Are You Looking to Buy a New Rice Cooker?

you are in the market for a new rice cooker, there is a giant market out there
so, I have compiled some good facts and buying concerns for your consideration
before you start shopping.

all are trying to eat healthier and smarter. A quality rice cooker can help you do both and they
are not difficult to use or make food with.

the market is so huge, I would first like to give you somethings to think about
that will make the difference in the size and kind of rice cooker that will
work for your own individual needs.

Rice Cooker Buying Concerns

  • How Many People Do I Want to Feed?
  • What Kind of Rice Do I Want to Cook?
  • Is the Rice Cooker Easy to Clean?
  • Does the Rice Cooker Have a Delayed Start?
  • Can I Cook Other Food in the Rice Cooker?
  • Does the Rice Cooker Use Pressure Style Cooking?
  • Does the Rice Cooker Come with Any Utensils?
  • What Kind of Instructions Come with the Rice Cooker?
  • How Much Technology Do I Want My Rice Cooker to Have?

Types of Rice Cookers

type of rice cooker is the conventional
, they have a heating plate, internal pot and external pot and shut off automatically when done.

type would be the Micom that contain
a computerized micro-chip that controls the functions of the cooker.

third type is a Micom with Pressurized
Induction Heat
that also have a computerized-chip and are considered the
“smart rice cookers”.

Low to Medium Priced Rice Cookers

As you can see there are a bunch of
features you need to think about before you can decide what rice cooker is
going to work the best for you. If you are thinking, “I just want to cook rice and that’s it” then look for one of the
cheaper and less complicated rice cookers such as the Black & Decker Rice Cooker that sells for around $15.00.

of the Rice Cookers on the market are multi-functional, they are not just a
rice cooker. Remember when we were all going crazy about owning a crockpot? Now
we all want a rice cooker and if it does more than cook rice, it’s even more
attractive to us.

Aroma Housewares makes a multi-functional
rice cooker that you can stem veggies in, make a fluffy cake, or fix jambalaya
in as well as cook rice. It will cook around 8 cups of finished rice so if you
have a medium sized family or you just want leftovers, this rice cooker will
serve you well. Its cost is about $30
and does come with a steamer tray, measure cup and spatula.

More Expensive Rice Cookers

The reason the price goes up on rice cookers is due to
the amount of technology used in
manufacturing and the material used to make the cookers. Naturally, the larger
the quantity of rice they can cook at one time also adds to their value.

such rice cooker is the Zojirushi
. It uses Fuzzy Logic Technology which includes digital controls
and LCD window.  It has a delayed-timer
setting so you can have it start cooking your rice hours before you get home
from work and keep it warm until you are ready to serve it.

 It can cook enough rice to serve 12 people.
Being multi-functional, you can cook a ton of foods in it. The cost is around $150.00 and will last
you for years.

of the Worlds most famous brands of rice cookers is the Cuckoo brand. This offers perfect rice every time and the company say
you will never have to buy another rice cooker in your lifetime.

also claims to be an energy saver and you can navigate its uses in three
different languages. Of course, its price is much higher ($350) but it’s a one-time purchase. Plus, its cute!

Last Considerations

you can see, there are many things to consider before purchasing a new rice
cooker. If you don’t plan on using a rice cooker very often, choose the cheaper
ones, they will fulfill your needs.

you have plans on changing your diet drastically and adding plenty of rice, I
would suggest you make a better choice and purchase one that will last you for
along time, the rest of your life!

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Compare Electric Rates in Massachusetts

In a move that made energy consumers breathe a little bit easier, National Grid announced that it will reduce rates for residents and businesses alike starting on May 1, 2019. 

With Massachusetts electric rates poised to plummet, consumers are in a great position to do a little bit of bargaining and get their energy costs even lower! By thinking ahead and strategically comparing all of your options, Massachusetts residents can stand to save even more on the cost of their energy bills.

Compare Electric Rates

Since National Grid made the announcement that it was going to drop rates you can expect other energy companies to follow suit. They have to drop their prices in order to remain competitive and keep their customers.

There are plenty of online tools to compare electric rates, so make sure that you are taking full advantage of them and doing your homework before settling on a supplier. You can even use these rates as a bargaining chip when speaking with competitors! 

Informed consumers are empowered consumers. Make sure that you do your homework!

Look into Fixed
Energy Options

Fixed energy rates protect you from skyrocketing energy costs and keep your bills at the same low energy rate. Fixed energy is not the same as fixed billing. Your bills will fluctuate as your energy usage rises or falls. What it means is that you are able to get your energy at a lower cost.

Right now National Grid is announcing that it’s going to reduce energy rates, but there’s no reason to think that this will be the case forever. More than likely, Massachusetts electric rates will go up again. By simply bargaining for a fixed energy rate when the price is low, you’ll save yourself the headache of being the whim of a fickle energy market. It’s a good way to have some peace of mind. 

Of course, if you want your energy bills to be lower you should look into additional ways to cut back on your energy use. Smart thermostats, Energy Star approved appliances and devices, and proper insulation will help keep your electric bill low.

Think About Going Green

There is a plethora of ways that you can get the energy that you need while still keeping the environment intact. Green options are all the rage these days! Traditional utilities like National Grid often do not offer green options to their consumers. You simply pay for the same old energy that you’re used to getting.

When you choose to use an alternative supplier, you’ll see that many of them will give you the option to go green or supplement your existing energy usage with a green overlay. It could save you money on your bills and will certainly make a positive impact on the planet. 

You can opt for new energies like solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric energy. Additionally, there are often incentives for going green! You might be eligible for tax write-offs or other perks simply by thinking outside the box and utilizing a new way of getting your energy. 

Sometimes people worry about switching over to a new energy source, but green energy has been around for decades and is so sophisticated that it operates just about the same way that old-fashioned energy does. It’s a smart way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on your bills and get a little benefit from Uncle Sam at tax time! 

National Grid’s recent announcement is great news for Massachusetts residents. It really puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you plenty of leverage over energy companies. Make sure that you take full advantage!

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10 Tremendously Inspiring Quotes That Will Help You Discover Your True Self

We all love surprises. And life is a beautiful platform to give yourself full of surprises, says Best Life Quotes. Each and every day introduces you to new opportunities and challenges. At each path you cross during the course of life you start discovering different “self” of yourself.

The day you start focusing on your insights you will develop a
better sense of “Yourself”. Knowing about our insights will enable us with a
special power to know ourselves better so that we can improvise ourselves and
reach to the desired goal and accomplish our aims in life.

One of the most interesting chapters of one’s life is “Finding
Yourself”. A subtle introduction of YOURSELF will inspire you and motivate you
to become more focused and aligned in life. By finding your true self you will
grow and flourish on all the platforms by winning and making your inner self
proud on you.

act as a mirror to picture “yourself” which is real. Your real portrait is
demonstrated by knowing your insights better, so that you can understand world
better & world in return will be able to know you better.

Sometimes an inspiring quote can act as a magical spark,
bringing in motion thoughts, ideas, and feelings that can direct towards
life-changing revelations. So let’s have a look at the top inspiring quotes
about finding yourself that will motivate you to think out of the box &
know your insights better.

Inspiring Quotes about Finding Yourself

“Finding yourself is an art, only an insightful person can make

“Discover your true self by loving the way you are, by loving
the things you owe.”

“You are a special creation of God, so keep yourself highly
motivated to create good all around.”

“Anybody can love others, but loving oneself is a best form of
love. Love yourself first then think about other.”

“Know the reason why you are here, know the reason why you got
birth; and this is only possible by knowing yourself.”

“Come let’s introduce you to the new you, the better you, by
meeting the fresh you.”

“Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder, and yes you are unique you
are beautiful.”

“Instead of finding faults in others, first find yourself and
you will start seeing positivity all around.”

“All the five fingers are not the same, so how can you be
similar to someone else, trust yourself, and build yourself.”

“Become your own hero by using the special power your behold in
your hands, by showing the world your inner talent.”

Final Words

You have a special unique strength and power within you and in your hands that you can conquer the world by your own actions and deeds. To draw the attention of others, to be loved & respected by one & all, to win success in life, first of all you need to trust and love yourself. The time you start falling in love with yourself you will see a charismatic change in your behavior that will draw other towards you. And even universe will start playing for you to make you the champion. The only thing you need is to have confidence in yourself and a spark of positive vibes and motivation within you that will inspire you like never before. So why wait and think share out the most tremendous inspiring quotes that will discover your true self with your loved ones and family only from YOURSELF QUOTES.

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Have You Ever Thought About Volunteering in Costa Rica?

Volunteering is a great way to develop as a person, whilst helping others who are often less fortune than yourself. Volunteering abroad and immersing yourself in another culture really gives you a different perspective, and adds to the experience that you will undoubtedly have.

Costa Rica, despite being a relatively small country, is able to attract over one million visitors each year. It is easy to see why this is the case! The excellent climate and the spectacular scenery, coupled with the ease of getting a visa, makes it the perfect place for tourists and volunteers to visit. The people of Costa Rica are naturally very friendly, so you will likely meet some truly fascinating people, making friends for life.

If you are looking to improve your Spanish while you are volunteering, there is the opportunity to advance your knowledge of Spanish with ongoing lessons during your placement.

If you volunteer in Costa Rica with A Broader View, who are a highly rated not for profit charity organization, you could be placed in areas that need your help the most. You will have their support and advice throughout the process of volunteering, from how to travel to and from your placement, to ongoing support while you are volunteering. In fact, there is 24/7 local support in the event of any emergencies, so you are well looked after.

The placements available in Costa Rica are dotted around the country. There are volunteering opportunities in the capital city of San Jose, as well as Escazu. There are also numerous Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions that you could be placed with. Just let them know your preferred location to volunteer in, and they will try and help you out. In fact, there will certainly be a voluntary placement you will like, as there are nineteen different programs that you can become involved with.

Sometimes volunteering with friends or as part of a group may be something you would like to explore. If you apply to A Broader View as a group of 5 or more, it is possible for a customized program to be created, so this is certainly an idea worth thinking about.

One of the most popular opportunities for volunteering in Costa Rica is the Sloth Sanctuary Costa Rica volunteer placement. If you are interested in applying for this, or any other Costa Rica volunteering opportunity, make sure you contact A Broader View today!

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Top 3 Hurricanes of All Time that Caused the Most Damage

When big storms hit, they can often cause billions of dollars-worth of damage. We thought we’d take a look at three hurricanes that were the most costly in terms of damage caused…

3. Hurricane Sandy in 2012

Estimates suggest
that $70 billion worth of damage was caused when the storm hit the North East
of the US in October 2012. While not the most powerful storm (Category 3), it’s
100mph winds caused wide spread damage.

Interesting Facts
about Hurricane Sandy

  • After
    the storm, there was a unique “baby boom”. Monmouth Medical Center said that
    the number of births they had nine months after the disaster jumped by 35%.
  • Because
    of the damage caused, the “Sandy” name was retired and replaced with the name “Sara”
    for future storms.

2. Hurricane Harvey in 2017

Hurricane Harvey
hit Texas and Louisiana in August 2017 causing at least $125 billion worth of
damage. The Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 115mph at their peak,
created havoc and brought many cities to a stand still.

Interesting Facts about
Hurricane Harvey

  • The storm made a total of five different landfalls, which is very unusual for a Hurricane
  • Hurricane Harvey claimed the lives directly of 68 people.
  1. Hurricane Katrina in 2005

When you ask people
to name a hurricane, Hurricane Katrina will most likely be the name that everyone
says. Katrina struck in August of 2005 causing billions of dollars worth of
damage to the Southeast USA, as well as Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. The
final damage bill came to $160 billion, with many areas not being built, so
arguably the damage caused was far higher.

The Category 5 storm claimed the lives of 1,836 people, which made it the deadliest hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, which claimed the lives of over 4,000 people.

Interesting Facts About Hurricane Katrina…

  • Water
    reached 12 miles in land in some locations, causing severe flooding to many towns
    and cities
  • A huge
    80% of the city of New Orleans became flooded

We know that disaster can strike at any time. This is why it is key that you have insurance and create content inventories for your possessions. You can use the automated system from to help with this. For more information, we would recommend that you check out

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Four Tips for Selecting Preeminent LED High Bay Light

LED high bay light, also
known as LED warehouse light, is mainly used in workshops of mechanical
manufacturing industry. It is an essential part of public lighting and the best
choice for the energy-saving transformation of traditional industrial plants.
With the continuous development and progress of LED lamps, the competition in
the market is becoming more and more fierce, and at the same time, some
unqualified products will appear. So, in the face of this situation, how should
we distinguish the quality of LED high bay light?

OBALS LED High Bay Light

(OBALS LED High Bay Light)

  1. Observe
    the Power

lower the power factor is, the worse the driving power and circuit design
settings are, which will significantly reduce the durability of LED high bay

  • The
    Quality of Light Bead

quality of lamp beads directly determines the quality of LED high bay light and
also determines the quality of chip and packaging technology.

  • Heat

At high temperature, the
lumen depreciation becomes large. If the heat dissipation effect of the high
bay light is not good, it will damage the durability, and also affect the
lighting effect.

  • Practical

The power and quantity of
LED high bay light should be selected according to the actual illuminated area.

The Types of LED High Bay

According to the lighting
function, LED high bay light can be divided into general lighting and local

General lighting usually
refers to that LED high bay light is uniformly installed above the work site or
on the side wall to ensure that its light can shine on the place where workers

Local lighting refers to
the LED high bay’s key lighting for a part of the work place. This way of
illumination can be based on general lighting, and then strengthen the lighting
effect for a specific workplace.

OBALS LED High Bay Light

(OBALS LED High Bay Light)

The Advantages of LED
High Bay Light

  1. LED
    high bay light has low power consumption, high color rendering index, strong
    seismic resistance, long service life and green environmental protection. It is
    the best choice for industrial plants, gas stations and other places,
  2. LED
    high bay light has high stability, and its service life can reach 25,000 to
    50,000 hours, which is more than 10 times longer than the life of the
    traditional light source, no pollution, no heat radiation, no harm to eyes and
  3. LED
    high bay light mostly uses high-power lamp beads as the main light source, and
    uses high-tech semiconductor crystal, which has the advantages of high thermal
    conductivity, small light decay and no ghosting.
  4. It
    also has an excellent presentation color function, for any physical color is
    very real. A lot of light colors can be chosen, no matter in what kind of
    environment can meet, so this will eliminate the past lights to the staff to
    bring depression, improving the work efficiency of workers.

OBALS LED High Bay Light

OBALS LED High Bay Light KD-006-S
  1. Superior
    heat emission function

Superior heat emission
structure with patented technology and power supply configuration, the light
can work efficiently and safely.

  • Easy
    to install

The extra accessories can
be installed in ceiling mounted and bracket projection-type.

and dustproof

The unit construction of lamp adopts waterproof and dust-proof design, which can meet the indoor and outdoor needs and other different application areas.

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Crypto Market Predictions – Will The Crypto Market Keep Falling?

Looking at the
current volatility and uncertainty of cryptocurrencies, crypto market
predictions can only give you a vague idea which digital coin can turn out to
be the big winner of your portfolio. However, these crypto speculations have
brought to the surface questions which seem to become favorites of the crypto analysts,
influencer, investors, and crypto news sites
to answer. These questions include:

Can Bitcoin hit the
$50,000 mark this year?

Will Bitcoin be worth
$1 million as predicted by John McAfee?

Will the crypto
market keep suffering through 2019?

Will the cryptocurrency
market valuation hit $1 trillion this year?

Popular crypto
analyst such as Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Mati Greenspan, eToro
senior market analyst, Gabor Gurbacs, the digital asset strategist and director
at VanEck, etc. have different views on the crypto market while some influencers
like John McAfee and Bobby Lee encourage to invest in Bitcoin. Let’s have a
look at different crypto market predictions surfaced by various analysts and

First and most
popular, influencers like John McAfee and Bobby Lee of the BTCC exchange have
predicted that Bitcoin will hit the $1 million dollar mark by the end of 2020.
However, looking at the current downfall of the crypto market, particularly Bitcoin
which has fallen by more than 85% in 2018, that swipe those predictions of McAfee
and Lee away. Though, Bitcoin still outperform most stocks, bonds, and MFs in
terms of returns over a period of several years.

Another popular
speculation hovering around the crypto sphere state that the total cryptocurrency
market valuation will hit $1 trillion this year. This statement is backed by
solid facts and data. Crypto market was worth $600 billion by the end of the
year 2016 and 2017 was the year when all major cryptocurrencies have seen their
all-time high adding $100+ billion to the total value of the market.
Ironically, the year 2018 was a bloodbath for the crypto market, losing
hundreds of billions of dollars. If a strong trend reversal will not occur, it
does not seem possible that the crypto market will hit $1 trillion by the end
of the year 2019.

prediction claims that the crypto market will remain suffering throughout the
year 2019. Sadly, there are several solid proofs and data that validate the
above statements. The proofs are in forms of crypto scams, exchange security,
volatility and uncertainness in the market, and regulations and global
pressure. There are other questions that are still left following different

Well, if not a
so-called analyst of the crypto market will answer these questions, time
certainly will!

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How to Create a Macro in Microsoft Excel

For those of you who regularly have to do the same task in
Microsoft Excel, it may be a good idea to create a macro to automate particular

A macro is a process that you are able to initiate to
complete common tasks that need done in Excel. To create a Macro in Excel, you need
to “record” your mouse clicks and keystrokes to tell Excel how to do the repetitive
task you are looking to automate. Then, you don’t need to do this process
again. You can then edit and improve the macro over time if required.

Here is an example of when a macro would be useful. Maybe
each month you have to create a detailed report for a fellow employee about the
latest accounts. A good use of a macro would be to highlight the details of the
overdue customers in red with a bold format. You can create a macro to
completely automate this process making it easier for next month.

Before Recording a Macro…  

You need to take steps to enable the macros. To do this, all
you need to do is to navigate to the “Macros and VBA” tools, which can be found
on the Developer tab of Excel. It is hidden, so by enabling it, you will be
able to proceed.

Recording Your Macro   

You will notice in the “Code” group on the Developer tab, there
is a button for “Record Macro”. Once you click this, you can then perform the
series of actions that you wish to create in your macro. This can be something
such as filling a column with some data and formatting the text in the cells,
or creating an Excel PDF.
Once you have finished recording, make sure you go to the “Developer” tab and
hit the “Stop Recording” button.

Refining and Editing Your Macro   

There may come a point where you may be looking to edit a
macro. All you need to do to edit a macro is to navigate to the “Developer”
tab, then select “Macros”, and choose the name of the macro that you wish to
modify and click “Edit”. This then triggers the Visual Basic Editor for you to
make the changes.

You can then see how the actions in the macro that you
recorded appear as code. Don’t worry if some of the code is rather confusing.
Not all of it will be bamboozling! We would recommend (if you know what you are
doing) to play around with the code to try and improve the Macro further.

For other Excel Applications,
check out

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5 Things to Photograph When You are Travelling

Many people
love travelling and visit many places, both inside and outside the country.
Most of them carry a DSLR or any other digital camera with them.

question that lingers in the mind of many of the tourist is, what to shoot? So,
I will share five things you can photograph next time when you are travelling.

You don’t
have to learn high-end photography to photograph these things. You can get
useful photography tips online and learn how to use your camera.

1.People Portraits

It is a
good idea to take portraits of people. Make sure that you ask for their
permission before photographing. It is for your safety.

Try to
include the essence of that place in your frame. If you are photographing a
villager, then make sure that you capture a photo where some part of the
village forms a part of it.

You can
also capture tight portraits to get the facial features.

2.Buildings and Architecture

Some places
are famous for their buildings and Architectural Monuments. For example, the
pyramids of Egypt and the temples of India.

So, make
sure that you include these places in your travel itinerary. You can photograph
these structures using the basic kit lens that comes with your camera. You
don’t need any specific lenses.


photography should be your priority when you are travelling. The scenes and
landscapes that you visit are unique to that place. So, you should spend some
to capture it.

Try to
include some interesting objects in your composition so that they won’t end up
in just another photocopy of that place. So, use your imagination and


If you are
visiting places like Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica or India, then you capture the
exciting wildlife subjects. You need to have proper planning to ensure that you
cover the maximum spots in your limited time.

wildlife photography, I recommend you to carry a zoom lens with your camera. If
you are interested in wildlife photography, then you can even go for a high-end
telephoto lens.

5.Street Photography

No travel
photography is complete without capturing street photos. You will be able to
photograph some interesting frames.

Try to take
photos during the day as well as night. Villages, markets and busy streets are
some of the best places where you can roam around with your camera. Just ensure
that you are not photographing in any restricted areas.

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What are the Best Mountain Bike Brands for Sale?

Are you on the lookout for your next mountain bike, but you
are unsure about what brand to go with? Worry not, because we thought we’d take
a look at two of the best mountain bike brands for sale to help you select the
right bike for you.


Tommaso is a brand that is known for its quality. We
especially like the Gran Sasso 29er, pictured above.

It has rugged 29er wheels which are able to maintain excellent
grip when riding over rocky terrain.

We have noticed that having the clearance of a 29er wheel
makes such a difference, especially when you are riding on a steep incline.
When it comes to braking, the Gran Sasso 29er delivers, thanks to the hydraulic
disc brakes which allows you to brake in all weather conditions. We would
always recommend that you choose hydraulic brakes over traditional mechanical
disc brakes, as they often half the stopping distance.

We have seen in the past that some mountain bike brands offer bikes that are not built to last and break before their time. The Tomasso Gran Sasso 29er is manufactured using the finest quality aluminium. For peace of mind, there is a lifetime warranty on the bike, which arguably makes it one of the most trusted mountain bike brands.


Schwinn are one of the best mountain bike brands for sale.

The second brand we would recommend is Schwinn. We love the Schwinn Schwinn Traxion 29” mountain bike from this brand. It is fitted with a rugged and durable aluminium dual suspension frame. This is supported with the unique Schwinn suspension fork, which works to improve the ride quality by soaking up any bumps that you ride over when navigating difficult terrain.

When it comes to making gear changes, this is made easy thanks to the 24-speed Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifter that is fitted. Gaining speed and moving through the gears is excellent with the Schwinn mountain bike. Durable Schwinn alloy cranks improve the gearing.

When it comes to braking, while it is not hydraulic brakes, the front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide good stopping ability. It would be the perfect bike if it had hydraulic brakes!

This particular bike is fitted with wide double
wall alloy rims, which add to the durability of the bike.

Have you tried out these mountain bike brands
before? If so, tell us what you think of them and whether they truly are the
best mountain bike brands for sale at the moment.

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Thanks to Our Sponsor: Hidden

Worried about your Mac or iOS devices getting lost or stolen? Worry no more. With Hidden, you’ve got the theft protection all your devices need — and it’ll only cost you pennies per month with our exclusive discount.

Hidden is a brilliant theft protection system that’ll keep all of your Apple devices protected. If your device gets stolen, Hidden will track its location, take pictures of the thief and screenshots of what they’re currently doing on your computer, and log processes and keystrokes on your Mac so you can see exactly what apps the thief is using and what he’s typing. On an iOS device, Hidden will show a fake alarm that, when the thief tries to turn off, will launch the app to snap a picture and send it to you just like it would on the Mac, so you’ve got the same protection everywhere.

You can then login to your Hidden account online and see exactly where your device is on a map, complete with all the other data Hidden has collected about the thief. That gives you the info you need to inform law enforcement and hopefully get your device back. It’s the full-fledged protection your devices need that will give you the peace of mind to not worry about your devices disappearing.

We loved Hidden when we tried it out, and are certain you’ll love it as well. It’s an ingenious way to keep your devices protected.

Get Hidden 50% Off!

Hidden usually costs $15/year to protect one device, or $30/year to protect up to 3 devices, but we’ve got something even better. This month, if you signup for Hidden with our coupon code MASL50, you can get 50% off your Hidden subscription. That’d make it cost only $0.63 per month to keep your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad protected! It’s the perfect way to keep your devices protected in 2014!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


Thanks to Our Sponsor: Coolorus

Ever get frustrated with the color picker on your Mac? It’s nice, but it could be so much more. That’s why you need Coolorus, the one color picker to rule them all.

Coolorus is a Corel Painter like color wheel for Adobe apps (including all recent versions of Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, and more) as well as all native Mac apps that uses native Apple color picker. It started out as just an Adobe plugin, but was so useful the team turned it into a Mac plugin that’ll work in any Mac app, including the color picker you’ll see in apps like TextEdit, Preview, the iWork apps, and graphics programs like Pixelmator. Coolorus is customisable and configurable so you can use it the way it is most convenient. With 2 types of HSV color representations — Triangle (preferred by Digital Painters) and Square (Desigers) — simple and full Hue wheel spectrum, RGB/RYB wheel mode, and a swatch module, with 2 modes — color1-color2 or black-color-white — there’s everything you could need to pick the perfect colors.

There’s more, too. You’ll find themes to make Coolorus look just like you want, panel resizing, keyboard shortcuts, and more. All of that, with the fastest performance of any 3rd party color picker on the Mac. It’s the tool you need to get precise colors every time.

Get the Color Picker You’ve Always Needed

Ready to simplify picking colors on your Mac? Then it’s time to get your own copy of Coolorus. You can download a free 7 day trial of Coolorus to make sure it works for you, then get your own copy of Coolorus starting at $9.99 for use in Photoshop or Flash Pro, $14.99 for use in Finder and all apps that use the default OS X color picker, or $28.95 to use in Finder, Photoshop, and Flash.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.


AppStorm Closing Shop

Four years ago I had the idea to build a blog network dedicated to reviewing and rounding up apps. We started with Mac apps and then quickly expanded to additional channels covering iOS, Android, Windows and Web apps. While the network has been successful in traffic and audience, reaching some 100m+ visitors over the four years, it’s ultimately not fit within our broader company mission. So I’m here today to announce that unfortunately after four years of app guidance, we’re closing AppStorm down.

As many readers will know, AppStorm is a product of Envato. Our company is dedicated to helping people earn and learn online, and our main products are the Envato Marketplaces, Microlancer and Tuts+. AppStorm has always been a bit of a fringe product for us, and one that loses money. Losses on their own would be OK if the site was a great fit for what our company purpose is. But despite my best efforts for the last couple of years, the fit has been loose at best.

If we are to do a good job of our core mission, it’s important that we are focusing our best efforts on it. So without the fit, even a route to profitability wouldn’t save the network for us unfortunately.

For a time we explored selling AppStorm to try to find a good home for the network so that our readers would continue to be served well, but we couldn’t find the right company to sell to.

So we’ve ended up here at a dead end with an announcement that at the end of December we published our last posts. The network will remain live here for at least 12 months, so if you’ve bookmarked posts, or use the network as a resource you can return still to do so.

I’d like to thank all our editors, writers and readers for supporting AppStorm over the four years. We delivered some amazing content, built a wonderful readership, and hopefully helped a lot of people meet a lot of great apps. And ultimately that was what this network was all about.

If you know of other great app review sites that readers will find helpful, please do leave a comment!

Thank you all!


Life: A New Option for Journal-Keepers

For many of us, recording memories and life experiences is a labour of love — and as with most things in modern life, “there’s an app for that.” Or, more accurately, there are now many apps dedicated to personal journal-keeping.

MacJournal and the now-retired Chronories led the way on Mac, and in their wake have come new, original offerings such as Bits, as well as iOS imports such as Day One.

The latest addition to this genre is Life, a heavyweight diary app built by the folks at MacAppStudio, which features an advanced search and numerous methods of capturing day-to-day happenings, as you might expect of an app that costs $59.99. But does it make life-logging sufficiently frictionless to be worth the hassle? I went hands-on with the premium beta to find out…

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For me, a diary app should be as close to a physical diary as possible in terms of complexity — or, indeed, simplicity — of use. Unless you can be bothered to enter happenings into your journal, a long feature list is irrelevant.

Measuring Life by this yardstick, I think it does a pretty good job. Configuring your digital diary is just a matter of inputting your name and photo, and choosing how often (if at all) you’d like Life to prompt you. Not that any of this is actually required.

The overall design of Life is clean and practical.

The overall design of Life is clean and practical.

The entry view — Life’s central hub (and the first thing you see when opening the app) — holds a simple, clean text area that is flanked on the left by a timeline of the day’s updates. The look is very flat and the icons are in the style of basic line drawings; I’m not sure I would quite put it in the “pretty” category, but it is handsomely practical.


Unsurprisingly, text is the primary method for the noting of events in Life. There’s no formatting in this beta version apart from bold, italic and underline, but Markdown support will be added in the future.

There are plenty of non-text inputs, too.

There are plenty of non-text inputs, too.

For folks who like their multimedia, there’s a very respectable array of supplementary inputs, too. Updates can be given a Type (text, photo, etc), assigned a Facebook-like emotion, and marked as notable. Equally, you can attach images to your entries via drag-and-drop, add a location, and enter tags.


All of this data is for a purpose: making moments more findable.

The search engine is currently imperfect, but highly detailed.

The search engine is currently imperfect, but highly detailed.

Life’s much vaunted search is great if you’ve entered plenty of data with each entry, as results can be filtered by date, tag and type. Unfortunately, the basic term-based search engine struggles in this beta version, but the advanced search is as accurate as it is speedy.

The calendar provides a unique overview.

The calendar provides a unique overview.

Life’s other main history-browsing option is a calendar view. Each date has coloured dots below it, with the colours signifying the Type of updates that were made and the tags that were used. Initially, this view is meaningless, but after a while you start to memorize the colours, and this area begins to provide a good overview of your updates.

The full version of Life will also include a map, which will turn the location info you’ve entered into an explorable digital atlas.


Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Life. Once Markdown support arrives, it will provide a wholesome, accessible writing environment, with just enough rich media to supplement the typed-out thoughts. The search is very detailed, the calendar view is nicely constructed and the map view will make for an interesting geographical insight.

In fact, the only thing to baulk at is the price; it would be unfair to judge the value of an app before seeing it in its complete state, but Life does need to bring some serious quality to the table to justify that $60 asking price.

Apart from beta bugs, though, I have to say that Life is a well-made product, and a very worthwhile home for your personal diary.


AccuRaw: Solid, Lightweight RAW Conversion

At the best of times, even with the smallest of images, photo editing has always been a challenging process for any app to cope with. This problem has only worsened with the ever-increasing number of pixels being added to sensors, and the ever-increasing size of the files those sensors produce. Add the uncompressed nature of RAW files into the equation, and you have a recipe for crash-inducing disaster — a disaster that is only avoided with highly skilful development.

Adobe has managed to avoid such troubles, in the shape of Photoshop RAW plugin, and with Lightroom, both of which are trusted by photographers the world over. Apple, too, has raised the standard of Aperture over the years, and it is now as good as any all-in-one you’d care to mention. And the choice doesn’t stop at the software giants — Capture One, darktable and CameraBag are great RAW converters as well.

Hoping to join this league is AccuRaw ($29.99), a new, lightweight conversion app from small development studio, PCDMagic. It looks the part and is well equipped on paper; but is AccuRaw an alternative that’s worth having?

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Unlike some of the library apps mentioned above, AccuRaw stays clear of archiving and categorizing, instead focusing purely on the editing side of image management.

AccuRaw stays out of the way of organization; you just load images from your hard drive.

AccuRaw stays out of the way of organization; you just load images from your hard drive.

As a result, images are loaded directly from a target folder on your hard drive into AccuRaw via the in-built file browser, a process which is fairly smooth, though not blindingly fast. To aid your searching, you can adjust the size of the thumbnails and view incompatible image files — photos in formats other than RAW may be seen, but not edited.


There’s good reason for this though; AccuRaw is very much a RAW converter, and not a general purpose image editor. As such, the adjustments included in this app are (nearly) all based on RAW data, and incidentally, nearly all are slider-controlled.

A touch of Lightroom pervades the interface.

A touch of Lightroom pervades the interface.


This no-nonsense approach is reflected in the simple, practical layout, which has more than a hint of Lightroom to it. To the right of the picture being edited is the entire toolkit, topped by an RGB histogram. This array of controls can be supplemented by calling up the nicely detailed EXIF viewer.

All the usual exposure adjustments are included (Exposure, Contrast, Brightness, Highlights and Shadows) as are the colour adjustments you would expect (Saturation, Hue and Tint), and white balance can be set manually or via the eye-dropper.

In addition, there are three mouse-based tools; the first is merely a cursor for click-and-drag image navigation; the second is a crop tool, which only applies its framing when you export the image; the third is a recurrence of the eye-dropper.

It’s a shame that there are no lens corrections on offer (other than for chromatic aberrations; see below), but it is nice to see sliders for Exposing To The Right (ETTR), allowing for punchier highlights, and Tone Curve, which provides a far more natural look to contrast adjustment.


While most editors and converters cope perfectly well with all of the above, cracks often start to show when technically challenging adjustments, such as sharpening, need to be made. However, I see no cracks in AccuRaw here.

Artifacts are controlled nicely, as is noise.

Artefacts are controlled nicely, as is noise.

Even pushing the Intensity and Radius sliders to their extremes produces an image that is essentially free from unwanted artefacts at 100% zoom, apart from the unavoidable increased noise definition.


That said, noise suppression is another area of impressive performance. Chroma and Luna artefacts can be tackled separately, and although AccuRaw can’t compete with the aggressive, intelligent noise-cancelling found in products such as NoiseNinja, it certainly cleans up the grain nicely. The effective Post-Demosaic Filtering — the slightly obscure name for chromatic aberration removal — is another welcome inclusion.

Profiles and Presets

The collective settings you choose above can be saved as presets, but there are also default presets to choose from, such as the clean slate Zero’d and the colourless Monochrome. Equally, AccuRaw provides its own default camera profiles, although you can provide your own, if you wish.

Some unusual options are included in AccuRaw's toolkit.

Some unusual options are included in AccuRaw’s toolkit.

More unexpected are the two checkboxes in the Profile section of the control palette: Preserve Highlights and Scene Referred. The purpose of the former is reasonably obvious — it ensures that nothing of the image is “burnt out” white. The cryptically labelled latter option relates to a trend within RAW software, where images are processed to mimic the dynamic range of human vision. It isn’t a game-changing feature, but it is another adjustment to play with.

Batch Conversion

For me, though, it is AccuRaw’s batch conversion that is its most useful feature. This probably seems like a strange conclusion, given that multiple images can only be processed via one of the presets. However, the ability to convert multiple images without having to deal with a library is a real time saver.


Speaking as a committed Aperture user, I find AccuRaw refreshingly lightweight. It very clearly isn’t the app in its class with the biggest inventory of adjustments, but it offers easy access to all of the basics. What’s more, the image quality it produces is impressive, and whilst it isn’t the fastest converter I’ve seen, it gets the job done at a fair pace.

There are, of course, areas for improvement. Distortion correction would be a great addition, as would a straightening tool. Some output options for batch conversions would be nice, too.

Overall, though, I would say that AccuRaw is a proficient, dependable introduction to RAW conversion, and a reasonably priced one at that.