Play.ht brings you way to listen to articles instead of reading

Play.ht brings you way to listen to articles instead of reading

If you’ve read many opinion articles on the web lately then you’ve probably come across some posted on the website Medium. It’s become the primary place for blogs, independent journalists, and opinion pieces to get the most reach for their written content. Popular news journals often cross-post to Medium because of the large and growing audience that it presents of people hungry for more words. Unfortunately, Medium has a way of sucking you in and you might find yourself looking at the clock to realize that it’s been two hours since you read your first article, and while you feel much more informed, you really haven’t got much work done. It’s the reason that people enjoy listening to podcasts and audiobooks when working, you have the opportunity to digest new information while still being at least somewhat productive.

With that in mind the team at Play.ht has devised a way to enjoy your favorite fresh articles and opinion pieces without needing to focus your eyeballs on the screen the whole time. Using their embeddable player your browser can read the articles to you like it was a podcast. Actually, that might be a bit of a stretch because there aren’t many podcasts out there that sound quite so robotic. But, if you can get over the monotone and slightly metallic sounding voice then you can consume articles with earbuds in while you focus on other things.

Check it out here: https://play.ht/embed/player/

From the dev:

We are electrified to share with you the PLAY Embedded Player. It helps you listen, narrate and embed articles as podcasts on Medium. If you are a Medium writer and wish to have an audio version of your article then simply paste the generated link your Medium article and have the Embedded Player in your article! But if you are not a Medium writer you can use it to listen to articles. It’s free for listening and embedding 🙂

Is it as enjoyable as having a real person read you the information? No, but unless you can find someone to read aloud your news feed then this is the next best thing.

Keep track of subscriptions with Outflow

Keep track of subscriptions with Outflow

You sign up for a free 30 day trial of a subscription service because it looks pretty neat, but after a few days you lose interest in the product and forget you ever signed up in the first place. Then the dreaded forgotten service charge hits your card and you realize that free 30 day subscription just cost you a chunk of money for something you won’t ever use again. Most services will give you at least a partial refund, but it would have been better to never have to deal with that unwanted charge in the first place.

So, how do you keep track of all the services you subscribe to across the web? You could start a spreadsheet or try to organize calendar reminders about subscription payments. Or, you could try Outflow, an app for iOS devices that helps keep all of your subscriptions in one location. Outflow provides you with an easy graphic understanding of your existing subscriptions, the amount they charge, and when your next renewal date is scheduled. A new update to the app today provides even more great features, like the ability to find existing subscriptions and import them into the app automatically.

From the developer:

“…one of the most requested features was the ability for the app to find subscriptions that you may already have. The app now allows you to connect to your Gmail account to receive suggestions on what subscriptions to track. Some other features include automatic currency conversion, a today extension, more renewal frequencies and a greater importance on app stability to name a few. If you are interested in seeing all the new features, you can check out this blog post: https://outflowapp.com/blog/3.0.”

Check out this video to see if Outflow might be just the thing you needed to get a handle on all of your recurring subscription services.

 

Alcamy offers open self-learning to learn or teach anything

Alcamy offers open self-learning to learn or teach anything

There’s a lot of great education services on the web, and many of them offer free classes on a ton of different subjects, but have you checked out Alcamy yet? It’s a bit like the Wikipedia of learning courses. Alcamy has set out to offer an open source method of learning and teaching that relies on a combination of experts and an active learning tool called Darwin. In short, they hope to let anyone learn anything, for free! We love any service that offers opportunities for people to harness the power of their Internet connection for great purposes like learning new skills or just learning for the joy of it!

From their Introduction:

Topics

Experts and self-learners organize the resources of the web into cronological programs that you can learn from.

Resources

Resources are individual articles, projects, videos or presentations that are the actual learning material being curated.

Quizzes

Each resource is attached to a quiz. Actively test your understanding right then and there. Track your progress over time.

Community

Each topic has a community of self-learners and experts. Ask them for help, discuss material. The learning resources under each topic self-adjust and improve as more people take them.

We’re taking an open, Wikipedia-like approach to curating content & information for self-learning. Call it a Wikipedia + Coursera + Reddit mashup. Our mission is to make learning and teaching using the resources already available on the web open, free and exciting!

 Visit Alcamy.org to learn more about their exciting new platform!

Short emails are better

Short emails are better

This whole post is only going to be 125 words, including this sentence.

Why? Because I have a real problem with going overboard when writing, especially emails, and it’s time I did something about it! Luckily there’s a new Chrome extension that’s ready-made for this kind of challenge. Brief is a new tool that might just make your everyday emails better, and by better we mean shorter. People hate reading lengthy emails, so Brief provides a hard cutoff line of just 125 words for you to get your point across and avoid lengthy tangents.

Long emails are no fun to read or write. – Brief

If you’re interested in shortening your emails into something that people might actually read then check out Brief.

Click Here to Get Brief

Youtube unveils live TV service for cord cutters

Youtube unveils live TV service for cord cutters

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s  YouTube will launch a live TV service featuring U.S. broadcast networks and cable channels to attract young fans of online videos to a pay television package, YouTube executives said on Tuesday.

The new offering, called YouTube TV, will compete with other services fighting to attract mobile-loving younger audiences who dropped pricier, traditional cable and satellite packages or never signed up in the first place.

YouTube TV will be delivered over the internet and debut in the coming months at a cost of $35 a month for six accounts, YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki told reporters at an event in Los Angeles.

YouTube TV subscribers will be able to watch original programming that appears on YouTube Red, a subscription service that includes movies and shows starring popular YouTube video creators.

The development of the live TV package is an attempt to sell a new service to viewers hooked on YouTube’s free videos.

“Millennials love great TV content, but what we’ve seen is they don’t want to watch it in the traditional setting,” Wojcicki said.

YouTube TV will feature Walt Disney Co’s ABC, CBS Corp’s CBS, 21st Century Fox’s Fox and Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) NBC plus cable channels including ESPN, USA and FX. It will launch initially in select U.S. markets.

The offering will compete with services such as Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Sony Corp’s PlayStation Vue. Those packages sell for roughly $20 to $65 a month. Hulu also is developing a live TV service.

All of the live digital services provide TV networks an avenue to make up for their loss of customers to “cord cutting,” or the dropping of pay TV. Channel owners say they earn as much or more for each subscriber on a live digital service as they do through cable or satellite packages.

YouTube executives said they aimed to make the YouTube TV app easy to use across mobile devices, desktop computers or an Internet-connected televisions. Users will be able to record programming on a cloud DVR and watch it for up to nine months. Engineers also are incorporating technology from Google, such as the ability to voice search TV shows through a Google Home device.

“Even though we are in this golden age of content, the current TV age isn’t doing it justice,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer. “We feel we are in a great position to reinvent the way TV works.”

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Julia Love in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Andrew Hay)

 

Preparing for Your Installation

Take a look at the following info before your installation date to help make your appointment as easy as possible.

  • An authorized person at least 18 years of age must be present during the installation.
  • Installations take up to four (4) hours to complete.
  • Move any furniture or objects blocking access to the phone and computer connections before the technician arrives.
  • The technician will connect devices used on your former network to your new home network. Keep in mind that we can’t guarantee the functionality or compatibility of those devices. Technicians are not authorized to troubleshoot third party devices.
  • In some cases, a connection or wiring that worked with another network may not work with your new service. Our technician will locate a spot with the strongest signal and suitability for the equipment. If you prefer a different location, or if new jacks or upgraded wiring are required, additional charges may apply.
  • If you decide to cancel your installation order, message or email us at least 24 business hours (M-F) in advance and we will immediately refund your total purchase. Orders cancelled the day of installation will not be eligible for a full refund.
  • Make sure your equipment and network are working before canceling service with a previous provider.
  • Establish a method of payment for your new service, you can save your credit or debit card in your account to automatically pay your EIN charges each month.