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Why the Swipes app stands out in the sea of to do apps

Swipes is a minimalist to-do app with the added benefits of tagging and sub-lists. It stands out in a sea of to to apps, and here is why:

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Swipes: simple, beautiful, minimalist

Swipes might be considered a free version of Clear, and, as the name suggests, it is gesture enabled, allowing you to swipe when you have completed a task. Simple.

After downloading the Swipe app, signup is easy. You can sign up via Facebook or register with your email address. Afterwards you will be taken the menu screen. The first things you will notice are a huge yellow “+” sign and a bulleted list of items. The list is actually a tutorial inviting you to “tap me,” “swipe right,” and “double-tap.” Completing each of these tasks will give you the basic understand of how Swipes works. When you have completed a task on your list, you will swipe right on it; it will then turn green and disappear from your “scheduled” list to your “completed” list.

If you swipe left over a task, it will turn red and you can access all the scheduling options. There are seven options available under scheduling: later today, this evening, tomorrow, the next day, this weekend, next weekend, unspecified, and pick a date. You will also be reminded about your upcoming tasks. If you change your mind about when you want to be reminded, simply double-tap the to-do and you can access your options.

When you double-tap, you will see three options: remind me, set tags, and add notes.

You can also tap and hold to drag a to-do up and down (to reorganize your list), and tap then pull down to search and filter. When you pull down, a search box will appear at the top and you can search for all of the tags you have used. At any time you can single tap to delete or add tags. This is also how you can create a sub-list. By utilizing the tags, you can create a list within a list, simply by tagging a to-do with the same keywords. Then, when you need it later, you can search by these tags and those to-dos will pop up.

Design allows ease of use

The minimalist design allows you to easily switch between the three top tabs: schedule, swipe, and completed, instantly letting your see what needs to be, what you have completed, and what needs to be scheduled. This is especially useful if you have several clients to meet in a week. You can tag each task with the individual client’s name and then search for what needs to be done regarding that client, as well as, the week as a whole. While you may already do this in your preferred calendar app, Swipes is a good option for last minute thoughts and schedule changes, as it loads very fast and does not have a lot of extra features getting in the way. It is just the to-do basics. And being able to swipe things off your list, actually makes it fun to complete tasks.

The only down side to Swipes, versus the previously mentioned Clear, is that Swipes does not really have a way to tweak any of the settings, And it is not quite as aesthetically “pretty,” but since Swipes is free and they both give you the same end-result, it is easy to overlook these minor details, in my opinion.

After signing up for Swipes, I received an email letting me know that they plan on offering synchronization and a web app, as well as, new features including priorization of your to-dos, location-based reminders, and the ability to see which to-do’s you frequently use/complete. With these added features is could really give Clear a run for to-do app.

Swipes is free to download from the App Store and with hundred of to-do apps in the App Store, Swipes is worth a look if you are still searching for one that works for you.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Tech News

Airbnb has blocked 50K+ bookings for being too big during COVID-19

(NEWS) Airbnb has cancelled a huge number of reservations as a security precaution during COVID-19 in the past year or so.

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In the last year or so, Airbnb has purposefully prevented at least 50,000 people from making irresponsible reservations on their properties, in many cases blocking those people from the platform itself. This prevention, at least in theory, helped cut down on the number of COVID parties during the pandemic.

According to The Verge, Airbnb’s head of trust and safety communication, Ben Breit, acknowledged blocked reservations in several cities across the United States, including Dallas, San Diego, and New Orleans. Breit confirmed that this response was an attempt to prevent large gatherings and parties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during which many areas banned group activities involving more than a few people.

While some requests for reservations were simply denied or “redirected”, many users were blocked from using Airbnb entirely. Airbnb noted that the number of blocked requests outpaced the number of people who were blocked, signifying that some accounts attempted to make more than one reservation before being removed from the platform.
Airbnb reportedly stated that “Instituting a global ban on parties and events is in the best interest of public health” prior to enacting a total ban on rentals at the beginning of 2020, a decision that gave way to the blocks and redirections in the last 12 months.

The evaluation system used to flag problematic reservations is relatively simple, according to Breit: “If you are under the age of 25 and you don’t have a history of positive reviews, we will not allow you to book an entire home listing local to where you live.”

But Airbnb didn’t entirely remove multiple-body listings or large rentals. The Verge reports that flagged users with the aforementioned criteria were still able to book both small rentals in local locations and larger rentals in reasonably distant locations.

Regardless of the optics here, Airbnb’s policy efficacy can’t be ignored. Multiple cities reported comparatively “quiet” holiday seasons–something that may contribute to Airbnb’s decision to extend their policy through the end of this summer.

The hosting company is also offering increased security measures, such as noise detection and a 24-hour hotline, at a discounted rate to property owners.

As both the vaccine gap and the proliferation of the Delta variant of COVID-19 continue to contribute to outbreaks, one can reasonably expect Airbnb to hold to this policy.

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TL;DV summarizes video meetings so folks can catch up in quickly *with* context

(TECHNOLOGY) TL;DV makes catching up on video team meetings slightly more tolerable and easily digestable.

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2021 was the year of virtual meetings, and while there are some perks associated with remote collaboration (I’m looking at you, pair of work pants that I didn’t have to wear once this year), these meetings often feel exponentially more arduous than their dressed-up counterparts. TL;DV, a consolidation app for Google Meet, looks to give back a bit of your time.

TL;DV (an acronym for “Too Long; Didn’t View”) is a Google Chrome recording extension that helps users specify important sections of meetings for anyone who needs to view them asynchronously. Users can tag specific segments in Google Meet sessions, transcribe audio, and leave notes above tagged sections for timestamp purposes, and the subsequent file can be shared via a host of both Google and third-party apps.

While the extension is only available for Google Meet at the time of writing, the TL;DV team has included a link to a survey for Zoom and MS Teams users on their site, thus implying that the team is looking into expanding into those platforms in the future.

The mission behind TL;DV is, according to the website, to empower users to “control how we spend our precious time” in the interest of combatting FOMO and meeting fatigue. By dramatically shortening the amount of time one must spend perusing a meeting recording, they seem well on their way to doing so.

Of course, the issue of human oversight remains. It seems likely that meeting facilitators will drop the ball here and there while tagging sections of the recording, and employees who miss crucial information in a recorded session are sure to be frustrated in the process–just not as frustrated as they might be if they attended the entire meeting live.

The current (free) version of TL;DV is in Beta, so users will have a three-hour cap on their videos. The development team promises a professional version by the end of 2021, with the added bonus of leaving prior recordings available for free for anyone who used the Beta. This is certainly an extension to keep an eye on–whether or not you’re remaining remote in 2022, virtual conferencing is no doubt here to stay.

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Tech News

Hiding from facial recognition is a booming business

(TECH NEWS) ‘Cloaking’ is the new way to hide your face. Companies are making big money designing cloaking apps that thwart your features by adding a layer of make up, clothing, blurring, and even transforming you into your favorite celebrity.

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Facial recognition companies and those who seek to thwart them are currently locked in a grand game of cat and mouse. Though it’s been relentlessly pursued by police, politicians, and technocrats alike, the increasing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces, workplaces, and housing complexes remains a widely unpopular phenomenon.

So it’s no surprise that there is big money to be made in the field of “cloaking,” or dodging facial recognition tech – particularly during COVID times while facial coverings are, literally, in fashion.

Take Fawkes, a cloaking app designed by researchers at the University of Chicago. It is named for Guy Fawkes, the 17th century English revolutionary whose likeness was popularized as a symbol of anonymity, and solidarity in V For Vendetta.

Fawkes works by subtly overlaying a celebrity’s facial information over your selfies at the pixel level. To your friends, the changes will go completely unnoticed, but to an artificial intelligence trying to identify your face, you’d theoretically look just like Beyonce.

Fawkes isn’t available to the general public yet, but if you’re looking for strategies to fly under the radar of facial recognition, don’t fret; it is just one example of the ways in which cloaking has entered the mainstream.

Other forms of cloaking have emerged in the forms of Tik Tok makeup trends, clothes that confuse recognition algorithms, tools that automatically blur identifying features on the face, and much more. Since effective facial recognition relies on having as much information about human faces as possible, cloaking enthusiasts like Ben Zhao, Professor of computer science at the University of Chicago and co-developer of Fawkes, hope to make facial recognition less effective against the rest of the population too. In an interview with The New York Times, Zhao asserts, “our [team’s] goal is to make Clearview [AI] go away.”

For the uninitiated, Clearview AI is a start-up that recently became infamous for scraping billions of public photos from the internet and privately using them to build the database for a law enforcement facial recognition tool.

The CEO of Clearview, Hoan Ton-That, claimed that the tool would only be improved by these workarounds and that in long run, cloaking is futile. If that sounds like supervillain talk, you might see why he’s earned himself a reputation similar to the likes of Martin Shkreli or Ajit Pai with his company’s uniquely aggressive approach to data harvesting.

It all feels like the beginning of a cyberpunk western: a story of man vs. machine. The deck is stacked, the rules are undecided, and the world is watching. But so far, you can rest assured that no algorithm has completely outsmarted our own eyeballs… yet.

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