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20 Species have chances of surviving from nuclear war

Nuclear war could wipe humans off the face of our planet, but some living beings would fare much better.

 Tree of Life, Ginkgo biloba

Tree of Life, Ginkgo biloba


Nicknamed the Tree of Life, Ginkgo biloba is one of the rare forms of life to survive the detonation of the American atomic bomb over Hiroshima. A ginkgo tree even survived despite being less than a mile from the epicenter of the nuclear blast on August 6, 1945. It is the oldest species of tree on earth, appearing 270 million years ago. So why didn’t the dinosaurs and all the other animals that followed them eat Ginkgo biloba and reap its benefits? Most likely because this beautiful tree smells like vomit, repelling thousands of generations of animals.



Were there oriental cockroaches just a few hundred feet from the nuclear explosion at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945? If so, they would have been able to survive the radiation caused by the first nuclear attack in history. This species of roach, twice as large as the German cockroach, can survive a level of radiation up to 100 sieverts, the exact amount released by the Hiroshima bomb—ten times the lethal dose for humans.

The cockroach, dreaded for the microbes it carries and the allergies it causes, is not afraid of radiation. It would take a dose 15 times greater than what a human could survive to kill it. And even if a nuclear war obliterated all the food, cockroaches can survive an entire month without eating—plenty of time to find something to eat.

squishing ants

squishing ants

Do you like squishing ants with your feet? Well, enjoy it now, because they’ll be the ones to survive a nuclear war—they’ve been spotted at locations ravaged by nuclear explosions. Like other living beings, their small size protects them from most of the effects of radiation, along with the fact that they can survive underground.

lingulata, a brachiopod

lingulata, a brachiopod

This creature has existed for 550 million years—do you really think that a nuclear war could render it extinct? You obviously don’t understand the lingulata, a brachiopod that can bury itself in the ground when it’s threatened and then reappear at the surface when the danger has passed.



These fish are capable of surviving in almost any conditions. Dangerous products dumped into the sea? It doesn’t faze them! They’ve even been to space—sent to Skylab, the first space station, in 1973. The fish that were hatched during this experiment suffered no ill effects—so a nuclear war shouldn’t bother them one bit.

Compared to a human, it would take a dose of radiation 1,100 times greater to affect a tardigrade. Nicknamed “water bears,” they can survive being crushed or boiled. Even when deemed clinically dead, this tiny creature can be brought back to life ten years later. As for radiation—it’s just a minor inconvenience for the hearty tardigrade.

Scorpions can be found on all continents of our planet, except for Antarctica. Not only can it survive radiation, but it can also live through a nuclear winter. So if a nuclear war creates clouds of dust that block out the sun, the scorpion would survive. It can even be frozen and come back to life after it thaws.

Two species of worms in a lake near Chernobyl have succeeded in adapting their reproduction method to be less affected by the consequences of radiation. These worms typically reproduced by self-fertilization or by mating, but, since the nuclear disaster, they’ve opted for mating. This increases their chances of survival, according to research conducted at the A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas in Ukraine.

E. coli

E. coli

Escherichia coli (E. coli) can survive radiation levels of 60 sieverts—six times the lethal level for humans. However, these bacteria make up 80% of our intestinal flora so, if we die, we can take some comfort in the fact that somewhere in our gut, our E. coli population will live on. Gives you hope, doesn’t it?

This parasitic wasp can survive radiation levels 300 times higher than humans. Remember that the next time a wasp bothers you at a barbecue—maybe you’ll treat them with more respect!

This family of insects owes its survival to its ability to lay its eggs inside other animals. It can also survive a radiation dose of 1,800 sieverts. After a nuclear war, its challenge wouldn’t be to survive the radiation, but to find other animals in which to lay its eggs!

This single-cell organism can survive even higher doses of radiation than the scorpion. The amoeba is already useful to life by purifying water and regulating carbon dioxide. In a post-nuclear world, the amoeba would continue to play this role, helping the other living beings that survived.

The fruit fly, or Drosophila, can be found on every continent. Even though its lifespan is only thirty days, it would take a lot to get rid of them. This little fly can survive up to 640 sieverts of radiation. At this level of radiation, all humans would be long gone.

Pine trees planted near Chernobyl have succeeded in adapting their genome to resist radiation—they added chemical groups to their original DNA. However, the pines that grew near Chernobyl have been drained of their chlorophyll to the point that they remain red throughout the year.

This bacterium is resistant to ultraviolet rays, radiation, acid, cold, dehydration, and hunger. Deinococcus radiodurans is the toughest bacterium in the world, thanks to its ability to repair its own defective DNA. Radiation poses a danger because it destroys the DNA of living beings—but this bacterium can survive a dose of 50,000 sieverts—5,000 times more than a human. Even the largest nuclear bombs are not capable of delivering this level of radiation.

Contrary to popular belief, rats aren’t that much more resistant to radiation than humans. However, the fact that they live in underground areas could protect them. That said, their destiny seems to be highly linked to our own. Would there be fewer rats if there were fewer of us? There’s no way to know unless a nuclear war strikes—probably not worth the risk to find out.

Capable of surviving 10 sieverts of radiation, humans would not be able to survive a nuclear war. The levels of radiation emitted by modern nuclear bombs are well above the 100 sieverts released by the blast at Hiroshima. Some bombs can release 1,000 times the amount of radiation than what was released upon the Japanese city in 1945—10,000 times the lethal dose for us. Unless we find another hospitable planet, our species will likely go extinct—and no one will know who won the final battle.

The only chance that a human could survive extreme levels of radiation would be to repair our own DNA—and it would have to be done very quickly. Will we one day benefit from the genes of bacteria like Deinococcus radiodurans? Unfortunately, this wouldn’t protect us while the war was being waged—in the short term, most of the deaths would be caused by the explosion of the nuclear bombs.

If our genes can’t save us from the radiation, perhaps we can rely on broccoli! A molecule produced during the digestion of this vegetable protected rodents from a lethal dose of radiation, whereas the ones that didn’t have the molecule died, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Instead of talking about atomic mushrooms, maybe we should be talking about nuclear broccoli!



Funny baby facts – Interesting facts about babies

Babies are aggravatingly cute, but to the uninitiated, they’re basically aliens. And even the most experienced parent or childcare provider can still be baffled by one of those amazing, screaming bundles of joy.

Whether you’ve sworn off kids forever or already have several of your own, here are 25 adorable, cheek-pinching facts about babies you may not know:



25 facts of baby

25 facts of baby

Many countries prohibit using profanity, numbers, or symbols in children’s names, but some take it even further. Norway won’t allow you to use a traditional last name as a first name. A French court recently ruled that a couple couldn’t name their child after a brand of delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread. Portugal bans parents from naming their child Nirvana. The U.S., however, is more lenient, and will let you name your kid Espn if you really want to.


Earlier this year, a baby boy named Pablo became the first child born in Ostano, Italy in almost 30 years. He’s the town’s 85th resident.


Babies are completely dependent on adults for their survival for the first few years of their lives, so they’ve evolved to maximize the amount of attention they get from their parents and other adult humans. Scientists have pinpointed specific infant characteristics that we find irresistibly cute (known as baby schema), like a large head, round face, large eyes, and protruding cheeks.


Yale University research has found that people tend to feel aggressive when confronted with photos of adorable babies and animals. A 2015 study found that having an intensely positive reaction to pictures of babies was linked to wanting to express aggression in ways like cheek-pinching. The researchers aren’t quite sure why this is the case, but hypothesize that it may be a way to regulate extreme positive emotions.


A 2014 study of children as young as 3 years old used baby schema and eye tracking to help understand what babies find most cute. The children could identify baby-like facial characteristics in people, puppies, and kittens. Interestingly, they rated puppies as cuter than other babies or kittens.


A 2015 study found that babies focus more on objects that surprise them. The researchers found that babies learned more about objects that defied their expectations of the world, such as a ball that seemed to be able to pass magically through a wall.


The Moro reflex, where a baby will suddenly fling out her arms and legs and cry, is an involuntary response to feeling unsupported, but it can also happen as a baby is falling asleep, which is one reasons why swaddling is so useful for babies—it keeps them from waking themselves up with the Moro reflex. The reflex is unique to infants, and by 5 months old, healthy babies grow out of it.


Babies instinctively hold their breath and open their eyes underwater in what’s called the dive reflex. This reflexive response to water decreases over time.


A 2015 study found that babies remained calm for longer while listening to songs, even in unfamiliar languages, compared to regular speech.


Brain activity studies have shown that when babies watch others reach for objects, the motor control regions of their brains activate, too. This helps them understand other people’s actions and think about doing something similar themselves.


Scientists have found that babies can recognize sounds they heard from inside their mother’s womb, such as the theme song to their mom’s favorite soap opera. In 2013, a group of researchers found that infants who had been exposed to a made-up word during the last few months of their mother’s pregnancy recognized the word and variations of its pronunciation later on.


Until they’re around 3 months old, babies can only focus their eyes about 8 to 10 inches away from their faces, though they can see light and movement. They don’t gain depth perception until around 5 months old.


While in the womb, babies swallow the amniotic fluid that surrounds them, tasting some of the flavors of the food and drink their mother has had in the process. In one study, babies born to women instructed to drink carrot juice during pregnancy or breast feeding liked carrot-flavored cereal more than babies whose mothers were told to avoid carrots altogether.


In the first three months of life, the USDA estimates that babies need between 438 and 572 calories over the course of a day, depending on their size. That’s only a little more than a single Big Mac.


While some babies come into this world relatively hairless, others are born with a lot of whitish body hair, especially preemies. This soft, downy fuzz is called lanugo. It develops in the fifth month of pregnancy and if it isn’t gone by the time a baby is born, it usually disappears within a few weeks.


Even the youngest newborns need proper documentation to travel abroad. The U.S. State Department recommends taking a picture of your baby laying on a white sheet or sitting in a carseat covered in a white sheet to ensure her passport photo has a properly plain background. Canada doesn’t allow parental hands in the photo, but does note that the “Passport Program recognizes the difficulty in obtaining a neutral expression of a newborn and will allow for some minor variations in this regard.”


Pixar recognizes “production babies” in the credits of its films. Starting with Toy Story, the studio began running lists of the given names of babies born to its employees in the year before a film’s release in the end credits. Now, some video games even list production babies in their credits.


In the 19th century, people living in dirty urban areas wanted to give their babies access to the restorative properties of fresh air. Without access to backyards and country homes, they came up with a workaround: the baby cage. In the 1920s, inventors came up with compartments that could be propped on window sills in high-rise buildings, effectively dangling enclosed wire cribs outside like air conditioning units. Wonder why that went out of style?


Babies are born with some innate mathematical talents, namely being able to distinguish between orders of magnitude. They can tell the difference between a pattern of 10 dots and 20 dots, for instance. Having a greater intuitive sense of numbers at 6 months old predicted better math scores at 3 years old, according to a 2013 study. Another study found that 6-month-olds can detect math errors when presented with addition and subtraction problems represented by groups of dolls instead of numbers.


A 2015 study of 270 families in Philadelphia found that 36 percent of kids had used some kind of touchscreen before they turned 1 year old. While the effect of technology use on kids’ development is still hotly debated, one thing is certain: kids love touchscreens. This is partially due to contingency, the notion that certain events are dependent on others [PDF]. So when a baby pokes at an iPad and makes a video play, she’s exploring contingency, and how her actions can shape the world around her.


Because they’re well attuned to social responsiveness (again, contingency) babies can tell the difference between a video chat with their grandparents and being addressed by a static character like Dora the Explorer as part of a television show. This level of tech-savviness can appear as early as 2 to 6 months old. However, they may not understand that Grandma and Grandpa don’t actually live in the computer until later.


The smell of a newborn baby has been scientifically proven to be amazing. A study of 30 women sniffing newborns’ pajamas found that the scent increased activity in the brain’s rewards system.


A child’s brain changes dramatically over the first years of its life. But the number of neurons stays roughly the same from birth—somewhere between 86 and 100 billion. However, the brain will develop thousands more synapses (connections between neurons) in the first two years after birth.


Because babies’ eyes aren’t completely developed, 3- and 4-month-old kids don’t have perceptual constancy, or the ability to recognize the same object in different lights, sizes, and colors. But a 2016 study found that babies at that age can see slight differences in images caused by changes in illumination—while adults cannot.


It’s a cliché, but it’s also true. In the first six months, the average baby grows up to an inch per month, and doubles in weight. By a baby’s first birthday, she’ll have tripled in weight since birth.


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We tell you about its possible health impacts, a few VR apps you could try and the gear you will need for it
In June 2014, Google introduced Cardboard ­ a DIY kit that resulted in a low-cost Virtual Reality (VR) headset. People could use Cardboard along with compatible apps from the Play Store to dive right into a virtual world. There were simulations for roller coasters and apps that let you pilot a rocket into deep space. With VR, you could walk through foreign cities, watch adventure sports as if you were on a mountain top and even wander into an eerie Egyptian pyramid. By 2015, the market was flooded with durable plastic headsets, and in early 2016, Samsung, Lenovo, OnePlus and HTC also began promoting VR with their smartphones.
But before you buy into the concept, it is important to be informed about the possible side-effects of Virtual Reality as we know it today .



The labyrinth, an organ in our inner ear, plays an important role in the way we maintain balance when walking, standing, turning, etc. It interacts with other systems in our body such as the eyes and limbs to gauge the body’s position at all points of time. But when you wear a VR headset, your eyes suggest that your body is moving, while the labyrinth doesn’t re gister these movements because you’re probably seated or standing stationary, and this causes some disorientation. The feeling is similar to when you’re reading a book in a moving vehicle: Your body registers some movement as the car navigates the twists and turns on a road, but since your eyes are focused on a single spot ­ in this case, your book ­ you might feel some dizziness. Also, when you wear a VR headset and turn your head, the software needs to update the graphics you see to create an illusion of a real world. If there is a time lag or the scene is not changed by the same degree that you turn your head, it could cause disorientation.


When users are immersed in a virtual world, it becomes difficult to differentiate that the table you see in there ­ or the open space you see around you ­ does not exist in the real world.

This melding of the real and virtual often results in accidents and injury, especially when users might try to seek physical support from an object that does not exist or if they were to accidentally walk into walls and furniture in the real world. It is therefore very important that VR is enjoyed while users are safely seated, or standing stationary in an area without obstacles or hindrances.

After all, you don’t want flailing arms to break a TV set, knock a vase down from the table, or worse, cause serious injury to the headset user and people around them.


Imagine playing a horror game on your PC. You are walking down a narrow dark hallway where the wooden boards under your feet creak with every step you take; all of a sudden a ghostly banshee lunges at you with a piercing scream.Now imagine that very same scene with a VR headset on. Here, you are actually strapped into that virtual environment and things seem scarier.

VR is designed in a way so that the observer “lives“ the experience. The threats you feel in the game are heightened and so are your reactions to them.This could result in a faster heart rate, and a greater sense of hostility and aggression. The wins and losses you feel in VR, will affect you more psychologically . It is therefore recommended that VR headsets should not be worn for over half an hour at a time, and in case of any feeling of nausea or palpitations, it should be taken off at once.

That said, VR is still a young technology, and it will take a few more years before research and studies can truly understand its effects on our physiological and mental wellbeing.

In any case, if enjoyed in moderation, VR can enrich the way you learn, watch movies, play games and even experience life around you.

Now that we’ve got all that serious stuff out of the way, let’ get started with a few fun VR apps that you could try out…


Spotlight Stories is probably one of the best ways to ste p into the immersive world of VR. It comprises nine short stories, which need to be downloaded individually: there’s the Rain or Shine animation that’s set on the streets of London, while in Pearl you’ll find yourself in the company of a girl and her father inside a moving car; there’s a a tribute to The Simpsons; a night out with insects, and even a suspenseful drama that takes place in Los Angeles after a meteor shower. All these stories give you a first-person view, so feel free to look around and explore your virtual surroundings.


Discovery Channel’s app puts you in the middle of a live action scene. For instance, you can watch a group of samurai demonstrate a fight sequence; follow a sky diver; get up close with a tiger as he goes about his life in the jungle; float up with a balloon to follow it to the edge of space and lots more.You will need a working data connection for this app because the videos are streamed each time they are played. All the stories are only a couple of minutes long, and while video quality is not top notch, it ensures smooth playback.


You can take VR photos with this app and share it with friends and family.The snapshots can be viewed without a headset, like a normal panorama, but the experience gets a lot better in VR.Taking a photograph is similar to a panorama shot: hold the phone in portrait mode and follow the progress bar to slowly pan around you. Your recording will also capture sound, so viewers will get a better `feel’ of your surroundings.


You may not have the equipment to shoot 360-degree VR videos, but you can make regular footage more immersive. Open a video clip in AAA VR Cinema and it will play two screens side by side, so you can watch it with a headset on. The app includes many orientation and configuration options, so it might take some time figuring out what works best for with your smartphone. You can even navigate the app’s menu with the headset on: Just move your gaze to look at the control you want to `press’. It is recommended you watch short videos as prolonged use may cause disorientation.


Using this app, you can take your kids to Paris, or for a swim along a coral reef. To use this app you will need multiple cellphones and VR headsets with all of these handsets connected to the same Wi-Fi network. You can then enter the app as a guide and select a destination. The rest of the family joins your tour as “explorers“. The app provides talking points and even cues as to when to hold an interactive Q&A.When you tap on a point of interest your group will be prompted on their screens to look around them. With over 200 tours, there is a lot of exploring you can do: take a look inside a teepee, visit Mount Everest, make a trip to the Moon and more. Visuals are mostly static, 360-degree images to avoid causing discomfort to children.


With Street View, you can familiarise yourself with the places you plan to visit. You can choose landmarks at inter national destinations, and even “walk“ into a museum or restaurant. You can even add your own 360-degree snapshots of the places you have visited by publishing them to Google Maps. Of course, Street View can also be used without a VR headset, but where’s the fun in that?


What’s VR without a game or two? You can start with a simple game like GermBuster VR where you have to destroy germs in your room before they infect you. There is very little movement in this game: You have to look on either side of the room, stare at a germ to aim your laser at it and your bubble gun will fire away. The game gets more challenging as you progress through the stages. Then there’s Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue where you have to guide a firefly through a wooded forest while avoiding spiders and plant monsters. Moving your head lets you guide Lamper and pick up sparks and power boosts. This game involves motion in the virtual world and head movements, so play short sessions to avoid discomfort.

VR headsets you can buy…

Before you purchase a VR headset, you should first check if your smartphone supports this platform.The easiest way to find out is by installing Google’s Cardboard app on your phone. If your smartphone is not compatible, you will not be able to download this app.You can also double check with Eze VR, an app that checks to see if the handset has a gyroscope and magnetic field sensor. The former is necessary as most VR apps require a gyroscope sensor to detect motion and orientation.

Beginners can consider the…

GetCardboard DIY (Rs.200): This viewer is made of lami nated cardboard and comes with a magnetic trigger, which lets you make on screen selections.

It supports cellphones with a display size of up to 5.5 inches.

AuraVR Headset (Rs.300):

This kit is fabricated out of plastic with an adjustable head strap and support for devices with a 6-inch display .

If your budget allows, then there is the…
Procus Brat VR (Rs.2,100) and AuraVR Pro (Rs.2,000): Both these headsets have individual dials to adjust lens distance, foam padding along the head mount and an overhead strap for a better fit. Both come with a portable Bluetooth game controller, which can be used without the headset.

Enrg VR Able Studio (Rs.2,990): This headset comes with built-in headphones that cover the ears when you don the headset.

Samsung Gear VR (Rs.7,290):

Consider this headset if you own a Sam sung Galaxy S6, S7 or Note 5 smartphone. The device comes with a touchpad, a set of buttons for menu navigation and volume control for easy access.

Can’t decide which gizmo is right for you? Looking for buying suggestions? Write to

For more tech stories, visit


1 You see a doctor before you use a VR headset, especially if you are pregnant, elderly, have any vision abnormalities, or suffer from psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, migraines, ear aches, or a history of heart disease andor hypertension.

2 You should not use VR when you are tired, need sleep, are drunk or hungover, suffer from emotional stress or anxiety.

3 Children under the age of 13 should not use VR. Excessive use of VR could result in disorientation, dizziness, eye strain, fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, loss of balance, motion sickness, nausea, and even seizures in extreme cases.


Map my fitness ‘smart’ watches


The end of the year is packed with festivities and parties. We tend to sleep late, rise later too, and our diets go for a toss. But we don’t need to wait till the New Year to make resolutions towards better living. we tell you about five new `smart’ watches ­ each with its own USP ­ to help you…



The Goqii is more than an activity-tracker. It comes with a subscription that entitles you to personalised guidance from a fitness coach. When you register with the app ­ available for Android and iOS devices ­ you have to provide personal details (like height, weight, age), pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, etc) and also list personal goals (increase activity, improve sleep quality, eat healthy) that you would like to achieve. The service then lets you choose a personal coach based on their areas of expertise. Your trainer will initiate a call to understand your daily schedule and diet to help you chart a customised fitness regimen.

You are required to log details of all your meals and water intake in the Goqii app. You are encouraged to post pictures of your food, so that your coach can suggest healthier alternatives. The app routinely reminds you to eat at meal times and drink water at regular intervals.

The Goqii itself comprises a water-resistant band that houses a fitness tracking module, which displays the time, the number of steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, and also monitors sleep patterns. You do not need to have your phone by your side all the time either. When you return from a walk, the band automatically syncs with your handset when it is within range. On the downside, its display is difficult to read under direct sunlight. And while it is water-resistant, it cannot be submerged, so you need to take it off before you hit the pool. However, you can expect to get up to two week’s service from a single recharge.

During our review, we found the trainer to be extremely hands-on; constantly encouraging us to improve our step count, increase our activities, while also suggesting dietary and lifestyle changes.You also get a free consultation with a Goqii doctor and the option to save your medical records on its secure platform. That said, you are still required to keep your own physician in the loop before starting a fitness regimen.

If you are the kind who needs motivation to exercise, then consider Goqii. Its proactive coaches provide real-world practical advice, constant encouragement and guidance. `1,999 for 3 months ­ `3,999 for 1 year




The Garmin’s Vivomove carries the stamp of a formal men’s watch with its 42mm dial, and does not look out of place even when peeking from under suit sleeves. Depending on the model you choose ­ Classic or Sports ­ you get either a leather or a silicon strap. Given that it is 5ATM certified (waterproof up to 50 metres), you can even wear it in a swimming pool.

Now, the Vivomove is not equipped to give you smartphone notifications or even help you answer phone calls. This one is purely for fitness tracking. The sensors in the watch log your step count, monitors sleep, and even records when you’re idle for extended periods of time. It comes with an `auto goal’ feature that learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal.

Under its analogue dial, you get two discreet digital progress bars. The one on the left gives you a percentage view of your step count, which fills up with a grey colour as you walk or run ­ and on the right is the Move bar that fills up with a red colour if you’ve been sitting too long. Start moving, and the red recedes. For either of these, you won’t get a buzzing notification, but a single glance at the watch will give you all the data you need with regards to your progress.

The Vivomove pairs with the Garmin Connect app ­ available for Android and iOS ­ to give you a calendar view of your activities, your sleep quality, the calories you’ve burnt, etc. Pairing the device with the smartphone app is as simple as pressing the watch crown for three seconds, while syncing its data with your smartphone requires a one-second press. The device works well for everything it’s designed to do, except you might face some pairing and syncing issues from time to time. The best part, it is powered by a standard CR2025 lithium cell battery that promises about a year’s use, so you won’t need to keep charging it.

All in all, the Vivomove works well for you if you want a discrete stylish watch that helps you keep an eye on your fitness goals without being too intrusive. `14,990 (Sports), `19,990 (Classic)




The Titan Juxt Pro sports a large, 48mm, stainless-steel casing with a 1.3-inch LCD touchscreen.It comes with a leather strap, so you can even wear it to semiformal gatherings. While the build quality is top notch ­ with water resistance up to 30m (3ATM) ­ it is rather heavy, and definitely not meant for those with narrow wrists.

Most of its onscreen navigation can be handled via its touch display , but you also get two physical buttons on the dial’s edge. The power button also returns you to the homescreen; lets you switch to flight mode, or restart the device. The second control works as an SOS button and works with the Titan Safety app (developed with McAfee). Press it once and you can choose to simultaneously sound a panic alarm, save your location by “checking in“ to a place, and also send your GPS coordinates to your guardian. In an emergency , long pressing this button gets the app to sound a loud alarm.

The Juxt Pro runs Titan OS, a proprietary operating system. Here, you get a set of tools that let you view your calendar, use a conversion calculator, start a stopwatch, timer, set an alarm, view weather updates, and even trigger your handset’s rear camera to take pictures. The watch face also displays phone notifications for incoming calls, messages and reminders. However, it only allows for basic operations like replying to a call with a pre-set text message, blocking a notification from appearing again and the option to “view on phone“. On the fitness front, the Juxt Pro is quite basic: it records and displays steps taken, distance covered and calories burned.

While the Juxt Pro works as advertised, we found the user interface to be a bit laggy . And unlike the Garmin Vivoactive HR and Apple Watch, it does not have extra downloadable apps and widgets. However, this is the only wearable here that comes with 4GB storage and the ability to pair with a Bluetooth headset. So you can copy songs via its USB dock and listen to your playlist without the need of your smartphone. However, this puts a dent in the battery life, which on an average lasts for slightly less than two days.

Simply , the Juxt Pro is one of Titan’s early experiments with a smartwatch, and it manages to pack in a fitness counter, music player and SOS functionality; we would have preferred a more discreet wearable, but this could still work well for those who are into large, chunky watches. `22,995




The Vivoactive HR is a sporty watchtracker that can be worn in the shower, and even withstand submersion in water up to a depth of 50 metres (5ATM). Its 57mm long frame ­ with two buttons below its 28.6mm touchscreen ­ makes it look bulky , but it still feels comfortable on the wrist. Using its interface ­ a combination of button presses and swipes ­ you can view information like datetime, step count, calories burnt, distance covered, heart rate (across a four-hour span) and even weather. The left button navigates you to the previous menu, while the right button lets you record an exercise session (run, walk, swim, cycling, etc) and access the settings menu.From here, you can adjust brightness levels, start a stopwatch, set an alarm and change the colour theme.You can add “widgets“ to the screen like a calendar and music playback controls, and even install additional watch faces from Garmin’s Connect IQ Store via its app.

The Vivoactive HR syncs all the fitness data it collects with the Garmin Connect app.Here, you can view your activity statistics ­ categorised by sport ­ as well as the periods of rest and sleep. An “insights“ feature analyses this data to highlight patterns in your routines.You can join group challenges, and connect with other registered Garmin users (from your contacts and Facebook account).

Over and above, like all `full feature’ smartwatches, it vibrates and displays a caller’s name, lets you scroll through phone messages and check app notifications.

The watch is pricey but it offers a great set of features with a lot of configurable options along with built-in GPS and a heart rate sensor. You also get up to a week’s worth of service from a single charge of its battery . However, recharge frequency increases considerably if you actively use the built-in GPS system to track your daily runs. Consider the Garmin Vivoactive HR if you’re serious about getting fit and want a device that can track physical activities with great detail. `23,990




Apple’s Watch Series 2 sees plenty of improvements over its Watch Series 1: It boasts of a brighter display when compared to its predecessor, and this time around, you also get built-in GPS to record distance, pace, and speed during outdoor workouts such as walking, running, or cycling–all without needing to carry an iPhone.

On the operating system front, Watch OS3, which is also available as an update for the Watch Series 1, comes with upgrades like an improved interactive messaging app, as well as the new Breathe app that reminds you to do a short breathing exercise.

You can now also press and hold the side button on the watch to automatically initiate an SOS call to emergency services in your country . This will also notify and share your location with your emergency contacts. As far as apps go, the Apple Watch has a bouquet to choose from in categories such as fitness, weather, productivity, news, camera, astrology , education & reference that are customised for its smaller display .

A rotatable crown on the right side of its screen lets you customize watch faces, or scroll through options.Press this once, and you are presented with a beehivelike view of all your Watch apps. Long press, and Siri is activated. A button just below this crown gives you quick access to a new Dock from where you can find your recently opened apps.

The Watch Series 2 is just as receptive to taps and touches when you’re selecting options ­ heart-rate monitor, activity tracker, weather report and more ­ on its touchscreen. It can remotely ­ but within Bluetooth range ­ start the camera app on your phone, and even snap photos or start a video recording. You can set it up to display alerts for your messages, calendar, appointments, e-mail, social networks and phone calls.And you can even dictate replies to messages, complete with punctuations.

Of course, triggering Siri is as simple as saying “Hey Siri“, and it understands Indian accents. Its microphone lets you answer calls, while its speaker is capable of sound that’s loud enough to carry out short phone conversations. Users can access the wearable’s workout menu to choose different types of exercise: indoor and outdoor walk, run and cycle; elliptical, rower and stair stepper; pool swim and open water swim.

The Watch Series 2 ­ unlike the older editions ­ is waterproof up to 50m. During our review, we wore it to a pool and even on a beach. The device came out unscathed in both instances. When you choose a water workout option, the Watch 2 auto-locks the display to prevent accidental screen touches from water. Upon completion, rotating its crown disables auto-lock and triggers the speaker which uses a certain frequency of sound to eject water that might have gotten in.

Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 2 ­ available in aluminium and ceramic builds is the best smartwatch there is: You can `like’ Instagram pics, see recent tweets, reply to SMS, check your calendar, heart rate, measure your physical activity and more without reaching for your phone.

There’s also a special Nike+ edition that comes with a sporty , perforated “fluoroelastomer“ band, and a special app that motivates users with run reminders, challenges from training buddies, and even informs you when the weather is good for a run. Sadly , the Watch Series 1 and 2 doesn’t work with Android devices; for iPhone users, this is a straight winner. in Watch Series 1 starts at `23,900 Watch Series 2 starts at `32,900


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How to earn money from home without any investment

You don’t have to go out looking for work. The internet is full of resources that allow you to use your skills and hobbies to earn a living. In fact, as an established freelancer ­ and if you manage your time well ­ you can expect to earn much more from international clients that you can from your 9-to-5 job. we tell you about a few tried and tested websites where you can register for free to…

make money from home

make money from home


If you are an amateur photographer, you can expect to make some money from your pictures with PhotoMoolah. Here’s how it works: the service provides a platform for brands and advertising agencies to articulate their requirement in terms of their marketing brief, and the type of photos they require for their product.

PhotoMoolah then turns these requirements into contests ­ such as images of `people doing outdoor fitness activities’, `mum & baby’, `kids celebrating Holi in India’, `doctors and patients’. Registered members can compete in these contests for prize money ranging from 50 Singapore dollars, going up to S$500 at times.

Submissions to the contest are shortlisted by PhotoMoolah and sent to the client for review. The chosen photographs are then awarded the prize money via wire transfer or Western Union.

The clients are given permission to use the winning images in their social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and websites for up to one year only . But the copyrights stay with the photographer.

It should be noted that the contest winner cannot resell the image to any third party for the duration of the license agreement, however the photograph can be used to showcase their portfolio on the Photomoolah platform.


If you are good at cooking, crafts, pottery , sketching, magic tricks, etc ­ or, if you are a trained tutor with a degree in music, web programming, design, advanced mathematics, personal development, or practically anything that can be taught by way of a course, you can start your own virtual classroom on Udemy. The service has over 10 million listed students from all over the world, with almost four million visiting it monthly .

After creating an account as a tutor, you can list the course you plan to teach. A typical Udemy programme comprises one to three hours of content, where each module is required to be at least 30 minutes in length, with 60% in the form of video.

Before a course is listed on the website, it is reviewed by Udemy’s curators to ensure it meets their quality standards.

The service also handles all customer service, payment processing, web hosting, and even provides you with a mobile version of your courseware.

A single teaching programme can be priced anything between $20 and $200 ­ and as a tutor, you get to keep 100% of the revenue (minus payment fees) when you bring students to your course. For every student Udemy brings to it through their marketing efforts, they keep 50% of the sale. Once your course is purchased, the student has access to all its materials indefinitely. Your earnings are transferred to you via a PayPal account.

Now, if you’re worried about logistics of how you should go about creating a course, or the kind of equipment and software you would need to record your modules, Udemy also provides you with detailed FAQs and How-Tos to help see you through.


This website provides a platform for local guides to connect with tourists and offer personalized tours. So if you think you know the city you live in like the back of your hand or are a student in the travel and tourism sector who is looking to earn as you learn, then check out Tours by Locals.

When you apply to be a guide, you will need to describe the tours you would like to give in detail (duration, if it is child-friendly , suitable for differently-abled, etc) along with contact information. Proficiency in multiple languages is a plus. For instance, you could have a `food walk’ of popular local eateries in a specific locality , a ride through the city using public transport, or a quick round of the heritage sites in your area. The TBL team will run a background check before approving your application.

Once this is complete, you will be provided with tools and training on how to create a professional page describing your tours and a system that lets you answer traveller questions and schedule online bookings.

The website handles marketing, payments, site maintenance and even ensures you don’t lose out when a customer cancels at the last minute. Travellers who view your profile and tour offerings, can check the cost and your “availability“ calendar, send booking requests and also read customer ratings. TBL charges a percentage of the tour bookings; payments are made electronically , by bank drafts or, in case of exceptions, partly in cash.


There are myriad sites that offer all kinds of freelance assignments that you can complete right from the comfort of your home. To begin with, we suggest you start with Fiverr, Guru and Upwork.In fact, to better your chances at grabbing the right opportunity we recommend you create an account on all three. Here, you can find jobs for copywriting, proofing, editing, translation, transcription, as a virtual assistant, a quality control executive and more. There are paying gigs in graphics design for web and print, digital marketing, data entry, programming, advertising, and much, much more.

Fiverr is one of the largest online marketplaces where you can offer your services for a minimum $5 per job. The website encourages you to share a video “pitch“ and work samples as proof of your expertise. As a “seller“, you keep 80% of the fees you earn from each successful assignment, and all balance payments are transferred to your PayPal account.

Guru uses a “bid“ system, where as a free member, you get 10 bids every `billing cycle’ which is generally around a month. The service charges anything between 4.95­8.95% as fees for each completed job.You also get an invoice management solution to track payments and a “SafePay“ service for payment protection and dispute resolution.

Upwork adds a layer of accountability to its assignments. For jobs that are paid by the hour, you have to use the Upwork Team app that takes screenshots of your work every ten minutes. Long-term jobs are tracked by milestones, so you get paid as you work towards project completion. Upwork also provides a communication platform to collaborate and share files with your client effectively . The service charges a 5­20% fee from each payment you receive.

When you sign up for these websites, read all its terms and conditions. It should be noted that each website has its own payment procedure, so there might be a “delay“ in receiving payment. This is to ensure that both parties ­ freelancer and client ­ are satisfied; that there are no disputes and also for the amount to be credited to the payment platform of choice. Also, before applying for an assignment, take time out to see how other members pitch and how much they charge for similar work. Be clear about what you can do and what you won’t do. For instance, you may be open to multiple revisions but not to phone calls. This will help to prevent misunderstandings and negative employer ratings.,,


Unlike the other sites where you have to bid for projects and work in accordance to a specific brief, Fantero allows you to upload your work for buyers to browse through and purchase if it meets their requirements.

Here, you can sell photos and pictures, design templates, vector graphics, icons, fonts, logos, textures, templates for websites and WordPress themes.You can find buyers for your 3D models, textures, materials and 2D concepts. Fantero even lets you market your Flash and Flex files, as well as your own audio compositions, music loops and sound effects.

For most part, you get to decide on the price of your work. Your earnings need to be at least $50 before you can request payment, which are transferred to you via payment systems such as PayPal.

Fantero earns fees for creating, hosting, maintaining, and providing the website, and to cover expenses it incurs to banks, card companies and payment processors. After deducting such amounts, it transfers the balance to the seller. Before you start selling on Fantero we recommend you read its terms and conditions thoroughly , and if needed, contact the site’s promoters with your queries, which are replied to within 12 hours.

Also, you might want to look at Fantero’s sister website called Freelancer, which is similar to Fiverr, Guru and Upwork, and which connect over 2.2 crore employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories.,


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Why do you need portable apps? Well, we’re usually faced with a space crunch on our hard drives due to the huge file sizes that result from 4K and Full HD videos, 20MP photos, lossless audio rips, graphic-heavy games, and the sheer amount of data we store on our PCs. Also, it doesn’t make sense to install each and every software ­ most of which we might use occasionally ­ on our already packed computers. In such cases, all you need to do is use a 16GB pen drive and pack it with the myriad software that you need. Using these is as simple as plugging the USB stick into your machine, and clicking on the app to start. Besides, your `cleaner’ computer will boot up faster, and you can also use these software on the go when your own PC is not at hand.
Now, portable apps can be installed in two ways: You can download the portable installer from the software’s website and save it to your pen drive. Or, visit and install its software. This allows you to use the Portable Apps dashboard to install, launch and manage multiple apps.


1 LibreOffice is a complete office suite that allows you to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations from the USB drive itself. This way, you always have access to your templates, formatting styles and settings wherever you go. It is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) ­ and it even lets you save documents to a printable PDF .

2 Sumatra PDF is lightweight PDF reader that comes with all the features you require: multiple viewing modes such as facing pages, book view, the ability to rotate documents, read in full screen or as a presentation, and more. It even supports eBook and comic book formats like Mobi, ePub, CBZ and CBR. Sumatra PDF comes with a clutter-free user interface. It loads documents in tabs, which can be navigated with keyboard shortcuts.

3 Notepad++ ­ a souped up version of MS Notepad ­ lets you open multiple TXT files in tabs. It creates a back up of unsaved files, supports bookmarks, and even allows for split-screen editing. You can install plug-ins to add a spell checker and support for multiple clipboards. Notepad++ also works for coding in HTML, Java, C# and CSS: Its auto-completion feature lets you type commonly used functions quickly; its automatic highlight feature helps you find matching tags, and you can even scroll through a program with the help of a document map.

4 PNotes provides you with a digital option to the sticky notes that clutter your workspace. This software is highly configurable, yet light on system resources. It lets you configure the note’s appearance, transparency and font type. You can format text, create bulleted lists, insert images, emoticons, and even set it to alert you of overdue tasks. All your notes are saved in PNotes’ `Control Panel’ where they can be sorted by tags and grouped by folders with assigned priority levels.


5 VLC Media Player supports a range of video formats ­ MPEG, DivX, XviD, H.264, WMV and Real Video ­ straight out of a USB stick. It supports subtitle files, and its software-based audio amplifier even lets you increase sound volume well beyond the system maximum to boost weak output.

6 While you can use VLC as a music player, we recommend XMPlay Portable for audio files such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, WAV and WMA formats.It allows for “gapless playback“ of songs; you can listen to internet radio, create playlists, enable visualisations and even change its UI appearance.


7 GIMP is a full-fledged photo-editing software, much like Adobe Photoshop. You can use it to touch up images, fix perspective and distortion caused by camera lens, create cut outs, adjust colours, and even work with complex graphics. It supports the lossless RAW format, and lets you save your final work as a PSD, JPG, TIFF , GIF and PNG.

8 If Gimp seems too complicated, then check out XnView. It lets you resize, crop, rotate, adjust brightnesscontrast, tweak colours, apply filters and even `batch process’ multiple files at once to save time and effort. It can read 500 image formats, and you can exportconvert files to 70 formats, including PSD, GIF , PDF , PNG and TIF .

9 WAV Audacity is an audio editor that lets you record your voice; import music and special effects in , AIFF, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis formats. You can work with multiple tracks in a single project, adjust volume levels for each track, crossfade songs, adjust bass and treble, change pitch and tempo, and you even get a range of effects and filters to reduce noise. Your final output can then be saved as a single mix or exported as separate tracks in WAV , FLAC, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 formats.

10 Avidemux is a video-editing software that lets you trim, crop and resize movie footage. It also lets you re-encode a video file from one format ­ AVI, MP4, Matroska, MPEG-2, H.264 and H.265 ­ to another to cut down on file size. With Avidemux, you can apply basic visual effects such as rotate, flip, add borders and grain to the video.

11 Krita Desktop is a feature-packed painting application that lets you work in layers, saves your final work as a vector file and also supports Photoshop’s PSD format. You get “drawing assistants“ and brush stabilisers to offset a user’s shaky hands while sketching shapes. Its built-in brush engines allow you to apply special effects, create your own custom brushes and import other users’ texture packs from its website’s Resources page.

12 Blender 3D is a robust open source software for 3D modelling, rendering, animation, compositing, motion tracking and editing videos. Here, you can render photorealistic objects with detailed textures and HDR lighting. It comes with 20 brush types for sculpting 3D objects and characters, a builtin library of camera effects, and realistic simulations for objects like fluid, smoke, hair and cloth.You also get access to graphic extensions created by other animators. This software is resource intensive and should be used on a PC with a 64-bit quad-core processor and at least 8GB RAM.

http://www.blender .org


13 If your job requires you to work off different PCs, then use portable browser versions of Chrome, Opera and Firefox to surf the internet. This ensures that you do not leave a `cookie’ trail of your browsing history on the host PC. Using these, you can also save your bookmarks on the USB stick.

14 The Mozilla Thunderbird email client lets you carry your inbox with you and draft messages in “offline“ mode for times when you don’t have an internet connection. Setting up multiple accounts is simple: Provide your name, ID and password and Thunderbird will automatically load mail server settings for you. It allows you to view emails in tabs; you get a built-in calendar, as well as a safeguard that warns you about suspicious web links in an email.

15 TeamViewer is a remote access and collabora tion app with cross-platform support. This means you can use it to initiate a remote session between multiple PCs and smartphones that also have the software installed. Once you register with the service, you can configure it for data compression and lower video quality to conserve bandwidth.All remote sessions and communication via its whiteboard and messenger feature are secured with AES 256-bit encryption.

http://www.teamviewer .com

16 With portable Skype you get the same features as the full-fledged desktop version: you can send instant messages, make voice and video calls (provided you have a webcam), initiate group conversations, transfer files and even share your screen for remote assistance.

17 Telegram Desktop is a secure instant mes senger. You can be logged in to multiple devices (smartphones and tablets), and on different platforms (Android, iOS, Win Phone, Windows, Mac OS, Linux) at the same time. Plus, you can share an unlimited number of files (JPG, MP3, DOC, ZIP , etc.) of up to 1.5GB each. So the messages you sent from your smartphone ­ along with the files you have shared ­ will be visible in the Telegram Desktop window too. You can configure the app to save shared files to a specific folder on the pen drive; automatically clear cache when you log out and enable two-factor authentication for enchanced security . On the down side, the desktop version does not support the secret chat function that’s available on its mobile app.


18 In situations when you have to work with spotty internet bandwidth, use Free Download Manager. It splits files into “sections“ and downloads them simultaneously to save time. It allows you to resume downloads after broken connections, and even includes a scheduler. Besides, FDM lets you preview videos before they are downloaded completely; it supports BitTorrent, a popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol and automatically organises files by their type.

http://www.freedownloadmanager .org

19 7-Zip is an efficient file archivalcompression tool. You can use it to extract compressed files from formats such as ZIP , RAR, TAR, CAB and ISO to a folder of your choice. Conversely , it can be used to create a compressed file by selecting the files folders and then clicking its “ Add“ button. It lets you select the compression level (Normal, Fast, Ultra…); split the final file into multiple manageable blocks (CD, DVD…) and encrypt the archive with an AES 256-bit cipher.

20 If your PC seems sluggish, it’s probably be cause of the temporary files created by the software you use. Enter CCleaner, a tool that purges your system of this junk. The app first analyses your system to give you a break up ­ by software ­ of all the residual files on your computer along with the amount of space they occupy . Select what you want to remove and click the “Run Cleaner“ button to start the process.

21 Uninstalled software leaves residual files and Registry entries. Revo Uninstaller saves you the trouble of manually clearing these files by thoroughly uninstalling a program. You can even use this utility to remove those stubborn toolbars that refuse to go away . And if you cannot find the offending software, then enable Revo’s “Hunter Mode“ and click on the unwanted application’s shortcut to start the uninstall procedure.

http://www.revouninstaller .com

22 Recuva lets you retrieve files that you might have permanently deleted from your PC. It uses a wizard-driven interface to list deleted files in a searchable format, along with the option to preview them if they are images. Now, there is no guarantee that you will always be able to recover deleted data, but it is a useful utility to have on hand in an emergency . That said, in case you need to retrieve critical files, it is best to get pro fessional companies who do this for a fee.


23 KeePass gives you an easier and secure way to remember your passwords. All your logins are stored in one database and locked with a “master“ password. The entire database ­ includ ing usernames ­ is encrypted using AES and Twofish cipher algorithms. You can securely copy-paste sign-in details into the browser or use “auto-type“ to do it for you. Credentials stay encrypted even when KeePass runs in the background to prevent in-memory hacking attempts.

24 Use ClamWin to scan your PC for viruses.

This is extremely useful because malware can sometimes disable the antivirus software installed on your PC. With ClamWin on your flash drive, you will be able to identify and remove infections. Just make sure you have the updated version at all times.

25 Along with a portable antivirus, you should also scan your system for spyware and adware. These are pesky programs that usually get installed along with certain free software, or when you might have clicked on an unknown web link in an email. To take care of these malicious programs, keep an updated copy of SpyBot ­ Search & Destroy at hand.



You will need a pen drive with 16GB capacity. Invest in one that supports USB 3.0 ­ this will guarantee faster read-write speeds on newer PCs that support the standard. Format your drive: Double-click My Computer and right-click the external drive icon that appears under Devices with Removable Storage. Click on Format and select NTFS from the drop-down list as the file system of choice. Check the Quick Format box and click Start to initiate the process. Your USB flash drive is now ready to be filled with portable apps. It is recommended that you regularly replace the software on the flash drive with latest revisions.Note: Before removing the USB drive from your computer, exit all portable apps and wait for the activity light on your removable drive to stop flashing. This may take a minute or so. Select the Safely remove… option from the icon in the system tray. If you remove the drive while it is writing, you may lose data.