Trending February 2024 # Bose Built A Hearing Aid That Could Save You Money—And A Doctor’s Visit # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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The direct-to-consumer hearing aid market has been expanding rapidly in recent years. That’s especially true for models targeting individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. Typical hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars and insurance coverage is spotty at best. Plus, they typically require a trip to an audiologist, a hurdle which many people don’t want to endure in order to get help. This week, Bose officially entered the hearing aid market with its $850 FDA-cleared SoundControl device. It goes on-sale on May 18 and buying one won’t require a trip to a doctor’s office. 

Bose SoundControl hardware

They have a familiar hearing aid form factor rather than mimicking wireless earbuds. Bose

This isn’t Bose’s first foray into the hearing market. Up until 2023, it sold a $500 device called Hearphones. The Bluetooth sound amplifiers used a semi-rigid collar that sat around the wearer’s neck with earbuds wired to it. The new SoundControl model takes a much more familiar hearing aid-style design with a module that sits behind the ear, which pumps sound into the canal through a hollow tube. 

A pair of built-in microphones pull in sound from around the wearer and a single speaker provides the output. They attach to a smartphone via Bluetooth, but they don’t take calls or stream music. They’re not meant to replace wireless earbuds, but rather act as a dedicated hearing assistance device.

[Related: This AI-powered hearing aid improves as you use it.]

Each hearing aid weighs roughly three grams and draws power from a typical 312 battery, which will last roughly four days under typical usage. They come with a hard case to protect them when they’re not in use.

Setting up the Bose SoundControl hearing aid

The app allows wearers to make adjustments depending on their current situation. Bose

Without a trip to the doctor, Bose relies on a smartphone app that allows wearers to set the device up by themselves. According to the company’s press material, the process takes less than an hour to get through the guided setup. 

Once the setup process is over, the app provides various user controls that allow the wearer to tweak the overall performance. The main screen includes a pair of sliders, one of which modifies how much the hearing aids amplify sound coming in from the outside world. The other adjusts the overall emphasis on bass or treble frequencies. 

The app also allows for tweaking the directional focus of the hearing aids. Front focus is more useful during a conversation or sitting in front of a TV. Switch to “everywhere” mode, however, and it can pull sound in from all around. 

In typical Bose fashion, the app offers preset modes specific to different situations. So, if a person doesn’t want to manually select options for their setting, they can simply select “Television” or “Focused Conversation” mode and the hearing aid will do its best to provide settings that work in those scenarios. 

How is this different from a typical hearing aid?

As with many of the recent commercial hearing aid products, Bose is very clear that this product isn’t for people with more profound hearing loss. While the SoundControl devices are FDA cleared as a Class II medical device, they aren’t fully FDA regulated like the devices you’d expect to get after a visit to an audiologist. 

Devices like SoundControl represent a middle ground, which sit above personal sound amplification products (PSAP), which typically aren’t evaluated by the FDA in any way. While PSAPs are typically ineligible for any kind of insurance help, FDA-cleared gadgets like the Bose SoundControl are compatible with some benefits such as flexible spending accounts. Be sure to check with your provider, however, before making the purchase. 

Bose currently offers a preliminary hearing screening tool on its website, which takes roughly five minutes to complete. It includes questions and some listening exercises. If you get the hearing portion of the assessment mostly correct, it will tell you that you don’t need the device. If you perform too poorly, it will indicate that the device won’t meet your needs.

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You Built What?! A Colossal Flying Reproduction Of A 1935 Airship

The first time retired computer engineer Jack Clemens tried to build a scale model of the USS Macon, a helium-filled naval airship lost in bad weather in 1935, his cat jumped on the prototype from a high shelf and ruined the hull. Clemens finished a second version in 2008 but totaled it during an unexpectedly windy test flight. Finally, in April, Clemens completed version number 3, a 20-foot-long radio-controlled replica accurate down to practically every detail, from the airbag to the propellers.

Clemens frequently used to commute past the Macon’s enormous hangar in Moffett Field, California. He thought returning a model of the craft to its original home would be a fitting tribute, so he requested the plans from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The Macon was an airship, not a blimp, meaning it had a rigid hull. A backbone made from 12 circular frames connected with strips of wood called longerons gave the 785-foot-long craft its form. Clemens wanted to mimic the structure in his model, so he built a jig to ensure that the frames–made from thousands of balsa-wood sticks–were precisely the right size. Although the Macon’s skin was a mix of cotton muslin and metal-colored sealant, Clemens’s model used Mylar because it was lightweight, tough and the right color.

Clemens calculated that to get his craft to fly, he would need a total of eight small model-airplane propellers anchored to the sides of the frame. “It takes very little propulsive force to move an airship,” he explains. The propellers are powered by a single 2.5-ounce lithium-polymer battery that sits in the nose of the craft and helps balance the weight of pulleys and servomotors in the tail.

Currently the 20-foot-long, 3.3-foot-diameter airship resides in Clemens’s garage (“It’s the bane of my wife’s existence,” he says), but he has offered to donate it to a new museum being built in Moffett Field. He’s hoping that one day he’ll even get the chance to fly it in the Macon’s original hangar, far away from strong winds and leaping cats.

Cost: $6,000


When Clemens did the math, he realized that a working model airship of this type would have to be huge. He would need lots of helium–at least 150 cubic feet worth–to carry the weight of the internal wooden frame. That meant lots of interior space. By his calculations, the model would have to be at least 20 feet long. Anything smaller, and the weight of the frame would negate the lift of the gas. But he also couldn’t go any larger; a 20-foot-long airship would just fit, on a diagonal, inside his two-car garage.


Clemens copied the Macon’s exterior look, the number of motors and helium bladders, the internal frame, and more. But there were a few necessary deviations. He tried to find a way to house the propellers’ motors inside the airship, as in the original, but the extra connective parts would have added too much weight. Ultimately he placed each motor on the exterior by the propeller it controls. And because the interior cabin didn’t affect the flight characteristics, he didn’t try to replicate its original details.


Clemens used a standard R/C controller, which sends commands to a radio receiver installed in the airship’s control cockpit. The receiver is wired to each of the eight propeller motors. He can adjust the forward thrust of three motors on each side, and he can rotate the fourth to provide upward or downward thrust. To steer, the controller sends signals to a cable-and-pulley system in the airship’s tail that adjusts the rear fins to turn, ascend, and descend. The model airship can’t reach the original’s maximum speed of 80 mph, but it does cruise along comfortably at up to 15 mph.

Inside the Hull

Creating the airship’s skeleton required gluing together thousands of balsa-wood sticks.

How To Save Money On Small Business Insurance

Proactively insuring your business typically costs much less than the cost of replacing assets and lost revenue when an unexpected problem occurs and you are uninsured. 

Do your research before you purchase small business insurance — this includes looking at your needs and resources as well as consulting with experts.

Think of your relationship with your insurance agent or broker as a long-term partnership rather than a transaction. 

This article is for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for guidance on choosing the right kinds of insurance coverage to protect their businesses and themselves.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Risk is an inherent part of business ownership, a reality for every small business and solo entrepreneur. Even though it may be unpleasant to think about, you need to account for that danger and plan how to handle any future issues. A business insurance policy is the best way for an entrepreneur or owner of a small business to plan for and mitigate some of the risks that come with its day-to-day operations. 

How to save money on small business insurance

Approach selecting business insurance the same way you’d address any problem or challenge in your operation — do your research. By assessing your needs, considering your options, looking at your current resources and consulting subject matter experts, you’ll be prepared to select the best small business insurance for your business.

1. Know what you need.

Every business has its unique risks and, therefore, unique insurance needs. Do your homework to select and purchase the coverage your business needs without paying for what you don’t require. Start with the basics. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), companies with employees are legally required to have workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and, in some locations, disability insurance.

After you’ve covered your business’s legally required basics for your employees, general liability insurance is a good place to start. This covers any third-party damages your business may incur — property damage, injuries or incidents that occur on your premises, certain legal defense costs if your company is sued, and reputational damage due to libel, slander or copyright infringement. 

Check to see if you qualify for a business owner’s policy (BOP) under the insurance carrier’s terms and conditions. A BOP will cover your business property in addition to general liability, which makes it a better overall deal.

“Generally, a BOP policy will offer more coverage for less money than the mono-line general liability policy,” said Jennifer Rasiah, founder of Givesurance, a company that allows members to donate 5 percent of their insurance premiums to charity.

Olavo Macedo Jr., senior managing director of mergers and acquisitions for insurance brokerage firm Risk Strategies Co., said that hired and non-owned automobile coverage is also a good idea if it’s not already part of your BOP. He also recommended cyber insurance, since data security is a top priority for more and more businesses.

“Cyber liability coverage … has become a necessity as many businesses utilize online platforms to transact business, and the collection, management, and protection of client data creates a huge risk,” Macedo said.

Key Takeaway

Small businesses in the same industry or market may seem similar, but each one is unique. That includes what kinds of insurance coverage they need.


Did you know that many small business insurance carriers offer discounts to customers that hold multiple policies? The same way you can receive a reduction for bundling home, life and auto insurance with one carrier in your personal life, you may be eligible for a discount on multiple business insurance policies when you use the same carrier.

Why choosing the right small business insurance is important

Hope for the best and plan for the worst. Small businesses are lean operations with limited cash flow and assets. Business owners and entrepreneurs must choose the right small business insurance that meets their needs to protect them from unexpected problems. 

Small businesses also need to protect their profits and cash reserves. Spending money today on unnecessary insurance is not just a waste of capital — it comes with opportunity costs. The cash you spend on an irrelevant insurance policy could have been used to repair equipment, purchase supplies, expand your distribution or marketing, or upgrade your materials. 

Benefits of small business insurance

Small business insurance protects your business operations and helps you achieve your long-term business goals. Insurance deductibles and premiums typically represent lower out-of-pocket expenses that you can plan for, as opposed to the high cost of replacing or repairing business assets and lost revenue without small business insurance. 

Assess your needs, do your research, and build a relationship with your insurance agent or broker to protect your business and your business goals. 

Leslie Pankowski contributed to this article. ​​Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

How To Make Money As A Freelancer? – Webnots

Employers worldwide are trimming the number of employees on payroll, over the last decade. Reasons for this reluctance to hire full-time staff are many: High salaries and perks demanded by experienced professionals, complex labor laws and economic upheavals that strike global economy sans prior warning. Instead, growing number of small and large companies now look to freelancers to work on short, medium and long-term contract basis. It saves them money as well bother of paying a plethora of perks mandatory under labor laws, such as medical insurance, retirement benefits and overtime, among others.

Statistics Speak

A 2024 study, “Freelancing in America” clearly highlights the growing trend of freelancing. In 2024, whopping 35 percent of America’s workforce- or- about 55 million workers are freelancers. Collectively, they earned over US$ 1 trillion, says a joint study conducted by leadng freelance work portal, Upwork and America’s Freelancers Association.

Europe accounts for almost an equal percentage of freelance workforce according to a study by Payoneer, a global payments gateway provider as well as employment statistics compiled by the European Commission.

These figures amply prove, freelance jobs rapidly becoming the preferred source of income for people across the world.

Making Money as Freelancer

For those aspiring to work as freelancers, we provide a few vital tips and tweaks that can help you make money.

Never Quit Work

This is a golden rule that most would-be freelancers flout. Leaving fulltime employment to work as freelancer may sound great. Indeed, there are intrinsic benefits of working as freelancer since you have flexibility of working at will. However, holding on to fulltime job before entering the freelance market has inherent benefits: Firstly, it ensures your regular income. Secondly, you gain vital experience and develop a network of contacts while employed. And finally, mentioning your full-time work lends a lot of credibility to job searches as freelancer.

Find Telecommute Jobs

With growing popularity of remote or telecommute jobs, you get flexibility of working from any place and often, at your convenience. Before taking freelance jobs, find telecommute work in your field. Telecommute work pays well and often can help you acquire and improve your existing skills. Further, you benefit from a fixed income that negates any uncertainties posed by freelance work.

Skills Matter

Before leaving fixed jobs, find if your skills are in demand in the freelance work market. Also research about how much you can earn by freelancing, prospective employers and median pay-scales for your qualifications and experience. Hone and fine-tune skills frequently while acquiring new ones that support your freelance work. Experts are in demand and hence attract much higher pay. Position your skills in a manner that attract the highest demand. Indentifying the niche industry you wish to serve is important since it better helps to pitch your skills.

Register Online

Nowadays, almost every industry posts its requirements for freelancers online. To get maximum contracts or work, you need to register yourself on some very reputed freelance website. A simple search on the Internet will reveal several freelance work portals. Along with details including name, qualification and contact details, specifically mention academic qualifications, work experience, special skills and unclassified information of projects executed either at full-time work or as freelancer. While registering, take your skills and experience into account.

Define Your Services

The choice of registering online as a specialized freelancer or in the ‘general’ category is solely yours. Generally, specialists get more pay since you can get hired for some exclusive project. The flipside is, specialist jobs are often fewer than the ‘general’ category. Before you define your services, be clear about the type of tasks you wish to undertake and those best avoided. Also consider the time you will spend on work: A specialist job may pay more but involve long hours while a general one would pay lower yet get completed quickly, leaving you time for more work and extra earnings.

Fix A Price Tag

Something most freelancers neglect is fixing a price tag for services. Often, they skip fixing a price for fears of bagging few contracts or losing to those quoting low prices. As explained earlier, it is best to acquaint yourself with median prices for freelance jobs in your specialization. It is a myth that employers choose lowest bidders: With proper blend of skills and experience, you can get a freelance contract for higher pay.

Deploy Social Media Keep References Ready

Word of mouth publicity is also something most freelancers tend to neglect. Keep a great network of references ready that can vouch for your work integrity and superior quality. Often, companies looking for freelancers ask references. They may not contact any person you provide as reference. However, good references create a better impression through your CV while looking for freelance jobs. For projects completed, try obtaining letters of appreciation and recommendations, wherever possible. These come handy while dealing with picky employers or in situations where fierce competition exists for a single yet coveted freelance post.

Join Freelance Associations/ Guilds

Due to rising popularity of freelance work, there are several local, national and international associations that bring freelancers together from diverse sectors. Joining such associations and guilds keeps you informed about latest trends in your industry, conditions and developments in your native land as well as foreign countries, government policies, existing pay scales and other data that helps you pitch yourself better during job searches. Attend lectures and gatherings wherever and whenever possible, which increases your network of peers and professionals.

Multiple Contracts

Often, you will come across freelance contracts that time consuming and may require long work hours. Regardless, never settle for a single contract. Ensure you have at least two or three more contracts that are easier to complete and can be done in some spare time. Preferably, such easier contracts should be of shorter duration that ensures you are financially stable. Offer astute and realistic deadlines to your employer. These are vital for every freelancer looking at working for large corporations. Often, employers demand freelancer complete time within deadlines that can prove too short. Never commit to any deadline unless you are absolutely sure of delivering the required work within the stipulated time. Missing deadlines can cause you to lose time, money and effort while creating a negative impression in the freelance market.

This article is submitted as a guest post. Check out the submit guest post page if you are interested in submitting article.

A 5G Galaxy S10 Could Hurt

A 5G Galaxy S10 could hurt – not help – Samsung

Samsung needs a big hit with the Galaxy S10 in 2023, but while 5G seems like an obvious lure for impatient upgraders, the fledgling next-gen network technology might end up harming more than helping. The Galaxy S10 went, unsurprisingly, unmentioned during Samsung’s CES 2023 keynote this week, though the carrier did discuss its 5G plans.

That first Samsung 5G phone, the company has confirmed, should be arriving in the first half of this year. Samsung isn’t the only device-maker to be hoping to beat rivals to the punch with 5G, of course, even if it’s one of the largest.

Clearly, there are bragging rights to be had if you’re among the first to launch a new technology. When it comes to 5G, we’ve seen carriers and phone-makers alike all rush to announce their handiwork in the area. AT&T’s maligned “5G E” badging for its 5G Evolution-capable phones, rolling out on devices now, is one good example. The perception of being ahead of the game when it comes to delivering 5G – even if you’re actually re-branding what other carriers would call LTE Advanced – is too rich an opportunity to miss.

Motorola, for much the same reason, announced its first 5G-compatible smartphone late last year. Again, the Moto Z3 doesn’t actually support 5G out of the box today. Instead, you’ll have to add a 5G Moto Mod sometime this year, which effectively has a separate 5G phone – complete with a processor and a battery of its own, along with the 5G-capable modem, only missing the display – packaged inside.

The downside, as both AT&T and Motorola have discovered with their 5G ploys, is that the shine that comes with being first can be quickly wiped away if the experience doesn’t match up. We saw that happen back in the days of the first LTE smartphones, too. Then, the first generation of LTE-capable devices arrived to huge fanfare and big marketing promises, only for users to find they had middling speed improvements and dreary battery life.

Although the Galaxy S-range has generally been a heavy-hitter for Samsung, it’s also evident that buyers aren’t going to upgrade on naming alone. The Galaxy S9 launched early in 2023 is a good example of that. Despite the promotions, many buyers decided it was simply too similar to its predecessor, and opted to wait things out.

Samsung clearly needs a hit in 2023 with the Galaxy S10. If the leaked specifications we’ve been seeing over the past few months are anything to go by, it’s making sure its new flagship not only delivers internal upgrades but, with a “hole-punch” display expected on select models, looks sufficiently distinctive, too. That’s a good strategy, but a misplaced focus on 5G could still yank the rug out from under the Galaxy S10.

The risks are various. Battery life is likely to be a concern with first-generation 5G, as are factors like weight and heat. Some will be beyond Samsung’s control, too: market availability of 5G is going to be patchy at best, as operators gradually roll out their networks, and little will sour owners of 5G-capable phones on the technology like hardly ever being able to use it.

Rather than focusing on a single 5G-capable version of the S10, Samsung’s strategy – if the leaks are to be believed – is to hedge its bets. In fact there could be as many as four versions of the phone, spanning the Galaxy S10 Lite, the S10 Standard, the S10+, and through finally to the S10+ 5G Edition, aka the Verizon Bolt.

Only one of the four would be 5G-enabled, the rest presumably topping out at LTE Advanced. The risk Samsung takes, though, is that the Galaxy S10+ 5G Edition would be seen as the de-facto flagship of the range. Any negative feedback about it could easily cascade down onto the rest of the S10 line-up, even if they’d be rightly expected to be better-selling devices.

Patience has its drawbacks too. Apple, for instance, is believed to be waiting for 2023 for an iPhone 5G, with factors like battery life, network availability, and power management all said to be making the Cupertino firm cautious about over-promising and under-delivering. Still, at a time when iPhone sales are struggling to meet Apple’s predictions, that restraint could prove costly.

There may not be a perfect strategy for Samsung and 5G, therefore, only a best-case scenario. The Galaxy S10 needs to balance expectations if it’s not to suffer part of the almost inevitable 5G backlash.

IMAGE Venya Geskin

You Should Switch To A Browser That Has Its Own Vpn

Putting a virtual private network (VPN) between you and the internet means your connection to the web becomes much more difficult to track and locate—whether the potential eavesdropper is a government agency or someone sitting behind you at a coffee shop.

It doesn’t give you total anonymity, but it sends everything you do online through an encrypted tunnel that’s exceptionally hard for anyone else to break into. That means a lot for your online security and privacy.

Dozens of the best VPN providers (Nord and IPVanish, for example) are ready and willing to set this service up for you, but if you want to cut out the middle man, there’s another option: pick a browser with a VPN attached. It’s quick and convenient and there are a growing number to choose from.

VPN basics

This means your internet service provider (ISP) won’t know what you’re looking at, which can be useful in countries with heavily censored access to the web. It also means you can pretend to be from a different location, which might give you access to streaming content you couldn’t otherwise get at.

Before you rush in and sign up for a VPN, though, take note: VPNs don’t make you anonymous online, and if you sign into Facebook, Amazon, or anywhere else, those sites will still be able to track your activity. So will your VPN provider, so look for one that explicitly states that it doesn’t keep any logs of browsing activity.

Adding a VPN can also have a negative impact on your browsing speed, as you’re taking a roundabout route to the websites you want to get to. This isn’t usually a major issue, however, and many people consider the privacy and security trade-off worth it.

The benefit of having a VPN right inside your browser is that there are no separate app settings to configure and no separate user account to sign up for. Because of the way VPNs work at the system level, even the ones that are associated with specific browsers are technically separate programs, but you can easily switch between them without having to log in multiple times. It’s almost the same as having a built-in browser feature.

We’re going to look at two browsers already well-known for user privacy and security: Firefox and Brave. While we don’t have space for a full browser vs. browser comparison, you’ll find them both speedy and simple to use, with plenty of options for limiting how you’re tracked on the web.

Switch to Firefox

You can activate and disable Mozilla VPN with a single switch. David Nield

Firefox developer Mozilla now has its own VPN called Mozilla VPN. It’ll set you back $5 a month and, while there’s no free trial, there is a 30-day, money-back guarantee if you decide it’s not for you. Having just launched, the VPN is only available for Windows on the desktop, but a macOS version is coming soon and you can also enable the Mozilla VPN on Android and iOS.

You’ll need a Firefox account to sign up for the Mozilla VPN, after which you can download and log into the apps. On Android, for example, open and sign into the app, tap the toggle switch under VPN to enable it, and … that’s all there is to it. You’ve now got a secure and encrypted connection to the web (Android lets you know by sticking a key logo in the status bar).

Underneath the toggle switch is a drop-down menu that lets you pick which of the Mozilla VPN servers you connect to. If you’re experiencing slow speeds, or you want your phone to appear as if it’s located in a particular country, make a different selection than the one that’s automatically given to you.

By default, this VPN protection applies to every app on your Android device, including Firefox. If you want only certain apps to use a VPN, you can make your choices under Settings and App permissions. You can install Mozilla VPN on up to five devices, and you can check on your registered devices via Settings and My devices.

Mozilla VPN makes use of the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is one of the newer and faster protocols (ways of configuring a VPN, essentially). It’s also built on top of infrastructure provided by the Mullvad VPN service that’s based in Sweden.

Switch to Brave

You can switch to the Brave VPN right inside the browser. David Nield

Brave is another mobile and desktop browser that just added integrated VPN capabilities, built in partnership with the Guardian firewall and VPN apps. For now, the functionality is only available in the Brave app for iOS, but Brave says the same protection is coming to other platforms later this year. The cost is double what you’ll pay for Mozilla VPN though: $10 a month (after a 7-day free trial).

You’ll have to activate the Brave VPN through the iPhone or iPad app: Tap the three dots in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window, then hit Brave VPN (this option will also let you toggle the VPN on and off once you’ve signed up). It’ll ask if you want to start a free trial, and if you don’t cancel before a week is up, your Apple ID billing details will be used to continue your subscription.

Brave asks to install a VPN profile, which is standard—you can see your VPN profiles on iOS by opening Settings and choosing General and VPN. (If you have multiple VPNs installed, you can switch between them here.) On iOS, if a VPN is active, a VPN logo shows next to the carrier name in the top left corner (swipe down from the top right corner of the screen if you can’t see it).

You’re then good to go—you can carry on browsing, safe in the knowledge that you’re now protected by the Brave and Guardian VPN. As with any VPN you install on your phone, every app makes use of it, not just the Brave browser.

To configure the browser further, tap on the three dots in the lower right-hand corner of the browser interface, then choose Settings and Brave Firewall + VPN. You won’t get a choice of locations for your VPN server—Brave will simply fix a secure, encrypted connection to whichever server is closest.

You can install the Brave VPN on up to five devices, the same as the Mozilla VPN, though it’s based on the more traditional IKEv2 protocol rather than WireGuard—a technical difference that shouldn’t really matter to your user experience. Whichever option you go with (more browsers will hopefully follow in the future), you can be sure that all the browsing you do inside the app is VPN-protected.

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