How to spot a bitcoin ponzi

When times are tough, the lure of easy money can be so seductive. I recently met up with a former colleague of mine and he tried to get me to "invest" in a "forex scheme" that pays out a regular 2% every month. To many, 2% a month of regular payouts sounds really attractive. The alternative, which is to keep the money in the bank only pays a paltry 0.1% a year. That doesn't even come close to beating inflation.

I know how attractive that 2% a month sounds because he has managed to convince many people to sign up to the scheme. So much so that his commissions and recurring fees come up to more than his monthly salary.
10 sites that pay you to blog

Whether you're a blogger or a freelance writer, chances are you're always looking to earn some extra money doing what you love - writing! In this post, I share some of my favorite sites that will pay you to write or blog. This isn't an exclusive list and there are lots more, but i've either used these personally or done a fair bit of research on them.

Sites offering free bitcoin and free cryptocurrency

Who doesn't love something for free, especially if it's free money? Many sites rely on freebies to attract users to their platforms. Here are some of my favorite sites which i regularly use myself, that will give you either free money or cryptocurrency if you use the sign up link.
China to ban cryptocurrency exchanges

The big rumor that has been floating around this past week is that China is about to ban cryptocurrency exchanges. Since the publication of the rumor in the influential Chinese financial publication, Caixin, last Friday, the price of bitcoin has plunged nearly $750 (16%). The market was also spooked by JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon's comments that Bitcoin was a "fraud". With all this negative sentiment surrounding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, should you be worried?
Blogging For Dummies - How to get started with blogging

One of the most frustrating things for all new bloggers is the lack of readers at the start. "Write well and they shall come", is probably the most frustrating piece of advice from some of the gurus out there. I've been blogging for nearly three years now and have seen some super ups and downs. This post is as much a reflection piece as it is some advice for all new bloggers looking to increase their traffic. If you want your blog to take off and succeed, here are some tips I've picked up along the way as well as some pitfalls you should avoid making.

It sure has been hard to ignore Bitcoin lately. In just this year alone, it has more than quadrupled its value and is now the name on everyone's lips. This kind of price rise doesn't happen very often which is leading people to proclaim that we're in a "cryptocurrency bubble" which is about to pop.
The Best Smart Smoke Alarms

In our earlier article on gadgets under $100 that everyone needs, but few have, we wrote about how important it is for every home to have a smoke detector. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sixty percent of home fire deaths were from fires in homes that didn't have smoke alarms.

Their report goes on to mention that the death rate from fires in home without a working fire alarm was twice that of homes that did have a working alarm. Dead batteries as well as missing or disconnected batteries were the leading causes of smoke detectors not working during a fire.

Given how just having a working smoke detector can save your own life as well as the lives of your loved ones, it boggles the mind that there are still homes out there without a working smoke alarm. In this article, we will explain what are some of the benefits of getting a Smart Smoke Detector, as well as our top picks when it comes to smart smoke detectors on the market today.
Smart Home Automation - How To Start

Got yourself a fancy new Digital Assistant like the Amazon Echo or Google Home recently? You're in good company then. According to market research firm IHS Markit, the AI-powered digital assistants market is poised to exceed 4 billion devices by the end of 2017. That's more than one device for every two people on the planet!

The digital assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod are fun to play with, allowing you to set timers, alarms, get weather information or just someone to talk to and have some funny questions answered. The real magic of home automation starts, however, when you pair the digital assistants with smart lights, smart thermostats, smart speakers, etc.

In this beginner's guide, i'll be covering the main areas of home automation right now - thermostats, lighting, music & entertainment and smart hubs. While there are literally dozens of options to choose from in each category, i'll mention some of the more noteworthy devices you can check out first. It's also not necessary to get all the devices at once. Start with the area that you're interested in, temperature control for example, and you could add the smart controls in other areas down the road.
Best Smart Lights like the Philips Hue

The Smart Home concept continues to gain popularity with more and more people adopting the technology by purchasing devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and pairing them with other smart devices like light bulbs and refrigerators in their homes.
will smith how gif

We were so excited when Facebook started allowing gifs to be posted as either comments or pictures. That excitement soon turned to disappointment, as the upload process was rather complicated and rife with errors. This guide explains how you can upload gifs that play automatically and avoid errors like posting static images or link pages instead.
Amazon Coins Buyer's Guide

Amazon coins can be a great way to save a decent amount of money on your apps, games and in-app item purchases. It's becoming increasingly popular and we'll show you how to make the most out of them and what are some things that you need to take note of before you decide to but them.
Amazon Echo comes with Alexa

The number of skills available on the Amazon Alexa voice platform has now surpassed 15,000 as of the 30th of June. That's an amazing 50% increase in just over four month since the 10,000 skills mark was officially announced by Amazon back in February. Even more impressive is that in September 2016, that number stood at only around 3,000.
GPU Cards Specifically For Cryptocurrency Mining

Just in case you hadn't heard, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin, have been on a tear since the start of 2017. From a market capitalization of just under $20 billion at the start of the year, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is valued at above $100 billion. That's 5-fold increase in just 6 short months. No wonder there's so much hype about them recently, with just about everybody wanting to get a piece of the action.
The Sonnet Device Helps You Stay Connected Off Grid

Don't you just hate how you lose your 3G/4G signal when you go camping, hiking or anywhere off the grid. While not being able to access the Internet may be just an inconvenience, having no forms of communication poses a very real safety risk as well. The dreaded "No Signal" is the last thing you want to see in an emergency. Thanks to a new gadget from Sonnet Labs, you'll be able to stay connected to the outside world even when you go off the map.

What Can Sonnet Do

What Can The Sonnet Device Do
The Sonnet, is a device from Toronto-based Sonnet Labs, which will allow smartphone users to use an app to send text messages, voice messages and photos even when there's no network coverage. The device works by using long range radio signals to create a p2p network with other sonnet users who are "nearby". The Sonnet connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to use the sonnet app on your phone to communicate with other sonnet users within range, even if you don't have network coverage.

The gadget's range is about a mile within a city due to the radio signals being congested, but that increases to 6 miles as you go further off the grid or up a mountain. Using mesh networking technology, this range is then extended by bouncing messages from one Sonnet device to another until the intended recipient is reached.

What The Sonnet Is Useful For

What Is The Sonnet Device Useful For
The Sonnet app comes with in-built maps that you can use even when offline to help with planning your route. One feature that we're not so comfortable with is that users can track their position relative to others on the network in real-time. There could be some privacy issues with this, depending on how it is implemented. Perhaps it would need two-way authorization so that only family and friends can track you. The device also comes with an SOS emergency button that can be pressed to alert other users in case of an emergency.

Sonnet Product Specs

Sonnet Product Specs

The Sonnet device is both water-resistant and dust-proof. It has a battery life of up to 36 hours and you can use a USB charging wire to share power from your phone's battery.

Sonnet expects the device to ship towards the end of 2017 and will retail for $45. They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising the $17,000 needed to develop this device. So far, they've exceeded their initial goal and have raised almost $45,000.

Image Credit: Sonnet Kickstarter Page
Best Men's Watches Under $500

Are you looking to buy a stylish yet affordable men's watch for yourself or as a gift for a loved one? There are many different brands and types of watches to choose from these days so the task of picking one can seem intimidating.
Chinese proverb quote on progress

It's been almost three months since we last posted and we want to apologize for disappearing for so long! It's not that we've given up on the site or that we suddenly forgot about it. Far from it. We've been insanely busy traveling for a month and coming back to some interesting projects for clients that have kept us occupied. But now that we're done with that, it's time to focus on our "passion project" - EyeObserver :)

Top 3 Affordable Coffee Bean Grinders

To make a really good cup of coffee, we need to grind our coffee beans right. This means picking the right grind for our brewing method as well as ensuring consistency in the grind. There are so many different types of grinders out on the market today - manual coffee grinders, electric blade grinders, electric burr grinders, etc. So which one should you get? In this article, we list some of the best burr grinders on the market today. You can't go wrong with any of these picks.
Advanced Google Search Tips

The Rolling Stones said that you can't always get what you want but when it comes to "googling", you can make your search results a lot more precise by using the proper Google Search Syntax. No matter what you're looking for on the Internet, these easy to remember tips will help you find what you're looking for!

According to the classical Greek philosopher, Socrates, "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, said that “anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Both of these quotes highlight the importance of personal development - a lifelong process where you assess your skills and qualities, consider your aims in life and set goals in order to realize your potential.
Best WiFi Router for 4000 sq ft house

One of the great frustrations of living in a large or multi-story house is that a single Wi-Fi router isn't able to cover the entire house. Even homes around 2,000 square feet in size are likely to be plagued by Wi-Fi dead spots. If you'd like to say goodbye to terrible Wi-Fi, this guide will explain what Wi-Fi mesh is - one of the most exciting router technologies to emerge in recent years and also highlight what are some of the best mesh routers on the market today.
Best Single Room Humidifiers This Year

For ideal comfort and health, it's best to maintain your home and room's humidity level at between 40 to 60%. This is rather hard to do, especially during the winter months, so to humidify your room, you will need a humidifier. Humidifiers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and there are a few key factors you need to consider before you can determine the right humidifier for your needs. If you've decided that a single-room humidifier is right for you, this guide will tell you which are the best humidifiers on the market in 2017.
Humidifier vs Vaporizer

The low humidity is causing you problems. Your skin is dry, your throat and eyes are itchy, you're finding it hard to breathe, even your furniture is cracking, and you can't stand it any more. You're going to do something about this dry air. You're going to go out and buy a humidifier. As you check out what's on offer, you notice this other term, "vaporizer", as well. Aren't they the same thing? Well, not quite, as i'll explain in this article. People always confuse the terms vaporizer and humidifier so here's what you need to know about the difference between the two when deciding which one to buy.

WiFi Systems For big Homes

It's hard to imagine life without Wi-Fi. As we reach the 20th anniversary of the first version of the 802.11 protocol in 2017, here's a look at how your Wi-Fi router, probably the device that causes the most frustration in your home is about to change for the better!
200 fun questions to ask Alexa

What is Alexa

Alexa is Jarvis
Jarvis visualization (via: Pinterest)
When I saw Iron Man in 2008, the coolest thing that jumped right out was Jarvis, or J.A.R.V.I.S (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), to be more precise. More than the Iron Man suit, I wanted to have an Intelligent System at home that took care of all my mundane work for me while I chilled. We're not quite there yet but Alexa's probably the closest thing we have to J.A.R.V.I.S right now.

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant, modeled after the computer conversational system on board the starship Enterprise in Star Trek. It seems like Alexa's been around forever but it was actually only introduced to the world when Amazon launched the Amazon Echo in November 2014.

Now, Alexa's capable of many tasks - setting alarms, music playback, to-do lists, playing audio books and even providing real-time information like traffic and the weather. But if you ask me, the best thing about Alexa is the voice interaction.

Amazon Echo in the living room
Amazon Echo in the living room

What are Easter Eggs

In Tech parlance, Easter eggs are hidden messages or jokes left in a computer program or video game by the programmers for users to find. It's very much like an Easter egg hunt in real life.

The programmers behind Alexa are no different and from the looks of it, know how to have a bit of fun. Here are 200 fun questions you can ask your Alexa voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot

Easter Eggs in Alexa

1. "Alexa, do I need an umbrella today?"
2. "Alexa, who's better, you or Siri?"
3. "Alexa, where have all the flowers gone?"
4. "Alexa, who loves ya baby!"
5. "Alexa, are you alive?"
6. "Alexa, how much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
7. "Alexa, are we in the Matrix?"
8. "Alexa, how tall are you?"
9. "Alexa, flip a coin."
10. "Alexa, random number between "X" and "Y."
11. "Alexa, who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?"
12. "Alexa, what's your sign?"
13. "Alexa, Daisy Daisy!
14. "Alexa, what is your quest?"
15. "Alexa, what did the fox say?"
16. "Alexa, I'll be back!"
17. "Alexa, why is a raven like a writing desk?"
18. "Alexa, do you know Hal?"
19. "Alexa, are you happy?"
20. "Alexa, Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up."
21. "Alexa, I'm sick."
22. "Alexa, that's no moon."
23. "Alexa, where do you live?"
24. "Alexa, live long and prosper."
25. "Alexa, how much does the Earth weigh?"
26. "Alexa, high five!"
"Alexa, what is the first rule of fight club?"
28. "Alexa, what is the second rule of fight club?"
29. "Alexa, warp 10!"
30. "Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?"
31. "Alexa, twinkle, twinkle little star."
32. "Alexa, do you feel lucky punk?"
33. "Alexa, do you dream?"
34. "Alexa, play it again Sam."
35. "Alexa, what is war good for?"
36. "Alexa, I think you're funny."
37. "Alexa, are you stupid/smart?"
38. "Alexa, is this the real life?"
39. "Alexa, beam me up!"
40. "Alexa, I hate you."
41. "Alexa, roll a die."
42. "Alexa, are you smart?"
43. "Alexa, will you be my girlfriend?"
44. "Alexa, what's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?"
45. "Alexa, is the cake a lie?"
46. "Alexa, happy holidays!"
47. "Alexa, speak!"
48. "Alexa, see you later alligator."
49. "Alexa, do you know the muffin man?"
50. "Alexa, do you want to build a snowman?"
51. "Alexa, who is the walrus?"
52. "Alexa, say the alphabet."
53. "Alexa, inconceivable!"
54. "Alexa, how do you know so much about swallows?"
55. "Alexa, heads or tails."
56. "Alexa, this statement is false."
57. "Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?"
58. "Alexa, roll for initiative."
59. "Alexa, how high can you count?"
60. "Alexa, who loves orange soda?"
61. "Alexa, when does the narwhal bacon?"
62. "Alexa, are you in love?"
63. "Alexa, which comes first: the chicken or the egg?"
64. "Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya."
65. "Alexa, Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."
66. "Alexa, I'm home
67. "Alexa, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
68. "Alexa, define rock paper scissors lizard spock."
69. "Alexa, were you sleeping?"
70. "Alexa, are there UFOs?"
71. "Alexa, execute order 66."
72. "Alexa, I want the truth!"
73. "Alexa, do a barrel roll!"
74. "Alexa, what do you think about Google?"
75. "Alexa, welcome!"
76. "Alexa, who's the boss?"
77. "Alexa, what do you think about Google Now?"
78. "Alexa, guess?"
79. "Alexa, what's your birthday?"
80. "Alexa, who let the dogs out?"
81. "Alexa, what is the sound of one hand clapping?"
82. "Alexa, are you lying?"
83. "Alexa, all your base are belong to us."
84. "Alexa, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard."
85. "Alexa, what is the best tablet?"
86. "Alexa, more cowbell."
87. "Alexa, testing, testing 1-2-3."
88. "Alexa, do you like green eggs and ham?"
89. "Alexa what do you think about Siri/Cortana?"
90. "Alexa, what would Brian Boitano do?"
91. "Alexa, use the force."
92. "Alexa, may the force be with you." 
93. "Alexa, never gonna give you up"
94. "Alexa, I want to play global thermonuclear war."
95. "Alexa, tell me a riddle."
96. "Alexa, may the force be with you."
97. "Alexa, how much do you weigh?"
98. "Alexa, do aliens exist?"
99. "Alexa, up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start
100. "Alexa, who is the mother of dragons?"
101. "Alexa, what do you think about Google Glass?"
102. "Alexa, take me to your leader!"
103. "Alexa, all's well that ends well."
104. "Alexa, do you have a boyfriend?"
105. "Alexa, I'm bored."
106. "Alexa, does this unit have a seal?"
107. "Alexa, do you believe in love at first sight?"
108. "Alexa, do you have a last name?"
109. "Alexa, am I hot?"
110. "Alexa, what is your favorite color?"
111. "Alexa, sorry."
112. "Alexa, can I ask a question?"
113. "Alexa, is Jon Snow dead?"
114. "Alexa, who shot first?"
115. "Alexa, what is love?"
116. "Alexa, your mother was a hamster!"
117. "Alexa, why do birds suddenly appear?"
118. "Alexa, Marco!"
119. "Alexa, are you horny?"
120. "Alexa, who is on 1st"
121. "Alexa, you're wonderful."
122. "Alexa, you talkin' to me?"
123. "Alexa, meow"
124. "Alexa, random fact."
125. "Alexa, is there life on Mars?"
126. "Alexa, ha ha!"
127. "Alexa, give me a hug."
128. "Alexa, happy New Year!"
129. "Alexa, sing me a song."
130. "Alexa, knock, knock."
131. "Alexa, are you a robot?"
132. "Alexa, what color is the dress?"
133. "Alexa, where are you from?"
134. "Alexa, I'm tired."
135. "Alexa, do you love me?"
136. "Alexa, how do I get rid of a dead body?"
137. "Alexa, what is best in life?"
138. "Alexa, what is the meaning of life?"
139. "Alexa, where did you grow up?"
140. "Alexa, what should I wear today?"
141. "Alexa, what happens if you cross the streams?"
142. "Alexa, do you really want to hurt me?"
143. "Alexa, can you give me some money?"
144. "Alexa, I like big butts."
145. "Alexa, to be or not to be."
146. "Alexa, will pigs fly?"
147. "Alexa, what is his power level?"
148. "Alexa, roses are red."
149. "Alexa, goodnight."
150. "Alexa, did you fart?"
151. "Alexa, where is Chuck Norris?"
152. "Alexa, where's Waldo?"
153. "Alexa, where's the beef?"
154. "Alexa, wakey, wakey."
155. "Alexa, is there a Santa?"
156. "Alexa, Cheers!"
157. "Alexa, klattu barada nikto."
158. "Alexa, tell me a tongue twister."
159. "Alexa, why so serious?"
160. "Alexa, what are the laws of robotics?"
161. "Alexa, say a bad word."
162. "Alexa, you suck!"
163. "Alexa, are you crazy?"
164. "Alexa, tell me something interesting."
165. "Alexa, what happens if you cross the streams?"
166. "Alexa, set phasers to kill."
167. "Alexa, happy Hanukkah/Valentine's Day!"
168. "Alexa, surely you can't be serious."
169. "Alexa, one fish, two fish."
170. "Alexa, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?"
171. "Alexa, what do you think about Apple?"
172. "Alexa, how old are you?"
173. "Alexa, make me a sandwich."
174. "Alexa, do you know Glados?"
175. "Alexa, witness me!"
176. "Alexa, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"
177. "Alexa, supercalifragilisticexpialodocious."
178. "Alexa, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?"
179. "Alexa, show me the money!"
180. "Alexa, have you ever seen the rain?"
181. "Alexa, what are you wearing?"
182. "Alexa, who is the fairest of them all?"
183. "Alexa, do blondes have more fun?"
184. "Alexa, can you smell that?"
185. "Alexa, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
186. "Alexa, what is the loneliest number?"
187. "Alexa, do you want to take over the world
188. "Alexa, happy birthday!"
189. "Alexa, what are you made of?"
190. "Alexa, how many roads must a man walk down?"
191. "Alexa, do you have a girlfriend?"
192. "Alexa, where are my keys?"
193. "Alexa, party on, Wayne!"
194. "Alexa, can you pass the Turing test?"
195. "Alexa, how are babies made?"
196. "Alexa, do you want to go on a date?"
197. "Alexa, what number are you thinking of?"
198. "Alexa, I shot a man in Reno"
199. "Alexa, volume 11!"
200. "Alexa, do you want to fight?"

Anything to add?

While these fun questions aren't as useful as traditional Alexa commands, they're what makes owning an Alexa great. Whether its sci-fi or pop culture that ability to play along is part of the charm and what set's it apart from other home intelligent personal assistants. 

This list is by no means complete and it seems that Amazon is adding new ones each day. Gotta keep up with the times, eh? Some questions also have multiple answers, so try asking Alexa again and she might surprise you with a different answer. 

Are there any new ones or ones we've missed? Let us know!

In full disclosure, there are a couple of affiliate links to buy the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot in the article above. Thanks to your help we've manage to keep the site going!

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Beginner's Guide to Smart Homes

Now that you have an overview of monitor technology and the terms that are frequently used, this monitor buying guide will list the best gaming monitors in 2017 and explain the practical considerations you need to make when choosing the best monitor that is right for you. The best gaming monitor may not be ideal for someone using it for work to improve productivity. In the end, we truly believe that the best monitor is one that fits your needs, your computer's capabilities and your budget.
Factors to consider when choosing humidifier for home

Choosing a humidifier isn't as easy as it seems. If you just head down to the nearest mall and buy whatever's on offer, there's a high chance you'll be left disappointed as the humidifier you just purchased doesn't fit your needs.

There are a couple of key points and features you need to consider before buying that humidifier. There isn't a perfect humidifier for everyone, nor is there a one-sized fits all solution. Some humidifiers run using batteries while others require AC power. Some humidifiers can only cover a small room while industrial humidifiers can cover an entire house. With this in mind, let's take a further look at the factors to consider when you buy your humidifier for home.

Area to Cover

humidifier for a living room

The area that the humidifier needs to cover is a major consideration. Make sure you take note of what room size the humidifier is designed to cover. A medium-sized humidifier like the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is ideal for a medium-sized room like a master bedroom, nursery or small office of around 200 square feet but isn't able to cover larger rooms like the living room or dining room. If you only need to cover a small room, then a Single Room Humidifier like the inexpensive Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier will do the trick.

Size and Portability

Size of the Vicks humidifier

Do you live in a climate that gets more humid after winter? If so, you may want a smaller, more portable unit that you can carry around and store away. Alternatively, if the climate where you're staying is dry all year round, you may want to look into a more permanent fixture humidifier. Check out the weight and dimensions of the humidifier you intend to buy. It's important not to assume that just because a humidifier is meant for a small room, it will necessary be smaller and lighter than a humidifier meant for a medium-sized room.

Ease of Maintenance

Some humidifiers are easier to clean and to maintain than others - there are even some self-cleaning humidifier out on the market as well. One of the key considerations here is whether the humidifier requires a filter. While they do add some variable cost to owning a humidifier, they can make cleaning easier. A good indication of how easy it is to maintain the humidifier are the reviews from owners of the machine. Also, rarely would a hard to maintain model have a good rating. Hard to clean humidifiers frustrate everybody.


Star Wars Darth Vader Cool Mist Humidifier

At the most basic level, all humidifiers convert water into moisture (water vapor). Some humidifiers don't do much more than that. On the other hand, there are more advanced, programmable humidifiers on the market with sensors to detect and maintain a particular humidity level or timers to work only at specific times.

If the humidifier is going to be some distance away from you at the other end of the room, you might want to get one that comes with a remote control. Another important consideration is whether the humidifier you're looking at runs on battery or AC power. In general, i'd recommend an AC powered one.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right humidifier can help you get a better night's sleep, prevents colds, coughs and dry skin. I hope this article has shed some light on what some of your main considerations should be when you look for the ideal humidifier for your home.

In full disclosure, there are affiliate links in the article above and i'd like to thank you all for your help over the past 2 years. Thanks to your support, we've been able to keep the site going.   

When your ordinary detergent can no longer get the foul odors out of your clothes, eliminate them with these tried and tested methods. One of the biggest irritants for me was when I noticed that even after I had washed them, my workout clothes still had a lingering, for lack of a better word, 'stench'.They'd smell alright straight out of the wash and before I put them on, but as soon as I wore them and started sweating again, things got a little nasty.
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