LG G3 Gaming Sensation

LG released its flagship LG G2 smartphone to much critical praise and industry admiration. The LG G2 was (and still is) an absolute powerhouse of a phone. With its 2.26GHz quad-core processor a knee-wobblingly stunning 424ppi HD display and a battery life which many herald as the best in its class there wasn’t too much to complain about.

Twelve months later however users salivate for more mobile processing power, more pixels per square inch and sexier designs.

LG fans will not be disappointed with their latest release, they delivered again.

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App of the Week: AthleteMinder

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What happens when you hit the gym, dig into a practice or head out to set your best mile time? Aside from that familiar increase in blood flow, you immediately become acquainted with the numbers that attach themselves so tightly to perceived performance.

Every machine at the gym flickers methodically while processing a whole slew of exercise variables. Heart rate monitors beep away, filling you in on cardiovascular strain and whether or not you’re pushing as “hard” as you were yesterday. Your coach shouts that you’re 12 seconds slower than your teammate.

All of this feedback – constantly monitoring, recording and influencing your life as an athlete – is painfully rooted in the very one-dimensional world of physicality.

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Lap times, rep counts, weight targets – all incredibly important, yet lacking in presenting you with an evaluation of your psychological state, which is a chronically overlooked area of sport and fitness in general.

Okay, so you weren’t able to complete your intensely desired one rep max for bench press. You got crushed at last weekend’s tournament. Cue demoralization and self-doubt.

On paper, you were flawless, tirelessly adding weight at the precise increments and never failing to complete every piece of last month’s practices. So what gives? Where do you look for reflection and answers when your routines are completed loyally?

AthleteMinder, the new mental training app from sport psychologist Dr. Mara Smith, might just have the right blend of fresh insight to shed light on otherwise neglected aspects of progression and deliver some healthy improvement.

No stranger to the game, Smith has flexed her 20 years of experience and education through many outlets, including consultation with numerous sporting entities: USA Hockey, USA Gymnastics, US Figure Skating, USA Bobsled and USA Luge.

So what’s up with the app?

AthleteMinder is her latest project, and the app itself is interesting and easy to use. A few workouts in and I found myself pleasantly looking forward to using it, plus milling over some of the useful information on how I was stacking up mentally from day to day.

Personally, I love fitness apps, use STRAVA religiously and looked forward to trying out something that didn’t display the stereotypical variables that make up most of the more popular options. AthleteMinder differs in the fact that it is very personal. No clogged leaderboards or sharing options — just you, your reflection and trends of this over time.

Usability

Actually, using the app couldn’t be any simpler: Just choose from one of three options on what kind of day you had – rest, practice or competition – and then answer five key questions about the session that relates to the mindset surrounding it. These questions were researched and chosen by Smith after surveying athletes from several sports and ability levels on what is most applicable to gauging performance.

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The answers are then recorded, analyzed and presented in a summary graph, which gets plotted on a calendar and spiced up with tips on how to enhance progress. After a few entries, you can see trends starting to carve out, allowing for some really cool insights to be formed.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Smith about AthleteMinder, and her passion for the app was contagious. She has a genuine interest in bettering the mental health of those involved in fitness and a desire to keep developing the app to better meet the needs of users.

“Often times with athletes, when there’s a problem, all they want to do is a train harder, and part of the motivation for this was me saying sometimes more is just more; more isn’t always better, and what a lot of athletes need is a way to think about what they are doing and how they want to try and move forward.”

Not everyone has the chance to work with a sport psychologist or mental strength specialist, but $1.99 sure as hell isn’t hard to come by. If you’re looking to gain an edge on your game, do yourself a favor and check out AthleteMinder.

  

2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gadgets

Gadgets dominate our lives, and you can always start these days with dad’s phone. If he has the latest and greatest, don’t even bother. But if he’s still tied to his lame flip phone, then of course you can go with an iPhone or a new Android phone to get him into the 21st century.

If you’re looking for something a little different, however, we’ve put together some ideas for you. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

Winegard FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna

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With cord-cutting at an all-time high, products like the Winegard FlatWave Amped are going to change the way that people consume television. This indoor HDTV antenna can pick up HD-quality channels up to 50 miles away, features dual-band reception so you won’t miss out on channels that other UHF-only antennas do, and prevents pixelation and dropouts using an ultra-low noise (1dB) amplifier. It’s lightweight and razor-thin (about the width of a plastic placemat) and can lay flat on a surface or hang on the wall or window for the best reception. Better yet, since the antenna is powered through the USB port on your TV, it only consumes power when the television is turned on. It sounds too good to be true, but within minutes of connecting the FlatWave Amped, we had 25 channels to choose from, including all of the major networks. This thing really works, and at a fraction of the cost of your annual cable bill.

Phosphor Touch Time Watch

Smartwatches are all the rage these days, but don’t let the Phosphor Touch Time digital watch fool you, because its lack of interconnectivity prevents it from competing with the more advanced models. Nevertheless, the Touch Time is still a major step up from your typical wristwatch thanks to some cool features, including a touch interface that’s incredibly easy to use, five different time displays, and custom language settings for English, French, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and German. Some of the included apps feel a bit useless on such a small screen – particularly the calendar mode – but the time zone display is incredibly useful, astronomy geeks will love the lunar moon function, and the old-school calculator is a nice touch. One of the best things about the Touch Time is that you never have to sync or charge it because it’s powered by a replaceable battery (with up to a one-year life span), while the ability to upgrade from a silicone band to a stainless steel bracelet means that you can wear the same watch to work and the gym without anyone being the wiser.

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Cobra AirWave 360

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There are a lot of portable speakers to choose from these days, but many of them are impossible to use in the car due to their shape or size. The Cobra AirWave 360, on the other hand, is practically built for that purpose – a portable, 8-inch speaker that’s been smartly designed to look like a coffee tumbler and will fit into just about any vehicle or bicycle cup holder. You could even argue that it deters potential thieves, since no one is going to steal your mug, unless they’re really big jerks. For as functional as its design may be, however, the AirWave 360 also delivers 360-degree surround sound and features an integrated, noise-cancelling microphone that works with Siri and S Voice. There’s even a cool Gesture Control feature that enables you to pause music and answer incoming calls by simply waving your hand over the top of the speaker, and although that may not technically be considered hands-free, it’s a lot safer than the alternative.

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Stanley FatMax Portable Tripod Light

Stanley FatMax Portable Tripod LightHaving enough light is often an issue when you’re trying to get work done, whether it’s in your garage, basement, back yard or driveway. With the new Stanley FatMax Portable Tripod Light. you can have a flexible option that provides 360-degree lighting for large and small jobs, along with a reliable light source for power outages and outdoor events.

The Portable Tripod light is corded, cordless and rechargeable for maximum flexibility. You can adjust it in multiple ways to light up a large or small work area. It features three detachable cordless lights that easily slide off and offer a great option for smaller jobs while being perfect for tighter spaces.

With 45 watts of ultra-bright LEDs, the rechargeable light reaches up to 2400 lumens. The 90-degree adjustable hinges and 360° pivoting base allow for multi-directional positioning to cover larger areas.

Each separate light runs for up to 10 hours and features Lithium Ion technology to stay charged for up to 12 months. This makes it ideal as an emergency light source or for an outdoor activity where you don’t have an easy power source.

The portability is also a nice feature, as it’s lightweight with a convenient shoulder strap for easy carrying. The tripod stand collapses for easy transport and storage as well, so it’s easy to pack for your trip.

With Father’s Day around the corner, this can make a great gift for dad, while many of you will want to consider it for your garage as well.

  

Waterproof PowerPak Ultra

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Portable power sources are becoming more and more popular as gadgets keep dominating our lives. Also, some gadgets like smartphones seems to have more trouble holding their charge these days.

We tried the new Trent PowerPak Ultra which can help you keep your USB-based devices juiced while in the most extreme environments. You’ll immediately notice the rugged exterior when you pull it out of the box. It also features an IP-67 rating and it’s built to survive most drops and can be temporarily submerged in water for up to 30 minutes without damage.

The PowerPak Ultra features 14,000 mAh of power, meaning it is powerful enough to store 700% of the average smartphone’s battery life. If you’re spending lots of time outdoors this can be a very handy gadget for the group. It features two USB ports able to simultaneously charge any combination of smartphones, tablets or other USB-based device.

  

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