Five hobbies that can improve your health

For most of us, our hobbies are an essential component of our personal lives, but did you know they can be good for our mental and physical health too? Many pastimes — such as writing — have been shown to benefit health. Hobbies provide a fulfilling, productive use of our free time, and our core identities are often bound up in the interests we choose to pursue when we are not working, sleeping, or spending time with loved ones. Of course, most of us take up a hobby because we…

Read More

Fitbit Highlights Versatility in New $200 Smartwatch

Fitbit on Tuesday added a new smartwatch to its wearables line with a pricetag of US$199.95. The Fitbit Versa, which will reach global retail outlets in next month, will be the lightest metal smartwatch in the U.S. market. It includes a new dashboard that simplifies the way health and fitness data is accessed on the device. Versa mixes health and fitness programs, such as 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts and automatic sleep-stage tracking, with smart features like quick replies on Android and on-device music. Although the Versa’s operating system…

Read More

WiFi Routers Riddled With Holes: Report

Most WiFi router vendors have not patched numerous firmware vulnerabilities discovered more than two years ago, according to a report Insignary released on Tuesday. OEM firmware built into WiFi routers use open source components that contain numerous known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, it notes. Insignary, a startup security firm based in South Korea, conducted comprehensive binary code scans for known security vulnerabilities in WiFi routers. The company conducted scans across a spectrum of the firmware used by the most popular home, small and mid-sized business and enterprise-class WiFi…

Read More

People-powered Portland: car-free ways to explore the city

If you spend any amount of time in Portland, two things quickly become apparent: bicycles rule and car traffic is terrible. The city’s population has grown more quickly than its infrastructure, leading to the type of gridlock and bottlenecks that usually only happen in much larger urban areas. A woman rides her bicycle on the waterfront Eastbank Esplanade in Portland, Oregon © Ryan J Lane / Getty Images It can be frustrating, especially for a visitor trying to see a lot of things across the city in a short time…

Read More

Together in eclectic dreams: Europe’s quirkiest hostels

Whether it be whispered pillow talk in darkened dorms or frenetic story swapping in communal kitchens, hostels are an essential port of call for the solo traveller in search of company. But forget those fears of beige walls and tired bedspreads – budget digs don’t have to be bland. To coincide with the release of the Solo Travel Handbook, we’ve compiled a shortlist of Europe’s more idiosyncratic hostels, proving that the humble need not be humdrum. Fancy spending a night behind bars? © Žiga Okorn Glenfinnan Sleeping Car, Glenfinnan, Scotland Prompting…

Read More

The six sestieri: a guide to Venice’s neighbourhoods

While most cities are broken into quarters, Venice is divided into six districts or sestieri. Although it’s a compact city, each of Venice’s neighbourhoods has its own characteristics, offering you something a little different and distinctive wherever you wander. Read on to find out the best place to stay if you’re keen on cuisine, which neighbourhood will indulge your artistic eye, or where to head for a bit of uncharacteristically quiet Venice. A view of Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco © StevanZZ / Shutterstock Shopping in San Marco San…

Read More

Queen Village, Philadelphia: A low-key local wander

If you’re looking for a way to break free of the tourists milling about downtown Philadelphia, check out Queen Village. This walkable maze of narrow streets in South Philly is home to eclectic shops, cozy local restaurants, eye-catching architecture and, of course, historic sites. Though it has undergone a revival alongside the rest of central Philadelphia, Queen Village has retained its funky character © Kirkikis / Getty Images Once a suburb of Philadelphia, Queen Village was first settled in the 1600s by Swedish immigrants. Since then, successive rounds of evolution have…

Read More

Wonderful wadis: visiting Oman’s ‘vertical desert’

Say the word ‘desert’ and chances are that rolling sand dunes and expansive horizontal space spring to mind. In Oman, however, the desert landscape includes a vertical dimension in the form of soaring limestone cliffs incised with canyons. Drive or hike along one of these narrow, arid defiles, and you enter a troglodyte world of ancient cave-dwellings, prehistoric petroglyphs and old villages so long a part of the canyon they appear to be exuding from the rockface. Referred to locally as ‘wadis’, the canyons are part of the life-force of…

Read More

The Trick to Saying No to Your Boss (Without Looking Lazy)

In our weekly one-on-one a little over a year ago, my boss told me that, recently, she’d noticed I’d been saying “no” a lot when she asked me to do something. I was embarrassed. I wanted to be known as a team player, not a naysayer. But, as many of us are these days, I was really stressed. My plate already felt way too full, so additional requests caused me to panic. Each time, I could feel my chest tightening and the walls of my office closing in. After hearing this feedback,…

Read More

Email Marketing Goes Hand-in-Glove With E-Commerce Shipping

ShippingEasy on Thursday launched Automated Email Marketing as an addition to its customer management module. This new tool has a powerful rules engine that helps users increase sales, the company said. It can carry out the following actions: Set up a trigger to send an email to first-time buyers immediately after an order is downloaded — customized with a logo and specific coupon code if desired; Automatically send an email requesting customer feedback on the order and shipping process, defined by order size and set for sending after a specific interval…

Read More