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This Intel-Owned Company Just Made One Of The Best Fitness Trackers You Can Buy

Basis2The Basis PeakBusiness Insider/ Lisa Eadicicco
Fitness trackers have evolved a lot over the past several years. The sensors are getting better, the apps are becoming more polished and functional, and the devices themselves look more attractive. Basis' new Peak fitness tracker meets all of this criteria.
The Basis Peak is a $199 fitness device that comes with a screen so that it can serve as a smartwatch, too.
Basis has kept the functionality simple though, and the Peak's focus remains on health and fitness just like the company's previous offerings. Still, there are a few key factors that make the Peak different from Basis' other models: the design of the watchface itself is slimmer, the heart rate monitor is much improved, the screen is now touch-friendly and will soon be able to display notifications from your smartphone.
After spending some time with the Peak, I found it to be one of the more accurate and comfortable fitness trackers I've tested. Here are my impressions.
How It Looks 
The Basis Peak is super slim and light compared to smartwatches you'll find on the market today, but since it has a full screen its certainly bulkier than your average Fitbit or Jawbone band. Still, the overall design is attractive and sleek, and it looks like something you'd wear on a jog or during your day at work. It doesn't look like a clunky sports watch.
The Peak is currently available in matte black with red accents on its strap and brushed metal silver with a white strap. Next month, Peak will offer more straps in various colors to choose from in its Sports Vent line. 
The white and metal review unit we played with has a soft, silicon strap with a subtle argyle-like pattern. The size of the watch face itself is large enough to easily see your stats, but it's discreet enough to wear comfortably. 
Using It
Basis1The Basis B1 (left) next to the new Basis Peak (right)Business Insider/ Lisa Eadicicco
The Basis Peak is among the more comfortable fitness trackers I've worn. The silicon strap is soft and malleable, making it pleasant to wear for long periods of time. When you look down at the device, the first thing you'll see is the time — just like you would if you were looking at a watch. From the home screen, you can swipe to see more information about your health. A quick swipe to the left will show your heart rate, and swiping up will display how many steps you've taken and how many calories you've burned. 
Basis claims there are two main features that make the Peak stand out — its accurate heart rate monitor and sleep tracking. The heart rate monitor seemed to be especially responsive: as soon as I took a deep breath and relaxed, I noticed the sensor would detect a change in my heart rate almost instantly. As far as offering more accurate results than other fitness trackers, I'm not too sure there's much of a difference. Other fitness trackers and smartwatches such as the Moto 360 detected similar results.
Basis' Peak app is slick, clean, and easy-to-use. The sleep tracking feedback is particularly interesting, as it breaks down your sleep into various categories such as REM sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep. It also shows you how many times you woke up, tossed and turned, and how long you slept. It's excellent if you're trying to work on your habits and track your sleeping patterns over a long period of time.
Basis3The Basis Peak in black and whiteBusiness Insider/ Lisa Eadicicco
There's no need to put it in sleep mode either — the watch can automatically tell when you're sleeping, walking, or running.
Basis also allows you to unlock different "habits" the more you use the device, adding a gamification element to its fitness tracker. 
Although the Basis Peak is very comfortable to wear throughout the day, I found it to feel a little intrusive during workouts.
The band made my arm itch a bit when I started to sweat a lot, which was slightly uncomfortable. I don't find it to be a deal breaker though — I was satisfied enough with the Peak's results to continue wearing it during subsequent workouts.
In terms of battery life, the Peak lasts about three to four days on a single charge, depending on how much you sync it and turn the backlight on or off.
Other fitness trackers without screens such as the Jawbone UP 24, or ones with smaller screens like the Fitbit Flex and Charge bands, will naturally last a bit longer. But, several days of battery life is fairly standard for a monochrome watch like the Peak.
Right now the Peak exists as a fitness tracker, but in the future the company plans to push out an update that will allow you to see texts and incoming phone calls directly on the watch. 
Should You Buy It?
If you're trying to decide whether or not you should buy the Basis Peak or a Jawbone or Fitbit band, there are a few things to consider. If you want a fitness tracker with a large screen that you can also use as a watch (and eventually a smartwatch), go for the Peak. If you care a lot about keeping track of your heart rate and sleeping patterns, the Peak is probably your best bet.
Jawbone and Fitbit's bands are sleeker, more subtle, and cheaper, but you get less functionality. They're all good choices, but it depends on what you want out of your fitness tracker. Overall, the Basis Peak is worth the $199.
SEE ALSO: FORGET THE APPLE WATCH: Here's The Wearable You Should Really Buy If You Care About Fitness 

Fed up with the Eagles? Sixers? Phillies? These empathetic fans have an app for that

What's the sports moment that sent you on an epic rant? Email the details - the game or event, the year, what set you off, and the extent of your venting - to dmastrull@phillynews.com. Then take a few deep breaths!
Let’s get right to the point that will offend countless Philadelphians: Dan Bagelle says he’s “a big, big, humongous Dallas fan.”
As in Cowboys. The football team of legendary cornerback Deion Sanders, whose jersey Bagelle was wearing when he got his picture taken for this article.
Does that get your blood boiling, Eagles fans? Does it bring back painful memories of that playoffs-killing December 2014 loss to the Cowboys, when both teams came into Lincoln Financial Field with a 9-4 record and the Eagles were favored to win?
Did you call sports-talk radio and rant? Punch something? Get drunk?
Fandom is a place of suffering. And Bagelle and two friends since middle school, Jeff Phillips and Tim Wozniak, are hoping to cash in on it with their SportsVenting app, focused on fans’ frustrations and the teams they hate.
With a free app launched Feb. 1 in the Google Play store, you can post pictures and videos of yourself in full meltdown. You can list not only the teams you adore, but those you despise. SportsVenting’s principals are now trying to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter to offer a version for iPhones.
Aspiring to become a nationally recognized brand and a radio show on Sirius XM within five years, the start-up also is looking for seed investors — including you, Mark Cuban, Shark Tank star and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.
"He would be the perfect guy," Phillips said. "He gets fined all the time for venting and criticizing the refs."
As a lead-in on SportsVenting’s Kickstarter page, the announcer (Wozniak) asks a series of agitating questions:
“Remember the times your team let you down?”
“Or when that stupid fan interfered with the game?”
“Or when that darned ref cost your team a victory?”
SportsVenting allows you to share your dyspeptic posts on a variety of social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and to create groups limited to a particular team, game or player, for instance.
It's the world in which Phillips, 45, Wozniak, 46, and Bagelle, 46  –  Philadelphia natives and graduates of Northeast High School and Temple University — anguish, often from a couch in front of a flat-screen TV in Wozniak’s basement “man cave” in Huntingdon Valley.
They figure they have plenty of company.
“Every single game has a loser,” said Phillips, who lives in Jamison, Bucks County, and is SportsVenting’s founder and president.
A radio/television/film major at Temple with a plan to become a sports broadcaster — his sports devotion is apparent in his email address, eaglesowls@yahoo.com — Phillips instead went into medical sales, a job that served him well until he lost it in summer 2015. In the two months before he got another one, Phillips heeded advice from his wife of 19 years, Kristin.
“My wife says, ‘Why don’t you do something you’re passionate about,’ ” Phillips recalled. “One night, in the middle of the night, I thought of SportsVenting. At 4 a.m., I reached for my phone and texted that to myself.” Later that day, he bought the domain name for $16.99.
The tag line for the company – Blow Off Some Steam — came to him in the shower, along with a character to serve as the logo, a guy with clenched teeth and fists with steam coming out of his ears.
“Living in Philadelphia, I’ve been that my whole life – frustrated, a frustrated sports fan,” Phillips said. Playing off his last name and the hometown teams he roots for and agonizes over, his wife came up with the character’s name: Frustrated Phil.
With $2,000 from his brother, Mike, he got design help for the logo. App development started a year later, in July 2016, after $53,000 was raised from family and friends. That work, which took seven months, was done by a firm in Peru charging $35 an hour vs. the $100-plus that U.S. companies were routinely asking for, Phillips said.
App development left no money for marketing. That was being handled early on through social media by Wozniak, a finance major at Temple who, after 21 years working in financial services with a private investment firm, went back to school to get a master’s degree in education and is now a substitute teacher in the Abington School District. He joined the SportsVenting effort in June 2016 as director of operations, helping Phillips plan the app features.
What was so appealing about the opportunity?
“People get passionate about their sports teams, and they’re always venting," said Wozniak, who describes himself as a lifelong Chicago fan. "Even if your team is winning, you’re always venting about something, something they could have done better.”
Bagelle, who lives in Mount Laurel and works for a collections agency, is SportsVenting’s director of promotions, trying to generate buzz for the app with videos on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and toting their eight-foot banner and promotional materials to sporting events and venues where sports fans are likely to be, such as this year's Wing Bowl and a 94WIP Birds Town Hall at Chickie's & Pete’s.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Bagelle said of the business plan, which counts on revenue from selling advertising on the app. “It’s sports, and we vent all our lives about sports.”
There are many reasons why, said Allen R. McConnell, a psychology professor at Miami University in Ohio, who authored a Psychology Today article in July 2015 titled "The Psychology of Sports Fandom."
One is BIRGing, or Basking in Reflected Glory, he said. In other words, enjoying being associated with winning teams, whether it's watching them on TV or wearing their jerseys.
“There’s a real self-esteem function that is served by being a fan,” McConnell said. And because most fans, especially of professional sports teams, have no personal relationship with any of the players, they need an outlet to express their frustration when game results are disappointing.
“If you can’t directly respond to people who are causing your frustration, a social app would be one way to do that,” McConnell said.
Or, in his case, recently over dinner in Las Vegas. McConnell and three of his best friends spent last weekend in Sin City, watching first-round action in the NCAA basketball tournament.
McConnell, a University of Cincinnati alum and a former professor at Michigan State, was rooting for both schools. Both lost.
“There was an awful lot of venting going on,” he said. Because he was with friends, “I didn’t need an app.”
Instead, they tore up betting tickets and dissected the games at dinner, “going through the games play by play. Asking, ‘Why didn’t they call a time out? Why didn’t they switch to a zone defense?’ ” McConnell recalled from the airport Monday, waiting for his flight back to Ohio. “When our teams disappoint us, one of the things we have to do is make sense of it.”
And, sometimes, behave less than ideally.
“I put my fist through the bathroom door,” Wozniak said, confessing his worst sports vent.
It came in 2003, when Steve Bartman, the fan Chicagoans still rue, interfered with an arguably playable foul ball in Game 6 of the National League championship game between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins, when the Cubs were just five outs away from their first World Series appearance since 1945. The Marlins went on to score eight runs in that eighth inning and win the game. They also took Game 7 — advancing to the World Series.
“I don’t think I ate for two days,” Wozniak said, describing his overall condition as "just this utter disgust and not wanting to talk to anyone, look at anyone.”
With the SportsVenting app, he said, “That’s what we wanted to tap into.”
As the Kickstarter video urges: "Don't break your television in anger. Don't take your frustrations out on each other. Just vent instead."
Published: March 26, 2017 — 3:01 AM EDT
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What we learned: Math dooms Houston County, Southwest finishes tied with Washington County

Simple math dooms Houston County
Valdosta head coach Alan Rodemaker grew confident at halftime with a tweak in the defensive game plan against Houston County. The Wildcats would double-team receivers Amari Colbert and Eli Watson, rush four with the occasional blitz, and hope no inside receivers got loose. It worked, and kept Houston County and quarterback Jake Fromm in check, ending the Bears’ season at 7-3.
A first for Southwest
Southwest won’t get the top seed from Region 3-2A by virtue of its loss to Washington County. But Dublin’s 27-26 upset of the Golden Hawks gives the Patriots a share of a region title for the first time in the program’s 47-year history. Southwest hosts Brooks County on Friday at Henderson Stadium.
As has been noted
The quality of Region 1-6A has been well documented — a 5-5 Coffee team that took fourth lost to the other three playoff teams by a total of 19 points — and that a quality team would stay home. That is 7-3 Houston County, the only 7-3 team that is done. Meanwhile, the Class 6A playoffs include 3-7 Lakeside-Evans, 4-6 Jonesboro and 3-5-1 Bradwell Institute. Region 8-6A’s six teams finished a combined 30-30-1, to an overall mark of 36-14 for 1-6A.
Westside finishes strong
Westside head coach Spoon Risper knew his team had a front-loaded schedule heading into the 2016 season. The Seminoles opened 2-4, with all four losses coming against teams that went on to finish in the top two in their respective regions. But Westside took care of things late in the season, closing with four straight wins to enter the playoffs with a 6-4 record. The Seminoles open postseason play Friday at Pierce County.
Closing on a positive note
Northeast will miss the postseason with a 2-8 record, but the Raiders finished the season Friday with a 27-6 victory at East Laurens. The Raiders’ other victory came against Bleckley County.
Late night in Region 4-1A
Macon County was ready. Manchester was ready. The refs were not. The refs never showed, courtesy of some sort of miscommunication, so a crew got done the Greenville-Crawford County game and headed to Manchester, aided by a running clock in the first game. So, the Region 4-1A championship game between Macon County and Manchester didn’t start until 10 p.m. on Friday. Once things started, however, it was all Macon County, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 54-13 victory. Macon County head coach Dexter Copeland got home in Warner Robins around 4 a.m. or so. The Bulldogs likely will be the No. 1 seed for the Class 1A public playoffs.
Bye time
Region champions are moved to the top of the rankings in Class 1A when it comes to seeding the playoffs, giving them first-round byes. In addition to Macon County (4-1A) and Tattnall Square (7-1A), the other region champions in Class 1A are Pelham (1-1A), Clinch County (2-1A), Calvary Day (3-1A, won via coin flip over ECI), Eagle’s Landing Christian (5-1A), Fellowship Christian (6-1A) and Prince Avenue Christian (8-1A).
Not official, but...
The GHSA is expected to post official power ratings late Sunday, and the brackets are expected to be finalized by 4 p.m. on Monday. But Georgia Varsity Sports Vent poster CheerTigerDad, whose unofficial power ratings usually line up with what the GHSA has, published numbers Saturday morning that did not include the half-dozen or so games being played around the state Saturday. His preliminary numbers indicate the following first-round matchups for Middle Georgia teams (again, these matchups are unofficial):
Class 1A private: No. 21 Savannah Country Day at No. 12 Stratford, No. 17 FPD at No. 16 Aquinas (No. 5 Tattnall, with a bye, would host the Savannah Country Day-Stratford winner).
Class 1A public: No. 24 Marion County at No. 9 Twiggs County, No. 23 Trion at No. 10 Taylor County, No. 21 Irwin County at No. 12 Dooly County (No. 1 Macon County, with a bye, would host the Terrell County-Turner County winner).
Time for a statement
Some regions in Class 5A, including Region 1, will have some reputation building to do. Regions 1 and 2 have only one team each above .500, and the playoffs feature at least seven teams — 4-6 Lithonia played Saturday against No. 9 Arabia Mountain — with losing records. Top-ranked Stockbridge hosts 1-9 South Effingham.