he launched his 47th delivery, from Stuart Broad, for another six. He was the first Australian to make a Twenty20 international hundred and it took him just 13 more deliveries to power past 150. By then, it had long since stopped being an even contest.

The bowlers had no answers, although not for the first time there was an absence of yorkers – anything fractionally off target was dispatched over the boundaries with strength, timing and, occasionally, some finesse; although this was not an innings of deft touch and placement. Finch’s sixes over the off side, one struck as he slid outside leg stump, were perhaps the most breathtaking.

Picking through the wreckage of England’s figures may seem a rather pointless task, but there are a couple of overs that stand out. Root’s only over cost 27 – he made the mistake of conceding a single to Shaun Marsh first ball – and Danny Briggs, on his home ground, was taken for 23 in his last, all by Finch. Following on from Martin Guptill’s huge innings in the one-day international here earlier in the season, this is not a favourite ground for England at the moment.

The only England bowler to have an economy rate in single figures was Jade Dernbach, which itself will bring surprise from many. He finally removed Finch and also dumbfounded Shane Watson with a back-of-the-hand slower ball after his 37 off 16 balls, in a stand of 99 in seven overs, had gone almost unnoticed.

Finch and Marsh had added 114 in nine overs for the second wicket having come together early following David Warner’s bizarre dismissal. Swinging with all his power, he top edged Broad’s second ball and, in the process, lost his bat which flew towards short fine-leg while Jos Buttler settled under the catch. Warner then had to walk back to collect his bat from an obliging England player who had picked it up. It was the high point of the innings for England.

But the crowd had another moment to savour. The opening over of the chase, bowled by the much-missed (at least by the England supporters) Mitchell Johnson, cost 17 and included two wides and three boundaries. Johnson, though, recovered from those early problems by trapping Michael Lumb lbw and then having Eoin Morgan caught at point while he touched 93mph on the speed gun.

But Josh Hazlewood created the most physical damage. Root needed treatment for a cut lip after a short ball from Hazlewood squeezed between his peak and grille. Warner, who had come close to inflicting something similar earlier in the tour, was the first Australian to go up to Root who, after a few minutes, did not seem overly troubled by the blow as he notched a 29-ball fifty and he later took 16 off Johnson’s last over much to the joy of the fans who stayed on to the bitter end.

In the seventh over there was also a significant moment. Fawad Ahmed, the legspinner, delivered his first international over. It went for 10 and his four overs ended up costing 43. It was not really an evening to be a spinner. His story remains a remarkable one but, for one night at least, it was trumped.

 

8 Foods that Boost Immunity

Adequately feeding your immune system boosts its fighting power. Immune boosters work in many ways. They increase the number of white cells in the immune system army, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better battle plan. Boosters also help to eliminate the deadwood in the army, substances that drag the body down. Here are the top eight nutrients to add to your family’s diet to cut down on days missed from work and school because of illness.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. There has been more research about the immune-boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive to produce, and it’s available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Also, you can buy a vitamin-C-fortified version of just about anything. Here’s what the research shows about how this mighty vitamin protects your body.

Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Vitamin C reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering blood pressure and interfering with the process by which fat is converted to plaque in the arteries. As an added perk, persons whose diets are higher in vitamin C have lower rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

You don’t have to take in massive amounts of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Around 200 milligrams a day seems to be a generally agreed-upon amount and one that can be automatically obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. See Top Seven Vitamin C-Containing Fruits. If you take vitamin C supplements, it’s best to space them throughout the day rather than take one large dose, most of which may end up being excreted in the urine.

Vitamin E. This important antioxidant and immune booster doesn’t get as much press as vitamin C, yet it’s important to a healthy immune system.

Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging. Vitamin E has been implicated in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the Harvard School of Public Health study of 87,000 nurses, Vitamin E supplementation was shown to cut the risk of heart attacks by fifty percent.

It’s not difficult to get 30 to 60 milligrams every day of Vitamin E from a diet rich in seeds, vegetable oils, and grains, but it’s difficult for most people to consume more than 60 milligrams a day consistently through diet alone. Supplements may be necessary to get enough vitamin E to boost your immune system.

You need 100-400 milligrams per day, depending on your general lifestyle. People who don’t exercise, who smoke, and who consume high amounts of alcoholic beverages will need the higher dosage. Those with a more moderate lifestyle can get by with lower levels of supplementation.

  1. Carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Like the other “big three” antioxidants, vitamins C and E, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with how the fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream oxidize to form arterial plaques. Studies have shown that beta carotene can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially strokes and heart attacks, giving scientific credence to the belief that a carrot a day can keep the heart surgeon away. Beta carotene also protects against cancer by stimulating the immune cells called macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor, which kills cancer cells. It has also been shown that beta carotene supplements can increase the production of T-cell lymphocytes and natural killer cells and can enhance the ability of the natural killer cells to attack cancer cells.

    Beta carotene is the most familiar carotenoid, but it is only one member of a large family. Researchers believe that it is not just beta carotene that produces all these good effects, but all the carotenoids working together. This is why getting carotenoids in food may be more cancer-protective than taking beta carotene supplements.

    The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, which itself has anticancer properties and immune-boosting functions. But too much vitamin A can be toxic to the body, so it’s better to get extra beta carotene from foods and let the body naturally regulate how much of this precursor is converted to the immune-fighting vitamin A. It’s highly unlikely that a person could take in enough beta carotene to produce a toxic amount of vitamin A, because when the body has enough vitamin A, it stops making it.

  2. Bioflavenoids. A group of phytonutrients called bioflavenoids aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Bioflavenoids protect the cell membranes against the pollutants trying to attach to them. Along the membrane of each cell there are microscopic parking spaces, called receptor sites. Pollutants, toxins, or germs can park here and gradually eat their way into the membrane of the cell, but when bioflavenoids fill up these parking spots there is no room for toxins to park. Bioflavenoids also reduce the cholesterol’s ability to form plaques in arteries and lessen the formation of microscopic clots inside arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that people who eat the most bioflavenoids have less cardiovascular disease.A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least six servings per day, will help you get the bioflavenoids needed to help your immune system work in top form.
  3. Zinc. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies. Zinc supplements have been shown to slow the growth of cancer.

    Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells, especially in elderly people who are often deficient in zinc, and whose immune system often weakens with age. The anti-infection hype around zinc is controversial. While some studies claim that zinc supplements in the form of lozenges can lower the incidence and severity of infections, other studies have failed to show this correlation. A word of caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function. It’s safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet and aim for 15 to 25 milligrams a day.

    For infants and children, there is some evidence that dietary zinc supplements may reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections, but this is controversial. The best source of zinc for infants and young children is zinc-fortified cereals.

    RICH SOURCES OF ZINC
    Food Source of Zinc Serving Size Zinc (in milligrams)
    Oysters 6 medium 76
    Zinc-fortified cereals 1 ounce 0-15
    Crab 3 ounces 7
    Beef 3 ounces 6
    Turkey, dark meat 3 ounces 3.8
    Beans 1/2 cup 1.2-1.8

  4. Garlic. This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides. Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream. Garlic may protect against cancer, though the evidence is controversial. Cultures with a garlic-rich diet have a lower incidence of intestinal cancer. Garlic may also play a part in getting rid of potential carcinogens and other toxic substances. It is also a heart-friendly food since it keeps platelets from sticking together and clogging tiny blood vessels.
  5. Selenium. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they’re grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.
  6. Omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. (Perhaps this is why grandmothers used to insist on a daily dose of unpalatable cod liver oil.) Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, such as flax or fish oils, take additional vitamin E, which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.

Looking for a good tasting multivitamin for your child? Dr. Sears has a delicious fruit based multivitamin that contains all the nutrients your growing child’s needs

NUTRITIP

Hot Foods for Colds

Hot foods such as chili peppers, hot mustard, radishes, pepper, onions, and garlic contain substances called “mucolytics” (similar to over-the-counter expectorant cough syrups) that liquefy thick mucus that accumulates in the sinuses and breathing passages.

iOS 7 release date confirmed by company behind Siri

Nuance, the company behind Siri, confirms iOS 7 release date in an email sent out to developers.

iOS 7 release date confirmed by company behind Siri

iOS 7 release date confirmed by company behind Siri

After a couple of months of heated conversations and adrenaline fueled debates on its looks and design, the seventh version of iOS, Apple’s venerable mobile operating system, will, in all probability, be made available for general consumption on September 10. The date was leaked online through an email sent by Nuance, the company responsible for Siri, the voice assistant on iPhones and iPads, to Owen Williams, a developer. In the email, Nuance informs developers, “As you are probably aware, iOS 7 GA (which stands for General Availability) will be released on September 10th.” The email which was live on Nuance’s servers has now been taken down but it’s highly unlikely that it contained incorrect information considering the fact that Nuance works very closely with Apple.

iOS 7 will mark the biggest change for the mobile operating systemin terms of looks and design. Under the direction of Jony Ive, the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, iOS will forsake skeuomorphism (design that emulates real-world objects, for e.g. textures that resemble wood or metal) and go for a flatter, cleaner design. The response from the public and the media since the new design was unveiled at WWDC 2013 has been polarizing, to put it mildly. We’ve seen quite a bit of criticism towards iOS 7 with many calling it too colourful and visually inconsistent while others have praised Apple for taking a risk in changing up the look of an OS that had started to look staid.

When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter what the media or commenters say until the final product is out there and in the hands of consumers. That’s why, September 10 can’t come soon enough.

Source: Owen Williams’ Blog via The Verge

Flatparty: A new social networking website launched in India

In addition to basic social networking features, Flatparty offers new features such as blogging and event management.

Flatparty: A new social networking website launched in India

Flatparty: A new social networking website launched in India

The social-networking segment is continuously getting crowded despite being dominated by the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The latest entrant to this space is Flatparty. Launched by Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shashi Tharoor at an event in New Delhi last week, the new social networking website aims to connect users with their family and friends as well as targets the businesses.

In addition to basic social networking features such as multimedia sharing, Flatparty has a range of new features such as ability to send text message, manage events, organise meetings and conferences, track attendance of participants, groups.

The network also has blog, polls, forum, videos and music sections. The wide range of features are aimed at providing a platform to the general public, politicians, opinion leaders, etc. to connect their target public/ groups through this social networking site. You can sign up for Flatparty.com from here.

Dr. Shashi Tharoor inaugurated the site with Anto Toms, CEO, Flatparty_ Inc

Responding to a question on issues related to online privacy, Anto Toms, CEO Flatparty, said the data of users on the social network is highly secure. He also said that Flatparty is only available for users above 13 years old.

Anto Toms, CEO, Flatparty_ Inc. during his Live demonstration of flatparty.com

According to Mr. Anto Toms, the company will soon roll out mobile version of Flatparty. There are also plans to incorporate ads on the network in the near future.

“Flatparty is set to provide distinctive user experience and achieve leadership through innovative platform features, powered by superior technology, based on world-class research and development,” said Anto Toms while giving a presentation on the new network.

“With our new social networking platform, we leverage latest technology to connect and bring people closer and associate like-minded people in their areas of interests,” he added.

New details of GTA V special and collector’s edition revealed

Rockstar games has announced more details about the extra digital content users can get with the special and collectors edition of GTA V.

New details of GTA V special and collector's edition revealed

New details of GTA V special and collector’s edition revealed

GTA V for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 will hit store shelves on September 17, 2013. The game will also launch in a special and collectors edition, which will give gamers access to some added goodies. Back in May, Rockstar Games had given us a glimpse of what the special and collectors edition of the game would have. Now, the developer has released more information that will give gamers an incentive to drop their cash and pick up the special or collectors edition of the game.

 

Additional Weapons
Regardless of which version you’ve chosen, your local Ammu-Nation will always be stocked with a pair of special firearms at no additional cost that also have their own unique customization options, skins and attachments – the .50 Caliber Pistol and the Bullpup Shotgun. You’ll also have access to the Hammer, which acts as a brutal melee weapon.

Bonus Outfits, Tattoos and More
When visiting any shops around Los Santos and Blaine County, Michael, Franklin and Trevor will receive a special 20% discount along with access to special items either in their personal wardrobes or from stores. Each character will receive 1 outfit each, one additional article of clothing (shirt, hoodie and jacket) each and a tattoo.

Custom Characters for Grand Theft Auto Online (Collector’s Edition only)
GTA Online introduces a new spin on traditional character creation with the hereditary-based creation system. Select your character’s appearance by choosing your parent’s heritage, then use the gene dominance meter to dial-in which parent your appearance favors more. Additionally, you’ll customize your character’s daily activities – everything from family time to illegal work and sports to couch potato hours all have an impact on your character’s appearance and skill set (and you can always rank up your skill stats more via gameplay). As part of the Collector’s Edition package, you’ll get Niko Bellic, along with both Claude and Misty from Grand Theft Auto III to use as parent options within the character creation system.

Special Ability Boost
Michael, Franklin and Trevor each have their own unique Special Ability, which can be activated once each of them fills up the Special Ability bar based on various actions. Michael is an expert marksman – his Special Ability slows down time in a gunfight allowing him to pick off his targets with greater ease. Franklin is a skilled driver with sharp reflexes – his Special Ability lets him slow down time while driving any road-based vehicle, allowing him to quickly navigate through traffic with ease and take corners at high speeds. Trevor is a drug-addled sociopath with a short fuse – his Special Ability sends him into a rage, causing double damage to enemies while only taking half as much damage himself when hit. With the boost that’s included in both the Special and Collector’s Editions, the Special Ability bar will generate 25% faster.

Stunt Plane Trials
Take in Los Santos and Blaine County at breakneck speeds in the Grand Theft Auto V Stunt Plane Trials. In five thrilling and unique challenges, you’ll zip through mountains, deserts, oceans, and cities as you navigate through a maze of checkpoints, each placed to push your Stunt Plane to the limit. Completing each Trial will improve the piloting skill of your character. Compare your times with friends and vie for the top spot on the leaderboard.

Unique Vehicles and Garage Property (Collector’s Edition only)
The Collector’s Edition also features an exclusive garage to store custom vehicles that comes stocked with the CarbonRS sports bike and the Hotknife – an open frame 1930’s style hotrod. In Grand Theft Auto Online your garage and the high-end Khamelion electric car, which is specific to GTA Online, are both purchased through in-game websites accessed through your Online character’s cell phone.

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Source: Rockstar Games

Google updates definition in Search with sample sentences, synonyms and more

Now Google search users get the word definition, sample sentences, synonymous, spoken response and lots more.

Google updates definition in Search with sample sentences, synonyms and more

Google updates definition in Search with sample sentences, synonyms and more

Google has rolled out a small yet nifty update to Search, improving the dictionary definitions. In addition to the traditional word definition, Search shows sample sentences, translations, synonyms, spoken responses for words and links to sites such as Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Answers.com for further information.

“You may be familiar with using Google to find definitions, like [define fortuitous]. We’ve recently updated this feature on google.com on desktop and mobile to give you more information about these words beyond just their definition,” says Google in a post.

“Now you’ll also see sample sentences that highlight how the word is used, as well as synonyms. If you tap the microphone on your Google Search app, you’ll hear answers spoken back when you ask questions like “What’s the definition of fortuitous?” and “What are synonyms for fortuitous?”

Google also allows users to translate words to more than 60 languages directly from the box. Also, users can set a default language that will ensure future definition searches appear to that particular language.

The latest update from Google is part of many efforts to build a massive database on a wide range of subjects. Google is already bolstering its Knowledge Graph, which is supposed to make search engine faster and easier to search information. Google provides similar other features like currency conversions, nutrition data, unit conversions, translations, dates, times, and facts, and more.

23 Ways to Promote Posts & Increase Your Blog Traffic

Writing your blog posts is just a small part of growing your blog. The rest is getting readers to your blog…and that’s not always as easy. While there are some tried and true means of growing your blog, there are infinite ways to get your message in front of new people. Here are just a few to get started with!

The Basics (Social Media)

  • Tweet your post: Tweeting posts should be a regular thing. But one thing bloggers tend to do is just Tweet, “New post! [Link]” Truth be told, I NEVER click on those links. Write a snappy tweet with a link to your post. It could be your post title, but something that you know your Tweeps will click on. And change it up so you can tweet your post more than once.
  • Facebook: Don’t forget your readers on Facebook! Be sure to include an image on your post and test different times of days to see when your readers click on your links.
  • Pinterest: A powerful traffic driver, Pimp your images for Pinterest, and be sure to include this in you promotional strategy. You may have to test a few things to see what works best for your blog.. including adding text, pinning close up shots, whatever it is your followers best respond to.
  • Stumbleupon: This is an oldie but a goodie. It doesn’t take long to “Stumble” posts, but you never know which posts might get “Stumbled” so you wouldn’t want a chance to miss out on additional traffic boosts. It’s a really great way to get exposure beyond your regular circles.
  • Instagram: While there is no real way to link directly to your posts (yet) in Instagram, it’s always great to let your followers there know you have new content on your blog. Be sure to let them know that your ‘gram is for a new post!
  • Google+: There might be a lot of things disappearing from Google these days, but Google+ isn’t one of them. Google+ give some added value with their SEO features, along with sharing capabilities.
  • Include a “Follow me on Bloglovin” link in all of your posts: Now that Google reader is going away, more and more people are using Bloglovin. Bloglovin actually drives traffic the more followers you have, so make sure you give your readers every chance to follow you on that site so they never miss a post.
  • Do a Twitter chat around a blog topic: Tweeting your posts might not be enough… perhaps another way to promote your content (and your Twitter presence) is to host a Twitter chat and use a hashtag. Here you would write a post on your blog, invite a few blog friends to participate and have a conversation on Twitter.

SEO Promotion

  • Use Google Keywords to promote via SEO: One of the best ways to promote content is to use SEO. It is still the number one traffic driver for all of my websites, and should not be overlooked. Google has a nifty Keyword Tool which allows you to search keywords and see how many people are looking for particular topics, and how competitive the keywords are.
  • Look in your Google Analytics for to see how people find your blog (and expand on that): In Google Analyitcs you can find under “Site Content–>Search Engine Optimization–>Queries” What keywords people are using to find your site. We found a lot of people found IFB through our GIF tutorial, so maybe it’s time to revisit that post topic.
  • Link to other posts within your site to boost SEO: Links within your site do two things, they build authority for your posts, and they keep your readers on your website.Erika Miller noted we shouldn’t overdo it with the links in our post, so be strategic and try not to get carried away.
  • Put relevant keywords in your image “Alt” Tags: Don’t forget your images can be searched too!
  • Guest Post: A lot of people complain that guest posts don’t drive traffic. But maybe if you play it right, driving traffic could be secondary to your SEO goals. Use your guest post opportunities as a chance to link to specific posts within your site to help boost the SEO results and that will get you more traffic.

Good Old-Fashioned Email

  • Email Newsletter to your readers: It’s never to early to start building your newsletter. It may take time, but after all blogging is a long haul game. Email your readers once a week, or once a month to let them know about what’s going on with your blog. It’s the perfect time to promote specific content.
  • Ask your blog friends to promote a post: If you have a post you’d like to promote, and you have a great relationship with your blog friends, asking them once in a while to promote a post for you is no big deal.
  • Pitch your post to other blogs: Say you write a post that would be perfect for another blog, it would be a good time to let that other blogger know about your post. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a link!
  • Pitch your post to the press: Say you’ve done an independent study, maybe you’re an expert in budget fashion or did something newsworthy, or have the perfect post for a website, developing relationships with the press would be a great way to get added exposure on news sites in addition to blogs.

Create Sharable Content

  • Create a free download to share with your readers: Whether it be a calendar, desktop or even a template, free downloads are a great way to get readers to download, keep, and possibly share with others. Everyone likes a freebie!
  • Write content that solves a problem: Do you have a solution to a problem everyone has? Getting rid of muffin top? If you solve a problem, it will help your readers, AND if your readers have friends with the same problem, they’ll probably share your blog post too.
  • Write a catchy headline: I cannot say enough about how important it is to have a straightforward, yet catchy post title. This is often times the first impression people get of your website whether it be through search or through social media. You only have fractions of a second to catch their eye!
  • Write a controversial post: Maybe you don’t agree with what’s going on, maybe you’re on the fence, maybe you have a juicy piece of information to share with your readers. A controversial post will get people talking.
  • Feature another blogger: If you’re new, maybe you can do a feature swap with a blog friend with similar traffic, but featuring other bloggers helps build community along with you might get social media promotion from the other blogger. Word of advice, the other blogger may not share, so don’t expect or demand them to do so, as you may end up burning a bridge.
  • Start a blog meme: Whether it be something like the IFB Project, or the various ones out there, bloggers love to engage with others by sharing content. If you provide a service to share their content, you can always ask that they share your content as well.
  • Create an infographic, and pitch it to other blogs: Infographics… they are fun, and shareable, and most of all pitchable. If you think of a clever way to make information into a graphic, it could really lead to some amazing promotion for your blog!

Lenovo ties up with SweetLabs to bring Start Menu back to Windows 8

Clearly, the World’s No.1 laptop manufacturer has decided not to wait for Windows 8.1 update that is due for release on October 17.
Lenovo ties up with SweetLabs to bring Start Menu back to Windows 8
A lot of Windows 8 users had complained about the lack of the Start Menu in Windows 8, but till now, no one really had done anything about it. At least as far as OEMs were concerned. Now, Lenovo has decided to tie up with SweetLabs, a startup that has made the Pokki software for Windows 8. Pokki brings the Start Menu back to the Windows 8 desktop, in a similar layout to what users have seen in Windows 7 and earlier OS versions.

Lenovo, at the moment, is the world’s no.1 laptop manufacturer, having overtaken HP in the second quarter of 2013.

In a blog post, SweetLabs’ delight at the deal is clear, “We’re excited to announce that the #1 PC maker in the world, Lenovo, will be shipping Pokki on new Windows 8 devices worldwide! In other words, you’ll soon be able to buy a brand new Lenovo laptop or desktop with our full Pokki software suite integrated and ready to use out-of-the-box!Everything our hard working Pokki squirrel creates – from the Start menu to the modern desktop apps, to the app store and the new game arcade – is all about making the PC experience better for users, as well as helping developers get their apps in front of the right users.”

Lenovo will first install Pokki computers that will have English language set as default, but will eventually be installed on all Lenovo machines globally. SweetLabs is currently working on adding more languages to the Pokki software. The blog post says, “Even though Pokki has only known one language (English) up until now, we know that for the majority of our loyal fans and users, English isn’t your first language so we’re adding additional language support as quickly as we can.”

SweetLabs Pokki software brings the Start Menu back to the Windows 8 desktop

After receiving much criticism and feedback from users regarding the different desktop experience on Windows 8, Microsoft recently announced that the 8.1 update will bring back the start menu. This update will be available free to all Windows 8 users, from 17th October 2013.