Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Android vs. iPhone - Which one is the best?

Within the last 10 years, the mobile phone industry has completely transformed with the introduction of the smart phone. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (the masterminds behind Apple products) started the scramble for the most high tech phone and created the iPhone - a touch screen phone with the Apple software and iPod + iTunes interface. Shortly thereafter, Google partnered with the mobile phone industry and created the Android mobile phone - a phone similar to the iPhone, but with increased usability.
With all of the high-tech phone options out there, it's hard to know which one is the hottest right now and which will have the best longevity. From deciding which phone to upgrade to, which smartphone to purchase next, or which phones are offered for your particular service provider, choosing a cell phone can be hard work if you're not completely informed.

Android Smart Phones

"Droid!" is the common tag line that most consumers associate with the Google Android line of phones that rival the Apple iPhones. But do they hold up? The Android platform is pushing to over 70,000 users, which still hasn't caught up to the iPhone users. Regardless, the Android is projected to overtake the iPhone because of it's fantastic multi-tasking features which heighten your mobile experience with social networking and music streaming.

Android Pros: The Android's multi-tasking feature has a desktop-style multitasking feature like on on a computer. While your apps do continue running, consuming memory, battery and CPU, the Android finds a way to manage the background apps. Undoubtedly the Android tops the iPhone when it comes to social networking and music streaming. With the upcoming Windows 7 Phone, the Android is built around social networking, syncing all of your social networking accounts with your phone's texts and emails. It makes life function much better and saves you time (which without question is the point of owning a smart phone).
Motorola Droid

In regards to music streaming, the Android offers widgets that are incompatible with the iPhone. The widgets make the apps that are available on iPhone even better on the Android. Plus, although there are less apps, they are of a higher quality and cost a lot less than the iPhone.

Other Android specs that should be noted are the integration of the Google products and the as-you-type completion suggestions on the keyboard. The iPhone is known for storing words that you consistently spell incorrectly with no way of removing them from the dictionary; Androids have an user-editable dictionary for your keyboard.

Most importantly, you are not limited to one carrier with the Android. The iPhone is limited to AT&T which arguably does not have the best service worldwide. With this freedom comes more apps and a full refund of the app purchase within 24 hours. Moreover, the syncing of your calendar and email to the GMail accounts are free whereas on iPhone you have to pay $99/mo for each.

Android Cons: It is hard to draw a line and find negative aspects of the Android. To start, it does not look as cool as the iPhone. Undoubtedly the design of the iPhone is much more aesthetically appealing. Plus on Android, non-Google software is limited and usually of a lower quality. There has been speculation that the phone is too dependent on your Google account. But let's be honest, even if you don't use a Google account as your primary account, it is still useful (and almost everyone has one regardless).

The Apple iPhone

The iPhone is very popular with over 230,000 users almost dependent on the platform. But is the iPhone worth switching your service provider to AT&T with the seemingly fantastic alternative of the Android? Loyal Apple users definitely would have a hard time making the switch because the interfaces are entirely different. Nonetheless, what about the non-Apple users? Is it still worth it to get the iPhone even if you're more accustomed to the Google/Windows software?
iPhone 4

iPhone Pros: In this competition, the iPhone without question takes the cake in gaming, easy use (for example by a child) and for streaming pictures and video. The iTunes store is easily accessible on the iPhone with an app already downloaded and easy to use.

Moreover, the iPhone has infinitely more games that are easy to use and much better. Game developers can know that the iPhone will release a new OS every year or so, remain consistent, and set the bar for other operating systems (at least for the time being). The fact that the Android phone is so versatile actually hurts it in the gaming app industry. The iPhone is known for fun games at reasonable prices (like Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, etc.).

Apps like YouTube and other video and photo streaming apps are unquestionably better on the iPhone. The iPhone has better clarity and much better resolution. Plus it's so easy a child can use it. Parents increasingly find that the iPhone is a great pacifier for their young children. This usability factor makes it easy for someone to pick up an iPhone and use it.

iPhone Cons: The iPhone really gets a lot of criticism for the lack of a good multi-tasking interface. The iPhone only really offers multi-tasking for Apple-authorized apps, whereas third-party apps do not hold up as well. Apple says that they do this because they are concerned that users do not understand the use of battery life from background applications and don't know how to manage them (which is probably the case with most iPhone users).

The Conclusion

In a similar way that the Mac will never beat out the PC in functionality and popularity, the iPhone will eventually be beat by the Android.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Toys for Christmas

A common scene throughout the months leading up to the holiday season is a group of moms desperately waiting outside of a Wal-mart or Toys R Us before store operating hours to get the best Christmas toy this year for their precious children. Even with the economic struggles this past year, experts suggest that this year will be no different. According to the LA Times, due to a "social currency" outweighs any monetary constraint, the desire to be the parent who can give the best and most desirable presents makes parents go to great extents to get their hands on the perfect toys.

Last year a robotic hamster stole the show - creating a feeding frenzy of parents trying to make their child the happiest on Christmas morning. Many parents will scrimp and save to make sure that they can afford Christmas presents for their children. In order to fit these budget constraints, toy makers value these toys around a reasonable price of $30.

Find the Best Sales

Many stores that sell toys at large quantities attempt to lure potential customers with intriguing deals and extended hours. Convenience is key - stores that open before others and that are closer to more houses will have the advantage. Parents are busy enough and wallets are tight during the holiday season. Stores are looking to find the competitive edge over one another, leaving you, the consumer, to benefit from it.

Wal-mart has added additional discounts called "Rollback Alley" that focuses on deals on toys. Toys R Us will increase their store count to over 600 temporary holiday stores and expand to 10 FAO Schwarz pop-up stores. Target is increasing their discounts by 10% and Sears is planning on opening 99 in-store toy sections.

Top Toys of the 2010 Christmas Season

"Santa" is blind to the economic recession that America is facing right now - and children still expect the best presents under the tree Christmas morning. What will your kid be hoping that Santa will bring them?

Sing-a-ma-jigs are predicted to be some
of the hottest Christmas gifts this season.
Miniature toys make a comeback

When in doubt, go mini. This year, because of mini-budgets, mini toys will be extremely popular. This category includes little toys that are classified as "collectibles." They are tiny and inexpensive, but also offer different scenes, different looks, and different characters.

Squinkies, Zoobles, and Sing-a-ma-jigs (oh my!) lead the pack this year with unique characters and unique personalities. These are great because when the kids lose the toys, it is inexpensive to replace them.

Bringing Technology Home

This year, toy manufacturers have created extremely high tech toys for kids in the realms of learning and playing. These toys are affordable (roughly $50) and help children get familiar with the age of technology.

The Dance Star Mickey and Barbie Video Girl doll appeal to girls and young children. For boys, the Paper Jamz guitars, the Air Hogs Hawk Eye, and the Cuponk will keep their attention for awhile.

Young children will enjoy the Leapster Explorer Learning Experience because it turns learning into a game - the kids won't know that they're actually learning.

Disney Princess & Me
Famous Familiar Faces

Disney and Pixar have released countless iconic films over the years that make the kids want to be a part of the magic. A lot of action films were also released over the past year prompting a huge toy market in that area as well.

Toy Story 3 figures allow you to play with Buzz Lightyear and Woody, while Ironman 2 figurines allow you to be a part of the superhero saga. For girls, the plush Disney Princess & Me toy will be in demand, as will be the ever popular Bratz dolls.

There's a Catch...

Stores like Wal-mart and Target are looking to lure you in with these low priced toys in hopes that you'll buy other items at their store for exponentially higher prices that usual. When you are looking to buy Christmas gifts this season, make sure to do your research. Don't overpay for other items just because you got a smoking deal on a toy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shop 'til You Drop on Experts123

Introducing the Experts123 Shopping Guide!

We are thrilled to offer a great resource to all of your holiday shopping needs. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, the Experts123 Shopping Guide has all of the questions and answers to your shopping questions.

Imagine living in a world where you had the answers to your questions before you bought that uncomfortable pair of boots or that unflattering horizontally-striped pair of pants. Experts123 aims to centralize all of the questions and answers pertaining to all of your shopping needs. We cover content about fashion, beauty, electronics, automobile, home and food products. The shopping guide allows you to access questions, answers, and articles about your favorite brands just in time for the holiday shopping season!

Are you an expert about shopping? We have some articles that we are looking to get written asap in time for the holidays! Log in and search for these titles now!
  • Black Friday Sales
  • After Christmas Sales
  • Christmas Sales
  • Boxing Day Sales
  • Winter Sales

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Embrace Your Inner Chef with Experts123

With the holiday season around the corner, Experts123 has created many revenue-share assignments that allow you to express your inner Martha Steward, Emeril Lagasse, Ina Garten or Julia Child!

There are many brand new revenue share assignments that ask you to share your favorite traditional and unique holiday recipes! We ask our writers to share traditional recipes as well as recipes that they have tried and loved. It is a great way to get ideas for your next holiday party, no matter what winter holiday you celebrate. From cooking whole turkey and chicken, to making a vegetarian Thanksgiving, share your knowledge and your recipes!

You don't have to be a master chef - everyone has their favorite family traditions worth sharing that are sometimes better than a restaurant recipe. That being said, we expect that these articles will get a lot of traffic as people are looking for simple and easy recipes to plan their holiday festivities. Here is a list of our brand new RSAs at your fingertips! (Hurry and share your recipes quickly or else these topics might be taken!)
  • Beef Brisket Recipes
  • Beef Wellington Recipe
  • Best Cookie Recipe
  • Best Dessert Recipes
  • Blueberry Muffin Recipe
  • Cheesecake Recipe
  • Chicken Breast Recipes
  • Chocolate Dessert Recipes
  • Christmas Candy Recipes
  • Christmas Traditions
  • Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Cornbread Recipe
  • Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe
  • Curry Recipes
  • Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
  • Fondue Recipes
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Healthy Side Dishes
  • Homemade Sugar Cookies
  • How to Cook Turkey
  • Lamb Chop Recipes
  • Pork Chop Recipes
  • Pumpkin Cookie Recipe
  • Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe
  • Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • Squash Recipes
  • Stove Top Stuffing
  • Strawberry Dessert Recipes
  • Stuffed Chicken
  • Thanksgiving Appetizers
  • Thanksgiving Crafts
  • Turkey Brine
  • Vegetable Side Dishes
  • Vegetarian Thanksgiving
  • Whole Chicken Recipes
All of these assignments are easily accessible from the assignments tab in your profile.

Not signed up as an expert contributor? Apply now at www.experts123.com/users/contributors/apply.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Top 10 Food Trucks You Can't Afford to Miss

Food trucks have taken Los Angeles cuisine by storm while redefining what fast food really means. These trucks offer gourmet options on a fast food budget and deliver creative and unique, yet satisfying, meals. The haute cuisine of Los Angeles has always had a unique flair to it, but now food trucks have made these delicious experimentations appeal to the masses.

How to Find Food Trucks in Los Angeles

You don't have to go on a wild goose hunt, hoping that you find a food truck in Los Angeles. Not only do each food truck have a Twitter page and a website, but also there are comprehensive websites and Twitter accounts that make it easy to know where a food truck will be before it arrives.

@FoodTruckLA is a centralized Twitter page with up to the minute alerts of the current and future locations of the trucks. Their system is to re-tweet any tweets regarding food truck locations in Los Angeles.  Similar websites include Roaming Hunger and Find LA Food Trucks. There is also an iPhone app which is called Road Stoves GPS, a GPS-enabled food truck finder.

When in doubt, just visit the most popular destinations of the LA food trucks.
  1. College campuses: UCLA and USC host a lot of food trucks. Why not? College students love cheap, filling, satisfying eats. Don't be afraid to search on campus. At UCLA, food trucks are known to go in the quad on south campus.
  2. Miracle Mile (Wilshire): A hot spot for people who work over there, this location is where trucks are known to line up and serve the suit-and-tie masses.
  3. West LA: Try along the intersection of Tennessee and Butler. Again, is a lot of activity over there - perfect for a food truck.
  4. Santa Monica: Anywhere east of 26th street is known to have a lot of food trucks. There is less competition over here and more of their target audiences.
The Best Food Trucks in Los Angeles

Desert Melt - Grilled Cheese Truck
The Grilled Cheese Truck: If you are a grilled cheese fanatic, like everybody else, you will enjoy the Grilled Cheese Truck. From the classic American cheese on French bread slathered with butter, to the seemingly insane Cheesey Mac and Rib (mac and cheese with barbecue pork and grilled onions inside a grilled cheese sandwich), to the delicious Desert Melt (pureed bananas with marshmallows and nutella), the Grilled Cheese Truck takes grilled cheese for an unusual, yet delicious spin.

The Green Truck: Not all to-go truck food has to be bad for your health. The Green Truck specializes in healthy, fresh gourmet food while taking care of the environment at the same time. They use "only certified, organic ingredients" and "buy local products whenever possible." Try the lettuce chicken wraps or the banana pancakes for a healthy and satisfying meal.

India Jones Chow Truck: Sumant Pardal was turned on to food trucks when trying the Kogi BBQ truck. He says that "within 10 days, I was on the road with my truck." He serves mostly North Indian regional food with different curries and Mumbai street foods. He specializes in frankies which is served with cilantro, tamarind, chutney, chopped onion, egg, and lamb or chicken wrapped in a flat bread. Try the butter chicken curry or the lamb frankie.

Sliders - Kogi BBQ
Kogi BBQ: You can smell the scent of delicious meat from miles around when the Kogi BBQ truck is in town. Delicious meats mixed with the chef's specials make Kogi BBQ one of the most successful and popular food trucks in Los Angeles. Try the spicy pork tacos, kimchi quesadillas, or short rib sliders. Kogi BBQ mixes the delight of Korean BBQ cuisine with half the cost and half the work.

Nom Nom Truck: A female-ran truck which specializes in Vietnames "Bahn Mi" sandwiches, the Nom Nom Truck. They serve tasty and affordable sandwiches with savory hot meats and cold crisp vegetables. Misa and Jen (owners) say that "nom nom" (which means "oh so tasty" according to Urban Dictionary) perfectly describes their food. Try the grilled pork Bahn Mi or the lemongrass chicken tacos. The sandwiches are 12 inches and only cost $5.

Phamish: Another truck specializing Vietnamese cuisine, Phamish is known for the rare steak pho and the delicious fresh mint soda. All of the recipes are Lisa Le's personal recipes. She uses fresh produce and freshly baked baquettes and spends 4-6 hours cooking her signature pho.

Chili Cheese Fries - Frysmith
Frysmith: Who doesn't like French fries? Frysmith makes it apparent that a menu based solely on French fries is quite a crowd-pleaser. You would think that putting a ton of toppings on French fries and calling it a meal would not be a revolutionary idea, but Erik Cho makes French fries a gourmet art form. The chili cheese fries are perfectly balanced and dishes like the Rajas Fries (complete with steak and jack cheese) or the Poutine (fries drowned in brown gravy and cheese curds) are unique and give a stick-to-your-ribs satisfying feeling.

Border Grill Truck: Southern California loves Mexican food, especially Mexican food on the go. The Border Grill Truck makes simple Mexican dishes and turns them into gourmet, yet still quick, lunch options. The churro tots are their signature dishes with covered in cinnamon-sugar and whipped cream. Also try their green corn tamal in a paper cone.

Louks Greek Gourmet To Go: Classic Greek to go. Louks Greek Gourmet To Go makes delightful classic Greek dishes as well as unique fusion food appeal to the masses. Try the honey feta fries for a sweet, tangy treat, or the classic beef gyro. For a more familiar food form, try the burrito gyro - one of Louk's favorites, himself.

Hawaiian Bread French Toast Sticks -
The Buttermilk Truck
The Buttermilk Truck: Breakfast is good at any time of the day, or night, around the clock, in any setting. The Buttermilk Truck specializes in breakfast classics and invents new sweet and savory creations. Their special ingredient (buttermilk) is in almost all of their menu items and their goal is to provide breakfast to people who cannot make it themselves, or people who are just craving breakfast after a long night. Try their Hawaiian bread French toast sticks or their special red velvet pancakes which have celebrated a year being served to the masses. Everything they have is made from scratch and gives a homestyle flair to unique and modern breakfast treats.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Eat a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

The calories you consume in Thanksgiving dinner alone are more that you probably eat in 1-2 days.

In today's health-conscious society, the desire to eat healthily and be thin conflicts with this tradition of gorging yourself on delicious foods once a year. But you can have your cake (or pie rather) and eat it too! There are a few steps where you can cut corners and calories while still enjoying Thanksgiving.

Read the Experts123 Thanksgiving Guide

Portion Control

A great first step to not over-eating on Thanksgiving is to control your portions. None of the portions on your plate should be more than the size of your fist. Even if you are eating a low calorie Thanksgiving dinner but are not controlling your portions, you are most likely still overeating.

Try taking smaller bits of food on your plate. You are less inclined to eat quickly without realizing that you are full. In between courses, take a deep breath, stand up, walk around, and then sit back down. This will make you realize if you are getting full and will slow down the intake of food at the dinner table, thus controlling your portions.

Stop and Chew your Food

The point of Thanksgiving is to taste the wonderful feast in front of you and be thankful for how lucky you are that you can partake in such a festivity. A lot of the time, people forget to chew their food because either there is so much on the table or it just tastes so good.

Chewing your food thoroughly will help prevent you from eating too much before realizing how overly full you are. Try setting down your fork and knife, chewing at least 20 times per mouthful and taking a sip of water after each bite. You will eat more slowly which will help make you realize it when you are getting full more accurately. Remember, Thanksgiving dinner is not a race.

Substitute Low-Calorie Where You Can

A lot of Thanksgiving recipes call for heavy creams, high fructose corn syrups, shortenings, butter, sugar and any other kind of food that a health-conscious person avoids generally on a regular day to day basis. You might be eating twice as many calories per bite and not even know it.

If you are in charge of the cooking, try to replace heavy creams with 2% milk (skim milk might change the flavoring). Try substituting high fructose corn syrup and sugars with honey or no-calorie sugar substitutes. You can also switch out butter and oils for margarine. Sometimes margarine might change the composition of the food, so be careful when using it. It can also change the flavor of the food. Go for butter-flavored margarine like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter..." or "Parkay."

Go Low Sodium

Thanksgiving foods are known to be salty, savory and delicious. But all of that salt can give an after dinner bloat that is not flattering on the waistline. Plus eating too much salt on a regular basis can have negative effects on your health.

Try substituting low sodium foods where you can. For example, if using chicken broth or canned mushroom soup for your green bean casserole, try getting the low sodium versions. You probably won't even notice that the sodium is missing, and you can control the sodium levels yourself. Another great option is buying unsalted butter. You can add as little salt as you want to flavor it the way you want without the hidden sodium in salted butter.

Take a Walk

After you eat that delicious Thanksgiving meal, all you want to do is take a nap because of all of the tryptophan in Turkey. It is hard to resist the couch after dishes are done, but stop yourself and take a walk instead.

If you take even as little as a 20 minute walk after eating that big Thanksgiving dinner, there is less of a chance that the food will stick to your arteries (and to your waistline). Also, getting up and moving around will give you more energy to participate in activities instead of laying on the couch from the end of dinner until bed.