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Your Best Weird Food Habits, Securing Online Accounts From Shady Apps, and the Appeal of Conspiracy Theories

This week we confessed our favorite freaky food concoctions—think Doritos peanut butter sandwiches and buttered ramen—secured our online accounts by revoking access from shady apps, looked at the ramifications of Trump’s tax plan, and more. Here’s a look back at this week’s most popular posts.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I asked you all for your strangest, slightly-shameful, secret food habits? It turns out that you people are dirt bag geniuses, and were able to open my eyes to new and exciting ways to eat mac and cheese, instant ramen, and spam.

While cocktails aren’t exactly good for you—alcohol is a toxin after all—some drinks can be more dangerous than others. These dicey craft cocktail ingredients can be found in bars all over the place.

Of all the physical indignities of having a baby—the delivery, the breastfeeding, the mesh undies that made me feel like an enormous wounded sea creature snagged in a tiny net—the postpartum stomach pooch is among the worst.

Every once in a while, an app like pops into the spotlight to remind usthat we all tend to authorize a lot of apps to access our email and social media accounts without much thought. Sometimes, as in the case of, those apps get busy selling off our data. Now’s a good time to audit any other third-party apps you’ve given access to your accounts.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans that downs coffee or other caffeinated beverages to get through the work day, here’s some good news. A new scientific review on the safety of caffeine says drinking up to four cups of coffee, or about 400 milligrams of caffeine, is pretty safe.

We told you what to expect from…

Line shows how messaging apps have become the social glue for groups

Mobile messaging apps offer a number of advantages over traditional SMS messaging, one of them being the ease with which groups can organize things. In WhatsApp, for example, you can set up lots of different groups for different situations, be it to coordinate soccer games with your friends or make babysitting arrangements with parents in your neighborhood. And this has long expanded beyond simple text, with many messaging apps now catering to group video calls.

But Japanese messaging giant Line has unveiled a number of new features today that highlight the role messaging apps play as the “glue” in social circles.

With Ladder Shuffle, Line is making it easier for friends to figure out who in a group should be responsible for a specific task — for example, one person may be charged with bringing…

How to Add IFTTT Shortcuts to Your Phone’s Home Screen

IFTTT lets you automate a ton of your favorite web services, but you can also create convenient home screen shortcuts for a whole host of different tasks. Here’s how to set them up.

In addition to applying rules that work automatically in the background, like most IFTTT applets, IFTTT also has “button widgets” that streamline applets into a single button press. You can put these butotns on the front page of the mobile app, in your iPhone’s Notification Center, or right on the home screen on your Android device.

In the past, IFTTT had a separate app for this, called DO, but the functionality is now built right into the main IFTTT app. And though these button widgets are still slightly limited compared to what you can do with IFTTT as a whole, the convenience of accessing the applets from a single location can’t be overstated. Here’s how to set up these widgets.

How to Set Up IFTTT Button Widgets on the iPhone

Start off by opening up the IFTTT app and tapping on the “My Applets” tab down in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Tap on the settings gear icon in the top-left corner.

Select “Widgets” from the list.

Tap on “Get Widgets”.

Next, scroll through the nearly infinite widgets that you can enable. Unfortunately, though, there’s no search function and no way to create your own custom widget. However, the widgets that appear are based on IFTTT services that you have enabled.

Once you find a widget that you want to to enable, tap on it and then tap “Turn On”.

Next, you’ll likely need to configure the widget. In this case, we need to select which Belkin WeMo switch we want to be able to control, so tap on the dropdown menu at the bottom.

Select which switch you want the widget to control and then hit “Done”.

Hit “Save” in the top-right corner.

Next, a pop-up will appear at the bottom. Tap on “Go” within that pop-up.

Tap on the widget that you just created.

From here, you can choose where you want the widget to appear on your iPhone. You can even add a home screen icon…

How to Change the Auto-Reply Message in Android Auto

Android Auto does a lot to make your phone more useful and safe in the car—it simplifies the interface and limits functionality, only allowing access to key apps that you need while on the go. More recently, Google incorporated an “auto-reply” feature that allows users to quickly reply to incoming messages.

By default, this action is executed with a simple tap of a button, regardless of whether you’re using Auto on the phone or a dedicated Auto head unit. It works with multiple messaging services, like SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Hangouts, and more.

The default reply is set to “I’m driving right now.” But you’re not a “default message” kind of person, are you? You like a little customization in your messages. I can…

How to Switch or Launch Apps From the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Apple put a touch screen on the MacBook Pro, but doesn’t offer some way of launching or switching apps from it. Seriously, Apple? It seems like an oversight, but happily a couple of developers have stepped up to offer this feature.

Two main applications offer touch bar app switching and launching: TouchSwitcher and Rocket. Both are compelling in their own way, but we like TouchSwitcher as a starting point. Here it is in action:

It’s simple enough, but there’s a bunch of functionality hidden just below the surface. Let’s dive in.

Command+Tab for the Touch Bar

TouchSwitcher, when launched, adds a button on your Control Strip.

Press this button and the App Controls segment of the touch bar shows you all of the currently open applications.

Tap any icon to switch to that program. It’s simple, but it works entirely in the touch bar.

But there’s more! You can hold your modifier keys to close or hide apps.

  • Hold Shift and tap an app icon to hide that app.
  • Hold Option and tap and app icon to quit that app.

You can hold the key and tap a bunch of apps to quickly hide or close things i bulk. Honestly, this application is worth installing for this alone.

You can also hold Control and tap to see a list of options for the app.

Here you can hide or quit the application, or you can hit the Star icon to add a given app to your list of favorites.

Where do the favorites end up? To the right of your currently open apps, though you’ll have to…

Google Home Will Now Read Cooking Directions Out Loud

When it comes to home voice assistants, there’s no denying that the bulk of their usage comes in the kitchen for setting timers and playing audio. Google’s taking that to the next logical step with Google Home, which can now read recipes out loud.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a recipe using the Google Assistant on Android or Google Search (which is now just called Google) app (on iOS or Android).
  2. Tap the “Send to Google Home” button when you find a recipe you want to…

OverOps raises $30 million to help developers debug code

Software analytics company OverOps has raised $30 million in a Series C round of funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Menlo Ventures.

Founded out of Israel in 2011 as Takipi, the Israeli startup changed its name to OverOps back in August to reflect its push into the broader DevOps realm. OverOps’ self-proclaimed mission is to “rid the world of application logs” through performing code analysis and tracking code changes to first detect bugs and then highlight the specific source code and variable state that caused the break. OverOps works on live apps in real-time, monitoring them after release.

The company had raised around $20 million before now, and with its latest cash influx said that it plans to scale its efforts in the enterprise IT operations market, including opening up support for .NET CLR.

“While the way we monitor and deploy applications improved dramatically over the years, with the move to microservices,…

Your Next Android Phone Must Have These Features

The number of Android devices to choose from gets exponentially larger with every passing month. Amazingly, if you consider all the phones, tablets, TVs, streaming boxes, laptops, and other associated devices, there are now an estimated 18,000 different Android products on sale around the world. All of them have different features vying for your attention.

With so many options, how do you know what features your next smartphone must have, and which ones are an unnecessary manufacturer fad?

If you’re in the market for a new Android smartphone in 2017, read on. We’re going to break down what features your new phone absolutely needs, which features are slowly becoming mainstream, and which novelty features you can expect to see.

The “Must-Haves”

Let’s begin by looking at the core elements. If the new phone you’re considering doesn’t have the vast majority of these features included, you should probably give it a wide berth.

4 GB of RAM

Your new phone should have a bare minimum of 4 GB of RAM. Although some of the leading phone’s available right now still ship with 3 GB, 4 GB is going to become commonplace over the next 12 months. In fact, there is already talk that certain flagship phones due to be released later this year could have as much as 8 GB.

If you assume you’ll have your phone for at least two years, you’ll need 4 GB to future-proof yourself against increasingly resource-hungry apps.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor will definitely be included in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the Samsung Galaxy S8, and as the year progresses, more and more manufacturers will make the jump to Qualcomm’s most modern chip.

This processor is made using nanoparticles — some as small as 10 nanometers. For comparison, that’s the size of just a few water molecules.

The reduced size gives manufacturers more physical space to include extra features, while users can also expect better battery life and a performance improvement of up to 27 percent.

1440 x 2560 Resolution

With more RAM and a better processor, you should make sure your new phone has a resolution of at least 1440 x 2560 pixels.

It’s already available on the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, Moto Z, and HTC 10. By the end of 2017, very few top-end phones will be available with a lower-resolution screen than that.

Headphone Jack

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re no doubt aware of Apple’s hugely controversial decision to drop the headphone jack from the iPhone 7.

Sure, it might not be long until we see more Android handsets that also omit the ubiquitous port, but right now, the headphone standard is too widely used to have a phone without it.

iphone 7

And, of course, it’s not just headphones that use the port. Lots of credit card readers — including Square and Intuit — rely on the technology.

The “Should-Haves”

If your new devices ticks all those boxes, what else should you look out for when you hit the shops?

3,000mAh+ Battery

Battery life has been the thorn in the side of smartphones ever since their inception. It’s not that battery quality hasn’t…

Astro, an AI Email App, Is Here to Help You Finally Clean Out Your Inbox

Every unwanted promotion/newsletter/coupon that shows up in your inbox is a reminder that you should really get your unread messages under control. But after ending up on dozens of useless mailing lists over the years, it can be hard to know where to start. The creators of Astro understand you’re overwhelmed, and they’ve programmed an algorithm to help.

As Fast Company reports, the new app uses artificial intelligence to anticipate how you’ll respond to the messages flooding your email. If there’s someone you correspond with regularly, for example, Astro will notice and automatically prioritize their emails. If you suddenly stop responding to an email chain, Astro will send you a reminder in a chat bot window, highlighting any…

How to Add or Remove Icons From Your MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

Not sure you love the touch bar? Maybe you mostly just don’t love what’s on it. No worries: that’s easy to change.

I’ve long had a troubled relationship with the top rows of keys on the Mac. Some, such as the volume and brightness toggles, I use constantly; others, like the Mission Control and the Launchpad, I’ve never touched. There were ways to swap out these key’s functions for something else, if I decided to put these buttons to work, but they depended on third party software and often didn’t work consistently. Plus, they key itself would look the same, meaning the icon wouldn’t match any new functionality.

This is where the touch bar shines. You’re in control of which buttons show up, and how they show up. And it’s easy to customize out of the box.

What’s on the Touch Bar?

Before we talk about customization, let’s talk through the basics of how the touch bar works. Here’s what the bar like without any application open:

The escape key takes up the leftmost spot, as it pretty much always does. On the right we’ve got four buttons, which Apple calls the Command Strip. You can tap the left-facing arrow to expand this strip, showing a collection of buttons similar to the top row of physical keys on other MacBooks.

This is called the Expanded Control Strip. Most users will only see it when they specifically expand the Command Strip. It’s possible to make this the default, though (more on that later).

For now, let’s talk about the rest of that empty space, which Apple refers to as App Controls. This space is used by whatever app is open, to show basically whatever that application feels is important. Safari gives you back buttons, a search bar, and a new tab button, for example.

Microsoft Word, meanwhile, gives you exactly the sort of buttons you’re used to seeing in a Microsoft Word toolbar.

And some applications, mostly older ones, show nothing at all here. That’s about all the touch bar can do, save one more trick: the old-fashioned F keys…