What if you could get tutorials from your celebrities in sports, acting and more? Launching today, MasterClass – a new San Francisco-based company – makes it possible for anyone to learn directly from the world’s best. In its first set of online classes, two-time academy award winner Dustin Hoffman teaches acting, no. 1 ranked women’s tennis player Serena Williams teaches tennis, and world’s best-selling author James Patterson teaches writing. Legendary performer Usher and renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz will debut their MasterClass in the coming months with more classes to come throughout the year.
“I wanted to make my class feel as though you’re right there on the court with me. It’s like getting a private lesson,” said Serena Williams.
According to analysts, online learning is a $107 billion global industry that is seeing double digit growth. Tapping into this fast-growing market, MasterClass takes a unique approach to online learning by being the first to work with globally-recognized instructors and Emmy and Academy Award winning directors to create a new kind of class.
“We created the kind of online classes we’d be excited to take, from the people we’d love to learn from,” said Aaron Rasmussen, MasterClass co-founder, creative director and CTO.
Each MasterClass is priced at $90 and includes:
? 10-25 video lessons from the instructor (approx. 2-5 hours of video)
? Interactive exercises: for example, in Dustin Hoffman’s MasterClass students can be matched with other students to practice scenes from the class, and then upload videos for feedback from other students (and sometimes even Dustin himself!)
? Lifetime access, with classes that never expire
? Accessible from any device (access Serena’s class on your smartphone right on the court).
Have you heard about the incredible deal on the HP Envy Touchsmart AMD FX Special Edition APU? This laptop provides extreme performance of AMD’s most powerful mobile processer to deliver exceptional Gaming and Entertainment experience– the AMD FX Special Edition APU. Easily navigate through work and play with a touch-screen display and Windows 8. This laptop also features Beats Audio, which delivers great sound for movies and games. The HP Envy TouchSmart 15.6” touch screen laptop makes mega multitasking a breeze so you can spend less time working and more entertainment time with family!
The Quick AMD FX series processor is great for daily tasks such as managing your personal life or streaming movies or videos and provides great video quality for gaming or catching up on your favorite youtube videos.
If you love taking photos and downloading new music then you’ll love the 750GB hard drive for lots of file storage space. The AMD FX Special Edition APU holds a sizable collection of digital photos, music and HD videos and movies. It even has HP ProtectSmart to help keep your data safe when the laptop gets bumped around.
The AMD FX Special Edition APU introduces mobile systems with AMD’s highest performing APUs, exclusive at Best Buy. When you are looking for a notebook, the AMD FX Special Edition APU will provide you with unbelievable performance, gaming and productivity. And On sale for $599.99 at Best Buy, what more could you want from a gaming computer?
Did you know that Best Buy even offers free shipping and pickup options? You can free shipping on any order of $35 or more and instead of trolling through store aisles, you can pay online and pick it up in stores in as little as 45 minutes or less! Now that’s what I call mega multitasking at its’ finest!
Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Have you ever felt like you would have a greater impact on your community – or the world – if you could just amplify your voice, scale your business or hone your technology skills? Women hold less than 25% of our country’s STEM careers – it’s time to change that. During the 21st Annual Black Women’s Expo in Chicago – Verizon gave consumers insight into the opportunities awaiting them in tech (while celebrating the final days of Women’s History Month featuring trailblazing ladies of technology) with the “Unlock Your Potential” women in STEM panel.
An event designed for women by women, the Black Women’s Expo celebrates women’s aspirations and achievements and provides a platform for women to discuss solutions to the issues they confront in daily life. In its 21st year, BWE is the nation’s longest running empowerment exposition for the African American consumer, garnering attendance of more than 29,000.
Leading the conversation on innovation, the “Unlock Your Potential” panel included Lisa Laws – Engineer/Deputy COO for City of Chicago, Luvvie Ajayi – Blogger for AwesomelyLuvvie.com, and Abby Knowles – Executive Director of VZW Network in Midwest Area. During the event, panelists generated compelling conversations that inspired the audience and informed how technology is being used and STEM opportunities available. Guests left the panel with knowledge on how vast STEM truly is – whether it’s helping the lives of citizens in a community, building a nationally recognized blog, or operating the nation’s largest wireless network.
Check out live tweets from the #PotentialOfUs inspired panel via Storify below:
The music game is about to get real interesting! Tidal, the high-definition music streaming service acquired by rapper/music mogul Jay-Z, is gearing up for its official relaunch today, and it will be doing so by reportedly making a move to snag new releases by some of the biggest musicians of the moment including Kanye West, Madonna and Daft Punk, ahead of rival services like Spotify and Beats.
If you’re browsing social networks or follow music news, the list of artists gathering around Tidal shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: a swathe of big-name musicians — including Madonna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Arcade Fire, Calvin Harris and others are using the #tidalforall hashtag on sites like Twitter and Instagram, as well as sending out messages or just changing their profile to a turquoise blue color to support the service.
What’s the pull for these artists? It’s partly the Jay-Z connection. His Roc Nation agency works with a long list of musicians to provide publishing, management, label and other services, with Tidal becoming yet another string on Roc Nation’s bow as a one-stop music distribution shop. On the other hand, Tidal is also offering a more attractive set of terms to musicians than other streaming services — often agreeing to payouts of twice as much as its rivals.
With many artists complaining that digital music is not providing decent enough returns, the later of these could be a deal maker for Tidal. The big question is whether artists are willing to make the bet on payouts-per-stream over that of visibility: right now Tidal has only 35,000 subscribers paying $19.99 per month across the markets in which it is active, which include the U.S. and UK. By comparison, Spotify noted 15 million paying subscribers in January of this year. Tidal also offers a standard definition service at $9.99.
Prevent identity theft during tax season
It’s the time of year when Americans gather their financial documents and anxiously await news of a tax refund or debt. While many hope to get money back, Time Magazine recently reported that the IRS paid an estimated $5 billion plus in false tax refunds in 2013, and according to Bloomberg Business that number could potentially grow to $21 billion by 2017.
Technology has changed the way we live, offering consumers more convenient ways to take care of common activities like filing taxes, however, taxpayers should be aware that these technological advances have also made it easier for criminals to commit identity theft. Consumers need to be aware of how and where they divulge personal information and take steps to monitor the data that must be shared.
Identity thieves commonly use a person’s real Social Security number to claim fraudulent wages and file taxes, accepting that individual’s deserved refund. Taxpayers bear responsibility for accuracy of submitted tax returns, regardless of whether the return was prepared by an individual taxpayer or a tax preparer. Unfortunately for many, this means spending a lot of time and money to rectify the situation and minimize the long-term effects caused by identity theft.
Avoid the scams
Criminals use an array of tactics to steal personal information and file a false tax return. Know the common scams and take steps to avoid them.
Phone scams: The IRS reports that 2015 has seen a surge in phone scams from criminals impersonating authorities to obtain personal information. Phone scams are often aggressive and may threaten police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things, in order to scare victims into handing over information. Do not entertain a conversation with a hostile “IRS representative” and hang up immediately if the call seems suspicious.
Phishing: As daily activities continue to move online, cybercriminals are finding ways to take advantage of the Internet. Criminals may send consumers fake emails or to websites that look official, but are really designed to steal personal information. The IRS will not send taxpayers emails about bills, refunds or personal information and following insecure links from these sources may lead to identity theft.
Return preparer fraud: The IRS reports that about 60 percent of taxpayers seek assistance when submitting their taxes, but some tax preparers are actually criminals in disguise. Never sign a blank tax form and avoid tax preparers who claim they can deliver a higher refund than others. Choose a well-known tax preparer and ensure that he or she will be available even after the return is filed to answer outstanding questions.
To stay safe during tax season, prevention and information monitoring is essential. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of MetLife Defender, a comprehensive personal data protection service that will monitor and protect your important information.
It’s time to Spring Forward with the most anticipated smart watch event of the year! The Apple Watch event is today and you want answers (and so do we!) Want to know just how smart this smart watch will be? So do we! Want to know the design options, app availability and if you’ll really be able to pay with your wrist using Apple Pay? So do we! As a matter of fact, there are so many questions that need answers, that we wrapped them up to the top five you need to know from today’s Apple Watch event!
5. How long will the battery last?
According to sources, the Watch’s battery life is supposed to handle five hours of fairly heavy application usage. While it will not run out of battery during a normal day of active and passive use (similar to your phone), it is being reported that the watch will need to be charged nightly.
4. How will the notification center work?
In addition to the already mentioned Heart Rate + Battery Life Glances, there is supposed to be additional ones for fitness, activity, your clock, weather, music, quick settings, calendar and maps. While all of those options are a lot for such a tiny display, there will also be a full Notification Center — similar to all other iOS devices — filled with alerts, reminders, to dos and more.
3. How much storage will the Apple Watch hold?
The Apple Watch is speculated to include a whopping 8GB of storage. This will allow for music to be stored and played from the device without being linked to the iPhone via headphones or speakers over Bluetooth.
2. When will the Apple Watch be available online and in-stores.
Sources speculate that models could be available for pre-order as early as today and possibly ship by next week.
1. How much will the Apple Watch cost me?
Hopefully you’ve saved up your coins. With rumors spreading like wildfire, you could have the option of paying anywhere from $300 to $10k for your very own Apple Watch.
We’ll keep an eye out for the latest news as it’s released from Apple and will keep you updated all day long! (So bookmark this page and check back often for the latest from today’s Apple Watch event!)
Are you looking to buy an Apple Watch? How much would you pay for an Apple Watch of your own? Share your thoughts below!
Do you love your HTC device but looking for a equally comparable fitness band to match? HTC unveiled its first high-performance, smart fitness tracker, the GPS-enabled HTC Grip. Powered by UA Record, the new health and fitness network from Under Armour designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, Grip fuses HTC’s renowned design with powerful, accurate tracking across a range of sports and activities, allowing athletes to set personal goals, then smash them. Compatible with Android and iOS devices1, as well as Bluetooth-enabled accessories like heart-rate monitors, Grip extends its functionality, providing additional performance data to the Under Armour Connected Fitness™ platform.
The curved PMOLED display also makes it easy to read time, distance and notifications on the move.Available in three sizes,to ensure a perfect fit, Grip complements even the most advanced training equipment and apparel in both style and performance. Capable of tracking and recording a variety of workouts (from running and cycling to time spent at the gym), Grip is also waterproof, making it perfect for tracking every step, from the gym to the shower and beyond.
Its 100mAh battery lasts up to five hours when the integrated GPS is turned on, enabling Grip to accurately capture route, distance, pace and calories burned, all of which sync with UA Record in real time. Grip also connects to an assortment of external heart rate monitors, including the Under Armour A39, making it ideal for athletes wanting to track their heart rate. For everyday usage, Grip lasts up to 2.5 days on a single charge, ideal for tracking daily activity too.
The HTC Grip will be available in DeepTeal/Limeat select retailers in North America,beginning this Spring. It will be available at HTC.com, Under Armour, Academy Sports + Outdoors, AT&T, Cabela’s, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, and Walmart. More information on availability will be shared in the coming weeks. Follow @HTCUSA and visit www.htc.com for more information.
Are you excited about HTC’s newest venture into wearables? Have wearables
As a parent, what if I told you that you could buy a toy that could learn and grow with your child for years to come? No more one and done toys and no more wasting money, right?!? There’s a new Smart Dino Toy from Element Path, unveiled at the NY Toy Fair on Monday, is the first children’s toy to tap into IBM’s powerful Watson cognitive computing system.
CogniToy Dino is actually part of a planned line of cognitive toys. The idea behind them is pretty simple: the child speaks, and CogniToy, which is connected to the Internet (and IBM’s Watson cognitive cloud) listens and then responds. According to Elemental Path, the toy can learn a child’s personality traits and preferences, like favorite color, and then deliver age-appropriate content for their interactions.
Children are shown asking CogniToy questions and it responds, to the children’s delight, without hesitation. The toy dinosaur will be able to tell jokes and quiz the kids on simple math. It should also be able to change and grow – intellectually, that is — over time. The company also plans on providing parents with a cloud-based console, on their smart devices, where they can track their child’s progress with the chatty little dinosaur. It will even show them the questions children asked CogniToy.
Elemental Path hoped to raise $50,000 with its Kickstarter campaign and deliver CogniToys ($89 for early birds) by November. It has already succeeded it’s goal and has reached $65K and its an ambitious plan for a toy idea that could be considered revolutionary or as Elemental Path Co-Founder JP Benni says in the video, “We’re either really onto something or just absolutely crazy.” Discover more by checking out the the CogniToy Dino Kickstarer page here.