5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score

5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score

What is your credit score?
You actually have several credit scores.
FICO credit scores are the ones that most lenders check, but there are even several different FICO scores.
Why you should check your credit score Knowing your credit score is important, especially before you plan to make any large purchases or try to qualify for financing.
How to check your credit score You can order your FICO score from myFICO.com.
For $59.85, you can order your FICO score from all three credit bureaus.
The best way to boost your score is to make all of your payments on time.
At the same time, work on paying down your credit card debt.
You’ll never pay down your credit card debt by only paying the minimum.
Don’t close credit cards you aren’t using.

5 Signs Your Budget Needs a Makeover (And How to Do It)

5 Signs Your Budget Needs a Makeover (And How to Do It)

You’ve been trying to use a budget, but it isn’t going so well.
You keep busting your budget The first step in creating a budget is setting targets for each spending category — how much you’ll save, give, and spend on everything from groceries to gifts.
If you’re new to budgeting, it’s pretty common to get to the end of a month only to discover how drastically different your real-world spending is from your planned spending.
You don’t realize you’re busting your budget until it’s too late A common budgeting mistake is only reviewing how you’re doing at the end of each month.
That requires looking at how your actual spending compares to your planned spending throughout the month.
Some months, you’ll spend far less in these categories, but some months you’ll spend a lot more.
In those months when you don’t spend your full budgeted amounts, you could let the money build up in your checking account.
(See also: Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes) 5.
After all, how can a spouse who had no say in deciding how much to spend on groceries or clothing or anything else be expected to manage to those numbers?
That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page as your spouse.

Ask the Readers: Do You Still Send Snail Mail?

Ask the Readers: Do You Still Send Snail Mail?

For the most part, snail mail is becoming a thing of the past.
Most businesses now offer online bill pay or automatic payments, so you don’t even have to mail a check every month.
Do you still send snail mail?
Are there certain kinds of communications where you would prefer snail mail over email?
Tell us whether you still send snail mail and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards We’re doing three giveaways — here’s how you can win: Follow us on Twitter Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.
Winners will also be contacted via email.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.
Void where prohibited.
Good Luck!

Kylie Jenner Shares New Pics of “Happy Baby” Stormi Webster

Kylie Jenner Shares New Pics of “Happy Baby” Stormi Webster

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star took to her Instagram Story on Monday to share new pics and videos of her baby girl. “She has the prettiest little hands,” Kylie captioned one post.
From the first official photo to her latest snaps, see all of the pics that have been posted of baby Stormi: Kylie Jenner introduced her baby daughter Stormi with this precious pic of the little one holding her mom’s hand.
Kylie shared this clear snapshot of her daughter’s adorable face on Snapchat, writing, “My pretty girl.”
The new mom shared a sweet Snapchat video of her daughter snuggling with her BFF Jordyn Woods.
Stormi looks bright-eyed while celebrating her first Easter with Kylie and Travis.
The new mom posted this cute pic of her best friend Stormi rocking a fresh pair of sneakers with the caption, “bff.”
Kylie and Stormi are truly angelic in all-white in this pic she captioned, “angel baby.”
Kylie shared this adorable photo of baby Stormi smiling on April 23.
Kylie shared close-up photos of baby Stormi on Snapchat in April.

Best Money Tips: How to Avoid the Worst Kitchen-Cleaning Mistakes

Best Money Tips: How to Avoid the Worst Kitchen-Cleaning Mistakes

Today we found articles on the worst kitchen-cleaning mistakes you can make, student loan mistakes that cost you huge money, and what you can do today to help yourself tomorrow.
If it seems like other people are trying to influence your financial decisions, try these tips to keep them at bay.
[Everyday Finance] Emotions and Money: The Difference Between Your Net Worth and Self Worth — Join Experian’s #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m.
ET for a discussion on how your emotions can affect your money — and vice versa.
[Experian] Other Essential Reading Best Early Retirement Calculators — These calculators will help you determine if you’re on track to hit your retirement goal.
You’ll get there faster if you have a good idea of what you want your space to look like.
[Classy Simple Life] How to Remodel Your Home on a Budget — Do your research.
Get ballpark prices on the projects you want to do and eliminate the ones that you already know will be too expensive.
Take a look at these guidelines to figure out how much you should budget for each spending category.
[Free Money Finance] Voice assistants can’t understand Pittsburghese — Alexa and other voice assistants are trained in regular American English and often trip up on requests in regional dialects.

20 Fast Food Apps That Help You Score Free Food

20 Fast Food Apps That Help You Score Free Food

Sure, fast food is known for being affordable, but fast food apps can actually help you score free food.
Usually, you will earn one point for every dollar spent, but many times the app will also reward double points.
You will also earn one point for every dollar spent at the restaurant.
The app also gives app users a free birthday treat and reward points for every purchase you make (a point for every dollar spent).
Redeem points toward free drinks and food items.
You’ll also earn a free treat for your birthday, and a $3 reward for every 35 points you earn.
I also like that the app rewards a free food reward after so many visits, not based on how much money I spent.
How to save even more with fast food apps Obviously these apps were created to get you to spend money on fast food in order to score free food, but here are three ways you can spend less and still get rewards.
Load that card to your account and earn points through the app.
Take advantage of gift card promos Sometimes these restaurants will offer a deal like, “Buy $X worth of gift cards get a meal or drink for free.”

Christina Aguilera Crushes Carpool Karaoke While Melissa McCarthy Surprises with Her Rap Skills

Christina Aguilera Crushes Carpool Karaoke While Melissa McCarthy Surprises with Her Rap Skills

Christina Aguilera is on fire in Carpool Karaoke.
She belted out such hits like “Fighter,” “Dirrty,” and “Genie in a Bottle” alongside host James Corden, who seemed in awe of her vocal talent.
“How are you doing that with your voice?” Corden, 39, asked Aguilera after she had growled during a verse in “Fighter.” “That’s an angsty thing, you’ve got to get your fighter on,” she explained, to which Corden responded he couldn’t copy her as he sounded “like I’ve got something trapped in my throat.” The pair also spoke about Aguilera’s days on The Mickey Mouse Club, which she appeared in her youth alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Ryan Gosling.
Back then he had swag,” she concluded.
“But I know Ryan did have a crush on Britney.
You’ve known each other a while, yes?” Corden asked the two.
“We did a picture together — Life of the Party.” “Which we obviously are,” Aguilera added.
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Corden surprised the two with bedazzled microphones and asked the singer to teach him and McCarthy how to sing like her.

Vanilla Ice’s Ex

Vanilla Ice’s Ex

You Unloaded Our Jet Skis Vanilla Ice’s ex wants to prevent a fire sale in the wake of their impending divorce — which apparently has already gotten underway with him unloading their jet skis.
VI’s estranged wifey, Laura Van Winkle, filed legal docs asking a judge to stop the rapper from selling off any more of their shared assets without her permission.
In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Laura says Ice is in possession of nearly all of the couple’s marital assets, so she can’t prevent him from doing what he wants with their stuff without a judge stepping in.
Oh, and she wants full accounting of his haul from the jet skis’ sale, too.
Sounds about right … Laura filed her original divorce petition in 2016.
She asked to be allowed to stay in the family house and for child and spousal support … plus attorney’s fees, of course.
This split is turning out to be colder than … forget it.

The Heart-Racing Drama of Dissecting a Beached Whale

The Heart-Racing Drama of Dissecting a Beached Whale

About 31 years ago, when Dr. Joy Reidenberg was a graduate student at Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences, she climbed into a trailer, then on top of a stranded 11-foot-long pygmy sperm whale lying on its back, and “cut the midline of its throat to get past the blubber.” She parted the blubber and muscles of the 1,000-pound whale to the sides and located the hyoid bone, “which is a free-floating bone in the neck,” she says.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Network called Reidenberg because she was doing “a research project in comparative anatomy and had made an official request for anatomical specimens from dead stranded whales,” she says.
The plastic bags in the back seat certainly did not help.
Reidenberg toyed with the idea of being a medical illustrator, but someone in the field told her there wasn’t much work in it.
Then the Anatomy Department chairman at Cornell’s New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Evans educated her about research in the anatomy field.
He assigned her a research project over the summer to dissect toadfish and draw their anatomy for a fish dissection manual.
After she graduated from Cornell University, she obtained her Ph.D. from Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences and researched the comparative anatomy of the upper respiratory tract in mammals.
Yet, what fascinated her throughout her evolutionary biology and anatomy studies were whales.
According to the The New York Times, she had already dissected over 400 whales when she received a call to get on the next plane to Ireland.
The “artist of anatomy,” as Reidenberg calls herself, is always prepared for a dissection.

A bloody good candy bar.

A bloody good candy bar.

In Soviet-era Russia, candy wasn’t made for pleasure; it was a functional food.
Gematogen was one such candy bar.
The sweet supplement was developed to treat anemia, malnutrition, and fatigue.
And it was fashioned from processed cow’s blood.
From the 1920s onward, kids picked up the sanguine sweet from drugstores.
Sometimes, they had to ask their mothers to do their bidding, as certain pharmacists wouldn’t sell the supplement to anyone under the age of 13.
Whether or not young fans knew what was inside the iron-rich snack remains uncertain.
Gematogen is still sold today, but some companies use a powdered blood product with no ruddy or otherwise bloody qualities.
Others coat it in chocolate.
Suddenly, she said, “it all made sense.”

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ First Reactions Are in: ‘I Have Never Left a Film This Awestruck’

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ First Reactions Are in: ‘I Have Never Left a Film This Awestruck’

After years of build up and months of capital-H hype, “Avengers: Infinity War” is finally hitting theaters this week.
Who’s Going to Die in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?
The movie is epic beyond compare.
I have never left a film this awestruck.
Marvel Studios lays down the Infinity Gauntlet with this one.
#InfinityWar is a whole lot to process.
#InfinityWar I saw #AvengersInfinityWar earlier tonight and I can say that it delivers.
There’s a lot of really fun character interactions, some cool action moments (Thor’s powers, Iron Man’s suit), and a few powerful emotional beats.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR: A movie version of a massive comic-book crossover, for better (fun character interactions) and worse (it’s pretty much all Infinity Stone shenanigans).
#avengersinfinitywar — Matt Singer (@mattsinger) April 24, 2018

When Family-Owned Gelato Shops in Italy Almost Went Extinct

When Family-Owned Gelato Shops in Italy Almost Went Extinct

That almost happened just after the Second World War, when a new product, Mottarello, arrived.
As the very first industrial ice cream in Italy, Mottarello wasn’t there to coexist with artisanal gelato.
Gelato didn’t become widely available to the public until the end of the 19th century.
When they refused, non-industrial gelato suddenly—and suspiciously—began generating bad press.
The very next day, Corriere della Serra broke news that 500 people had contracted food poisoning in Tivoli—an event that was blamed not on the food, but rather on the people who had handled it.
What Motta realized at the time, he explains, is that there was a need for something “more innovative and interesting” for customers, and designed its ads to convey how different these products were.
Industrial gelato is hygienic, even healthy—unlike what artisans produce.
Their efforts not only resulted in recovering sales, but better gelato, too.
She says her father told her all about collaborating with colleagues from other cities to explain to the public what artisanal gelato is, and what makes it special.
So it’s still up to her—and other gelato makers of her generation—to keep the abbondanza alive.

Heather Honey

Heather Honey

Heather grows in abundance on the Scottish moorlands.
And each year in early September, when Calluna vulgaris is in bloom, many Scottish beekeepers take their bees north to the heather fields.
It’s a short window of opportunity, with the purple-colored bloom lasting for just a few weeks, but it’s the only time to produce a Scottish delicacy: heather honey.
As if this weren’t problematic enough, heather honey is also nearly solid in the hive.
Technically, it’s thixotropic, meaning it’s thick when static but becomes less viscous and starts to flow when stirred or shaken.
As a result, farmers often have to scrape heather honey out of the hive and press it through a sieve.
Some even use a machine with a honeycomb pattern of needles that agitates the stiff honey in the comb.
The reward for all this extra effort is the highly-valued final product: a mildly sweet, intensely fragrant honey considered by many connoisseurs as the best of its kind.
In most cases, the woody, slightly smoky honey is eaten without adornment, often spread on a piece of bread or toast, so as not to lose any of the rich flavor.
You can throw in a few embellishments, of course.

Floyd Mayweather Bodyguard Reveals Gunshot Wound

Floyd Mayweather Bodyguard Reveals Gunshot Wound

Here’s a photo of the gunshot wound Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguard, Greg La Rosa, sustained during an attack on the boxer’s entourage in Atlanta … and warning — it’s pretty gnarly.
Greg was a passenger in Floyd’s 3-vehicle caravan which had left a nightclub on April 9 and was returning back to Floyd’s hotel when a gunman opened fire and sprayed 12 shots.
Greg was struck in his lower left leg — 6 inches above his ankle — and was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Miraculously, no one else was shot.
We spoke with Greg on the “TMZ Sports” TV show (airs Monday night on FS1) — and he walked us through that fateful night and told us about his recovery.
We told him to hit Floyd up for a raise — ya gotta see his response.
Fortunately, Greg says he’ll be okay and hopes to resume his regular gig as the protector of The Money Team as soon as possible.
Check out “TMZ Sports” weeknights on FS1.

‘Venom’ Trailer Officially Released Online

‘Venom’ Trailer Officially Released Online

After a brief teaser and months of questions, Sony finally unveiled a full look at their Spider-Man spinoff movie, showing the symbiote in its full glory.
A brand new trailer for Venom screened for fans at CinemaCon, and now the footage has been released online for everyone to see.
The footage has been long awaited, especially after the lackluster teaser.
With Venom not releasing until October, there’s still a lot of progress to be made in the post-production process.
Special effects are finalized toward the end, and with six months to go before the film’s release, a lot of the movie’s CG is unlikely to be finished.
So maybe Sony made a mistake by pushing that teaser earlier than expected.
Hardy will star in the new movie alongside Jenny Slate, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed, in a storyline loosely based on the ’90s Lethal Protector miniseries from Marvel Comics.
Although Sony is producing, it’s still unclear whether or not the film will actually be a part of the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, with rumors flying about Tom Holland’s supposed involvement.
Venom premieres in theaters on October 5th.
What do you think of the new trailer?

New ‘Venom’ Trailer Unveils Tom Hardy’s Anti-Hero Transformation

New ‘Venom’ Trailer Unveils Tom Hardy’s Anti-Hero Transformation

“We are Venom.”
So says Tom Hardy in the first full-length trailer for Venom, which debuted during Sony’s CinemaCon presentation on Monday.
Hardy plays the Spider-Man anti-hero in Sony’s Marvel standalone, but in the teaser released in February for the film fans noticed Hardy was not actually seen as the villain.
At the end of the latest spot, fans finally got to glimpse Hardy’s Venom. “I don’t feel well,” he says, as his transformation begins that leads to the big reveal.
Joked Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman after the trailer screened, “See, we didn’t actually forget to put in Venom in the movie.”
Ruben Fleischer directs the film, with his cast that also includes Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate and Scott Haze.
Sony debuted a first look trailer of Venom back in February, but it only included footage of Hardy as Eddie Brock — the human who becomes Venom after bonding with an alien symbiote.
Watch new trailer for Venom below.
We Are #Venom.

When Don the Talking Dog Took the Nation by Storm

When Don the Talking Dog Took the Nation by Storm

The vaudeville stage welcomed plenty of animal acts, but Don the Talking Dog was the tops in his time.
Don was a well-known performer in his native Germany, where he displayed his ability to speak several German words.
The dog show evoked curiosity in the US, and there was plenty of hype when Don finally crossed the Atlantic in 1912.
Newspapers followed his every move, and crowds formed everywhere he performed.
With a vocabulary that ultimately reached eight words—all in German—Don had garnered attention in the United States as early as 1910, with breathless newspaper reports from Europe.
According to some accounts, his first word was haben(“have” in English), followed by “Don,” kuchen(“cake”), and hunger (same word in English and German).
Theoretically, this allowed him to form the useful sentence: Don hunger, have cake—although most accounts say he typically spoke just one word at a time, and only when prompted by questions.
He later added ja and nein (“yes” and “no”), as well as ruhe (“quiet” or “rest”) and “Haberland” (the name of his owner).
Don stayed in the US for two years, during which time he was treated as royalty, and made plenty of money, both from shows and from endorsing Milk-Bone dog biscuits.
Scientists were interested in Don, too, and you can read about their conclusions at Smithsonian.

These Are the 15 Most Popular YouTubers in the World – Some Are Making Millions

These Are the 15 Most Popular YouTubers in the World – Some Are Making Millions

If you’re at the top of your game, there are major bucks to be made in the form of YouTube partnerships, endorsements, and exposure to new opportunities.
The list below features 15 of YouTube’s most popular independent stars (as opposed to mainstream music artists, etc.
), as compiled by SocialBlade.
These stars aren’t just reaching millions of people worldwide – some are also making millions of dollars in the process.
I particularly like his videos due to his energetic narration and charming Irish accent.
Felipe Neto: 18.7 million subscribers Brazilian vlogger and comedian Felipe Neto has the distinction of being the first Brazilian YouTube channel to hit 1 million subscribers.
He also released a Netflix special in 2017.
Markiplier: 19.5 million subscribers Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) is a gaming YouTuber who has aspirations of branching out into music and acting.
Her popularity has earned her features in Vogue and on TV in her native Mexico.
The Chilean comedian and musician can boast having not one, but two YouTube channels in the top 20 list – the main one listed here and another, gaming-focused channel called JuegaGerman.

‘Avengers 4’ Likely Longer Than ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, But It’s Too Early to Know for Sure

‘Avengers 4’ Likely Longer Than ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, But It’s Too Early to Know for Sure

Directors Anthony & Joe Russo are making the publicity rounds to discuss Avengers: Infinity War, and while these promotional interviews aren’t giving up much in the way of information about the movie, there was some discussion about what to expect when it comes to Avengers 4.
For example, even though the directing duo is still trying to get together a first cut for Avengers 4, they already think it will be longer than Avengers: Infinity War.
We like it to play at a certain pace.
Anthony: We have a whole year of work left on that movie.
Joe: I do think it’ll be longer than Avengers 3.
It should be noted, as Anthony Russo says above, we’re still very far out from Avengers 4.
In fact, the co-director even went out of his way to say that their first cut of Avengers 4 isn’t even complete yet.
What About That Avengers 4 Title?
We already know that the title for Avengers 4 won’t be revealed for a long time after Infinity War hits theaters to avoid any possible spoilers.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The ‘Avengers’ Stars You Should Be Worried About in ‘Infinity War’

The ‘Avengers’ Stars You Should Be Worried About in ‘Infinity War’

Avengers: Infinity War is the beginning of a sad goodbye for some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes.
With contracts coming to an end for many of actors behinds the core team of heroes, Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers 4 could be the final time audiences see stars such as Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said that whoever dies in Infinity War will stay dead.
Even if Steve Rogers dies in Infinity War, the MCU is unlikely to be a place without someone serving as Captain America.
After some convincing, and realizing Thanos only cares about power, Nebula also joined the Guardians in hopes of exacting revenge.
Thanks to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Tony Stark, Vision has the mind stone, one of the infinity stones Thanos seeks in Infinity War.
He was one of the first of the MCU villains, but Loki has now moved into more of an antihero role, but how long will that last?
In one of the Infinity War trailers, he holds the tesseract as if he’s going to give it to someone.
Maybe Thanos?
Avengers: Infinity War opens Friday.

That Treated First Opioid Overdose

That Treated First Opioid Overdose

Family Sues Hospital Prince’s family is taking action after it was announced no one would be criminally charged in the singer’s death by suing the hospital that treated his overdose a week before he died.
Prince’s family — repped in the lawsuit by trustee Michael A. Zimmer — just filed to sue Trinity Medical Center out of Illinois for allegedly failing to properly diagnose and treat Prince’s opioid addiction before he suffered another, and ultimately fatal, overdose a week later.
They’re also suing one of Trinity’s doctors, Dr. Nicole Mancha, as well as an unidentified pharmacist and Walgreens employee whom they claim were involved in providing care to him in his final days.
They’re suing Walgreens, too, btw.
We broke the story …
Prince made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where emergency responders gave him 2 shots of Narcan to save his life.
In regards to Walgreens, Prince’s family claims the drug store chain was dispensing narcotic prescription medications to Prince for an invalid medical purpose and failed to make sure he was using the drug properly.
Not named in the lawsuit … Dr. Michael Schulenberg, who investigators say prescribed Prince Percocet through his bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, serving as a proxy.
Schulenberg settled with the feds over that violation for a $30,000 fine.
Video of Prince at Dr. Schulenberg’s office was released last week, as was an entire trove of evidence acquired in his death investigation.

‘Westworld’ Deep Dive: 18 Key Scenes for the Rest of Season 2

‘Westworld’ Deep Dive: 18 Key Scenes for the Rest of Season 2

[This story contains spoilers through the season two premiere of HBO’s Westworld.]
Even at roughly one minute in length, the look ahead contains several revealing glimpses into the futures of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Maeve (Thandie Newton), Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and the Man in Black (Ed Harris), not to mention their pasts.
The world outside of Westworld?
To his right: Angela (Talulah Riley), the woman who greeted William (Jimmi Simpson) way back in season two, and has since started riding with the Wyatt-fueled Dolores.
The Wingman We see the Man in Black at a few different points in the trailer, but one of his earliest appearances gives us a sense of what’s coming up for the character in season two: a reunion with Lawrence, played by Clifton Collins Jr., seen standing here with the Man.
That said, the “two weeks later” timeline makes it clear Stubbs won’t be in Ghost Nation custody for long.
Clementine’s Great Escape Another person making a break for it this season: Clementine, played by Angela Sarafyan, seen here in the trailer riding away from security forces.
Across the Sea Tether this one back to “the valley beyond,” as Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale looks to be setting out onto the body of water that should not exist within the park.
Back in Black We already saw how the Man in Black survived Dolores’ assault on Escalante.
What do you make of the new look at Westworld season two?

Philips launches 43-inch PC gaming monitor with high-end HDR standard

Philips launches 43-inch PC gaming monitor with high-end HDR standard

While consoles and 4K televisions have spent the last couple of years hyping up their support for high dynamic range (HDR) contrast technology, PC gaming is still catching up.
Philip’s Momentum 4K HDR monitor (436M6VBPAB/75) is among the first PC-specific displays with this high-end HDR format.
Those are the first two, lower levels of the standard.
The number is a measurement of brightness intensity in nits, so DisplayHDR400 is capable of at least 400 nits where DisplayHDR1000 can do up to 1,000 nits.
Other monitors, like Samsung’s ultrawide QLED CHG90, have had DisplayHDR600, but iPhilips is the first to deliver the highest level of HDR support.
Philips has only announced the monitor for Australia and Europe, and it hasn’t revealed a price or release date for North America.
I’ve asked the company for more details and will update this post with any additional information.
In Europe, Philips is charging 800 Euros, which is approximately $1,000.
The company is also promising support for “Philips Adaptive Sync technology,” which means it should work with AMD’s FreeSync.
This is the G-Sync-like tech that matches the refresh rate of the monitor to the render rate of your AMD video card to eliminate artifacts, screen tearing, and distracting stutter.

Twitch launches beta test for new way to monetize extensions

Twitch launches beta test for new way to monetize extensions

These tools include on-stream minigames and interactive features like polls.
Once a broadcaster has installed one of the extensions, viewers will be able to use Bits, which act as Twitch’s virtual currency, to use them.
Other tools are games skinned on top of the stream — like Bit Arcade from Doborog Games, which provides users with retro-inspired minigames to play.
The beta version of this new monetization program will include more than 30 different extensions.
Sliver.tv’s Tilted Trivia challenges viewers to answer questions about titles like Fortnite: Battle Royale, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Esports One’s OneView is for League of Legends only, and viewers can pay to make predictions about how a match will go and view a leaderboard to see where they stand in the community.
Twitch first launched its extensions in September with tools for broadcasters to personalize their channels with music, loyalty programs, and features that enable viewers to learn more about the games they’re playing.
Some events have integrated extensions, like The Game Awards overlay that enabled the audience to vote on what titles they thought would win in each category.
“We built extensions to best serve what Twitch is best known for: community interactions,” said Twitch’s product manager of extensions Jeffrey Chow in a statement.
“By enabling revenue generation from Extensions, developers can make more of them, which ultimately opens up more interactive possibilities and monetization methods for content creators.”

Study: This is how long it takes adults to make new friends

Study: This is how long it takes adults to make new friends

In a landmark study, a University of Kansas professor now believes he knows why making friends as an adult is just so difficult.
Short answer?
Time.
The study: Published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Associate Professor of Communications Studies, Jeffrey Hall, found that it takes about 50 hours to cement a friendship between two adults.
If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, it’ll take about another 40 hours (90 hours total) to be actual friends — the type you might ask to water your plants while you’re on vacation, or to help you move.
These are the friends you communicate with using a series of shifty glances and grunts, and they just sort of understand what you mean.
As kids, you’re almost forced into these relationships based on the amount of time you spend together in and after class, at lunch, and doing after school activities.
As an adult it takes actual work.
That means finding the energy to nurture a friendship when Netflix is the only appealing thing on your radar after yet another 50 hour work week.
Our advice: Just get a dog, people are overrated.

U.S. Investigating AT&T and Verizon Over Wireless Collusion Claim

U.S. Investigating AT&T and Verizon Over Wireless Collusion Claim

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination by AT&T, Verizon and a telecommunications standards organization to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, according to six people with knowledge of the inquiry.
The technology lets people remotely switch wireless providers without having to insert a new SIM card into a device.
to try to establish standards that would allow them to lock a device to their network even if it had eSIM technology.
The device maker was Apple, one of them said.
confirmed that it had developed an eSIM standard that would allow a carrier to lock a device to its network but put the standard on hold pending the Justice Department’s investigation.
said, a wireless carrier would need permission from a consumer to lock a device.
He has said the Justice Department will scrutinize potential coordination in standards-setting organizations that can hurt competition.
Mr. Delrahim has said the deal will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for cable customers.
The eSIM technology, which was introduced in early 2016, is embedded in mobile phones and other devices so that people do not need SIM cards anymore.
The eSIM technology is supported by gadget makers including Apple, Google and Microsoft, as well as several wireless carriers globally and in the United States.

Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums

Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums

One artist has framed a Pollock painting in an interactive illustration of a smartphone running Instagram, allowing viewers to “heart” the work over and over again.
Some projects, like MoMAR, are explicitly antagonistic to the institutions whose works they’re augmenting.
The latter was the experience of Cuseum, a Boston-based startup that helps museums use technology to boost visitor engagement.
In early 2018 when Apple released an AR Kit update that made it easier to work with vertical surfaces, Ciecko and Sullivan were inspired.
They’d hoped to release Hacking the Heist as an app available for public download.
The works are in the public domain, and as long as the app didn’t purport to be sponsored by the museum, Cuseum would have been in the legal clear.
“There’s also the issue of respecting the artists that are on view and the impact that [augmentation] would have on that artist and that work.
[Augmentation] can alter the whole context and conversation of that artist’s work.” But so far, the Isabella Stewart Gardner and MoMA have remained quiet about their AR interlopers; neither has tried to take legal action against the unauthorized augmentations.
Traditionally, the museum experience was one-directional: Curators conceived of and executed an exhibit, which visitors then enjoyed.
The Met doesn’t currently have any of its own AR projects underway; Tallon says that he doesn’t think most visitors feel that anything is missing from the museum as is, and he wants to be very purposeful in how the museum adopts new technology, lest it winds up doing so just for the sake of novelty.

Juice up at Target with hundreds of EV-charging parking spots

Juice up at Target with hundreds of EV-charging parking spots

Image: target Target wants to make your next shopping trip worth the drive, so it’s adding hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles to its parking lots across the country.
The big-box retailer announced Monday an expanded EV charging program, offering Tesla, ChargePoint, and Electrify America charging stations for battery-powered cars that may need some extra juice while on the road.
Target currently offers the chargers in only 18 locations across five states (California, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas), but over the next two years, 100 stores in 20 states will have charging stations available.
That’s more than 600 parking spots where EV owners can charge up.
Image: target Target cites a lack of public charging stations available as a reason for why electric vehicles aren’t as popular as they could be.
The Target charging network started in 2012 with ChargePoint in limited numbers.
Last year, Tesla piloted its Superchargers at some locations, and this year even more Tesla fast-charging stations will open up at Target facilities.
Today’s announcement also included a new partnership with charging network Electrify America.
So it’s official now: If you own an electric vehicle, your favorite parking space will probably be at your local Target in the near future.

Uber to hide dropoff locations so sketchy drivers don’t know where you live

Uber to hide dropoff locations so sketchy drivers don’t know where you live

Instead the app will show them the general vicinity of each location.
According to Gizmodo, this feature will roll out around the same time as Uber’s new driver app is out for everyone, which should be within the next few weeks.
The details: Uber’s making the change in order to comply with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation.
While the drivers will still need something for their records — something to show they did, indeed pick up a passenger in Area X and drop them off in Area Y at specific times — they’ll no longer retain your exact records.
Why it matters: While participating in a rideshare does mean you have to place enough implicit trust in a person to get into a car with them and let them drive you places, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to have a record of your location.
On the one occasion I Ubered alone, I had the driver drop me off at a location down the street and pretended to linger on the sidewalk with a phone call while he drove off.
It wasn’t that I had anything against that person in particular — I just preferred that someone with whom I exchanged two sentences and made fleeting eye contact with in a rearview mirror not know my Airbnb’s location.
It’s not a catch-all solution.
Still, it’s a step towards giving wary passengers some sense of safety.
Find out all about our tracks here.

What poaching Google’s former AI chief does for Apple

What poaching Google’s former AI chief does for Apple

To pull off this move successfully, companies must orient potential new hires by revealing three specific things: their vision, their problems, and the resources that will be available to them to solve the problems.
When seeking to recruit top players away from other companies, an employer needs to demonstrate transparency.
In its hire of Giannandrea, Apple demonstrated these three things: a vision that included Giannandrea; a big problem to solve (the lagging Siri); and resources to sway a top-level person to leave a company like Google.
Before he was the senior vice president of engineering at Google, he was the CTO at Metaweb, a company that Google acquired in 2010 to help make its search results more relevant and useful.
Now as a top player in Apple’s machine learning and AI strategy — with the added motivation of a serious problem to solve (still looking at you, Siri) — he may be what tips the scales in Apple’s favor.
Google’s status in AI Google is currently considered the leader of the AI industry.
The research group Google Brain, specifically, has been successful not only in improving machine learning (as with search algorithms), but in making machine-learning advances profitable.
A top AI player at Google is Geoffrey Hinton, a fellow at Google’s AI research department.
His continuing research no doubt expresses his vision for, remaining problems with, and resources needed for AI to go forward.
And that type of transparency, as we’ve discussed, attracts top talent.

Trailmakers builds on the spirit of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Trailmakers builds on the spirit of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was one of the more original and exciting Microsoft-published games on the Xbox 360.
Developer Rare, which started the series on the Nintendo 64, had expanded on the franchise’s platformer roots with a vehicle-building mechanic.
Even though many people consider Nuts & Bolts a classic, Microsoft and Rare have left Banjo-Kazooie in the past.
“We mostly want to optimize the game so it can run on lower-end machines, so people don’t have crash problems,” Flashbulb marketing boss Emil Stidsholt told GamesBeat.
“But we also need to set aside time to make content for players for whom it works perfectly, who just want more of the game.” Balancing between performance and new content is one of the most challenging things for the Trailmakers team.
The sandbox is where Flashbulb expects most people to spend their time.
But no matter what, the studio is trying to build worlds where people can explore with their friends and express their creativity by overcoming certain obstacles.
It’s up to them how they want to solve it,” said Stidsholt.
“When you get to the wind zone, you need to build something that’s aerodynamic, and that’s also where you unlock the aerodynamic parts,” said Stidsholt.
Flashbulb must put them together in a way that compels people to keep coming back through Early Access and beyond.

An FM Transceiver From An Unexpected Chip

An FM Transceiver From An Unexpected Chip

The Si47xx series of integrated circuits from Silicon Labs is a fascinating series of consumer broadcast radio products, chips that apply SDR technologies to deliver a range of functions that were once significantly more complex, with minimal external components and RF design trickery.
[Kodera2t] was attracted to one of them, the Si4720, which boasts the unusual function of containing both a receiver and a transmitter for the FM broadcast band and is aimed at mobile phones and similar devices that send audio to an FM car radio.
The result is a PCB with a complete transceiver controlled by an ATmega328 and sporting an OLED display, and an interesting introduction to these devices.
A look at the block diagram from the Si4720 reveals why it and its siblings are such intriguing devices.
On-chip is an SDR complete in all respects including an antenna, which might set the radio enthusiasts among the Hackaday readership salivating were it not that the onboard DSP is not reprogrammable for any other purpose than the mode for which the chip is designed.
The local oscillator also holds a disappointment, being limited only to the worldwide FM broadcast bands and not some of the more useful or interesting frequencies.
There are however a host of other similar Silicon Labs receiver chips covering every conceivable broadcast band, so the experimenter at least has a good choice of receivers to work with.
If you need a small FM transmitter and have a cavalier attitude to spectral purity then it’s easy enough to use a Raspberry Pi or just build an FM bug.
But this project opens up another option and gives a chance to experiment with a fascinating chip.

The Best Westworld Fan Theories About the Season-Two Premiere

The Best Westworld Fan Theories About the Season-Two Premiere

The first season of HBO’s Westworld was a puzzle box of mounting questions and fan theories, several of which were figured out by fans early in season — Bernard is a host!
Which, of course, means one thing: Welcome back to the world of Westworld fan theories!
1: Westworld is on another planet Let’s start with the season-one theory that’s torn to shreds by “Journey Into Night.” Westworld fans had lots of ideas about exactly where something as ambitious and gigantic as these parks could possibly exist.
Unless China has taken over Mars (or other parts of Earth), Westworld is firmly located in that part of the world.
2: Robert Ford isn’t dead At the end of last season, Dolores shot Dr. Ford in the head, but fans instantly started to wonder if death isn’t really death in Westworld.
Unless Ford somehow replaced the android version of himself with a body that looks exactly like his own, he’s truly gone.
4: Ford’s game isn’t over With Ford dead and gone, it seemed that the “game” he wrote within Westworld had finally ended.
A key moment of the premiere comes when William speaks to a host version of a young Ford.
The most interesting theory is that Bernard is being looped, going through this experience with Strand again and again for reasons unknown.
How about this idea sprung forth on Reddit: What if the Man in Black doesn’t leave the park because he was replaced by a host in the real world?

Examining How ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Bills Its Sprawling Cast

Examining How ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Bills Its Sprawling Cast

Avengers: Infinity War boasts the most star-studded cast of any superhero movie ever.
Throughout its three Avengers movies, Marvel Studios has always given top billing to its most bankable hero — Robert Downey Jr. — but the other spots have been up for grabs.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Don Cheadle.
Not only has Downey been billed first in the credits, but he has also taken front and center on many, many posters.
Second Billing: Evans vs. Hemsworth In Avengers, Evans was credited second, which could be attributed to him having just made his Marvel debut in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
That comes as Hemsworth’s Thor: Ragnarok marked the actor’s most successful solo film yet, surpassing an $853 million gross (Ruffalo co-starred).
Third and Fourth Billing: Evans vs. Ruffalo Though originally credited second in the first Avengers film, Evans was billed fourth in Ultron, finding himself sandwiched between Ruffalo (keeping the third billing slot) and Johansson (fifth billing).
Ruffalo and Johansson — who is arguably the biggest star career-wise outside of the MCU — also happen to be two of the Avengers who have not have starred in a solo film.
The second tier of the posters also reveal some surprising things, with Cumberbatch, Cheadle, Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Tom Holland, Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen credited.
Could Cumberbatch and Cheadle’s bigger star power be attributed to their billing placement?

Why Sleep is More Important Than Diet and How it Reversed Bone Disease

Why Sleep is More Important Than Diet and How it Reversed Bone Disease

The Lesson: Everyone knows that diet and exercise are essential for health and recovery – but what about the importance of sleep?
In this podcast, one of the country’s most critically-acclaimed nutritionists talks about why sleep may be the missing piece on your health journey; how sleep influences body composition; and what strategies you can use to fall asleep more easily.
Notable Excerpt: “For me, I could barely walk properly.
So I started on a stationary bike and then moved to a treadmill, and I started jogging a little bit, and then picked up the weights again.
Then, just to quickly jump to the end of the story, I lost 28 pounds [over the course of] the next six weeks.
But I now know that the third and most important part of this [healing], was the rest and recovery.
It was a lot of suffering – and my greatest struggle was at night when I was going to bed because the pain was so bad, it would wake me up.
And it would take several hours before I really felt like I was awake.
And the things that I was doing during the day, [when I was] changing my lifestyle, showed up for me on the pillow; because … if you’re not sleeping well, then you’re not healing well, and this is when your body releases the vast majority of human growth hormones, antibiotic hormones, various reparative enzymes.
Pocast: Impact Theory is available for free listening and download on iTunes and YouTube.

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