Googles redesigned News tab wants you to know who stories are from

first_img Chris Monroe/CNET Over the next couple weeks we’re rolling out a redesigned News tab in Search on desktop. The refreshed design makes publisher names more prominent and organizes articles more clearly to help you find the news you need. Check it out 👇 pic.twitter.com/xa2aZfO4Qd— Google News Initiative (@GoogleNewsInit) July 11, 2019 “Over the next couple weeks we’re rolling out a redesigned News tab in Search on desktop,” it wrote. “The refreshed design makes publisher names more prominent and organizes articles more clearly to help you find the news you need.”Right now, Google’s News tab aggregates a bunch of news stories together in a list that’s basically designed to fit as many links on the screen at once. The new version will spread them out more and give you a better sense of what you’re looking at before you click, along with grouping strands of news on the same topic together. The company launched its three-year Google News Initiative in March 2018, kicking off a global partnership with news publications to help highlight the most accurate information possible, especially during breaking-news situations. First published at 4:23 a.m. PT.Updated at 4:58 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. Share your voice $999 Google,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. The Cheapskate See it Sarah Tew/CNET Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Tags Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read Google Home Hub review Amazon Sprint Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Tags Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Boost Mobile $60 at Best Buy Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. See at Turo Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Rylo camera preview Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $59 at eBay I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Share your voice See It Sarah Tew/CNET Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Rylo $155 at Google Expresscenter_img $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Read the AirPods review $999 Read DJI Osmo Action preview JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express 7 See at Amazon Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $299 at Amazon Angela Lang/CNET $210 at Best Buy 5 See It Apple iPhone XS Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Turo The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Sarah Tew/CNET See It $999 $6 at Tidal Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $520 at HP Best Buy An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Internet Services DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Comments HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Comments Google’s giving its News tab a refreshed layout. Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images Google is updating the desktop version of its News tab to make it more obvious which outlet you’re reading and make the headline more prominent — basically making it look a lot like the search giant’s main news site. It showed off the refreshed look in a tweet Thursday. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $999 Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20)last_img read more

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Suseenthiran massively trolled for requesting Ajith to enter politics funny memes

first_imgYov..Yov….Yoovvv Callsheet vennum na keluya athuku Ethuku Suthi valachi pesura #Ajith To #Suseenthiran ? pic.twitter.com/K1QG36faS3— SURESH EAV – RAJINIFIED (@SureshEav) March 16, 2019 Ajith Be Like ? pic.twitter.com/tm3Ce2Id7f— Tonystark™ (@TonyStark_1997) March 16, 2019 pic.twitter.com/qyoMkobA99— Rx (@Rx_I00) March 16, 2019center_img A collage of Suseenthiran and Ajith.PR HandoutSuseenthiran has been massively trolled over his tweet, requesting Ajith Kumar to enter politics. The filmmaker had urged the actor to bring about change in Dravidian politics.In the Tweet written in Tamil, Suseenthiran said that only Ajith can bring change in the 40 years of Dravidian politics. He posted, “I request you to foray into the politics for the people of Tamil Nadu and it is the right moment to join it. I am one among the crores who want you to join the politics,”While the fans of Ajith welcomed his post, large number of people mocked at his comment despite the actor clearly stating that he is not interested in politics.Ajith has stayed away from politics and maintained safe distance from politicians who use his popularity for their political mileage. A few years ago, he disbanded his fans club after he discovered their involvement in politics using his name.However, after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalithaa passed away, rumours were doing rounds that the actor, who shared close relationship with her, would be taking her position in the AIADMK as per her will. A screen shot of Suseenthiran’s Tweet.PR HandoutIn spite knowing his stand, Suseenthiran went on request Ajith to enter politics. Many have trolled him stating that he was trying to impress the actor to work with him. Many have posted funny memes.Check out some of the select-few tweets and memes below:Appo nethu sonnathu namma @rajinikanth a illaya ?? Vada pocheee pic.twitter.com/RL7gjGHyGx— Sreejith Angamuthu (@Sreejithmuthu) March 16, 2019last_img read more

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SIT asks suspended Congress MLA Roshan Baig to appear before it in

first_img“He craftily dropped my name to divert attention from himself since he knew that playing dead would buy him time to plan out further mischief, the helpless victims will have no choice but to look for somebody to point fingers at,” read one of his earlier tweets.The SIT sleuths have arrested high profile officers including Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner BM Vijayashankar and North division ACP for revenue, LC Nagaraj for taking bribes from the IMA chief Khan and issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC). Former minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan was also summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over his dealings with the IMA. Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan BaigTwitterHours after Roshan Baig resigned from the Congress, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the IMA case summoned him over his alleged involvement in the multi-crore scam.The SIT has directed Baig to appear before it at 11 am on Thursday, July 11. Although the investigation has been going on for past one month, Baig was never questioned over his alleged involvement with the firm.Baig who was suspended from the Congress for his anti-party activities will join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), according to reports.In an audio clip, Mansoor Khan said that Baig took Rs 400 crore from him and failed to return the money, as he did not get a party ticket. Khan also said that he and his family were threatened by the lawmaker following which he had to flee from the country.However, Baig had refuted Khan’s claims saying that it was frivolous and baseless and only aims to destroy his political image. He had also requested for a CBI investigation over the matter.last_img read more

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Woman tied to tree tortured over dowry

Woman tied to tree tortured over dowry
first_imgHousewife Anwara tortured allegedly by her husband and brother-in-law for dowry at Dahakula village in Satkhira`s Sadar upazila on Friday. Photo: UNBA housewife was tortured allegedly by her husband and brother-in-law for dowry at Dahakula village in Satkhira’s Sadar upazila on Friday, reports UNB.Quoting local people, police said Kabir used to torture his wife Anwara for various reasons including dowry since their marriage.On Friday morning, the couple locked into an altercation over the same issue.At one stage, Habid and Kabir took Anwara to the courtyard of their house and beat her up mercilessly after tying her to a tree, leaving her injured, said Shariful Islam, inspector (investigation) of Sadar police station.Hearing screams, local people rescued the victim with the help of local Union Parishad member and took her to Satkhira Sadar Hospital.On information, police arrested the duo.last_img
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US school shooter nonemotional lawyer says

US school shooter nonemotional lawyer says

first_imgDaniel Hernandez, a local imam, prays with his two sons near the site of the shooting at the Santa Fe High School, in Santa Fe, Texas, US, 19 May 2018. Photo: ReutersThe 17-year-old student charged with killing 10 people when he opened fire in an art class at his Houston-area high school appeared “weirdly non-emotional” on the morning after the rampage, one of his lawyers said on Saturday.The teenager, identified by law enforcement as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bail in Santa Fe, Texas, where authorities said he went on a shooting spree shortly before 8 a.m. CDT on Friday.In addition to 10 fatalities, the gunman wounded at least 13 people, with two of them in critical condition. One of those in critical condition was one of the two school resource officers who engaged the shooter before his surrender.Nicholas Poehl, one of two lawyers hired by the suspect’s parents to represent him, told Reuters he had spent a total of one hour with Pagourtzis on Friday night and Saturday morning.”He’s very emotional and weirdly nonemotional,” the attorney said when asked to describe his client’s state of mind. “There are aspects of it he understands and there are aspects he doesn’t understand.”As the shooting unfolded, Pagourtzis spared people he liked so he could have his side of the story told, a charging document showed.While authorities have given no indication why he apparently targeted the art class, a mother of one of the victims told the Los Angeles Times that her daughter, Shana Fisher, 16, had rejected four months of aggressive advances from Pagourtzis.Fisher finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, the newspaper quoted her mother Sadie Rodriguez as writing in a private message to the Times.”A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like,” she said. “Shana being the first one.”Rodriguez did not say how she knew her daughter was the first victim, according to the newspaper.Rodriguez could not independently be reached for comment.Family of shooter speaksPagourtzis’ family said in a statement they were “saddened and dismayed” by the shooting and “as shocked as anyone else” by the events. They said they are cooperating with authorities.”While we remain mostly in the dark about the specifics of (Friday’s) tragedy, what we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love,” the family said.Investigators had seen a photo of a T-shirt that read “Born to Kill” on the suspect’s Facebook page and authorities were examining his journal, Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters, but there were no outward signs he had been planning an attack.Pagourtzis waived his right to remain silent and made a statement to authorities admitting to the shooting, according to an affidavit ahead of his arrest.Asked if Pagourtzis had provided authorities with information about the shootings, Poehl said: “Honestly because of his emotional state, I don’t have a lot on that.”Students retrieve belongingsSanta Fe High School, southeast of Houston, became the scene of the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a U.S. public school in modern history, joining a long list of campuses where students and faculty have fallen victim to gunfire.The Texas rampage again stoked the country’s long-running debate over gun ownership, three months after a student-led gun control movement emerged from a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 teens and educators dead.Students and faculty, bussed on to campus in small groups, were allowed to enter the high school on Saturday to retrieve belongings, though investigators closed off part of the grounds. Police kept reporters about 100 yards (91 metres) away.All schools in the Santa Fe school district will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday, officials said.In a letter to parents dated Friday but posted on the district’s website on Saturday, Superintendent Leigh Wall said eight of the dead were students and two were teachers. Authorities had earlier said that nine students and one teacher were killed.National Football League star J.J. Watt, who plays defensive end for the Houston Texans, said he will pay for the funerals of the deceased, local media reported.”Absolutely horrific,” he tweeted about the shooting.’Quiet loner’ in a trench coatClassmates at the school of some 1,460 students described Pagourtzis as a quiet loner who played on the football team. On Friday, they said he wore a trench coat to school on a day when temperatures topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).Texas’ governor told reporters that Pagourtzis obtained firearms from his father, who had likely acquired them legally, and also left behind explosive devices.Abbott said Pagourtzis wanted to commit suicide, citing the suspect’s journals, but did not have the courage to do so.Some aspects of the shooting had echoes of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. The two teenaged killers in that incident wore trench coats, used shotguns and planted improvised explosives, killing 10 before committing suicide themselves.It was the second mass shooting in Texas in less than seven months. A man armed with an assault rifle shot dead 26 people during Sunday prayers at a rural church last November.last_img read more

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Symphony Synced

Symphony Synced

first_imgMusic will create magic at the hallowed walls of Purana Qila when several rock bands from SAARC region will perform at 8th edition of South Asian Bands Festival scheduled to be held from 7 – 9 November. The three-day music festival is presented by Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Seher. The festival will feature 14 popular rock bands from eight countries which are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Observer country – France and host India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Music has no boundaries. And with the same ideology this festival aims to bring Asia countries together. It also provides a rare opportunity for the Indian audience to enjoy and appreciate the music created across the subcontinent’, said Sanjeev Bhargava, Festival Director, South Asian Bands Festival.  Started in 2007, the festival has become one of Delhi’s most eagerly awaited cultural show and year after year people of all ages look forward to the best bands from the South Asian region to be showcased at the festival. Coming together of some of the most talented musicians on one platform at the magnificent Purana Qila is the best and truest representation of regional integration through culture. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis platform brings together the finest acts from the SAARC countries. This year the festival features performance by Alobo Naga and The Band (ANB) from Dimapur, Nagaland formed in 2010. They won the Best Indian Act at a European music awards ceremony in 2012.Pakistani singing sensation Zebunissa Bangash popularly known as Zeb, who recently made her foray into Bollywood with her hit tracks in films like Madras Café and Highway, and known for her Coke Studio fame is all set to mesmerise the audience through her rich and textured soundscapes and melodies yet again. The festival will also feature a band from France – ‘Success’ as a Guest Country Band, which is also the Observer to SAARC. The electro-rock band from France consists of vocalist YannChéhu, guitarists Julien Richer, Dan Voisin on the Electronic keyboard and drummer Joel Daventry, are known for their unique style of contemporary rock performance combined with traditional heavy metal, rock n’ roll and electro rock.Apart from them, the electronic-rock band Pentagram from Mumbai will also be performing.last_img read more

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Dum Dum shooting case Five detained

Dum Dum shooting case Five detained

first_imgKolkata: Police detained five persons suspecting their involvement in the Dum Dum shooting case. According to locals and the family members of deceased, shop worker Ganesh Kundu, who was shot dead by unidentified miscreants, was threatened by one Bachchu Das and beaten up by him a few days ago.According to Ganesh’s wife Rekha, around two months ago, Das went to their home in the Dum Dum Cantonment area and threatened her husband. Later, she came to know that Das had heckled a local councillor to which Ganesh had protested. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources informed that there is a wine shop located in front of the decorator’s shop where Ganesh used to work. As the owner is paralysed and has not been moving since almost five years, Ganesh used to take care of the shop and monetory details. A few months ago, Das allegedly wanted to install a temporary food stall in front of the decorator’s shop to which Ganesh had opposed. Later, the matter went to the councillor’s office where the councillor stood in favour of Ganesh as putting up a temporary shop on a government property is illegal. As a result, Das got agitated and heckled the councillor. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedRekha also alleged that when Das threatened him around two months ago, Ganesh lodged a complaint at Dum Dum police station but police did not bother to inquire about it. Locals claimed on Friday evening that there were two persons on bike who came and shot Ganesh from point blank range. The rider is suspected to be Das who has not been traced by the police yet. It is also suspected that the pillion rider might be a contract killer who was hired to kill Ganesh. “We are probing the case. Some clues have been found. Nothing more can be revealed as the investigation is at an early stage,” said Ananda Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Belgharia.last_img read more

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Loneliness makes people more selfish

Loneliness makes people more selfish

first_imgLoneliness can trigger a vicious cycle by making people more selfish which in turn leads to further social isolation, say scientists.The findings show that such effects create a positive feedback loop between the two traits.As increased loneliness heightens self-centredness, the latter then contributes further to enhanced loneliness.”If you get more self-centred, you run the risk of staying locked in to feeling socially isolated,” said John Cacioppo, professor at the University of Chicago in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Targeting self-centredness as part of an intervention to lessen loneliness may help break a positive feedback loop that maintains or worsens loneliness over time,” researchers said.The outcome that loneliness increases self-centredness was expected, but the data showing that self-centredness also affected loneliness was a surprise, said Stephanie Cacioppo, assistant professor at University of Chicago. In previous researches, scientists had reviewed rates of loneliness in young to older adults across the globe. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFive to 10 per cent of this population complained of feeling lonely constantly, frequently or all the time. Another 30 to 40 per cent complained of feeling lonely constantly.The new findings published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, are based on 11 years of data taken from 229 individuals who ranged from 50 to 68 years of age at the start of the study.They were a diverse sample of randomly selected individuals drawn from the general population who varied in age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Early psychological research treated loneliness as an anomalous or temporary feeling of distress that had no redeeming value or adaptive purpose. In 2006, researchers proposed an evolutionary theory of loneliness based on a neuroscientific or biological approach.In this view, evolution has shaped the brain to incline humans toward certain emotions, thoughts and behaviour.”A variety of biological mechanisms have evolved that capitalise on aversive signals to motivate us to act in ways that are essential for our reproduction or survival,” researchers said.From that perspective, loneliness serves as the psychological counterpart of physical pain.”Physical pain is an aversive signal that alerts us of potential tissue damage and motivates us to take care of our physical body,” researchers said.Loneliness, meanwhile, is part of a warning system that motivates people to repair or replace their deficient social relationships. “Humans evolved to become such a powerful species, in large part due to mutual aid and protection and the changes in the brain that proved adaptive in social interactions,” John Cacioppo said. “When we don’t have mutual aid and protection, we are more likely to become focused on our own interests and welfare. That is, we become more self-centred,” he said.last_img read more

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Why Free Apps Can Be Time Wasters Not Productivity Boosters

first_img Listen Now Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 4 min read When it comes to business apps, free doesn’t always mean best. And they’re not always easy or convenient, either.While cash-strapped entrepreneurs can be tempted by free online apps that promise to simplify any number of business functions, the reality is that many no-cost applications require as much effort as sophisticated enterprise software to set up and use profitably.Here are five tips for avoiding some of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to using low-cost online tools:1. Don’t rush into deploying a free app.Even if a business function can be automated with a free app, that doesn’t mean it should be. Seemingly basic apps such as Gmail or Zoho Documents require a significant amount of work to set up and deploy in an organized, effective way. A more complex, but free app such as Do.com, a task management program by San Francisco-based Salesforce, can be overwhelming if you don’t have time to manage it properly.Keep in mind that any tool adds another level of complexity to your company. So before rushing to use a new Web tool, wait until you face a recurring problem. Then invest in a solution that makes sense for your company — whether it’s free or low-cost.Related: Have an App? Google Has Analytics for That2. Know what you need.If you have a significant business problem to solve, resist the impulse to grab the first tool that claims to solve it. Online marketplaces such as GetApp, Google Marketplace and Downloads Marketplace for Microsoft Office are gatekeepers for thousands of business apps, but window shopping isn’t an effective way to pick business software. Think of these sites as the final stops before committing to business software — not the first.Before you choose an app, ask yourself: “Where does this specific app fit in my business?” Then, get a better understanding of your workflows and what you’re trying to accomplish. Several online diagramming tools can help you select the right kind of workflow solution, including Cacoo and Mockingbird.3. Understand that less is usually more.Don’t be reluctant to start with simple tools, including ones you may already be using. Can any of them do double duty? For example, shared spreadsheets from downloaded premade templates from Google Docs or Microsoft Office can be useful for keeping task and project lists.Also, remember that using multiple apps requires managing multiple passwords, user identities and administrator accounts, and perhaps worst of all, creates a serious hassle when it comes to migrating and uploading company and employee data.To keep things simple, use as many apps as you can in the same family of products to simplify and centralize management and the ways employees access them. Google Apps, Zoho and Microsoft Office all have grouped products. Choose a service that offers paid upgrades once your business outgrows the free version.Related: How Google’s ‘Content Experiments’ Can Simplify Website Testing4. Ease your team into using new apps.A tool is only as good as the people who use it. Don’t be too surprised if your employees resist using a new tool, especially if it seems to come out of nowhere. Even small changes to your employees’ routines can be disruptive and possibly stressful.Start using a new service with one project or one account and then get everyone’s feedback about how the system can work in your shop. If it’s a bust, you’ll know early and won’t face an office revolt.5. Find out the actual cost of “free” tools.No matter how little they cost, free tools never really cost nothing. Even if they don’t cost you money to use they do require one of your most valuable assets: time. Plan for how many hours you will need to invest in learning the new tool, so that you can spend the rest of your time most effectively. You’ll need to consider the time it will take to choose which app is right, to set it up, to train employees how to use it, handling administration and troubleshooting.To give you an idea, time managing tools such as Klok and Toggl can show what you and your employees invest in deploying new systems. If it looks like using a new app won’t be time-effective for your business then you might want to consider another option. Related: Want to Get Into the App Business? Try Buying One How Success Happens Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. July 11, 2012last_img read more

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