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He Stars in a Spanish-Language soap. Why is he driving for Uber?

By  Lizette Alvarez, NYT Miami — It was a scene right out of a juicy telenovela, one of those Spanish-language soap operas that unfold one betrayal and love affair at a time on television screens all over the world. Pablo Azar, the green-eyed Mexican telenovela star, stepped out of a limousine and walked down the red carpet at an awards show here last year amid the usual celebrity mayhem. Cameras flashed. Fans shouted. Azar, 34, smiled broadly and walked inside. But after the awards show, Azar did something his army of admirers would never have imagined: He changed out of his suit, climbed behind the wheel of his car and started his shift as an Uber driver, a job he relies on when he’s between acting gigs to pay his bills. “At first, I …

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Internet trolls and how they can ruin your day

My first memories of trolls were delightful and endearingly innocent. I was 12, going out of my wits thinking of a gift for my crush’s upcoming birthday. I already bought a gaudy pink teddy bear and some overly fragrant stationery when my father pulled through and saved me from pubescent mediocrity. He brought home a Troll – the furry, up-combed hair doll beloved by many kids – and encouraged me to give that to her instead. It was different, it was unexpected, and it was a hit with my crush. With one gift, my father taught me not only to think creatively but also to inject humor into romance, which would be very useful in my life later on. Nowadays, no one would associate innocence, fondness, and goodwill with the term …

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11 Ways to take a better food photo on Instagram

By Sara Bonisteel, NYT Their Instagram photos are a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, and yours are dark and grainy. Theirs elicit pangs of hunger, and sometimes envy. And they almost always leave you wondering, “How did they shoot that?” Well, the pros do things a little differently than you do. Here are a few simple tips that will immediately improve your Instagram food photos. 1. Focus on the Food We mean that literally. It may sound like basic advice, but there are more fuzzy photos of In-N-Out Burgers on Instagram than there should be. Steady the phone to avoid shaking the camera, and focus on a point near the center of the dish or its most enticing detail, like the interior of a sliced layer cake. 2. Compose the Photo While Instagram now supports vertical and …

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Does a cookie crumble?

In this social media age where we all overshare, worrying about privacy is a practice we often neglect. And while it’s relatively easy to vet what we share on Facebook and check if there’s anything incriminating on the photos we upload on Instagram, there are other, sneakier ways how companies, websites, and other outfits keep track of our browsing habits. You have probably heard the term ‘cookies’ before – if you’ve ever read a piece on internet privacy, the article probably mentioned cookies. If you’ve visited a reputable site lately, you might have encountered a form where they ask you if it’s ok to leave cookies in your computer. And if you’ve watched clips of ‘news’ programs trumpeting the dangers of the internet, they might have painted cookies as an evil …

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When life gives you lemons

Congratulations – your new device is finally here. You’ve saved up for months, researched all the reliable sites for compelling reviews, compared and contrasted it against competing models and brands, found the best deal available in your area, and you’ve exchanged your hard-earned money for the gadget of your (recent) dreams. You know this baby like the back of your hand, and you can’t wait to take it for a spin. But after several days of bliss, you notice some things are amiss. It starts with the small stuff – an app hanging for no reason, a mini delay when you press the Home button. You ignore it at first, because after all, didn’t you get the best of what’s out there? And then you notice the battery emptying earlier than it …

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How to pick the best credit card, based on rewards

By Stacy Cowley (New York Times) Free trips. Triple cash back. Or would you prefer first dibs on tickets for Beyoncé's world tour, or a private dinner cooked by a “Top Chef” winner? As the economy strengthens, credit card issuers are rolling out their most lavish offers in years to woo new customers. But figuring out which card will deliver the best payoff for your personal spending patterns can feel like a calculus test. That is a reason so many Americans — more than a third, according to one recent survey — haven’t changed their primary card in a decade. “Many people have under-optimized wallets,” said Matthew Goldman, the chief product officer for the credit card sites at Bankrate, which offers a variety of consumer finance comparison tools. “Right now, it’s a really …

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Our fascination with reality

By Iza Iglesias Apple CEO Tim Cook has been giving hints of the company’s intent in making augmented reality (AR) device possible. According to him, this kind of technology will be bigger than virtual reality (VR) as it will allow users to be more “present”, even suggesting that it may be more commercially viable. In his September 14 interview with American news channel ABC, Cook mentioned, “There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality—both of these are incredibly interesting. But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far.” He added, “[AR] gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things—visually—for both of us to see. Maybe it's something we're talking about, maybe it's …

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The volatile truth about Smartphone batteries

Samsung’s been having a grievous time with its Galaxy Note 7 – a phablet with impressive specs and performance ratings, if not for one fatal flaw. The Korean company had to implement a worldwide recall of the Note 7 handsets due to exploding battery fears. Memes and jokes making fun of the product abound in the Internet, and airlines even issue warnings against bringing the Note 7 on their flights. Intended as a flagship product, the Note 7 is turning out to be a marketing nightmare. However, Samsung’s problem is hardly unique, with modern society overwhelmingly dependent on ambulatory power consumption. Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries are the standard now, and we use them not just in cellphones but also in cars and in airplanes. And any Lithium-ion battery – regardless of the …

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L’Oréal Professionnel launches ‘Style My Hair’ app

Have you ever had that dilemma where you just want to try a different hairstyle but you're uncertain whether it'll look good on you or not? And then when you have finally decided to change up your hair, you ended up regretting it? If yes, then L'Oréal Professionnel's new app is for you. With the hairstyling app, Style My Hair, one's pre-hairstyling jitters will certainly be eliminated for good. The app gives a virtual simulation ofa salon experience, allowing users to modify their hairstyle choices based on cut, color, color intensity, and hair length. L'Oréal's new app contains an extensive catalog of hairstyles and hair colors that users can virtually see on themselves as they upload a photo to which their chosen hairstyle and hair color is digitally rendered. Basically, the app helps its …

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Faster, stronger, and definitely sweeter!

By Christian Abe Garcia The latest Android OS has just been released and those who are lucky enough to have tasted the Nougat on the latest phones are raving about all the added and improved features it has over the previous Android operating systems. With all the new features the Nougat offers, pretty sure most of us are curious as to what these additions are to the system.  Although quite minimal and often unseen, it still is a game-changer in terms of what it can bring for Android phones. Listed below are some of the many functionalities added to the new OS to guide you through the Nougat’s best features. Better notifications With Nougat, notifications are much more prominent.  This means users won’t miss any important notifications like emails or messages from work or loved …

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