US travel ban: Officials admit poor communication but defend policy

A woman of Iranian descent (R) cries as she waits for a family member after the immigration ban

US security chiefs have admitted flaws in the way President Donald Trump’s bar on people from seven countries entering the US was implemented.

The policy has caused uproar internationally and was challenged by the acting US attorney general, who Mr Trump then fired.

Top Republican Paul Ryan said he regretted that some people with valid documents were affected.

But he also defended the ban, saying it aimed to prevent terror attacks.

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Speaking at a news conference, the heads of the department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said 720 people had been detained and “humanely processed” since Mr Trump’s executive order had been issued.

CBP chief Kevin McAleenan acknowledged that communications “publicly and inter-agency haven’t been the best” as the policy was rolled out.

He also said that although the order had suspended the US refugee programme, 872 refugees had been granted waivers and were due to arrive in the US this week because they had been ready to travel and preventing them from doing so would have caused undue hardship.

Homeland Security chief John Kelly denied that President Trump’s order – which affects people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – amounted to a ban on Muslims and said the vast majority of the world’s Muslims still had access to the US.

He said the 90-day order would give officials time to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the US immigration system, something he said was “long overdue”.

“Some of those countries may not be taken off the list any time soon. They are countries that are in various states of collapse,” he said.

protestersImage copyrightAFP/GETTY
Image captionMr Trump’s policy had led to big protests

The US was also considering examining the web browsing history, mobile phone contacts and social media profiles of visa applicants from countries where there was little confidence in local law enforcement agencies, he said.

Mr McAleenan offered some clarification on how dual citizens were affected, saying the US authorities would handle people based on the passport they were travelling on.

Several governments – including the UK, Canada and Switzerland – have already said that their citizens who are also citizens of the seven countries affected by the ban are free to travel to the US.

Mr Ryan said he was confident that the policy would now be “done correctly” and would impose the “kind of vetting standards that we all want to see”.

“No-one wanted to see people with Green Cards or special immigrant visas, like translators, get caught up in all of this,” he said.

However, new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said closing borders to people based on their religion, ethnicity or nationality was a “blind” measure.

It risked handing a propaganda victory to extremists and was easily bypassed by today’s sophisticated terrorist organisations, he said.


Malaria drugs fail for first time on patients in UK

Anopheles mosquito

A key malaria treatment has failed for the first time in patients being treated in the UK, doctors say.

The drug combination was unable to cure four patients, who had all visited Africa, in early signs the parasite is evolving resistance.

A team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it was too early to panic.

But it warned things could suddenly get worse and demanded an urgent appraisal of drug-resistance levels in Africa.

Malaria parasites are spread by bites from infected mosquitoes.

It is a major killer of the under-fives with one child dying from the disease every two minutes.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 people are treated for malaria in the UK each year – always after foreign travel.

Most are treated with the combination drug: artemether-lumefantrine.

But clinical reports, now detailed in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, showed the therapy failed in four patients between October 2015 and February 2016.

All initially responded to therapy and were sent home, but were readmitted around a month later when the infection rebounded.

Samples of the parasite that causes malaria were analysed at the Malaria Reference Laboratory at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Colin Sutherland told the BBC News website: “It’s remarkable there’s been four apparent failures of treatment, there’s not been any other published account [in the UK].”

All of the patients were eventually treated using other therapies.

But the detailed analysis of the parasites suggested they were developing ways of resisting the effects of the front-line drugs.

‘Clinically challenging’

Dr Sutherland added: “It does feel like something is changing, but we’re not yet in a crisis.

“It is an early sign and we need to take it quite seriously as it may be snowballing into something with greater impact.”

Two of the cases were associated with travel to Uganda, one with Angola and one with Liberia – suggesting drug-resistant malaria could be emerging over wide regions of the continent.

Dr Sutherland added: “There has been anecdotal evidence in Africa of treatment failure on a scale that is clinically challenging.

“We need to go in and look carefully at drug efficacy.”

The malaria parasites all seemed to be evolving different mechanisms rather than there being one new type of resistant malaria parasite spreading through the continent.

The type of resistance is also clearly distinct from the form developing in South East Asia that has been causing huge international concern.

Dr Sutherland says doctors in the UK need to be aware the drugs might not work and argued current treatment guidelines may need to be reviewed.

Prof David Lalloo, Dean of Clinical Sciences and International Public Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said more studies are needed.

“This is an interesting and well conducted study and again emphasises the incredible ability of the malaria parasite to rapidly evolve to become resistant to antimalarial treatment,” he said.

“It is too early to fully evaluate the significance of these findings but the paper highlights the need to be constantly vigilant when treating patients with malaria and larger studies are certainly needed to explore this issue further.”

Prof Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said: “This is a stark warning for the future of global medicine.

“We are in dire need of new drugs to keep pace with resistance, in low and middle-income countries in particular, the consequences of ineffective drugs are catastrophic.”


EU’s Donald Tusk sees Trump as threat to Europe

Donald Tusk in Tallinn, 21 January

European Council President Donald Tusk has warned that “worrying declarations” from US President Donald Trump are among the challenges faced by the EU.

He said the change in Washington was part of an external threat that also included an assertive China, an aggressive Russia and radical Islam.

In a letter to 27 European leaders, Mr Tusk also said he believed most of them agreed with him.

Several statements from Washington have prompted alarm in Europe’s capitals.

In his letter, issued ahead of an EU summit in Malta this week, Mr Tusk said the new US administration placed the EU in a “difficult situation” as it appeared to “put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy”.

He concluded: “We cannot surrender to those who want to weaken or invalidate the Transatlantic bond, without which global order and peace cannot survive. We should remind our American friends of their own motto: United we stand, divided we fall.”

EU unsettled – by Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Brussels

Donald Tusk doesn’t speak for European leaders. His role is to chair their debates and focus their minds on the biggest issues facing the EU.

The way he always does that is by speaking bluntly.

What’s striking is that he’s added “worrying declarations by the new American administration” to his list of external challenges facing Europe. He does place it lowest, but in Donald Tusk’s view the EU is under pressure from all sides.

Members of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, load Boxer military vehicles onto a train in order to ship them and other equipment to Lithuania on January 31, 2017 in Grafenwoehr, GermanyImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPresident Trump has alarmed some European leaders by raising questions about Nato

And now, he’s saying, the EU can no longer be sure of the support of its biggest ally too.

Donald Trump has professed doubts about Nato, admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin and support for Brexit. He has also criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, particularly her welcoming policy towards refugees.

So Mr Tusk’s letter is a sign of how unsettled EU leaders are by Donald Trump, unsure about what his presidency heralds.

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In a recent interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, Mr Trump confirmed his view of the Nato alliance as “obsolete”. He has also dismissed the EU as “basically a vehicle for Germany”.

Mrs Merkel was among several European leaders who criticised an executive order signed by Mr Trump of Friday establishing a temporary travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Mr Trump’s statements have raised concerns in Europe, along with his views on trade.

During his inauguration speech, the new president accused foreign competitors of “stealing our companies and destroying our jobs” and said: “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

Last week, Ted Malloch, the man tipped to be named US ambassador to t

he EU, made less than flattering remarks about the euro when he told the BBC that the currency could collapse in 18 months.

On Tuesday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted that the US “would be making a mistake if it turned its back on Europe”.


How This 27-Year-Old Made $1 Million Last Year

In December 2012, when Michelle Schroeder-Gardner graduated with an MBA, she had $38,000 in student loan debt.

She got a job as a financial analyst earning $50,000 a year (plus bonuses of about $12,500 annually), but she set a goal of paying off her debt within six months.

Though it took her one extra month, paying off a huge amount of debt in a short period of time set her on a path of financial over-achievement.

Since then, she has increased her income each year.

In 2013, excluding her salary from her full-time job, which she quit that year, she earned $117,000.

In 2014, that increased to $164,000.

In 2015, her earnings jumped to $321,000.

And last year, she made just shy of $1 million — $979,000, to be exact.

Plus, the 27-year-old is a digital nomad. She and her husband live in an RV, chasing 70-degree weather (they were in Arizona when we spoke in late January) and enjoying the views of a slew of national parks including Colorado National Monument, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Arches, Moab, and others.

Her ticket out of debt and into financial freedom has been her blog, Making Sense of Cents, where she offers tips on saving and making money — and publishes income reports.

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the Making Sense of Cents blog and her husband, Wesley Gardner (Courtesy of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner)

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the Making Sense of Cents blog and her husband, Wesley Gardner (Courtesy of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner)

It also doesn’t hurt that she is naturally frugal. “Even though I make $100,000 a month, I’ll still wear my favorite shirt even if it has a hole in it,” she says.

But the biggest reason for her success may be her internal drive.

“I’ve always been super competitive,” she says. “I would always win at a board game or jump rope the most, little things like that, and people would often joke, Michelle’s going to be president one day, or Michelle’s going to be a millionaire one day, because I was always so competitive, determined, and independent.” Her friends and family also thought she would be successful because she always helped others with their problems.

“Growing up, I was always super determined, so I don’t think anyone was surprised with how successful my blog was,” she says. “It was always expected of me — that I’d do something pretty out of the norm.”

Here’s how she paid off her debt and grew her income so quickly

How did you pay off your student loans so quickly?

Six months before I graduated, I received a letter stating how much I would owe every month when I graduated. It was going to be $500 a month or so. I don’t remember the number, but it was a number I felt was way too high for my income. I decided I didn’t want it hanging over my head for the rest of my life, so I figured I would try to pay it off as quickly as I could so I didn’t have to worry about it 10 years from now. I figured a little bit of pain now would be worthwhile later.

So in addition to being a financial analyst, I also did a bunch of side jobs. Altogether, I was working 100 hours a week. My side jobs consisted of taking surveys, mystery shopping, doing staff writing, doing research phone calls for companies and other things.

As soon as I earned any extra money, I put it toward my student loan debt so it wouldn’t be sitting in my bank account and I wouldn’t be thinking of other ways to spend it.

What were your expenses during this time?

My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) and I had bought a house when we were 20, and our mortgage was less than $1,000, but I had other regular expenses like transportation, groceries, etc. We also had combined our finances, so it helped that we shared our bills.

When did the blog start coming into the picture?

I had actually started my blog in August 2011, before I graduated with my finance MBA. I got the idea one day when I was reading Cosmo and they had an article featuring the personal finance site Daily Worth. I started reading that website and I became super-interested in personal finance blogs.

I started my blog as a hobby. I didn’t start it thinking I’d make an income from it. Six months later, I made my first $100 from my blog when a blogger friend who was already profiting from her blog connected me with an advertiser. I didn’t even know blogs could make money.

Until then, my blog had genuinely just been fun for me. But once I realized I could make money, it boosted my motivation. I sought out deals and wanted to see if companies wanted to sponsor my blog. Also, companies would approach me. When my blog had been just a hobby, they would approach me, but I would ignore all those emails. Once I realized I could make money from my blog, I took them more seriously and gave them my rates. At that time, I charged $100 for a sponsored post on my blog or $150 for an advertisement on my sidebar.  I also made a little bit on Google Adsense and affiliate income, where I was promoting other companies’ products, and if one of my readers bought through me, the company would pay me.

My advertisers were mainly financial companies like coupon websites and cell phone apps and other services that helped people save money. At that time, it wasn’t so much banks, but I do have bank advertisers now and I charge them much more than that of course.

I also started looking for opportunities writing for other bloggers and immersing myself into the blogging community.

How much did you earn from the blog to begin with?

In the beginning, in May of 2012, I earned $500. And by December 2012, I was up to $5,700 that month. The month I paid off my student loans, July of 2013, I earned $11,000 that month.

How exactly does the blog bring in money?

Now, I’m making money in much different ways from just a few years ago. Before I was making money from sponsored posts and by writing for other blogs, and now the majority is through affiliate marketing — $50,000 a month is from that, and that’s the bulk of my income. There are 15-20 companies I actively promote on my social media and blog platform.

The other big revenue stream is my affiliate marketing course, in which I teach other bloggers how to create affiliate income. In November 2016, that accounted for $38,000 of my income. I created that because I had so many bloggers email me asking them to teach them how to increase their affiliate marketing earnings. Now it’s more a form of passive income, since I already created the source and people just purchase it and all the instructions and lessons are already done.

My third biggest source of income from my blog is advertising. In those instances, maybe I partner with a bank and they ask me to advertise a certain service or product that they are currently selling. Or I participate in a Twitter chat with the company, or they do some kind of advertisement on my social media platforms.

Why did your income roughly triple from 2015 to 2016?

In 2015, I decided to stop doing all my freelancing. I stopped doing virtual assisting and decided to focus entirely on my blogging business. I was nervous to get rid of all my clients, but I realized I truly loved blogging myself and not blogging for others.

By focusing on my business, I was finally able to find ways to diversify my income, improve my blog, increase my traffic, and come up with extra ideas for my blog, such as the course, which now accounts for a big chunk of my income — 20%-30%.

I also was able to focus on affiliate marketing and improving my traffic, which directly relates to making more money blogging as well. It only took me a few months after I dropped all those clients to start seeing the jump in my income.

I was making $12,000-$15,000 monthly when I decided I was going to focus just on my own business, then I made a jump to the $20,000-$30,000 range, and it just kept going to $40,000, then $50,000, to where I am now at $100,000.

How has your changing income changed your lifestyle?

As a full-time blogger I have a flexible schedule and am my own boss and now travel full-time. My husband, who used to be a new car salesman, quit his day job at the same time I quit mine — in October 2013 when I was making $10,000 a month from the blog — and now works on the blog too. At the time, we were making more from our day jobs put together than from the blog, but we knew we could live off our blog if we did it full-time.

The main lifestyle change is that we live in an RV, are location-independent and work wherever we can. We sold our house in Missouri in July 2015 and now we work from wherever.

Why did you start living in an RV?

My husband has always wanted to live in an RV, and he spent a long time convincing me to live in an RV. There’s always a joke in the RV community that there’s always one person who wants to do it and then the other person has to spend years convincing the other person to do it.  That’s pretty much how it was.

But I stepped into an RV one day — we just decided to look at one — and I loved being in it. So we decided to give RVing a shot. It was just going to be a weekend thing to see family or do short weekend or week trips, but we came to love it and never went home. We would be gone for a month or two at a time, so we just decided to turn the RV thing into a full-time venture and haven’t looked back since.

How big was your house?

We had a finished basement, and so if you count that, 2,500 square feet. If you don’t, it was 1,200 square feet with three bedrooms.

How big is the RV?

It’s 400 square feet if you include all the slides being out.

Did you have to get rid of a lot of stuff?

Yes, the Salvation Army came and took a bunch of stuff, and we rented a dumpster to collect broken appliances and junk and we had neighbors come and just take whatever they wanted for free. We kept clothing and photo albums.

How does living in an RV make your finances different from other people’s?

It doesn’t really change. Our RV cost more than our house, but RVing can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be — just like with a normal home. There are cheap RVs, and there are RVs worth millions of dollars. It’s comparable to living in a home, but I have a different view all the time. There are free places to stay, but we mainly choose private campgrounds or state parks that cost money.

We usually stay in one place for a month. We like to follow the weather, so we like to stay in a forever 70-degree weather area, and we like to follow activities we like such as riding our bikes outside and going for a hike, so 70-degree weather is what we’re looking for all year long.

How has all this newfound wealth changed you?

I’m not as stressed about money as I was just a few years ago. But I’m just as frugal as before. It’s not below me to use a coupon. I just don’t like to be wasteful. If there’s a way to save money, I’m not going to waste time to find ways to save money, but if a money saver is there, I’ll go for it.

How has your wealth changed your relationships?

It really hasn’t changed them too much. We’re often told that people are surprised we’re the same and that you would expect people making $100,000 a month to not be as nice or down to earth. But many of our friends still call us down-to-earth.

How was money handled when you were growing up and what habits or attitudes did you carry into adulthood?

My mom wasn’t super good with money, but my dad was better, so I learned what to do from him. He taught me how to live within my budget and also how to use a credit card correctly. A lot of people think credit cards are the root of all evil, but you can use them to build your credit score and you can earn rewards points with them.

I’m still very frugal. I don’t pay for any form of TV, I don’t have cable, Netflix, Hulu or anything like that. We haven’t spent any money on TV since February 2015 to save money and also to not spend as much time watching TV. I feel like there’s plenty of things to watch on local channels. If I had any more channels, I’d be in front of the TV all day long.

How much time do you spend on your blog?

Between 40 and 60 hours a week. I work longer hours when I’m trying to get far ahead in my blog content. I currently do three blog posts a week.

Do you have help?

I do have an editor who edits my site and a tech person to make sure my site is always up and live and no one is hacking it.

What do you do with your extra income?

We invest a lot in Vanguard funds and are saving for retirement one day. By next year, we should have plenty of money to retire early if we chose too. But I still love blogging, so I don’t see that ending anytime soon.

For the next few years, we plan on RVing here and in Canada, and then afterward sailing full-time and go to other countries. I’d have to find ways to manage my internet access. But we do know many bloggers who blog full-time and sail, so it’s not impossible.


Cowboys Free Agent Focus 2017: Which WR Will The Cowboys Sign?

On Monday, we took a shot at zeroing in on some possible free agent candidates. It’s anyone’s guess as to what the team will do as they look to put together a couple new contracts to round out their position group, but today – it’s time for our guess. When we last left off, these nine candidates were placed on the table.

If we apply a rotisserie matrix to each category (best =9, worst = 1) and add up the collective score we get a new set of rankings:

Disclaimer: the cost numbers are completely related to how they are ranked from Walter Football. These values are subjective and not extremely reliable, but they do serve as a guide that approximates their price.

Kenny Stills

What’s interesting about this is that Kenny Stills leads the pack. Our own Michael Sisemore recently wrote about Stills being an appealing option for the Cowboys.

This past season was actually sort of a breakout for Stills and his best season since he’s been in the NFL in terms of playmaking ability. He finished the 2016 season with 43 receptions, 726 yards, and nine touchdowns (led team). Though he’s not the prototypical number one guy, a spot reserved for Jarvis Landry, Stills showed that he can be a great complement to Landry.

He mentioned several great points to support this choice, but you can now add solid run-blocker to the list. If the market dries up and Stills is still there when the costs become relatively cheap, he looks like a great choice.

Russell Shepard

A name that might be foreign to most of us is Russell Shepard from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He only played 433 snaps, which is comparable to Brice Butler so he’s not a player that sees a lot of action. The Bucs also used him for 154 snaps on special teams so he would have some value there as well. His score is boosted by the fact that he’ll most likely be the cheapest player of this group, but he still meets the other three requirements. He’s an under the radar type of player, but that falls in line with how Dallas works in free agency. “Who is that guy?” is something we are no stranger to hearing.

And it looks like he catches the ball with his hands.

Brandon LaFell

LaFell was solid filling in for A.J. Green when he got hurt. He logged over 1,000 snaps and graded out as the 12th-best run blocker in the NFL last season. He was able to essentially match his 2014 16-game season playing with the New England Patriots offense. He could be equally effective in an offense as good as the Cowboys.

Michael Floyd

When Floyd was released by the Arizona Cardinals, many Cowboys fans wanted the team to snag him as is the norm whenever a former big-name player gets dropped. And when New England signed him, more frustration mounted as many associate any move they make as a brilliant one. But the change of scenery hasn’t done much show any indication of resurrecting his career. Maybe it’s being new to a system? Maybe he’s just falling out of the league?

At one point Floyd was looking like the heir apparent to Larry Fitzgerald after a great 2013 season where he had over 1,000 yards receiving, but those days are over. Could he still be a valuable contributor to the receiving group?

Dontrelle Inman

Inman was a late bloomer as he spend his first two seasons in the CFL. Shout out to all you Toronto Argonauts fans. During his three seasons with the Chargers he has shown some nice growth and had 58 catches for 810 yards last season. While he emerged as Philip Rivers main target when Keenan Allen went down, he fits better as the number two WR.

He’s got that TWilly toe-tap down.

Kenny Britt

The Cowboys love players who have that first-rounder upside despite struggling to live up to their draft price. Mostly because they come cheap and have the talent to still be decent even if they never reach their full potential. Britt has been so-so during his first seven years in the league, but then broke out last year when he surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. At 6’3” 215 lbs, he’s even bigger than Williams’ frame.

His recent success could drive up his price, but that’s the only thing working against him as he possesses many attributes that would fit in nicely with the Cowboys.

The Redskins Duo

Either of the free agent receivers would be nice to have on the Cowboys. Pierre Garcon is a great run blocker and DeSean Jackson is a top-notch deep threat. Both have reached the 30-year-age mark so they have that going against them, but they are proven commodities and should get a decent deal from someone other than Dallas. These are two players whose price Cowboys fans wouldn’t mind seeing elevate as it would then mean one of two things – either Washington had to pay out a hefty penny to keep them or they’ll be catching passes elsewhere next season.


I’m still on board the TWilly train. He’s a great fit for the team and retaining him would be good for the offense. The problem however, is that his price will most likely be too high. It’s possible he doesn’t have enough suitors and the Cowboys luck out and keep him. But it’s more possible that another WR on this list goes for cheaper. Since he’s at the top of the scoring matrix, I’m aligned with my colleague, Mr. Sisemore, that Kenny Stills would be a great addition. If the price of Kenny Britt falls a bit, he would be a great replacement for Williams.

But it all comes down to which of these players slide down the price scale. Between Williams, Stills, and Britt – the most affordable of these options will be your Cowboys wide receiver.

And don’t be surprised if Shepard sneaks in as a low cost replacement for Butler.

Which WR do you think the Cowboys will sign in free agency?

[Source:-Blogging the boys]

10 Mistakes People Make When Guest Posting

Guest blogging can be an excellent way to build your business. It gets you and your work in front of people who may never have otherwise  heard of you, and helps you build authority in your niche.

However, when guest blogging is done wrong, it can be completely ineffective, and even harmful to your brand. This post will look at 10 common mistakes to avoid when engaging in guest posting for your business.

1. Writing about your business.

If you’re lucky enough to get a guest posting opportunity on a great site, don’t blow it by writing a blog post about your business or products.

Most likely, the blog owner won’t even accept your post in the first place. They know their readers don’t want to read an ad or promotional post, and probably won’t be thrilled that you tried to use their platform for your own purpose.

Even if your post does make it onto the blog, your promotional post is unlikely to get many views, shares or links – the very reasons you’re engaging in guest blogging in the first place.

2. Not linking back to your website.

While SEO shouldn’t be the main purpose of your guest blogging efforts, including a link back to your site is still vital. Without a link, readers will have no way to find you or to read more of your content.

Keep in mind that sites may or may not allow links within the body of your post. However, the vast majority of sites who are curating content will at least let you include a link in your author bio. This bio (and link) will be the key to generating referral traffic and leads.

If you’re allowed to include links within your content, use that opportunity to provide additional valuable resources to your readers that relate to your topic. While you’ll definitely want to link to other, outside sources for your article, including a couple of links to your own (relevant) content is usually just fine.

3. Not including an enticing offer.

If the primary goal of your guest blogging is brand recognition, including an offer in your author bio isn’t absolutely necessary. In fact, in my own bio, I rarely share anything except a brief introduction to myself and my business, and a link back to my homepage.

However, if you’re looking to generate leads through your guest post, I’d strongly encourage you to include a free offer in your bio. This could be a free ebook, guide or other downloadable resource, and should ideally relate directly to the topic of your guest post (e.g., offering a free ebook on how to get clients when posting on a business-related site).

4. Writing for a site that won’t send targeted traffic.

The appeal of writing for a popular, high-traffic site is undeniable. Many business owners work on the assumption that all traffic is equal, and that a site with tons of visitors is better than a smaller site with less traffic.

However, it’s also important to consider the quality and relevance of that traffic. A small, niche site with a loyal and responsive audience is often better than a larger site that covers a wide variety of unrelated topics. These niche visitors will be more likely to engage with you one-on-one, and to be interested in your offer (see # 3 above).


How to increase iPhone battery life

Settings & gadgets to increase the battery life on your iPhone

In general, iPhone battery life is decent – but the fact of the matter is, when you use a device all day every day, it’s hard to keep it charged. New Atlas offers tips and gadget suggestions so you’ll never be caught with a dead iPhone.

Get to know your battery

Under iOS 10 Settings > Battery, you can view and set preferences about battery life. Learn which apps are most battery-draining and how long your phone actually lasts.

The first option is Low Power Mode (more on that below). Beneath that, you’ll see an option to display battery percentage, along with a list of apps ranked in order of how much battery they use. At the bottom, you’ll see stats on your iPhone’s current battery duration. Depending on your current status, you may also see other battery recommendation insights as well.

Settings > BatterySettings > Battery

In the app list, you may notice a few titles are labeled “Background Activity.” These apps are processing data even when you’re not actively using them. For example, mail apps fetch mail and social media apps refresh in the background. If you tap on the name of an app in the list, the details will drill down even further. You’ll see how much time each app spent on screen or in the background.

Expunging a myth: Force Quitting apps

Most people believe that the biggest step in preventing iPhone battery drain is to force quit your apps between uses. But this advisory shows up nowhere on the Apple Support pages – because it’s not true.

Note that force quitting an app is different than simply closing it. To close an app, you hit the home button. Closing an app is simply taking it offscreen so you can do something else. To force quit an app, go through the App Switcher: Double click the home button, scroll to the left to view apps, then swipe upwards on the app in question.

Once you close an app, it stops using CPU resources, so its battery demands drop off right away. The exception is active apps – for example, if you’re using a running app to map your workout, it records your activity in the background while you choose music, Instagram a photo, etc. But once you re-open that app and end that activity, battery use drops off, whether you force quit or not.

Items in the App Switcher do stay in your iPhone’s memory, but with only a very negligible effect on battery life. Launching apps, however, takes a more significant amount of power. So if you force quit your most frequent apps after every use, you’re actually stressing the power supply by having to constantly re-launch.

In other words, apps stay in the App Switcher because it conserves iOS resources. When you remove them, your device needs to work harder to get them back. Reserve force quitting for apps that freeze or malfunction.

Strategies to end battery drain

Next up, we’ve identified a few settings that help you pare down the amount of work your iPhone is doing. It’s not necessary to make all of these adjustments – pick and choose the ones that won’t affect the utilities you need.

Turn off background app refresh

This is where the Background Activity information, found on your phone’s battery settings screen, comes into play. These apps are in action even when you’re not using them.

Take Facebook, for example. Social media apps refresh in the background so they can notify you who liked what, when, etc. In the last week, my Facebook app used 17 minutes of background data. It may not seem like a lot, but effects are cumulative, and plus, I don’t care much about the expediency of my Facebook interactions.

Settings > General > Background App Refresh

Unless you’re in a situation where time is of the essence (perhaps you rely on notifications in your professional life) you probably can turn off most apps’ background activity. To do so, navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. There, you can toggle all of them off at once, or one app at a time.

Turn on Low Power Mode

When your iPhone issues a 20-percent or 10-percent low battery warning, there are options to dismiss the notification or turn on Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode reduces or disables Hey Siri, Mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads and some visual effects. It’s a way to cut off your phone’s non-essential features to make your battery last longer.

If you know you have a long day ahead, there’s no need to wait for a low battery warning to turn on Low Power Mode. Turn it on and off under Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode.

Remove unwanted widgets

iOS 10 introduced a Widgets screen, which is visible when you swipe left to right from the lock screen. By default, you’ll see widgets like calendar events, news items and weather.


Your phone does work to keep those widgets updated. Remove the ones you don’t care about, so your phone’s resources don’t go to waste.

To change them, scroll down to the bottom of the Widgets screen and tap the round “Edit” button. You’ll see an “Add Widgets” screen, where you can add and remove widgets as needed.

Adjust display settings: Dim screen, Auto Brightness, Raise to Wake, Auto Lock

Under Settings > Display & Brightness, see where you can conserve some power.

Settings > Display & Brightness

By default, Auto-Brightness is set to on, with the Brightness toggle set somewhere in the middle. We recommend keeping Auto-Brightness on, as it will prevent your display from being overly bright for your surroundings. You can also move the Brightness toggle a little bit lower, and your phone’s auto features will skew a little bit darker. Even if the difference is minor, you’ll still conserve battery.

Raise to Wake is another iOS 10 feature that can be turned on and off. When turned on, it offers easier access to notifications: The lock screen appears when you pick up the phone, without pressing any other buttons. It’s nice (and non-wasteful) if your phone is on your desk most of the time, but if it’s in a bag or pocket, the lock screen might be turning on with every jostle. To preserve battery, turn this feature off.

Similarly, Auto Lock controls how long it takes for your screen to lock between uses. The default is one minute, but it can go as high as “Never” or low as 30 seconds. Keep it as low as you’re comfortable with. (Note: when your phone is in Low Power Mode, auto-lock is restricted to 30 seconds.)

Turn off “Ask to Join Networks” and Bluetooth

Searching for new Wi-Fi networks might be a boon to your cellular data plan, but it’s a battery-intensive function. It’s also a useless one if you’re not expecting to be able to sign into Wi-Fi. Turn off this setting under Settings > Wi-Fi > Ask to Join Networks.

If you do turn this setting off, you’ll have to manually search for and select Wi-Fi networks you wish to join. Return to Settings > Wi-Fi to find networks nearby.

Settings > Wi-Fi; Turning Bluetooth off from the Control Center

You can also turn off Bluetooth if you’re not using it. Your phone uses Bluetooth to communicate with all kinds of wireless accessories: Fitness trackers, wireless headphones, smart home appliances, etc. But if you don’t have any of these, save battery and turn off Bluetooth either through settings or the Control Center.

Go to Settings > Bluetooth, or in 3D Touch devices, a deep press on the settings home screen icon launches a Bluetooth shortcut. Or, swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone to view the Control Center, and tap the Bluetooth icon (an angular “B”) to turn it on and off.

Use Location Services, Spotlight Search and notifications selectively

Turning off Location Services is similar to turning off Background App Refresh. In many cases, restricting Location Services to when an app is in use will keep your battery usage at an appropriate level without affecting the ways you use your phone. View your apps and adjust Location Services under Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

Spotlight Search is a sometimes-handy feature, but a lot of iPhone users don’t even know about it – it’s therefore an ideal candidate for turning off. Spotlight Search allows you to search the contents of your iPhone by long-tapping and dragging downward on any home screen page.

Settings > Privacy > Location Services; Settings > General > Spotlight Search

In order to keep Spotlight Search effective, your phone needs to constantly re-index its contents, which takes processing power and battery. If you don’t use it, turn it off (or under Settings > General > Spotlight Search.

As far as notifications go – you’ve probably already limited your notifications based on their sheer annoyance alone. However, bear in mind that constant notifications stress your battery as well, so there’s all the more reason to cull the influx. Under Settings > Notifications, you can dial in the notifications you’d like to see.

Avoid dynamic & perspective zoom wallpapers

Subtle animations in the wallpaper on your lock screen and home screen are fun to see, but totally unnecessary. If battery life is a priority, make sure they’re turned off. Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose to select wallpaper images and make sure they’re set to “still.”

Minimize exposure to extreme temperatures

iPhones – and many other rechargeable devices – contain Lithium-ion batteries, which have important benefits for personal electronics but a few drawbacks as well. One of those drawbacks is diminished capacity in cold temperatures.

There’s not much you can do about a wintery climate, but if you remember to keep cold exposure to a minimum, your phone will last much longer. Stash it in an internal pocket and minimize usage when you’re outdoors, or consider getting a case that provides some insulation. Recommended operating temperatures are between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F).

Strategic use of Airplane Mode

When in Airplane Mode, your phone does not send or receive any signals. Of course, this dramatically limits its functions, but it does extend the battery life. Consider switching into Airplane Mode when tuning into offline music, videos or reading. Switching into Airplane Mode while charging your device may also help it to charge slightly faster, even if it’s only because it’s prevented from undergoing other battery-draining functions.

Do you have an iPhone 6S?

If you have an iPhone 6S with insurmountable battery issues, it could be defective. Apple has admitted that certain iPhone 6S phones, manufactured between September and October 2015, may have a known battery issue. To see if your phone falls under this umbrella, enter its serial number through this Apple Support page. You may be eligible for a free battery replacement.

Charging cases

Even with careful stewardship of software settings, sometimes your needs stretch the limits of your iPhone’s battery. If that’s the case, here are a few suggestions for charging cases for adding on some extra juice. You could also check out New Atlas’ roundup of the best portable chargers.

Apple Smart Battery Case & Giz Modern Air Case

Giz Modern Air Case

This is a top case to consider if you want to add battery life without bulking up. The slim hard plastic case adds only 3.8 mm (or 0.15 inches) of thickness to your phone, sans unsightly bumps and bulges. Air Case for iPhone 6 / 6S packs in an additional 2,400 mAh battery, while the iPhone 6 Plus / 6S Plus / 7 / 7 Plus versions have 2,800 mAh. By Giz Modern’s estimate, this gives your device another 12 hours of talk time, or eight hours of internet use.

The case charges via Lightning port and has pass-through charging, so you can either charge the case by itself, or the phone and the case at the same time. It’s also currently available for a low introductory price of US$39. However, its slim form factor does not offer as much protection as some other battery cases.

Product page: Giz Modern

Apple Smart Battery Case

The Apple-branded Smart Battery Case is a little more rugged than the Air Case option, made out of a grip-friendly soft silicone. It plays friendly with the iPhone – with the case on, the adjusted battery life is indicated on the lock screen and in the notification center, and also supports charge-through Lightning accessories. However, it does have a telltale back bump and an Apple-esque starting price of $99.

Product page: Apple

  • Buy Apple Smart Battery Case on Amazon

Mophie Hold Force + Battery

Mophie’s Hold Force case ($40) brings magnetic modularity, reminiscent of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, to the iPhone. With the Hold Force Powerstation Plus Mini accessory ($40) it also affords you another 4,000 mAh worth of battery life. Plus, you can experiment with modularity without abandoning the iOS world. For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

[Source:-New Atlas]

Wi-Fi Widget for iPhone Gives You Quick Access to Wi-Fi Router Info and Passwords

iPhone: If you want to get any information about the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to on your iPhone, you’d usually have to jump into the Settings. Wi-Fi Widget puts that info on the widgets screen.

With Wi-Fi Widget, you can easily see what network you’re connected to and what the latency is. This is nice if you tend to bounce between a lot of different networks throughout the day. You can also optionally enter Wi-Fi passwords into the app, and get a share menu to quickly send a password to a friend. Wi-Fi Widget is a simple little app, but it does what it’s supposed to do well, and it’s pretty handy for anyone who moves between routers a lot.


KDE Plasma 5.9 Desktop Launches with Global Menus, Better Wayland Support

Today, January 30, 2017, KDE had the great pleasure of announcing the release and general availability of the KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems.

The development cycle of KDE Plasma 5.9 took only a few months, but considering the fact that it’s not a long-term supported (LTS) version like KDE Plasma 5.8, which is the recommended version right now for all users, we think that it’s a pretty hefty update adding quite a bunch of new features and improving Wayland support.

Probably the most important one, which will make many KDE users upgrade from KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS or previous versions, is the return of Global Menus, a feature that was available in the KDE 4 series of the desktop environment. Only now, after numerous requests from users, did the KDE developers manage to implement Global Menus again in KDE Plasma 5.9.

“Global Menus have returned. KDE’s pioneering feature to separate the menu bar from the application window allows for new user interface paradigm with either a Plasma Widget showing the menu or neatly tucked away in the window bar,” reads today’s announcement. Below you can check out our gallery to see Global Menus in action in Plasma Widget and the Window Bar.

Wayland improvements, new tools to enhance your productivity

Quite a multitude of improvements have landed in the KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment for those who use the next-generation Wayland display server. These include the ability to take screenshots, support for using the color picker, implementation of borderless maximized windows for full-screen support, and support for dragging apps by clicking on an empty area of the user interface using the Breeze style.

KDE Plasma Wayland support allows users to set color schemes for windows, which may come in handy for accessibility, implements auto-hide support for panels, and properly displays the window icon on the panel when using X11 apps. Moreover, there’s now a new settings tool for configuring touchpads, which you can see in action in the second video attached below. Wayland users can also set up gestures and relative motions.

KDE Plasma 5.9 also adds several cool new tools that promise to enhance your productivity. For example, you’ll be able to drag a screenshot taken with the Spectacle utility from the notification pop-up straight into a web browser form, chat window, or email composer. There’s also a brand-new drag and drop functionality that lets you add widgets directly to the system tray area, and it’s now possible to add widgets directly from the full-screen Application Dashboard launcher.

KRunner actions like “Open containing folder” and “Run in Terminal” are now displayed in the application launchers for search results powered by KRunner, of course, and there’s now a new applet that lets users group multiple widgets together in a single one. Other than that, KDE Plasma 5.9 adds some improvements to the look and feel of KDE applications and Plasma desktop, as well as a more beautiful and compact design for the Breeze style scroll bars.

The KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment is available for download as source tarballs right now from the project’s website, but only for system integrators and OS vendors who need to compile it from sources. The rest of the world will have to wait until the updated packages land in the stable software repositories of their distros. KDE Plasma 5.9 will have a quick and normal release cycle consisting of a total of five maintenance versions, the last one, KDE Plasma 5.9.5, arriving on April 25, 2017.Global Menus in a Plasma Widget

Global Menus in the Window Bar


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