Ever wonder if putting solar panels on your roof would be worth it? Just Google it! A couple years ago, Google launched Project Sunroof, a web site that uses images from Google Earth and weather information for your region to determine whether or not you would benefit from solar energy.
The web site shows the cost savings, financing options for installing panels...it even can put you in touch with solar panel providers in your area.
Even if you're not serious about switching, its fun poke around and take a look.
(happy accident, we were taking a picture of the baby and got the cookies too!)
Makes about 2 dozen
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats, ground fine in a blender or food processor
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (each) milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate chips
1 cup toasted, chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix to combine. Beat the baking soda, salt, and rolled oats into the butter mixture until evenly incorporated, slowly beat the flour into the mixture and combine. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.
Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Space about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Pat down the tops of the balls just slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until just tinged with brown. Rotate sheet halfway through baking to ensure even browning; be very careful not to over bake. (Cookies should still be soft in the centers.) Let cookies firm up on cookie sheets, 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Two apps this week:
First: When you're out celebrating on Friday, and it's your turn to raise your glass and make a toast, you'll be ready if you have Erin Go Bragh...the Irish Blessings pub app. Open the app, give your phone a little shake and it randomly displays some Celtic words of wisdom.
Second: The March Madness tournament starts tomorrow. Make sure you're ready with the official NCAA March Madness Live app. Stream every game, get real-time stats and updates, track your bracket and get notifications for upsets, overtime games, and close games.
*Note: To live stream the games, you have to log-in with your TV provider.
Just in time for International Women's Day, (during Women's History Month), a Brazilian ad agency has come up with an app that uses your phone's microphone to track the number of times a man interrupts a woman during conversation. The creators say the audio isn't recorded, just analyzed - and it works both ways...sort of. If you're a female user, it tells you how many times a male interrupts you, and if you're a male user...it tells you how many times you interrupt a female.
The purpose of the app is to cut back on “Manterrupting”, which has been shown to “stop women from expressing their ideas at work, at home, and in society as a whole.”
The department store makeup counter make-over is officially a thing of the past! Now, if you want to try out a new look, see what you'd look like with Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime face paint, or even try a different shade of lipstick...you can do it in Augmented Reality.
This new, free, app allows you to put on virtual lip stick, blush, or eye shadow in real time, with the selfie camera on your phone. Don't like the color, click another one? Just like the Instagram Filters that add a dog's tongue to your face, this app perfectly places the makeup to look like you're really wearing it.
It has a variety of standard cosmetics (that you can purchase from the app), there's a collection of face paint options for costume parties...and if Beyonce wears a stunning face at an awards show, copy it onto your face to see how it looks on you. There's even an option to virtually try-on new glasses frames.
What do you do with a book after you've read it? It sits on a shelf, maybe you lend it to a friend, then one day, it either ends up in a box in the attic, a box at a garage sale, in the donation bin...or the trash bin.
Now there's a way to share your collection with the rest of the world...while at the same time, reading more and more and more books!
PaperbackSwap.com is a social website of people - just like you - who share their books.
You create a wishlist of books you'd like to read...if another member has it, they send it to you -- and vice versa...if you have a book on someone else's wishlist, you mail it to them.
This is a paid membership site ($20/yr max), but there is a free option (link to membership options here).
The social network meets “you're not going out dressed like that, are you?” When you get dressed in the morning or before you go on a date, you may think you look good...but there may be something amiss. You ask your husband and he says “you always look beautiful”, you try to text your friends, but they're either too positive or too catty. Now there's an app that will tell you how you look!
Open the app, snap a picture of your outfit, your shoes, or your accessories and within seconds, other users will give you their opinion in a 1-to-10 rating (the app averages all of the scores for your final results)
Feel free to rate other's fashions, you can also save or bookmark someone else's outfit for reference the next time you're shopping.
If you're sick and tired of political arguments taking up your Facebook feed, there's a way to clean house without unfriending or unfollowing a single friend. It's an extension for the Chrome web browser called “Remove All Politics From Facebook”. It is a simple on/off switch that allows you choose whether or not to see all of the political talk. *it doesn't NOT work on memes, however.
Its free, but only works when you check Facebook from the Chrome web browser.
If you spent the last two days shoveling your driveway because you don't have a plow-guy...here's some welcome news. Its an app for on-demand snow removal...think of it as Uber for snow plows.
The app is called Plowz and Mowz. Open the app, enter your address and before long, someone comes to plow your driveway. Fee is based on the amount of snow and the size of your driveway and you pay with a credit card through the app. As the name suggests, they also do on-demand mowing in the summer and yard clean-up in the fall.
They say this app will help you eat less and lose weight...after playing the game only four times! Its actually part of a study by the University of Exeter in England. At the start screen, click the food items you want to eat less of...for instance: breads, alcohol & sweets...then play the game. Every time a “good” food, in a green circle appears on your screen, tap your screen; when a “bad” food, in a red circle appears, don't.
Researchers claim that playing the game will train you to resist those types of foods.
**Some information is collected and sent to the researchers, along with the results of your game-play, they also want to know things like age, gender and weight...no names or identifying information is collected.
Give it a shot! You have nothing to lose but the weight, right?
This is a new reading app for iPhone and iPad that let you seamlessly switch between reading a book and listening to the audio book. Read a chapter before you go to bed, pick right up where you left off, on your way to work in the morning. (the audio books are narrated by professionals, this isn't text-to-speech quality)
Its brand new, so the titles are limited, but their website says they're adding new books all the time.
OR – You can do the same thing on the Kindle app --they call it Whispersync for Voice-- it switches between your Kindle book and the Audible audio book. (Audible requires a subscription)
When telemarketers completely ignore the fact that your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, this app steps in to help put an end to RoboCalls. They call it an intelligent call management app with loads of features, but the one I like the most is: when you get a call from an unrecognized or blocked number, it sends the tell-tale tones and announcement that “this number is no longer in service”. The outgoing message even has the static and crackle that you can hear when you actually reach a disconnected number.
I got the app just for this feature...but it has more. Essentially, YouMail is a replacement for your voicemail and acts as your virtual, personal assistant. It offers customized out-going messages for friends on your contact list (“hi, Dan, Jason can't take your call, but I'll make sure he gets the message”), it will convert your voice mails to texts and send them to you that way, call forwarding for important calls and more.
If you have trouble sticking to your New Year's resolutions, this app may help. PACT keeps track of the exercise or diet goals you set...and pays you for sticking to them (it also takes money from you if you don't).
Let's say your goal is “go to the gym 3 days a week”. If you do it, you earn $10...if you only go to the gym twice you are docked $10. GPS and the motion sensors in your phone keep you honest and report back to the app.
This is a community based app so the money you earn comes from other members having to pay out for not living up to their resolutions.
Similarly, if your goal is “to eat veggies with at least 4 meals a week”, you have to take a picture of your plate and have it verified by another member in order to get credit.
The app works with fitbits and other exercise trackers and they say it has helped their members hit 95% of their goals.
If staying up until midnight to watch the ball drop and usher in the new year, doesn't have the appeal that it used to, don't worry...there's an app for that! (a web site too)
Earthcam offers free live streams that will show New Years celebrations from cities all over the world.
So if you don't want to wait around until midnight to watch the events in Times Square...you can catch the celebration in London at 7pm, or in Paris at 6pm, or Moscow at 4pm...or in Beijing at 11am!