The Pirate Bay: Online Piracy and Entertainment for Today

The Pirate Bay: Online Piracy and Entertainment for Today

If you haven’t heard of the Pirate Bay, the time is now. Just 18 years ago, in the symbolic year of 2000, famous metal band Metallica sued the young website Napster. Designed to make use of the increasing speed of internet connectivity, Napster offered its audience of mostly college-aged adults a platform to share and download MP3s. The industry accused it of facilitating online piracy. By the time the lawsuit was over, it ended up being one of the most divisive court battles of the burgeoning online technology. Its fault lines can be felt even to this day in the cultural zeitgeist, even if the players have changed. The most famous one being the notorious website the Pirate Bay.

Ultimatimately, the argument came down on two sides. Some felt Metallica’s response was dis-proportioned and showing signs greed. Signs of a millionaire artist who lost touch with the realities of music in social environments. For many Napster was just the newest incarnation of activities such as tape trading. An exchange of cultural values outside any economic concerns. At the same time, Metalica stood up for artists everywhere. The artist who put untold hours into their hard work, and deserve to make a living from their craft. And in these terms, it is not easy to draw up easy, binary conclusions. Is piracy an issue of consumer vs. artists? Consumers vs. industry? Most likely it is a grey area of muddled intent and values, a grey area we are going to try and explore.

This article is neither a guide to nor an endorsement of torrenting. But it will serve as an introduction to the Pirate Bay. As it currently stands, online piracy represents an illegal form of copyright infringement, and as such is a criminal activity.

What is The Pirate Bay?

Image CC by 0, by Fleshgrinder, via Wikimedia Commons

For those unfamiliar with the Pirate Bay, and Thepiratebay.so, it is a so-called torrent site. Torrent sites, or BitTorrents, are websites distributing torrent files for download. Simply put, these files work as a form of a decentralized distribution network. For example, if someone downloads a song from iTunes, they access the file from one of many central servers. This, however, is an inefficient way of managing downloads, especially when many people want to download at the same time. A torrent file, however, gets broken into little chunks, distributed over a swarm of participating user bases. Instead of downloading a file in one piece, torrenting downloads the file in small increments spread out across many sources. And as soon as you start to download, you are also taking part in the swarm and help others to download.

The torrent file itself does not contain any of the actual content. Rather it contains metadata, that enables the user to download the content using specific clients. This is where the Pirate Bay comes in. Torrent sites like it are collections of torrent files covering everything from music, movies to video games. They are a source to gain access to endless hours of entertainment. All free, and all illegal, provided by collectives of hackers and determined individuals. Online communities rank the best torrent sites, based on their catalog. The market is in constant flux, as legal actions force sites to shut down, only to reappear a week later under a slightly altered name.

Piracy and You –  a Consumer Perceptive

picture of FBI anti piracy warning

Image CC by 2.0, by bizmac, via Wikimedia Commons

To understand the appeal of online piracy, especially during the days of Napster, we have to take a look at the past. Media distribution used to build itself was highly centralized. Print, movies, TV, music were all controlled by a strong entertainment industry, asserting vertical control. The result of which was a media landscape with a limited number of channels, most infamously of all probably TV. When there were only a handful of networks present, the amount of time was finite. But then came the Internet.

The Internet was not the first incident of new distribution channels occurring. But unlike anything before, it really opened up the floodgates. Instead of waiting for the industry to provide entertainment through their rigid structures, the audiences began to change. A hunter-gatherer mentality started to take root. People started to actively seek out desirable content. Why miss your favorite TV-Show, when you could just watch it on your own time? The media landscape turned into a fragmented collection of endless distribution channels, all competing with one another.

Instead of publishers, record labels and studios controlling the system from the top down, the internet opened endless opportunities to reach people. The only problem, the entertainment industry did not catch up quick enough to this change. This is why Napster first took the world by storm. For a more media savvy generation, traditional distribution began to feel more and more constricting. To use a metaphor, if there is only one store in the city selling music. And that store is only open once a week. It is only a matter of time before people begin smashing windows. What everyone failed to understand: consumers are willing to pay for their entertainment, but it was not reflecting their reality.

Game of Thrones – The Canary in the Coalmine

Since its release Game of Thrones has been one of the most successful TV shows of all time. At the same time is also has been the most pirated show of all time. While this success is certainly flattering for HBO, the network producing the show, it also represents millions in lost business. It also shows how a global phenomenon in the age of the Internet transcends borders. Throughout the show’s runtime, HBO began to decouple their pay-TV model from their online streaming model, in order to appeal to the new viewing standards.

At the same time, however, a global fan base cannot always legally engage. A service like HBO is not always available in every country. Waiting for physical home video releases is not enough for many, living in an interconnected world. This leaves them in the position of distribution limiting their willingness to pay. The same is true for films often being released with huge gaps in different local markets. Some companies still acting as if they are living in an analog world. They have to embrace the interconnectedness of worldwide audiences, instead of punishing them through outdated models of local distribution.

One company that did act on this has been the streaming giant Netflix. It expresses and encapsulates streaming’s combined ease of use, variety, and value, beats the allure of pirated entertainment. When you can try a free month of more content than hours in the week, why bother with illegal channels? Furthermore, Netflix took the lessons piracy is willing to teach. By using the Pirate Bay statistics as market research, they determine what type of content is popular with audiences.

The Way of the Future

image of Netflix with a remote and hand as an alternative to the pirate bay

Image by freestocks.org, via Unsplash

There is no question that online piracy is illegal. Court cases across the globe have used the download/upload realities of torrenting to justify some extraordinary high fines. In most cases, these ruling hardly justify the intent of the person who committed a crime most closely compared to shoplifting. Punishment should fit the crime. Yet online piracy never gained the same stigma as theft in the analog world, despite PR attempts throughout the early 2000s.

Subscription has been more than anything the industry’s way of defeating piracy. Torrenting is most likely never going to vanish, but Netflix proved that the changing user expectations making piracy popular can be embraced. Nowadays the music industry applies this business model with services such as Spotify and Apple Music to great success. Software giants like Microsoft and Adobe did the same for their user programs. Convenience is the keyword. And its time for the remaining businesses holding out, to embrace the lessons the Pirate Bay and other torrent sites are trying to teach them.

 

Featured Image: By Markus Spiske, via Unsplash

Using a Roku: How to Finally Cut the Cord on Cable

Using a Roku: How to Finally Cut the Cord on Cable

It seems to be standard for almost everyone to cut the cord on their cable TV providers and use a Roku or similar TV streaming device these days. The term “cut the cord on cable” is used by many people.

It means to stop subscribing to cable TV service providers and use a TV streaming device. The thing is, “cut the cord on cable” is a cheap way to get your fix for all of your favorite TV episodes, movies, news, local channels, and more. Here is more information on how to “cut the cord on cable” and use a Roku stick instead. And the many benefits of doing so.

Why Cut the Cord on Cable and Use a Roku Instead

image of roku box and stick, to cut the cord on cable

Roku streaming sticks are easy to use. Image CC by 2.0, by Bago Games, via Flickr 

There are many benefits of “cutting the cord on cable” and using a Roku stick instead. If you think you won’t be able to get the same TV shows and movies you did with the more expensive cable or satellite TV providers, you are wrong. There are a lot of TV streaming services you can get a whole lot cheaper than what you are or were paying for services like DirecTV, Dish Network, and Xfinity.

You can get it, or Netflix, Hulu, Youtube Red or regular free Youtube, and more for a lot cheaper. Don’t forget about Amazon Video because they are inexpensive as well. Almost all of these TV streaming services cost under $10 per month. Also, you don’t need all of them to get the TV shows and movies you already enjoy.

Using a streaming set-top box is like only paying for the things you watch instead of paying an outrageous cable bill every month for channels you may not even be watching much, if at all.

What is Roku TV

A Roku TV is more expensive but it is a nice option to have.

Roku TV is a nice option for easy streaming. Image CC by 2.0, by Michael Sheehan, via Flickr 

You have more than one option when it comes to using Roku. You can use a Roku box that hooks up to your TV and Internet. Another option is to get a Roku streaming stick that does the same thing but it is a lot smaller than the box, or you can buy a TV with Roku built into it. This is called Roku TV. With all three of these, you will be ready to enjoy watching your favorite TV shows and movies as soon as you connect the box or streaming stick to your TV. Then, connect it to the Internet and create a Roku account where you can choose the channels you want to watch.

With a Roku TV, the Roku is already on the TV, so all you need to do with this is connect to the Internet and create your Roku account to start enjoying your favorite shows and movies. Admittedly, a TV that has this streaming device built into will be an expensive purchase at first. However, it is a one-time payment and the only thing you pay out every month is your services for your TV channels and movies like Netflix or Hulu or similar cheap services.

A Roku TV is easier to use. However, the box or a streaming stick is cheaper. So, if you are trying to save money all the way around, not just with your TV shows and movies, you should go with the box or the Roku streaming stick.

How to Use a Roku Streaming Stick

It is easy to hook the streaming stick up to your TV.

Roku streaming stick is the easiest choice. Image CC by 2.0, by Mike Mozart, via Flickr

Using a Roku streaming stick is one of the easiest things you can do when it comes to the streaming device. All you do is plug it into the back of your TV and connect everything to your home Wi-Fi. Then, create a free Roku account, choose your free and cheap TV streaming services and channels, and start watching and enjoying your favorite TV shows and movies. However, both the box and the streaming stick plug right into your TV, so they are essentially the same thing.

The only real difference between the two is the size and the price. The box is a little bit cheaper, approximately $10 less expensive than the stick. You can go to a store like Walmart and pick up the box for around $60 to $70 one-time payment. You can pay a little bit more for the stick and a lot more if you want a new TV with it built in.

The only reason for buying the Roku TV is if you already need a new TV. If you already have an excellent working TV, it is recommended to pay the one time $60 or $70 for the box or a little more for the stick. Then, choose the streaming services you think you and your family will enjoy the most.

Sign up for your account with the streaming service or services you are choosing. Add your free and cheap channels to your Roku. Now, you are well on your way to enjoying free (or a whole lot cheaper) TV shows and movies to your heart’s content!

About Roku Channels

Not only can you find very inexpensive channels on the Roku website but there are free TV channels and movie channels that even come with your free account with this service.TV and movie channels like Crackle and a few others come included with the Roku. There are also local TV streaming channels like Sling TV, US TV Now, Playstation VUE, and more. Some of these are free to use while others give you the option to pay for a monthly upgrade for even more local TV channels and movies.

Some sports fans wonder if they can still watch their favorite sports on it if they decide to “cut the cord on cable.” The answer to this is YES! Many of these streaming services and channels have sports channels included with them.

How Much Money Can You Save?

You can save a lot of money by switching to a Roku.

Save money with a Roku. Image CC by 2.0, by Pictures of Money, via Flickr

Many people often wonder how much money they can save if they “cut the cord on cable” and go with a Roku. The answer to this is about $1000 or more per year. That is a lot of savings every year. Think about what you can do with an extra $1000 or more per year if you aren’t paying for cable anymore! It is amazing!

So, are you convinced to “cut the cord on cable” yet? It is as easy as calling your cable or satellite service provider to cancel your subscription. Keep your Wi-Fi and go to the nearest Walmart or similar store to pick up your Roku box, streaming stick, or your new Roku TV.

Then, come home, choose your streaming services like Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, or more, connect everything to your home Wi-Fi. Create your free Roku account and your account with your new streaming service provider. Choose your channels and movies. Sit back, relax, and watch TV as long as you want.

What is Binge-Watching TV?

If you have never heard of binge-watching TV, you will soon discover what it is all about with your new TV streaming device! Once you have all of this, you should calculate what your monthly and yearly savings will be after “cutting the cord on cable” for good! You might be surprised how much money you can save. Not just every month, but every year as well! Not only will you be happy with your new way to watch your favorite TV episodes and movies, but you will be happy about saving money too!

 

Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by Mike Mozart, via Flickr 

 

Is Hulu Free Actually Free Anymore? Here’s the Scoop!

Is Hulu Free Actually Free Anymore? Here’s the Scoop!

The pressing question is, “can we get Hulu free anymore?” Inquiring minds want to know. Hulu had bloomed in popularity because they bring us all the TV shows we love, but can’t get on Netflix, at one click. But, you used to be able to get Hulu, “Hulu Plus,” and even a free trial of Hulu — can you anymore? Well catch you up on the greatest aspects of this service, and answer all the questions you have about Hulu free.

Many people turn to online sites that allow us to watch television. And everyone likes to get stuff “free,” though nearly nothing is really free anymore. Usually, to get something free, you are paying for it in information or watching advertisements.

Still, we ask ourselves; in a world where free isn’t really free anymore, is Hulu free?

Online Video Streaming: Hulu Free

Hulu is an online video streaming site that launched in 2008. You can find your favorite movies there, but Hulu centers more on TV series. You’re able to use any device available to stream your favorite shows. With the use of your tablet, smartphone or TV, you can stream Hulu anywhere. You are able to watch all types of shows on Hulu; action, comedy, romance and more. If you’re into anime, you’ll find select shows and movies on Hulu and “Hulu Plus.” Hulu is becoming the most go-to site for television programs found on major networks, not including the CW and CBS.

Many people had Hulu free, and others Hulu Plus, though their model has changed in the last few years.

Hulu video streaming for free

The services Hulu provides are becoming more popular, like Netflix or Amazon Video. Of course, Hulu works by connecting to wireless internet services. By doing this, when they started, you were able to stream your favorite videos and shows for free on a trial basis. This makes traveling long distances, or a long flight more tolerable. Just plug into available internet services and enjoy! According to Hulu Press;

“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Freer. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment — and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”

But, the Free trial on Hulu is a thing of the past

When they started out, new subscribers were able to get a 7-day free trial. You were allowed limited access to the site, with commercials, while choosing a plan. Hulu began to take catching up with the competition seriously, in 2016. That is when they dropped the free trial, and added other things.

Is it true “Hulu Plus” is no longer free?

Yes, it is true, they ended their 7-day free trial. And, actually, “Hulu Plus” no longer exists either. With competing companies, Hulu decided to move towards an all-subscription model. In 2016, Hulu joined a deal with Yahoo. That is when Hulu decided to phase out their free trial system. Why?

According to PCMag.com, “Hulu used to have a free tier with limited shows and advertising, but killed it in 2016. Now, the price is a flat $7.99 per month for its base content. Hulu used to call this tier “Hulu Plus,” but now it’s just Hulu.

They focused on building a subscription service that provided a more personalized experience possible for their viewers. Hulu Senior VP and Head of Experience Ben Smith said in a statement, “As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.”

Hulu free is no longer available, but the services offered by the streaming service seem to make up for the low cost.

The Product Formerly Known as “Hulu Plus” – Is the pricing worth it?

To get or not to get, that is the question. When Hulu started, their basic package for $7.99 came with limited commercial interruptions. Some were fine with these interruptions. However, for $4 more you can get more content with no commercials – minus certain shows that have them due to streaming rights.

But what makes Hulu better than cable?

Cable television is very expensive these days. And a technician from whichever company comes to your home to install everything. Some companies charge for that installation, and even that can run into money not well spent. Additionally, if you don’t own a cable box you’re looking at spending $20-$30 a month. That adds up to a lot of money.

Whereas, if you were to sign up for Hulu today, you’d only be spending $7.99 a month. If you chose to sign up for Hulu with Live TV, you could completely skip the Cable TV, for only $39.99 a month. If you already have cable, you know that is a heck of a savings. With average US cable bills running $99.99 a month, that is only one third the cost.

Also, if you’re going on vacation or need to take a break, financially,  you can put your account on hold for up to twelve weeks. Can you do that with cable? We’ll cover more about Hulu with Live TV below. First, let’s talk about an exciting offer for Hulu and Sprint customers

Sprint Unlimited Plus Hulu, Plus Means Better!

Sprint users are in luck! All new or current Sprint users are able to sign up for Hulu on their smartphones. How does it work exactly? After you’re done signing up for your subscription you’ll get an activation link or code. By using the link or code, you’re able to complete any Hulu registration process.

Adding Hulu to your Sprint plan

Basically, enter your email address to create an account and log in to your current Hulu account. It’s that simple! Note, those who are already signed up for Hulu Limited Commercials, won’t have access to Hulu Live TV or add-ons. According to the Sprint FAQs page, your plan “includes the TV you love, with the Hulu Limited Commercials plan. Your Sprint Unlimited plan also includes a 10GB mobile hotspot so you can watch on the go, where you go. You’ll be able to watch the most popular next-day TV, original series, thousands of hit shows, movies and more.”

Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

Watching Hulu “Free” with Sprint Unlimited

After registering and activating your account, watching Hulu with Sprint is easy. Since the app comes on your phone already, you can take it anywhere. Stream your favorite shows and movies from the comfort of your home, car or wherever you get an internet connection.

There are, however, some exclusions at the moment. Sprint prepaid brands, any phones on seasonal standby, as well as Sprint corporate and business accounts are excluded. There is no information on when these types of exclusions will be allowed, till then it looks like Sprint users are limited. Hulu free is no longer available here either.

Hulu Channel Lineups and Subscriptions: Hulu with Live TV

Like mentioned above, cable is expensive these days, especially if you want to watch certain networks, movies or television shows. Even when using a DVR system, you’re looking to spend large amounts of money to achieve this. If you are addicted to your cable, your best bet is to go with Hulu with Live TV.

Sure it’s $39.99 a month, but in the long run, you’re saving money to watch live television. This subscription will cover your local, regional and standard cable networks. Not to mention, you get up to 50 hours worth of DVR recording time. (If you’re not looking to spend $40 a month, you also get DVR with the basic package.) Even with the cheaper versions, you still have access to your favorite shows.

Have a large household, look into getting the Hulu’s add-on packages. You get more hours for DVR recordings, and Unlimited Screens packages. However, some regional and local channels might be limited due to where you live.

Free Movies Online, a Thing of the Past

It was sad to see Hulu free disappear. However, you’re still able to stream favorites such as Law and OrderFamily Guy, and South Park just to name a few. There are no hidden fees, no extra equipment, and no cable guy to come install anything when signing up for Hulu. All you need is your phone, tablet, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV device or a Samsung Smart Tv for streaming. It’s also nice to know that you can cancel at any time without any extra costs. Even the streaming quality is pretty nice. Hulu with Live TV comes in HD quality.

For your viewing pleasure, Hulu Free no longer

Hulu with Live TV is a great replacement to cable television, and Hulu’s lower tiers make a great addition to your current streaming services. For just $7.99, that’s a deal you don’t want to pass up. You save money in the long run and it’s a great investment in entertainment.

So, what will you be watching today?

 

Featured Image: CC by 0, by ADMC, via Pixabay

Best Bluetooth Earbuds on a Budget: What’s Right for You?

Best Bluetooth Earbuds on a Budget: What’s Right for You?

With so many options on the market today, and at so many price points, how do you know which ones are the best Bluetooth earbuds? Better yet, how do you know which ones aren’t worth the money at all?

One of the most annoying things about wired headphones is the wire itself. It becomes tangled and twisted and can be a huge pain. If you find dealing with wired headphones annoying, it might be time to make the switch to the best Bluetooth earbuds. Perception is that these headphones still cost an arm and a leg, but there are plenty of options available on a budget.

There are plenty of options available on the market today for the best Bluetooth earbuds under 50 dollars. This article will discuss some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds available, comparing battery life, quality, comfort, and appearance. Hopefully, one of the headsets listed below fit your needs.

Who Needs Bluetooth Earbuds?

bluetooth earbuds on table

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Karl Baron, via Flickr

The earphones listed here are some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds you’ll find on the market. These Bluetooth earbuds are ideal for people who aren’t worried about high-level sound quality. These headphones don’t cost a lot of money, can make and receive phone calls, and work like they’re supposed to with little fuss.

Something to remember is that because most of these Bluetooth earbuds are under $50, most of the cost goes into the technology behind them. As a result, you miss out on other functionality. Things like build quality, sound drivers, and other features won’t match the level of sophistication you find in more expensive Bluetooth earbuds.

So keep in mind that you’re going to get what you pay for, as we review some of the best Bluetooth earbuds under $50.

The Best Bluetooth Earbuds

picture of right earbud with blurred background: best bluetooth earbuds under 50 dollars.

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Faruk Ates, via Flickr

The following seven earbuds are the most affordable Bluetooth earbuds on the market.

Skullcandy Ink’d Bluetooth Earbuds

Some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds available come from Skullcandy, a company well-known for its high-quality headsets. These Bluetooth earbuds come with two pairs of ear gels, along with a micro USB charging cable. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth with these Bluetooth headphones. They offer a quick recharge time and noise canceling capabilities.

Of course, it’s important to remember that even though these Bluetooth earbuds boast about their noise canceling feature, you’re not going to get the quality you would get with a pricier pair. Still, for the name brand and quality you get, you can’t beat the price for these Bluetooth earbuds.

Brainwavz Blu-Delta Bluetooth Earbuds

 Brainwavz Delta Black IEM In Ear Earbuds Noise Isolating Earphones Remote Headset Apple iPhone & Android

Image via Amazon

While Brainwavz may not be the most recognizable name on this list, they do produce a quality Bluetooth headset. Brainwavz Blu-Delta Bluetooth earbuds are noise isolating, and feature a high-fidelity sound provided by its 4.0 aptx technology.

Some reviews suggest the Brainwavz Blu-Delta has trouble isolating sound in noisy spaces, but remember that you’re paying less than $50 for these earbuds. This may be an area you have to sacrifice. If you’re looking for some of the best cheap Bluetooth earbuds, you can’t go wrong with a Brainwavz Blu-Delta wireless headset.

Photive PH-BET50 Bluetooth Earbuds

Photive PH-BTE50 Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Sports Headphones with Built-in Microphone

Image via Amazon

Some of the best Bluetooth earbuds for running, the Photive PH-BET50 wireless headset is an excellent fit if you exercise regularly. The Photive earbuds are sweat-proof, so you won’t damage them while you’re out for your daily run. With your earbuds, you’ll get a user guide, a cord clip, a micro USB charging cable, and different sized ear tips.

Of course, like many of the Bluetooth earbuds on this list, users have reported some problems with the Photive PH-BET50 earbuds. The most common complaint is that after a few months, the earbuds quit producing sound. However, at less than $50, these are some of the best Bluetooth earbuds you can get on the cheap.

iFrogz Audio Impulse Wireless Headset

iFrogz wireless earbuds offer fantastic sound quality in comparison to some of the other Bluetooth earbuds on this list. These earbuds provide drivers that focus on giving end users an incredible sound experience. It will have you wondering how they can cost less than $50.

Included with the iFrogz Audio Impulse Bluetooth earbuds are a starter guide, an audio jack cable with a mic, and a micro USB charging cord. These earbuds are great for workouts since they are resistant to sweat and can withstand harsh conditions. Based on the quality of these Bluetooth earbuds and the low price, it’s easy to see why these are on the list of best cheap Bluetooth earbuds.

Aukey Latitude EP-B40 Wireless Earbuds

woman racer running down hill: find the best bluetooth earbuds for running

Image: CC BY 2.0, by Paul dobson, via Flickr

Here’s another headset you can add to the list of best Bluetooth earbuds for running. The Aukey Latitude EP-B40s are sweat resistant and offer a great sound via the aptx codec. Along with the earbuds, you’ll get a user manual, a carrying pouch, three pairs of ear hooks, three pairs of ear-tips, and a micro USB charging cable.

Aukey boasts a long-lasting battery, saying that it can go without a charge for up to eight hours of continuous usage. Like many on this list, there are a few drawbacks to the Aukey, with some saying that it has a poor connection if you pair the earbuds with more than one device. Even so, the Aukey Latitude EP-B40s are an excellent option for you if you’re looking for some of the best Bluetooth earbuds for less than $50.

iClever Bluetooth Headphones

iclever earbuds image from Amazon Wireless Headphones, iClever Sport Headset Ultra Comfy Fit, Noise Cancelling, Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Earbuds for Gym, Workout, Running – Black

Image via Amazon

The iClever Bluetooth headphones are the first to provide users an 8mm dynamic speaker. Along with your iClever Bluetooth earbuds, you’ll get a pair of running headphones, earbuds for iPhone X, and a micro USB charging cable.

iClever says that its wireless headphones will last up to 10 hours of playing time, all while providing noise cancellation and waterproof earbuds. Some folks have found trouble with the amount of time it takes to charge the headset, but even so, you’re getting a great set of wireless earbuds.

Anker Soundbuds Life

Anker bluetooth earbuds

Image via Amazon

Anker’s Soundbuds Life are perhaps some of the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds you can get for under $50. These earbuds are thin and sturdy and capable of handling any type of activity. If you’re using a device with Bluetooth 4.1 technology, you’ll find that Anker’s Bluetooth earbuds provide high quality and sound.

Because of their light weight, your Anker Soundbuds Life won’t fall out of your ears. The water and sweat resistance also make them among the best Bluetooth earbuds for running. The additional tips that come with the earbuds will help keep them securely in place. Along with the different sized ear tips, your Anker Soundbuds Life comes with a micro USB charging cable and a shirt clip.

Offering up to seven hours of continuous play, along with a robust sound experience, the Anker Soundbuds Life earbuds might just be the best Bluetooth earbuds you can get on a budget.

The Choice is Yours

earbuds laying on wood table: best cheap bluetooth earbuds

Image CC0, by jklugiewicz, via Pixabay

Hopefully, some of the information about the best Bluetooth earbuds on a budget have helped you make a decision about which ones are right for you. As you can see, there is no shortage of options available on the market today. You have a wide range of features and qualities from which to choose. Of course, only you know what works best for your needs, so use these reviews to make an informed and educated decision.

Of course, if you’re an audiophile, or find the need for a great music experience, the headsets on this list may not work for you. But if you are merely looking for a reliable set of cheap Bluetooth earbuds, you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.

 

Featured Image: CC by 0, by StockSnap, via Pixabay

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy: Nutrition Edition

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy: Nutrition Edition

We all yearn for those long, wavy locks that we see on Hollywood starlets and shampoo commercial models. And while not all of us can have those thick curls, we can have healthy hair, if we take care of our bodies as we should.

 

Here are the three primary nutritional tips on how to keep your hair healthy.

Maintain a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Eating the right foods is certainly not a quick fix, but it is the long-term solution for having the healthiest hair possible. Your body needs certain nutrients to maintain healthy systems, including the ones that grow your hair, teeth, and nails.


Foods that will help you improve or maintain your hair health include those rich in Vitamin A:

vitamin A rich foods
  • Carrots
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Eel
  • Amaranth
  • Apricots
  • Tomatoes
  • Egg yolks
  • Grape fruits
  • Pumpkins
  • Leeks
  • Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Legumes
  • Jalapeno peppers

Foods that are rich in Vitamin B complex will improve your hair health.

  • Soy
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Kelp and seaweed
  • Cereal grains
  • Rye
  • Pork
  • Oysters
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Legumes
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Octopus
  • Chili pepper
  • Haddock
  • Potatoes
  • Barley
  • Yams

Foods that are high in Vitamin E will help keep your nails, teeth, and hair strong and healthy.

  • Almonds
  • Raw seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Olives
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Pine nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Plant oils
  • Mustard greens

And, finally, foods rich in folic acid will help your hair stay strong.


  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Cereal grains

Take the Right Supplements

For those who struggle to get the right amounts of nutrients into their meals daily, which, honestly is most of us, the use of dietary supplements may be necessary. For someone who’s gluten-free, for example, getting enough folic acid naturally may be quite challenging since folic acid naturally is most commonly found in wheat based foods.

Vitamin E supplements

supplements

How to keep your hair healthy: use Vitamin E. This is one of the biggest, most well-known factors for improving thinning or brittle hair.

 

While your body needs Vitamin E taken internally, using it externally on your hair roots may help with growth. Vitamin E helps reduce inflammation, and promotes the healing of tissues. If your scalp has had damage, such as sunburn, applying Vitamin E from a vial may help.


  1. Wash your hair thoroughly with mild shampoo.
  2. Put about a quarter size pool of grape seed, sesame, or carrot oil into a dish.
  3. Then pierce and drain two Vitamin E capsules into the dish with the other oil.
  4. Part your hair into four sections and pin separate from each other.
  5. Dip your fingers into the oil mixture, and massage the mixture into your scalp, one section at a time. Make sure you work the oil deep into the roots of your hair for full effectiveness.

Folic Acid Tablets

Folic acid should help prevent more gray hairs from cropping up early. It should also help your hair look shinier, and thicker. Folic acid should also help to strengthen your hair, which should help prevent breakage. Most people have difficulty getting enough of any particular nutrient, but if you don’t eat a lot of grains, folic acid will be one of your biggest deficiencies. For this issue, consider taking a Folic Acid supplement.

Biotin Shampoo or Capsules

Biotin is technically a part of the Vitamin B complex, though it is known as “Vitamin H.” It’s supposed to help promote healthy hair growth. Deficiencies in biotin are rare, but its symptoms include thinning hair, and unhealthy scalps.

herbal shampoo

 

Scientific evidence isn’t solid enough to guarantee biotin will help improve hair growth, but it’s still commonly believed by most to do so. If you feel that biotin would be a beneficial addition to your regiment, you can either use biotin rich shampoo and hair products, or take a biotin supplement in pill form.

Vitamin D Supplements

Our bodies need Vitamin D for many things, including healthy immune systems, and healthy hair. If you don’t get into the sunshine as much as you’d like, you may want to consider taking a Vitamin D capsule on a daily basis.

Drink Plenty of Water

woman drinking from a glass of water

Your hair will have minor changes due to your hydration. Enough water daily can help keep your hair shinier and visibly fuller because of having enough moisture. Use a water calculator to understand how much water you should consume each day for maximum health.

How to Keep Your Hair Healthy

In our society of junk food, dining out, and eating on the go, we tend to neglect the most important aspects of our beauty care: eating well and drinking enough water.

 

If you want the healthiest hair possible, make sure you’ve got a balanced diet with healthy foods like carrots, dark leafy greens, nuts, and legumes. And always get enough water to help every aspect of your health.