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Until unfollow do us part

By Katherine Rosman, NYT Noah Masterson, a Web marketing manager in Austin, Texas, is like the Marie Kondo of Twitter. He keeps it tidy. “I just unfollowed about 20 people to get down to an even 400,” he said. “It felt really good.” For Masterson, 43, the value of social media is that it brings together all sorts of voices and opinions that he may not otherwise hear. But if he decides one voice is too shrill, too self-promotional or too dull, he will declutter. “It’s a party, and I get to select the guests,” he said. “I can just eject someone if they’re not being a good guest.” Maggie Cassidy works at a nonprofit in Chicago and is similarly inclined to vote with her fingers. “Unfollowing is the best,” said Cassidy, 31. “I …

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How it feels to be a mother

Growing up, Gelene Legaspi had always wondered how it felt like to be a mother. She had always believed that she possesses all the good and caring qualities of a loving mother. However, fate had other plans and probably wanted Gelene to wait a little while longer for her little bundle of joy to arrive. When Gelene was 29 years old, the dreaded “Big C” struck at her, leaving her wondering if she would ever experience holding a child in her arms. “In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Colon Cancer," Gelene recounts. "I was only 29 years old at that time, newly married and about to start a new life as a wife. Of course, I was devastated and didn’t know what to do. Doctors recommended I undergo an operation …

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Grown apps

By Christian Abe Garcia The world we live in and the way we live now is truly different as it was before. Back then, most kids enjoy games such as tumbang preso or langit-lupa; games that are played outdoors. Now you would only see a few playing outside.   They would more likely be in their homes or in an internet café using a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. It’s really amazing how fast everything changed because of technology.  While some of us could still recall playing Pac Man on huge arcade cabinets or old video game consoles, now everything that you played as a child can easily be downloaded on a smartphone.The cool thing about it is you don’t have to buy an arcade machine or a second-hand game console from …

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Going for a homerun

Putting your house up for sale is the second-hardest thing to do after deciding to part with it. Like a candidate getting ready for a job interview, you certainly need to put your home’s best foot forward. Before talking to a real estate agent or a bank to provide professional support in your sale, there are things you should take care of personally. These pre-sale tasks will help ensure you cover all bases to increase your home’s value and make for a smoother selling process. So take time to do these things, no matter how menial or tedious they might sound. It will spell a big difference and help you finalize the best deal with your home’s next owner. Secure important paper work. Proof of ownership is a must. Buyers will not be …

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The upside to technology? it’s personal

By Nick Bilton, NYT As a longtime tech columnist, I’ve seen the dark side of technology. I’ve written about the privacy minefields of Facebook and other social networks. I’ve looked at the hate and bullying that people inflict on Twitter. I’ve seen how the front-facing camera on our smartphones can turn us into narcissists. I’ve also witnessed how technology has enabled terrorists to spread their message of hate and incite fear. All these downsides have made me wonder whether these technological advances are worth it. Maybe we’re better off without smartphones, social media, cloud computing and apps du jour like Snapchat that we seemingly can’t live without today. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself as I ponder this — my last column for The New York Times after 14 years working at the …

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Should you be FB friends with your boss?

Are you friends with your mom and/or dad on Facebook? Truthfully, many continue to delay hitting the “Confirm” button and allow their parents to be their friends online. But what if your boss sends you a friend request? You can keep ignoring family requests nicely, but one from your manager will be pretty hard to ignore. While some of us may find it easy to be chummy with our superiors online, there have been cases of regret, unfortunately. Like maybe when your boss peeked at your office Christmas party photo album from last year to request you to take down photos with him in them. The social and professional lines start to blur and the freedom you feel on Facebook all of a sudden feels curtailed. So, can you be friends with …

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The Joys of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is here… kind of. In recent weeks, we’ve been inundated with news about the Oculus Rift, the Samsung VR, and just about every other tech company hoping to cash in on this latest trend. Steam, one of the world’s biggest gaming platforms, even put up a page specifically for the promotion of the HTC Vive - one the most advanced virtual reality platforms available today. It’s a strategic move. While the virtues of buying current-gen VR products is still debatable, there is no doubt that the technology is exciting. And even though the product can be prohibitively expensive ($800 or so), every day, more content is being generated specifically for VR tech. So if you’re wondering if you should jump in now and buy a VR device, you could …

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Trending at halftime: Players checking their phones

By Andrew Keh &  NYT The professional sports locker room is a sanctuary, a place that is supposed to be free of outside distractions. At halftime of an NBA game, for instance, players sit attentively, absorbing the coach’s instructions. They rehydrate, and maybe even change into a fresh uniform. Their focus for those 15 minutes rests entirely on what must be done in the second half to win the game. Except when they’re flicking through their smartphone notifications on the sly. The habit of monitoring mobile devices officially now has no bounds, not even at the locker room door. In a league populated by athletes who have grown up with a ball in one hand and a mobile device in the other, players are increasingly returning to the court only after taking a …

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Tips on how to get good photos from your smartphone

By Christian Abe Garcia Photos often capture some of the best memories that we have for a certain event or even just for an ordinary day. In the age where cameras are getting smaller and resolution getting higher, taking photos has been much easier now compared back then.  Remember how we all needed to go to photo studios just to have them developed and recopied?  Instead of having to carry cameras, whether small or large, we now just have to pull out our smartphones from our pockets or bags and immediately start clicking away to catch our friends or family in their happiest or most memorable moment. However, some photos can often be ruined simply by not knowing how to take one properly.  Taking photos is easy; but making it look great …

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Virtual Reality Check: A look at the 10 best VR experiences

LOS ANGELES — After spending time with the recently released consumer editions of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality systems, here are the 10 best VR titles out now: — "Adr1ft": If the film "Gravity" was a video game, it would be "Adr1ft." The weightless saga for Oculus casts players as an astronaut struggling to survive while exploring a shattered space station. — "Elite: Dangerous": While the open-world space simulator "Elite: Dangerous" has been out for two years, a VR edition adds another level of immersion by placing players in the cockpit of their spaceship. — "EVE: Valkyrie": This sci-fi dogfighter — one of the first full-fledged games to be created for modern-day VR — convincingly pits online gamers against each other in out-of-this-world locales. — "Fantastic Contraption": In this physics-based puzzler, …

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